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THIS IS LONG BUT PLEASE READ...IN DEPERATE NEED FOR ADVICE! I want to first start out by saying that I love my family and my mother very much and am really at a loss for what has been taking place. I am 22 years old. The past several years have been rather difficult on my life and I am now reaching out for support and advice because the guilt that I am carrying has really begun to take a toll on me as an individual.

I am very close to my brother and I were best friends growing up, and my parents and I were always close. However, my mother's guilt has plagued me for quite some time now. As I said before, I am 22 years old and I go to college out of state (10 hrs away). I will be entering into my senior year this fall. This is the first circumstance where problems arose. She now uses me going away to college as a way to manipulate my feelings. She says that after all they have gave me, I left her and my dad like it was nothing and that I must not care that much about them or I would have gone to a school close to home (this is not the case at all-i don't view leaving as not caring or loving them)*please note that I still talk to my mom everyday. However, this is not enough. She constantly complains how I am never home (coming home for the holidays is not what she regards as sufficient). My brother also went to college away but since he got into a very good school...his "dream school" this same issue was never brought up. Whenever I bring up that she makes me feel guilty about this issue she responds that I am just always going to hang what she has said about it "over her head" as a way to get back at her, which is not true at all. It should also be noted that she always brings up me moving away after college and how we "should" live back home close to her and my dad (which for many reasons may not happen)

The second issue is the fact that I have a serious boyfriend who I love very much and very much see being in my life for a really long time. My mother does not like this and says that she cannot understand this and that I am too young. When i bring up the point that she and my dad married at age 24/23 she diregards it and says that was different (*also please note that we are not running off and trying to get married) She says she is not unhappy that I have a boyfriend but that she is unhappy that it is "too serious." Although we have been dating for nearly two years, she tells me that we are going too fast. I have tried to speak with her about this issue but she says we misewell stop talking about it because we will never see it the same way. I have contended that I am an adult and it was not her decision nor mine when I met someone who I just happened. I have also argued that it is not her decision how I feel about him nor what we choose to do as a couple. This issue always comes up because his family is very accepting of me and do not share the same views. For example, the other day when the topic of a holiday came up she said "don't even think about inviting him here for Thanksgiving"--my brother will be living out of the country and she said if my brother wasn't going to be here that we were not going to have my boyfriend "sitting in his place" She does not like the fact that our family dynamic may be more than the 4 of us. All of these things are very hurtful to me because of all people I never thought she would react this way to such a happy time in my life.

This is also a very hard time on me because my brother is suffering from bipolor disorder and will not go on medication(he is 25 and we cannot control him) I know that this has caused tremendous stress on my parents, especially my mom, and I believe part of the reason she is acting like this is due to this problem she can't control. I too am very saddened and stressed by this but I do not believe it is fair that I have to deal with the aftermath and indirect results of this stressor in her life.

I do not want to give anyone the wrong impression. I love my mom very much and even feel bad for her because obviously this is a problem and not normal but it is still affecting me. My parents are excellent and they financially support me which I am very grateful for but I just don't know what to do. I have suggested therapy for all of us (b/c I don't believe she could handle me suggesting that she soley should go to therapy) but she refuses. She says that we are the problem and not her and the things we do cause her to act this way.

I believe that my mother became so attached to us that with the mix of problems with my brother and the fact that we are growing up are too much for her to carry. PLEASE NOTE THAT MY DAD DOES NOT FEEL THIS SAME WAY AND THAT HE IS ON MY SIDE. HOWEVER, HE HAS TO "GO ALONG WITH" MY MOM OR SHE WILL THEN TURN ON HIM FOR NOT SUPPORTING HER--we have discussed this in detail.

So anyone, please some advice. I do not know what to do and really need some help. I feel like I am at a dead end because I believe there is no changing her or how she feels. I also feel very bad that this has happened to her because she is truly an excellent mom who deep down loves us more than anything.

I look forward to your input

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