Lose, Lose Situation...Ongoing Resentment

by Lulu

My lose, lose, situation: I am 44-years-old; an only and adopted child; happily married with no children...However, my 82-year-old adoptive mother lives with us.

She is an exceptionally spoiled, ungrateful, self absorbed user, who cares only about yourself and her own needs. She has been living with us for three years (since my father's passing) and I hate and resent every single minute of it. It drains me of every fiber of my being. I am mentally and physically exhausted. I had a heart attack two years ago at age 42. She does not care …only that I live long enough to continue catering to her every need including mundane, every day tasks of which she is perfectly capable of doing herself. She is not handicapped; mentally ill; disabled or impaired in anyway. She has survived cancer and I took care of her at every step with unwavering support (including driving her around because she NEVER drove; serving as her health advocate; paying for her mortgage since she screwed up the finances; buying whatever extra things she "needed" including vacations, furniture, appliances, home repairs, etc.)

Since I was raised exclusively with the "guilt method" of parenting...I was brainwashed and always made to feel like I owed my life and everything in it to my parents because they adopted me and I should be eternally grateful no matter how I was treated, how I felt, how other family members put me down for whatever they conceived as not being ENOUGH for poor, sweet, mother. No matter what I do and have done will never be enough. My mother's sister agrees whole heartedly that I can never do enough for my mother and has always hated me which is clearly shown by her actions.

Most of what I do now is out of obligation and lingering guilt. I wish it were different and that I did not feel this way. But the fact is that I actually hate my mother. She never speaks about or describes me in any positive way to her family and NEVER has... I am portrayed as the ungrateful, mean adopted child. She puts on a "show" for her family so they think how stoic and wonderful she is for dealing with such a horrible person like me. I don't deserve it and resent every single minute of her living in my home.

Eleven years ago, I took out a loan, purchased my childhood home, paid off 40k in debt for my parents and assumed it myself, AND put 30K in cash in my parent's checking out so they could live. If I didn't step up, they would have lost the house...plain and simple. From then on, they lived mortgage free. Before that, they could not afford to pay for food shopping, utilities, insurance, repairs, basics. In 2009
(the year I had a heart attack), my husband and I took out a home equity line on our own home to use for repairs and to make my parents house sale able and sold it in 2010. I personally did almost all of the cleaning, emptying, organizing, and simple repairs. Meanwhile the queen, went out for lunches and shopping with her friends, never lifting a finger or accepting any responsibilities for her belongings. Still I am the asshole in the eyes of her and her family. How dare I have the audacity to complain?! How dare I after all my mother has been through and done for me.

I realize that I have enabled this situation for a lifetime. I am not stupid or in denial. I feel stuck in a lose, lose situation. Because if I kick her out of my home despite all of the crap - I will still feel guilt ridden. My shrink says the guilt will eventually go away but I am not convinced. If I point out anything to my mother, her reaction is to cry and deny. That is what she does. Then I feel bad. Given I know she is socially inept and not smart. It is a lifetime of manipulation that has brainwashed me into feeling like shit regardless of what I do. She plays the feeble old lady act (cries and denies) when faced with ANY responsibility.

I am no longer on speaking terms with my mother's sister and her 4 children. I have had nasty words with some of them. They have never raised a hand to support me and all they have done is criticize and tell me to do more. It’s NEVER enough. They are users and takers. My mother has zero to very little money to use for rent and nothing for assisted living of which she does NOT need. My husband and I will not drain our retirement accounts. She would only complain; starve herself; not participate or even try to make any friends; and play the victim once again. We cannot afford it anyway.

My mother does not want to live with her sister or other family because she would have to be "on" acting all of the time and that is way to much work...she cannot maintain that facade 24/7. She is a completely different person around her family. She actually is where she wants to be. ..Doing absolutely nothing and living off me. Doing anything else would force her to be responsible. Something she has never been willing to do. Her old friends live an hour away and are up in age so they don’t drive much. There are nice people that live nearby - but she wants nothing to do with them. I’m very stressed, angry, and mildly depressed.

Thanks for reading.

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I feel your pain
by: Caretaker Son

Your story sounds so familiar. Your mom could be my mom so I hear and understand you. The key is for you to remember 2 things.

One…you will never change her and I suspect you are pouring your heart and soul into the relationship believing that if you work harder, she and her family will change.

Secondly, Once you accept that you can't change her, let it go and live your life. As long as you have the responsibility, ensure she has the care she needs but don't baby and pet her or allow yourself to be the doormat.

When my mom pours on the guilt, I've learned to say no. She certainly gets unhappy but I've learned she will be unhappy no matter what.

Learn to walk away and go do something for yourself before the anger takes hold and then controls you. Take a walk. See a movie. Take a vacation and remember, no is a good word.

Bless you for caring for this woman but do not let her eat your life. Smile and tell her no and then walk away. It's VERY hard…I really know! Good luck.

So Sorry!
by: Anonymous

Why are you letting this situation continue? You do not owe this woman anything, even if she had given birth to you, her treatment of you is appalling.
She adopted you because she wanted a child, for whatever reason..... but you have already paid your dues a hundred times over.

Find her some supported accommodation, tell her that this is how it is going to be, help her move, then withdraw. You are not selfish or ungrateful, you are entitled to a life with the people who really love you...... you owe them something!

Talk to Suze Orman
by: Anonymous

You have already done enough for this person. The fact that you chose not to have children of your own speaks volumes. You are very young. What happened to the house you and your husband paid for? It's almost like you wanted to buy them off, pay for them to get out of your life if you could just set them up in the nice house and pay off their bills, then you could have done enough to get rid of them.

Believe me, nothing will ever be enough. Ever! You aren't a part of her family, so what do you care what those sponges think of you? They have no regard for you. Parents can disown their children. Can you disinherit this woman? Call a lawyer. Ask your shrink. Take a deep breath and tell yourself, would you want someone you loved to be living the way you do? In a state of anger, resentment and stress? Love yourself and your husband. Life's too short to suffer any longer.

There are plenty of subsidized apartments for people like that woman who have frittered away all their money foolishly thinking they could sponge off other people who they make feel guilty. Don't fall for it. Call Suze Orman and ask her advice.

Time for You to Care for You
by: Christine

You're not mildly depressed, you're situation-ally depressed, and it's only going to take it's toll on you both emotionally and physically. You know what they say about depression - that it's anger turned inward.

It sounds like you have enabled this behavior for a long time, but it's never to late to change. Don't let her call all the shots; it's your home.
I understand the "feeble old lady" thing - my mother has survived a heart attack and two strokes that left her severely disabled - but one thing never changes. She has always cried and denied in the face of anything difficult and it still continues. She also has never been able to make a decision on anything, but is quick to tell me if what I decide is not to her liking.

By the way, I'm also an only child with no children. I wasn't adopted, but I was neglected so Mom could wait on her husband hand and foot.
It's a different mentality from what you and I feel, and I'm sure that's part of the problem, but that doesn't make things easier.

Please take care of yourself; you and your husband deserve many great years together when your mom is gone. Don't go making yourself sick and unable to enjoy them.

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