Who Are These People???

As I read through these entries, I see a common thread. All the parents seem really selfish in their requests and all the children seem to bend over backwards to give them everything they want.

When did this change?

As I was growing up, my mom always told me how spoiled I was and she was angry about it. I hadn't any defense. I would say, Well, Mom, you gave me everything, I don't know any different.

My mom grew up with nothing. Her family was poor. Her parents died when she was 12, she was raised in a convent, had to leave at 18 and started working. She joined the Navy in WWII, became a nurse, started a family. She was the original Super Mom doing it all until retirement at 65 years of age.

I grew up with everything. We were the Summer of Love generation. Live for today, don't worry about tomorrow. Have fun while you're young. I got a part-time job when I was sent to college, and they helped with expenses.

I never got married and had a whole lot of freedom moving from place to place and experiencing all kinds of living. My parents helped me throughout all of it.

But now it seems my mom could care less about my life. She doesn't even acknowledge the fact that, before I came to live with her, I actually had one. She is adamant about what she wants and by golly, she is going to get it. She doesn't want to leave her home, she doesn't want strangers in the house, she doesn't want any of her lifestyle to change whatsoever. And she seems to have an expectation that I owe her. Do I?

And what happened to us? We supposedly were the selfish children, who were handed everything by their hard-working parents. Is that where our guilt comes from? Because we all seem to think we owe our parents our lives. Is this payback time?

I know this scenario doesn't fit everyone here, but it does seem that many of us feel guilty if we don't do everything they demand of us. My mom has a very manipulative way of saying things that plants that seed that somehow I'm failing her in something because every little need is not being met! I'm one person, and I can't do everything.

There's just not enough hours in the day to live two complete lives fully. And she seems to have a hard time compromising hers at all.

I would love some insight and perspective on this. Maybe there is something here I'm missing, like I'm in too deep and can't see the forest-for-the-trees. Any psychoanalysts out there???

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Hi Who are These People
by: Wendy

Wow your mother's life seems to have followed a very similar path to mine. My mum was orphaned at 12 went into the ATS. Spent her life looking after others, having no sense of self, and now she wishes to take mine.

I have done a lot of reading on this and the advice is to set boundaries with her, which is not easy when she has no-one else.

I can empathize with your frustration and anxiety the role reversal is not easy.

I can only say that I think as you get older your brain must revert back to that of a teenager and maybe it's not their fault.

Best wishes to you.


Brilliant Assessment
by: Anonymous Agrees

You know, the more I think about it, I think you are really hitting it on the head. I definitely get told and see that same behavior and it is if I hear Mom thinking:

we worked hard, you are lazy because you feel the need to be in touch with yourself, you are aware of your own self and needs, how dare you! How selfish! You don't have a right to your own life. Boundaries? How dare you? Do as I say, no matter what.

Your generation were all no gooders or dreamers. You're worthless, WE are heroes. Any part of your life that isn't about Mother is not worth thinking about, talking about or honoring. Be our slave, you old Hippie, and be quick about it!

Oh yeah. I feel so loved. ugh.

Need your questions for tv show
by: Questions for a Caregiver TV show with pyschotherapist

I am going to meet with a psychotherapist and put together a TV access show on how to help us caregivers with these emotional issues.

Formulating exactly questions in a general way might be the way to approach this. Sounds contradictory I know. Anyways, I am reading all the entries and trying to understand our tormenting concerns. When the show is ready I will let you all know how to view it on Vimeo.

Please send the questions here so we all can read them and refine them. Thanks!!

Your fellow baby boomer tormented and pushed around caregiver!

Exactly What I am Experiencing
by: Anonymous Agrees

Thank you for that last entry about baby boomer-elder guilt trips! Wow, it was like I wrote that myself except that our parents were Holocaust survivors (refugees who tried to save their families and couldn't) and also our family was totally dysfunctional with plenty of physical abuse and emotional abuse and a huge helping of denial.

And yes, when Mom came here she totally expected me to somehow materialize into who she wanted and whoever I had been for years either offended her (the reality that I have a right to exist outside of her control!) or she would ignore that I had a life. I am so sick of her bull!!!!

I just got home from going food shopping with her: all day, and we were having a nice lunch when Mom started her ranting monologue, which I think is all based on her own guilt but projected and twisted into some awful picture of who I am. Emotional blackmail too, at its best.

Instead of engaging with her into this attack, I said, "I cannot discuss this with you. This is not a 2 way street. I will not discuss this. If you have issues, see a counselor. If I have issues, I will take care of it and see a counselor. I am going to listen." I let her rant on her insanity speech that I almost have memorized now.

Gosh, she knows something is wrong but doesn't want to face anything, or take responsibility for any of her life or her actions as a bad mother, bad wife, and narcissistic and damaged person. What she seeks is my validation to make her look like an angel so she will never deal with the truth of her life: which was she damaged a lot of people!

I tried to change the subject and she kept on needling me. I don't know what reaction she thought she'd get but I kept stone faced and silent. It was horrible. Damned if I do (try to have a discussion on anything about our relationship, and damned if I don't).

ugh. So glad we don't live under one roof! But I feel like I could have a nervous breakdown. Thank God I go to a meditation group tomorrow and there I am 100% restored to my real wholesome self.

I too am wondering: why am I here for her?

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