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My mother has taken all the joy out of my life. I have read many articles on this site but there really aren't any answers. Only more questions. I am giving up. My son graduated from high school and she made it miserable. My daughter graduated from college, she goes into crisis and I am robbed of that joy. Now, my daughter is getting married and my mother is once again going into crisis mode. Why? Because it always has to be about her. She has to be the center of attention because she thinks she deserves it. Honestly, I can't live this way anymore with no joy, no relaxation, never unstressed or unworried. I am very close to ending it all. If I didn't have my son to finish putting through college I would kill myself and be done with it. This is what it has come to. My life or hers. And she's winning.

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Gosh....I do know what you are going through.How am I surviving a narcissistic mother who is constantly putting the guilt trip on me? I stand my ground. I say no. No, I can't do that errand today, maybe tomorrow or call someone else to help you. No, you can't come live with me, it will destroy my family and I can't have that. No Mom, I don't want to hear about all the regrets you have in your life; I don't want to hear it anymore. Call your others kids and tell them. No Mom, I can't come over for an hour because you've been complaining about the clutter in your house for months, either do something about it but I'm not cleaning it up because every time I come over, you refuse to let me throw anything out because you are a depression child. Not my problem. So how do I do it? I tell her the truth. The truth will set you free, Momsgoto. I don't answer the phone when she calls sometimes because I don't want to. And I don't call back until the next day. I guess I care more about me and my family and my issues, and I think that is what you need to do. It takes time to get to that point but I think you can it. Don't answer the phone. Don't go over to her house. Just don't - period.

Care more about yourself that your mother.

Care more about your daughter and your son, than you do your mother.

Care more about your husband, your marriage and your house, than you do your mother.

Look, I love my mother but I like sanity more.

Easier said that done, but you CAN do it, I know you can.

xo
-SS
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OK. Thanks for the details!!! Here are some suggestions.
1. "Mom, what are you wearing to the wedding? What about this old one here? If that's not good enough then you need to buy one next Tuesday. That's the last day I can take you shopping. You don't want me to have to go crazy when "daughter" needs me, do you? I know you understand." When she calls, "Mom, you didn't buy a dress. I guess you'll just have to wear that old one. OK, if you can't wear that one, we'll miss you at the wedding."

2. Hire a caregiver with a car to attend her at the wedding. Make sure she is good with Depends and wet wipes. (Make sure she is a tough broad who takes no crap!) "Mom, I'm paying for mary to take care of you at the wedding because I have to give this day to "daughter". This is going to be her only wedding, and I don't want you to be neglected while I'm so busy. That's not OK with you? Sorry, we'll miss you at the wedding."

3. Paying the emotional price: "Mother, of course I love you, but on the wedding day, the bride is more important than the grandmother. I tried to make it possible for you to come, but you chose not to cooperate. I understand that you're upset, but I did what I had to do." Listen to no more than 1 to 5 minutes of ranting, then apologize, kiss her, tell her you love her and leave.

"yes, mother, right now I do love my daughter more than I love you because she needs me more."

"Mother, We are just going to have to disagree about this. Sorry, I have to go now. Love you. Talk to you later."

Reduce your guilt by saying often how much you love her, and how you hope she will choose to do what she has to to be at the wedding.

Easy to say and hard to do, but those are some specific ideas that might be useful.
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My first suggestion as a nurse and social worker is you seek professional help immediately for your own depression and suicidal thoughts. Secondly, do not invite your mother to the wedding so she can spoil it. No one "wins" in a relationship unless YOU let them. Please get some professional help so you can be there for your daughter's wedding. Best wishes.
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Dear capandhardass,

You are right. My mom and dad did not raise me in a pretty time. They always seemed to be struggling and my dad worked three jobs sometimes. My mom suffered loss in her early life as did my dad. I don't claim that my mom's life was a bed of roses. But who among us can claim that they have had no pain? Sure, it was a difficult time, but my father lived and struggled in that same time and he did not do to others what my mom is doing. He too was a victim of my mother's abuse and selfishness. But even as I type those words I want everyone to know that I love my mother and I remember all the good, kind, and yes unselfish things she did for me. But that is no more. And there was always a line that she didn't go past. That was her comfort zone, And she never, ever left it. Not for my father, not for my sisters and not for me. No matter what we needed, wanted or deserved, if she had to leave her comfort zone, we did without. Fear is what drove my mothers life. And now with decisions based on fear she must reside in a life that is empty and sad. I tried for years to calm those fears. I worked hard to help her over the anxiety and depression. I have given her time that I didn't have or that I stole from my children. Every person's circumstance is unique to them and one that they fashion themselves. I don't think I owe my mother any more. I respect her, I love her and I help her the best I can. But to give credence to her behavior because she lived in struggling times is a lame excuse. To paraphrase J.R.R. Tolkien, "No one choses the time they are born in, all we have to decide is what to do with the time we have."
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Oh Lord my dear, I do understand where you are coming from. I live with my mother and she is exactly the same way. Well, one day she fell and she went to the ER and was admitted for three days, then her doctor put her in a nursing home for rehab and there she stayed for one month. What heavenly bliss that month was for me. When she came home she was spoiled rotten and I hated my life with her. But I prayed hard and found some relief. I did not give in to her wants and demands and when she came at me with her cruel and smart remarks, I would walk away or come back at her. I had found the strength to stand up to her. She is physically strong, with not any health problems. She is depressed, however and lonely, but due to her own wishes. She is not one to welcome anyone into the home, avoids the neighbors and just wants me to be her everything. I can't, nor will I let her take control of my life. I have a daughter and three grandchildren that need me and I am now looking for a man in my life. I am regaining my life. It has not been easy, but I refuse to let Mother control me any longer.
Try to find a way to break away from your mother, if only for awhile and find yourself and the strength to say no more, this is my life and I am going to live it. It is a hard road, but I know it can be done. I have found strength through God and this web-site. I wish for you to find it also.
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Momsqoto, my mother is similiar to your mother's situation and behavior. I found that building barriers was the best means for me. How, I tell her very little and do not include her in many of my activities wih my husband and children. Why? Because she is a miserable and opinionated nasty person who has hurt people with her big mouth and unkind words. Most of her days are spend by herself with only the television and her books to keep her company. It could have been so different for her, but nobody wants to be around her anymore. I only do what I have to do for her on occasional visits and try to keep her out of my personal life as much as possible. I finally got over my guilt and could care less how she feels. She destroyed any emotions I had for her and has become nothing more than an occasional obligation to contend with. Please do not destroy your life, you are so much more valuable as a person than your mother will ever be. Be there for yourself and your children and let your mother rot in her own misery!
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I hear you only too well, Momsgoto -- like myself I suspect you are dealing with a narcissist who never thanks you or acknowledges all that you do for her, just demands and expects more and more. That's not going to change, sorry.
First and foremost: PLEASE do not do anything to harm yourself, I have been where you are and it sounds as if you are at the end of your rope as I have been many, many times in this situation -- but you have to see that she wins the more aggravated, stressed and upset you get - it's her way of controlling you.
You don't mention whether you have any siblings that would help you out in her care, but sometimes even that doesn't work because the classic scenario is that there is always only one sibling who does all the caregiving and, of course, is criticized and belittled for it.
What you do will never be enough. It is damned if you do, damned if you don't and also it is do as I say, not as I do. I think it would help you to read the thread "How do I deal with a narcissistic parent (or mother, can't recall which) "
You are never going to beat the sense of entitlement your mother has -- they are far too skilled and manipulative at getting what they want at all costs and they have put themselves on a pedestal all their lives and believe they are above everyone else.
I will just let you know that when my daughter got married, my mother sabotaged our hair appointments (pretended to be "sick" so that we all had to race home and ruin our mother-daughter time together and naturally there was nothing wrong with her), bridal shower (went into a snit when someone told her I was doing a good job looking after her because she looked so well and then when we got home, told everyone she was going to live somewhere else because there was obviously nothing wrong with her since WE didn't see her as being sick) and the wedding (nagging endlessly that the day was too long, she didn't like the dinner, why did she have to sit at the head table with people that don't speak the same language, etc. etc. etc).
You and I must find some semblance of life somehow. This person has also sucked the life out of me (or attempted to extinguish my flame at every turn) and has done so since I was a small child. I honestly believe that she only had children so she could be pampered, waited and taken care of in old age and it continues now. How do I know that? Because she has told my children that she was "forced" to have children, never wanted any and that children are only good for looking after parents in old age in their own homes (the child's) so that the parent can live and be taken care of for free...........!!
What you have to realize is that the minute the spotlight goes onto someone else (at a birthday, graduation etc, as you mentioned) they will drop a bombshell in front of everyone to get it back. It's a sickness and they have mental illness and personality disorder.
Go back through your life and see how she behaved when you were younger. I guarantee that she has had a pattern of this big-time.
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I am so sorry. Some moms do this.

Find the strength to do whatever it takes to reclaim your life, don't let her win. Live your life for yourself and your children.

There is a place inside you that is safe. You can go there and not be affected by her. Find it.

Whatever you are letting her hold over you, let it go. She can't hold you and hurt you unless you let her.

I hope you can find the strength to find peace in your life. Give yourself back your joy. Take care of yourself.
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I like you have no answer and have not found answers on here. However, they do give good insights and I have learned that I am not the only one with these problems.
I am 54yo widowed woman. short story: My mom has stole the joy and zeal out of my life too. I got on here tonight after being off for a long time to see if anyone has commented on my situation. I found yours.
Instead of ending my life, I just need to decide to stand up for me and mine from now on. My mom ruined my childhood, teenage years, school years, social life, all my relationships. I have let guilt "because she is my mother" run my life into a hole. As of today, I promise you all will see the permanent changes for me will happen.
Back to you, do you have your health? If so, believe me with the stress and anxieties you have described, your health will go down hill fast! Mine has and now I can't get it back. CHANGE IT NOW! For you and your family. You don't want your children to have to take care of you because you didn't take care of yourself (no matter what reason do you)?
Think about the comments that have been made and see that there is life after all. Just grab it. I am gonna. Lots of everything good to you.
I
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You have to kick your own strength up a notch. What do you do when you come up against a situation that is more challenging than anything you have ever done? Do you say " I can't do it" or do you try harder? Be honest.
Try something different, a new approach. Get a babysitter for Mom because she is acting like she needs one. Every time my Mother pulled this s--t with me--from the time I was 28 years old, because that was when I figured out that what she was doing was selfish and inconsiderate, not to mention more immature than we were ALLOWED to be as TODDLERS!--I called her on it. And she cried and told me I was "just like my Father" and I said Hallelujah, thank you very effing much Mother. And she would calm down. Self-centered babies need to be Managed. Read up on Narcissists. It's time you learn a new lesson, or you will be doomed to keep repeating this one. It is a lesson: that's why it's hard and when you master it you will feel so much better, Dear One:) xo
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