Mother is making me crazy.

Follow
Share

My 81 year old mother is living independently in her condo and is now being foreclosed on. I am trying to help her find a new place to live and have found a very nice (in my opinion) government funded independent senior living community about 25 minutes away from her current residence. You would think she would appreciate the help I am giving her to find her a place, where she can live independently that is clean and has social activities, but No. She is nasty to me every time we talk about her moving and god forbid, having to live in a smaller place. Right now she has a two bedroom two bath condo and will have to be in a one bedroom, one bath. See, she blames me and my husband for her "situation". She used to live in a condo that we bought and let her pay the mortgage. However, she began to get nasty and mean to my husband and purposely defied rules such as 'no pets' and such. She felt she is entitled to anything she wants. Well, she pushed too far and he asked her to leave and find a new place to live. So, she bought her own condo, that she could not afford and proceeded to spend all of her money on things like purses and who knows what else. Anywho, Mom continues to blame us every time a situation comes up that pertains to her finances and/or her living situation. Everything is our fault that she is in this predicament. Mind you, I make sure to see mom every Saturday and call her every day to check on her. I pick up groceries for her and help her manage her finances. She is also in the early stages of dementia (my diagnosis). Her short term memory is fairly bad but she does not forget where she lives or who her kids are, etc. Today I am at my wits end because we went to visit the facility that has a place for her and she was nasty to me driving all the way there and was rude to those working at the facility. We'll be lucky if they extend her an invitation to live there now and she needs to be out of her condo by July. I don't know what else to do with her. I am tired of helping her with things and having her be so ungrateful and nasty to me. There has to be another way. I should probably get her memory tested to see if she is truly in the early stages of dementia, but she'd be pissed at me about that too. My resolve is waning. I can only take so much. How do you all deal with it? Am I not strong enough? Should I be asking my brother for more help? He probably blames me for this situation as well and feels I should be the one helping my mother.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
18

Comments

Show:
JeanneGibbs, The dementia diagnosis was from Skystar...not a doctor. I certainly am not advocating Skystar to be mean to her mother, but I have dealt with a smothering mother who used guilt to get what she wanted.

It was only when I acted in the way I advocated Skystar to...cutting her off (even if only for a day) will make Skystar's mother realize this. And when she did that, Mom responded by being kinder...even if only for a little while.

And ChristinaW is right to make the analogy of the 2-year old. In essence, this is the situation...role reversal, where we take the role of our parents and our parents take the role of children.

How did we try and gain control? Through a tantrum and screaming. This is what is happening here. When Skystar ignores the tantrum that's when things will get better.
(1)
Report

I agree with Tony. When one adopts a demeanor of confidence, the upper hand is obvious. After years of manipulation by our Mothers, dare we take the reins, bluffing at first to test our new positions?!
For losing it mentally, these elders wield unbelievable Power!
Have confidence, remain calm, be convincing to take charge. Be prepared for tantrums, testing authority.
My son did this as a two year old. It was good practice for future dealings with Mother. Both were terrifying and not sure I solidly won any of the battles. My son is now perfectly awesome at 33, and poor Mother is physically and mentally beyond battling me for her way at 95:(
We learn to finesse and yes, manipulate to achieve what is necessary for them and us to manage.
I am saying: it is not easy for any of us. We are all doing the best we can.
Like when we get married and learn newly revealed habits of spouses. They slowly become different than who we thought they were, then we get used to them, too.
No one is wrong; not you or Mom. We are evolving. Take it easy, day by day. You are among friends. Breathe and laugh every day. Blessings, xo
(0)
Report

TonyRovere, I hope you are right that Mom will start treating Skystar better. Lord knows she deserves it. But since Mom has dementia the usual "teaching" may or may not be effective, or may quickly wear off. This isn't because Skystar isn't doing the right thing, or isn't doing it correctly. It is because of the nature of dementia.

Things that apply well to life in general or to caregiving someone with physical but not mental problems do not necessarily apply to caregiving persons with dementia.
(0)
Report

Skystar...

You did the right thing by confronting your mother about your feelings. Never feel bashful or ashamed about truly telling anyone...even Mom...how you feel about anything. This doesn't apply to just caregiving, but to life in general.

What's more, I think you deliberately not calling Mom was the right thing as well. If she thinks you did such an awful job she can always find someone else to help. This break in your routine...where you said that you called Mom everyday...just enough for her to know that she crossed the line.

Then she reverted to attempting to regain her control of you, by crying and going into guilt-mode with the "you aren't going to speak to me anymore". As you say, when you bring up dropping this on your brother she calms down.

In that case, I say bring that up as often as you need. You have the right to live a stress-free life, but caregiving under normal circumstances doesn't allow that to happen. However, when your mother treats you in this manner you have every right to respond. And you handled the situation perfectly normal and appropriately.

So keep your chin up, be prepared in the future for her to treat you and your husband poorly, or to start the crying and guilt episodes again if you attempt to push back against he r for the way she treats you.

But stick up for yourself and you will soon see that Mom will start treating everyone better around you, especially you!
(0)
Report

And I hope I am not coming across as critical -- like you are not doing the right thing. That is not what I am trying to convey at all.
(0)
Report

I wonder if you would benefit from some counselling? Either to reduce your stress level at taking care of your mom in your home, or to give up the in-home care role. You deserve a life, too. Your mom went nuts when she was in long term care and now you are going nuts with her in your home. Why is preventing her from going nuts more important than preventing you losing your mind?

But you had a good relationship with her before dementia, and you realize this could happen to anyone, so maybe keeping her home is the lesser of the evils (the HUGE evil is that she has dementia, which is nobody's fault). But it doesn't sound like it is a good situation, and maybe, just maybe, getting some support through counselling could help improve it a little bit.
(0)
Report

jeannegibbs: Why is any of our parents in our home? There is no reason for her to not be in a facilty other than she went nuts when she was in one (prior to my bringing her to my home). She is not sociable. I am afraid. I am full of guilt. She begs me to keep her. And because of dementia, there is no sense to be made.
(0)
Report

inthestorm, why is your mother living in your home, instead of a long term care facility?
(0)
Report

Mom repeatedly says, "I had my share of taking care of people when I was your age." I believe that is her way of excusing what is going on (my caring for her) when she looks at my exhuasted, weary face. Really? Did anybody believe that the reason you were born was to 1) work full-time, 2) raise your own family, and 3) just when you get your family raised (and in my case my son is still living at home), you are now caring for a parent.

Mom just sits in a chair all day and waits for her meals, and for me to feed her medication 6 times a day, and tell her where the bathroom is. Today she said, "My toe hurts," and I said, "Take your sock off and take a look at it," and she stuck her foot out for me to take her sock off. Really mom? You can't even take your sock off?

Some days I think I will die before her.

Did any of you believe that this was your duty in life? I don't even remember thinking about dementia when considering how my mom would die. There is old and then there is old with dementia. I never thought (or I chose not to) that my mother would be my child one day. She cannot think for herself anymore. She can only think of old memories. Facing this day in and day out makes me think, "What if this happens to me?"

This cannot be a healthy state of mind no matter how hard I try to distance myself from it...making futile attempts of accepting that my mom is no longer my mom because SHE IS STILL MY MOM, and, this could be me one day. One day sooner rather than later because I have no idea how long my caring for her will continue because my care for her is so great, she may outlive me.

You have to wonder if this is how it is supposed to be. You have to ask yourself if you were born only to take care of your aging parents. I never thought, "I better have a kid because I need someone to take care of me when I get old."

But here we are. I am here and you are all here or you wouldn't be on this this website seeking comfort.

Do you know what I really love...(hate is the word), when someone asks me how my mom is doing and then before I can even answer, they tell me how great their mom is..."she is 85 and still mows her own yard, she is 89 and is sharp as a tac, he was aware up until the time he died.. ."

Do those people get it? Do they know that they should just keep their mouth shut and say, "I am sorry you are going through this," vs. "Let me tell you how great my life is with mom." They really are only trying to reassure themselves "that this couldn't possibly happen to me," when in reality, it can. It happened to us.

All I think about now is what can I do to prevent my losing my mind. It is in the back of my mind at all times (what a horrible constant thought), but I suppose when I stop thinking about it, it might be too late.

Do you think we are just living too long? Modern medicine has kept people like my mom alive longer than it should have and now her mind just cannot keep up.
(0)
Report

Hi Skystar - so glad to hear you're doing better! Sounds like you're getting a good grip on how to handle her and to try and not let it bother you so much. I wish you the best and hope this new living arrangement works out well for you and your mother. Just keep your head up no matter what :)
(0)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions