Elder Abuse of Child. I realize I am not alone here.

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Today, I thought I was alone. After finding this website, I see that I am not. Your stories of abusive mothers are the same as mine - just the names & places & some facts are a little different. So I won't repeat them. I just want to say thank you all for being here. My mother is 98 and healthy and living alone. Her best friend is Judge Judy. She hates everyone and trusts no one - she is becoming more & more paranoid & delusional at her own hands. She will not get help as there is nothing wrong with her she says, but there is something wrong with me and I (her only child) am trying to steal from her (she is on public assistance - she has nothing to steal). I am 61 and declining because of her abuse. She has taught me since childhood that I am a substandard person and how to be a world class victim. I am working daily to change that and have made great, extraordinary strides, but she undermines it daily. I hope to win the battle and just knowing that I am not alone and you all have suffered at the hands of someone who was supposed to love and guide you in a positive manner, gives me hope to continue being strong. Today I wanted to give up - tonight I will rest - tomorrow I will fight back and try to reclaim myself as a human being instead of a punching bag - thank you, my wonderful new friends. Bless all of you. I've had it with mommy dearest. This is elder abuse - abuse by an elder. I'm mad as H___L and not taking it any more. My family deserves better.

10 Comments

Dear Ivehadit!

I love reading your post. I had to read it twice because I wasn't sure I didn't write it! I didn't see a date when it was written so I'm going to assume it's really new or really old. This is a wonderful website and I'm so lucky I found it! I have so much in common with you. Only child, trying to please an elderly parent, etc., etc. What really is an eyeopener for me is how far I have come in the reality of the situation. I posted a few "poor me's" on this site. Wonderful comments were sent to me and I did get a few hugs which were really appreciated. I have to tell you at this point that I've been in therapy most all of my adult life and recently attended a support group which I'd not been attending for quite sometime. Well, after one meeting my entire perspective changed. What I learned is that I had reverted back to my same old behavior that I learned as a child - trying to make mom happy! Let's see what else I can do to make mom happy! I'm trying to spare her any bad news so that she can concentrate on her recovery! This is called "stinking thinking" that we develop from growing up in dysfunction. Always, always trying to please, make someone happy, make them proud. Well, bottom line is, it's impossible! Might as well do something to please yourself, then at least someone is pleased! And hey, don't worry about winning the battle - you'll never win the battle. Concentrate on winning the war!

I had to chuckle when you said you're mom's best friend is Judge Judy. Same here!
I just posted yesterday. Childhood is what we spend the rest of our lives trying to overcome. I underwent hypnotherapy several years back for self worth and it really worked. Hypnosis works great for me for many things. But I feel it is a rotten irony that I am the one seeking therapy when it's mom who really needs it and refuses because "there's nothing wrong with me-it's everyone else"
thank you for sharing-its great to share with people who really understand.
Ain't it the truth! It is a rotten irony but the up side is that even though you are the one getting therapy, you are the one benefiting! I think so many people have children when they have no idea how to raise them. They have no idea how to instill a healthy sense of self into that tiny little person they bring into this world. So often parents destroy a child's self esteem by critizing, comparing, expecting perfection etc. I think when one is physically abused as a child (as bad as that is), it is perhaps easier to recognize than when one has been emotionally abused. We grow up (most of us) loving our parents and looking up to them. We don't see their dysfunction - some of us never realize how dysfunctional our upbring was! So there, aren't we the lucky ones!

Bottom line here: We are the ones who must change! Our mom's are never going to change - they see no need. After all isn't everything going their way. Aren't we the ones revolving around their every need? They snap and we jump. Then we keep jumping until we've worn out our springs! Then we become resentful and cry and sing the blues to anyone who will listen until we've worn out all of our friends and our husbands leave us.
I agree word for word. I have come to realize that this one of the mahor reasons I chose to not have children - didn't want the child to suffer like I was. And for sure, emotional and psychological abuse are the most insidious. Often you can repair the outside damage way easier than the inside damage. Your last paragraph and last sentence in particular, just gave me an epiphany! It's time to stop whining about poor me and grow a backbone. Tough love for myself. I will now refrain from burdening my friends (most of whom have fairly functional and happy families) ad nauseum and just share with peope who can relate and offer hope & guidance, not just solace. Thank you for that little spurt of strength I just grew!
I'm so glad my post helped in some way. Funny thing, I too am childless and for the same reasons as you. I felt so fortunate when I finally reached adulthood that I saw no sense in raising a houseful of small neurotics! (sp ?) Further, I just didn't want any more responsibility.

With my dysfunctional childhood, I'm quite sure I would have added to the delinquent population!
Really good comments here. The epiphany I had in seeing the emotional destructiveness in trying to please parents came through a situation at work. I was an accounting clerk who stumbled onto major fraud, etc. and finally felt I had to report my company bosses to the FBI. I was scared, but madder than scared. These people had terrorized their staff just like we were little kids scared of bad parents, and I sure enjoyed my bosses shaking in their shoes as the Justice Dept. came down on them. FBI showed up to execute search warrants and all us little people got to sit at our desks and watch and realize that these terrible ogre bosses were really cowards. Believe it - the exective secretary sitting next to me said to her boss: "Now some days are bad and some days are good. But every cloud has a silver lining! How many lumps would you like in your coffee?" The company was finally convicted of racketeering in the federal courts. But that helped me to see for myself - why be afraid of this big bad wolf, who really is a blowhard coward. I began to see that the world has some really great people out there - concentrate on them, and don't waltz with the kind that always trample your feet. If you must deal with that kind, then cut yourself some slack and trip them!
Although it seems to have been a long while since last post on this issue I have something to say. After one year (so far) of pure h*ll trying to care for elderly aunt & uncle with mental issues & dealing with their neurotic children I have made a decision. I will absolutely refuse to do same for my mother when the time comes...which won't be long from now. As the oldest & only child of her 1st marriage I have gotten nothing but criticism & abuse from her my entire life. I am now 57. I have a half-brother & half-sister who in her eyes can do no wrong. I will NOT be there for any of them when the time comes. They feel superior to me & treat me terribly. Tit for tat.
It is difficult enough to be a caregiver for people who appreciate your help. Although my dad is now in assisted living, he tells me regularly that he can have me put into jail for elderly abuse because he is 90 and elderly. I tell him he will be in the jail cell next to me since I am now also considered elderly and he is abusing me. Not that I would ever do that, the next cell would be way to close. If it weren't for my mom, I would be taking a lot less interest in his care. I would like to think that his behavior is related to his age - but he has been a critical, self absorbed person his whole life. Nothing and no one measures up and everyone is supposed to serve and wait on him. My mother is of the generation that being a good wife and good girl means being subservient. Unfortunately, for dad, I didn't get that gene. I normally take a deep breath and thank God that I am not married to this person. Some days, I drive in the car and just scream. I would have never taken on this responsibility had it not been for my mom. That is why it is important to make sure that when the decision time comes to move any parent into your home or take on the care responsibility, you have had love and respect growing up. It won't get better as they age or are in your home.
Burnedout13, you are right on. I know there is NO way I could take care of my mother when the time comes...too many painful memories of verbal & physical abuse. Every time I thought I had pretty much healed she would do or say something to open old wounds. No, I have to move on in my life without her. She drove my step-father to an early grave.
I take my sister out of her group home once a week. We do lunch and maybe some shopping. If she ever starts making weird accusations, that is when I give her up to the state. You have to save YOURSELF first.

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