Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I am very overwhelmed and tired. I don't know how to be a good daughter, enjoy the time with my parents and have my kids spend time with them, when I am constantly guilted and told I am mean and don't do enough for my parents.

My mom has always had to make every situation about her, down to how she loves my kids more than me and worries more than I do about them. She is jealous of any person I am close to that is not her. She is always having a bad day and it is always someone else's fault and she is always the victim.

My parents have a dysfunctional co-dependent relationship that over the years has been volatile. They treat each other horribly but my dad excuses my mom's behaviour. She hasn't been well it seems like most of my life.

They have no motivation to make friends or join a group complaining they have no way to get there, I call them ubers when needed and my mom always manages to find a way to shop. When I can I drive them but my mom literally calls me the moment she needs me and expects me to drop everything or makes me feel guilty when I have plans.

When my in-laws visited she is very jealous of my MIL who wasn't able to see my kids for 3 years! if I am nice to her, it means I am mean to my mom.

The constant guilt, demands, outbursts, it is beyond overwhelming and I hate to even answer my phone or visit and that makes me sound awful I know.

I love my parents, but I am not sure how I can manage knowing it will get worse.

Thanks for reading.

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Your mom sounds just like mine. My mom is an alcoholic who has spent the last 10 years doing nothing but sitting around in self pity. Now, at age 77, she more resembles a 90-year old. She is a perpetual victim - this is all someone else's fault, it just "happened" to her, and she doesn't know how we got here. I have come to absolutely despise her but I am stuck overseeing her care because I am an only child and of course she has no friends and there is no other local family. I should have moved far away a long time ago, but I had no idea it would get this bad. She's in the hospital right now with broken ribs and can't even walk or really stand. I am hoping to have the chance to place her in a facility and not bring her back to her home (which is down the street from my home).

When I question my mom about her actions over the years/decades, she always exclaims "I am depressed!" or "I was having issues!". Going back 30 years. My dad developed dementia at what I consider an early age (in his 70s) and I believe that living with her drama, outbursts, random/chaotic lifestyle contributed to his quick decline. He is in a memory care facility now, but mom rarely visits and is often nasty when she's there. Haha, she will exclaim how the other residents don't get vistors very often and have been "dumped" at the memory care facility. When I point out that she rarely visits my dad, she will say "well, that's different, I'm depressed" or something like that. Yes, the rules are always different for her, there is always an excuse. She is never to blame.
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You don’t sound awful, your parent do. Remember that when you were a child and your parents cared for you, you had to do what you were told. If they want you to care for them, now they do what they are told. Tell them and yourself that when the ‘guilt’ starts.
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lisah13 Sep 2019
I told my mother that very thing yesterday - she's always trying to make it sound like she's the "victim" when I make sound decisions about her care, when I can take her to get her hair done, grocery buying, you name it. Like I'm the "bad guy" - I told her in front of her hairdresser yesterday that my sister and I are doing what's best for her safety and to help her, not to be "bossy" and that's just how it is now that she can't make those decisions for herself. She clammed up. It is what it is, and I refuse to feel guilt for doing what's best for her.
Drained, although this may not seem like a viable option because they are your parents and you are suffering from extreme FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) it is time to step back. At the rate you are barreling toward the wall right now, you will not live to see you children grown, if they are not already or to have the privilege of being a grandma.

Your parents are enabling each other to sink deeper and deeper into their own bottomless well of mental illness and you are plummeting with them and enabling their behavior as well. You must put an end to this. You must no longer be their appointment secretary, their whipping post and their outlet for any derogatory abuse they choose to spew. It will not get better. Even if some days are better, things will not resolved themselves.

As difficult as it sounds, you must put an end to this. Inform them and any sibs and family that you are finished. You have tried and it hasn’t worked. Go be a mom and wife. You’re done.
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Drained76 - if they turned down any support services that does not automatically obligate you to pick up and do those services. I laid it on the line with my dad several years ago - say NO to support services then YOU figure out how it gets done and a call to me is not the answer. He only agreed to use support services after I kept refusing to do the tasks - "NO, there are support services that will do that for you, I will not". His issue was he didn't want to pay and thought I had plenty of time (in spite of full time job with travel, husband,, child, etc) to do his whims. Sometimes you have to sit down - make a list of what you do, cross off anything that they can get for free or for payment (meals on wheels, grannygo for doctor visits, housecleaners), cross off anything you are sick and tired of doing, and only do the stuff you WANT to do and can do with LOVE. You don't have to be their slave. I will warn you that I got a lot of flack from people in my dad's town that I was an uncaring B-$&ch daughter to which I would smile and say "I'm so glad you agreed to help - let me pencil you in" and then watched them backpedal. I was just so tired I no longer cared what anyone thought.
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I am hoping that you will tell me that with your own family to care for, and knowing what your parents have always been (because you do tell us that this has pretty much been the way it is always) that you did NOT take these parents into your home? If you did I cannot honestly imagine a way to help you, or for you to help yourself, other than placement of them into care. They will see to it that you do not grow up, do not gain the strength to leave them, do not ever feel adequate enough to lovingly put them away from you and your family.
Often, when parents are mentally ill, they "train" their children that they are not good/can never be good/will never be good enough. This keeps the children chained to them for a lifetime of abuse, a lifetime of hoping against hope they will one day hear the single thing that every child needs to hear from his or her parent, which is "Ya know, you're a pretty good kid! I like you. You're smart enough to do anything you decide to do with your life". They train them for a lifetime of failure, because failure is all they know, all they are good at.
The children stay for a lifetime of feeling guilty and inadequate. If this is in any way you, you will need the help of someone trained in psychology. You say that you love your parents, but in all honesty not all parents are worthy of our love. People confuse the words often. They use guilt when they mean fear. They use love when they mean desperation and despair. And they stay, hoping, hoping, hoping. They martyr themselves to a lifetime of despair.
I hope as well. I hope you will get help to untangle your life and the life of your children from these beings. Remember, as you live your life you are teaching your children how to be in the world. You are teaching them what loving strength and acceptance look like. You are teaching them self respect, respect for others, and how to be in the world.
I wish you the best. I am so sorry you are going through this.
Helpful Answer (2)
drained76 Sep 2019
Thank you for your words. I am a mother of two amazing children and married. They did live with us for a short time and as you can imagine it didn't go well.

Living with us again is not an option I can entertain. I feel lost today. Tired of always feeling guilted or manipulated. Today they turned down any support services to carry the load and help them.
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