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I feel numb, and panic will follow. I knew I shouldn’t do this. Two years ago I had to sell most of my apt. Furnishings because mom didn’t want to pay for storage when she asked me to come care for her. I truly thought it was my duty. I felt I could do this for her. Except, I didn’t want to. But, duty took precedence. I owed her some money, so I said I would work off the debt. I did. Finally I asked her for some payment for my future and she was not happy about that. She said sh’d pay $500/mo. I almost said, don’t bother. Then I cashed the checks. I don’t have anyone who’ I’ll take care of me when I get I’ll, and I will get ill. I see nothing in my future. Not only will I lose mom, I will lose hope, because I don’t have a life. I’m in a new state where I don’t want to be, and don’t want to stay. I now don’t know “how much is enough”—with mom when I move out? If i’m Outa here, then I want to move 50 miles back to the state I love. Or should I stay in town? The SIL is nearby, but he can’t shoulder the whole responsibility. my sister is a doctor, 5 hrs. away, very busy, just returned from 2wks in France(!), and her daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Brother is in Colorado and doesn’t call much, visits twice per yr. and that’s it. My dilemma is, how to figur out how much is enough? You can tell that I have given a lot to my mom in my life, more than is healthy. Even tho mom just kicked me out, I feel great relief. Is that bad? Maybe I can find a life. I’m so tired of feeling I never meet her standards, and the resentment that she doesn’t care about my future. I’m so tired that everything is about her. I thought she loved me, but she seems to be using me. This idea has always been boiling under the surface. My heart feels broken. I feel so done, and I know I need to move on now. Your replies have helped me to accept that. It’s just not how I thought it would be. And i’m worried about what siblings will think. And her friends. I can see her playing the martyr—that doesn’t feel right, that my take on things will not be aired. She “knows” she is “right”. I am listening to those of you, too, who have written, “don’t let her eat you alive”. The danger signs are here. I have new health concerns she doesn’t even know about. I’m so tired of feeling like I don’t matter. But how do I let go of guilt after 60-some years of it?


i’m going on too much, and I see I am rambling. Sorry.


I really need your help with how to think of this. I want to take care of mom, get her set up with caregivers, then go. I want her to have resources and options.


then I can go. Thanks.

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Oh no no no! You let her handle it.

Pack your stuff and head back to where you want to be.

Who gives 2 ticks what anyone thinks of you. You have been on the front lines while they have lived their busy lives, ignoring their narsisistic mom and their sister.

I am freaking out that you have guilt, no need to feel guilty and for 60 odd years? Oh my, she worked her narsisistic evil on you. Kids should never be made to feel guilty, that is the 1st indication that she is a full blown, top 10 of her class narcissist. You did nothing wrong, you know that you can never be good enough or just enough in her eyes, that's how she gets you to dance to her tune. Well fine, never enough is outta here!!!

Seriously, the sooner you pack your car and hit the road the better. Call your siblings and tell them you are leaving and either one of them shows up or you will be calling APS to report a senior living alone that should be checked. Then they can all deal with that.

You feel relieved because this is right, you should have never been her caregiver, but your entire family taught you that their lives are so much more important than yours, NOT!

Go, go today and find the life that you never believed you deserved because of your narsisistic mother and siblings. They don't have you under their control anymore. It's scary, I know, but well worth it to finally be able to accept that you matter and you are deserving of love and care, not use and abuse.

Great big hugs, you got this lady.
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Slartabart Jun 2019
When you posted your first note to me, I spent a while on a note back to you. Somehow, it got lost. You were very helpfu l . And you gave me cheerleading, if you recall. Again, I am grateful for your response, and I thank God for this site. Thank you for your help. !!
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Start by trying not to care so much what others think.

Where can you stay? Is there a womans shelter in the town you'd like to live in? I think you need to start from the ground up and rebuild your life, one step at a time.

Place to live. Job. Food. Friends. Counseling to figure out why you think so little of yourself, and to help you grow from strength to strength.

Let the rest of family care for mom. Or let mom pay for her own care. That's what her savings is for, yes?
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Slartabart Jun 2019
YeS, but I feel I have to set her up before I leave. I will regret my selfishness if i don’t and I truly don’t nee d to feel more guilt.
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When you say that your mother "knows" she is "right" - what does she know?

She has kicked you out? Or she has asked you to leave? Or you gave her an ultimatum, she has rejected it, and because she's rejected it you are determined to leave?

I don't think you should live with your mother as her full-time caregiver out of a sense of duty, let alone under a sense of obligation; and I am sure that you are right to believe you would both do better if her support were structured in a different way in future.

But please, stop panicking about what the world will say, and stop trying to solve your and her entire future in one go, and let's look at what is happening and figure out what order it would be best to do things in.
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Slartabart Jun 2019
Of course you’re right. That was mom saying “what will people think?” However, she now calls her husband’s kids to complain and I am livid about that. Also, we just learned that my sister’s daughter was just diagnosed with cancer. The sister lives 5 hrs. Away. Mom called my sister yesterday with this upsetting news of ours. I was sad to learn that. She is only thinking of herself.
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startabart - can you be more specific as to your current situation? When you said mom kicked you out, what does that mean?

Are you still at your mom's place? If yes, are you under a time limit to move out?
Are you somewhere else? If yes, where?
Do you have a car?
Do you have money for food and immediate shelter?

If you're at mom's place, DO NOT move out until you find a job and a place to move to. Because you have lived and established your residency there, you have LEGAL rights to stay for a while. Mom can not just kick you out on the street even if you stop helping her and pay no rent. Contact LegalAid for help with your housing situation.

Take a deep breathe. behind this awful situation is the silver lining, the change you need to make.

Tomorrow morning, go out and start looking for a job immediately. You need to have income right away to get back on your feet. Take any job available now. Later, when you have breathing room, you can be more selective.

Stay strong. We're with you.

P.S. You are NOT selfish, just the opposite. Your mom, on the other hand, is a very selfish narcissist, but that's redundant.
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Slartabart Jun 2019
what it means is she said I should leave. Yes, i’m Still here. This just happened. But I am so angry, I have been avoiding her. She keeps trying to snag me, but I don’t want to speak until my anger is subsided. She snagged me anyway, but we haven’t fully talked yet.
Yes, I have a car. I do have some money for shelter, food for maybe a year, if i’m Careful. I don’t know if i’ll Stay in this state or move where i’d Rather live. Mom won’t insist I leave. I will get things in order. She owes me that and knows it. I think she might be regretting her rash statement for me to leave. Even so, I do;’t want to be here. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Since you are in such a state of anxiety, perhaps you could get help from your siblings to work out a suitable situation for your mom. You want to go, so go. Enough is enough. Your mom is not making sense and you cannot make her make sense. You realize you must take care of yourself, so do it. You will feel better as soon as you start moving in the direction of your own well being.
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Slartabart Jun 2019
Thanks for that.
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Do the minimum ‘setting up’ that will let you feel that you have acted appropriately.

Consider writing a brief note saying that you have had to leave your mother because caring for her with little or no recompense has reduced you to poverty. You are concerned for your own future, and your mother does not understand your difficulties. Give the note to the biggest mouths in the group of relations and mother’s friends, and leave them to spread it around. You shouldn’t be feeling guilty yourself, and you shouldn’t have other people thinking that you are guilty either.

It will be hard to set up a new life on your own, but have courage. Remember that once you have new things in your life, thinking about them will drop down the importance of your mother’s behaviour in your heart.
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Slartabart Jun 2019
Thanks for your thoughts. In all of this pain, you caused me to chuckle about finding “the biggest mouths”—we don’t have a very large family, but maybe I could find one. Good suggestion.
maybe you could view my response to isthisreallyreal, above. Since then, I heard mom on the phone with care providers. I do think she needs help setting that up, but if she doesn’t want that help, should I let her do it? I just want her to have the best care, and i’ve heard that’s hard to find. I want her to feel ok after the loss of me, and she will regret it. She doesn’t seem to see her selfishness and miserly ways as a problem. Not to her, anyway. This is so upsetting, but I need to move on.
Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your help.
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Brush the dust off your feet as you walk through the door focused on taking care of yourself and not taking any prisoners like dealing with your mom's care. Let her other children deal with this. She has financial resources and options. Evidently, you have no financial resources which is very sad. Sorry, but you sound somewhat like an abused wife who still loves her abusive husband. The guilt is irrational and part of what an abuser instills in their victim. Once you get set up in a new life, you may benefit from seeing a therapist to complete your journey to freedom emotionally that is.
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About the guilt issue: I very nearly fell into a bottomless pit. What saved me was a talk with my parish priest, very knowledgeable about moral theology. As I talked about my problems, he talked about what actually is the moral law. (I don't know what beliefs you have, but I'm trying here to make a point and you can then apply it to your own situation and beliefs.) Simply put, I was ill-informed about what my responsibilities and duties were in God's eyes. I was feeling guilt and obligation beyond what my obligations actually were! It took awhile and several counseling meetings, but the guilt began to drop away. Now I was working with actual knowledge, not a lot a "folk beliefs" and social stereotypes. Like turning on a light in a dark room I was stumbling around in.  I was able to make firm decisions.
As to your sibs - have you honestly talked to them? Can you? You might find them more sympathetic than you think.  As for mother and her friends - probably you will just have to ignore them.  They have self-serving ideas of kids' obligations but that doesn't make them valid. Take care of yourself - your mom will do just fine.
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Slartabart Jun 2019
Hi rovana. Thanks for your comments. I have re-read, numerous times, your note and wish I could talk with your parish priest who helped you so much. The issues you mentioned, under the heading of Moral Theology & law, in the category of our responsibilities & duties in God’s eyes is a topic of vast importance to me, and has been throughout my life. I finally consulted a parish priest about 5 yrs. ago on just these issues, but I found little help there. He soon left for a more political post!

Since you you were so helped, do you know if he could accept an email from me or consult that way? Or, could you suggest any literature that addresses these issues succinctly? I had a book bigger than an old family bible that was hard to wade through. I found your note to be so helpful.

Also, your point about reaching out to two (remaining)
siblings. You caused me to review how i’ve been thinking of that. Formerly, thinking well, they don’t really care, as long as they know I’m here. I did contact sister, (doctor)who apologized that she couldn’t get involved right now due to her daughter’s recent cancer diagnosis. We don’t even know what’s happening with that, yet. Brother? Don’t know if he can help much as he needs more help than I do. More than that, I know in my heart, they don’t want to deal with any of this.

So, not to go on too much, I wanted to say how I appreciated your response. I take notes and if I don’t hear from you, I may contact a local priest. But your reply was outstanding and astute. Thanks so much.
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start - I read about your wanting the best for your mum. What about wanting the best for yourself? You are as deserving of that as anyone else is. She has made her bed - let her lie in it and let her and your sibs work it out. Let go of wishing your mum was different and let go of trying to control that situation, Take charge of your own situation. Provide for yourself. She is a narcissist, you have been chosen as the servant child. This is not healthy for you, or for her. You can opt out of that role. Please do. Many here have and will support you in that transition. Good luck in your new and independent life.

Frankly, she did you a favour by kicking you out.
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If your mother has the wherewithal to call a healthcare agency and your sibs, you don't need to worry about setting up her care.

It sounds to me as though in your mom's mind, she was giving you a place to live and a small stipend for minimal care, because she sees you as being not capable of supporting yourself.

I think you need to walk out that door, find some temporary shelter and find a job to supplement your SS.

Prove her wrong.
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