I’m at the end of my rope, any advice on how to either keep my mother or my head glued on.
Well, my sister just sent me the link to this site. I was amazed at some of what I read. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my struggles.
I have a mother that is relatively young (68), legally blind and diabetic. I moved her from San Antonio to my town in Missouri last year so that I could help her get her life back in order. I had been financing her life for the 7 or so months prior to the move (rent, food, etc.), paid for her bankruptcy (her 3rd, mind you), moving expenses, blah blah blah. It had grown to an insane amount of money in a very short period of time. I figured that it was better to move her up here where I could help keep an eye on her spending, her health, and all the rest. I was WRONG.
She lived with me the first two months, and the fact that one of us isn't buried in my back yard is a miracle. She has, in the span of a year and a half, taxed my emotional health and finances to the point that I'm about ready to divorce her, so to speak. There are never any sincere thank you's from her, no attempts on her part to either be more responsible with her money or to take better care of her health... and if I try to prod her in the right direction in either area, I am locked in combat with a woman who uses guilt trips and verbal abuse as a means to ending an argument that she can't win in any other way. She is constantly angry, self-pitying, selfish, and demanding. She expects me to spend my time, no matter what, taking her on whatever errands she needs to run, even though the Area Agency on Aging has told her repeatedly that they will provide her with free taxi vouchers to take her to whatever 'necessary' (they qualified this as grocery store, doctor, social security office, etc.) errands she needs to run. But she told me point blank that I'm her daughter and that's what I'm there for... that she shouldn't have to do things on her own just to 'make my life easier'. She destroyed the carpet in my guestroom when she was here for two months (brand new house) and feels no guilt about it at all.
I've got a lot of old anger issues with my mother, most regarding things that she put me through when I was growing up (physical, verbal, emotional abuse... neglect... blah blah blah), but I've still tried to do the right thing and care for her as well as I could. But that being said, I don't know how much longer I can continue having her in my life when she just seems intent on sucking me both financially and emotionally dry. Up until two months ago, I was still paying her rent every month at her apartment, buying her groceries, etc., and then found out that while I'm doing all that because she's 'broke', she was buying out QVC and sees nothing wrong with it. She refuses to manage her diabetes the way she's supposed to, eating a half-gallon of ice cream at a time and then going off on me when I tell her I'm concerned about her health and don't want her to eat that way. I get the same reaction when I tell her I want to help her clean up her space (she lives in filth and an unbelievable amount of clutter. Seriously unbelievable.) so that she can be happy and healthy. She's on all kinds of medication for her heart, her diabetes, her migraines, etc., but my sympathy is almost completely used up because so many of these issues are issues she wouldn't have, or not to the degree she does, if she'd just LISTEN and take care of herself.
I'm really sorry to go on like this, but I just don't know what to do. I feel guilty if I leave her to her own devices, but it honestly feels like she's killing me bit by bit every day. When confronted, she plays up the 'everyone's picking on me' angle, since she thrives on being the victim. She lies to everyone, she... God, what am I going to do? I don't want to hate her, but I'm afraid that that's what I'm going to be left with if something doesn't change. I have two siblings, one who tries to help as and when she can and one that does absolutely nothing. The one that does nothing? Mom still defends and dotes on HER. Isn't that always the way?
Any advice at all on how to either help my mother or keep my head glued on would be most welcome. Again, sorry for the length of my post.