Helping my Mom is a Thankless Job

Question: Dear Luise: This is about my mother and my relationship with her. She seems a bit selfish and she sometimes tries to start problems between my friends/fiance and me. I love her but sometimes she is vicious. She has MS. I help out a lot but she never appreciates it and belittles me. Unfortunately, I’m in college and can’t afford to move out. If and when I do leave, I’m afraid of causing even more trouble. I’m thankful that my parents are helping me with my education, but sometimes it almost isn’t worth it. When I graduate, I know I will move but I think I will still feel responsible for helping her and still feel under her control. I’d appreciate any advice. S.

Answer: Dear S.: Not an easy situation. I hear a lot of pros and cons in your question and for good reason.

You are in a difficult position not of your own making and that usually produces conflict. Since you have accepted your parents help and still live at home, it’s your job to work around the negative aspects of the situation. Your mother isn’t going to change and she isn’t going to listen. She is ill and unhappy and you are the closest target.

Good for you for staying in touch with your love for her and for helping out the way you do in spite of her lack of gratitude and cooperation. It’s pretty clear that you aren’t going to get fairness and your friendships will continue to suffer.

The only light at the end of the tunnel is that your own life awaits you. You will leave whether it causes problems or not because you know you have a right to move on, eventually. If at times you feel like an unpaid and mistreated servant…that’s natural and it’s probably healthy to call it as you see it.

It doesn’t serve you to worry at present about the repercussions of moving on after school. Face that when the time comes and be strong. Blessing, Luise

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