This is a question I've been sort of turning over in my head for a few years now, but more seriously considering right now because it's getting so much worse. Because if my mother were anyone else but my mother, I would have done it ages ago. But she's my mom. I love her to pieces and she doesn't really have anyone else but me. So what do I do?
Quick rundown (I've talked about this before, so if you already know this, sorry): my dad's abusive, my mom's religious, her parents were also abusive. She's been talking about leaving him for 3 years but hasn't done so, although she's taken some steps, like buying her own house (that she hasn't moved into yet - it remains vacant). In those 3 years, the conversations she and I have have been absolutely dominated by her problems with my dad and her feelings about her life not turning out the way she's wanted it to. She has a deep-seated victim complex. As a survivor of domestic violence, I have a lot of compassion for her, so I've mostly just listened and tried to offer advice when I have some. I know she doesn't have a lot of people to turn to, especially since my sister has more or less cut her off.
Talking to my mom has always been sort of a drain on me emotionally during this time, though. She'll text me constantly, like every single day, with mostly the same complaints and just spew her feelings in my general direction. One day last week she texted me 50 times in one day - I counted. Each text was over a paragraph long. I've thought about asking her to stop using me to vent more than once, but I can never bring myself to do it. I've hinted at it, but she always misses the hints. Now that my sister is moving overseas, my mom has gone from a bit of an emotional drain to a fucking enormous emotional drain. And I feel really bad saying this, because I love my mom, but it's gotten to the point where I almost have to steel myself to see her because I know the ENTIRE CONVERSATION will be about my mom's feelings about my dad and my sister. For hours, even days. It is completely exhausting. I come home every time with a headache, wanting nothing more than a nap. GreenHunk and I took her to California for Christmas break and for 8 straight days she talked about almost nothing else. (GreenHunk is a saint for putting up with this and has never once complained, incidentally.) She tries so hard to be a good mom, and I want to be there for her so much because I really love her and want her to get better...but sometimes when I see a string of 8 text messages from her that are just a series of bitter rants I just feel my whole mood drop to my toes. 10 minutes ago she texted me, "[my sister] is mean. You guys can say all you want that you are supporting her, but she doesn't deserve support. She is a fucking spoiled brat who is just mad that I won't sacrifice the remainder of my life for someone who abuses me." And like....in the next breath she'll say she thinks she wants to go to the wedding. You can hear in that, too, how she bounces from blaming herself to blaming my sister to blaming the rest of us for her feelings, which is really typical. Of course she's angry, of course she's hurt. I get it, I've been there. It's just...exhausting.
I don't want to be a dick. I do want to be there for my mom. But I don't want it to cost me this much emotionally. I've thought and thought about this, and if I were to talk to her about it I can imagine two scenarios: a) it goes over her head and she doesn't realize what I'm asking so she keeps doing it, or b) she gets really, really hurt and angry and accuses me of abandoning her just like my sister. Help!