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Old 03-09-2012, 02:26 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Benton Arkansas
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Default What do you do when a toxic person relies on you?

I know the best way to deal with toxic people is to avoid them or set firm boundaries but that is not an option in this situation. My grandmother is a toxic person. Completely negative about absolutely everything, always expects the worst in every situation, master of guilt, and completely draining to be around. Problem is she lost her grandson (we was like her son, she raised him) and my grandfather in 2011. She has no one else except my mom. She has health issues (blood pressure spikes) and such and she NEEDS us. Since my grandfather died in November she won't stay at home alone overnight, but refuses to go to my parent's house (says sleeping there gets her blood pressure up) so she pays a lady to come stay at her house a couple nights a week. The rest of the week my mother and sister have to take turns sleeping at her house. She eats dinner with my parent's every night and has to come to everything we do together. I never get to spend time with my mom and or family without her.

None of this would be a problem if she didn't insist on ruining everything she touched. I KNOW she has had it really rough this year, I KNOW she is depressed and having anxiety issues but I am having a really hard time feeling sorry for her lately and I feel guilty about that. My mother cannot and will not stand up to her at all and makes us all walk on eggshells with her. My mother is just completely run down. I truly feel like it's ruining her life and I feel so bad for her. My grandmother just refuses to try and make the best of her life. Anytime my mom events hints that she is being negative she lays on the guilt and my mom laps it up. She has become really cranky and been snappy with my mom these last few weeks.

I am trying to get them to get her in therapy. I read that if cutting them out of your life is not and option then that is the next best thing. We are all hoping that after some time passes and she grief lessens that she will become more positive and pleasant. As it stands she is just mean and miserable. I feel so bad being angry with her. I know she has lost a lot but so have many other people and they deal with it much better. My mother lost those people too and she isn't an awful person now.

I just don't know how to help and when I set (what I feel like are) healthy boundaries and I refuse to buy into her guilt my mom makes me feel bad. I just want my own life! I am maintaining my distance and living my life (I see my grandma at least twice a week) but that makes me selfish, apparently. Ugh, I just want things to go back to the way they were when my mom was happy and didn't have to babysit my grandmother 24/7. Do I sound awful? I expect her to need us but not rely on us for all her happiness and human interaction. I have tried finding her something to do. She shoots everything down.

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