Loving my imperfect mother/ adult child of mom with mental illness - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 03-07-2014, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else out there not estranged from their mother who is affected by mental illness?
I am looking for ways to build back some of the things I have lost in my relationship with my Mother in the years where mental illness hurt her ability to mother me.
I deeply love my mom, and am keenly aware of how the stigma of mental illness can hurt as much or more than the disease itself.
She is not toxic, or abusive, but she is difficult to relate to in other ways; passive, defensive, depressed, conflict avoidant.
I'd like to be able to get to a place with her where her troubles don't hurt me so bad, to make peace with it.
I want to help her out of some of these behavioural ruts, but think sometimes I just keep playing the mother role to her, a role that I think might be continuing to hurt me.
Anyone else in the same or similar boat?

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#2 of 4 Old 03-08-2014, 07:15 AM
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The only thing I can suggest is counseling for yourself with a therapist who specializes in your situation or as close to it as you can get.


I recently started therapy with a new therapist who specializes in treating adult children of parents who suffer from personality disorders.  Where has she been all my life?  She is unlike any other therapist I have had.  She even assigns me books to read and I cannot get enough.  It feels good to talk and let it all out.  It feels good to be validated.  It feels good to be taking baby steps forward rather than backward.  HTH. 

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#3 of 4 Old 03-17-2014, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply Pepin. Counseling isn't affordable for me right now, but I certainly see the value in it. Good to hear you have found it so helpful. Self helping is where I am at.

I wondering if anyone knows of any books on this topic they could recommend?

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#4 of 4 Old 04-27-2014, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is an update on my journey with my emotional life around my Mom:
- I responded with a lot of emotion; anger, sadness, compassion, and even a touch of meaness, the last time I had a phone call with my Mom. She listened and responded with some helpful insight
- She said that she calls me to "get uplifted", and to vent, so now I understand why I end up feeling all of this pain after talking with her.
- Things aren't as bad as she may portray them on the phone; she says she does make herself sound like the victim, perhaps unfairly.

The prospect is that she will be moving here in the next year or two.
I'm aiming to work on the emotional boundaries I need to be able to have a healthier relationship, especially when she is nearby.

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