Mother's paranoia.

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My mother and I have always had a difficult relationship. She is 86 with Pulminary Fibrosis and short term memory issues. She is in assited living. Though I am a counselor and realized her narcissism and alcoholism, I never saw her paranoia until it was mentioned to me by a worker in her assisted living. There are two things about that. First, I am angry and saddened because I now see the paranoid personality disorder. And I am also so done with her critical nature, her constant demands, her lack of concern, her nastiness towards others, her cruel words, her lack of gratitude. I have not really talked to her in the past week. I am overwhelmed with paperwork as she no longer does her bills. My garage is filled with her stuff, as she is a hoarder also and I want it out. She is 86 and is demanding to drive though she has short term memory issues and now my husband and I are taking her for a driving test. The years and years and years, stemming back from my childhood...the money I have spent on therapy ( which could have been a down payment for a house in NJ) I could go on and on.. THE BOTTOM LINE.. I am exhausted, my personal health is now at risk, I would prefer to have nothing to do with her, however I am her main caregiver. The sad thing is because of her disorders she does not understand and I am continually at fault..And I know it is going to get worse.

6 Comments

I'm sorry you're dealing with these issues. It's sometimes hard for those who have loving Mothers to understand how different it is for others who don't. Since she is now in a facility, can you turn over most of the interaction with her to the nurses there and just step back and do the decision making? The relationship sounds a little co-dependent or some other issue that isn't apparent. Why are you having this much interaction if it's causing all these problems? If there is an inheritance that can be difficult. You need to stop and ask yourself some serious questions; like, Why am 'I' keeping my garage full of crap for a narcissistic hoarder? Why am I still the main contact for someone who doesn't give a sh*t? Why am I in therapy to continue this relationship? As humans, we usually things that have a reward in it for ourselves. If the reward is money, then ask if the job is worth it. If it's something else, maybe explore that. Since you've been in therapy you most likely understand all the passive aggressive behavior going on between you, but it wouldn't hurt to read up on that. I hope you can step back from Mom a bit, donate the crap in the garage and get your life back. Hopefully she will find another outlet at the facility? Good luck! Sometimes the elderly turn some kind of corner and get sweeter. Wouldn't that be a hoot? Take care of yourself FIRST! Make that your Mantra ;)
Is she a candidate for higher skilled nursing? And do you have POA? It was wonderful when someone told me to get the ball rolling with Medicaid and start the spend down so my mom would qualify. Now MediCal (I'm in CA) pays for SNF and although I'm still stressed out over her care because of issues, I know I could walk away if I was in your shoes.
Ruthroll, your mom needs and deserves three shifts of young, rested trained caregivers. You deserve your life back.

If she's currently in a facility, arrange for it to become long term, on her funds or Medicaid.
Back off. Mom is in a care facility. Let them take care of her. Continue with the paperwork if that will help you feel you are filling your "obligation" to her, or tell her to find someone else to do it. Get that crap out of the garage. Tell her it has to be out by xx date and does she want it at a storage facility or should you donate it? Visit/talk to her less often. If she starts on the "everything is your fault" routine, leave or hang up. "Sorry Mom. I can see that you are upset now. We'll talk again another time."

This is all very easy for me to say. My mother was sweet and kind. I don't suppose this will be easy to do. Mom was very skilled at installing guilt buttons and she knows how to push them. At least you understand what is going on. I hope that help some!
I feel your pain. My mother is still ok for now, but I dread the day when she will need me to take care of her affairs. She's mentally ill and keeps her financial affairs private; I am not in a financial position to help her and I have no family support either (unmarried, no kids or relatives who are willing to help.)

Do what you can. Don't feel guilty for what's out of your control. You can only do so much.
jeannegibbs,

You did read the part where Ruthroll and her husband is taking her mom for a driver's test, didn't you? She can spend more time with her.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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