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A little background,


I grew up in Fl and after college I moved to NYC, my brother enlisted and my mother moved to Italy (hometown) my dad remained in FL.


I’m now in my late twenties and have a family of my own in NYC. My brother is stationed across seas. My mom couldn’t find work in Italy and decided to move back to Florida with my dad. The morning of her flight, I got a call from a neighbor that my dad had a heart attack and didn’t make it.


Since then, I have had to leave my family multiple times to help her out. She makes me feel guilty that she is all alone. Living in NYC is very expensive and our apartment is too small for another person. Her pension wouldn’t cover the cost of a 1 bedroom here. We FaceTime everyday so she gets to “see” her grandchildren and vacations always include her.


Examples of her complaints: My dad bought and paid off a house in a community that has monthly fees that she’s always mentioning, and saying it’s going to make her go bankrupt.


If I ask her about her day she will say “I’m alone, with no money what do you think? Nothing, home, same as everyday”


I paid for her upcoming trip with us and found a great deal but it departs on her birthday.


”Really? You couldn’t of found a better day?.... it’s fine, I’m used to spending my birthday alone”


(sarcastic tone)


these are just the most recent events...


Her “ ideal” life would be to be living with or close to me and her grandkids. It’s just not possible with the cost of where I live. She is about to be 60 and I’m stressing everyday about her. She just puts a lot on my shoulders and it's wearing me down.

So you have to relax about the phone calls, first tell her that she can't be repeatedly calling, if you are busy you will call back, one message is enough. If she gets mad you can always tell her that you will set a schedule to talk to her and it will be every other Monday for 15 minutes if she doesn't like the idea of allowing you your life. You will have to be tough with her, she will steam roll you into submission if possible.

Secondly tell her the story about the little boy that cried wolf. She needs to understand that you are a grown woman with a family that is your numero ono and she can be part of the extended family, but on your terms. If she throws a tantrum, tell her you will talk to her when she can behave like a grown woman and hang up.

Emergencies can not be dealt with from NYC, so don't stress about it. If it is real she will call 911 or deal with the consequences. That is her choice.

Look up narsasist and fear, obligation and guilt (FOG) it will help you understand where she lives and help you defend yourself against her. Sad that we have to go to extreme measures with our parents, but some of them have no boundaries and that makes our boundaries all the more necessary.

You can get through this and be a daughter to her, just don't let her strap you with anything else. Hugs.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. This is the first time I’ve reached out on a form like this, and this community has already made me feel understood.

To answer the question about her not working: she recently got laid off due to the business closing. She’s been doing odd-end jobs for now.
Also to add: she’s full on Italian, meaning broken English, not understanding how to fill out an application or forms.

Selling the house is in the plans. But I’m waiting for my brother to get back and help her on that one.

She has always been a “Debbie downer”, worries too much and speaks her mind.
in my eyes, we haven’t had the best relationship, she points out all my faults including critiquing my parenting style. (That’s another topic)

Ive tried to set boundaries about her visiting. When she lived in Italy she would visit me 3 times a year for a month at a time. I told her that it was too much and that didn’t go well... since my dad i haven’t said anything and the calls can be much but if I don’t answer she will call mutiply times and I worry it’s an emergency.

About dad: They didn’t have the best relationship, main reason why she moved to Italy. I know it hit her hard. But I don’t believe she needs therapy. When together, she relied on him for everything outside of the home. And one person mentioned that she is trying to get me to take his place... That couldn’t be more true and I didn’t even realize it!


She has some friends but she lives in a 55+ community and most of her neighbors have left for the summer.

lastly, she’s not a monster. She means well, she very caring and will give a hand to anyone in need.
I still want to learn a lot from her and be apart of her life.

Hopefully, things will be better once she collects her SS.

Thank you all for the support, I needed this.
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Reply to Margaret02
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NeedHelpWithMom May 22, 2019
You’re very welcome. Best of luck to you and your mom.
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So sorry that you lost your dad. I read your post and was trying to see when your dad passed away? Is your mom still in the grieving process?

Maybe she would benefit from grief counseling or support group. Especially if she had been away from your dad with your brother.

She may have unresolved issues that she isn’t even telling you about or not even aware of herself yet.

You deserve to live your life in NY with your family. You don’t have to invite her to live with you, not even practical in NY and if she can’t afford FL, there is no way she can afford NY.

Why isn’t she working to have an income? She could take any job for now just to supplement her income.

You are sweet to take her on vacation with you. I have done that too. We went on vacation with my mom and dad when the kids were young to the beach. We got a big condo for all of us. It was fun! Happy times! It’s too bad that your mom is being so negative. I’m sorry.

I hope that she isn’t negative around her grandchildren. Is this her personality normally or is it a switch for her? Do you think she’s just concerned because it’s a transitional time for her or is it something more like depression?

After I read your post, the only other thing I thought of is possibly selling the house and move into an affordable home or apartment.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I am sorry that you lost your dad so suddenly.

If she can't afford where she lives, she can sell the house and find a place she can afford.

Discourage her from living near you, she would make your life her own and you would be miserable having her in your space all the time.

She needs to behave like the grown woman she is and take responsibility for herself. 59 is to young to wallow in self pity and to old to try to make someone else responsible for you.

She has nothing to say daily, so cut back to once a week, maybe she will get the point. Probably not, but you won't be bummed out by her everyday and think what your children are learning.

You are not responsible for her happiness, she has obviously done what she wants and now she doesn't have your dad to fall back on she is trying to place you in that position. Please don't let her do that to you and your family.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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It sounds like your mom needs a job. From there she could get a life. I would stop the FaceTiming everyday if she doesn’t have something significant to contribute. She needs to get out and about. Do some volunteer work. Something. Anything. 60 is too young for you to be so involved in her day to
day. That sounds so stressful to me. If she were reading the kids a story (if that age) or being bright and helpful that would be one thing but with the info you have given she sounds very entitled.
I would be straight with her.
“Mom I am your daughter. I love you but I can’t mother you. You have to put out some effort. Join a group for widows. Please sign up at the Y for an exercise class. Volunteer at the shelter or find a job sitting with elders. Anything. Something.”
Does she have health problems? Is there any reason she can’t work? You are a mother and I assume you work. Helping her get resettled is one thing but you can’t live her life for her. Please be careful that you don’t allow her to sabotage your life and not improve her own by making you responsible for her happiness.
It sounds like she was unhappy when she went to Italy and now that she is home. Of course I’m sure it was a terrible shock to all of you to lose your dad. I don’t mean to be insensitive that. But it’s not a new problem for mom. One she needs to work on while she still has time.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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This sounds so much like a friend of mine but she has health problems too.

Your Mom has probably always been this way, right? She is a Debbie Downer and always will be. 60 is not old. She could probably find a nice job somewhere. If the house is too much, sell it. With the proceeds she could get an apartment. She is a BIG girl and is capable of taking care of herself.

Don't allow her to bring you down. Eventually, you r going to have to back off for your sanity. My GFs boys have. You need to set borders and be honest with her. She may not like what you say but you need to say it.

"Mom, I can't be your everything. I now have a family and responsibilities. You can't live here because you can't afford it. Living with me is not an option. So you need to sell the house if its too much. Look for a 55 and up apartment where there are activities and u can meet people. Get a nice little p/t job. It's all up to u Mom how the rest of ur life goes. I cannot live it for you."

At 60 and a Widow, your Mom can collect SS. She should see how much she would get. Then a little job to suppliment it. Also, I wouldn't take her on every vacation you go on. This will eventually work against you. Please, set boundries now. It will be harder later on.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Isthisrealyreal May 22, 2019
Onky if dad was old enough to collect. I think she would have to be disabled for early collection.
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Your mom is 60?
Why doesnt she get a job? Then she'd have money.

Is her depression being treated?

I'm sorry for the loss of your dad.
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