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Reply with quote  #1 
Two days ago I finally proposed to my girlfriend of three years. We’d been talking about marriage for a long time and even picked out a few future baby names. I gathered up my nerve, learned our favorite song on a Ukelele, played it for her, took a knee and popped the question. She looked at me with tears in her eyes, gently sat down on the edge of our bed and said, “I don’t want to be the cause of your mother’s suicide.” A moment that should be etched in both of our hearts, for the rest of our lives, had become yet another casualty of my mother’s Borderline Personality Disorder.

Despite my mother’s best efforts, I finally escaped her financial control just a few years ago and began building my adult life in another city. Just when I thought I could finally escape the lifelong seesaw of belittling, guilting, manipulation and outbursts of rage, my mother’s health began to decline and it is now threatening everything I’ve built.

Now she has free license to demand anything she wants of me and I am expected to fall in line. The truth is no one wants to deal with her and since I’ve dealt with her the longest, they expect me to continue. I’ve spoken with doctors and have managed her care from with phone calls and emails but I’m wracked with guilt every time she claims a new symptom.

Sometimes they’re real but most of the time they’re embellished or just made up. I try to count on doctors to give me the right info and they say she is physically fine, but I also know doctors can be wrong. I also get phone calls from people around her who tell me she’s close to death.

I feel crazy for thinking my mother is capable of pretending to be sick just to make me guilty but it totally lines up with a lifetime’s worth of behavior!

I’ve moved passed the idea of rekindling my relationship with my mother but I don’t want to see her suffer physically or emotionally but I just can’t prevent either.

People seem to think I’m the one to alleviate her pain but I know better. Nothing ever will.

Reply with quote  #2 
It is so hard, isn't it?  When most people get a call that their mother is sick or in the hospital, it usually means that their mother is actually sick. As sad or challenging as that may be, they know more or less what they are facing and what to do.  But when we get that same call, there is a good chance that it might be a manipulation, so we really do not know how to prepare.

This takes a huge toll on our emotions.  Every call has the potential to put us through the ringer.  We must emotionally prepare to face their death, which carries one set of emotions, and then we must also prepare for a manipulation, which carries a completely different set of emotions. 

The sad bottom line is that we really cannot know.  My own 88 year old mother with BPD has used her age and health to manipulate me so many times that I honestly feel I have already given her the allotted "close to death" attention many times over.  How many times can you put yourself in that "mom is dying" frame of mind before you say "enough?" 

We are not dealing with a normal situation here, where the normal rules apply.  We are dealing with an unusual situation.

If you feel a need to connect, maybe you could ask one of the people calling you to put the phone up to your dying mom's ear so you can give her some kind words.  If she is close to death, your wishing her peace or telling her that you want what's best for her may bring you both some closure.  If it's just a manipulation, you saved yourself a trip across the country.
No matter what, I hope you can find some peace. I also hope you and your girlfriend can start a new life without all the drama of your mother as your backdrop.  Good luck!

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