Hi everyone, great to see this community board online. I have been under a lot of stress for the last two years due to my mother's declining physical and emotional health, as well as financial problems exacerbated by gambling. My mother is on a limited income (social security only) and has had gambling problem for the last decade. She routinely spends her limited excess income at casinos and then asks me and my siblings for cash on a monthly basis to pay for her basic needs (food, utilities, etc.) In addition to the stress and financial burden she is placing on us, she is also depressed and lonely since she retired two years ago and will not take steps to see a counselor or develop new interests or hobbies. Her excuse is that she has had health problems over the last two years which have required her to convalesce. This is true to some extent, but not wholly especially when she finds time to go casinos to ease her pain and "forget about things for awhile."
I feel like the only thing I can do (and what she expects of me - since she "did it for me when I was young") is to spend money on her as well as spend a lot of my free time. She asks me to sleep over at her place all the time and then accuses me of being cold emotionally when I refuse her demands knowing that she would have done it for "her parents."
I am in my early 30s, single, and have a lot of life issues (career, personal health) that I would like to tackle. I feel I cannot support my mom emotionally and financially and take care of myself. I have siblings but they are not a huge help in the emotional support department. I feel like I am sacrificing my life for hers. I just want to run away sometimes and break away from my needy mom. Finally, she is very critical of me and my siblings and I know this is because she is unhappy with her own life, but I find her very difficult to deal with. She treats me like a little girl, but one that needs to take care of her every need.
Any other young people out there who are burdened by a single parent? I dread getting married or dating seriously because I feel like my mom will become so needy and will be detrimental to my long-term well-being.
Thanks for any advice you can offer!