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Offloading mother

(5 Posts)
ciele Sun 08-Nov-15 15:42:17

She is in a nursing home but not that old and there because of physical disability. So far so sad.
And I am unable to look after her due to my own physical health problems.
But she suffers from some mental health issues which for most of her life have been controllable...just about...by yours truly.
I am only child and she is widowed.
She offloads all her angst onto me and despite my taking beta blockers she makes me very anxious.
I know I am in control of my own reactions but I hate the way she makes me react.
She has never really been happy and never will be. It's about once a week this happens. AIBU to feel so guilty?
I think she has narcissism for certain.

hefzi Sun 08-Nov-15 16:35:02

Of course you're not: you feel guilty because you feel you ought still to be able to look after her, and you can't -it's entirely natural, but I definitely feel for you.

Have you tried counselling or CBT? You are totally right that you can't change her but you can change your reactions, though that's easier said than done without help, I think. It's no good that she's making you feel even more ill, so I definitely think it's worth pursuing, as your guilt and anxiety will only ramp up further and further. You poor old thing - hang in there.

amarmai Sun 08-Nov-15 16:45:04

if you feel you must 'listen' to her offload once a week, can you put the phone on speaker and get on with your own stuff- and chime in with a suitable response when she pauses? You must have it by heart by now and be able to come up with something that fits when you have to. My idea is not to get emotionally involved , as that happens very easily with a phone at your ear . Speaker phone gives a bit of distance and you can get up and get a cup of tea etc. She is very lucky to have you but you have to take care of yourself first,op.

ciele Sun 08-Nov-15 18:27:34

Thank you for the advice. I like the speaker phone idea! It's true you feel very involved when she's in your earsmile
Feel much better now I have calmed down with wine and chocolate cake.
As you can tell I'm good at minimising and tbh she has settled surprisingly well but this is a lifelong problem.
I am not a fan of therapy but have read and practise a good bit of CBT - just needed to vent And see what others thought.

reni2 Sun 08-Nov-15 19:26:22

I second the speaker idea. I made it a rule that a particular (otherwise super-lovely) offloading friend was the signal to get the ironing board out. She called weekly like clockwork and I'd start ironing making soothing noises. If there was a extra long whine or relationship drama no ironing left, I'd declutter.

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