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Trying To Set Healthy Boundaries

My mom has a lot of issues with boundaries. Since I live with her currently she basically relies on me for all of her social needs. She has friends at work who she talks to on the phone for hours some times at night but apparently she never wants to go out with these people because...reasons.

She tries to make me feel guilty about going out with my friends ("You're always going out with people your own age!") and makes me feel guilty about wanting to move out ("I don't want to live alone! I hate living alone! You shouldn't live alone!"). She regularly whines about being lonely and only having the dog with her when we (my sisters and I) went to college. My sisters have gone to different states and I'm stuck here. I'm not super stuck because I could get an apartment but I'd rather buy a house and put that money toward owning. But I want to be able to have a life and she needs to have a life outside of me. She just doesn't seem to want one.

Right now she's trying to guilt me into going to a live show with her for her birthday. Her friend from work (who she has incidentally known longer than I've been alive-literally she's been friends with this woman for 30-some odd years) asked her about it last night and heavily implied that they should go together. My mom gets off the phone with her friend and turns around and asks me if I want to go. I have zero interest in seeing this show so I'm trying to encourage her to go with her friend. Every time I mention it, she acts like her feelings are hurt. Actual text after I asked her how she was doing today:

"All is good...Well actually, I was fine until I realized my child who I love so much doesn't want to see [show] with me for my birthday"


She tries to pass that kind of thing off as joking but she's clearly not. I can't tell if I'm being a jerk here or what. I told her that she should go with her friend and she says her friend is "hemming and hawing and the tickets will be sold out before before she gets it together." That sounds like she's trying to manipulate me into going but I can't tell who is being the asshole here.

I've been trying to set firm boundaries with her lately and I think she's pushing back with this behavior. I read this article when it was posted here and nearly cried when I realized that my mom was doing this. I thought I was just being a selfish bitch but really she was being manipulative and crossing boundaries left and right. She's not letting me set boundaries, really. The example from the article that really stood out to me:

"I get so sad when you and your sister don't come see me. I get very lonely, you know."

"Why don't you go out more, mom? Make some friends."

"Oh, I've tried. Nobody likes an old lady like me. You two are my children. You're supposed to take care of me."

"We do."

"No, you don't. I spend so much time alone. You have no idea how hard it can be sometimes."


My mom does that ALL THE TIME. She says she doesn't like hanging out with people who aren't her children. She doesn't understand why I'd want to move out. She doesn't want to live alone. She's all alone at home when I go out with my friends. She can't sleep when I'm not at home. Her loneliness is not my responsibility. She NEEDS to have a life outside of me.

What the hell am I supposed to do? I can't be her only social lifeline. This has to stop. I'm trying to put my foot down in this instance but I don't know if it's appropriate. Her friend wants to go. I don't want to go. We normally go out to fancy tea for her birthday so I told her we could still do that and then she can go to the show with her friend. She doesn't want to do that. She doesn't want to hang out with the boring "old people". I feel like fucking Rapunzel.


ETA: We just had a short conversation about me moving out this year and she said, "Some people live with their parents until they are 40." I said I didn't want to do that. She said that she doesn't know why not because she loves me.

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