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I grew up with a dysfunctional mother. She is very happy with my brother but she has made it known throughout my life that I was her disappointment. I had anxiety, panic attacks and lonlieness since I was a child. She loves telling the story about my kindergarten teacher writing on my report card " i hope your daughter finds happiness". I could not understand why a five year old could be so unhappy. Recently, while she was giving one of her hundredth speeches of how our problems since I was two were all my fault. I was a difficult child and she had to promise my father to stop hitting me or she would never be able to stop. I moved in with her to help her and myself financially. I have tried so hard all my life to please her. I feel like I need to check myself in to a hospital. I keep wondering if I have anything to live for. Not that I would do anything to myself but I feel like I will have nothing to live for after this. My brother tells me not to have any confrontations with her, no now I have to keep my mouth shut whenever she talks mean or is accusing me of something, and that is all the time. He also talks to me like I am to do whatever he tells me to. I feel so damaged. Has anyone ever made it through this type of life?

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I have read that if a parent is dysfunctional, then the family is too. So, there are many things to sort out in adults who have grown up with all kinds of hurt and pain. I get annoyed when people say that KIDS are SO RESILIENT. If that is true, then why do we have so many damaged adults?

Anyway, I think there is definitely hope for the future. You CAN be happy. I would focus on believing in that goal and then working day by day to make it happen. I would try to get the tools to help me on that journey.

Keep in mind that it is not the fault of the child that adults act badly. It's never the fault of the child. Get tools so you can learn to not beat yourself up. You may need help learning how to accept that.

First I would get an evaluation or assessment to find out what it the biggest obstacle for you. If you have health insurance, you can ask your doctor for a referral. I'd work on getting a physical and mental checkup and explain what you are trying to achieve. I'd follow their recommendations.

I would question whether it's wise to be a caretaker for a parent who has treated you so poorly. I'm not sure how that could be beneficial for either of you. And whether it would be helpful in your road to happiness. I'd explore options so that you can focus more your needs right now. I wish you all the best.
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Thank you all so much for your responses. I do have a job with insurance and I am looking for a good therapist. My mothers father was either schizophrenic or bipolar and I feel My mother definitely has had something, plus depression all her adult life but my brother and one of my daughters put me through hell in the past for even suggesting it. Now my brother sees it. When she goes through a dementia period where she says really mean and hurtful things me, I have resentment towards her even when it's over because this is close to the way I was talked to growing up. My brother and daughter don't understand what I can't just ignore it and bounce back. Then she doesn't remember the things she says to me so I am the bad one. Thank goodness I have another daughter who is a nurse and understands my side. At times I have felt like I was living in the Twilight Zone. And then there is the guilt I go through!
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Yes, you can be happy! I have a good friend who grew up in a very dysfunctional family with a mother much like your mom. For many years she didn't recognize that her mom was horrible to her because that's all she ever knew. As an adult, she started to share stories and would watch the shock on other women's faces and she started to realize that her childhood wasn't normal. So she started seeing a counselor and has made amazing progress. She's now able to share more in our small group of women about her childhood and get the support she needs that she's a good person. I believe you're a good person too, one who deserves respect and care from others, not the criticism you've received.

So step one is get some help from a professional. Also, start reading the posts on here about F.O.G. (fear, obligation, and guilt) that families put on their children. I also think you need to get away as soon as you can from your mom and brother. My friend has gone no-contact with her mom (for 18 months now) and is much happier as a result. When a parent is so toxic, that may be the only healthy response for you. Please keep us posted and updated - this won't be easy for you, but it IS possible. And we're here to support you every step of the way. You are worthy of love and happiness!
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If you're asking if you'll ever be happy again I'm thinking that at some point you have been happy (hence the "again"). Where were you and what were you doing when you were happy? Is it reasonable to get back to that?

cwillie's right in that you won't heal from whatever wounds you have from your mother if you are living with her, especially if she continues to inflict more pain upon you.

Yes, people make it through. If you browse through this site you'll find that there are a lot of dysfunctional families out there. I also agree with the others in that you might find therapy very beneficial. Judging from what you wrote the dysfunction your mom sprinkles around has been going on for at least a generation. You can't be expected to carry that around and you're going to need help in getting rid of it. If money is an issue there are counselors who will accept clients on a sliding fee scale. Your family Dr. might be able to recommend someone.

Change won't happen in one day but even making a commitment to help yourself is a step forward.
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I agree with cwillie. This is classic scapegoat and golden child. my mother did the same, but my brother died. Please do consider therapy. I have been in the same place. If you feel like checking yourself into a hospital, you are burning out. Youat least need respite. Must you live with your mother for financial reasons? If not, tell your brother he has x days to find other care before you move out. Please take care of yourself. I recently started therapy and am making changes. It wasnt that long ago i also thought of checking myself into a hospital. You can improve your life.
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petsilove, do you have medical insurance? I know from what you wrote that your financial resources aren't abundant. If you have insurance, please do some research to find a psychiatric clinic that can help you pull yourself out of this rut. I have a feeling you do not need to be a caregiver to your mother. Like cwillie said, she seems totally toxic. She did a lot of damage when you were growing up. You don't want to give her a chance to finish the job. It is okay to not be a caregiver if it isn't in you. There are other options for your mother.

The first thing is to try to pull yourself out of what sounds like a long-term depression. It might be passed down. Your mother also sounds depressed. It is treatable, so you need to see someone. Maybe if you feel better about you, you can get a better job and get financially free from your mother.

I wish there was a magic wand that could fix this. It is going to take some work to break free from the damage done. It will be worth it.
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I really do think you need to understand how your family works before you can find the happiness you seek. It seems your mother has appointed your brother "the golden child" and you "the scapegoat", it is a shame that teacher couldn't intervene for you all those years ago. Your family (probably brother included) is toxic to you and I doubt that you can be cured when you continue to drink their poison on a regular basis. Take some time to read about narcissistic parenting and the scapegoat child, and please consider therapy.
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I'm glad you are looking for some type of logical answers to your upbringing. Welcome to the forum!

There's a thread here about "dysfunctional families".

I am positive that you will find what you are looking for.

I am caring for my mom, my home, she's 91, but opposite of what you say about your mom, she loves me to an excess, where I'm smothered, and therefore I feel guilty for not reciprocating to the same degree.

After a few months here in the forum, I could see I need counseling and I am now seeing a therapist, successfully.

Nice to e-meet you, and please take good care of yourself!

Mulata88
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