Mother is making me crazy.

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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.


Yes you are strong enough - and caring for the elderly is EXTREMELY challenging. You've come to the right place. The people on this site will offer suggestions and comfort you so desperately need. It does sound like your mother has started the road down Dementia lane, which, I'm sorry to say, is not pleasant and will not get any better. Take her to her doctor and accompany her visit with the doctor and explain what's going on. If she has started Dementia, she can get some medicines that will hopefully slow her progress. She sounds very narcistic, and has no right to be pissed at you - instead she should be thankful that you're there to help her. You can ask your brother for help - if he will. Once you start reading other people's stories on here, you will find that a LOT of us have totally dysfunctional families and usually wind up being the sole caregiver with no help from siblings. But hopefully your brother won't falll in that category. It's hard enough alone, and helpful if you have someone to help you with this stuff. Unfortunately, it sounds like you're going to have to "spell it out" to your mother that you are doing the best you can and you are not going to take being treated like that - and if she continues - you will stop coming around and helping out, etc. It's time now that roles get reversed, unfortunately. Sometimes she will seem like an "adult two year old", and other times everything is okay. But you need to set your boundaries up early so she understands that it's NOT okay to mistreat you or you will fall further in the lake of frustration. Good luck!!
It sounds like your mother got herself into a situation. Was she unable to cover the monthly payments on the condo because of her spending habits? She must have gotten far behind since they are foreclosing. She is probably angry because someone did not rescue her. It is not your fault. It sounds like the senior community would be a good fit for her. All she really needs is one bedroom and one bath. It will be a lot less to clean. The main thing I would look out for is that she not get behind on her rent and get evicted.

It would be nice if all our elders grew up to be as sweet as Aunt Bea on "Andy Griffith." Alas, many of them turn out to be more like the woman on "Let's Throw Mama from the Train." We do what we can do. :) It sounds like you are doing a good job in a difficult circumstance.
Hugs to you and you are doing a great job and are a wonderful daughter. You received some great advice in above posts - so many of us have been through similar situations. It is so difficult when they don't appreciate all that we do and have done and then on top of it all - get blamed for everything that isn't going the way they want it to.

Unfortunately, this will continue and most likely get worse. I would definitely try to get your brother more involved. You will need as much assistance as you can get. Getting in touch with Elder Services in your area is a good idea too as they are a wealth of information and support.

It would be good as stated above to set bounderies now and communicate to your mother that you will not allow her to mistreat you - if you can. I was never able to communicate to my mother how she mistreated me - she would always turn it around. I found keeping a distance helped. Also, narcissism is a personality disorder and then on top of it, dementia could be a factor. Just keep telling youself you are doing the best you can and how she treats you is something you have no control over if she won't listen. After a while, and it is not easy, but I developed a thicker skin and often just walked away knowing I had done all I could. If they choose to be miserable - there is nothing you can do. Take care and hope you can get her into the elderly housing.
Thank you all. You are all so supportive. I emailed my mother to let her know I love her and that her attitude and verbal abuse is not acceptable and I am doing all I can. I told her she can find someone else to help if what I'm doing is not enough. I could not stand to even talk to her on the phone after my ordeal with her today. I am so mad, discouraged and distraught right now. I have never felt this to this extreme before. She emailed me back to tell me she is sorry and that I do not deserve verbal abuse. However, I hate to say her email is little comfort now. She basically regurgitated everything I said and was unable to say anything to help me feel any better. And frankly, I don't believe she means what she says or possibly doesn't even understand what she has done to make me feel this way. I've been crying and sleeping all day since seeing her because I am so lost right now. I guess I should start taking my depression medication again.

I have often thought my mother is narcissitic and never takes responsibility for anything in her life and I am just having a really hard time dealing. My brother knows everything that is going on, and calls my mom to try to put her in a better mood - mostly for me, but it doesn't help. And he doesn't take the time out of his life to make an effort to do any research or legwork with me. He does help her with some car issues and occassional other issue, but I can tell you the time I spend with mom and her issues is far more than he does. I'm really getting to the point that I don't want to talk to or see either one of them anymore. I want to run away and hide forever.
Skystar - try not to beat yourself up. It's very hard dealing with this. If you were on antidepressants before, then I strongly suggest you get back on them. Dealing with this is very depressing and the medication can help you in not taking it so personal and getting so mad and distraught. You are going to have to try to change your outlook on this and treat it more like a business. You do what you can, and she can either like it or take her business elsewhere. The narcissism and self-centered attitude will probably get worse - as I've seen it in my mother-in-law and my parents - Dementia or not. The elderly sometimes thinks the world should evolve around them and nothing else should be more important. That's what I meant about acting like an "adult child". That's why now you're going to take a more parental role or attitude towards her. And when she lashes out at you, stay away for a while and take a breather. She'll survive - she's an adult - and maybe some away time will give her more time to "think" about the way she acts next time. There's nothing wrong with that.

And as far as your brother helping, try to be glad he is helping some and if you need help in another matter - just ask him. Others aren't so lucky. Brothers are men - and men just don't understand things like us women do. You know, see something and automatically do it. But usually they will help if you ask.
I thought I had a wonderful relatlionship with my mom until dementia and her inability to live alone got in the way. She lives with me, my husband and son. My son just graduated from college and he is an artist/graphic designer and is struggling to find his dream job so he works on private jobs for local businesses, etc., in an attempt to build a better portfolio. My son was everything to my mom. I am the baby of the family and he is the baby of the grandchildren. Since mom moved in, she is HATEFUL toward my son. He cannot go in her room without her telling him what a problem he is by living here and that it is time he moves out and gets a "real" job. My final diagnosis is...if he is gone, she won't be as much of a burden on me. My son is the problem, she is not.

She told me the other day that I need to move to her home, alone with her, and leave my family (husband included) behind. She has had strokes and has been diagnosed with dementia, but, I see a manipulative mean person and it is getting worse. She hurt my son's feelings for the last time last night. I say last time because I told him to NEVER go into her room again unless it is an emergency. That is the only way I can keep peace. So I am trying to work full-time, be a good wife to a great and kind husband, and support my son by allowing him time to get his feet on the ground.

Yes, mom comes from a different time era when young birds flew out of the nest as soon as they could fly...but it is none of her business. So when I ask, plead her to stop trying to lecture my son (which is hopeless), she immedately says, "I have got to get out of here." Well, she can't get out of here unless I place her in a nursing home because she is beyond assisted living.

Today she is hateful and mean. She remembers what happened last night. It took awhile, but after breakfast, it all came back to her. So instead of being grateful that she has a GREAT PLACE TO LIVE WITH NON-STOP CARE, and a family who tries to love her, she is angry and mean and the world revolves around her.

Lately, there are so many more bad days than good and I know the dementia PLAYS a huge role in this. I do not like her anymore. I do not like what this has done to my life and my home.

I can try and find someone skilled to move into her home with her, but I know she will hate them too. I suggest going to a senior center to make new friends and she laughs in my face. I have tried to hire someone to come into my home to make friends with her (I say they are my friend and introduce them),...but she laughs at me and tells me they are stupid.

My dad abused her their entire marriage. She never speaks of her marriage with my dad but only goes back to her childhood OVER AND OVER AGAIN. When I ask her about things that I remember about dad (I try to find some good things), she says she has no memory of her life with dad other than he was a mean SOB. And he was. So she is repressing about 45 years of marriage hell.

She lies all of the time. She learned to be a great lier when living with my father. I witnessed it daily. That was the only way she could keep peace in her home and now she has become my father in my home.

My head is spinning.
inthestorm - what you wrote sounds a LOT like my situation with my mother-in-law. I believe the Dementia must be getting worse, because my mother-in-law did the same things to me, my husband/her son and our son/her grandson. I couldn't tell if she was doing it on purpose to tick us off or what. I see now that it was mostly the Dementia and not her being totally mean, but it's hard to see when they're sitting right in front of you. I STRONGLY suggest you look for an Assisted Living facility that deals with Dementia. They're not cheap, and they won't be taken care of as well as they are when they are in your house BUT you need to save your sanity and that of your family. You can only do so much - and she has no right to lecture your son. That's yours and your husband's home and son, and if you want him to live there - it's none of her business. We put my mother-in-law in an Assisted Living facility. She HATED it at first, but we gave her no choice (in a nice way). It's the best thing we did. She now likes it (but still complains about it because she's never totally happy with anything), gets her meds on a regular basis (which she also complains she's never getting), fed 3 meals a day plus snacks - and BEST OF ALL - we can all visit now without going nuts! Check it out - it may be what you need to do too. Good luck!
Hi all. Just an update. The day after my ordeal with mom and my crying/sleeping episode, I refused to call her for that entire day. The next day she tried calling me at work on my work phone and then finally on my cell phone. I answered it. Big mistake! She was sobbing on the other end of the phone and asking me if I was ever going to talk to her again. She doesn't know what to do and why I am doing this to her and I have no idea how horrible and sick she feels. I said, YOU have no idea how horrible and sick I feel and she has to keep taking out her fears and insecurities on me. She went on and on. I told her to stop crying. No. So I said, "This is why I didn't want to talk to you." and hung up.
I then send her an email and said that I will call her when I am ready and I'm tired of her thinking everything is about her.
Well, I called her later that day and everything was back to normal.
Since then, she has been better. Not great. But better. We've had a few knock down drag out fights, but not as bad as that day. It seems, after I fight with her and threaten to drop her and her stuff at my brother's she calms down.
We are planning the move. By we, I mean me. I'm booked the movers for $600 mind you, that I will be paying out of my pocket. And have arranged to rent her a smaller bed for the new apartment. Right now she has a HUGE California King bed that will take up almost the entire new bedroom. I've decided that she isn't going to be happy about anything and even trying to involve her in the moving decisions is not helpful. I'm just going to inform her what's going on, via email, since she then has a record of it and can reread it over and over and remember it. That is that. By the way, back on my meds. Feel a little better. :)
And inthestorm - yikes. get her out of your home if at all possible. Occassionally I feel bad that my mom and husband don't get along and because of that, she can't live here, but stories like this make me GLAD that I have a good excuse not to have her live here as I see it would get much worse. Good luck!
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 :)
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.

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