My mom and I have been on and off for years, but I feel guilty for not spending time with her. What do I do?

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My mom and I have been on and off for years-for her 75th birthday I took her to Florida. I have painted her whole apartment. I have had her at my home for dinner. She has been divorced from my dad over 50 years, and when he passed away and left me his inheritance. She said it should go to her, as she raised my brother and my self. My brother died 20 years ago. ( An accidental drug over dose) I understand that would bother my mom. Years ago my mom was married when she was 18 she had two sons. She left them with their dad, and moved on her own. She met my dad married him and they divorced 5 years later so she raised my brother and I herself. When I was twelve I got into a bit of trouble so my mom put me in a group home. I still have a resentment about that, but let most of that go. My mom was never home for me and my brother working to pay things so I had to cook for him. The time she did have for us she was out with her boyfriend. Then he moved in... my brother and I disliked him very much-many reasons. He finally left after being with us over 20 years. So now I have two businesses, own my home, and my mother is bitter. If I call her she'll say you don't have time for me. When I use to visit her I used to spend 2 hours with her-She wanted more. She'd call me everyday, and I would talk to her, but if I told her I had to go she'd get mad and not call for days. Now things have changed-I haven't talked to her since Feb because all this is very draining and I need time away, and our last conversation she said "your dad told me before he died I'm not leaving you any money cause you will spend it on your boyfriends". She blamed me for saying that to him. I never said anything like that to him. He lived in another territory, he was re married and divorced, he hadn't seen my mom in 20 years nor did they talk. She's told me many times she's going fix me. So no I haven't been to see her. I don't need any more hurts or verbal abuse from her. She is a very negative woman. She has no social activities, and she doesn't bother with anyone. The problem with me is I feel a little guilty in some ways about not spending time, but on the other hand I don't want to put up with all the crap that goes on and negativity I feel when I'm around her. What do I do?

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Don't be around her very much. She is a toxic person, which is sad, but it is what it is and there is no benefit -- to her or to you -- to absorb such venom.

I suggest extending the no-talk period until either on your own or with counseling you have gained the self-confidence and learned your self-worth enough to not put up with the negatives. "Mother, I've told you before I don't want to discuss my father with you. I'll phone you next week and we can talk about something else."

Do NOT try to please her or earn her love. She is incapable of accepting that. Not Your Fault.
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When you can, if you can, put up boundries. If you talk again, tell her you can't have a relationship with her if she doesn't leave the past behind. Explain you have worked for everything you have and you owe her nothing. Your time is yours. If she wants to be part of your life, she has to accept what you are able to give. Once she starts the negativity, you will hang up
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Boundaries and speaking up are very important if you are to be a part of your mother's life. My mother is much the same, and groomed me from childhood to feel I owed her something, despite her lack of presence or concern for me. As I tell my mother, she has made her choices, even though there are many other options she could choose. I am willing to spend some time with her each week of my own choosing, and if she is negative, I point it out to her. Your life is as important as hers, and your well being comes first. Find out more about your feelings through talking with a professional you are comfortable with (I talked with my general practitioner and a senior social worker and did reading on setting boundaries with negative, narcissistic people) , and then you will have a better idea of whether you can have a relationship with your mother that won't affect your health and peace of mind. I wish you the best!
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Excellent advice here! Guilt??? Get rid of it as it serves no purpose. What you are likely feeling is what an abused child will feel...the longing for the natural love of a mother and acceptance by her. However as an adult you realize that is not who she is. By what you've written she is very self serving, selfish, possibly narcissistic and wants you to make her life better. You owe her nothing. Accept her for who she is but definitely see a qualified counselor to help you to deal with her. She truly is immature and her boundaries are nil...wanting to inteude on yours. Be strong and know who you are and you have no need to feel guilt ojr to please her or earn her affection. Bless you.
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You don't have to see her at all if you don't want to. If you do see her, I agree with the advice above to point out her abuse, set boundaries and enforce consequences.

I was completely estranged from my mother for 15 years due to her abuse. I had planned never to see her again but suddenly changed my mind a year ago and moved back to her city because she's 90 and I was worried about her and missed having any family.

While I was estranged I read hundreds of books on narcissism, sociopathy, boundaries and various other mental health topics and got clearer and stronger about what had happened in my family.

Now I point out what my mother does and how it negatively affects me and generations of our family. It exposes manipulations and lies that she thought I was too dumb to notice.

She's ruined our family by spoiling my siblings and their kids and enabling bad behavior to get everyone on her side.

She's better now because she knows that I've left before and could leave again. I'm her only functional child--my siblings are disasters and even their kids don't like them.

It sounds like you have your own money and social support so you can survive on your own without your mother. You set the terms IF you want to see her at all. Let her suck wind if she won't be decent to you.
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Great advice here. Point out when she is out of line/hurtful, identify boundaries, let her know the consequences of crossing them and enforce the consequences - always. Consistency is very important, don't let her suck you down a rabbit hole.

What seems to be bothering you is that you feel some guilt. We can tell you that you should not tolerate her abuse and removing yourself from her toxicity is your self-preservation, but you need to be able to do it without the guilt. Do some reading or get some counseling so you can be more pragmatic about your situation. No one would want to be around the kind of person you describe. She is who she chooses to be and her circumstances are of her own making. She is in charge. Either having people in her life is important enough to change her ways or not. The ball really is in her court and her responsibility - not yours.
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I understand what it's like to have a strained relationship with your mom as I had one also. My mom was negative, dramatic and in her later years became paranoid and delusional. I am an only child, but she treated my dad like a child as well even though he was the breadwinner of our family. It sounds to me like there are issues on both sides of your family. Your mom needed to work hard while you were growing up to provide for her family. When she developed a relationship with a man, you all resented it. Your behavior as a teen caused you to be placed in a group home, probably not an easy and/or quick decision for your mom. Your brother succumbed to drugs. Your mom's life probably wasn't a basket of peaches. My mom took out her dissatidfactions on me, and she had many of them, including a rancorous relationship with her own mom. When my mom went to a Nursing Home, I did what I needed to. We talked about happier times, her childhood, her great grandchildren, etc. When she got whiny or accusatory, I left and I left my hurt feelings behind. I learned that just because my mom didn't have a wonderful life didn't mean she was allowed or welcome to pass those feelings on to me.
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*You* feel guilty!? You've got the wrong person. Your mother's sadness and bitterness must be terribly difficult for you to see because she's your mother and you do care about her, naturally. But, alas, her difficulties are her own doing; and you are prospering not thanks to her but in spite of her.

You don't have to judge her, much less condemn her, but don't either feel responsible for what are, after all, mainly the consequences of her own actions. Do what you are happy to do for her; and frankly, from the point of view of an outsider who has only this brief outline to go on, pretty much anything you choose to do is more than she has much right to expect.

Poor mother. I don't mean to sound as harsh as I do. And very few people make such atrocious choices without input from other, more dominant people - no doubt she was sinned against, too. But the one thing everyone can be sure of is that whoever caused her troubles, it wasn't you.
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Whenever my mother became verbally abusive, I would kiss her on the check and say "mom, I love you but I gotta run." She finally figured it out and the last few times I visited, she was much nicer. She died in June. I have no regrets and no guilt. Love them but don't allow anyone to abuse you.
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There is something in your relationship with her that makes you believe you should be punished even though you don't feel you should be. During this time, I would seek professional counseling to help you get a healthier look of yourself and for yourself about your relationship with your mother. This can help you develop boundries with her that you are comfortable with such as visiting or not visiting. Your mother will never accept or understand your explanations for anything and you need to learn how to accept that without the guilt.
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