Please stop beating yourself up over this. You don’t have to choose between your mom and the rest of the family. At 22, you are not dependent on her. You are an adult and are entitled to make your own decisions about who you want to relate to. Staying connected to other family members in no way diminishes your relationship with your mother.
Please consider that your mother may be fearful of living on her own again following a stroke. Instead of facing her fears, she is trying to avoid them by manipulating you into letting her stay. It’s sad that she was taken advantage of by people she maybe thought loved her. It’s possible that she doesn’t trust anyone now (including you) and protects herself by manipulating you to get what she needs.
It’s also possible that at least some of her behavior could be a result of Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs). Sometimes called mini-strokes, these can go on before someone has a full stroke. Changes in mood and behavior occur depending on where there was damage to the brain before her full stroke. Please talk to the doctor about her behavior and ask if there may be a medical reason for her apparent paranoia and how she forgets hateful things she says. If so, you need to explore housing and services that will help her live on her own.
If there is no medical reason, then your mother is a sad person who has created unnecessary and painful strife with her daughters. In that case, please listen to your husband. No matter what you do, you can’t do enough to make your mother “forgive” you because forgiveness isn’t the issue. It’s about control. You won’t be able to reason her out of her opinions or win her love by continuing to give in to her. Sadly, asking your husband to live with this may be damaging the marriage.
If she is healthy, you are not being nasty to tell a nasty person she has to leave. Give her a moving date. You may have to do the legwork to find her a place to live to get her to go. Whenever she says something hurtful, do not reason, fight, or express your frustration. Simply say “I’m sorry you feel that way,” and go back to planning for her departure.
Many people do not get the parents they needed or deserve. Readers of this column will recognize that situations like yours are often the topic of letters. That doesn’t make it less painful for you, I know. But perhaps knowing that will help you pull back from her without feeling guilty.
Some people need to make a chosen family to fill the very human need for connection with the older generation. Do consider ways you might get to know some older, wiser women who can enrich your life and become mother-figures for you.
I wish you well.