As many know, my dad finally ended his battle with ALZ almost three weeks ago. Sad, and grieving, but making it. The bigger problem is the same as what it was before. My crazy, demanding, unappreciative mom. My dad, other than the normal logistics and sadness that goes along with a situation like that was easy. But my mom was so demanding.

Now, she expects me to be at her house almost every day to help with something. I do not have a job or family of my own so she just assumes I am available 24/7, when in fact I do have things of my own to do, am dealing with grief myself, and frankly, just cannot stand being around her as she is so intense and frantic all the time. If she was more easy going I would perhaps even like spending time with her but she just wears me out with her emotional intensity and frantic behavior. I have told her clearly I am NOT going to be there three or four days a week, or more as she would like. I have said two days, and she can use them as she wishes.

Privately, I do assume for a month or so I will have to spend more time than that there to help her deal with the business issues, loneliness, and get the lawn back to shape after neglect of the last couple of years (I sort of want to do that to honor my dad who took such pride in his lawn). So I guess on one hand I assume I will have to spend more than usual time the next month, but also don't want to set a precedent. Maybe assuming that by the fourth of July, she will have to learn to get by on less.

I asked her what she would do if I was working full time as I very well otherwise might be. Hypothetical I know, but if that were the case, she would somehow have to get by without me and the same would apply now. Furthermore, I AM helping her even when I am not there as I need to take care of certain issues where I have a computer as she does not have wifi. So its not just like I am helping her when there. Next weekend she wants me to take her to the cemataries of my dad, her parents, and my dads parents, and that is not unreasonable, I want to do that myself but that will take a full day.

The following weekend I have to fly with her for FOUR DAYS to North Carolina to attend her granddaughters graduation. Yet the worst is she doesn't acknowledge what I am doing, just being MORE demanding, less appreciative, and failing to realize I am also hurting about my dad. I know the answer is boundaries. Yet she manipulates, lays guilt on me, etc, and I should probably just let her do it, but I still DO Feel guilty when she says these things. Also as said, if she was a more pleasant personality, I would probably like to spend time there, but she is not . Even her own primary physician tells me that after ten minutes with my mom, she is worn out. She doesn't know how I spend the time I do. Friends have told me I should just schedule a two or three week getaway a month down the road, both to refresh myself, but also to get my mom to learn how to get by on her own.

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I'm very sorry for your loss Karsten, and I totally understand how you're feeling. My mother has always been needy and goes to great lengths to get what she wants. She became downright unbearable after my step-dad died. It was one of the worst times in my life. I had to learn to set boundaries and I'm still learning. It's a hard thing to do when you're used to "steppin' and fetchin'" all your life for a demanding parent. I'm learning that it won't be the end of the world if I say no or step back. What I'm finding is that mother usually finds someone else willing to be at her beck and call. I see your original post wasn't too recent, so I'm hoping that things have calmed down for you and have gotten better. (((hugs)))
Helpful Answer (3)

Hi Karsten
Have you gone to the graduation yet or are you back already?
I know you were leaving on a Thursday.
Let us know how things are going.
Was the Seroquel helpful?
Helpful Answer (2)

Here are previous questions with references to Seroquel.
Helpful Answer (1)

brought her to doc today and the doc prescribed Seroquel. Not sure about that one. She had been on Prozac but wasn't sure my mom was taking it. Anyone with experience with Seroquel for an elderly person?
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As long as she doesn't knock on his door all night long.

Does she take medicine for sleep? Be sure to bring them along!
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Karsten, this trip certainly makes a bit more sense after you describe how it came to be and how it encompasses several events, one of which is multi-day. Points well taken. I still think it sounds hellish and I think people with difficult parents can and should feel completely free not to take them on trips. 

However, since you've decided to go on this trip, I definitely think you should go ahead and treat yourself to your own hotel room to give yourself more of a buffer, a boundary. Unless your brother booked you guys at a scary, "no-tell" motel or something on Skid Row, which seems highly unlikely, your mom should be fine in her own room. Let her "freak out" all she wants. 
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I do appreciate the very correct advice on the North Carolina trip, but this is something I agreed I had to do months ago. My niece is graduating as valedictorian for her high school class. The commencement is on Friday and we were going to leave Friday morning, but my mom pointed out, and I agreed, that a very early flight on Friday morning would be stressful, both to get ready for very early and the stress of worrying if it got delayed. So we are leaving midday on Thursday, which is less stressful, and delays wont cause us to miss the commencement. So theres Thursday, then Friday, and yes, I have been there a zillion times. I will dump my mom off at brothers house, so I will not have to be there alone, and I may go to the beach or something (they live on the coast). Saturday there is a graduation party, with all of her friends and relatives from that side of the family, then Sunday a graduation recital in which my niece has a couple of starring parts, then fly home on Monday. That's how we get to the five days. so most of the time, other than nights, I will not be with her alone.

Nights are another issue. My SIL doesn't want us staying at their house, they don't have a lot of extra room and they know my mom too, so my brother provided a hotel room for us (he has a zillion points from his business travel) I initially said I was going to get my own room next to my mom, but she freaked out as she would be alone . So I will try one night, and tell her if she causes problems, I will get my own room the remaining nights.

I know this is one of those things that really don't make sense, but I agreed to do it for my nieces sake, and her dad (my brother) just viewed it as one of the times I will have to suck it up. My mom is just widowed for a month, and while she causes problems I do have to be working on, I thought this is not the thing I could deny her the joy of.

My brother knows I have to bring her to their house during the days, when other actitvities are not occurring.

Ahmijoy asked about the cemetery tour yesterday. Never an easy time being with my mom for hours on end, but she was probably as good as one can expect yesterday. Maybe the reason for the tour sort of muted her stuff. After going to two of them, I began taking her home and she asked what about the third? I said that her brother was going to take flowers there. She said we could go anyway. I said that would mean another seventy or eighty miles of driving, it was in the nineties, and we can do that another time. There is no law you have to visit on Memorial Day weekend. She was not happy but didn't make much of a fuss. She wanted me to hang around with her at home and I did for a while, then just insisted I was going home. Its funny, she didn't object too much, but when she doesn't object much, I feel even more guilty. Like if she gets demanding and pushy, I could leave and still feel guilty, but coudll also feel good about it. When she is not demanding, I almost felt bad leaving her home alone. So I have some internal issues to deal with

The ironic thing is that third cemetery we did not go to is the one where her mom, my grandma is buried, and as she was always my favorite person, I did want to go there. But it was too much for one day. My moms mom, was a saint, completely opposite of my mom. Pleasant, easy, undemanding (when she was in assisted living I would visit a couple times a week and she would say, you are busy, you do not need to be coming so much (even though she liked it), a very giving person, everyone loved to be around her. My moms brother is the most fun easy going guy to be with you could find. My moms dad died before I really knew him, but I figured my mom must have gotten her stuff from him. I asked my moms brother what he was like. Apparently he was one of the most easy going laid back people you could find as well. So I don't know where my mom got her stuff.
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Karsten, I’m so sorry she’s putting you through the wringer when she should be supporting you. You have been doing all the heavy lifting, and need time to yourself to just catch your breath. But now you’re off to NC for 5 more days of torture? I really agree with Snoopy and recommend you don’t go for your own mental health. Not sure how long or complicated that plane ride is from where you live, but if it was easy/no layovers, I would contact the airline and arrange for her to travel alone. Have your family pick her up at the gate. And you stay home. Alone. Quiet. Peaceful. Healing. Doing nothing. Or something for You.
Tell her you’re decided not to go, and let her decide if she wants to go alone. Or not at all. Remember that little kids are capable of it with help from the airline. Attending a graduation is a nice gesture, but under these circumstances it’s just nice/ not necessary. If she stays home, you can still pretend she’s gone and take the 5 days off from her.
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Karsten, if you must make this NC trip, set boundaries around it.

Google the area and find things to do...without your mom.

Spend an hour at the exercise room and/or pool. Go to a nearby night spot in the evening...alone. During the day, if you must be with her at festivities, find other folks to talk with.
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Karsten, this NC trip sounds insane... Five days with this impossible and unreasonable lady while you are still mourning your dad, trying to be decent and supportive to an aged widow/endless abyss of need and negativity, graduations which are grueling affairs even under the best of circumstances....  And FIVE days? Why on earth five? That is at least two days too many!

Forgive me as I may have overlooked what her physical problems are (if any) but do you really have to go? Is it all possible for you to bow out of this thing and go to Vegas or Yosemite or something instead for some much-needed R & R? Maybe there will be iffy tropical storms coming into NC that you need to prudently avoid? Maybe you could "come down with something" unexpectedly? Sneaky, yes, but then it is not unheard of for people to actually fall ill in these kinds of situations when they just can't endure a psychological pressure cooker any longer. Just some thoughts...
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Karsten, you are having a very rough time with your mother and I'm sorry for it.

Lots of good support already. I just want to remind you, though - it is only three weeks since you lost your lovely Dad. You and your mother are still very much in the "it's okay not to be okay" stage. One day at a time. Be thinking ahead, sure, but don't expect yourself to start solving everything just yet.
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GA, I’d hand her a rake and say “have at it, my dear.” We had one of those across the street. She insisted on having speed bumps put in, which people don’t even slow down for. So all day and during the night, we listen to “ba-bump, ba-bump” ad infinitum. Landscapers with trucks and equipment trailers are a real joy at 8Am. She came over once and told me there was paper blowing around in my yard during a windstorm. I always felt like she was watching me after that. She probably was...
PS We have an alcoholic (at least one) directly across the street. She’d get liquored up and run out of “supplies” and come over here to ask for a ride to the grocery (3 times in 4 days) I asked on here how to discourage her, and everyone’s advice worked. 
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This thread has been helpful for me, in ways that posters probably never realized.

SueC1957, your comment about Karsten's mother intimidating him in front of a neighbor was a "eureka moment" for me, but not for my own family. It was the "neighbor" comment that "opened my eyes."

One of my father's neighbors became very aggressive after retiring, and comes over when I'm out to complain about Dad's yard, his house, ...whatever. She's been like this since she didn't get a promotion at work and subsequently retired.

I've tried not to respond to her but her criticism and refusal to acknowledge that an almost 100 year old man can't get out to clean up his yard just irritated me even more.

I knew she was jerking me around, but the answers here, and especially Sue's comment about a neighbor, made me realize I need to "manage" her in the same way as Karsten needs to manage his mother.

Thanks, friends, for unknowingly offering a suggestion which I can use to deal with the old busybody (who, incidentally, is an alcoholic).
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Karsten, your brain would never accept the “all or nothing” approach with Mom. You would marinate in guilt for the rest of your life. Or, you would go back to her, tail between your legs and resume this toxic relationship. You need more than bereavement therapy. You need a therapist to give you tools to summon up the courage to be your own man. And don’t tell Mom you’re seeing a therapist because of her. What would that prove? Do you have any plans after the Grand Tour of Cemetaries today? If not, go home (your home), throw some burgers on the grill, put on whatever baseball team you like (or your favorite music) and be good to yourself. That’s what I’m planning on doing. Laundry and stinky, soaked sheets be dammed.
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Forget therapy for mom. I'm only talking about meds. If she won't take them, that's quite sad.

She's groomed you, Karsten, to snap to when she makes demands.

You have a long road ahead of setting boundaries and sticking to them.

You've made a good start!
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In answer to Barbs question, I have asked her MD about referring her to a psychiatrist or psychotherapy. Her MD says she when she suggested this my mom gets mad, so maybe the MD is being intimidated too. But the MD says it will not help for her to make referrals if my mom wont do it.  I said what if I told my mom I would not help her if she does not visit the psychiatrist.  The MD told me visiting a psychiatrist will not help my mom if my mom does not want to be there, and accept she needs help.  She has prscribed meds and my mom doenst take them and the MD cannot make her take them. She says short of my mom demonstrating she is a threat to herself or others, there is not much she can do.

I accept the only real strategy is to set up boundaries and stick to them.  I think I am making progress on that but did cave a bit today.  The way I am feeling right now is to think the boundary I will set up is to NEVER talk to her or see her again.  She is just driving me away completely.  So dreading the day tomorrow driving her around to cemeteries.  I personally do want to go to these places and honor my late father and both sets of grandparents, but I dread being with my mom.  Then next weekend?  Being with her from Thursday through Monday out of state for my nieces graduation?  Don't know how I will get through that.  
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"I said "no", you will do all this at the bank today." GREAT!!

"I said I will not make two visits to the bank when one will do." YOU GO DUDE!

"I said if you do not stop yelling at me, I am leaving and will not take you to bank or target today."
YOU GOT THE HANG OF IT but it DIED when she intimidated you in front of the neighbor. Who cares what the neighbor thinks?

Let her go into the bank alone. Do NOT go in with her. JUST REFUSE. You can, you know. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. If it's not a pleasant experience, then DON'T do it.

"I presented them to her and all she could say was thank you. No sorry, apology for blamling me for her mistake."

"I have found, when I am firm on boundaries, I get yelled at and guilted at more but I guess that is my only option and when my mom finds out I am serious, she will lay off a bit, but either way I will not be her slave."

Are you serious? Then be firm and stick to it. The first time is the hardest but it gets easier. You do not have the right to tell her what to do, but YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.

Tell her, "DO NOT scream at me or I will leave." THEN DO IT. Shock the s**t out of her, stand up for your rights and walk out the door. You can't keep caving to mommy's demands. She needs to "lay off" totally, not just a bit.

Practice all this in front of a mirror. Say it over and over again.

Your mother controls you and you ALLOW it. It's not your fault, she's groomed you for this since birth, so it's just "natural" for you.

She has you wrapped around her little finger and knows how to "yank your chain". You must educate yourself on this sick mental behavior and, in my opinion, get therapy to help you out of the spider web she has you mentally wrapped up in. Don't be surprised, once in therapy, that a lifetime of anger comes spilling out. You have compacted it down so far that you're not even in touch with it. I wonder if you suffer from back, neck or head pain. That often happens with repressed feelings. They are manifested in physical pain to keep the feelings buried.

You must realize you are her EQUAL, not her puppet to jump around at her beck and call. Start believing that you are worthy of an opinion of your own, that you can and WILL set YOUR OWN destiny and not what someone else wants you to do.

At first I was mad that you didn't walk out but then I realized that you made a huge step, just standing up to her. Bravo! It takes time to change a lifetime of learned behavior.

DON'T worry what people think of you. You know that you're a good person and that's all that matters. Believe in yourself for a change.

A quick question...would you let any of US treat you the way your mother treats you? (I would hope not.)

Keep up the good work. Let us know how you are progressing.
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First, as to the Tylenol: buy several bottles; take them with you when you go over and pull one out when she claims that she needs another. Do that every time she says she needs another bottle.

Your mother is really making you twist in the wind, isn't she?

This is what I did, although my situation wasn't as bad as yours. I just said I have x time today; let's go through the list of what you need and select which ones are priority and which will fit into the time frame.

I took control, and kept it.

But I admit I can be bossy if I have to.
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Has mom's doc referred her to a geriatric psychiatrist?
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Dear Barb said exactly what I was thinking. You tried to put your foot down. Keep trying. It won’t matter to her, but you’ll get better at it. If Mom’s doctor is at her wit’s end, then you need to step it up. PCPs don’t usually treat mental issues. Find a Geriatric Psychiatrist. And keep looking for a independent Living or Assisted Living.

I know you both are still dealing with your grief over losing Dad. But if you keep enabling Mom, you will not find your own peace and Mom will drag it out for years. She’s sick, Karsten. She needs help. Can you find it for her?
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Karsten , let me point out a hard truth to you.

Your mom shamed you into doing what she demanded.

You were ashamed that she called a neighbor and said " my son won't take me, can you?"

Jeez Louise, who does this to an adult child? Doing this to a child of any age is dirty pool. It's abuse, pure and simple.

Google Fear, Obligation and Guilt. She's really a master of this.
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Karsten; I hate to say this, but you caved.

You told mom you would leave. You should have left.

If you are going to set boundaries, don't back down.

Your mother is mentally ill, and may have dementia.

There is NO reasoning with her.
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I have employed some of the suggestions by people here and by the bereavement counselor who I first met yesterday, and while it should have been about my dad, it of course came down to my mom.

Today she wanted me to take her to bank to deposit cash which came in for memorials (she will then write check to the organization). Also wanted to go to Target for Tylenol as her back is sore. I keep telling her to buy bigger bottles, but always buys 24 ct. She said she will need to go to bank tomorrow as well to deposit the checks made to her for memorials, (and she will again write a check to organization for that amount. ) I said no, you will do all this at the bank today. She said she has not taken the information off the checks yet (from who, their address for thank you notes, etc) I said do it now. She said what difference does it make, it would be another ten minute stop when I am driving her around to cemeteries tomorrow for flowers. I said I will not make two visits to the bank when one will do . She thought I was being unreasonable but I held firm. She said it is only ten minutes. First of all, a visit to the bank by her is never ten minutes, she has to wait for a certain teller she likes, then even then doesn't think that teller knows what she is doing, so goes to the branch manager, always an ordeal, they all grimace when they see her walk in there. She starts yelling at me that I will not take her to bank twice, I said I will be busy driving her to cemetaries tomorrow, and if I can cut off ten minutes for an additional bank visit, I will do that. (again, it would be far more than ten minutes). I said if you do not stop yelling at me, I am leaving and will not take you to bank or target today . She called her neighbor to ask her to take her to target as her son (me) would not. I gave in, as I did not want to burden the neighbor, but held firm that she needed to get all the checks ready, as I would not be going to bank twice.

We finally get to bank, she also had to get new checks, and once again drove the people crazy with quesions, wanting a certain teller, not believing what that teller told her, going to branch managers office, we were there forty five minutes. the to targe, where she then gets the 24 ct tylenol despite my warning that she should get a much larger size, as I would not drive her extra again for that.

We get home and she cannot find the checks she got. She blames me for losing them or letting them be stolen when I stopped to pickup pizza while she was at Target. There are times I honestly would know I myself did not lose them, but in this case, i was not 100 percent sure. I coudl lose things. She took this as an admission of built. She wanted fallen oak tree buds swept off the driveway and I said I would do that one time this week, more willf all and I will not do it again. Lucky I did, as I deposited the sweepings into the trash can, and there by the trash can were the check books she lost and blamed me for lsoing. I presented them to her and all she could say was thank you. No sorry, apology for blamling me for her mistake.

She is going to MD on Tuesday and I called her MD to say now nutty my mom was getting to help her (the MD) prepare for the appointment as my mom freaks out if I speak to the MD while there. The MD said she knows how difficult it must be to be with my mom. But there is not much she can do if my mom refuses to take her meds. The MD also said my mom is so off the charts she doesnt know if added meds would help. Which I dont believe. I think the MD is at wits end herself. She always says to me, your mom exhausts me after ten minutes I dont know how you spend hours with her.

I have foudn when I am firm on boundaries I get yelled at and guilted at more but I guess that is my only option and when my mom finds out I am serious, she will lay off a bit, but either way I will not be her slave.
Helpful Answer (5)

Karsten, I can sooooo totally relate to what you are talking about. My dad died in 2004. It was sad, but a total piece of cake compared to my mother. My older brother died this past January, but losing him was a total piece of cake compared to my mother. She constantly harangues me about needing to go back home to place flowers on the graves of every ancestor going back to World War I. She demands our 100% attention every day, and totally refuses to realize that I have a life outside of her. My mother wears out the doctors on every visit telling them her life story. And of course, she knows much more about her health needs than the doctors do.

I think you have some wise friends, advising you to schedule some time for yourself when possible. At some point, we all have to realize that our mothers are beyond fixing in this life and we must take care of ourselves in order to help take care of them.
Helpful Answer (6)

Wow, mom trained you well... for everything she needed you to be.

Where is your sense of...
self worth?
self respect?
Self preservation?
Sense of self maybe?

I'm sorry to say, narcissistic parents do not have the ability to instill healthy life skills in their children, because it's all about them.

Do you really think you are going to be able to ween yourself away from mom? Honestly, if you couldn't stop her from dragging you in more..and more..and more..and still more, after a 7hr. Day of running around, I don't see you having the ability to back off later.

If it's not second nature to calmly say, "no mom, I'm done for today" then there's a void in ones character. Being pulled in further and further until you blow up is a problem. Plus going home and feeling guilty...
the cycle continues.

Let go or be dragged.

The easiest relationships we should have, are those with our parents. But most of us don't have healthy parents. So they screw us up and we are not properly instilled with what it takes to have healthy

Break the cycle, don't be a fetch and carry boy for the next woman who comes into your life. Narcissists can smell a sucker a mile away.

Do something for yourself...get some therapy. Learn how to find your own self worth. Then you'll naturally respect, protect and honor yourself. You won't need anyone or anything to validate you. Other people will be an addition to your life, not there to add what your missing on the inside.
Good luck
Helpful Answer (7)

A lot of us have or had the same mother as you even though we’re not related. This is why we tell you the things we do. And you say you know, you know, you know. There is no shame in therapy. As Sue suggests, GO! Consider it a spa experience for your mind and soul.

Karsten, hopefully you’ll take our advice when you’re ready. At this point, we are all pretty much telling you the same thing and it’s getting to the point there’s no more left to say.

You can take our advice and suggestions or leave them. Ultimately it’s up to you.
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Sue, very good and wise insights and things I need to hear and do! Doing it is the hard part! None of it was offensive and all of hit was very helpful. It almost sounds like you know my mom personally .
Helpful Answer (6)

The things I'm going to say seem rude, hurtful and calloused. I mean them all in the most loving way and would never intentionally want to hurt you. Please take these thoughts as "insight". You have been caught in the web of your mother's mental illness all your life.

1. Your mother is narcissistic. She has a personality disorder that makes her incapable of seeing or caring about other people's feelings. (My mom was narcissistic too.) Because she makes you feel inadequate, you believe it and constantly "try" to gain her approval. You will NEVER get it. It is this "tool" that keeps her in power. Once you see this, hopefully, over time, you will stop trying to gain her acceptance.

2. Because of the above situation, you have been (and are) hog-tied by guilt. Her happiness (which is unattainable, so she can control you) will never be fulfilled. Having you in a constant state of guilt strengthens her position.

3. Along with the above, she's made sure that you have a low self esteem. That way you'll doubt yourself and your decisions. When you feel worthless, she feels powerful. You must find a good therapist to help you recover your soul that has been manipulated by your mother.

4. Even with all her power, she keeps letting you know how "needy" she is. How can you POSSIBLY not help your own mother? Another tactic to keep you right where she wants you.

5. You have spent so much time catering to "her highness", you have lost yourself as a person. Who are YOU? What do YOU want to do with your life? You've been made to take a back seat to what 'she' wants.
6. Her "feelings" are NOT your responsibility. Seeing that she has a roof over her head, nutritious food to eat, reasonable medical care and adequate clothing is what you're responsible for. HOW she feels is not your responsibility!! Can't you see that whatever you do won't ever be good enough? Enough is enough.

You are very enmeshed in your mother's personality disorder. It sounds like you'll need help breaking the bonds of guilt, unworthiness and anger. Since you have free time, call your doctor's office for a therapist referral. It will do you a world of good.
You'll learn what "boundaries" really are and how to go about setting them. This is a hard process to do by yourself. You can get a book and start off reading about setting limits with parents or narcissism.

I wish you well and that soon you'll be free from the grip of your mom's mental disease.

You could start by refusing to see her unless she takes her anti anxiety medication. (You'll know if she's taken it or not when she opens the door). On that day, you could say, "Oh, sorry Mom, I see you haven't taken your medication today and that was the deal when we see each other. I'm afraid we'll have to postpone our trip for another day when you remember to take your pill."
Ya know, Karsten, you have a "RIGHT" to do this. You are an ADULT and it's no longer mommy telling kid what to do. You are EQUALS!!!! You have a RIGHT to say what YOU want to do, whether mom gets mad or unhappy or not. Not your problem. Let her pout.

I'm sorry you are suffering. But, when you figure out what's going on here, I think you'll be on the road to recovery.

My mom was narcissistic too. I believe it's a disease of the mind/emotions. Therefore I don't believe they WANT to be that way, it's just like any other mental illness.
You must take back control of YOU.

Go do something that you would like to do or is special or means something to you. (Forget fishing.)

All the best in your recovery.

I hope you haven't taken offense-none intended.
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Just have decided yet if I can handle fishing this summer. Maybe after a while. I take one look at the boat and imagine the empty seat where my dad sat and lose it
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Bingo! When my dad passed, my mom pulled the “little girl lost” act too. Only it made me angry, not sympathetic. I was in my 40’s when Dad passed and by that time I’d had it with playing audience to my mother’s drama queen performances. She didn’t get better, but I did. That’s what you need. You need to get angry with her, not yourself. Actually, in all fairness, Mom did  do pretty well starting about 6 months after Dad passed. She was still driving and took herself shopping and out and about.

My humble opinion, but you should put the Independent living tour on the front burner. Do it now. If she’s kvetching about the new place and the people there, she'll have less time to focus on her misery, you and your imagined shortcomings. Sure worked for me and my mom!

When are you going fishing? I grew up spending weekends around a lake in Pennsylvania. I learned how to dig for worms, set up a rod and reel, bait the hook, cast, take the fish off, clean it and fry it up. Hubby hates to fish. What a waste of my talents!
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