PD parent has no one but me

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PD parent has no one but me
« on: October 04, 2021, 04:51:25 PM »
I'm wondering if anyone out there has dealt with going LC with their PD parent knowing they were the parent's only form of human/social contact?

My PDm has alienated or stopped communicating with any people in her life. She's been divorced for most of my life, I'm 26 now, and now all familial relatives have passed away, except PDm's older sister who lives in a different part of the country. I am an only child and grew up being enmeshed with and parentified by my PDm.  She has continued to try to make me responsible for her happiness, social interaction, and wellbeing. I'm in therapy and have been navigating the new boundaries I've set and have been trying to have lower and lower contact with my mother for the past couple of years. I am the only person she talks to with regularity. One boundary I've set is trying to see her only once a month, despite the fact that I'd like it to be even less, because I am the only person she sees besides short conversations with her neighbors.

I often find myself wishing my mother had other people in her life to alleviate my fear and guilt of going LC or NC, as if knowing she'd have someone other than me to see or talk to would make it easier.

Whenever i don't call or see her for an amount of time she's not okay with, I am told I never see her, it's been "forever", and i have abandoned her and have a new life now. I know she is not my responsibility, even though she's tried to convince me that she is, but those feelings of guilt are strong.
So I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience where they chose to go NC or LC knowing their PD parent was going to be entirely alone otherwise? And if so, did you have the kind of PD parent that was codependent and made you responsible for their happiness in life?


Starboard Song

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Re: PD parent has no one but me
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 05:14:46 PM »
Not exactly the same, but close. In town, we knew that in any given year they may not have more than 2 social interactions other than with us. They could call people. But real live friends didn't seem to exist. Dinner parties didn't happen. Nor lunch with former co-workers.

And yeah, that added to the guilt and challenge of our crisis. When we went NC, we knew we had just them off from their only grandson, and from everyone they knew within 100 miles.

We got there anyway: the chief lesson of all this is that you did not Cause it, you cannot Control it, and neither can you Cure it. So at some point you have to provide for your own ability to thrive in peace.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward


Boat Babe

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Re: PD parent has no one but me
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 07:11:59 PM »
Your mother sounds very like my own. I am the only child of a very waifish, isolated woman and have always felt that burden. I was her emotional crutch from very early on and I need to work on letting that resentment go.

I'm glad that you have such a clear take on your situation, which will stand you in good stead. I naturally went to low contact with my mother in my early twenties as her very presence alters my biology.  It took me much much longer to be chilled around her and not drink a bottle of wine, straight off, immediately after a visit. This forum , therapy , mindfulness meditation  and time have helped with being non reactive. I stick around now because she can't hurt me anymore, although she does frustrate me still. I feel sorry for her, for a life damaged and wasted. I also can't bear to think of her alone, even though she has created this situation.

If you continue contact with your mum, establish exactly what you will, and won't, accept from her. Define precisely what you need to do if she ignores your boundaries. Be prepared to stick to your guns. If you can do this with courtesy and grace, you'll be a better person than I was at your age.

Good luck.
It gets better. It has to.