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All of her life since I was 2 years old my Mother has battled depression.
She is now 77 or 78 years old and all she does is complain about her physical ailments like her back. No matter what I may be talking about she ALWAYS bring the conversation back to her physical ailments. Which I strongly feel she should be talking to her Husband, therapist, or start attending support groups.


I live with a chronic mental illness manic depression which is bad. I take meds but I live all alone w/o any support, love , or community. Another thing my Mother says is this "I'm old" I could have foot fungus she'll say "I'm old". She always feels sorry for herself which is so hard on me!


It's gotten so bad for me that it's triggered my own illness & I damaged my own apartment which I will have to pay for out of my own pocket. So I can't talk to Mom whatsoever due to this. I have no one to turn to. And get this Mom see's a psychologist since the 90's. Hard to tell the way she is acting. Seems to me that she is getting worse! Way worse. I want to just leave & disappear.


This mother of mine is causing me to suffer I can't take it anymore.
She was extremely abusive when I was a teen. Now as an elderly woman remarried for the 3rd time she has turned into someone with a martyr complex.

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Dear Lone Ranger, a slightly different take on your difficult situation. Your mother is a drama queen, a narcissist, and a wingeing winnie. However you still love her – or at least have a real emotional connection with her. Making a major break is just going to raise the drama level, and quite possibly make you feel worse. A better option may be just to chill. Send her a pretty card, not a Dear John/Mama type letter. Leave it a week between phone calls – or a fortnight. Make some plans to put other things in your life that will stop you thinking so much about Mama. Then send another pretty card a week later. If you chill out for three months, you can always get back closer if you want. Or you can make a major break if you want. But if you are seriously uptight at present, it’s not the best time to make once-for-all decisions. You will look after yourself just by backing off – and possibly make your relationship with her better in the mid/long term as well. Yours, Margaret
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Sunnygirl,
Thank you for your reply. Mom has never been the same person since her own Mother died but that was decades ago and she never sought treatment. Instead she ran to another man. Which was like jumping into the frying pan into the fire. She has PTSD from that marriage but she carried uncontrollable rages all throughout my teens. Now she is elderly and has gone from angry to narcissm. Over the weekend she pretty much blew me off just to get off the phone which left me depressed. Now I really can't talk to her. She just doesn't seem to think that she is doing anything wrong.
My Father when he was alive & this was many years ago when I talked to him about her told me an interesting story about Mom after her own Mother died. I won't go into it, but what he basically said that she changed 360 degrees from happy to sullen & worse he tried his best but she ended up leaving him taking me with her. And that started a whole other mess!
Interestingly, whenever my Mom talks of my Grandmother who passed away when I was only 2, Mom will always refer to her as Mother which is kind of odd I think.
Mom see's a psychologist not a psychiatrist since the 90's but it doesn't seem to be helping. She takes med's too. Unsure what she actually has.
Over the weekend when I did call her ( which was a big mistake) she made up some excuse about her leg hurting & could she call me back. That was two days ago.
That man that Mom had left Dad for, well that was abusive and her & I had to leave him ( not long after her & her 2nd Husband won custody of me) I was 12 that year. It's been one big mess since then.
I am seeing a mental health therapist at a clinic for now, and I'm looking into a 30 stay at the VA for people with PTSD recommended by a former case manager from a transitional home I had formerly stayed at for a few months. That's another long story. It's not easy Mom is now pushing 78 so I know that she'll not live forever but when she acts indifferent to my suffering I have to take care of me like you said.
Thanks again
I'll be sure to leave a message which I'm sure I'll need to I've got a lot of issues & problems in my life. Nothing about it is very good.
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Ranger, bipolar disorder is a serious diagnosis to deal with. I am so sorry that is your situation. On the brighter side, it is one of the brain diseases that can be fairly successfully treated. If you are destroying things in your rage, I wonder if it is not time to have your treatment plan reevaluated.

Your mother has been seeing a brain doctor (psychiatrist) for decades. That is because she has one or more brain diseases. I am sorry for her, too. Since you have not seen her without psychiatric support since the 90s you have no clue as to how much worse she could be! Not all diseases of the brain are equally treatable. Narcissism, for example, has very little chance of being successfully treated.

I think you can understand that your mother is a victim of disease, just as you are. And it is very sad. And even though you may feel sorry for her, and continue to love her, it is very important that you protect yourself from her mental illness behaviors. That may mean going non-contact entirely. It may mean talking to her at a pre-arranged time once a week, for a half an hour. Do a crossword puzzle during the conversation so you are only half-listening and just say uh-huh and oh once in a while, but don't really engage with her.

My suggestion is for you to see your health care provider and discuss the episode(s) of rage, and also your mother's affect on you. This might be a good time for medication adjustments and/or some counseling.

And come back here often to vent!
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Hey, Ranger. You always have us. We’re open 24/7. Many nights I can be found on this site at 1-2 or 3am because stress is keeping me up. We’re here for you whenever you need us!
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LoneRanger425 Oct 7, 2018
Thank you! Although I try to pray its good to know I have other options. BTW that's what Mom always says to me at the height of my suffering. To pray.
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I can certainly relate to your situation. I have a family member who is very much like what you describe. It's extremely frustrating to be around a family member who is totally absorbed into perceived ailments to the exclusion of everyone else. It's really sad when a person complains of some sort of ache or pain, EVERY day, all day, but, it happens. It was helpful for me, to learn how that kind of thing can happen to people. I did a lot of research and talked to her doctors. In her case, depression and anxiety, which she refuses to treat, actually cause her physical ailments. So, she's not actually making up lies. She really does have a belly ache, headache, toe pain, earache, nausea, chills, etc., except, it is caused by psychological reasons.

What we do as a family is not feed her obsession though. We just listen and change the subject. I don't discuss anything medical. I just say, you should call your doctor if you have a problem AND I encourage her to return to the psychiatrist.

It's a real shame that families have to suffer from this type of mental illness. I hope you find some peace. Can you try to get away from her for a break?
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LoneRanger425 Oct 6, 2018
Hello,
*sigh* for right now I just don't call her. I haven't spoken to her in a few days. I have no one else to turn to. I feel so lost. Here I am struggling with my own illness and I have to hear that.
I want to look forward to the holidays (even though there is nothing to really look forward to) so I'm at a loss. She has always been like this too. For many years. That's all I have to say right now. I'm kind of disgusted.
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Hello,
Thank you! I feel the same way, I am mentally ill I feel that how she related to me was really odd & way off! I had nothing to base it off of either but gut instinct. Since I'm her only child & we've been through a lot when I was a very little girl we've kept in touch. However I began to notice something wrong.
She'll talk about TV shows (tv is not a bad thing except if that's all you do) then the complaining. I feel unless it's a terminal life threatening thing then I don't need to know every little thing.
Right now I don't want to talk to her. I'm not ready for the letter writing just yet. It's been a few days & she really makes no effort to call anyway which really says a lot . I broke the medicine cabinet mirror in a manic rage, I was bouncing around like a rubber ball & so enraged! I turned into Dr Jeckyl or Mr Hyde.
It's severe . So severe I'll need to see about going into inpatient but I have to wait to see a primary care provider.
Thanks for your reply. Mom has always been like this since I was a teenager.
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Ahmijoy Oct 6, 2018
I wish you much success in reclaiming yourself and your life. But again, you don’t owe your mother that life. Get your mind clean and healthy, then, if you feel you can, deal with Mom in very small doses. You come first. Sending hugs and silent cheers for your Success!
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You mother is a narcissist. The world revolves around her. No one else is important but her. She doesn’t care about anyone but herself. My mother had narcissistic tendencies, but she was mainly a negative drama queen. Not quite a narcissist. That was difficult enough.

You owe this lady nothing. She is your mother in name only. Did you put your fist through the wall? Not good.

Cut ties 100%. Write her a heartfelt letter and tell her you need to not have any contact with her any longer. Include the number for Adult Protective Services, your local Area Agency on Aging, numbers for anything else she may need that you do for her now. Tell her you need to take care of yourself and you can only do that if you have no further contact with her. If you have relatives, let them keep tabs on her. Don’t open any letters back from her, at least not right away. Prove to her you mean what you say. Then, do it.
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