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My mother has decided she has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She's started seeing a shrink who is working on convincing her that she is not in control of anything that is happening to her, and its not her fault. I realize that mental health issues are not her 'fault', but I do believe that it is up to her to take control of them.

She's been told that she needs to have a "strong family support system": family consists of me and my 17 year old sister -- which means that I'm really the only adult in the family. She has voluntarily cut off every other relative (her parents, siblings, cousins, and my brother).

I'm doing my best to cope with my own life, and I don't have the ability or the energy to be the punching bag that she wants me to be. To her "being supportive" means that I tell her how everything is perfect, and listen to her go on for hours about what a rotten place the world is, and I'm supposed to agree with all of this.

She phoned me at 1:00 in the morning last night, to tell me what a rotten, horrible, judgemental person I am. I'm "judgemental" because I pointed out that she is living beyond her means in a home she can't afford, driving a car she can't afford, and out of work. She feels that she "deserves" these things and she's too good for the types of jobs that are willing to hire her. Oh, and she's "better" than anyone who would ever be her boss, because she's been self employed all her life. Only "losers" work in that sort of "bureaucracy" (any job, really). Every single suggestion I've offered her she CAN'T do, for one reason or another (i.e. get a room mate, move somewhere cheaper, drive a different car, take the bus, get a job at Walmart if necessary etc).

Am I wrong to refuse to give her money that I don't really have, because I don't think it would solve her problems?

Am I wrong to stand up to her? I feel that I can no longer let her suck me under. I've been having a hard time keeping my own chin above water these past few months, between taking classes, coping with additional workload at work, and trying to work through some personal issues (re: my life, not family). For my own sanity, I need to put some space between us, but then again that makes me a rotten person because I'm not "supportive".

When she unloads these monumental guilt trips on me, it feels like I'm a little sandcastle in front of a huge wave. She completely runs over me and destroys me emotionally, and makes me feel like everything that's gone wrong is my fault. She claims that I can't be bothered to understand what is wrong with her, but the truth is that I need to live my own life and that means keeping some walls up around me to protect myself.

Any words of advice, encouragement or hugs are appreciated.

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