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As an only child of an actress extrovert mother I was always told I was never good enough. The house was always full of people growing up and my mum and dad never had time for me. Now my dad has died and mum has got old and she relies on me. I have never abandoned her and do her shopping and help her with things but I really am not a talker and she is constantly telling me she is lonely but will do nothing to sort this herself. She has a friend who goes to see her and my mother continues to tell me her nice she is as she sits with her. I am never given any credit and really don't want to sit with her. Mother's Day is hard as I struggle to find a card that consent say to the best mother in the world etc. She recently gave me a box of paperwork to go through and there some hand written pages. I read only two paragraphs of one of the pages and it said that I had been an awful daughter and slagged me off. I find it too hard to discuss with my mother as she tells me regularly she is an old lady and she has been ill recently. I am sure most people's sympathy will be to my mother but I feel very hurt as I have constantly looked after mum. I call her daily and see her 2 to 3 days a week. She is 88 and I am 61. I find the whole relationship a strain when she loves to tell me how good others are whilst she clearly thinks I am awful. Does anyone else struggle with caring for a relative who they struggle to like but won't give up o. Them?

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" I call her daily and see her 2 to 3 days a week. " Why? For heaven's sakes, why?

My 95 yo mother is in a nursing home. My three sisters and I each visit her once a week. Sometimes a brother visits. We can't call her anymore because between her dementia and her poor hearing that just doesn't work.

But do you know what? Each of her four daughters not only loves our mother but we each also LIKE her. She thinks we are each swell and worthy individuals. She has never, ever implied that we were bad or disappointing daughters. From our infancy on she has nurtured and cherished us.

If any of us goes much more than a week without seeing her, we miss her.

But you don't even like your mother. (And for excellent reason.) So why are you trying to do more for her than we do for our loving mother whom we adore? Why? Do you think you may somehow yet earn her love? Doubt it. Do you think you "owe" her for giving birth to you? I've given birth. It is an awesome and scary and exhilarating and painful experience. But it certainly does not create an obligation in the person being born!

If you can figure out WHY you are bending over backward to be super nice to this person who was never nice to you, maybe that will give you a clue as to how to step back.

Because you love your mother, please see that she has what she needs -- that she is not going hungry, that she has a safe place to live.

Because you do not like your mother, try to detach emotionally from her demands and find things to do that are more satisfying to you.
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I agree, Lygols, that it is difficult to deal with finding a way to take a step back from caring about a parent who really does not value you. My mother is the same age as yours, and she believes that it is her right to say what she wants to. It is like she is an adult ADD child, and I find myself apologizing for her behavior.Thank you for sharing your experience. We truly are not alone. Best wishes.
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I feel much the same re my mum. I love her but do not like her and her values and needs are so different. I wish years ago I had stepped away when her needs were less. Bu I constantly hoped at sometime I would be OK for my mum. Now she is 88 and with out my dad and lonely and I have behaved in the same way by phoning her daily and seeing her twice a week it's hard to step away from those tasks. I will try listening to audio books on narcistic mothers. They are interesting. Thank you.
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I realized years ago that my mother and I operate on a totally different set of values. She was too busy to care for me when I was born, so I was blessed by being around many grandparents and relatives who had integrity, the gift of unconditional love, and the understanding of grace. I miss each and every one of them, but I love my mother. I just DO not like her,and I know she does not value me. As a result,. I try to help her when she needs me and avoid her when she does not. I am reading books about narcissistic mothers when I struggle with her. The suggestions will not work for everyone but many will help. You are not alone, and you deserve to be respected and loved. The love may not come from her, but insist on being treated with courtesy or visit another time. Best wishes !
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So, your mother is mentally ill. You need to "reframe" the situation.

What does she need? Make sure she gets what she nneds and step away from the emotional morass.

It's not of your making.
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My SIL withstood constant barrages from her mother. She finally took our advice, which was:
Never visit her alone, bring a friend, she will be more pleasant.
At the first hint of criticism, make up a reason to be elsewhere and GO.
Avoid her phone calls, let them go to the answering machine and filter them for pleasant tone. If she is obviously grumpy, erase it and forget it.
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