Snap! I've got to take control!


A quick summary from your newest member: Third of three, very dysfunctional family, professional mother turned her head rather that see the abuse and neglect I suffered. Middle child died, father died, fast forward a lifetime to that mother with whom I forged a relationship at some cost living with my abusive and cruel oldest sibling. Mom has some money, my marriage is toast, I brought my mom to a new state (near another relative) and set her up in a new home (not assisted living). I'm looking for work and I used my pitiful monies to purchase an RV, this is the cheapest way tolive I can figure. It's not so bad.
Okay, that's more or less the story, now here I am with no friends and no job in a new city! I do love this city, but this isn't exactly what I had in mind. Still, here I am. I was feeling so overwhelmed! I was on the phone with a friend who cared for his mother and I told him how frustrated I am with mom, how she refuses to make an appointment for a hearing test, won't use her cane, won't discuss certain topics regarding her care. Then he said something that has truly liberated me.
I'm going to set all that old family crap behind me. I am in the NOW, and I have no help. I am IN CHARGE. I am going to TELL her we are getting her hearing checked, TELL her to take her cane, TELL her we are getting an estimate on a ramp for her home. If she complains, my weapon is the ULTIMATE -- me.
I am so grateful my friend explained this to me. I know this is going to be hard, but it's the only way this will work. She has no choice. I'm a really nice person and I always ASK, but that is inappropriate. She needs to be told. My guess is that she will be relieved, actually. Sometimes she complains that I'm too bossy, but what is funny is that she's confusing me with her.
I'll play nice. But I'm done with a whole lot of this crap. I'm worn out, have no idea who to get help from, but this is a good start.

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thirdkid, I hear you. I never thought I would be 75 and still dealing with mother. I might have drawn tighter boundaries sooner, You are wise to separate your life more, and also to look into what she may need in the future. Mother was just diagnosed formally a few years ago on one hospital stay when her live-in caregiver broke down in front of the nurses. I had diagnosed her informally many years ago. You are orobably right about your mother. I have gone for therapy over the years off and on - the problem doesn't go away, and it takes a lot of work to overcome the childhood stuff. My mother does not understand boundaries either. She just doesn't get it. She also harps on perceived slights from years ago, as if they happened yesterday, and does not understand how her words/actions affect others. You sis sounds awful. i have some horror stories about my sis too - different but still bad, You have done the right thing. Good for you, and it is tough. You will find many similar stories here. (((((((hugs))))))
crystal - glad you have taken a stand, and taken charge. I have read of many here who have allowed their ill, demented parent to control their homes, and their lives. And it doesn't work! I agree it is not rude or disrespectful. It is necessary to draw healthy boundaries, and look after everyone's needs. Caregivers have to look after themselves first to be able to look after others, ((((hugs))))

Thank you both!
Emjo, if my mother lives another ten years I am going to expire. Well, maybe not, but that alone is enough to get me serious about separating her and my life a bit more. Also, this is where I see that I must find a place for her when I can no longer assist her at her home.
Her memory is weaker now, and her desire to control everything is exhausting, which is why I have to take control of some of this....and for years I have wondered if she has narcissistic personality disorder. I read books, plus 20 years of off-and-on therapy has made me more insightful than many. She seriously does not understand boundaries. She is bitter. She has no way to see how her words affect others, for example, still bitching about my (favorite) aunt 25 years after her death. Or my father. But never my brother, my dear brother who died at 26. I wish to he'll he was still here. I really do! As for my sister....even mom had to see how ugly, evil and sinister she is after we actually caught her wiretapping our private conversations! Among other things! I am 100% positive I have done the right thing getting my mom out of there.
Still, it's a darn tough thing. I was so grateful I found this site the other day, and I read threads that I thought sounded exactly like me!
Hugs and blessings to you all.

@thirdkid I can relate. Just a few short weeks ago I had enough and I had to tell my father what I was going to do or we were going to have to talk to the doctor about the situation. All my life it was listening to my parents too. There comes a time we have to take a stand when they are no longer able to do for their-self. I know they do not want to lose that independency, no one does. But in spite of health issues we see more than what they see and you are doing the right thing but being more assertive. I am 55 and just started so as it was rough I knew I could not hold it in any longer. Now since my father is on my turf and I am tending to him for two years he no longer runs or pays for this home. I do. So I do have a say what goes on if he wants to remain in my care. It is not being rude or disrespectful either. We have to do what we have to do or else we are that small child again listening to orders giving out. My father was upset in the beginning but he is getting used to it. And I for one stick to it to maintain my sanity. I wish you the best in your new home. It will take time but you will meet new people. find a great job and enjoy your new place. Hugs to you and your Mom!

Great. Setting boundaries for yourself - by all means. You need to do that, You may nor be able to get her to go for a hearing test, but you can set limits on what you will do, which, for example, could include not repeating things many times because she cannot hear you. Absolutely, If you cannot lift, set that boundary and be willing to work on getting her the help she needs. I thinikI misunderstood you. You certainly can, and need to, tell her outright what you can and cannot do. With my mother, who is narcissistic, I find I have to be direct I can do this, I can't or won't do that. There is no need for you to justify youself to her, or even explain. You are not responsible for her happiness, only your own happiness, nor can you "make" her happy. My mother is negative and thrives on bitching about whatever she can find to bitch about, and ignores the positives, so I have decreased my contact with her. You can set a boundary about how much of that you want to listen to. I have told my mother that I didn't want to hear any more about so and so, and how they mistreated her (very one sided story anyway), as all it did was make our time together unpleasant. She slowed down considerably on that topic. My mum is 100 and I am 75 and I find i can do less and less for her, and tolerate the negativism less and less. It is too stressful for me. Like you, I have had a lifetime of emotional abuse, and that makes dealing with more of it harder. I find I have to take breaks from contactafter she has been nasty to me, to heal. I can still get PTSD flashbacks to my younger years. My sis is worse than mum though she hides it better for a while, behind a smile. Your own happiness is very bit as important as hers, and you have to put your self first at times in terms of looking after you, or you will not be able to look after anyone else. If she chooses to be miserable, you can't change that, but you do not have to be dragged down by it. It sounds like you have your own residence, however humble, and that is great. You need that, Do what you can for your mum, and get on with your own life. I am so glad you have found a company that looks for work for 50+ year olds. Come back and tell us how it works out. You have my prayers for a job ((((((hugs))))) and blessings Joan

Thank you for your reply! Hey, it worked!
My mom is 90. She's in pretty good shape for her age, but I am 60, and there are some non-negotiable stuff we need to discuss, like I can NOT lift her. I found a place that helps people over 50 look for work, yay! I will call them Monday.
But seriously-- she has to stop bitching and take her cane. The alternative may be that I don't drive her anywhere, the choice is hers after all. She argues about EVERYTHING, and her bitter words are a thread of my childhood, always bitching, bitching. I really needed to hear that I can just -- TELL her what's going to happen. We MUST discuss which extended stay place she will go if she falls and hurts herself, or which agency will help her in her home. I am not her lackey! Ihave to, as you pointed out, forge my own life here.
She's actually doing okay in most ways. It's just that sometimes her bitter, nasty recriminations piss me off. I have to keep telling myself that: I do love her, I want her to be happy, and my own happiness is every bit as important as hers.
In fact, it's more important to me.

(((((hugs)))))) thirdkid - I feel your frustration. Have you a back up plan in case you mother decides not to go along with you. She does have the choice. We see many parents here who will not agree to do the things that are in their best interests, and they can't be forced to do them. It is hugely frustrating, but they have a "right" to do or not do, what they want, unless they have been evaluated and found not competent.
I hope you find some opportunities to talk with your mum about the care issues you are concerned about. As we age, we lose control of many aspects of life, and tend to hang on pretty tight to those things we can control. Sounds like she is in denial to a degree, and that is not unusual. Honey catches more flies than vinegar. Can you simply tell her that you have concerns about her health and well being, list them for her, and ask her when you, and she could talk about solutions. Don 't overwhelm her - one step at a time. That lets her control when the talk takes place. If she ignores it, keep bringing it up gently. Eventually some things will happen that will get her attention regarding changes that need to be made.

Sounds to me like you need to concentrate on you, and what you can do for yourself too. Sometimes our parents have to learn from experience that they need certain things. In the meanwhile, focus on you, find a job, get to know some people. jmprove your quality of life, and come back and let us know how you are doing, and express your frustration about your mum. more (((((((hugs)))))) Joan

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