Mother pushes my buttons.

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I find it hard to fathom that my 88 year old mother could be so mean, manipulative, judgmental, intrusive. I now see a side of her I did not know existed to this extent. The boundaries are skewed, she will open my mail and read it, listens to any and all convos. She will jump at the opportunity to try to belittle me, lay guilt on me. She blames me for just about anything that is not right. Example- dining room light switch not working. I discovered it,so therefore I broke it, I have forgotten to mail letters or lost them, never get it right at grocery store. I fix her a hot nice dinner every night guess what? No gravy? Meat is tough, vegetables undercooked, food is cold. Laundry is gray, not white. Nasty nasty. No she has not been diagnosed with dementia. I am seeing that she likes to belittle me and then hope I will squirm. Sounds ridiculous but the woman can get ugly.
I live with her, take care of her. I am really starting to dislike her. As soon as I express my displeasure or ask her why she is so ungrateful she blows me off, feigning ignorance. Extremely HOH, has had many falls and was very sick recently. She is recovering and I take full credit for weeks of caring for her in all the ways she needed care that you readers all know about. Because she is my mother I hold my tongue but am getting ready to blow or else go go go. Not sure where I would go any where but here. I am trying for the first time in my life to put myself first. I have been a caregiver all my life, ( retired RN) and this toxicity is poisoning me. And I'm not going to let it.
Any words of advice on how to handle this dua ersonaity( sweet cute little grandmother/ nasty b*tch).

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oh and by the way i am still sort of procastinating on my psych intake. its hit and miss. i went there to see person for intake since we been missing phone calls. She was in meeting the only to do apts. So here i am again holding card in hand 9now i have her name and number. But of course when i think to call I dont have card on me. ha hey ha. im going to try and get in there before year end. I know i need the help. also adjusting to increased hours on job. nights 12 hrs shifts. and right now im in an anxious snizzy getting ready to visit my son.cause im not organized at all. Is that part of the narcisstic syndrome? :) anyways thanks for listening, much love and peace to all!
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Brixton, i so understand your plight. you have a good heart. Aside from all the other good advice i have read. i understand your need for immediate options. if your mother is okay to be alone for a few hours try and find a job in area. That will decrease your dependency on her and build you up some getting a way and having your own pennies. Also, amputations are usually followed by severe depression. her lashing out could be part of it. Another thing that helped me is realizing that my mother was narcisstic. Check that link one of the first ones gives a description. When you figure out the nature of what you are dealing with you can wrap it up and put it in a place in your head that sought of eases the effects of the abuse. Well that knowledge and other advice got me to a better place. just be realistic. until you can do better for your self understanding the nature of the monster can help you deal with it. its a process. Was for me, and slow work, because we get trained and programed to be their suckers and when we pull away the programmed guilt comes in. Then you have the love in your heart. then you have to reprogram your heart and mind with the new knowledge and understaning so it takes time. I am still struggling but making progress and feeling alot better. There is bitterness at times because i see how ive been manipulated and im hooked in and fall for the maddness sometimes before i catch myself. Then i see the destruction to my family for same. how my sister who has been her assistant has become just like her. And how all that is hindering her care as she ages.
So hang in there. I also prayed a lot still do and have prayer line i resort to regulary. What done is done. you just move on from her. Try and start with estabishing some financial security for yourself. Also tell her about her self. That helps me because they seem to think you dont see their ugly. sometimes it works for me and my mother quites down some. i feel bad ; sometimes it doesnt and i feel stupid for trying to be logical and expect reasson when it was never there. They cant say or admit they need you or ever did. Lot of pride and self centered stuff.
Anyways wish you the best. hope this input helps. just sharing what has worked for my crazy head. im still at it. Im growing it gets better, i get stronger. Still hurts evry now and then.
Wish the best.
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Good choice, Brixton -- helping from a distance!
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Jeannegibbs. I didn't make a mistake, i made a choice based on love for my mother.
Now my choice is to find her help, get a job and move on ..living from a distance.
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Thanks Garden artist fir your input but therapy. .good therapy takes a long time. I am looking at the immediate picture right now and that's making sure I'm safe. Thanks.
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I know my mom has undiagnosed mental illness. No, she won't receive help. And yes, i see the underlying issues. But i am the only child. .no father, brothers, sisters, etc. And i just couldn't let her go through this lifechange by herself. Will look for social services/ va benefits, etc to help step in and give me a respite.
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You could also benefit from looking at the underlying issues:

You knew what your mother was like but you voluntarily moved back there.
You were in an abusive marriage, but you did get out.

Do you see the beginning, or an existing pattern here?

Have you thought about some therapy?
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Brixton, it was a big mistake for you to do what you considered "the right thing." Going back into an abusive situation was self-destructive. Now that you've realized your mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. Extract yourself from this situation.
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You need to walk away from this situation, Brixton. Your mother is mentally ill. She needs the help of professionals. Get a job and leave.
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I am 42. An only child. Unmarried,Two months ago I found out my mom was getting a leg amputation. I did the "right thing" (so I thought) by resigning from my job, giving up my apt. and moving to her house -1000 miles away from me to help her through this difficult time.I discovered she was hoarding and there is a mice problem. So the first month I enlisted her friend(who lives an hour away) to come help me clean and organize. Then when I wasn't even finished yet with the house and also getting a county permit to install a wheelchair lift on her porch she discharged herself against medical advice. Had a neighbor pick her up and drop her off! I have been at her beck and call for the last month. I came to help not become her servant. I didn't realize she would make me so miserable. Non stop ordering me around, yelling at me..and then when I dissent she tells me that she didn't ask me to come here,(she did!).I also have to take care of her puppy. Who is adorable but more responsibility. On top of all this I found out my moms roomate is a heroin addict. She uses in the house. I had a huge blow-up with her and she is now staying at her dealers house -until presumably I leave?! I have explained to my mom the consequences of her roommate living there, She doesn't want to hear any of it. She dismisses and yells at me,etc. My mom has been abusive my whole life and in a way I knew what I was getting into..I guess I forgot how her abuse effects me negatively. This is very toxic. She wont get a CNA because she doesnt want a stranger in the house. I told her Im going away for Thanksgiving to my cousins. She cant wait til I go and tells me so. I feel awful. Awful because she needs help and awful because now I have no place to live or job and once again I have to work my way up and out. In 2012 I left an abusive marriage. Im getting depressed and feel helpless.
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