Help and Support

Finally just had enough to the point I just switched off my phone!
I moved back home to the NE whilst going through a nasty divorce from a bully and a control freak. I was basically having a breakdown. I left my home behind and ended up living with my mother for three years. I knew I get enough money to buy a home and a reasonable income.
At this stage my mother was still very active and very outgoing even with bad arthritis. We had enough space for me to have a bedroom and sitting room of my own but slowly I seemed to slip into doing everything but I was just floating through life just trying to survive.
My mother unfortunately is a bully too and just clicks the same buttons as my ex. I spend a lot of time feeling like the worst person in the world.
I have now bought a lovely home and am stronger but Covid has made her less independent and more expectant of me.I feel overwhelmed at times coping with my determination to live and be happy and deal with what seems like a toddler at times. I resent this so much.
Generally people look at you blankly if you moan. I don’t have any real friends to balance the care and a social life. I am the only family member left, as my brother and father have died. Those experiences are another story with lots of trauma.
I’m just reaching out because I’m struggling.

Welcome to the forum.
In a similar situation to you, I had counselling. Have you ever found a good counsellor?

Having realised that I was still being a “good girl” as far as mum was concerned, never saying “No”, I was encouraged to take control, without actually saying “No”.
Start by making a list of what is expected of you.
Does mum NEED it all doing?
Most jobs can be done by someone else.
Cleaning, washing, dressing, anyone can do these. Mum might want you to do this, but you don’t have to!

I was being given new jobs before the old ones were finished. I was told to never accept a second job before the first one was done. “You asked me to do this, so let me finish it first”. Don’t hurry, do it at your own pace.

Finally, put your answerphone on, and leave it on.

Thanks for your reply. I’ve just applied for more counselling and chatted with a doctor, this morning. I’m already on a low dose of antidepressants so she’s suggested just double the the dose.
Mother does have a cleaner and the next door neighbour shares a dog with her.
She basically needs shopping done, meals set up in microwaveable portions. The neighbour will drive her to appointments if he can but I’ve had to fight for this less involvement. She does still go to church most sundays but that’s largely it. She generally just watches tv, reads a lot and eats whispers and magnums. She does occasionally go around the block with her stroller if the weather is ok and I’ve moaned at her. The bullying starts if I refuse to do something or I want to do something she doesn’t like, like me going off for a weekend. A regular réponse now is that she’ll be dead in a year! She’s fine mentally but has got deafer. I just find it depressing and I hate going down everyday. It’s the guilt I feel that gets to me. We were just never very close and over the years has said some pretty nasty things. Put it this way, now I’m needed, she expects and I resent it! My dad ran after all the time and I stupidly made the same mistake when I moved in!

Hi @Deborah_2111
I’m sorry to read that having left a bullying and controlling relationship, you have found yourself in a similar situation with your Mother.

Of course I know nothing about your circumstances other than what you have written here, and I also don’t know how big a part ‘guilt’ plays in all of it… But, what I would say (and you can ignore this if you don’t feel it’s welcome), that you do have a choice here.

Your Mother might think she needs (and expects) your help and support, but you are not obliged to give it if you don’t want to. It sounds as though your mental health is suffering, given that you are persuing counselling and are on anti-depressants. This situation is causing you additional stress which you could well do without.

Your Mother might be eligible for support from older people’s services, so you could maybe look into that and see what is available. You will need to arrange for her to have local authority assessment of her needs. If she pushes back against this, tell her (if you feel able to) that she either accepts outside help or she manages on her own, as you don’t feel able to be at her beck and call.

Have a go at putting your needs first.

Good luck!

You need to control the phone and what you do.
Maybe visit alternate days?
I know she won’t like it, but really she doesn’t like it if you do anything for yourself, so you might just as well go anyhow!
Just keep walking away when she is nasty. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

Hi Deborah

Welcome to the Forum, I hope you are finding it interesting so far.

Just wanted to highlight that we are currently running Forum Focus, an opportunity for Forum users to hear more about Carers UK’s work.

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