You Can't Fix Everything
April 4, 2018
You Can't Fix Everything

Dr. Laura:

I spent my entire life taking care of my mother's emotional problems.  I am the youngest of four girls, and my oldest sister is 11 years older than me.  I have carried the burden of my mother's unhappiness and worked to make her happy and take care of her problems.  She manipulated me into turning on my alcoholic father and making me feel sorry for her, but as I've gotten older, I realized that she was actually the problem at the core of our family.  I'm crying as I'm writing this, because she passed away in November, and I now see very clearly how much of my life I spent being abused by her.

I heard a caller with a similar situation, and you told her that it was not her responsibility to make her mother happy, and that it was abusive for her mother to make her feel guilty about it.  That was the moment I realized it was okay for me to not like what my mother was doing.  I suppose I should have had an "aha" moment when I saw that no one else in the family would have anything to do with her, but I'm a problem solver and I like to think I can fix everything. 

Thank you for allowing me to have the feelings I now have toward my mother, and for concluding that I should not feel guilty about them.  I am starting a new life now, and I'm NOT going to be fixing everyone! 

Jo Ann

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Posted by Staff at 10:59 AM