Follow
Share

I don't know what to do anymore. I know she is angry with her circumstances (physical pain), and she is majorly depressed (on meds and has been for years for this), but everytime I turn around, she is mad at me and tells me I'm no daughter and that she would never have treated her mother the way I treat her. I am an only child, I have 7-year-old triplets, a full-time job, and a less-than-supportive husband. I am also in counseling myself. I am suffering, physically and mentally, from my emotions and situation, but I can't talk to my mother. She won't listen, so I just tell her I can't talk right now (when on the phone), which makes her even madder. I don't go over there, as often, because of the gloom and doom, and my emotional state. She also lashes out at my dad, who I think is depressed, as well. Advice??

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Hard as this is to wrap our minds around, it's not actually our jobs to make other people happy. It's also not our job to maintain a great relationship with any other person, even our mother, all by ourselves. Relationships are two-way -- a relationship that's maintained by only one of the two people in it is not a relationship. (It's being some kind of servant....)

It IS our job to be the best people we know how to be. That may mean "empathic" but it doesn't mean "punching bag." It may mean "kind and generous" but it doesn't mean "martyr."

One reason we keep trying so hard in one-way relationships is because we really wish we had a loving mother (or whoever). The hard part of all that is recognizing the disappointment that we don't.
Helpful Answer (16)
Report

Too proud to ask for help, it's easier for her to lay a guilt-trip on you. My mother did the same. Every time she visits family I'm her favorite subject: "That ingrate son of mine," "Mother is only one," "If his father had let me raise him he'd be a better man," etc., etc., ad nauseam.

The fact that I was in the Marine Corps, became a widower at 28, and had to raise my twin boys on my own was irrelevant to her. So were the 3,200 miles between us: she was in The Bronx and I in San Diego. When I did visit I'd give her a few hundred $. All of a sudden I was her favorite son until the $ ran out.

After a few years I had had enough. She didn't want to listen nor talk; just bark at me at the top of her lungs while opening the windows so the neighbors would know what a rotten son I was. "If every time I call or visit you're going to make me feel like s__t and try to turn my own children against me," I said, "then there's no place for you in my life."

Rumor has it she's waiting for me to come by, get on my knees, and ask -- and pay -- for forgiveness. ... Well, making downpayments for someone's acceptance is ludicrous and an indication the person who keeps taking that kind of abuse needs to work on his/her self-esteem.

Parents shouldn't bring children to the world and then charge them for it; and our kids aren't supposed to be a form of insurance against old age. To parents who tear their children down to continue manipulating them till the cows come home, or who resort to emotional blackmail just to keep them at their beckoned call I have one thing to say: YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF; AND GET OFF THE CROSS. SOMEONE ELSE NEEDS THE WOOD.
Helpful Answer (15)
Report

I would start with: has she always been this demanding, or is it something new? If she always has been like this, I would read the threads on narcissism on here. If it's something new then speak to her doctor about her health situation/possible dementia or alzheimers'. Good luck - I've got one of my own and I'm doing it all alone too!
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

Narnia, your mother wants to make your responsible for all her unhappiness.This is just plain irrational and unfair. My dad is the same way. It is soooooo frustrating. I am pretty sure my dad has dementia, but if I even hint about this, he gets angry and dismises everything I say, like I am the one with problem. I was getting pretty upset after seeing him, so I consciously distanced myself from him. I have worked on detaching with love from my father. It has not been easy. Part of me feels guilty for withdrawing from him, since I still want to please him. In withdrawing, I make a conscious effort not to talk to him about much, just the weather sometimes, and sometimes I just stay silent. He gets angry, when I do not respond to his comments, but with time he has become easier to live with. It has been about 6 months since I have made the detachment. It is not really that I have changed him. It is that I have changed myself. I am able to hear the comments, but I am not affected by them the same way. There are still lots of times, where I am stressed out after seeing him. But those days are fewer. I have a long way to go, but I am beginning to see a way that I can cope with the situation. Knowing that I can change and make things better for myself has given me hope that I can get through caring for him. I have a family of my own and I cannot afford to be an emotional mess. I want to be a compassionate daughter for my dad, but I realize now that compassion also means maintaining my mental health so that I can get through the caregiving.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Sounds like your mother needs her anti depression meds adjusted. What suggestions has your therapist offered for dealing with this situation? It sounds to me like your mom is pushing all of your buttons via her verbal emotional blackmail. It sounds to me that part of the answer is learning to detach with love from your mom. It is too bad that your husband is not more supportive of you. Why isn't he? Yalls hands are full enough with 7 year old triplets plus you have a full time job.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Hi Narnia. You have your plate full to overflowing w/ 7yr old triplets and an unsupportive husband. Depression alone can be dehabilitating. It can make even the smallest task seem overwhelming. You say your Mom suffers from physical ailments and bad depression, but not dementia. So, she should at least be able to understand that you TOO suffer from depression, and part of that depression stems from not being able to jump to her rescue as you would like to do, if you could. But you are only ONE person, and you have four people at home who demand all of your attention.....and the fifth person would be YOURSELF. You have to put yourself on the front burner, in order to stay afloat, otherwise the ship sinks. Your Mom has your Dad there, so at least she's not all alone, as many of the parents on this board are. He may be depressed, as you say, but he at least is someone there, who can alert you if your Mom gets in major trouble. She's NOT alone, although....and I know this from my own Mother, when YOU are not there, she's all alone. That's how it is with me. My Mom only wants ME to be the person around, ME to help her with everyone, ME to answer her every question and every need. Other people may as well be ghosts, just floating around unseen and unheard to her. It's unbelievably frustrating, but at least your Mom isn't right there in your home. (Mine is.) You just have to somehow ease up on the guilt trips that she tries to put you through. Depression, guilt....leads to anger. Then you just slink around going through the motions of everyday life and demands being angry all the time. It sluffs off to everyone around you, even though you try to put on a happy face. (That's how it gets w/ me sometimes). Your Mom must just take a back seat for awhile, and allow you to be in peace with your own demanding life and issues. If she's unhappy about it, that's just too bad. Just keep giving her phone calls, or even send nice cards in the mail to her, and say that you are having to save yourself right now. Having a "little bit" of you is better than having none of you. Just tell her that!! Good luck. I know really well that all of this is easier said than done, believe me!!
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

My heart goes out to you Narnia and I can relate as your mother sounds like a carbon copy of how my mother use to act. I am not an only child, but the only one to take care of my parents; so basically same thing. The above advice regarding detachment with love from your mother is vital. I learned this technique over time and you can do it.

Also, the advice about referring to the posts about narcissistic mothers is also very enlightening as it helped me not feel so alone and realized there was nothing I could do about this personality disorder. I learned to let go of a lot by distancing myself. The people at elder services and protective services in the town where my parents lived were my lifeline. Unfortunately, I found that with time, in these circumstances - they only get worse. I developed a thicker skin; but also stress related health problems.

So many of us on this forum understand what you are going through. I know my father was depressed from my mother's mental problems so I tried to reach out to him as much as possible. This was difficult as my mother tried to keep him from me. So, do what you can, you have a lot on your plate and reach out to the elder care community - they are amazing people. Hugs to you and take care.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I really need to learn to emotionally detach from my selfish, hateful, narcisistic mother before she kills me....she likes telling me I'll find her dead on her apartment floor one day (we live in the same building) and it takes everything I've got to not say 'I hope so' (yes, I know how awful that sounds but she's never been a mother and at 89 she's not likely to change). How do I emotionally detach ?
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

That makes three of us and this is the hardest thing I have ever done. All my mother focuses on is wanting to be in her own home and isn't able to realize/accept that with dementia and blindness, that isn't possible. So, she is a captive of her own thinking, but I am her jailer, the person standing between her and contentment. It is so sad that so many lives end up this way!! I am in the process of trying to arrange a private reverse mortgage on the property so she can have some time (with 24/7 care) at home and, sad to say, I can get her out of my home! I don't know what else to do.....
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

mleigh, do a site search (up in the right hand corner) for detaching and you will find quite a list. The first one's title is detaching with love. I wish you the best in learning to emotionally detach.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter