I only ever wanted her to love me
As an only and unwanted child, I have craved my mother’s love all my life. At 62, I realise that she is narcissistic – she wasn’t capable of loving me and never will be. She now has stage four dementia. I left my difficult marriage and moved 500 miles to care for her. She is a hoarder and a control freak and won’t allow me to turn on hot water, heating, a vacuum cleaner or a radio. Her room is a tip and she is forcing me to live in her 1940s pigsty microworld. She can be abusive and I was stupid to think that she would ever love me. I can’t abandon her as I am responsible for her welfare. Should I take her home to live with my husband and me or buy a full-time care package and walk away before I go under? I know that she is too old and ill for me to leave her, but I feel isolated with no friends and she feels that I don’t deserve a life other than looking after her. This is so heartbreaking. Children need their parents’ unconditional love. You have been a caring daughter but, sadly, you have never felt loved by your mother. Unfortunately, even with the dementia, she is still unkind to you. Someone who is narcissistic can show complete disregard for other people’s thoughts or feelings, always putting their own needs before anyone else’s. This is what your mother has done all her life. Though she will object, you must think of yourself more. Because of your upbringing, I suspect that you have rarely done so. It would be a disaster to take her back to live with you and your husband. The marriage sounds as though it is under too much stress already and her health is only going to get worse. Also, she is abusive and you need to see a lot less of her. The best solution would be to find her a live-in carer or a care home, somewhere not too far away from you. You could visit her, but not too often. As soon as she starts to be abusive, leave. I hope that you have good friends and other family members to support you. Have marriage counselling to see if the problems can be resolved. You deserve far more from life than what you are getting.