Mum tells me one thing and tells my sister something else.

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It has always been that way but she is getting worse. Her whole conversations are about how she is depressed and how she is lonely. She has a fabulous network of people but has become very nasty. I am on my own too and she never thinks that I could be lonely as well. My sister and I give her as much support as we can. She phones crying and threatens me and most times when I try and ask her what does she want me to help her with, she hangs up. I might go 2 weeks without a call. She has recently seen a counselor and her doctor and is suffering depression. The thing is she has been like this for a long time. My children don't want to visit her and when she does ask about them I just say they are busy with work and their social lives. Mum lost her 3rd husband only a few months back and I know she is still mourning his death. I am finding it more and more difficult to deal with her anger and forgetfulness. Unfortunately she has always made it about herself and never once gives consideration to my sister and her family nor mine. When we try and give advice she tells us that she doesn't like being told what to do. How do we go about helping her without coming across that we are telling her what to do. I tried to shorten this without going into too much explanation. Any suggestions. Thank you


Oh I do so feel your pain, my mother tells me (the older) one thing, and then she will call my middle sister and say and she loves attention, it is all about HER, all three of us girls are not in the best of health, I am the oldest and on disability and raising a 5 yr old grand-baby my next sister is having heart trouble and works many hours because she is single, my youngest sister is the one she is staying with now and my youngest sister at 46 yr old is not in good health either. her and her husband just got all the kids out of the house and here comes my mother, she just expects my sister to wait on her hand and foot. She had been over with me for the last 7 yrs but when my health went south and I got a grand-baby to raise it was just to much for me. I could not or would not wait on her hand and foot. She had a house 100 yards from mine, but I could NOT leave over there, there was days I felt worse than she did. she got so made at me, cussed me out and went to stay with my youngest sister, the one that loved to go and do with her husband, but NOW they have to take everything they do and rework it because of mother, or just not go along. She wants me and my husband to buy her home, which we have said we will do, but she has a life estate on it, I tried to explain I could not use the house as caladeral as long as she had a life estate on it. Well she said when they put the money in my hand I will sign the papers, I tried to tell her the loan is coming from one state and the deed will have to be filed in a different state. One will have to be done before the other one can be done. She don't get it! OMG I just want to run when I see her, she wants EVERYONE's pity, and she is always sicker than anyone else. So if you figure it out let me know, I just want to throw my hands up and say "I AM OUT" i have to raise this baby with somewhat of a mind, and I can't handle mothers "cries for pity" and take care of a five yr old! Now what??
sanity and thackerville - I suggest you both set boundaries with your mothers. Unless your mom's have mental problems, you need to have a nice sit-down conversation and explain your situations - that although you love her, you are having a hard time dealing with everything in your OWN life, and while you would love to "fix" them, you can't - and no one can - except themselves. In this heart-to-heart, explain that you will listen and help when you can, but if it gets too much or she starts getting angry and ugly to you, you cannot and will not tolerate it and walk away. You must take care of yourself first. And suggest they get or continue counseling - it really does help. A self-centered person is not going to change - but that doesn't mean you have to be their battering ram either. Once they figure out you will not tolerate this type of behavior (which will probably take a little while), they will hopefully be a little pleasant if they really want to visit with you. But it is NOT YOUR FAULT that this person is depressed and/or self-centered. And it is also not your responsibility to run to your mom every time she speaks or be her sole source of entertainment or encouragement. You're grown and have a life. She should understand this. If she needs you to do something - you will do it when it is convenient - not right away - unless it's a "true" emergency. Try to encourage her to call her friends or other relatives. Suggest she get out more. And as far as your mother telling your siblings something different - try not to take it personal. And take everything she says with a grain of salt. If your siblings are aware of this too - have a chat with them and tell them the same. If mom says something that sounds wacky, you may want to discuss it with your siblings so everyone is on the same page with/about mom. Good luck!!
Sanity, I am glad to see your mom was diagnosed as depressed. She sounds exactly like my mother. However my mother thinks it is everyone else.

Sanity, you know what is so interesting to me is how similar our mothers are. There are many, many people who post comments on thsi site who have mothers and fathers who are exactly the same way. They are narcissistic, selfish, mentally unbalanced or something. Maybe depressed, maybe all of the above. However, they make it impossible to tolerate them.

My father died five years ago and he was no better. They seemed to feed on each other. Neither one cared about me much and my brother was the golden child. Now my mother triangulates between my brother and I. She expects everyone to call her on the phone, she does not call anyone. She has two sister's who have both had cancer. One died a year ago and the other has been amazing to have survived. When I asked about them she would tell me, "Oh they haven't called ME, so I don't know how they are doing."

She has no friends, everyone has given up. Then she complains bitterly of being alone and lonely. She recently told me "everyone has forgot about me". And god forbid if you try to give her advice when she complains about EVERYTHING. Then she gets mad at you for telling her what to do. It is a no win situation.

I have be beating my head against the wall, trying to have a relationship with my mother for years. Then recently I realized, wait a minute, I am her daughter. If she wants a relationship with me, she can work for it. So I haven't called her in two months. And you guessed it. She hasn't called me either. Two months in which I had a birthday and my daughter went through the Boston bombings outside her workplace, no call. It is about her. We are supposed to report to her.

Your mother may be depressed but she is also selfish or narcissistic. I have seen it too many times to not recognize it over and over. Set some boundaries and don't let her get away with one more day of this. You have to change yourself and how you handle her.

In the meantime, I am still waiting for that phone call. :)

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