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I got called trifling,lazy and evil a lot when I was growing up. Now I see it was a sought of diversion and manipulation to keep me indebted and guilty to continue being my mothers puppet and cleaner and maid. I love her dearly but How to I end the resentment when I see the same behaviors. I live with my mom and as she gets older I am seeing that she never really cleaned or did any of the things she chastized me and belittled me for. Now I get bitter feelings because im doing the same thing I had to do as a child when she was supposedly more healthy and she has always said I havent ever done anything for her and Im constantly doing. I feel burnt out emotional. Sometimes I feel I cant respect myself if I do certain things because Im doing the cinderella things again and Im supposedly stop being cinderella but certain things have to be done and realizing most of these skills my mother never had which is why I had to do it.

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DDDuck, sadly this attitude has been verbally beaten into you your whole life. To try and change that now will be a huge challenge. Most people require professional counseling in order to accept soul deep that they are good and worth people. It's likely that your mother was treated the same way when she was young and she's passing it on. She's not a horrible person but she's ruining your life.

As LorieB quote (many have said) "You can't change other people, you can only change the way you react to them." Read Lorrie's response since she seems to have pulled herself out of a similar situation.

I hope that you can get this in hand enough so that you can say I'm leaving for awhile, and go to regular counseling sessions. In the end, you are likely to have to find separate living situations. I hope that you aren't financially obligated to live with your mom. If you are, then ask for help with that, too. Local family service organizations are a good free or sliding scale place to start.
Take care of yourself first!
Carol
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DDDuck, I wish I had the answer. I know how much resentment this causes. There's no point in talking about it with her, since her memories of her younger days will probably be idealized. If she's a typical parent of this type, she'll remember herself as being very good and very industrious. So there's no point bringing up the past.

There's one question I've began to ask myself when I'm feeling belittled by her. Why should it matter how she feels about me? She no longer has power over my life and I know who I am. Is this question working with me? Well, kind of, but I still get p*ssed when I'm treated badly. I've learned it doesn't help much to fuss about it, because then I'm seen as the bad guy fussing at her.

You really can't win. You just decide what you can do. If your mother is like mine, she will light into me about something she wants done and not let up. It's hard to know how to handle it when our No's are not respected. All we can do is try to keep our heads down or leave when it gets too bad.

I don't know about you, but I am starting to feel I'm too irritable now to continue doing this. I get mad easily now. I know it is because I've had enough.
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Duck - I just don't know and am struggling with a bit of the same. I have so much anger towards my mother. Anger from childhood, anger from how she treated my father, anger over how she treats my son, anger over being manipulated over and over again as an adult and finally anger over having to look after her the past five years - clean up messes she made from sheer stubbornness, hateful things she said before dementia and then with dementia - when I was neglecting myself and my own family for her. So much anger. But now I don't think there's much time left. Sometimes when I go to visit and find her asleep I stay for an hour or longer - folding her cloths, straightening up her room - the first peaceful time I've had with her in years. I watch her sleep and I feel so bad. There were spurts of generosity and wonderful gestures over her time as my mother. I want more than anything to be able to remember that after she's gone but I think I have to figure out how to forgive her first. I'm afraid I won't have time. So sorry, I'm no help but I know how you feel.
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The best way to change the way you feel about your mother is to change the way you feel about yourself. I have always been under the critical eye of my mother, am now her caregiver, and it was super rough for the first six months. Then I started turning my attention to myself, by doing yoga and meditation, reading this web site (wonderful sense of community!) and taking charge of my own happiness. As someone once said, "You can't change other people, you can only change the way you react to them." And it has to be real change, not "pretend" change, because the resentment, I believe, comes from us trying to be too strong on the outside when we're not feeling strong on the inside. It's the same energy that lets us deal with bullies: Be your best self, and let all that stuff slide off without sticking. It sounds like you're a wonderful person who deserves to be loved and happy!
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Go find online and in bookstores every resource you can about narcissism, narcissistic parents (especially mothers) and borderline personality disorders. The information will explain many of the complexities of your family dynamic, and the power you will derive from that information will change the rest of your life. I promise!
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Someone at church talked to me about healthy boundaries to protect myself and my mother in law. It's worth reading about. I wish I had a book or a website to recommend because it made me aware of what I could do to help myself ( and her by extension). What's really important is having some recovery time away from your mother and her concerns on a regular basis- going for a walk, going to the library, seeing other people. I also recently started my morning with meditation/ prayer reminding myself how I wanted to react, asking for strength and patience. She has her own set of issues and they are not yours is something I wanted to say. Both of you are worthy of kindness and compassion. She might be broken, but just the fact that you recognize she isn't right in how she treats you is a good sign that you deserve better . And you can build on that in how you take care of yourself. Especially the messages you tell yourself. If you belong to a church with Stephen ministry, ask for someone to read out the section on boundaries from their handbook. I wish you well. It's a tough situation and you aren't alone in the struggle.
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there are a lot of posts like this. i don't and will never understand why people let their parents ABUSE them like this....AND WHY DO YOU STICK AROUND? LEAVE FOR YOUR SANITY! That is NOT a mother...it's a sick abusive miserable person!
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DDuck, I understand and empathize with you. "Rainmom, Dimple, and Jesse" all had comments that I can relate to. The mother's "idealized memories of herself" years ago, the frustration about comments made before dementia and then in current dementia state, and the suggestion about getting books to understand Borderline Personality and Narcissism. Those books will help you understand and hopefully set some healthy boundaries. I understand that you are angered over the loss of your dignity and fruitless efforts made over the years. I'm going to be at 50 years of efforts in August of this year -- that's when my mother's mother died and I think the real job began for me -- when I was just a child. I was an "only" so no sibs to share perspective on what was so horribly wrong. Just over 10 years ago I finally found a counselor who helped by determining the BPD and Narcissism, and offered coping strategies. It helps, but my mother is so old now that everyone but my counselor usually tells me to just be nice to her because she's so old. I wish they could've walked in my shoes for the decades I have. Lost years of misery while trying to maintain steadiness for my own family. I understand, and encourage you to get counseling -- it softens the effects somewhat. I've noticed though as I've gotten older myself that it's harder to be resilient because I don't have the physical or emotional energy of youth. Take care of yourself. If you are financially dependent on your parent try to change that situation. You deserve to be happy.
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DDDuck, my heart goes out to you in empathy. Please take to heart the suggestions made by the wise and strong folks who contribute to this site: what you need is distance, not necessarily (just) physical distance but, perhaps more important, mental and spiritual distance.
It is very hard to extricate oneself from a lifetime of lopsided, especially when the lopsided comes from one's mother.
No one but you really knows what you have gone through, and all the idiots who admonish you to "be kind to her, she's old" are people who fatuously imagine they are wise -- that they know enough about your situation to give advice. Makes them feel good about themselves; is zero help to you, and may even feel like a put-down: as if you haven't been kind to her all your life, as if old age weren't just the latest excuse for your having to accept her treatment of you!
Of course you will continue to be kind. But please follow the excellent advice of others in this queue -- read some good self-help books, see a professional counselor whatever way you can, get outside in the fresh air, give yourself permission to take care of yourself in all ways, including socially. Just do it. She will never give you permission, so don't wait for it. Give permission to yourself.
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Gees I want to give those online "hugs" to everyone here. This brand is a special brand of mother and its still very trippy that these people are so much like each other - its bizarre as well as so twisted. Its hard DDDuck especially after so many years of nasty towards you from the one who gave birth to you.... hard to wrap one's head around for sure. Learning more about family dynamics hopefully will allow you to see things has they originated - it helps the one figuring it out for sure. Everyone has left such excellent advice - I just wanted to chime in and offer you my support - if you knew how many of us while reading your post were nodding our heads all the way through! Extra hard as from what Rainmom included, about watching her mom sleep making it extra tough as yes they have their moments of kindness-- and us who just want to eat that up and who have longed for those moments of maternal kindness all of our lives. OnlyoneHolly, hello and ditto - only one here too. I imagine her family isn't stepping up to any plate to give you a hand for a day or an hour? I'm assuming here, but I bet they're a bunch of ice cubes, too. Woops just meant to offer support and there I go, again.... complaining about nothing... I have no idea about life and it's responsibilities... what do I know....
Yes Holly - we had no siblings to share perspective on the treatment at home, an aspect I hadn't really considered yet. It does get harder as we age and don't have the resiliency of youth to bounce back from each tirade. Keep strong DDDuck. Keep strong, everyone. I hear life gets better.
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