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I am the adopted only child of a very controlling, manipulative, and needy mother. She is a drama queen and master of the guilt trip.Throughout my life, her policy has been "children are to be seen, not heard". My job was to obey and keep quiet and out of the way. My adoptive father died when I was 9. She remarried within 6 months. That marriage lasted over 30 years. When he died, within a year she moved in with another man. That relationship lasted 8 years. His family said that towards the end, he was extremely unhappy with her and was either going to ask her to leave, or he was. But she still insists that was a perfect relationship. Now that she has no man, she has attached herself to me. This makes me really uncomfortable. I've tried to have a life, but every time she has a crisis, I have to move back to where she is, leave jobs and my dream location to take care of her. If I don't, I feel guilty, plus she has a friend who calls and tells me she is tired of dealing with her and I need to come back. She went off the deep end after the latest man in her life passed. So much so that I had to have her committed for a week. I don't think it was helpful because she's still nuts, even after going to daily outpatient therapy and having a psychiatrist plus medications that she would start taking then stop. When her man's family wanted her out so they could sell his property (and so they could have peace and quiet; they lived next door and she kept coming over when they got in from work), we moved her back to her house. My daughter and her kids were living there, but there was an attached apartment with a kitchen and bathroom that she wanted to go to so we moved her. Then she wanted my husband and I to move in too. Six months later, she had run off my daughter and her kids because of her intrusiveness, and I was angry and depressed all the time for the same reason. We entertained her every weekend, but couldn't go anywhere by ourselves without having to sneak out like teenagers. All she did was complain. She went to therapy groups and monthly luncheons with friends when we were at work, but that turned into complaints that everything was "boring". Then she decided to sell her house which was ok because my husband was tired of commuting to work. Next thing we know, she found an assisted living place that in her words was "heaven!". She wanted us to go see it and meet everyone so we did. Then we had to move her again. And when I say we move her- I mean we do all the packing, heavy lifting, and hauling ourselves. She is a hoarder and getting her to part with anything is impossible. Things she did agree to sell or leave, she did because her new place didn't have the room. Then she had us take stuff out and then bring either the same item, or something else, back again. I think she just likes issuing orders and watching everyone jump. She moved there last December and is already crying and complaining that "heaven" isn't a place she likes anymore. She doesn't like the food anymore, she doesn't like it when they have activities and the people from the dementia side come because they are "too loud" and take the staff's attention away from her. We moved last December too, to be closer to my husband's work, and yet every weekend we are expected to come get her and take her somewhere to be entertained. If we don't, we hear about all the other people who live out of state, who come every weekend or weekdays to see their family. I'm guessing these people are retired. We work. Now she's hinting around that she hopes we settle down (we live in an apartment) so she can come live with us. She complains constantly that assisted living is draining her bank account. She claims she cannot afford toothpaste or a cup of coffee, even though coffee is provided all day for free. Yet she continues to buy stupid stuff off the internet or from catalogs and eats out all the time when she pays for meals there! Her memory is getting really bad. Has been for awhile now, but her docs claim she's fine. I don't know what to do. If I have to live with her again, my marriage, my sanity, or both will explode. But I feel it's only a matter of time before either she comes right out and asks, since hints aren't working, or she starts performing a pity-party and the assisted living place calls me. I'm feeling depressed, angry, and resentful daily because I'm dealing with my own issues and yet she just doesn't care about anything I deal with- it's all about her. Sometimes I get brave and stand up for myself, then I feel guilty. Or when we visit or when I call, which is several times a week, she cries and complains and I feel guilty. I do understand why she's so unhappy, but she chose her current living arrangement. I agreed to it because she would have people around 27/4 because in her words "I just can't be alone". But now she hates it. I feel like I have no life of my own. Any advice from those of you who have "been there" would be greatly appreciated!

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Just say NO.
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Do NOT move her out of there except to memory care. She is not functional in society, she needs a secure unit and some very good medication. Give the AL your permission to Baker Act her when they need to.
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"every weekend we are expected to come get her and take her somewhere to be entertained"

This narcisstic woman is entitled to expect anything at all she want to. She can expect the president to drop by and play card with her each night.

Her expectations do NOT create an obligation for you.

Absolutely under no circumstances should you allow this woman to move in with you. Love her, but do it from afar.

Just say NO.
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You may need some help to say No, since Yes, Mother has been deeply ingrained. Consider some counselling to help you.
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You are at a disadvantage being the only child. BUT, you have already paid the price and have already done the heavy lifting. She is settled in assisted living....do not even consider taking her into your home. The hardest part is done. Now .... it is time for you to cling to your own husband and child and enjoy that relationship without your mothers interference...yes, interference that is something energy vampires like your mother thrives on.

Please read up on narcissistic parents and the fear, obligation, guilt cycle. I read alot of myself in your post. I have not fixed my own guilt problems but I have come along way from reading about it, setting serious boundaries and taking advice and comfort from this site.

Be strong!
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Sounds just like my narrsacistic mother. She does the pity party thing the controlling thing and has the guilt trip down pat. Read up on narrsacistic mothers and their daughters and trust me it will give you all the insight you need. I'm 37 years old and have been dealing with my mother and a lot of the issues your having all my life. I know about the feeling guilty if you leave her or don't jump when she calls with one of her delusional problems. You have to learn to say no. I know its hard but trust me she knows what she's doing to do. For your own sanity and sake of your marriage learn to say no. And read up on narrsacistic mothers and how they use guilt for their gain. Good luck and hope everything turns out OK.
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I'm working really hard on saying "no" and setting boundaries. I really can't stand being around her; actually I haven't most of my life. But for some reason I feel obligated. I wish I didn't feel that way, or guilty all the time. It's easy to do it when I'm not there, and over the phone, but when I'm around her I see what her life has been reduced to and feel like "is this what my life will come to one day?" and the thought is scary. Then I understand why she's so depressed and anxious all the time. I think for the most part though, what makes her anxious is that she can no longer control everything or everyone. I have to keep reminding myself that she chose her current situation. Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this, and for allowing me a safe place to vent.
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You haven't made the life decisions for her that got her where she is, why on God's green earth would you feel guilty, or feel the need to try and make her happy when by reading your story she is only happy while she is making you miserable. That is a sacrifice you are not obligated to oblige. Do your best to love her from a distance. Enjoy your life sweet girl!
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There isan old saying, no one can take advantage of you without your permission. You keep mentioning a lot of guilt. It may be time for you to seek professional help on how to deal with her. You really need to learn to say no.
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Trust me she is a survivor. The mirror image of my mom at times. Her living there may make other residents uncomfortable but rest assured she will find another victim when to,d her has to stay.
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