Hi there, and you're welcome.
I realize what a difficult situation it is, because she is, after all, your mother. And we all grow up with this idea (and longing?) that our mothers should take care of us, support us and want the best for us. Seems like a pretty normal, realistic idea, too, but unfortunately, it's just not true for a lot of people. It's very sad
, and sometimes healing from the pain of a dysfunctional mother means that you literally have to let yourself mourn the loss of what you never had.
It sounds like you really try to handle things as best as you can by being positive and upbeat. It's not always easy to not let yourself be affected so much by the things she says, but the best you can do is try. It sounds to me like she might even have borderline personality disorder
. It's a very common disorder (and especially in women, though I am not entirely sure why that is), and the symptoms can also resemble those of NPD. It sounds like you've done your research, but you might want to read "Stop Walking on Eggshells" by Randi Kreger (You can find it on Amazon), because whether she has NPD or BPD, the coping strategies you can use are basically the same.
It is not so unusual that you're experiencing anxiety, in light of the circumstances. There's nothing wrong with taking the day off, either, because you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. I'm glad to hear that your husband is supportive and that he understands what you're going through. Mostly I would say that it's important to try to change your cognitive patterns, not only for helping you deal with your mother but also for helping you overcome the anxiety and possible depression. It's not easy to do it on your own, though I commend you for trying. It really does require a lot of hard work to change those thought patterns that you learn at a very early age, so it's not really so strange that you feel like you have a battle of wills in your mind, as you put it. You can tell yourself something over and over, but until you truly believe it, deep down, then saying it a million times won't make a difference.
That being said, I think you should just take today to relax and unwind. There's nothing wrong with doing something mindless like watching TV or reading a book. It does you no good to dwell on the situation, and that's just not productive. She won't change unless she wants to, after all.
And you might want to give some serious thought to joining a support group for people with relatives who have a personality disorder. One way or the other, the most important thing toward changing is realizing that it's not your fault (but again, truly believing it) - and interacting with others in the same situation (as I mentioned earlier, but whether it's online or in person) can really help you accomplish this.
As far as the anxiety goes, just be compassionate toward yourself. Tell yourself that it's okay to feel like you're feeling, that everyone feels anxiety at some point, and that the feeling will eventually pass. Try not to beat yourself up for feeling this way. You don't have to talk to anyone today if you don't want to - you might just need to take some time to focus on yourself. Everyone needs that every now and then, so just try to do something enjoyable, go for a walk, do something - anything - to get your mind off things for the time being. Putting yourself in a different mindset will help you see the situation with your mother differently, too. And it really might be worth seeing the therapist again, even if it's just for a few sessions to get your mind back on track.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Just take it easy today.