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Mother issues - feeling confused

Community Member

I will try and condense this as much as possible! Raised by divorced parents, used as a pawn, emotionally neglected and a ton of other stuff! Bottom line, my now elderly mum (80years) has lots of health issues along with a lifetime of her own mental demons due to her own childhood. I love her dearly and recognise she did the best she could as a mother and I know she loves me and my sister very much. She is now very infirm and checked out of the aged care home and into independent living. She leans of me a lot and due to my own mental health, I find it very stressful. When she went into aged care, she gifted me her car and even though I offered to pay for it she insisted I have it in payment for all I do for her. Last week I rang her to tell her I was trading it in on a brand new car, thinking she would be excited for me but she was very angry and told me to stop the trade in and she will have her car back now. I was floored at her attitude and did as she wanted. I've since dropped her car off to her (didn't see her by choice) and wrote her a letter saying I love her dearly but need a break from her as I am fragile mentally due to all the stress. I was kind in the letter and told her I would be in touch when I felt stronger. She left a voice mail on my phone saying how very sorry she is and that she loves me very much and doesn't want to lose me. My sister is concerned this has tipped her over the edge and now I am absolutely confused about what to do. If I don't take this break I will slip back into a depression, as it is my anxiety is over the top but if I stay away, mum will suffer so much, seeing my break as rejection. I would very much appreciate anyones outside view on this as I am in turmoil and that is of course making my mental state worse :-(.

FYI: I am Bipolar 2, PTSD, and GAD.

2 Replies 2

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Coddi (I hope yo don't mind the abbreviation),

I'm really pleased you came to the forum it's a great place to chat and work through things. There are many people with lots of experience to help out too. Just in case you haven't noticed there is also the chatline 1300 22 4636 available 24/7. So you are really not alone!

You really do have a lot on your plate! I seems to me that that you have tried very hard to do the right thing by your mum. It seems from what you have said that your mum is in a reasonable place and also has your sister for backup. Why not let your sister take the reigns for a while? Families are wonderful but also not wonderful, is it a pattern in your family or buy your mum to use guilt as a way getting your own way by chance?

You did the right thing asking for space. You have a lot to manage with your own health concerns. If you don't look after yourself who will? You are very important, please take time to pay attention to your needs right now. If you're not well how can you possibly look after any one else's needs? Do you have anyone around you can lean have coffee or see a movie with etc? You need support right now and I congratulate you on reaching out and acknowledging your own needs and limits. Sometimes the best we can do is look after ourselves and take steps towards the bigger picture.

You can do this every baby step helps. Do take very good care of yourself, we are here to chat. Lets us know how you are going.

Warm thoughts,.

Community Member

Hi Coddi Perhaps your mother is confused and thinks you selling her car means the contact between you is finished. At 80, people become extremely pedantic and find any change difficult to accept. Do you actually own the car, or has your mum still got her name on it? If the car is yours, I would perhaps discuss it with your sister, see if she can explain to mum why you want to sell. I question whether your mum still has her driving license. Are you seeing a counselor or Dr for your own issues with bipolar 2, PTSD etc. Perhaps now would be a good time to discuss this with your Dr as well. I don't think selling the car is the issue, I think perhaps the car could be your mum's last avenue of independence. She possibly believes that as long as the car remains in the family, she still has the option of driving it. Distancing yourself for your own peace of mind is a good idea. I would perhaps email her and tell her you love her and will see her when you're feeling better. Maybe tell her you are not feeling well at the moment and need some time to recuperate.