Feeling extremely overwhelmed and stressed with my situation and thought this could help in some way, thanks in advance for reading.
I am 26 years old and live at home with my mum who is 58 years old.
She has become more and more reliant on me to the point now where I’m suffocating.
She was adopted, has never had a long term relationship that has worked out, recently lost her job of 20 years which was all she had and both my grandparents (her parents) have passed away.
She has depression and anxiety all she does is sit in the house when she isn’t at work (she hates her job), she doesn’t go out anywhere, she doesn’t really have any friends and she’s constantly down. I support her financially and I also look after all the household bills and letters she has etc as she doesn’t understand majority of it. She’s never used a computer or the internet, she does drive but is a very nervous driver so won’t drive far. The friends she does have she makes no effort with so they have decreased over the years.
She attempted suicide when I was 12 and I am terrified of that happening again, I try all I can to make her happy but it just doesn’t work, and my life is on hold as I feel guilty for going out and leaving her and going on holidays etc.
She’s been to the doctors and they just give her medication. We have no other family to help me, I’m an only child and she has a sister but we don’t really see her as they’ve never got on very well.
I’m at breaking point with the pressure and if I speak to her about it she just says ‘I’m just a burden’ ‘you’d be better off without me’ ‘just move out and leave me’
I just don’t know what to do or who to turn to at this point? Does anybody have any advice?
You cannot live like this. Your roles sound reversed!
I’m especially concerned that you are subsidising mum financially - or are you just paying “housekeeping”. My son gives me £120 a week. How does that compare with you?
Give up any idea of making mum “happy”. I tried this for over 30 years and it never worked. The more I did, the more she wanted.
Don’t be blackmailed into staying. If you want a life of your own, she is never going to agree willingly. You must make a stand, if she doesn’t like you going out, that’s tough - for her, not you. Does she always have a bitch when you get home, never happy for you because you’ve had a nice time?
I feel for you because you shouldn’t be in this position. My immediate feeling, and please understand that I have no wish to cause offence, is that you have been ‘groomed’ from an early age to ‘take care’ of your mother.
The ‘leave me’ comments are just her way of putting pressure on you to stay and look after her. To make you feel guilty, scared or responsible. To get the reaction ‘of course I won’t leave you’. Now that mightn’t be calculated or deliberate on her part, but that’s the result she gets, so it works! What would happen if you said, ‘OK I will leave’?
Has Mum any mental health support? I’m not the person able to suggest who to contact but hopefully someone here will know.
You are a young woman with life, love, fun and adventure waiting for you. It’s not too late, but you have to choose your own future. Do you want to be Mum’s companion/carer for the next 30 or 40 years? If Mum attempted suicide all those years ago, do you know how serious an attempt it was? You were only a child and it must have had a profound effect on you but whatever your Mum’s problems were at the time and whatever her reasons, it was not your fault and you shouldn’t be making amends. Mum has made her own choices, one of which is to make you think she can’t manage without you. I suspect that isn’t completely true. If she can drive then she probably do a lot more things she may be pretending she can’t. She just doesn’t want to make the effort perhaps?
Perhaps counselling would help you. I haven’t been down that road myself but members here say it has helped them considerably , especially understanding how to manage unreasonable demands from parents. Also it might help you understand that the fear of Mum killing herself is all tied up with the dread of re-visiting the horrible time you had when you were 12. (That’s just my common sense opinion. I have no training, experience or knowledge.)
I do wish you well.
“Reverse parenting” or “parentification” is when the normal parent-child roles are reversed. The parent looks to the child for nurture, protection and affirmation, and the child, either consciously or unconsciously, sacrifices his or her needs to provide for the needs of the parent.
Outcomes of Parentification
These children are more likely to report internalizing problems such as depressive symptoms and anxiety, as well as somatic symptoms like headaches and stomachaches (Earley & Cushway, 2002; Mechling, 2011).
Thank you all for your replies, I know deep down I need to step back and look after myself, just so difficult when I’m all she has.
I currently pay her 85 a week and I pay for all the food. She only works 16 hours a week so needs that from me. She will be getting some inheritance money soon so the financial side of things will be much easier.
I think some counselling could help me, I’ll look into that. She speaks to her go every few months and she’s on anxiety and depression medication but I don’t think it makes much difference. She tried CBT but just wouldn’t commit to it.
She never asks me if I’ve had a good time or tells me to have a good time. If me and my bf go out we just about get a bye out of her. She’s jealous because she never gets out, but I can’t do that for her.
I do all of the cooking aswell and if I’m not there she doesn’t eat properly, which again worries me.
She can cook very basic stuff like toast and soup. But most of the time she has no motivation to cook for herself, so doesnt if I’m not there.
I’m thinking more and more that I’m making it worse by doing everything for her, just seems easier at the time to avoid her moaning