Gransnet forums

AIBU

Guilt over my Mum

(59 Posts)
dortie145 Fri 07-Feb-20 08:57:42

I moved in with my Mum 88 through necessity 18 months ago. I had no money, no job and a dodgy car, and she has helped me enormously financially and can afford to do so. I am 64, she does not need care, and still drives. We do not get on however and the screaming rows and drama reminiscent of my childhood are getting me down. We both drink too much, probably because we are unhappy. I am moving out to a bed sit at my age! I dont have to go but for my sanity and to keep remnants of our relationship going I feel it's the only solution. She is ok with it but I feel guilt at being so dysfunctional! I see other people doing everything for their Mums but despite her age she doesn't need me really

Hetty58 Fri 07-Feb-20 09:32:49

dortie145, yes, some (not all) people do everything for their mum. Some of us just aren't cut out for it - or don't have the sort of relationships with our mums that would make it possible.

You need your own space and that's quite understandable. Perhaps she does too. Screaming rows and drinking too much doesn't sound healthy - so leave with a clear conscience!

Hetty58 Fri 07-Feb-20 09:40:52

And - have you noticed that our mums are experts at making us feel guilty - whatever we do!

Susan56 Fri 07-Feb-20 10:03:46

Don’t feel guilty.I am the main person when it comes to helping my mum but we could never live under the same roof.I hope that when you move out you and your mum can have some better times together💐
Hetty,I totally agree with both your posts.

Katyj Fri 07-Feb-20 10:13:35

I understand completely, if you stay things will only become unbearable. I love my mum to bits, but could not live with her, and can only tolerate visiting twice a week, age changes them as it does us, it’s just the way it is. Move out, without guilt, it’ll be better for you both. Good luck .

Nansnet Fri 07-Feb-20 10:23:40

dortie145, you have no need to feel guilty. You are, in fact, very lucky to have an elderly parent who is still well enough to take care of herself. There may come a time when she does need more help, and that will be the time to do whatever you're able to do for her.

I've spent several months at a time staying in my parent's home, when my mother was ill, before she passed away. And then again with my father due to illness/operations/recovery. Quite honestly, as much as I love him, I could never, ever, live with him permanently. We would drive each other insane!

As Hetty 58 said, you need your own space, and I'm sure your mother does too. We all get set in our ways as we get older, and we have our own routines, which are disrupted when you have someone else living under your roof. Much better to live separately, and be able to offer help when required.

I'm sorry for your circumstances, that it was necessary for you to move back in with your mother, and hope that things will improve for you. Thank your mother for all the help and support she has given you, but tell her you feel it's time that you moved out, so you can both have your own space again. Hopefully, your relationship with each other will then improve.

Greymar Fri 07-Feb-20 10:27:09

We have kids having kids and now we have olds having older. It's very difficult.

Acer Fri 07-Feb-20 10:49:58

You know in my experience mums tend to bring their offspring up in a way they would be expected to be treated. What was your Mother’s relationship with her parents like ?

Septimia Fri 07-Feb-20 11:05:36

I had my parents next door and then in another part of the same house.

I was fortunate that we all got on well most of the time.

But there were times, especially after my dad died and my mum was on her own, when I could have screamed.

Girls are often too much like their mums, I think, and so they tend to clash. Nothing to feel guilty about. I hope a bit of space will help you both.

Notthatoldyet9 Fri 07-Feb-20 11:05:41

Surely if you are dysfunctional it is just as well she is independant
In here 80's she has sorted her life
Its up to you to sort yours
Can not accept you drinking and shouting at your age at your elderly mother

icanhandthemback Fri 07-Feb-20 11:10:43

dortie145, I moved back in with my Mum after her husband died and it was the most difficult time of my life. Things I had managed to bury from my childhood re-emerged and I had to move out for my own sanity. My Mum didn't want me to go, she finds dysfunctional relationships addictive, but I was determined. It was the best thing I ever did. Now her health is deteriorating I know that having her live with me would be catastrophic for our relationship and absolutely wrong for my mental health.
It sounds like you are in that place and it will be a relief for you if you can get rid of the guilt which you really don't need to have. You can choose your friends but not your family but at the same time you can love your family despite their faults. It can be complicated and messy but that's life. Be glad you don't need to give your Mum care. It strikes me that the more independent the person is, the more they won't accept care which puts them in danger. That is a very difficult situation which leaves you feeling helpless.
You only live one, enjoy your life and, if the drinking is a problem, seek help. flowers

Worthingpatchworker Fri 07-Feb-20 11:12:44

I don’t get on with my mum. She has never been a loving, touchy feely mum. I send her three cards a year, Mothering Sunday, Christmas and her birthday.
I visited her a few weekends ago and left feeling disgruntled. She is the basis for the Harry Potter....dementors.
So......I also do envy those who have fabulous relationships with their mothers....lucky them.
That does not mean we are any less worthy. It is just how life is.

Barmeyoldbat Fri 07-Feb-20 11:15:14

Do not feel guilt about your mum in any way. Its great that she doesn't help, yet. I could never have lived with my mum, I even found it hard to go and stay for a weekend, often ending up walking out at 9.a.m in the morning!! My own children my son lived with me for 6 weeks during a very hard time he was going through, it worked but only just.

You need your own space and a chance to get your life back in some sort of order. There is always someone who is worse off than you so don't knock our self. Cut down on the drinking and get out and enjoy life. Have confidence in yourself and thank your mum for helping you.

Jaye53 Fri 07-Feb-20 11:19:23

Drinking and shouting !! sounds horrendous.

LJP1 Fri 07-Feb-20 11:27:54

I can only imagine it will suit both of you better and smooth your paths to the future.

Good luck! flowers

trisher Fri 07-Feb-20 11:34:03

Has it occurred to you that your mum may very well be feeling "Thank goodness she's going"? Loved my mum to bits and in her later years she was near enough for me to visit regularly and especially when she wasn't well. I think we both appreciated having our own space. Be there if she needs you but she is her own person and deserves to be allowed her space. I'm sure if one of you needs the other you will both come through. You don't need to live together to show you care.

cupaffull Fri 07-Feb-20 11:47:42

dortie145 says "I moved in with my Mum 88 through necessity 18 months ago, she has helped me enormously financially and can afford to do so."
You sound resentful that she's still healthy and doesn't really need you.
You need to seriously look at yourself. Stop drinking, stop shouting at her and consider that she shortly may not be with you. Have you considered every morning she arises she may be in pain both physically and mentally?
If I were in her position I would be thinking you cant wait for me to die so you can have my home and assets.
Be grateful that she's been there for you and tell her so.
And go to AA, take responsibility for your life.

sodapop Fri 07-Feb-20 11:50:08

Don't feel guilty dortie145 this is not an unusual problem by any means. Daughters and mothers are so often alike that sparks are sure to fly. We may love our family but not always like them or how they behave. You will be better placed to help your Mum if you are not in the same house. Don't worry about the relationships other people have with their mothers just look at yours. If your drinking is a problem get some help with that. I hope things will be more peaceful for you in future.

Peardrop50 Fri 07-Feb-20 12:23:55

dortie145 you say 'she has helped me enormously financially and can afford to do so' this latter statement makes you sound ungrateful and entitled. She may be comfortably off because she has made sacrifices or made good decisions, this doesn't mean that she is obliged to bail you out. Show a little more gratitude, move out and give her back her peace and quiet. Sort out your life and make some good decisions for yourself then look to your Mum as an equal.

Chardy Fri 07-Feb-20 12:35:48

Dortie - look after number 1. Do not feel guilty x

Summerfly Fri 07-Feb-20 12:47:44

Oh dear. Some very judgmental people on here. Dortiel has obviously come on here for support.
Dortiel, It’s a rotten situation to be in at 64. I sincerely hope you can get your life back on track and find some peace.
Sending hugs. 💐

Fiachna50 Fri 07-Feb-20 13:05:26

No point destroying yourself with guilt and you probably drink because you feel guilty. You may find that once you move into your own place that things between you will improve. Your Mum helped you when you needed help and you can still make a difference in a positive way to her life too. If you feel your drinking is problematic, then only you can do something about it. Your local GP surgery or library will have details of AA meetings. When your life gets better , both you and your Mum will have a better relationship. Guilt is wasteful emotion, but AA would help you deal with this or any other issues you feel you have. Good luck with whatever you do. By the way , a bedsit is nothing to be ashamed off. I lived in one and you can still make it feel like home.

Tillybelle Fri 07-Feb-20 13:06:35

dortie145. Oh bless you! You have been through a lot! You must not reproach yourself for the inflammatory relationship between you and your DM. It's far from uncommon. Mums and daughters often clash - just read here and you'll see! You need to live apart, for both or your sakes.

The way you clash is partly because you simply are not compatible and your natures irritate each other, and partly a learned thing because it was ever thus. I could not possibly have lived with my mother, even before her dementia. She drove me insane and was so unfair!! (I nearly started to say why, here, and go on about how she upset me!!)

Please do not feel guilty about doing the right thing for both of you.

As for living in a bedsit at your age, I do understand how it must seem a bit like becoming a student again, but I assure you, I met many women when I was counselling who would have jumped at the chance to live in a little single room to get away from the constant rows that they encountered at the house (I can't call it "home") where they lived! I would like to live somewhere simple now I am old and disabled. I have a responsibility though in that I must put the needs of my rescued dogs first. Having taken them on I will never do anything to unsettle them and I am so lucky to have them.

In the interim while you are waiting to move, just do not feed any of these rows. Don't answer back, don't explain your side. Simply keep a neutral voice and say neutral words such as "I understand that is what you think". Or even "Yes, I know, you always tell me that." But don't start answering in terms of putting her right on the matter in hand as this just feeds her with the next bit of her argument. If you can, then quietly withdraw to anther room. Keep discussion regarding your leaving to a simple level. Give only one reason - that you are ready to live in your own place now.

Dear dortie145, just look forward to the peace you can enjoy in your blessed space of your own. You can still visit your mother. It will be better for you both. Keep your reason for moving out clear and simple and say it with a positive and calm voice, something like, "It's time I found my own place but I'll visit you, mum. I appreciate what you've done for me when I needed somewhere to live. I'm ready for my own place now, but I'll see you often. Thanks for helping me out." Keep it positive and repeat the same message every time you talk about it. Don't say you are leaving because of the rows. Just say you need your own place, like any adult, and you appreciate that she helped you out in your time of need. Make it sound very normal that you are ready to find your own place now but will be visiting her as often as possible. If she turns the discussion to a negative base just repeat in a positive voice (with a smile if poss) "I'm ready for my own place now. But I'll come and see you." And repeat the same in the same friendly neutral and not angry way. She may be so used to having a row that she kind of misses it if she doesn't have one! If it gets too difficult, just leave the room, with a smile say, "I just need the loo.."

Good luck in finding a lovely place in a beautiful area. With lots of love, Elle x. 🌈 ☕️💐

Tillybelle Fri 07-Feb-20 13:14:05

Worthingpatchworker. I undestand ❤️ love and hugs from me as your mum wasn't there to do it.

ananimous Fri 07-Feb-20 13:18:23

@dortie145
You deserve to live in a calm, safe, and happy environment.
Guilt free.
So does your mum.

You will be doing the best for both of you if you do move out. It is ok to sort yourself out.
Settle yourself somewhere and make it cosy.

Things may improve slightly after leaving, but with professional help you could actually enjoy each others company, and stop drinking it will muddy your mind and add problems where there are none, feel those feels and work on your anger (for yourself more than anyone else)...

Pop into your doctors and explain your situation - you will get the support you truly deserve - no need to feel guilty because if you do not get along with each other it is better to manage contact.