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I posted a while ago about my senior mother will be having hip surgery soon. It will be this coming Friday. I also described how she fell about a month ago, and had the nerve to tell me while in the hospital--all the while laughing-- that she has fallen times before and then in a manipulating way saying she knows how that will upset me. She is very narcissistic. Well ever since I have started back to school which I received good advice about not stopping because of her. And now her boyfriend, who lives down south, has come up to look after her especially after surgery. Bless his heart. Now I'm worried about him because I don't want her getting on his nerves and end up leaving or she put him out because they can both get a bit immature at times, especially her. So anyway, I've been immersed in school and getting A's again. And basically after all of the advice here, I had told her that I will be living my life and she exploded! I also let my grandmother know the same thing in a separate conversation because she's been acting just like my mother; way too hard on me when I'm the one sibling who's been there for both of them, out of everyone. I braced for a possible fallout with one particular sibling who also thinks she can run my life, but thankfully I hadn't heard from her. And I also had let her know that I wanted to make sure we were on the same page and that she will be a backup for my mother's boyfriend should he have to leave even though this sibling lives down south and I live 15 minutes away from my mother. But the problem is her and my other sister (who is a complete no-show) have been taking advantage of the situation for far too long and been able to live their lives without any scrutiny whatsoever. And distance cannot be the one and only factor; so sick of hearing this! My problem now is that my mother has been crying to me how she can hardly walk as if she is setting me up for a fall that I don't want to hear and I knew she was going to do this. Even though having mobility problems is a big deal, I truly cannot take her ways because she is very reckless with how she does and says things, and it affects me adversely. So basically, if the boyfriend leaves and my sister from down south doesn't step up, I might be screwed. And I've been reading horror stories on this site and I truly am not trying to give up my life for the abusive treatment she will no doubtedly exhibit. And I'm not the type to take that type of mess where someone treats me worse than I treat myself. And I've been making sure and treat myself well after years of practice, which a child of a narcissistic parent tends to have to learn to do. In fact, my father who has passed away a few years ago was also narcissistic. I am so sick of this type of personality I don't know what to do. But I won't hesitate to cuss a narcissistic person out without having to feel guilty because I feel they're the ones who deserve it, so I can vent right back on them! It's just that I don't want to live that way. I know some people will say so why deal with it? Trust me I'm looking not to, but she is still fixated on me as she's done it to me for years yelling why should my sister from down south have to deal with it when I'm 15 minutes away? I said she still could take phone calls from doctors and such and can bring her behind up here too, because I never said anything to her for years. I just wonder if she will in the event the boyfriend leaves, because I'm busy with work and school and if I have to stop either one I will be so p*****d and don't want to take that out on anyone let alone my mother who will be needing to heal from surgery. By the way, she said I was selfish; no mention of what I did to support her for over the years, mind you. Why are things in society this way with families too many times? Caregivers are feeling like slaves and having to give up their lives? This is nuts...

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It's crazy that's it's been 10 days since her surgery and I haven't seen her yet! It ended up her boyfriend asked why bother me to come escort her out of the hospital? I even heard her roommate said over the phone that they will wheelchair her to the exit where the boyfriend can bring her into the car. I told her that from the beginning--even though I offered out of reflex and regretted it right after. Because as I said before, my schoolwork and job is a heavy load. All I know is as long as others chime in on my side in telling her, strangely that's the only way she will acquiesce. And it's only because she cares more about how she looks from a "social" point-of-view than anything. Even though I once told her to look around her, all her friends are practically gone due to their own lives and no one really gives a damn about appearances! Anyway, now it's gotten good to me not to have to deal with her issues. Even though we're talking about a surgery here. But I'm numb towards it because when I was there in the past for surgeries and hospital stays, she talked to me so foul and degrading. It's only when you distance yourself from her, does she become nice. I also pointed out to her before that was so backwards thinking and I can't stand when people do that to someone who's been there for them! So, I'm feeling this peace right now and I'm praying the boyfriend is doing fine, even though I feel a bit bad when it comes to him that it feels like I'm giving him the load to deal with. On the upside, my grades are still in the A's and it's midterm time, so I have to study for that and pray to keep it going! I can't thank you guys enough for being a site that takes the side of the "caretaker".
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Exactly, Barbara. *thumbs up*.

I think that grown "children" of especially controlling parents need to know and learn how to apply this, so that we will be able to begin the process of untangling the web that was weaved for us so many years ago.

Thanks!
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Ceecee, if your mom comes at you with " all I've done for you" the calm answer is " that was your choice mom; this is mine. I told you that I would have difficulty freeing up time at this time of year, your chose to have the surgery on your schedule. That makes it your responsibility".

When my mom had an appointment/surgery whatever, she would call us and schedule things around when we could be there.

Emergencies? Well, they happen, and you figure out how to deal with them.

But emergencies caused by poor planning are not my problem.
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As far as "dear" sister goes; she has serious boundary issues which is why I am coming at her in the first place. I NEVER bothered her about these things, but because she has come at me viciously over the years where my mother and grandmother are concerned, is the reason I am saying what she can be doing. I've had enough of her accusations, not to mention feeling like I'd have to physically fight her (yes, she will go there). At least I am looking to consciously learn to be more healthy with this family "curse" so many families in society has; and that's the sickness of co-dependence. I hope I can say the same for her as she's more quiet toward me right now. That's only because I went off on her and told her to mind her business when it comes to issues with my mother, as I don't do that to her--and to deal with her directly. Only time will tell if she gets it. But please don't get me started with those "sisters" of mine.
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Barbara,

Yes, you're right. What I am going through now is learning how to change my responses; it's going to take time. When I'm in the middle of conversations, in the blink of an eye I have said something I wish I could take back. Because it's true that she was forewarned; and then she'll say "I don't need you to do something", though it's just that "one little thing". This is where I should have reminded her about my school time--which I did in fact--but then my mouth had to keep going, "Only if it's before my deadline time of 8p Sunday..." Oops! So, this is where I have to learn to keep my mouth shut; which takes time. But can I take it back now? Probably not. At the same time, it's surgery and she was there when I had the ankle issue. But when she tried throwing that in my face recently, even after I was there with her accident last month, I decided that's a dead issue. Then I can hear the other especially family members in my ear, and what the hospital might say to me when I get there Sunday. So, I need to practice ahead of time. And what you're saying about the boyfriend and money; hey, I get it! I am not going to say a word anymore! Hell, I don't even have all this disposal income anyway! There, that felt better. Thanks for your wise words and please hang in there with me. :)

P.S. If she comes at me anymore about anything, I will say how I agreed to help pick her up and anything going forward she was forewarned about my schedule. So, if she doesn't do the right thing with rehab, she will feel the effects of it. Is it too cruel to say I'm starting not to really care?
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CeeCee; you need to understand that what YOU see as "the right thing to do" and what your mom--who is an adult and still in charge of HER life--sees as the right thing to do--are two VERY different things.

Don't volunteer, don't show up unless you are asked to do a very specific task. Don't give money and don't expect your sister to give money.

Do you see how your assumption--that you should give money to the boyfriend--spiraled into you going off on your sister about why SHE isn't giving money. That's what happens when you have no boundaries. Everyone's business becomes your business. It's just NOT how sane people live their lives.

Let mom manage her surgery, her hospitalization, her rehab or lack thereof by HERSELF. With boyfriend if that's what she wants.

Go to school. Go to your interview. If mom asks you to help, help if you can fit it into your schedule. You told mom before that you wouldn't have time to do for her if she scheduled surgery now. She was forewarned.

You don't need to inconvenience yourself because of HER poor planning abilities.

Please step back and let her manage this herself. It's the only way, by the way, that the hospital/rehab will see that she's on her own, and that THEY may need to provide more resources.

And by the way, looking at the Medicare website, I don't see that there have been any cutbacks in rehab. I think there is a lot of talk about it, but no funding has been cut yet. So I think you're being sold a bill of goods by someone.
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Hi Barb,

Sorry, I didn't see your replies until my computer refreshed just now. My mother tells me things in bits and pieces and whatever she wants to talk about, so I'm not totally sure about this whole rehab thing. However, a coworker who is going through the same type of thing, says she may be transported to the hospital (but then why not from the hospital too?). But as far as rehab, she says this is what is happening with her insurance coverage--and the coworker also said something about their cutbacks. However, I wouldn't be surprised if my mother refused this as an option; she's so holed up in her apartment these days. And especially if anything interferes with her horse race betting--and she's a chronic gambler--I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is the reason a rehab person would be coming to her house instead. Come to think of it, when I had ankle surgery seven years ago, I certainly did get the medical transport to and from rehab. And now I remember my mother started out a few months ago by telling me she didn't want rehab, and I insisted this is an important part of the recovery. I really can't stand supporting someone who doesn't have the right habits; it would have to be my own mother! When I leave her alone with her daily life, I'm all good and she talks nicer. But with this happening now, I have to keep throwing up those boundaries and that alone is exhausting when I have to work/go to school. That's why this website is great to have; it's the closest thing I have to venting and getting this all figured out the way I need to.
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Barbara,

Before that time comes, I was wondering if you or anyone thinks I should or shouldn't approach about the boyfriend about the money? And would it be wrong/intrusive to ask him not to tell my mother about it as an offering at times? I just think it'd be fair because of everything he's doing/done. Thanks for any advice.
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The hospital should be transporting your mom to rehab via medical transport, I think.
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Who told you that mom is not eligible for rehab?
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I meant to say thank you for the well wishes, Barb. Praying and keeping my fingers crossed for sure. But I'm also feeling calm.
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Hi Barb,

First about the boyfriend; it's because he is also retired, has very limited income, and has been coming back and forth from down South ever since he moved down there about two years ago. That's a lot of wear and tear on both him and his car; maybe the $100 is too much though due to my own income is but so much; that's why I feel my sister should contribute too. She's the one who talked all the smack on what I should do, even though I was the one out of us who has been there the most. Secondly, the insurance no longer is covering for rehab facilities like she was able to do with the other surgery 10 years ago. Instead, they are only having her stay a few days and send her home; then they send someone to her home; don't know how long. They are cutting back on everything, and that vexes me, too. Especially with a senior, they shouldn't be doing that. Hell, if anything she could handle it that way better 10 years ago!
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There's something that I meant to say that does irk me as well. That my mother will say things like "you're not needed", yet how do I end up being "needed" to take the time to come to the hospital to bring her out to the car? I wouldn't have minded doing this at all as some support, but one thing especially a narcissistic type doesn't ever get through their heads is that a well-meaning person doesn't need to hear that you are not really doing anything for them, while you are actually helping, indeed. This is a big turn-off for me that might enable for me to start clashing with everyone (except the boyfriend, but I don't want him to end up being a casualty) yet again. Okay, got that off my chest. Thanks.
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Why on earth would you give the boyfriend money, or tell your sister to?

I hope the surgery goes well. Isn't mom going to rehab?
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As an update, she is most likely in surgery as I type. When she had the other hip done about 10 years ago and I was at the hospital, she adamantly asked why was I there? It was a strange question to me at the time (even though who wants to HAVE to deal with all that); but when Country Mouse and Barbara echoed that she might not want me to be there so why was I stressing, it clicked right away and enabled me to have a weight lifted from my shoulders; because my mother said the same thing when I called her yesterday to find out the latest about the surgery. See, I thought that first time 10 years ago that she was putting on a front. But now I'm seeing there's people who actually might not want you to be there; they need to focus on the logistics of the surgery. Her boyfriend drove her there and she said he most likely will keep going. And then he is to come pick me up Sunday and we both drive out there to get her; him to sit in the car so we don't have to worry about parking (this is New York City we're talking about :) ) and me to bring her out to the car. I also set some boundaries to let her know I have school deadlines, so they will need to drop me off on the way back. To make things even more "jolly", I was also contacted by a secretary from a different job site for a job promo interview this coming Wednesday; so now I have that to prepare for too. My biggest concern is that once she is on the other side of surgery, what is actually going to unfold. Because it's one thing to say this, that and the other, and another when those things are put into place. For one, as I said before I have to pray her boyfriend doesn't have to leave earlier than planned. And now her neighbor who was also looking out has her own surgery (the knee, at the same hospital) coming up at the end of the month. So, while her son is there I feel like I can't really bother them right now. One things' for sure, I am going to give my mom's boyfriend $100 to start off when he picks me up; and money wherever I can going forward. And tell him not to let her know, as it's not necessary. Plus, I plan to tell my sister to give him something from time to time too. Except she may tell my mother with her big mouth that she would consider being "loyal" to her. Oh, yeah? Whatever. Where the hell is she and the other one now? I mean, you can hear a pin drop; no calls or nothing. Even though I don't want them bothering me with the bullsh**. 
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Barb and Country Mouse,

Thank you both. I believe it's when she tries to make me feel guilty, and then all those other family members, friends, hospital workers and then even strangers are bending my ear. Even though I have always done right by both my mother and grandmother, as I thought this is what a decent person does. But with limits, of course. However, I appreciate all your great advice! And I wholeheartedly agree!
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Ceecee... what matters is, if you for some good reason can't easily be there on the day of the surgery, that's fine. You can call. You can send a well-wishes card, or flowers. Or you can drop in for an hour during evening visiting hours. If it suits you, you can take the day out and be there, as you say, for moral support before and after - but you don't *have* to. It is by no means essential to the success of the surgery or to your mother's recovery for you to be there.

Think this through: what would you actually be doing? Holding mother's hand and saying encouraging things beforehand - sweet, good, but not clinically relevant. It's possible that your mother would even concentrate better and be more compliant with her surgeon's and nurses' directions if you aren't there to distract her or to listen for her. They know how to prep a patient. You don't.

During: you'd be standing around like a fifth wheel, feeling anxious, wasting your time and making no difference.

After: again, it might be nice if you can manage it to be there when your mother comes round fully. But if you can't, a message or a card will do the trick nearly as well for her to know you're thinking of her. As for the essential things, again it will be better if the staff are communicating directly with your mother and concentrating on her, and vice versa. If you do visit, keep it short; and seriously consider giving it a day or two - even the most welcome visitor takes up energy and your mother will need all she's got for recuperation.

So two things to ask yourself:
1. Can I be there without gross inconvenience to myself?
2. Will I actually be helping the process?
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Ceecee, does your mom want you? if yes, then be there.

If nurses and social workers make assumptions, politely tell them that your mother has requested you not be involved in her caregiving and that you are not authorized to make any decisions or go over any paperwork.

Don't get involved in the drama and dysfunction. Find yourself a therapist to help you sort out your very mixed feelings towards your family.

 Not sure what you are trying to legally protect yourself from. You have no legal obligation to provide care for your mom. If she doesn't plan, that doesn't make it your emergency. Stop chasing your tail.
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Barb,

To be clear, are you saying you wouldn't even show up on the day of the surgery?
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You have no legal obligation, CeeCee. Walk away from your mom's dysfunctiin.
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Let me also give an example; even though I'm not doing any 24/7 caretaking, she still is my mother and I plan to be there for the surgery Friday for some support. The last time I was there after her accident, every time I'm around other people like the nurses and social worker, they also try to put me "on the hook" with caretaking talk. And they may want me to do something like sign forms if she's out of it, for instance. Of course I'll say I'm not the POA and wouldn't do it anyway, but I'm tired of hearing from everyone coming at me and want to know what I can sort out with a professional without all of the emotions and assumptions from all these different parties that ensues with this type of issue. It'll just make me feel better to talk it out and feel more informed, because I'm not at the no-contact at all with her, just the "hell no, I ain't no slave to you" point.
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I already know and doing what I have to for me. My question is, does anybody have a contact to an agency or person who handles giving this type of advice professionally; in other words have you ever gotten that type of advisement? I want to either speak to someone face-to-face or on the phone just so I could feel better about being knowledgeable on this subject to ensure I'm protected from any unforeseen problems that may arise. She's making claims about setting things up already, but I'm not going to wait until she and other family members starts flip-flopping on me again. So, I want a contact to speak to; it's not the what I'm looking for, it's the who and the how.
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I already know and doing what I have to for me. My question is, does anybody have a contact to an agency or person who handles giving this type of advice professionally; in other words have you ever gotten that type of advisement? I want to either speak to someone face-to-face or on the phone just so I could feel better about being knowledgeable on this subject to ensure I'm protected from any unforeseen problems that may arise. She's making claims about setting things up already, but I'm not going to wait until she and other family members starts flip-flopping on me again. So, I want a contact to speak to; it's not the what I'm looking for, it's the who and the how.
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Cece the first thing I would do is get an extra key cut and give the key to the neighbor if you trust her and DON'T tell Mom. If neighbor needs to let herself in she can tell Mom she just pushed on the door and found it opened. Either that or you can just call 911 you don't have to go over there.
You don't have POA so call sister and ask her directly if Mom gave it to her. If she has it then you know who to call for any decisions.
After surgery rehab is usually available if she spends the necessary three nights in the hospital. She does have to go within I believe five days but don't tell her that.
Then there will be plenty of time for POA to arrange whatever care Mom needs after that.
Do not give up school or work Mom is not going to support you financially.
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Ceecee, for crying out loud.

How your mother copes post-surgery is for your MOTHER to sort out. Not you.

Basically, you've spent the last month chasing your tail trying to cover every possible eventuality and get every other person on the same page. But WHY have you? Nobody asked you to.

Let your mother sort out her own rehab, since that's how she has consistently said she wants it. And stop involving yourself if you don't want to be involved and you don't want there to be a general impression that you are the fall-back plan. Get back to work and keep up those A grades!
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Cee cee, it's interesting to me that your mother "exploded" when you gently suggested she postpone her surgery so you could be available, and she "exploded" again when you told her that ( as you had told her ) you wouldn't be available.

She just explodes no matter what you say, right?

She hasn't given you POA. You have no authority to do any planning for her.  You have no legal obligation toward her.

Step away.

Her life's poor choices are not for you to correct.
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CDNReader and CTTN55,

What I have been trying to determine at this point is where to get professional help in the event that the boyfriend would need to leave before she finishes healing after the surgery. The plan is for him to be there and I do trust him, but you never know what can happen. Here's the thing though; my mother will not follow through, purposely I've come to realize, on giving me POA in the event that she can't do things for herself. And this may become a reality after the surgery. Who knows?  How long have I've been arguing with her about following through on these things. So now I'm wondering how do I make these decisions; like have her go into assisted living or even have a home health aide come to her house, when I don't have any type of authority over her. Believe me I don't want it anyway, but also without it I can't make these type of decisions. Or my question is, can I? I already looked for help by using the resources on this website; calling to possibly find out about family therapy even before the assisted living or home health aide issue can  be addressed, because she might need to hear it from a professional that she is being unreasonable. And even though she's stubborn as hell, she listens more to professionals. But no one had answers, even though they were nice. It was more about the assisted living and prices, which I have no idea what to do finance wise, again without POA. I actually think she gave the POA to the sister down south, but I'm not sure. All I know is I can't do anything without this, and she's making sure to keep control on everything, which is why I'm feeling stuck at wondering if there are any legal ways for me to have her get professional help for these issues. Does anyone  know who I can contact, and a phone number? It would be greatly appreciated because this surgery is fast approaching. And I also want to make sure not to sign any forms at the hospital or anywhere else. My mother is not a planner and has lived her life hanging out with her friends, getting high and stuff, instead of planning ahead. She argues with me now that she does not believe in it. Me and her neighbor were even trying to have her set up things in case she has another emergency and now it seems she's shrugging off the neighbor. I told her she needs to give the neighbor the new set of spare keys now that her door got fixed from when the EMS had to break it open when she had her fall, because I was not running out there at two, three, four in the morning when they were right there next door. And my mother looked out for this neighbor's husband in that way when he was alive and the wife had to go to work at the time. What does my mother say to that? I'm waiting until after the surgery. So much bull. So basically, I want to know what I can legally do to protect myself at this point, just in case this goes downhill again. Thanks.
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"And I'm not the type to take that type of mess where someone treats me worse than I treat myself. And I've been making sure and treat myself well after years of practice,"

Well, I agree that the boyfriend will probably not stay indefinitely with your mother to take care of her. But do you really think your sister will travel to take care of your mother? I don't remember the stories with your sisters; have they distanced themselves from your mother?

Please read the quoted passage that you wrote. And then read it again. If you are truly this type of person, then you will NOT pause the good things happening in your life now (work, school) to take care of your mother. I think that you are better able to stand up to your sisters than you are to your mother.
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Dear CeeCee,

I am very sorry to hear about everything you have gone through. I am glad you are doing well in school and trying to live your own life. It is hard to have boundaries. But from what you say, you must protect yourself. There is no reason to help if it only leads to more anger and resentment. I too have a lot of resentment against my mother.

If you worry about this boyfriend or quality of care, I would talk to a social worker and get all your options.

I know many things are easier said than done. But if you truly want to distance yourself, you have that right. So many people told me, I gave up my chance at a family to care for my father and mother. It was my choice, but I didn't know anything different. But now that I am older, I realized what a mistake it has been to be an enabler my whole life.
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