We have so much in common
I *so* understood when you said that you may come back later and erase your post--because I almost came back to erase mine a few times too, and still may. It is so hard to put the pain out there, and then you feel those familiar feelings of "guilt" about sharing that pain that you carry around with you all the time.
I just had my first visit to a psychologist yesterday to talk about my mom and how I can better handle dealing with my parents now that they are older and the very complex issues of them being dependent on me after such a horrific childhood.
The psychologist said the same thing about my mom--that it sounded like she had "borderline personality disorder". She gave me some information on it, and reading through it I see that fits her so well. She really is mentally ill, but she put me through so much unspeakably terrible stuff when I was a child that I almost feel embarrassed to tell anyone, and it is so painful to think of sharing it in therapy and trying to deal with it. I am angry to have to bring it up all over again, but again I know that in the midst of my calm, happy life with my kids and wonderful husband I carry around all that pain and angst like a 100 pound weight on my head, and it colors everything I do--even the good stuff.
My kids love my mom so much too--and thank God they have only seen the happy, over the top wild super grandma and not the woman I was forced to live with all those years. But I am still very cautious about certain situations with her, and that causes problems because she always needs to have the control in our relationship.