The hardest decision I've ever made-mum or my family?

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I have been inspired by so many of you here and i have also read from so many of you about the burnout you all feel and because of this I've re evaluated my situation with my mum. She was diagnosed with alzheimer's recently and can no longer drive. I quickly did what i thought was right and picked her up every day,took her to shops,ect. I soon realised things weren't that simple. Mum has been quite distant to me since her and dad got divorced 10 yrs ago. I chose to have a relationship with both parents but to mum,I chose dad,not her and concequently put me in a very unflattering light to alot of people by telling alot of untruths. I would ask her to come over but she'd never turn up ect. Part of it was the dimentia but part was still her. She made my younger sister POA and executor to her will ,which my sister relished. She has control issues and is a little selfish. She has no children and a boozy partner. I told my sister i was ok with her being poa and would support her. Recently, my sister made mention she had a "spare" key card to mums accounts (which i thought was odd) ,never the less I thought it could actually come in handy in the sense that i could use it to get mums groceries sometimes instead of trampsing 3 young children and a dimentia elder round the shops-particularly at xmas. We are struggling financially and cant really afford to fork out $170 for a carton of cigarettes plus shopping ect. To my horror,sister said "no,i can't just let you use it whenever you want for anything you want". Naively, i again explained how difficult it is sometimes to take mum with 3 kids shopping(as shes never even taken mum to the shops ònce) and her response was "cant you just take her to the shops?".. . Yes, she is completely ignorant to the fact as she has no children but it set a standard of what i was to expect as mums carer -not an ounce of support at all,only critisism. My sister said she'd take a day off each week to take mum shopping and cook her meals for the week-that was 2 months ago and hasn't happen once. I also noticed mum didnt have guardianship papers in place so i printed them up and put just myself as guardian (i dont know if its normal to have just one guardian or not) as i didnt really think sister would care and she put up such a fuss about being left out that the doctor wouldnt sign them (she rang the doct and refused to agree with the papers). Ive since seen notes at mums where her brothers and my sister have rung and told her to write down "any pwr of guardian papers must have both girls names on it" and other variations. I then realized the depth of mums untruths had run through her side of the family and noone trusted or liked me. Its early days and this is already having effects on my family. Hubby also works away and is so supportive. My beautiful 2 boys have commented how much time ive spent looking after Nana and why cant someone else. Soooo, I decided (after a comlete meltdown and some emotional moments with hubby) that it wasnt important for me to have my name on any papers. My sister can do the lot and will have to step up. I can still take mum out and arrange to have time with her and the kids to ènjoy and create good memories for the kids with nan rather than only remembering shopping trips they loath. When i can,ill take mum shopping, but i cant bust my ass and let my family suffer. If i was going to get support from family,it'd be different. This is a loooong road were on and its only going to get harder. I feel like ive chosen my family OVER my mum and feel just awful yet at the same time I know I've made the right choice to step back. How so many of you care permenantly for years is a true testament to your strenght. Has anyone else ever done this. Im still feeling quite awkward about my decision.


When my mom started having crises related to strokes, heart disease and vascular dementia and the like, a friend's mom sent me a message " I so regret getting over- involved in my parents' affairs to the extent that I missed my grand children's childhoods". I think of that when I need to make choices.
I think you've made the right decision for yourself and your family. Good for you! Your husband and your children are your first priorities, not your mom (as harsh as that sounds). Please keep us posted on how things are going.
You have made the right decision. Sorry this is long. ..

My family had moved 4 hours away from my parents completely by chance, not for them. As soon as we did, the constant calls started for visits, projects, etc. My siblings live 2,000 miles away.

Both my husband & I worked full time and had two elementary age kids. We were harrassed to visit every weekend. My father started hinting at inheritance, college funds, and making comments designed to create suspicion between me and my siblings. Yet he made my oldest sibling executor. This was the sibling my father claimed to not trust...Over the years my parents both express distrust of their childrens' spouses.

At one point my mom broke her hip during a visit to their house and my siblings immediately accused me of pushing her. Luckily a friend had been with us as witness... All claimed it was a joke. But all made "the joke" separately & both asked doctor for answers as to how it happened. My mother refused to believe the doctor's answer that the bone was probably already weakened and fell out from under her. So I highly suspect she told family members that I pushed her...Since then she has had 6 small bone breaks, all detected due to pain, not a fall or accident. What gets me is that they all still push for me to be the caregiver, while making callous accusations of me being an abuser. I know they don't believe I hurt her or they wouldn't want me around her. They are just firmly indoctrinated in our family belief that I am the default scapegoat and emotional punching bag for everyone. It is more important that my parents have a scapegoat to save their own face. Who cares who they damage emotionally.

Also during our visits they would completely ignore their grandchildren, who were being taken away from playtime with friends and after school activities. As soon as we arrived we were grilled and harassed about not staying longer and not planning on coming back the next weekend... I also rarely saw my father because he would leave for hours on end, to get a break from my mother who needed to be watched 24/7. This was 10 years ago and he still refuses to admit she needs 24/7 care. He refuses to hire temporary help, even though they can afford it.

Whenever my parents (retired) bothered to visit our home, it was like a tornado hit my house. All attention had to be given to them. My children's recitals, etc, were overshadowed by their behavior. My dad would "work on things" in my house that I hadn't asked him to do & hadn't needed fixed. Usually they just didn't work the way HE wanted them to and he'd end up breaking them while "fixing" them. Then I was called ungrateful of his "help". My mom would break things as well, claiming them didn't work the way they were supposed to. If I tried explaining how things work, I'd get yelled at, "I know what I'm doing!" OR my dad would yell at me for not allowing my mom to do things in her failing physical condition. While serving unsafe raw food to my kids, or burning dinner cuz she doesn't know how to cook with gas, or breaking dishes because she is too weak to pick things up, or damaging countertops with harsh cleaning solutions, scratching the hell out of my good cookware because she would cut meat and vegetables in it while they cooked. All the while, my dad telling me I was horrible if I didn't let her do things her way...I hadn't ASKED her to do any of these things. She just wanted everyone to feel like MY family's home was really HER domain.

I was well on my way to being their slave.

The turning point came when I heard my mother try to convince my daughters that she was right and they were wrong...about their favorite color. My father was right there, telling my kids not to argue with their grandmother, that she was always right about these things. It was a stupid issue...I saw the hurt and confusion in their eyes. And I realised this behavior, all of it, had gone on since I was a child. On the same visit, I caught my mother going through our personal files in our office. Her response was,"well, how am I going to ever learn anything? You never tell me anything about your work or finances!" Like it was her right.

I started curtailing the visits and demands. My mother got more demanding. After 6 months of this game, I finally stopped all communication. Then we moved away a few years later. Since then, I have limited communication. But they immediately try to ramp up the level of entanglement and games. I told siblings exactly what happened while I lived near the parents. But they don't seem to care. They just want me back doing what the parents want, so they don't have to deal with them. I still work and have kids at home. One sibling has never worked and all their children are out of college, yet I am still seen as being able to drop everything on a whim.
Your sister has accepted full responsibility for your mother's welfare, at your mother's behest. Your sister has no other family commitments beyond scraping her husband off the floor from time to time, yes?

Er. What was hard???

Nikki, relax and enjoy what time with your mother you are able and content to spare her. You have zero responsibilities towards her, but that's not to say that you can't still have a loving relationship; and she is a lucky woman that you wish to preserve it.

So don't feel bad, you have absolutely no reason to.
Nikki, your mom sounds like she is narcissistic. They frequently tell lies to uphold whatever image or story they want everyone to believe.

The hard part is not letting them push your buttons. And, your mom made the choice to give POA and her financial keys to your sister, and your sister chose to accept that plus put up fuss over guardianship, so she has accepted responsibility. And, YOUR responsibility is to make every effort to ensure your children don't have a dysfunctional childhood that interferes with their wellbeing. And YOUR responsibility is to try to keep your family and marriage intact and healthy. And your family wellbeing includes your wellbeing.

My MIL is narcissistic and tells lies and half-truths to everyone. Eventually she has managed to alienate people she hasn't even met! She tries to divide, manipulate, control, all according to who caters to her whims. She bullies, can cry on demand, and, when it all gets revealed, she dislikes everyone except herself and whoever is catering to her at the moment. And she sounds a lot like your mom.

One piece in f advice for not getting into legal trouble: if you are the scapegoat, be CAREFUL. Do not spend her money without annotating exactly what it was for, and keeping a copy of the receipts. Keep them forever. And, if they already don't trust you, be very careful if she falls or gets hurt. Make sure she can't make that look like you did it. And get medical assistance to pick her up from a fall. If you try to pick her up and either fall on her yourself, or injure her in lifting her, and she tells lies, you will be IN.TROUBLE.LEGALLY. I speak from experience here.

The authorities and medical staff and senior advocates will take any accusations from her very seriously. And, if she has historically told stories of your abuse, unfaithfulness, bad behaviors, then that history will count against you in any investigation. Please be careful.
Onedog, please be careful in your dealings. Dysfunctional families will turn on the scapegoat with impunity and with extreme prejudice. My MIL is narcissist, but my childhood was filled with dysfunctional situations. And they want you to take responsibility so they don't have to. But don't think they won't turn on you in an instant. I know. My mom bit down on my arm, almost severed some tendons. I couldn't get her off me, and in the process she broke her own jaw trying to hurt me worse. My sisters turned on me like rabid dogs. Luckily the hospital staff backed my story, not theirs. She was in hospital at time. My sisters thought they would get mom to sue and I would have to give her my life savings, which they could then get from her. When the cops were called (3 days after) they just took me to jail, took my story at jailhouse, and then they talked to hospital staff. I was only in jail for a couple of hours, but had I not had professional witnesses, I would have been in trouble. And my sisters knew the truth, they were there!
Thanks, TWizard! I know to be careful. I saw the light years ago. And it wasn't an aging issue. That's what people don't understand when they expect someone to step in. My parents created this mess. Putting the siblings against each other at an early age. So none of us is willing to work together AND all expect the child chosen by the aging parents to step in. The only interaction they have is to drive the designated caregiver towards the trap.
You are all wonderful. After a busy week I am just sitting with a cuppa preparing to take mum (for the last time i may add) to the doctors. And reading your messages has bought me to tears. Its such a shame that support doesnt often happen at this level in families but rather comes from strangers. Thankyou. I am at a low point today with my decision,although i know its the right one,and somehow ,hearing that others have experienced the same narcissistic behaviours before makes me feel less alone. It was crippling as a child and unfortunately i am now coaching my young son through the same issues with a narcissistic masodgonist for a father (this is not my hubby-he's magic). . I rang my sister on the weekend to report that mum had seemed to get rid of her diary (she usex a calendar,diary,wroe manic notes and had a newspaper every day to keep her records and wouldnt throw a thing out). It seemed to be a positive step in her behaviour. I dont know if this is common or wether it will be something that regresses. I asked sister if she'd managed to get a day off work on the weekends as she said she'd do over 2 months ago to hell mum shop as id taken my 2 youngest and mum shopping the day before and she got so flustered (bloody kids is all she said lol). We not only lost my 3yr old daughter bt mum got flustered paying for her groceries with a "flybuys card" and thought the lovely boy was ripping her off. I know,common sense says I just cant do it all but today i feel enormous guilt. Mum is going to the doctors to demand she be allowed to drive. Not sure how that will go. The doc also made a comment about me signing POG papers without sis,saying "is this something that has been discussed with mums brother". Noone seemed to give a rats or discuss the issue with my uncle about only having sis as POA but its just another example of how deep this deception mum created has gone and to be honest, im not interested in trying to explain to narrowminded people that it takes two to make a marriage fail and that there are alot of family dynamics that noone has ever seen-they only have mums distorted account. Besides,on top of this i have to prepare my own trial for family matters as my eldest sons father wants custody of him.. I fully support single fathers but this man is dangerous. So with no money for a lawyer, i am very quickly skilling up on the art of debate. So yes,i have alot on my plate and my beautiful kids deserve the best i can give them. Just feeling the guilt today x
The guilt may last a long time, Nikki. Mom helped install it and she knows where all the buttons are. Ignore it. Push it to the very back of your mind. Don't let it get in the way of making reasonable decisions.
You sure are right jeannegibbs. Mum installed some pretty poor emotional crutches in our family and didnt help to create good relationships betewwn my sister, dad or myself-to the point where my sister after 10 yrs still blames dad for an argument he had with mum where she got in the middle of (literally) and copped an unaimed swipe to the face. They were all to blame. Sis recently told me as backlash that mum told her "for god sake,dont ever leave me with "nikki1234 , i couldn't stand that". Completely unnecessary. I took mum shopping after docs and i just couldnt do it today. I wanted to be home with my boys and also thnx to a post here by MIDKID , its given me even more strange confidence that this is the right decision

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