End of my rope.

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So, I have been living with my mother for about 7 years or so now. She does not have dementia. She has become more and more difficult to deal with. My husband and my two daughters moved in with her and her husband to help care for them. Her husband did have dementia and passed away in 2012 from cancer. During this time, my mom has had heart valve replacement, hip replacement, a new pacemaker that got infected, and became a huge ordeal as she had to have the 30 plus year old wires removed. She is now 86 by the way. She had the pacemaker surgery in 2014. She was really bad off and we didn't think she would make it. She has had c diff as well, been in and out of the hospital and nursing home for therapy. I have no one else to help me deal with her. She has been more and more hateful. My daughters moved out as they can't deal with her and now they don't want to really even visit with her. She was going to call the police on my youngest while I was away, because she was using the bathroom. We have two bathrooms, she just refused the use the other one. Now I continue to hear that SHE pays the mortgage. As if we do nothing to help. I work full time, my husband is off work due a back injury. I just had surgery on my ankle from an old injury. I pay all of the bills (other thank the mortgage) I do get some money from her social security to help with costs but generally I try not to take anything from her at all. Lately due to my husband being off I have to get something from her so we continue to have electricity and food. She has decided that she HAS to leave curtains open for her parrot to get sunlight. We live in Florida, the window faces the west so in the afternoon the hottest part of the sunlight is shining into that window for at least 8 hours. I have asked that she not do this as it makes it hotter in the house. We just replaced the AC unit last year. She also will stand with the door open calling her dog, or leaving the front door (west side) open so it gets super hot in the living room! She refuses to help me out. I have let her know I can't afford this $300 or more a month for electric. She doesn't care. I want to leave, but at this time I can't afford to leave! I don't know what to do! I am basically venting at this moment and hopefully I can come up with a solution. I am sad that I can't get along with my mother, I don't wish anything bad on her, but I can't get her to see my side of anything. I am slowly shutting down where I don't want to do anything for her. I make her medical appointments, pick up her meds, I try to take her out to the store but she doesn't want to go when I can go, but when I can't take her (I work M-F all day) any other day she gets mad gives me a guilt trip. She constantly talks about how she was abused by my father's family (more than 50 years ago, not one of the people she talks about is alive anymore) I feel defeated. I have tried to get her counseling but she refused. I don't really expect answers, mainly venting. I can't rely on my brother. She tells him stories that are not true, but then tells me bad things about his wife, how she gets her nails and hair done but doesn't work, and how my brother has to take care of their daughter and he cooks and cleans...!!! Thank you for reading this far!


This doesn't help with the core problems, but have you considered putting a good UV blocking window film on the west window? From my research they can block a considerable amount of sunlight coming in without blocking the window like blinds or curtains (I was looking into this for my skylight).... she can still air her birdie and you will have one less thing to be so stressed about.

It is nice to vent sometimes. Living in a stressful environment certainly would make you anxious and even miserable if you stay there. Even though you have financial struggles with your husband being out of work due to a back injury, I might work towards gaining financial independence. Will your husband go back to work when he heals or pursue disability?

You say that your mom does not have dementia, but the behavior you describe sounds off to me. Why would she call the police on your daughter for using the bathroom? Often, dementia is not just forgetting things. It's poor judgment and bizarre behavior too. I'd question if she may be heading into some mental decline. If that is the case, she may need your help. Keep in mind if that is the case, her behavior may get much more severe. That's not easy to live with either.

Of course, perhaps your mom does not have mental decline and she is just not happy with you and your husband living there. If she could pay all her bills without you being there, perhaps, she resents you for some reason and does not want you there.

Have you asked her outright why she is behaving this way and if she wants you and your husband living with her? If she is competent, and she says she wants you out, then I would make arrangements to move out. Explain this to her and maybe you can make a plan so that she can stop being hostile and you can leave on good terms. Of course, she'll need to pay someone to come in and help her with the things you were doing, but that's her money to spend as she likes.

I know I would not like to live there under that stress. I hope you can find a resolution. Good luck.
Thank you, I will look into that. I am just very short of funds, and I am sure she will complain about that as well. There has not been too many things that she doesn't complain about. Nothing we do seems to be good enough. When her husband was alive she yelled at him Every. Single. Day. He had surgery on his hernia, the day after he came home she yelled at him to come to the table to eat dinner. Never asked if he wanted what she cooked, was he okay, nothing. She yelled at him for what he watched on TV. I just can't take the abuse much longer. It is about way more than the bird getting light (but I so appreciate your suggestion!! I am open to just about anything!!) She just needs someone to yell at, and it isn't going to be me. I have gone above and beyond to make sure her life is good. I don't want her in a NH, the one she would probably have to go to is not that great. I hate how they treat the folks there. Besides, the staff know here there and many didn't like her because she was the same while she was a patient there. She has no friends because all she talks about is how badly she has been treated in the past. Some things should not be discussed with anyone other than a counselor. She told my husband about how her first husband raped her, there was a lot of detail that he didn't appreciate hearing. He asked why she was telling him this story, she said because it is in her head and she needs to talk about it...she has told this particular story since I was very little!! God help me!! I wonder if she could be bi polar? I know nothing of the sort, but I do know something isn't right. It is NOT dementia though.
Vent away, that is what we are here for...Filly, you are not alone... This is a common problem amongst most of us on here... I also live in Florida, and really feel you on the electric bill, I know with FPL, you can do a budget bill, and it has consistently saved my rear end... we live on the East Coast, near the beach, so we have the humidity issue also, our house is a 2 story, 2500sq feet, and I have my ac set at 74, my bill in the summer would be over 400, if I wasn't on the budget, it runs 250-260 because I am on the budget... Hope this helps with at least part of the vent
filly, what happens in many cases when a grown child moves back in with a parent, the family dynamics returns to being adult/child, with you being the child. I bet in your Mom's mind she still thinks you don't know how to do anything, and since it is her house, it's her rules.... even though you and your family where to help HER.

From what you are writing about your Mom, I agree with Sunnygirl, is sure sounds like dementia. Also, those with dementia will tell "stories" to get attention. Those with dementia, their world becomes smaller so all your Mom thinks about is herself. There is nothing wrong with an elder getting dementia, it is just part of getting older for some folks.

Your Mom wouldn't need to go into a nursing home, but if she could afford it she could go into Assisted Living. Maybe she needs to be around people of her own age, that way she can make new friends. Your Mom is probably also upset that her husband had passed away leaving her alone, it wasn't the retirement she had planned.

That's a lot to think about.
Sunnygirl1, thank you. No, I am quite sure it is not dementia. I believe it could be bi polar. Again, I am not a licensed psych nurse by any means! My sister says she was like this when she was growing up. She is in counseling due to the abuse she experienced from my mom and she is 63 this year! I don't remember her treating me like this growing up, but after I got my horse at 13, I was always at the barn. I just don't get it. I do feel there is resentment, but she is also always apologizing for needing to be driven somewhere, for her oxygen tube being in the way, for many trivial things. I always told her not to apologize. As far as me caring for her, it is MY duty (which I was more than happy to take on by the way) as her daughter! But now she is just hateful over so many things. She is not able to even care for her animals as she should. None see a vet, the bird is old and has no feathers. I tried to talk her into letting me send him to a very good parrot rescue. No way. "He will die in this house" is what she said....my brother is NO help. He sticks up for anything she says and does. "she is an old woman" he says. REALLY? He doesn't know some of the things she says about his wife. I told him some but not all. It is bizarre to say the least! She seems to thrive on anything negative and seems to try to work us siblings against each other. None of her siblings wanted anything to do with her before they all passed away.
Fregflyer, she hated her husband. To this day, she doesn't talk nice about him either. This is why I feel crazy sometimes. If only more people could live around her and see her behavior. It is not normal. Her own siblings disowned her. Thank you for your response though. I appreciate any suggestions to help open my mind to any other possibilities!
Filly, I think it's very difficult to live peacefully or happily with someone who isn't happy and hoards grievances. It isn't as though your mother's being sadistic - she doesn't *enjoy* being like this any more than you like listening to it. Some people are career complainers, and get a sense of purpose out of making other people miserable. But she doesn't sound like that. She sounds negative and bitter and angry and hurt, and she shares it with you. Gee thanks! - but she's not doing it to get you down, she's doing it because that's how she is and she can't help it. You've tried counselling, and she won't have it. Too stuck in the familiar territory where at least she can keep company with the devil she knows, hm?

[aside: I moved heaven and earth to get my mother to a therapist, on one occasion. She came out absolutely furious at being asked such personal questions. Oh well, I tried. Sigh…]

But it stinks for you. What can you change? Not your mother. She is an old woman - in that respect your brother is right - and a very unhappy one, probably with some genuine grievances, who isn't interested in what it would take to change. Your situation? If you can't do that now, at least work towards it: you'll feel better just for having a plan. So meanwhile, that leaves yourself, and how you and your husband respond to your mother's behaviour and personality.

It's your mother who's the unhappy person. She can't force you to take after her.

Sorry - I've just seen your post about the parrot. If he is a true parrot, they live for decades and they don't moult for no reason. He needs veterinary attention. Go behind her back to get it if need be, or threaten to call the animal welfare people.

Her behavior is very stressful to me, especially since I live life treating others the way I want to be treated. I go out of my way to care for her, I have very little leave time left at my job. After my surgery she expected me to "walk" across from my building to another to purchase stamps for her. It would be about 1/2 mile over and back, while on crutches. I told her no, that I could have my husband do it. She responded that she doesn't want to ask him to do anything. Even though he is MORE than happy to things for her! He knows how she is, yet he tries to give her the benefit of the doubt. It is getting harder and harder to do so. As far as the parrot goes, animal welfare will do absolutely nothing where I live. As long as the animals get food and water, that is all they care about. I know, we used have horses living in back of us. One was walking around 3 legged lame, another had a huge gash on her withers. The owners put duct tape on the wound. I called it in and NOTHING was done. I just feel emotionally done. Thank you all for your suggestions, I wish there was a fool proof suggestion for my mother :(
i dont know what to tell you about your cantankerous mom , except her late husband needs his ass kicked for being such a wuss .
the parrot would do better in an alcove or back room area of the house . if they are in the main traffic flow they try to run the household and stay too stressed .
stress isnt doing any of you any good . tell the old bag to blow it out her a$$ a few times . she'll respect you more if you display a spine .
take that from someone who has worked for the public for 20 years . my best customer / friends are people ive slammed heads with years ago .

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