Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

June 04, 2010

daughter raised to take care of mom

Ruth is 35, unmarried, childless and lives with her arthritic mother, 72, as her caregiver and claims that she was raised to put her mom’s needs before her own.

“When I was a little girl my mother would hurl invective at me, calling me useless and stupid,” says Ruth, “but what really hurt was listening to her telling me over and over again that I was ugly and that no man would ever want to marry me.”

“When you hear things like when you’re a little girl, and you hear them often enough, they stick,” says Ruth. “Mom was manipulating me from the start to ensure that when I grew up I had no other choice in life but to stay with her and take care of her in her old age.”

“Now that I’ve lost my job and she is becoming abusive again – demanding that I get another job quick smart and keep her supplied with little luxuries – I can see the basis of our relationship so much clearer,” says Ruth. “She doesn’t care about me, she just cares about herself.”

“Recognizing a pattern is the first step in breaking it,” says Ruth, “and now that I have gained insight into my toxic relationship with my mother I know that I need to take care of myself first and foremost.”

“My mother never had a problem taking care of herself first and foremost – especially at the expense of a little girl, me, who she should have been cherishing not treating as a doormat to be her slave in old age,” says Ruth, “and while I have no wish to be vindictive, I am definitely using this period of my life – when I don’t have a job to distract me – to sort things out with her for once and for all.”

“My mother has abused me for far too long,” says Ruth. “My survival depends upon believing in myself and being with people who support a positive outlook on life, because without it I can easily slip into irrational guilt and suicidal thoughts.”

Read more of Ruth’s story:

suicidal caregiver

do self-help books trump friends?

self-help books boost survival

between job vulnerability

victimized then fired

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