I’m a male in my 40s myself with divorced elderly parents who I am exceptionally close to, especially my mother, I’ve always had a close bond with her since being born, she recently turned 70, my mum is in okay health at the moment, but soon gets drained mentally when I’m having bad times with my mental health....my mother lives far from me now in a little bungalow.....I live on my own in an apartment, which I’ve lived in since 2005. I’m just scared of my mother leaving me on my own in this world, she told me earlier on the phone, because of her age, she won't be here much longer, and I have to mature and face that fact.... but it upset and devastated me as I can't imagine life without my beloved mum...she is my main support network in every way. I suffer bad mental health problems, a personality disorder and anxiety problems, I’m doing better now but days still get hard, and that’s when my mum gets drained and upset with me.... what can I do?
I am glad to hear that you are doing better now. Look how well you are doing, living on your own since 2005, that goes to show you will be OK. You need a therapist to talk to, to figure this out in the best way, and to keep busy. Can you work or volunteer somewhere a few times a week? If you do not do well communicating with people, be upfront about that and ask for work that you can do that is not customer service, perhaps you could help at a food bank. Then you will meet people and staying busy will help you stop worrying about the future. There is no point in imagining life without your mum because we never know what will happen in this life and for all you know she may outlive you! What you can do is stop calling her on days that get hard. Part of respecting your elders is NOT to drain or upset them. Part of being an adult is taking care of your own business and problems. It is very hard and upsetting when a parent gets older, and you must face the facts. There is not very much your mom can do for you now that she is 70, and she doesn’t live near you, so keep all of your phone conversations as positive as possible. Ask her about herself and if there is anything she needs or anything you can do for her. Do not call if you are not in the mood or able to do that, write to her instead. Do not say anything that will worry her. When children grow up and become adults, they are supposed to help their parents. Make sure you send her cards for special occasions. Your mom loves you and always will, but she is right, you need to build your own larger support system, which a therapist will help you do. It is time to change your relationship with your mom because she is getting older, and to prepare for your future. You can do it, and hopefully your mom will be around for a long time to come. You will be OK, try to take life one day at a time and stop projecting into the future, you will figure out how to cross that bridge when you come to it.
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