DEAR ABBY: My mother is a narcissist and a user. She has never held down a job and blames everyone else. We rarely get along for more than 15 minutes at a time.
I used to blame myself, but have realized over the years that I'm not alone in how I feel about her. The problem is, she doesn't realize her behavior is unacceptable. If you try to address it, it causes an argument. She has no idea that she has alienated herself from our family and has no friends. She loves me and I love her, but I can't stand to be around her.
I'm an only child. Because of the way she is there is no one else in her life. I'm responsible for 99 percent of her social interactions outside of work. What do I do? She says that because she has no savings, she will be moving in with me when she's older. The idea of taking care of her until she dies keeps me up at night.
Part of me wants a relationship with my mother -- more for her sake than for mine -- but she's toxic. How do I handle her now and as she ages? I feel like a terrible person for feeling this way, but it's causing me increasing anxiety. -- DISTRESSED DAUGHTER IN WISCONSIN
DEAR DAUGHTER: You are responsible for your mother's social life because you have placed yourself in that position. The person responsible for her social life as well as her financial situation is her, not you.
It is time to tell your mother she had better start putting money away for her old age because she will not be moving in with you. To take care of yourself does not make you a terrible person, so do not allow anyone to tell you that it does.