Is my mother being too dependant?

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I'm new to this blogging thing. So here it goes.. I'm 24 years old and I have a beautiful daughter that is going to be 3 this April. I'm getting married February 29th. I've had depression for ever since I can remember probably due to my really messed up childhood. My father was a horrible man who would abuse my brother and I when we were ptetty young. My mother never seemed to be home at night because of work or being out with her friends. My brother and I were close in age so I took care of him and we were all we had. It wasn't until I was 12 years old that I finally told my mother what was really going on. She basically broke down into tears but never spoke of anything again until about a year later when my father ended up leaving my mother for another woman. That's when she decided to do the right thing... Counseling didn't last long because my mother didn't feel like continuing the services. My teen years consisted of being in and out of trouble and being in and out of school. The same with my brother. We knew we were the only family we had who we could trust so we made a pact to never let one another fall behind and to always be there when things got bad. After my parents divorce, my mother became very dependant on us and couldn't do anything for herself like go grocery shopping alone or even do simple things like go get a haircut alone. It was very irritating to my brother and I at this age mainly because we were never dependant on her for anything. I guess we kind of held a grudge against her for a long time. Once I was almost 16 I had gotten my first job and couldn't wait until I could start saving money to finally be out of my mother's grasp. That didn't last long. I ended up paying my mother over half of my paychecks for rent. I got stuck living with her for the next 5 years. I then met my fiance and we shortly moved out together. My brother and I both had a rocky relationship with my mother at this time and my brother refused to talk to her. The last thing my mother told my brother was that he was dead to her... A little over a year On September 23rd 2012 a day that will forever haunt me, I got a phone call from my mother saying that my brother committed suicide... I didn't believe her at first because I didn't want to... Before that call I felt like everything was going the way I always dreamed it should, I was on my own and my life was company coming together. I spoke to my brother on the phone a couple days before and we had planned to get together for my birthday (September 30th) and go to Halloween horror nights. I was then going to break the news that he was going to be an uncle. My world felt destroyed and my heart was and still is completely shattered. The one person that promised to always be there, who I could always talk to no matter what the time or situation wasn't there to help me get through that news. So many thoughts went through my head, some were very, very dark and I am so thankful I found my fiance when I did because I don't know what would have happened that night. I was juggling the thought of suicide myself and then raising a child. Of course I chose to be as strong as I possibly could to avoid a possible miscarriage. My mother lost it though, she was broken. Days after the funeral all I could think of was having to move back in to make sure she didn't try to hurt herself, and sure enough my fiance and I moved back to my mother's home. Ever since then she has gotten better and worse. Since I'm her only living child, she's depending on me more than ever. I think she's still feeling some sort of guilt with the way my brother left and her last words to him. I want so badly to be on our own for my little family but every time I try to explain this to my mom, she gets very emotional and says I'm trying to take her granddaughter away... Am I going to be in this non stop cycle forever? How do you tell a grown woman when to let go? I've made peace with my past and as I got older I've learned that holding a grudge isn't worth it anymore. Am I being selfish for trying to finally live the life I want to live? ?

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  • Posted

    No you are  not  being selfish at all. i think you are right to break this generational cycle. Your mother made her decicions and you have to make yours for the sake of your little famlly. You say that you hold no grudges and have made peace with your past - and a very difficult past this has been. It sounds as if your mother has not made the same progress but this is not your fault. I think you show a grown woman i,e your mother how to let go by giving her the chance to see you putting your family first. It sounds as if you show her care and this should be enough for her . please do not get dragged into her remorse and pain of her past as this will just continue into yours which I think is what you were saying here. Sometimes we have to be firm to show our love and commitment and I think this may well be your chance to do so. take care jen
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  • Posted

    No you owe it to yourself and your family.   Your mother is using emotional blackmail to try and keep you there because she is terrified of being alone. 

    You have done very well to come to terms with your difficult childhood,  but it sounds like your brother couldn't.   I am very sorry for your loss and that he chose death rather than life.

    Of course as your mothers only child now she will depend on you a lot and that's fine,  but what she hasn't got the right to do is dictate how you live your life.  For your own sake move away from her home,  ok live close enough to visit when you can but you have your own life to live now and you deserve it.  

    You are not going to change your mother so don't even try.  Take the mantle with both hands and tell her you are moving out.  Ok that will be difficult but you have to do it.  Your mother is a grown person and she made her choices,  but she doesn't have to make your choices so don't let her.   x

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  • Posted

    I am so sorry about your brothers suicide and that he felt the need to die. I can relate to suicide as my husband and nephew both commited suicide. I am also sorry about your childhood abuse and thou you don't specify what sort of abuse, i can relate to an abusive childhood. 

    It sounds like your mother is being independant and emotionally blackmailing you for her own needs. This is not healthy for either of you. Living with her is not going to work either. Talk to your husband soon to be and disscuss moving out, by all means you can visit her regularly, but don't let her dictate your life. You have had very little stability in your own life till now. Concentrate on your own family now, you have a beautiful daughter and getting married soon. Celebrate a new begining. If you let your mother dump her guilt onto you, ( and that is what she is doing ) then your daughter will pick up on them vibes and it will affect her growing up, it's surprising what they can pick up on. My daughter often puts me down in front of my grandchildren and i worry about the effect that will have on them. We have a difficult relationship, but i look after my grandson when she works. I am okay for that but she seems to resent me at times. If you can talk to your mother about seeking counselling, she maybe ready for that now. You are too emotionally involved to help her with the past. She must be feeling very guilty and having so many regrets, but unless she opens and talks about this to a non judgemental counseller she may never move forward, she seems stuck in the past. However you need to do family things with your own family, enjoy your lif, give your daughter the love and support you never had. I broke from my father, the abuser for many years, thou a couple of times i tried to connect with him and to resolve why he rejected me, it never worked as his vile words of hatred towards me took me back to an 11 year old helpless child. I however kept my children away from him, he only met them once and that was once to much. He told my eldest she reminded him of me, and said it in a nasty way. Past hurts with parents are rarely resolved. 

    I sincerely wish you the best with your future.

    Elizabeth. 

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  • Posted

    We have an eerily similar family life. I can't even begin to tell you how odd it feels to read a story that is so similar to mine. As someone who is much older than you, I would like to give some advice but I hope you will not be offended as to what I'm going to write.

    I chose to stay with my mom and 1000% regret that decision. Despite knowing better, I convinced myself that I could help a person who gave up well before I was even born. Sometimes, I feel like I might have sabotaged my own happiness out of fear. What if I was to get away from this learned dysfunction and still fail?

    These past few decades have felt like being in the middle of the ocean on an old cheap rubber raft. I keep patching up the raft but the other occupants on the boat keep stabbing new holes in it. Water keeps coming in and instead of focusing on how to get to shore, I'm just fixated on keeping this old raft afloat. It's awful and instead of just resenting my family -I've begun loathing myself.

    Not only have I took-on my moms problems but the many additional problems of others that she chose to take-on because (bottom line) she is not comfortable in her own skin unless she is miserable. She refused to get help about her lack of self-worth. Again, my eyes were open to the fact that I could not fix these toxic people...but I fell into the same pattern that has been going on in my family for generations. Now, I don't even have peace-of-mind for trying.

    You don't need to convince her to let go-you need to convince yourself! Maybe you are hoping that the mother in her will finally kick in and do what's best for you. The most heart breaking thing to accept is that, even if she wants to do the right thing, she won't. I'm so sorry that that is the case because you sound like an amazing person.

    I'm hoping that you can get away from her for the sake of your new family and help from a safe distance. I strongly suggest going to a family therapist to learn healthy boundaries. This will be an ongoing battle with her and you will need these coping tools.

    I know you do not want your children raised in that dysfunction. You are incredibly strong and I hope you are proud of the woman that you have become. If you need anything , please feel free to PM me.

    Good luck smile

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  • Posted

    Since your Mother is not here to express her side of the story, I will try to see it from a Mother's perspective and with the loss of a child.  Your mother sounds like a very dependent person and I understand your resentment of her not being there for you as a child and allowing the abuse from your Father.  You also have to understand what she is going through now with the loss of your brother.  She is afraid.  She's scared to death!  She getting older and she's alone except for you but it's still a frightening thing, especially as we age.  I'm sure you have the compassion to understand that.  You need to go lightly here but you cannot allow her to use you to make up for a life she needs to make for herself.  Sure, you are still a big part of that life and so is your daughter but your Mom needs to create some kind of life of her own and hanging on to you will not help her do this.  I would say that if she is healthy and isn't suffering from any debilitating illness, she should try to find her own bit of happiness and that's hard to do alone and after loosing a child.  That is something that will hurt her forever, as it does you too.  But you both must move on and perhaps sitting down with your mother and laying out a plan with her will help.  Tell her you want her to be in your daughters life and any other children you might have in the future, but as a grandmother.  Tell her  you will always be there for her but you have your own life to live and she hers.  Perhaps get her involved in church or some kind of social organization where she can meet new people her age and learn to travel and enjoy life again.  You cannot provide a life for her.  She must do that herself BUT be sensitive to the fact that right now she is still very vulnerable and sad over the loss of your brother and make it clear to her that if she clings too tightly to you now, she is going to drive you away.  She may try emotional blackmail but don't let her.  Tell her she's important to you and to her granddaughter and you need her!  But set the boundaries and gradually pull away to your own life.  Eventually she will, out of necessity, create her own life when she accepts that you are no longer suppose to provide a life for her.   Good luck to you. 
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