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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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how do ihave a relationship with my mother and retain my emotional

Customer Question

how do ihave a relationship with my mother and retain my emotional health? I constantly feel guilty as thought I should be doing more and yet I find her company very difficult. She is very unhappy and lonely but seems unable to find happiness for herself, will not join anything, or change her life in order to make it more interesting and I feel as thought i am not allowed to be happy either. I have remaried recently to a wonderful man and yet i have been battling with depression. Am I sabotaging my own happiness? I want to be free of the complex emotional attachment I have with my mum. I expect unspoken criticism even if it isnt there and possibly suspect my mother of stuff she is not saying or doing, just because there has been so much emotional blackmail in the past. My brothers also struggle with this relationship but tell me that they just forget about mum and 'don't care what she thinks, but I seem to have her in my head all the time and I vacillate between anger and feeling that I should try harder to be kinder and to try to help her find happiness, however when I see her often I find that I diminish again and am left struggling with myself afterwards. Help, I am 51 and dont think I can face a future repeating this historical struggle, but do not want to be unkind.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes you are sabotaging your own happiness. Your mother is using her well practiced techniques of controlling you. That is all she thinks she has, but she is like an emotional vampire, draining your well-being to satisfy her need to control you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Was she always like this? Did she control her husband and your other siblings?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

DId she like being the center of attention?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Is she a truthful person or a manipulative one?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Does she have real feelings about the pain and hurt of others, meaning, does she have empathy for others or only herself?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have asked a lot of questions, but they are important and relevant.

Customer:

I have been battling with this for such a long time and my first marriage failed in my opinion partly due to this relationship with my parents. As a children my father used to go off us in turn and it was a sort of family joke that you were out of favour. Dad was strong and believed people shoud be told the whole truth and nothing but th truth about themselves and he would take us into his study (me quite often) and tell us all our faults and how we could improve ourselves. I have continued to do this to myself. He was very critical of mum too and i gues this did damage her. it was important that i agreed with her as a child and young person otherwise she felt betrayed and would be coldwith me.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You did not create this situation but have certainly been a victim since childhood.

Customer:

mum seems to always make things about herself and reacts to situations in relation to how they will affect her. She has accused others of being dishonest, recently my sister in law and told me that she is a dangerous person and that I will discover this when mum is not here any more. She says she knows she is my frend but that i do not know her. I do not wish to condemn someone because of another's experience but wish to be fair. This has caused countless arguments with my parents and has caused them to tell me that i didnt love them because i would not take their side.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot help your mum by letting her manipulate you.

Customer:

if I joined in and was critical of others she would be my friend, but i do not wish to be like this. how can i help her and protect myself

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot help her. You need to help yourself and back away from her.

Customer:

I find that i am always expecting others to tire of me and to go off me and that i will be boring or upset them and it is an insecurity i want to be rid of. i want to be able to trust in the friendships i work hard to sustain, and to have some peace in my life; by backing away am I not being cruel to an elderly unhappy lady?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You need to live your life and not worry about her. She is a sad case but you cannot cure her. You will never please her and you will ruin your happiness.

Customer:

yet she is my mother and i ought to show compassion

Customer:

Is this not what a christian should do?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have only one way to achieve achieve happiness and that is to have a life with your husband.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You already have compassion.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Being a Christian does not being a martyr.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Honour your husband and your own life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Get therapy for your mother. You are not a therapist. She cannot be cured by you.

Customer:

how do i distance myself without being cruel

Customer:

she will not sustain therapy because it means that she has to acknoledge unpalateable truths about herself. She has tried before but always stops after a couple of sesions, i suspect it is too hard or painful for her.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Distance yourself and be kind, but don' let her control your life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Be kind and compassionate. She is beyond help unless she is willing to go through it, and she is not

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Sometimes being kind is all one can do.

Customer:

I guess so and even that can be difficult when you are battling with inner turmoil.

Customer:

Thank you for your help

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I will keep all of you in my prayers.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You must be HER mother now, in a sense.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Give her love, but don't give into her demands,which may be narcissistic and unreasonable.

Customer:

i will try to do this, it can be hard to love someone who engenders such unsettling feelings within yyou.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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