Mom seems normal to all but we know better! She is turning people against us!

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My mother has several things going on: Delusional parasitosis, parkinson's (beginning), and dementia. However!!! She is very lucid MOST of the time, and has convinced people that she is not being taken care of and that we ignore and neglect her. True! We don't do as she expects, but she is very well taken care of. She has fired all of her help or they refuse to come in because of all of her dogs. She accusses all of us of stealing, and has done so since I can remember, so the grandkids stay away unless my sister and I go with them to visit. We always find the missing items which she then states that we returned them while she was not looking. I live 200 miles away and can't go but every so often. My sister lives next door, but stays extremely busy running errands to doctors, hair, groceries, vets, etc. It's never ending. She tells people that we do not do things for her. They believe that nothing is wrong with her mentally, and that we are cruel and heartless kids. Now, a con-artist niece from the past, who has stolen from her before, has re-entered the picture and she is always telling us how much better this hoodlum treats her. We know why she has come back into the picture. To see what she can get. And, its working so far. We tried to warn mom, but no! We are wrong! She long-time friend has just said nasty and mean things about me and my sister, not understanding that mom is a different person whenever she is around. Mom is a saint in her eyes. I can remember mom threatening to kill us all, including herself, as kids, as she would drive the car around mountain curves because she was mad at not getting her way with dad. She also had affairs with the parish priest and men at work. I caught her. Dad caught her. But, she still denies everything, and who cares at this point... just making an example of her lying ways which are getting even worse. What can we do to protect ourselves against these lies, the con-artist niece, and false accussations? My sister lives on the land next to hers, and we are afraid that she will do something rash with the niece which will affect my sister's future. My sister is her full-time caregiver who gets nothing but complaints and criticism. Her will is not finished at this time and we are afraid that she is going to completely lose it before getting it finished. Thank you very much.


Oh Amitaf, I am so sorry. We (my husband and I) were in a very similar situation and we finally had to remove ourselves. We were caring for my mother-in-law and she was making our lives miserable. What worked for us was cutting all ties with her. The lies, accusations, and mistreatment were taking a physical toll on us. On top of that, her other son (a convicted sexual predator) was taking advantage of her. Fast forward....we had an entire year of peace. Then in October of 2011, she fell and broke her hip in 35 places. After a year of peace, we were able to remain detached and provide care for her. Yes, the neighbors all think we are terrible people because of the stories she told, but being detached helps us not care. Sometimes you are so tied into the feelings of hurt and anger, that you need space to detach a little. I hate to say it, but we are lucky. While recovering from the hip, they found that she has breast cancer with bone and lung mets. We now have Hospice involved and it makes things much easier.

I am most concerned for your sister. Is there any way that she can detach given that she lives next door?
I share both of your experiences. We had to cut ties before we got sick from all of the stress. Forget about the will. It probably isn't finished because she's trying to manipulate you. Let go and move on. Your sister has to decide if she wants to move or stay and somewhat ignore her. My father convinced everyone we were neglecting him. Now I'm getting phone calls from neighbours and family saying he's rude to them or ignoring them. The truth will come out. As for people taking advantage of her, you can't stop that unless she's deemed incapable of managing her own care, which is very difficult to do, unless she gives up that power. Not worth all the headaches and legal fees. I'm on this site to tell people to go on with their lives and not feel guilty. We have a system that cares for the elderly. If it doesn't work, its not our fault. The legal system truly gets in the way of protecting them, not the children.
I agree, Sarah! We had a lot of guilt, initially, when we left the situation. However, the final straw was when I ended up in a cardiologist's office and was told that if I didn't leave the situation, I would do irreversable damage to my heart. Catecholamines are hormones produced by the adrenal glands. They are released into the blood during times of physical or emotional stress and in my case were causing an irregular heartbeat. The cardiologist told me that they act as "acid" to the heart. I had eleveated catecholamine levels that indicated severe stress. They put me on a heart monitor for 2 weeks and the only time that the irregular heartbeat happened was when I was around my mother in law.

Sarah is right; the truth will come out. Now that Hospice is a regular presence, we have medical professionals who are seeing that she truly is delusional, paranoid, and narcissistic.

I agree with Sarah; you and your sister need to let go and move on. It sounds like you are both being abused by your mother. Give your mom the number to a local taxi company and let it least for a while!
So glad to see this post. I am cutting the ties with my mother and brother. Much of the same you all have mentioned above. I realize she is very toxic and my brother has learned from childhood to go along with her because he is the golden child. All said. I can no longer take the abuse.

I am lucky to live in a different state and my mother at this moment is healthy, just mean. So the real problems are just around the corner. My brother is her power of attorney, and executor, but he has zero time for her. I have been left out and mom told my brother to keep secrets from me. There lies the problem, I will still be talked to like I was as a child if I engage with them. I am not doing that.

This is bad for your health. My BP went up and I am in good shape physically. I have read many articles about toxic people and realize that I will never be able to engage with these guys. So I am disengaging. I need some peace in my life.

So do you. How about an assisted living facility or nursing home. That is where mom is going, she claims that is where she wants to be. Makes it easy for me and I will have no guilt.
Why do children feel an overwhelming need to care for their parents? I felt like that my whole life. I cared for my mom with cancer and then was abused my father, and now he hates me. He has enough funds and assets to care for himself but wants the attention and to be taken care of. It's not right. If he really was so sick and totally dependant, government care exists. There is no need to feel guilty. You should feel betrayed. Seek counselling if you need help. None of us did anything wrong except help too much.
If she has abused you in the past as a child, why bother her now? She cannot talk about your "stealing" if you are not there. If you want to protect her, you can easily find a doctor to set up an appointment to evaluate her mental condition even come to the house and hopefully find her incompetent but then you must be prepared to handle all her business including the wayward brother which is a headache. Of coarse she will talk about how you railroaded her but you must maintain a thick skin and continue if that is what you want. Your choice.
What about some video cameras to catch the niece and to show others that she is being taken care of?? And with her having dementia her story telling of untruths are going to get worse!!! And if you really feel that the niece needs to be stopped get a hold of a elder law attorney and fill them in. And if you have video and others that will say the same as you they can get you the help to get this brat out of the picture. Had a problem with a granddaughter while I was caring for their grandma. She was steeling from her knowing she wouldn't remember where the money went. Almost wiped out her whole account!! Even took her to her lawyer to get a will made in her honer when she had one, knowing full well that the lady would do whatever she was told even if she didn't want to. She knew here mind wasn't all there, but we called a elder law attorney and she had to put the money back and was not aloud around grams without someone there. So please call on asap and best of luck to you and your sister. She's a good soul to do all this with the troubles she's dealing with!! But call asap!!!
The person who tells them what they want to hear is the favorite and trusted one and is usually the one who has the least interest in their well-being. Just as in your case, my mom has been that way for years, practically elevating herself to sainthood and telling everyone else about her children's faults and shortcomings . I've speculated that my mothers bitterness is really about my father and feeling that she stayed in an unhappy marriage for her children. Many women did that in those days. Maybe those women later resented it and took it out on the children. I agree that the unfinished will is a means of manipulation. Someone asked why we feel obligated to care for our parents. Societal pressures and it's imbedded in our psyches when parents constantly remind you of what they did for you. Later it's the church and commercials sending messages that we're supposed to have control over our lives, jobs, time-management, saved enough money for retirement, successful marriages and children, etc. Falling short of these expectations is considered failure and we become guilt ridden. And now we hear all this stuff about "unconditional love" even when the people we've advised and helped reject us, we're still supposed to support them regardless. The best advise someone gave me was to treat my mother as a patient. That perspective helps with the personal disconnect and allows me to do what is best for my mother. Do I love my mother? ABSOLUTELY! But I'm beginning to accept that she will not change and conscience is clear that I am doing the best I can to keep he safe and healthy. Those folks who believe the lies will have to answer for their own families when mental illness enters and to their God when the time comes.
Run like the wind Amitaf! Toxic people are like radiation...if you don't keep your distance you will die....emotionally and literally. It has taken me 50 years to learn this. There is no price that can be put on your happiness and well-being and if you don't look out for yourself noone else will either. The old grin and bear it approach doesn't work with these people and nothing you ever do will be good enough. Rescue your sister and high-tail it outta there!
It really is sad that the very time when families need emotional support is when everyone sort of turns on one another. It is a shame when a parent is the one pitting the kids against each other. It is like backwards from when we were all young.
I am trying to remain neutral as much as possible. I can't imagine how hard it must be for Amitaf. I agree you need a break from all this but I know how hard it is to walk away. the person at fault is not mentally right and can't be blamed really. The bad people are the ones that don't have the mental issues and are manipulating the situation for their own good. this reminds me of politics. I would try to take a break for a while and see how you feel then.

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