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Hello everyone! I am a 31-year-old woman who feels that she needs to move out of her 83 yr old mother's house for the first time ever. I feel like I'm suffocating and the longer I stay here, the more bitter I feel towards my mother. My mother has some health issues and was hospitalized twice this year, but seems to be in better health now. She suffers from heart disease and diabetes. She had a heart attack late June of this year and has since sworn off going to the hospital and taking any of her medication.



Our relationship is not the best at the moment; she does not like me for who I am, believes I am mentally ill, and think that it's strange that I only have 3 real friends. Without her saying it, I think she's implying that because I'm so difficult to be around (I'm not), no wonder no one likes me. I've also delivered my share of toxixity; whenever she insulted me or swore at me or called me a b****h, I would curse back at her. She hates when she's yelling at me and I hang up the phone with her or if I walk away. She gaslights me frequently, and if I call her out on anything she says she will deny it and say it never happened.



Yet despite all this, she doesn't want me to move out. She still has a son who's never left and he's 51. I've tried to move out twice in my life and failed when I was guilt-tripped back into the fold. Even now, I feel like I'm doing something awful, as though I am abandoning my mother. But another part of me knows that I can't continue to stay here and deal with the dysfunction. I don't know, maybe I am mentally ill for wanting some peace and independence. I've never even had a door to my room so it goes without saying that I have absolutely no privacy here. When I asked my mother if a door could be placed there (and I would pay for it), she told me that the structure of the walls would make it impossible.



Some background on me. I was adopted at a very young age so that's why there's such a huge gap between my mother's age and mine. I am capable of being financially independent; despite living in my mother's house for this long, I don't ask my mother to do anything for me. I also contribute a lot of my money towards the necessities of the household and bills; I am not living there for free. I am the first in my family to graduate with my master's degree. My mother was a helicopter mom growing up who demanded that I succeed and excelled at everything I did. She did get me anything I wanted for like my birthday or holidays. Overall, I would say her care of me was incredible, given that she chose to raise a child to the best of her ability at age 53./. So from her perspective, she would see my actions as a betrayal towards her and not showing appreciation for all the sacrifices she's made raising me and my siblings.



I currently live in the Bronx and the home I want to move into is in the Bronx also; it's a 15 minute car ride. I will be moving in with a male friend of mine, so I know that will also cause contention. My older brother (51M), his wife(50F);and their daughter (20f) live with my mom as well, and each person works full time jobs



I guess what I'm looking for is words of wisdom from this community and some advice from those who have experienced something similar.

@Blindpanda

I read your comments and I must thank you for bringing my profile to my attention. I should update it because things have really turned around for me.
I've reconciled with my ex-husband and the two of us are waiting on final state licensing and the insurance license for our homecare agency that were opening together. I will not be doing any hands-on client care anymore. I have 25 years of homecare experience. My man is a business and finance guy. Between the two of us we will make good money in the care business.
We're in the market for a home too. One with a decent in-law or basement apartment so our boy can attend school and live at home.
Come spring 2023, I move from this house and my mother either accepts homecare and can remain in the home and I won't sell it, or she gets placed and I'll rent the property out at a good profit. After the new year, this property becomes a protected asset from the Medicaid lookback period. It's worth my while to stay.
I'm lucky these days to be out of the misery and despair of caregiving.
I've never been a martyr. In fact, I hate martyrs. Their 'selflessness' usually destroys their life and the lives or anyone near them. Being a martyr isn't who I am. My life and personal happiness is important to me.
You'd be doing yourself a favor if you took my advice and stopped being such a martyr to your mother. She's lived her life and no one has a right to anyone else's.
You can stay in your situation and blame mother for your misery. Or you can be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your own life then go and make yourself a better one.
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Blindpanda,

Quoted from one of your replies:

"As her daughter, I'm supposed to remain at home and help her until she passes on".

Can you explain more about this? Who said it? Mom? Other family? Community/cultural/faith teachings?

Is it not actually said but you feel it?

Imagine a world where all chicks were expected to stay in the nest & feed their parent/s. Never to fly off, partner, build their own nest or raise their own chicks.

Be a birdless world in one generation.
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You can do this. Make a plan and start moving out. Practice what you are going to say to your family and be ready for the guilt trip. You are 31 and if you want to move out it is time to move out. Maybe mom doesn’t like it but so what. Good luck!
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@Blindpanda

Please read your original post here and then your response to me in comments.
Two very different things. In your original post you go on about how your mother doesn't like you for the person you are and that she gaslights and lies. You also claim that she mocks you for having so few friends and no one likes you.
I'm also catching two lies in your original post which leads me to believe you may be a troll.
You start off with saying that you're a 31 year old woman who feels she needs to move out of her 83 year old mother's house for the first time.
Then you go on to say that you've tried to move out twice. So which is it?
You're an adult. You claim here that you have a job and are able to support yourself. So start doing that. If your mother is mentally sound and doesn't have dementia, she can make her own care arrangements. If she can't then set her up with homecare. If she refuses that's on her not you. Walk away and live your life.
Don't martyr yourself and ruin your own life by makign excuses for why you tolerate emotional and verbal abuse and keep coming back for more.
It's hard to break away and be your own defender, but not impossible. I come from an abusive, dysfunctional family. The difference between the two of us is I also grew up in serious poverty and had to do for myself and younger sibling since I was a teenager. So sorry if I don't have a whole lot of empathy for a woman whose mom spoiled her on holidays and birthdays. Did she also send you to college too?
If you leave then you will have to overcome the guilt and second-guessing of yourself. If you stay, you'll have to suck it up and live with the dysfunction.
Nobody gets both ways. That they leave a needy, elderly mom and dad and everyone is good and fine with it, Life doesn't happen that way.
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Blindpanda Sep 29, 2022
"I'm also catching two lies in your original post which leads me to believe you may be a troll. You start off with saying that you're a 31 year old woman who feels she needs to move out of her 83 year old mother's house for the first time. Then you go on to say that you've tried to move out twice. So which is it?"

This may surprise you, but both are accurate. I've been guilt-tripped into staying at home twice. As in, I'll say I'm moving out, my family says," but what about your mother?" and after repeated nagging then I'll stay. This happened the first time I tried in 2017 and the second time in 2019. If you read my original post fully, I mention the constant guilt I felt about it.

"The difference between the two of us is I also grew up in serious poverty and had to do for myself and younger sibling since I was a teenager. So sorry if I don't have a whole lot of empathy for a woman whose mom spoiled her on holidays and birthdays. Did she also send you to college too?"

Again with the assumptions about my life. I live in the poor area of the Bronx, the poorest county in NY. I wasn't relatively poor per se (poor as a NYer but not as a Bronxite), but my mother and father made a lot of good financial investments to provide for their family. I'm sorry that you had to struggle. But never did I ask you about your struggle in my post. Why turn this into being about you?

My mother didn't pay a single cent for me to go to college. I relied on scholarships and grants to pay for my bachelor's and loans for my master's that I AM paying off. Also, the CUNY system in NYC isn't terribly expensive like private institutions.

"If she can't then set her up with homecare. If she refuses that's on her not you. Walk away and live your life.
Don't martyr yourself and ruin your own life by makign excuses for why you tolerate emotional and verbal abuse and keep coming back for more.
It's hard to break away and be your own defender, but not impossible."

This is probably the best piece of advice you've given me, so thank you for this. We've tried to give her a home health aide, but the last one she had (after her hospital stay last May), she only kept for maybe 3 or 4 visits before she told them that she didn't want the service anymore.
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I understand how you feel. Growing up in dysfunction can destroy parts of your developmental process of becoming an adult. I looked at this question last night and didn't answer it right away.

I lived backwards. I left a dependency to go into another dependency, and that was marriage at an early age. After that divorce, I hadn't learned much and move back home to a dependency. Women did two things back then to prove their independence; the smart ones went away to college and developed a life and career, and those who were programmed for doormat relief were married off. We became the throwaway women and the ones who inherited the care of elderly parents. No offense to anyone here, but this was my family culture. The youngest was chosen for this chore. Women in my family didn't hold much value and were raised with shame and low self-esteem. We had doors we could shut (thank goodness) but no privacy to our emotions or mental space. When you are raised and surrounded by narcissistic people, you don't develop a self separate and apart from the dominating family king or queen. Everyone else are pawns in their little kingdom and playing a role to continue their imaginary dynasty.

Trying to extract yourself from this thinking pattern will take a lot of work and counseling. I had counseling to work myself out of it. It took years. Now at my age I'm finally free to a certain extent. I still have more work to do and I'm officially an old person.

Get counseling for yourself. I would like to hear more about what your mother has manipulated you into taking on that you failed to mention here. I would assume that you've been taught not to talk about family matters to outsiders and that's the reason for the limited amount of information that you failed to share here. As burnt pointed out, this is a site for caregivers. If you share more about your caregiver duties, we can be of some help.

I'm happy that you managed to get yourself a good education. Sometimes mental and psychological abuse can prevent you from moving to the next level because of the constant meddling and putdowns from family. It's the crab in the basket mentality.
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Blindpanda Sep 29, 2022
As her daughter, I'm supposed to remain at home and help her until she passes on.
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Hi OP, I can understand why you feel cross, but your post was easy to misunderstand. Burnt is blunt, but tries to be helpful.

Regarding doors, doors are inserted into any wall (even one with no great strength) by fitting an architrave. It’s the side and top wood (usually) that supports itself because the sides stand on the floor. The door hangs off the architrave. All walls have some thing (timber usually) inside, and the wall board is attached to the internal timbers. The architrave is usually attached to at least one of the internal timbers in the wall. It’s possible but unlikely that the walls are held up by sky hooks, but more likely that mother is wrong.

She may be wrong in good faith, but it may also be deliberate to deny you privacy. The chance that it’s deliberate is why I’m bothering you with this detail. For me, not being allowed to close my bedroom door would be enough to get me walking out the front door. You can get a tradie to check this if you want. My DH has a tradie's stud-finder, it takes a few seconds and doesn’t mean taking the wall board off to have a look. Yours, Margaret
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Blindpanda Sep 29, 2022
Being helpful and blunt is not accomplished by calling me a troll and mentally ill. There is no excuse for their words. Additionally, insinuating that I'm here to elicit online therapy from strangers is very rude.

I wrote the original post under a lot of emotional duress, given my situation. If there were any misunderstandings, I do apologize for that, but that can easily be rectified by seeking clarification rather than taking such an accusatory tone in a post as Burnt did.
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I can't.
Maybe I can?
I could try...?
I will try.
I think I can..?
I will
I could! 😃

Keep stepping up.

Sometimes getting stuck at a step happens.. for a short or longer time. Think positive - at least it is not going downwards 😜

Look up & take the next step.
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I am in the same boat and am TRYING to move out of this house but I know I will feel guilty once I do

I'm stuck...
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lealonnie1 Sep 28, 2022
You're not 'stuck' unless you choose to stay where you're at. Guilt is a self-imposed emotion of no value, too. Any decent parent wants their children to move out and TO have a life of their own, not to stay home forever, that is dysfunctional, even if you have minor disabilities. People with major disabilities move out and live full lives, get married, have children, etc.

Make it happen if that's what you want. "Trying" is not doing. Stop trying and start DOING!

We have to create the lives we want for ourselves, regardless of nonsense that's been pounded into our heads by controlling mothers!
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First of all and with all respect to you, I think your mother is right in believing that you are mentally ill.
If you have a master's degree then there is really no reason why you cannot earn a decent living for yourself.
Mommy not allowing you to have a door on your bedroom is a little bit far-fetched too. Maybe I'm wrong and I apologize in advance if I am, but I think you're trolling here.
This site is a support group for people who are caregivers. It is also a resource for people who are or who are planning on becoming caregivers.
You do not mention anything about what you actually have to do for your mother or even if she needs and caregiving at all.
This is not an on-line therapy site. Find one for yourself because this isn't it.
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Becky04469 Sep 28, 2022
Burnt, I agree.
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Definitely move out. Sounds like it is a great time. Personally I would move more than 15 minutes away. Then work on boundaries! Physical boundaries such as distance apart help.
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In case you get stuck, take a listen & look at this inspiring song:

Steer. By Missy Higgins

Some of the lyrics;

So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer
'cause you've been listening for answers
Oh, but the city screams and all your dreams go unheard
But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer, oh
Yeah, get out of the box and step into the clear, oh
'cause now you finally know you can steer

https://youtu.be/vItDoD12a-w
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My first husband, migrating from the UK, found he had second cousins living in Sydney, 3 adults all over 50, all unmarried, still living with elderly mother. Bizarre! They seemed to get on well – or perhaps had lost any idea that things could be different. Get out now, while your legs still work!
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This thread is a month old, but it'd be interesting to know how this saga worked out. Unless it's a cultural thing, I can't imagine how a 31-year-old and a 50+-year-old with wife and daughter in tow would all be living together and no one ever moved out on their own.
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Blindpanda Sep 28, 2022
So ultimately, I've decided to wait until I've saved up more money and will instead move out on my own instead.
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You have been lied to.
Do not wait to find out what all those lies are.

Leave and save yourself.

Moving in with a partner does not make you an independent adult.
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You don't need OUR permission to move out and move on!! But, if it makes you feel better---I give you my permission and I'd help you move if I lived closer!

There is a natural order to life. Kids grow up and learn the skills necessary to fledge from the nest. In the healthiest scenarios, kids grow up and OUT and can maintain relationships with family that are wholesome and healthy and mutually beneficial.

That doesn't always happen. You read some of the posts on here and you will quickly see that there are many people who never do 'get away' from parents, for whatever reason. In your case, your mother is actually holding you back from growing up--for whatever purposes she has--doesn't matter, it's time to fly.

I have watched my YB and his 4 daughters. They are aged 36 down to 25 and all still live at home. A couple of them work FT and one is a school teacher who moved back home while she taught and got her masters degree. She has opted to stay home--a 34 yo and has never dated or really left the nest.

My YB sees nothing wrong at all with this. He said if he had his way, his son & wife would also be living with them!!

They have such an intertwined, weird relationship as a 'family'. None of the girls have any social lives, to speak of. IF they take a trip it's always to Disneyland and that's it. None of them but the teacher have any goals or aspirations whatsoever. It's so, so sad.

You, at least, 'get it' that living at home with mom after a certain age is just weird and realize it's time to fly.

Go!!! And do NOT feel guilty!! Mom obviously has plenty of help.
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Absolutely yes, move. The time has come. You sound mature and like you have your head screwed on straight so do it while you’re still young.

If you wait too many more years you might not have the strength of character to move out, and then you will be stuck physically as well as emotionally.

I am incensed for you that growing up you were never allowed to have a door to your room, especially with that many people living in the house with you. That borders on, or is, abuse. It is creepy. It is inexplicable to me. Your mother flat-out lied to you in saying the house/wall structure forbade hanging a door off a couple of hinges. That is outrageous, and that alone is reason enough to move out and gain the privacy you have deserved and missed out on all these years.

She believes you are mentally ill, per your post, and is verbally and mentally abusive. I don’t know you personally, but you sound A-OK, and that any frailty you have is caused by your family situation, so GET OUT and go live the self-directed life all healthy parents would wish for their adult child.

Do not let her, nor your brother and his family, guilt trip you into jumping back into the dangerous whirlpool which seems to be your current home life.

Move in with your friend. Don’t even bother to tell your mother that your new roommate is of the opposite sex, if that will get her dander up. You don’t need any more angst than you already encounter via her harangues, so just omit to tell her the name and sex of your roommate.

Get a full, fruitful life with as many or as few friends as you wish to have. It’s none of her business, only yours.

She has already gotten more than a pound of flesh from you in return for your adoption. A normal loving mother would raise you and be joyous to have you fly free as the wholesome young lady you are.

Your mother can’t seem to be joyous to see you spread your wings as you prepare to fly free, but I am, and I bet most other readers here are, too.

We are pulling for you to live your best life possible, and to do that, you must snip the apron strings. Go for it!
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Very glad that you are moving on our now to be, as you say, an independent adult. Wishing you the very best. It is important now to maintain your own independence. Moving from Mom to a relationship with a man is kind of going pot to kettle without experiencing independence. Time for that good job you have to look forward to with your degrees and in a job market in which we have two jobs for every job seeker out there. Save and work toward being independent of the opinions, thoughts, and living spaces of other. I wish you every bit of good luck that's out there.
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There are 3 other adults living with her! I think they are very capable of caring for Mom. If help is needed during the day, it can be hired. And once you do move out, do not move back. I am surprised you lasted this long. MOVE! You have my permission.

After moving out make sure you start putting up boundries. What you are willing and not willing to do. No phone calls at work unless an emergency. Calls any other time will be a certain time of the day for "check in". As soon as it becomes how you have done her wrong, say you are hanging up and will call back when she is more pleasant.

My cousins kids are in their mid to late 30s and I remember them having a problem adopting because they were in their early 40s and it was believed that 40 was too old to adopt babies. How did Mom get to do it at 53? Thats menopause time for most of us.
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Blindpanda Aug 31, 2022
It was an in family adoption, my mom is actually my maternal aunt
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Do it.
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You are in a perfect position to move out. Go ahead and do it. Yes, you'll get some negative feedback from mom, but assure her that you'll call and visit frequently. You're not moving to the ends of the earth, just nearby. Tell her you love her, you just want to be a grown up. If everyone in the house except mom is working, they will do just fine. BTW, Bronx born and raised. When you move in invite the family for dinner and make them welcome! That should assuage their fears. Include her in your enthusiasm and ask for her advice often (even if you don't need it, it will make her feel like she's still included in your life). GOOD LUCK!!!
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Welcome to the community Blindpanda! While I haven't experienced the same situation as you find yourself in, we do have similarities. I am from N.Y. originally and was adopted at a young age by older parents. I wasn't allowed any privacy either, but I DID have a door to my bedroom! Which any room would indeed support, so your mother is bologna-throwing with that one, for sure. Mom searched my room ALL the time as a kid, read my diary, all that sort of thing, so I hear you about lack of privacy; it's ridiculous and there's no need for it, especially at your age!

Move out, and don't allow yourself to continue to be bogged down in the FOG (fear obligation & guilt) that these types of women impose on us! While we were fortunate to have been adopted, we do NOT owe them our entire lives in repayment for it! What we owe ourselves is freedom and a life of our our own! You have a masters degree, for petesake, meaning you are entitled to move out with your male friend and live an independent life free from the shackles of your mother's suffocating influence! Do it! Immediately! And don't look back. Naturally, you are not 'abandoning' the woman by leading your own life and you'll still see her, you just won't be living under the same roof and abiding by HER rules 24/7! She'll lay the guilt trip on you nice and thick but you will read all about FOG and see what it's doing to you, spiritually and emotionally, and learn tricks to overcome the emotional blackmail that comes from it.

https://www.bpdfamily.com/content/emotional-blackmail-fear-obligation-and-guilt-fog

Those are my 'words of wisdom' from someone who's dealt with this type of mother for 64 years myself, and for 10.5 years in a caregiving capacity, although she lived in Memory Care Assisted Living with advanced dementia. As an only child, I was all she had and it was tough, let me tell you. She passed in February at 95 and I was still dealing with her histrionics in spite of dementia and other disease mechanisms at play.

Here's another article that has helped me recognize a lot of things over the years, too:

https://lifelessons.co/personal-development/covertpassiveaggressivenarcissist/

I don't know if the 25 signs will apply to your mother, but even if some of them do, the coping mechanisms suggested in the article may be useful to you as they've been for me.

BEST OF LUCK to you!
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