Posted by: Pendy | 2008-11-19

Co-Dependant Scenario

Hi Cybershrink

After much counseling from my side I have overcome co-dependency with my mother (she started this when I was still very small) and I have put healthy boundaries in place, which she does not respect sometimes like talking to one of my best friends about me (who then told me). I understand that she won’ t change. I know why she is like this as my father was abusive, violent and controlling. Due to circumstances she moved in with my boyfriend and I at the end of June which neither of us wanted but we make the best of it. It’ s difficult as she has minimal interests of her own, won’ t go for counseling and waits for me to fill up her life. I use the strategies I was taught as best I can to have my own life. The pressure is mounting tho, last nite she told me that “ we are twins” . I could have screamed at her but said no that’ s incorrect that would be unhealthy. I myself am going for more counseling and am on anti-depressants. Still working through my childhood and issues. What is an appropriate answer/reply when she does that see us as “ one”  entity kind of thing without destroying her or our relationship? I’ m 43 she’ s 66. I have actually down-loaded info on the topic and drawn up a thing on the pc showing the 2 separate circles (healthy) and over-lapping circles (unhealthy) with key points underneath each as a Psychologist once did for me. I know mothers are precious, but she is just smothering me. Funny enough she says her mother did that to her.

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Make it clear to her that you are very busy with your own life, and she must fill hers --- and the therapy will both help her to do this, and start by partly filling it. I'm sure your therapist is best placed to suggest answers to her enveloping statements and questions --- indeed role-play of some of the situations she creates and practising better ways to respond to them, could be useful. Mothers are indeed precious. Someone who insists on becoming a Siamese Twin is less precious.
If shes right ( and why shouldn't she be ) that her mother did this to her, you're talking about literally the habits of a lifetime, and the only manner of mothering she has ever seen

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