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Family & Relationship Issues

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Ask Dr. Schwartz
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Why is my mom following me around to take over my life?

My mom has verbally and physically abused me my whole life. Now that I'm an adult she still verbally abuses me, but in a more inconspicuous way by using criticism. She does this so she can get away with it in front of the family. I'm married and have 3 kids. Sometimes she tries to get other people in the family to join her in a "light hearted manner,"like my husband,to tease me. Sometimes he helps her out without realizing her manipulation. I have moved recently one state away from her to get some space, since everything I do is "wrong" and I'm tired of my kids hearing her say that. In the past year she has even stood up and challenged me to fight when I stood up for myself and asked her to leave my house for verbally attacking me. Although she adores my irresponsible older sister who has a son, she insists that I'm the one she is going to follow around for the rest of her days to be near her grand kids. I fear one day she will turn them against me with her powerful manipulative character by using money and an outlet from me. She took me from my father and sometimes I think she is plotting the same with my kids. She has so many regrets in her life that I think she's using me like toilet paper to solve her emotional wounds. She has me so tense around her that I no longer feel strong enough to defend myself without looking like a "weirdo" who has social problems. Are there any suggestions to the guilt I carry when I consider kicking her out of my life completely? Is that too far to take it? I'm losing sleep on this,and have a hard time deciding since we have no other family on both sides.

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