Life as a Highly Sensitive Person and Dealing with a Highly Loving but Highly Co-Dependant Mother.

I know my mom loves me, and contrary to what she may sometimes believe, I love her just as much, but sometimes she puts horrible amounts of pressure on me by constantly placing expectations on me that I’m either incapable of meeting or are in fact her responsibility, not mine. So here is the situation:

I was home visiting her from Thursday to Sunday, and we did some fun things, like going shopping on Friday and then to a local festival on Saturday. I try to make a habit of visiting her weekly, and since she lives over an hour away, I go for at least one if not two nights. But this week, I was home for 4 days and 3 nights.

Today I was supposed to have had a meeting, but it got canceled due to perceived poor weather. As a highly sensitive person with anxiety and ADHD I reach a certain limit of being around people; even (and sometimes especially) my mom. And I hate the feeling of getting trapped places by weather, and not being able to leave. So, I decided I wanted to head home before the really bad weather was supposed to hit.

But as soon as I mentioned wanting to leave, instead of her acknowledging the fact that I’d been there longer than usual she immediately got emotional and started listing off the things she’d wanted to do with me since my day had been freed up, and how I hurt feelings and disappointed she was, and what could possibly so important to get home to that would make me hurt her, and cause her the added stress of worrying about the safety of my drive. So I said I’d do a test run into town, to see what the roads were like, she agreed with the idea, and said she needed some things at the store so I could kill two birds with one stone. I determined that the roads were fine for driving, and after returning home with her groceries, I told her I felt it was okay to go, but that I needed to leave immediately because I didn’t want to take a chance on them getting worse.

She got flared up again and started saying that she thought we’d decided I was just going to town to get some things, and that I’d be back to stay, figuring I’d come back saying the roads were not drivable. When I reminded her that the whole point of the test run was to determine whether I felt safe to drive and that I did, she got mad and started stomping around the house, and pouting. When I tried telling her that I just needed to go, while I felt I had the chance, all she heard was that I wanted to get away from her. She went on and on about how she can’t count on any of her friends to be there when she needs them, but how they are so quick to be there when they need things from her. And in doing what I was doing, I was no better. I ended up leaving, despite knowing that I was hurting her, and the guilt that was cemented in my head. And while I tried my best to remind her of how much I loved her, and that it was something I needed to do for me, she remained mad. And I’ve been home at my apartment for roughly 4 hours, and she’s still very short and cold in her responses when texting her.

This happens every time I disappoint her, which is every time I do something that strays from the imagined plans she had for us. I love my mom the world over, but sometimes I just need to get away. Not from her, but to my own life outside of her. To get back to my apartment and just be alone with my thoughts and have my time to myself. To get back to my own routine, where I feel productive and can accomplish tasks I set out to. When I’m home with her, she wants to be with me every minute of the time that I’m there and the only time I get time to myself is when I go outside for a smoke, (mostly in the winter because I know it’s too cold for her to come out and be with me) or when I stay up all hours of the night, and then end up sleeping in until unGodly hours in the morning throwing my day off completely.

I’ve just always needed time to myself, and more when I’m with her because when I’m there, she is constantly up in my business about everything, from simple things like my phone beeping and her wondering what or who it was, to more exhausting things like talking about my future plans, and how she doesn’t think my methods will work. I end up either biting my tongue so hard it almost bleeds because I don’t want to say anything to cause an argument, or I try to stick up for myself and try to communicate my own collected knowledge of how my way would work fine and it causes her to get her back up, and gives me a hefty dose of the silent treatment, or a terrible battle of who knows best, which only ends with one or the other just changing the subject.

My mom is not a tyrant, unlike some parents I’ve witnessed she truly does love me, and want the best for me, and in so many ways she displays a true love for me, and she DOES so much for me, including financial support with my educational and career goals, but there are times where I feel not that her love is conditional, but the actions or support she gives is.

Is there anyone else out there who can relate and possibly give advice? Many of you I know will advise that I ditch her, or cut her out of my life, and while that may be sound advice I just know I can’t do that. I am ALL THAT SHE HAS IN HER LIFE, and I can’t just turn my back on her. I love her, and I want to help us both get to a place where we can have a loving relationship, but with mutually respected boundaries.






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