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Positive Wellbeing During Self-Isolation

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Trunk to manage isolation and a demanding Mother

Roukaya profile image

I wonder if any of you have had to deal with a difficult and demanding Mother

I have been trying to requalify in Wills and Probate but my Mother expects me to rescue her even though she is far away from me

I posted earlier but no reply and I spoke to the Samaritans

I realise that it is for us to be kind to ourselves first and even though I do my best for Mum it is never enough or appreciated

I wonder if anyone will reply

34 Replies

Hello Roukaya, I am so sorry to hear this.

I wish I could give you advice, but the only help I can offer is to tell you to trust yourself and remember that you are worthy of happiness and good mental health.

My mother and I are estranged because of her behavior (being demanding and unappreciative were actually some of her better qualities). I had to make the very difficult decision of parting ways with her in order to preserve my mental, emotional and physical health. I had consultations with my therapist and relatives who were all in agreement that it was the best thing for me to do.

It's hard to shake that feeling of obligation to one's own mother. But you also have an obligation to yourself. To your own well-being. Who is taking care of Roukaya?

Again, I wish I could be of more help to you in this difficult time. But all I can say is that you are strong and capable, and I know you will make the right decision ❤️

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to CJasmin

Good evening I hope you are safe and well

Thank you for being honest and open and I value your reply

I am my Mothers only child so I could not go no contact but I will learn and try not to let her overwhelm me

It must have been very hard for you to disengage from your Mother

I wonder as it takes courage and strength

The root of the issue is that she met a man several years ago and put him first

When he became abusive to her as he had come to target her for her properties I stood up to him

I realise he rang her today and insulted her

I am far away from her and very little I can do for an over demanding Mother

Never easy to take a stand emotionally for a Mother who could put a man ahead of her daughter

You have taken a gigantic step to distance yourself from your Mum

Can I ask if you feel happier doing this ?

CJasmin profile image
CJasmin in reply to Roukaya

With all honesty, yes, I feel much happier.

My mental health improved dramatically in a way that was unexpected: No more panic attacks. I had always thought that I was just a very nervous person naturally and I never had any confidence. It wasn't until I parted ways with my mother that I realized the full impact of her hurtful words and behaviors. I've been much better ever since.

My brother and father sometimes lament that they wish they could do the same, but maybe they have bigger hearts or a higher tolerance for pain because they continue to stay in her life. She is so very lucky to have them, but she does not appreciate them.

In therapy, I made a realization about my mother: She is her own person. She is an adult. She is capable of making her own decisions. We all have choices, including her, and she has made her choices. Because she makes her own decisions, I cannot be held responsible for her choices. She is responsible for her choices.

It is so hard to watch someone make bad choices that will negatively influence their lives, especially if you love that person. But you cannot be everywhere at once or solve everyone's problems for them. It is not your job. It is not your purpose. At some point, a person needs to take ownership of their life choices and not depend so heavily on others to eliminate issues.

You are very kind to give me so much credit. But I must return the compliment because I think that it takes much more strength and courage to stay. And here you are, caring about your mother's well-being, fretting over her, wishing you could do more. You are a treasure. I hope that one day, she realizes what a gem you are 💖

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to CJasmin

Very kind and lovely wordsHow I thank you for your understanding

I think you understand incredibly well my situation

I am an only daughter and I am unable to walk away

You are very right in the sense we are not responsible for some one else’s life

With me I witnessed my Mother abused by my Father and went overseas to make a successful life

I dealt with caring for an elderly and ill Father only to be dumped when she met this man

This man a charmer and con artist pretended to be her friend and I stood up to him

He is gone all but managing one of her properties

I will listen to Mum but realise when she had her choice she chose him

Now he is gone she is an elderly woman on her own

I cannot answer her back but I know she does not care whether I pass or fail it is always hey who comes first

I thank you for your kind reply

How long did it take you to create a life fulfilling away from your Mother ?

You speak great logic with maturity and wisdom

Thank you

CJasmin profile image
CJasmin in reply to Roukaya

Again you are too kind. I took me about 29 years and my diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis to realize that I need to cut ties with her (so I've been without her stress for about 4 years now; my health has improved and I have a much better outlook on life). Before I parted ways with her, I was so anxiety-stricken that it was impacting my ability to properly function as an adult. And then, with my MS diagnosis, I learned that stress can cause the disease to worsen, so I had to take action to preserve myself.

The reason it even took me that long, was because I was raised with the belief (as we all are) that you must love your parents unconditionally. I was told that I must stay loyal and obedient to them always. They are my parents, after all. They created me, brought me into this world... I owe it to them to be there when they need me.

Again, there is a sense of obligation for children (especially a single child, such as yourself) to love and care for their parents unconditionally. But we must remember that these ideas that have been taught to us are not written in stone. They have not been decreed by a higher power. You will not be breaking a law or burst into flames if you do not entertain your mother's every whim.

All you can do is your best. And it sounds like that is exactly what you are doing- You are doing your best. You are so wonderful to have cared for your father and to still be caring so much for your mother. I am so proud of you for standing up to that con-man. My heart breaks that you are underappreciated. But you seem to be very grounded and have a fantastic understanding of what you are/are not responsible for. Just stick to it. Follow your intuition. It will not disappoint you 💖

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to CJasmin

Good evening I hope you are well

I thank you for having the time to listen to me

I realise that my Mum is an elderly Narcissist parent

She thought she had met love and this was her entitlement and who was I to get in the way

When it did not work out then she turns to me

In my loneliness I would go and visit but no even a thank you

I had a course of counselling with a Psychotherapist which made me understand myself better

This is why I decided to remain on my own for Christmas and study for the resit otherwise my Christmas would be revolved how this man has treated her

It is always about her

I realise they may be our parents but sometimes not wanting us to succeed as this would ruin their power and control over us

Could I say they are even jealous that we have lives to lead

You had a real life changing moment with your illness and this crystallised your decision to walk away

Again for your own sanity

I truly understand

I will listen to my Mother but I can see she is always Take Take and Take

But there is such a thing as Karma

I remember how she hurt me whilst she was with him

Now she is insulted in the same way

In a way she is hurting because she hurt me

By talking to you I can see she is responsible for her choices that led to her preferring him to me

Thank you for making me realise she can be very destructive and whether I fail or pass means zero to her

Be kind to yourself and give the care and kindness to yourself which clearly has been missing by a parent who cared for themselves first

Thank you for listening

CJasmin profile image
CJasmin in reply to Roukaya

No need to thank me. It is oddly comforting to know that I am not the only one who struggled with mother issues. Sometimes all you need to do is vent or talk it out. I'm glad you found our conversation helpful 😊 It has been very cathartic for me as well.

And you are absolutely right about Karma. The universe has its checks and balances. If the people around you are acting negatively, they will receive negativity in their lives. On the other hand, you have done so much good- acted so selflessly- that good things will come to you. I just know it.

I hope that one day you are appreciated by the people you care for. And I hope that when you need it, people will give you the care and love that you have given to others... Karma 😉💖

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to CJasmin

Good morning I hope you are well

Thank you for your great understanding

I am slowly beginning to realise the more I listen at times to Mum the worse I feel

But I am unable to walk away but I can set limits

I realise she will always put herself first and as you rightly say she has to take ownership of her life both the positive and negative

I think due to loneliness I would do my best but never enough

There is more to life than just being her personal assistant

I realise the low self esteem and low confidence can be attributed to parents who only cared about their own welfare

I see this and I will learn to realise that we have to take responsibility for our own lives

It is wrong for Narcissistic parents to expect us to drop our lives and be at their beck and call

May be I am slowly learning to realise this

How are you

Are you spending Christmas alone or with others

I will be on my own ?

In life we make the best of our life and create opportunities to be happy

I think I would like to find a full filling life without being pulled back by my Mum

I can see this now

Thank you for you great understanding

CJasmin profile image
CJasmin in reply to Roukaya

A couple of the things you have said stand out to me:

"I am unable to walk away but I can set limits" - YES. Just as your mother has choices, so do you. You get to choose what you can and cannot help with. You get to choose how far you're willing to go and where you will draw the line.

"There is more to life than just being her personal assistant" - Absolutely! Just as her life is her own, your life is your own. It's never too late to discover your passions and your purpose. Limit your hours as a personal assistant to your mother and use your newly available time to " find a full filling life without being pulled back." Think about your goals. Focus on you.

See? You have great instincts. They are right here in your own words! You are smart and capable. Through your realizations and continued perseverance, you will improve your situation and carve out a better life for yourself 😊

I will be home with my animals and my roommate this Christmas. My roommate had wanted to see their family, but due to the pandemic, their plans were cancelled. We will be eating yummy foods and watching a marathon of Christmas movies! How about you? I know you will be on your own this Christmas. Are there any films or shows you can watch to put you in good spirits that day?

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to CJasmin

Good evening I hope you are safe and well

It takes enormous courage to walk away from a Mother

Thank you for your kind words and by talking to the amazing people on this site , I do not feel so lonely

I have a resit to for in Mid Jan and the psychotherapist has warned me not to allow my Mother trigger me

She really is a toddler who needs constant reassurance plus very inquisitive at 73

She has great charm and I confronted this morning saying that she bought the ex male friends land

I honestly believe he came to defraud her and as I was out of the way he would have ruined her

But I realise I have helped out more than most to my own neglect and detriment

I will be spending Christmas alone and I would be willing to go away for a few days if possible after Christmas

You have been very warm and caring and I appreciate your very kind words

I am fifty one and I often wonder where my life has gone but I will continue to try

I think I will engage the Psychotherapist in the weeks leading up to the exam in case Mum overwhelms me

I cannot walk away but I can try to protect myself

I think I have witnessed the pain and suffering she endured at the hands of my Father only for him to give everything to a younger women

I have also faced neglect in the sense I moved to with Dad but he wanted me out of the way as I had unsettled his life as he was separated from Mum

I can see that part of him was happy to be with her so to a certain extent my parents have not been the kindest or most supportive

I can see this now

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your friend

CJasmin profile image
CJasmin in reply to Roukaya

Yes, focus on your exam and reach out to your psychotherapist if you need to. This is a very sound plan 👍

Since you will have some peace and quiet on Christmas, you can spend it reflecting on your achievements and planning for your future. Dream big ❤️ Have a wonderful Christmas Roukaya

I'm also sorry to hear of your plight Roukaya, I can see this is not an easy situation for you. If you aren't able to do the No Contact thing for all the reasons you have outlined then perhaps have a read of this article....as it describes a technique for the next best thing.....healthline.com/health/grey-...

I hope you are able to find a way forward for yourself in changing the dynamic with your mother.

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to waitingame7

Good evening I hope you are well

How are you coping

As you recognise I cannot go no contact with Mum but I recognise she is an elderly and demanding little Mum

I think I am very hurt because years ago she put this msn first and now they are separated because I stood up to him because he was a gold digger

My Mother now I expects me to solve her worries as she is far away from me

I learn to realise what ever I do is never going to be enough

I realise she must learn to take responsibility for the choice of putting him first and this will make me realise that I have to put myself first

I am 51 no marriage no children when do I make a life

I am the daughter of two narcissistic parents and this is why I struggle to make my own life

I hope you are ok

Thank you for the article

It is useful and helpful

waitingame7 profile image
waitingame7 in reply to Roukaya

Well done for standing up to this man. If they are separated then do you still have anything to worry about? I appreciate that it must be horrible for you to hear that he's abusive to her....but that's about their relationship. Perhaps your mother knows a way to draw you in to all this....just my thoughts....if you can don't give her the opportunity to do this. Good luck, I understand how hard this is.

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to waitingame7

Good evening I thank you for being kind enough to reply

How are you

How are you managing in this current climate

Not easy for any of us

I expect you have great compassion and understanding and thank you

Mum is behaving like a child but sadly when she met this charmer and con man she would always insult me if I said a bad word against him

Now they are separated as I stood up to him he is seeking retaliation as he could not get what he wants

I must learn to try to realise that Mum always thinks of herself first and I must learn to realise every one has their limits

The more you give to a Narcissistic Mother is always take take take

But it is never enough

Thank you for your understanding

May be she should treat him as she treated me

She knows how to be manipulative and hurtful

Sadly I will listen to her but I cannot rescue her

She welcomed him with open arms so she can deal with the fall out

Thank you for listening

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Roukaya

Hi your mother is an adult and as such makes her own choices in life. One of these is clearly to manipulate and abuse you. You need to read up on narcs and the games they play. Only then you will be able to see through them and she can't abuse you any more. Even though she is in a different country she is trying to retain her hold on you and making you unsure and anxious, and it's working.I had a narc mother so I understand their mindset. The thing you must realise is that they don't feel empathy or any of the 'normal' human emotions. They will lie, cheat, manipulate you all to get their narc supply. They will never change so all you can do is protect yourself. You have done the physical distance thing which is great, now you must learn to do the emotional distance too.

Once you understand how she operates you will be able to protect yourself. And there is no obligation for your to fall for her games or to remain in contact if you need to move on for your own sake. Put yourself first - not her.

Roukaya i hope that your doing well i am extremely sorry that your mother is being rude to you as a mother she should be kind and thoughtful and understanding and supportive not demanding I don’t understand why a mother would do that .

Narc people aren't capable of being understanding, kind or thoughtful so it's useless to keep wanting and trying for their approval. The only way to survive them is to understand their little games and ploys and emotionally protect yourself. My mother was very like this and did untold damage to me and my siblings. Out of my 3 sisters one has suffered from lifelong severe anxiety (not saying she was the only cause but it did contribute). Another has the emotional age of a teenager (diagnosed). I still have problems with relationships to this day and have never married or had children. Only my youngest sister has had a 'normal' life ie husband and kids.

You will never get a narc to show real empathy of any kind or to understand themselves. They are only concerned with playing their little games to feed their ego. You have to learn to look for love and approval elsewhere.

Hb2003 profile image
Hb2003 in reply to hypercat54

Your advice about narc people is amazing

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Hb2003

Lived experience! There is lots online about narcs too.

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to hypercat54

Good morning You have an incredible understanding of the issues I am facing

I am currently preparing for a resit and being pulled back emotionally by a Narcissist Mother

It makes me realise that as I am fifty one when will I make a life

I realise I cannot reason or rationalise with a Narcissist Mother as life is about serving their greater need

I think she is in denial of how she treated me when she was with the other man

She was used by him and is very disappointed

Really as a Mother I explained that many times it was wrong she took him back when he was abusive

I am far away and may be this is a blessing

I hope you are ok

How are you coping with preparing for Christmas

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Roukaya

There is no point in trying to explain anything to a narc. They never take responsibility for anything they do. It's always someone else's fault. Like I said I have a lot of experience with a narc mother. One of the games my mother would play was the 'yes but game'. I stopped taking part in this many years ago and closed it down with 'Well you won't be able to do this then' and changed the subject. This is just one example. I used gentle humour often and refused to get drawn in to her latest drama. You need to learn these tricks too. It's not cruel but rather being self protecting which is essential for your mental health.

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to hypercat54

Thank you for your understanding I am unable to walk away but I can learn to protect myself from her narcissistic behaviour

She is sad at being duped by this con man who came to defraud her but I stood up to him

Hence his bitterness and anger

As I have advised learn to protect yourself and realise that when she was happy she knew how to prefer him to me

Can I ask if you still talk with your Mum and when did you realise she was making you unhappy ?

Mine lives overseas but still has an emotional control

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Roukaya

When I was in my 20's and got therapy for the first time. I realised she was toxic and many negative things she called me weren't true. I have had lifelong depression since childhood and I think she was at least a major contributor to this. She was always a 'physical' parent and never an emotional one. Heck she couldn't even regulate her own emotions let alone teach children to. She died 7 years ago now. I never went no contact with her but definitely low contact. I had no real feeling for her but did do my duty as I knew better and wouldn't let myself down. I do feel for you being the only child as it makes it harder.

Hi roukaya I'm so sorry you've had this set back you were been so positive and was so pleased to see your Xmas display I understand you don't want to break that tie to your mother as she is your mother, you need a mother's love and aren't getting it, I really am sorry for you I know you are all alone too and I feel at this point you should try and take a step back as you have seemed at breaking point a few times, and this conflict you have with your mother is damaging you, I so hoped you would do what I suggested and walk out and take photos, can I ask what do you do during the day and how often do you speak to your mother, these damaging men will have also effected your mum and she's got so many issues, going on too and my phone charge is running out, i hope you will try and join in more on here and please tell me what are your plans for today I'm going for a walk and take photos for one thing, take care 💛🌟xxx

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to

Good morning I hope you are ok

Thank you for your understanding

I try my best by my Mum can be a demanding little child who can pull me back

She is unable to understand at times just how much I have given up in my forties for a Father now gone

When she met this man , it broke me how she showed her preference for him

Once we discovered his abuse , it came to an end

He took out all his anger on her just like she does to me when she was with him

I must learn to create my own life and not let my Mum get in the way

I will always listen to her and support her but nit tiny own neglect and detriment

I hope you are ok

Thank you for listening

in reply to Roukaya

Yes I understand, and that your mum has been influenced and she may have felt so dependant on them and became weak, I just would like you to have more time doing things to make you feel better like exercise hence a brisk walk and if you go somewhere nice it will help release your mind from some of your thoughts about your mum, as if you get overloded in thinking about one thing and negative thoughts this will bring you further down and you won't be able to get back up so please do something nice for yourself today I showed my mam your flowers and she loved it and said your very creative and clever, and I know your very intelligent, I feel some exercise will boost your mood, I often have issues with my mam and I have to make allowances as she is old too, it can make them a bit negative and depressed and I would hate to be in my elderly years with arthritis and things,I'd like you you keep notes of your moods and what happens in the day that changes them and your reaction, I'm suffering myself with stress and lack of sleep isn't helping but I try and do something to make me laugh have you a comedy film, or perhaps look at some funny posts on here and my walks if you look through my posts but not the one about my dad I had a set back it was over thinking in the mid of night my phone is nearly dead, please do something nice today there's so many on here that are concerned for you and care love Mandy 💛🌟xx

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to

Very lovely words and very touchingI hope you are well

I will try and continue to try

I truly appreciate your understanding

I wish you a good day

Kind Regards

Dear Roukaya,

I can see how you cannot break ties with your mother. However, can you find some time to yourself when you can really analyse what is going on? She is getting something out of her constant pressure on you or she wouldn't keep doing it, and you need to find another way of dealing with it. Could you brainstorm a lot of ways of making her change her behaviour? Like - as soon as it starts, put the phone down on her, or just go silent and let her rant - there must be many other things, but I am having to do something similar at the moment, as well as preparing myself for future unhappy events. I realise that the way I react to the things that happen to me have something to do with them continuing. There are some good YouTube videos about narcissism online. I can recommend them. The other comments you have received are all good and valid. You have suffered enough and it's time for it to end.

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to MaggieSylvie

I agree I wonder how are you

Did you manage to sort out your mutual will and find out why your husband changed Executor

I expect there comes a time when I should try to reclaim my own life and after dealing with Dad I am having to deal with my Narcissistic little Mum

I hope you are well

MaggieSylvie profile image
MaggieSylvie in reply to Roukaya

Thanks, Roukaya,

I am not too bad, despite being diagnosed with four spinal compression fractures and having also just hurt my tummy (rib/internal organs - not sure). Don't know yet if I have osteoporosis but it seems likely.

I haven't sorted out anything yet. At the moment there just seems so much to do, what with appointments for both him and me and lots of "admin" arising out of that, getting scan copies for chiropractor from the hospital, renewal of passport etc., etc. There are several things that I still need to sort out but as I am battling fatigue, there aren't enough waking hours in the day.

Things are calmer between us at the moment and we will have to sort out the wills etc but that will be after New Year. We are in Tear 2 but still shielding, so not going anywhere "unnecessary".

Yes, once you realise that you are dealing with a narcissist, it makes things easier to understand and deal with, though it can take a bit of practice. There has been no contact with daughters since the upset; I don't know whether we will see anyone before Christmas. Probably not, since they will have to restrict their numbers, too. We are just two people. That's hardly better than you being on your own. Christmas is over-rated, anyway. I tend to celebrate the solstice - knowing that the light evenings will return makes me happy. Stay strong. xx

Ghounds profile image
GhoundsReading Rabbits

You have had lots of good advice above and I hope it helped.

Hi Roukaya, lots of good advice here and many of us empathise having experienced similarly ourselves. I hope it feels like you are less alone with this. You will need to find your own way to cut ties with your mother and one which makes you feel ok about yourself......you sound such a kind and caring person that I cant imagine you are going to find it easy even though you seem to have a very clear understanding of how she affects you so badly and what you need to do to protect and look after yourself. May I suggest not answering your phone when she calls? Or saying that you can only speak for 5 mins because you are busy ie hear her out but have no time to reply. Or will call her her back when you are free? Even if you aren't busy or have time you are letting your mother know that you aren't always available to speak to her right now ie you have your own life and can't be at her beck and call. This way you are being polite but firm.

Making changes can often feel overwhelming especially something on an emotional level like this. Start small and see how it feels - establish a few small boundaries. She may hit back and this may induce guilt in you but keep posting here for support.

best of luck

Roukaya profile image
Roukaya in reply to waitingame7

Good afternoon I hope you are well

I notice I have many triggers and the Psychotherapist made me understand my Mother is a trigger

I can try but she has the ability to ruin my day and she can carry on regardless

I now have another worry ad the tenant has not answered her phone this afternoon

I have asked the agent to see if she is ok as she fell ill with Corona Virus a month ago

Even though she was recovering I can’t help but worry

I hope you are ok

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