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Ms Chase
Ms Chase, Life Coach
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience:  Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
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Ive had a disagreement with my mother who is famous

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I've had a disagreement with my mother who is famous for her guilt trips and emotional blackmail. I want to tell her that I need some space from her for my sanity. How do I tell her this without helping her mount another guilt trip? I do not live with her, but I am her primary care-giver. My older sister lives in the area, but never does anything to help her, but my Mom does not launch emotional baggage on her, as she does me. She gets mad at my sister and takes it out on me.
Hello Sue,

What do you do for your mother? Is it on a daily basis?

How long have you been helping her?

Have you talked to your sister about helping?

Have you talked to your mother about it? If so what was the response?

What is everyones ages?

Have you ever taken a break from your mom?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Ms Chase's Post: I sister purposely moved 85 miles away from DC to western maryland so she would not be expected to do anything. But she does commute to DC to work everyday on the commuter bus. Mom is 75, Connie is 54 and I am 51. Mom had foot surgery a year ago and another one 3 months ago. I take her to her dr's appts and dentist appts. I fill out forms for her, help her write her checks to pay bills, and vacuum her apt. I take her out to lunch about twice a month to get her out of the apt. I have not taken a break from her. I also go to the grocery store for her. I'm with her every other day about.
Hello Sue,

Thank you for that additional info.

How much time would you be looking to take away?

Would your mom be able to take care of herself if you did?

Is it realistic to think that your sister would help if you stopped for a while?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I normally call my Mom 3 x a day 10 am 4 pm and 10 pm. Time away for me would be to not call her but once every other day. and Maybe only visit once a week instead of every other day. That way she would be forced to shift her "emotional stuff" on someone else. a few friends who may call. My sister is clearly not going to do anything. She only sees Mom twice a year - Christmas and Mother's day at my house. She keeps her house so unwelcoming with 3 dogs that are not house broken, and she does not cook. She does not like being around people either. Mom can take care of herself to a point. Since her foot is healing and she uses a cane, I have to buy groceries once a week.
Hello Sue

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is the only person you can control is you. So even if you take the time, she's going to give you the guilt trip. The saying is 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks' (please don't think I'm calling your mom a dog), but the fact is, you can. If all you need is to call her every other day, rather than every day, then just do it. When you speak to her on Monday, let her know "I have a lot of things to catch up on tomorrow, so I'll speak to you on Wed" or a more lenient way would be "I have a lot of things to catch up on tomorrow, so if I don't talk to you tomorrow, I'll speak to you on Wed"

If you sit her down and let her know that you're tired of the guilt trip, that you don't deserve it, and if she continues with it, then you will give her a couple of days to get over it and call her back. When she starts becoming argumentative when you're with her, then get up and leave. You can be polite about it, "Ok, I have to go, I'll talk to you later", and the same when you are on the phone. If she doesn't want to let you go, then you may need to be a little more abrupt. After a while, her senses will kick in and she will learn what behaviors to refrain from or control.

As you said, you can't make your sister do anything. Although it's sad that she won't be involved in her mother's life, it's not uncommon for the care of a parent to fall on the shoulders of one child. What your mom has to understand is not that she should be kissing your feet, but that you care about her and want to be there for her, but under no uncertain terms will you take the abuse that comes with it. She may get upset, and even angry for a while, as she is probably fallen into this habit, and may not know any other way to be. However love can overcome anything. I can tell you love your mom, and she needs to learn to love you back in a way that lets you know that you are being appreciated.

It may take time, but do what you need to do first. As long as your mom is safe and her needs are taken care of, then be a little distant and let her 'miss you' a little. When you do come back into her life, turn away from the bad and embrace the good, and she will learn that her bad behavior produces bad results, while her good behavior gets her praise, affection and attention. I welcome your thoughts, let me know if you want to talk more.


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