A few years my father passed away when I was in uni And we have a family business of a independent grocery store. My dad used to run everything and my life was pretty comfortable. I have a older brother and a older sister. My sister got married so it was only me and my brother to take care of everything. In the past year or so It has become increasingly difficult because my mum depends on me emotionally and wants me to sit and talk to her all the time. I look after the store and try to maintain a work life balance. But my mum wants me to look after the house the store and herself aswell. I get stressed out easily now. And my mum has mood swings and sometimes has a outburst saying she wants to die. And I know it’s wrong but sometime I think when mum gets angry if she passed away my life would be easy. I can go out with friends without worrying about my mums reactions. I feel really guilty ? Am I being selfish in thinking that way?
You are not being selfish at all, but you need to be taking better care of yourself. Your mother’s needs will continue to eclipse your own if you don’t. No one else can do it for you. Your mother’s labile mood will deplete you if you don’t make a plan to nurture yourself first. Allow yourself a chance to say “no” regularly and let your mom know what you can and can’t do. Be aware that her disappointment doesn’t mean you have to alter your life from top to bottom to make her feel better. Let her have the dignity of struggling to manage her own disappointment. It isn’t your job to make everything better for her.
When you say no you will most likely feel guilty, but the resentment from being depleted that you will feel if you keep giving into your mother’s emotional needs will be so great that eventually you’ll have nothing left for her.
I am not suggesting this will be easy, but learning to take care of your needs first, while limiting how much you give to your mom is essential for both you and her.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Negative Thinking About My Mother. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/09/10/negative-thinking-about-my-mother/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.