Very toxic, co-dependent relationship w/ [narcissistic] mother - stayed away for a long time but got sucked back in as caregiver for 15 yrs. Just moved away to save my sanity. Looking for support instead of beating myself up.

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You have nothing to be guilty about, you should be thinking the other way, that you are doing what is best for both her and you, a win, win.

She has lived a very long time on her own terms, now you must live yours.

Sending support your way!
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Good for you. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

Stick to your guns and do only what you can for her.

You deserve to have some happiness in your life as much as she does, don't forget that you matter.
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rsynal Nov 2019
Thank you. I'm starting to get it ....
Oftentimes I think to myself the only time I'll feel totally guilt free is once my mother passes away. Then again, I'll likely find something to blame myself for after she dies ALSO. Why? Because that's how I've been programmed. Since I was old enough to understand language, I was taught that my mother could Do No Wrong. That she was Perfect. That if anyone EVER said anything against her, that I should stand up for her no matter if she was " a bum in the street or a streetwalker". I was coached to believe that there was no such thing as real friends, because everyone was jealous and out to get me. That my only real friend on earth was My Mother. The only one person I could trust in the whole ugly world was her. I was taught that my mother should be the central focus of my entire life, because she Loves Me and is the Only One Who Does Or Ever Will.

So, with that kind of programming, how would I be able to feel anything BUT guilty, no matter HOW much I did for her? She always reminds me how what I'm doing ISN'T enough, just in case I had no guilty feelings tearing me up at that particular, that's it in a nutshell.

Stand back and be an observer to the nonsense instead of a player. See things for what they are. The true reality vs. her twisted version of reality. And the only way to be able to do that is to get OUT of the madness, once and for all. While inside the crazy house, you can't really see the magnitude of the manipulations and the mind games. Once you get out, things get a lot clearer, thank God.

It's okay to take care of YOU now.
It's okay that mother is being cared for by others in a safe environment.
It's okay that you moved away and have your own life now.
It's okay to realize mother is mentally ill.
It's okay to refuse to be dragged down into the rabbit hole with her ANY MORE.
It's okay to say ENOUGH.
You deserve it.
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 2019
Your relationship with your mother is the same as mine was with my dad.

He still can't figure out how I grew a spine and learned to say no.

The levels he stoops to trying to regain control is comical.

Crazy isn't genetic fortunately.
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See a therapist to help free you from the false guilt.
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Being a caregiver is hard even in the best of circumstances. So much harder when things are complicated.

Situations are rarely ‘black and white.’ There are many things to consider. Doesn’t it seem like our lives end up on the back burner when caring for others?

After awhile this can take an enormous toll on us. The end result is that we pay a price either emotionally, physically or both. I sense that you have paid your dues. Am I right?

So consider your debt paid in full. Not that you owed her anything but we always feel as if we do, don’t we? I know I always did.

I was in the same boat. I had to move on as well. I had my mom for nearly 15 years in my home and years before that in her home. It’s a grind, for sure.

I wish you the very best and all the happiness that life has to offer. Enjoy! You have earned it! Take care.
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Hi rsynal, if I understand correctly, you've already contributed immensely to her care...15 yrs? Wow, that's more than enough for anybody! I'm glad you put some distance between yourself & the situation now,...that shud help you. It's amazing how long some folks live, & with no end in sight, it's reasonable to focus on your own life. (Many folks at my mother's facility had family living out of state, only visiting on some holidays). It's a fact of life sometimes. I'm sure you like the facility & staff taking care of your mother, so all is well. (God isn't angry with u over it either, so pray about it & let Him take your guilt away). He understands all you've been through, & knows you tried your best already. Hope that helps u allow urself some peace. 💟
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Everyone has to die somewhere. At 91 it very likely may be a facility. There could be the viewpoint that she is somewhere where she will be cared for. Many elderly people are living at home in subpar conditions for a host of reasons.

I don't understand what you are guilty about. Does that guilt tell you she should be home with you tending to all her needs at this advanced age. That would create resentment from you. How can that be therapeutic or beneficial for either of you.

Many here have had pasts with parents that can be hard to come to terms with. We may not ever be able to totally but if we find we are able to feel positivity even if in small increments it can seem like an achievement. It is what I look and hope for on a regular basis. I hope you can stop beating yourself up.
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Life goes on
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