Mum has toxic behaviour


Hi Brooke,

Yesterday I had an argument with my Mum. My son and I had been on holiday for a week and we were having so much fun I extended for a week. She asked me how much longer I was planning on staying because it was stressful and tiring having us around as she was out of routine and she wanted some time to herself. I felt unwelcome and so decided to leave (without any drama) and stay elsewhere but she confronted me and an argument ensued. Then she barraged with me messages (to which I didn’t respond) back pedaling and playing the victim role. She emotionally manipulates, has a vile temper and physically has cancer so is also tired, stressed and doesn’t take care of her body and I find it diffucult to understand how or why she does stuff.

I feel like she has so little regard for her health and happiness that it affects our relationship (this isn’t acceptance but blame mode and hoping she’ll be the mother I desire). If I create boundaries (i.e. I don’t accept or won’t engage with that behaviour) then I’m also not accepting her as she is. If I change my thought about it and accept her then I’m allowing her to continue her toxic behaviour which is literally killing her.

I know my Mum does the best she could with what she was given BUT I also know she is such a badass and is capable of more and being healthier mentally and maybe even physically. How can I give up on her and allow her to continue her self-destructive behaviour that is hurting not just her but my relationship with her as well?

Please help I want our relationship to improve but I’m not sure whether boundaries / acceptance or thought management is the right path here.