Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
Do you have any means of becoming financially independent of her?
Yes, but not fully at this point. I believe that within a year I will be able to be completely independent from her.
Can you hold out? What are your biggest obstacles?
She does sound as if she has a PD and you must learn to deal with her.
I have a wonderful book to recommend to you, available at amazon.com and elsewhere:
Not feeling accepted by her and wanting to please her. Not being fully confident in my own abilities. I think a lot of my confidence issues stem from not having my biological father in my life. My grandparents were and still are great supports for me but I she often becomes jealous of my relationship with them. I believe that her having me get the house was a way to pull me away from them because I was living with them after I graduated.
I have some issues with being co-dependent as well because of my compassionate heart and issues with not being accepted.
And you are not in school at the moment?
Colleges offer free counseling.
Perhaps your former pastor knows a Christian counselor who can help you? They work with real issues with a religious slant.
Can your grandparents help you?
Working face to face with the right therapist or counselor can help you to strengthen you resolve and teach you coping techniques.
I do not want to be a burden to them. They have done a lot for me already, but they probably will be able to help.
Use your all of your resources.
You can get great wisdom from brilliant professionals who put their wisdom in books.
Let me offer you some more that I think are top-notch and will help you to cope.
and one of my favorites:
You must learn how to disarm your mother, to not take her need to control so personally.
In your experience have you seen people with Narcisstic PD have severe psychosomatic symptoms ( I forget the name of the disorder where people make themselves sick for attention) or could some of her severe medical disorders (which she has) be associated with some of her borderline PD tendancies.
Thank you for the books.
They are not related to BPD unless she self-mutilates or even poisons herself.
You are talking about hypochondriasis or something else?
It is scary when you have to face PD in your own family. I have had to deal with adults and children with mental illness and PDs but it is a different story when it is your parent.
They are difficult to change so you have to cope with them and don't let them drag you down. Those books will help a great deal.
I have an interesting article from psychology today relating the connection between psychosomatic illnesses and personality disorders. I think you will find this of great interest.
Yes, hypochondriasis. She has been in and out of the hospital for at least two years now because of a serious digestive and her doctor and hospial specialist cannot find anything and they have done numerous tests. Part of me feels that her anxiety issues cause her to have somatic symptoms too. It is just a lot. I have no life outside of work, church, and dealing with her.
It will get better. Use all of your resources for support and work towards independence. That is the best plan. Get a therapist if you can get the funds.
Thank you for the resources. I am going to get a therapist. My mentor is a Christian therapist/ LCSW-C, but it will probably be best in the long run if I seek therapy from someone else because it would be like have a dual relationship with her. I do consult with her occassionally about professional things and some of the delimas I have had in the past. However, I have not consulted with anyone besides my grandmother and former pastor about my mother. A part of me was afraid of her finding out and retaliating. But I will do what I have to do so that I can get some peace. She is driving me nuts and making me strongly dislike her. Thank you again
Whatever life you have: in the church, at work, or even caring for you mother, make the best out of it and find enjoyment in whatever you do.
All counseling and therapy is absolutely confidential by law and by our code of ethics. If you don't tell anyone who may repeat this to your mother, then it will remain your private business.
Using the resources of the LCWS-C may be just fine. Ask he about what she thinks about this being a dual relationship.
I wish you great success. I believe that you have the intelligence, knowledge, and the support group in place. You will be able to move forward with your life quite successfully when you put your resources together and learn how to deal with this complicated situation. Having spoken with you at length here, I have great confidence in your success.
I will ask her. If she cannot do it then she will probably refer me to someone she trusts.
Sounds like a plan.
I have to use my supports regardless of what she says or does. And like you said, not take it personally. It is almost as if I have to start treating her like a client. When I mentioned a couple of years ago about doing family therapy she said that we did not need it and then she started giving me extra stuff. Im paying for it now.But I know I will get through it. Thank you so much again. I belive that I needed someone who is not bias towards me or her to provide me with input.
Thank you so much for your kind words. You are exactly right. You must treat her with neutrality and as much distance as you can muster. That way, you will not feel so much pain. God bless you and your family.
Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC