Social Question

Heather13's avatar

Is there something I'm not understanding?

Asked by Heather13 (495points) January 30th, 2016

My mother told me tonight how disappointed she is in me and my younger sister. My younger sister moved out to spend more time volunteering while holding a steady job. I am still at home with a low paying job that is enough to contribute to the bills in the house and pay my own car insurance, and anything I need personally. I cook and clean when I can. I have not taken the opportunity to leave home because she seems to need me. She has worked extremely hard to take cars of me and me sister. Especially when she was a single mo . Our stepdad of 13 years pays most of the bill. My mom’s hands have numbness from time to time that makes work difficult. She has high anxiety from not being able to work as well as she wishes. She hoped that I would find a better job to support her more since she has worked so hard to take care of me and my sister in the past, and into our adulthood. (Some things were out of our control). Our stepdad is older than my mom. And he has done a lot for my sister and I. She reminds me of this constantly, although she keeps telling him how worthless he is when she is mad at him. She bought a new car that she could not afford. The payments is a large portion of her pay. My stepdad pays her insurance. And her money goes to her car payment, one small house utility bill, and to help her sister take care of my grandmother (her mother) who has cancer. But for as long as I know, my mom has never been content. And we are always a disaapointment. She told me over and over tonight. I am 32, and never felt comfortable being on my own, because I felt I need to be there for her. I contribute rent, pay electric bill, cook, clean. But she says I dont do anything to support the family. And that I live only for myself. And that I am selfish, and says she has never been selfish. Its like she doesnt hear us when we tell her how grateful we are.Says that she is always helping people, and no one else helps her. She keeps on comparing other people’s family life to ours. Any suggestion how I can remedy this situation and make her proud of me.

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29 Answers

somewomenarenicemaybe's avatar

She seems to take out her frustrations on everyone so I think you’re just gonna have to be self confident and love yourself. You might want to pursue living on your own though. Then what you do with your life is nobodys business.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Is she secretly hoping for grandchildren?

janbb's avatar

Your last sentence holds two contradictory ideas; “remedy this situation” and “make her proud of me.” You may love her, and i understand that, but it doesn’t sound like anything anyone does is ever enough for her. My therapist once called my mother ” a bottomless pit” and it sounds like your mother is. If I were you (and of course I’m not), I would seriously consider moving out on your own. She does have your stepfather – who sounds like a standup guy – to support her. You shouldn’t be under her thumb at 32. You will never make her happy – why not try for your own?

And by the way, it is a parent’s job to raise their kids, however hard it may be for them – it is not the kids’ job to then support them forever.

Cruiser's avatar

You are not understanding that your mother is a passive aggressive who no matter how hard you work or how much you do for her it will not be enough. If I were you I would focus my energies on doing what ever it takes to get out from under her unrealistic demands and expectations towards the goal of being independent and living your life on your own.

si3tech's avatar

It sounds to me like you will never be free of your obligation to your mother. Something to think about: It is not necessary to carry the boat on your back for the rest of your life SIMPLY because it carried you safely across the water.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Time to move out.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I think “I felI need to be there for her” is an excuse. The “I never felt comfortable being on my own” is more honest. At 32, it’s time to move out and live your own life. Pay your own bills (all of them), make your own decisions. Your mother has a partner. She’s looked after you for years. It’s time to fly her nest and make your own. Whether she’s proud of you isn’t something you can control. You can control whether you’re taking full responsibility for your life. It sounds like she wants you to grow up and move out.

marinelife's avatar

Your mother sounds perpetually unhappy in all of her relationships.

You’re 32. You can’t please her.

Stop trying. Stop looking to her for love and approval. Instead, look to yourself.

Get the book Toxic Parents. Read it. Put it into Practice.

Move out as soon as you can.

Heather13's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit

I dont think you listen very well.
I am the one wanting to leave and not having to deal with her temper. She gets mad at the idea of me wanting to be on my own. She is mad at my sister for leaving. And thinks we all should live in the house to pay her bills, cook her food, and clean as payback for how she worked two jobs to took care of us. She says her hands are not working as well anymore and that her husband is getting old. She doesnt like it when we are not home and she doesnt know whats going on in our lives. Its a control thing with her. She told me and my sister that we live for ourselves and that we think our money is ours. She has this guilt thing going. Are you nuts!!! I cant wait to get away from my mother. I leave the house early for work before she gets home for some privacy. I plan to move out.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

No, you didn’t say that. You didn’t say she got mad at your sister for leaving. Or that you have tried to leave and she has persuaded you to stay. You did say “she seems to need me” and “I am 32, and never felt comfortable being on my own, because I felt I need to be there for her.” That does not mean your mother wants you to be there. If that’s what you meant, perhaps you should have communicated it better. You also said you and your sister disappoint your mother and that she is critical of you.

At 32 you are old enough to be running your own life. Whether you like my advice or not, suggesting you’ve stayed because your mother “seems to need you” sounds like an excuse. If you have a low-paying job that won’t provide sufficient income for you to live alone, perhaps it’s time for you to fix that and leave your mother to deal with her own problems.

Judi's avatar

Do you have insurance? It seems to me you need to get some counseling to realize that your mother is toxic and you will never be able to make her happy. You need to find a way to be happy in yourself because the only person you can change is YOU! It will be difficult if not impossible to make the progress that you need to make while living in her house.
Are you in America?

Heather13's avatar

@Judi
I agree.
Yes I do.

Judi's avatar

I asked because it sounds like it could be a cultural thing. That adds other twists.
If you have insurance seek the help of a professional. This stuff can get complicated and there are people trained to help you unravel it.

jca's avatar

If you are such a disappointment to your mom, she’ll be happier if you leave. Save up and move out. Your relationship with her may be different, hopefully better, if you don’t live there and you see her on a visiting basis. If she “needs” you, she’ll need to get over it, as at 32 you are of an age where you need to fly the coop and make your own life.

When you have your own apartment, it’s such a liberating feeling.

Heather13's avatar

My mother has been this way from the time I was aware of her. Did she want me to move out at 10 years old. I know I didnt mention that. But its obvious something’s wrong. She treats everyone human the way she treats me, btw.

Heather13's avatar

@jca
I plan to. I was doing that two weeks ago after I gotin an argument with her. Then she told me she forgives me, and that she wants me to stay and pay her (cheap rent). I still plan to find my own place.

Heather13's avatar

My issue. Is more about my relationship with her,as to why she still deels unhappy with mysister and I. This has nithing to do with where I live.

jca's avatar

@Heather13: If she’s unhappy and miserable, you’re not the answer or the cure.

I’m saying move out for your own mental health. Hopefully it helps your relationship with her, but at the very least, it will be good for you. If it ends up doing nothing for your relationship, then so be it.

janbb's avatar

You will see things more clearly after you move out and start a life away from her. It really is essential for both you and her.

cazzie's avatar

You need to pull away. Parents don’t raise their kids so those kids can stay in the house and support them. They raise kids to move out and have fulfilling lives of their own. Your mother’s Codependency on you and your sister is not healthy. Her emotional abuse and guilt trips are not ok. I have an older sister exactly like this and I cut ties with her after my mother died. They play the great martyr but they are self delusional and won’t be content until those around them are as hard done by as she feels she is. Its crap.

si3tech's avatar

I think it is pointless to question “why” she has this behavior. There is no “explanation” for what is crazy-making/irrational behavior. Your potential new life/well-being depend on your making a new home/life away from her.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

And in addition to everything people have said above, while you obviously don’t want to hear it, you are dependent on your mother. You are using your belief that she needs you as an excuse to avoid living your own life fully. Codependency goes two ways. Once you start to really focus on developing a healthy, fulfilling life of your own, your mother’s behaviour and criticism will have less power to hurt you. The solution to your problem starts with you. You can’t change your mother. So where you live is central to finding your way out of this situation.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Heather13's avatar

@si3tech
You’re so right. And as much as she wants me to give her the money I make at my job, and get a better job to take care of her, I am making the decision to live my own life and put myself first for a change. Her claim is that she has always been taking care of everyone and its her turn to be take. Care of by us. She is not even in her mid 50’s. And she is acting as though she an old cripple who cant care for themselves. I’
ve always tried to be by myself, and she finds a way to encrouch on me and tell me how I love to isolate myself and that its selfish. But its hard to be around such a negative person. Her energy brings you down. I have been hunting for a suitable and affordable apt. Or condo. God’s speed.

Response moderated
Inspired_2write's avatar

Yes.
Understand that perhaps your mother is angry for her troubles and the mess that she is shlouldering.
She most likely wishes to be the one leaving!
She is at a breaking point and maybe after you and your sister leave she may then have the courage to leave as well.
Things are not HAPPY for her and that is obvious. She looks to you two for support, emotional or other.

Judi's avatar

Remember too, you owe her nothing. She made the choice to have children and take the responsibility of raising them. You had no choice of who you would be born to. It is not your obligation to support her. She will try to pull guilt trips but the truth is, when you have children you choose the expense and responsibility of raising them. They are not a social security investment for your old age.

Heather13's avatar

@Judi

Thank you. I need to keep reminding myself. I want to get away from her. She’s a controlling and money hungry person.

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