Moving forward will require a bit of bravery from you. It is not your mother holding you back — it is your feelings of guilt that you are not making her life happy that keeps you locked in. Until you change, there is no reason for your mother to change. If she thinks it is okay to call you and drain your energy and time by talking to you for hours each day then she’ll continue to do it. You are enabling her poor behavior by not setting limits that honor your own life.
You do not have to listen to your mom. You are 24 years old. If your mom believes you are the only one who can save her and understand her, then she’ll react that way. In the end, a system like this isn’t going to work because your mother needs to become more self-reliant. This isn’t something she’ll see as good for her — or that she’ll want to do. It is your job to set the limit in honor of your own life. I’d begin with severely limiting the phone calls and the money. I would start with keeping the conversation to a timed minimum and announcing in the beginning of the call that you will only be able to stay on the phone for half hour. State it again during the call and at the end of the time tell her you have to go and that you will talk with her tomorrow. Do not give specific information about what you have to do- or where you have to be. Just say ‘I only have a half hour for our call’ and let her deal with the situation. Your mom, unfortunately, doesn’t have enough anxiety about the right things. Believing she can take your time and money is a sign of her own lack of appreciation of your needs. You are not negotiating with your mom, you are letting her know your needs are as important as hers.
Next is the money. Again, this isn’t a negotiation, this is a statement and information you are delivering to your mom. Pick a number that is significantly less than what you are giving now and let your mom know that your situation has changed and this is all you are going to be able to give. Remember, this isn’t a negotiation — it is information you are letting your mom know. We can predict that she will be upset by this, but this is necessary to help her become more self-reliant.
I would also start talking about yourself more on the phone calls. My guess is you are only listening. Start changing the dynamics by talking more about your dreams and accomplishments. If I am right about this, this may be the most difficult part. Your mother sounds like she is only used to taking from you and not being there for you. Letting her know you have needs from her would be important.
Finally, the way it is going now can’t work because it can only lead to resentment on your part. Your mother will feel upset by all of this, which is natural and predictable. But you not taking care of your own growth and development.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral