Moving my Mom from IL to WI to live with me was a mistake!

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My Mom ( age 88) lived in a very nice retirement home in IL where she had lived her whole life. My father died nine years ago and she reconnected with a college boyfriend and she lived with him for a year in CA before he died from dementia. She was so lonely and both she, my husband and I thought she would be happier up here by us and all 7 of her great grandchildren. I now realize that this was the worst decision of my life. She has two rooms in our house and a bathroom and has been told that the rest of the house is hers as well. Other than coming out of her rooms for breakfast (she keeps all of her food in her room), her weekly hair appt and when we take her with us to restaurants or Dr appts we hardly see her. She has nasty comments to make if I do anything that doesn't include her. I am 60 and I think she was hoping that I would just sit in her room with her all day, every day as if I was 88 too. She is really a passive aggressive person and I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I would just move her back to IL (where my brother lives) but most of her furniture was sold. She is also on Facebook and on her depressed days makes sure she puts depressing comments on fb. I'm sure that her friends and relatives think that we are abusing her. I have just found out that she is a miserable depressed person and probably always has been. My father was a saint to have lived with her for 50 years. I'm tired of hearing about all of the things she didn't get to do in her life, what a disappointment my father was, how she wished that she had married her college boyfriend instead, etc, etc, etc. I want her gone!! I need suggestions of what to do. Should I just give up possibly the next 10 years of our lives, move her back (money isn't an object for her) or what? I really need advice.


I would suggest you ask your Mom what she wants to do... and give her the option of moving back to that same retirement village... she probably misses a lot of her friends.
FF is absolutely right, ask her, I bet she hates living with her children. She can move to AL and they provide the furniture. Plus, she will be with people her own age and be much too busy with them to worry about you.
Depression can either be a way of life, OR a treatable illness. Grief can be normal - she has lost much; or it can become pathological, and either way it needs support. I would not worry as much about what people think reading her FB posts. Many people probably realize how depressed she is. Maybe try some movie nights at home - either funny stuff to help he lighten up, or serious stuff like Ordinary People (best description ever of what depression is given by the mian character) might be good, it's hard to say.

Chronically depressed people are horrible to live with, but make sure you are not hating on her because she is being Debbie Downer when she really needs medical help. Insist she gets evaluated! Print off those FB posts if she always lies to the doctors about stuff like this :-)
I have asked my Mom what she would like to do. She says that this is where she needs to be and to just not worry about her and that she will be fine just sitting in her rooms. Since she is over the depression now of Valentine's Day, my husband and I are going to talk to her. I totally understand being a little depressed now and then but she needs to know that we all have given up a lot to have her live up here and that we can't be treated the way we are when she is depressed. My daughter was going to bring her four children over yesterday so that Mom could see what they had bought with their Christmas money from her but I had to tell her it would be best not to come. In the past she has said very hurtful things to the little kids which is inexcusable.

I have suggested going to counseling repeatedly. She has so many issues that she has never dealt with from her past (a child who died from cancer as a baby, another child who was stillborn, and an an emotionally abusive mother). She refuses to go for counseling because it costs money and she says she won't pay someone. I wish I could force her to go but that isn't an option. I will be going myself.

I have also said that she could always move back to her hometown. She hated where lived at the time and I always heard that she felt that her Ind Living 2 bedroom apartment was a cell ( didn't have enough windows). She says she wishes that she had never moved out of her condo that she lived in with my Dad (she complained about the condo the whole time she lived there), she wishes she had never left Florida where she lived part of the year with my Dad (but said that she cried when she lived there without her children close) and wishes that she still lived in CA with the love of her life.

As you can tell there is no making her happy wherever she is. I can't change her and will need help to know how to live with her and her moods.

Thank you for all of your comments.
Also, my Mom is extremely hard of hearing and wears hearing aids so going to movies is not an option. She rarely watches tv and when I suggested, and did, put on the closed captions she complained that they are too hard to read. She loves puzzles and did finally let me set up a table so that she has that to do. She doesn't read and has no hobbies at all. She was a kindergarten teacher and used to love playing the piano (was a music minor in college) but now can no longer play the piano or sing because of her hearing. She tells me all of the time that she prays every night that she will die and has threatened to stop taking all of her medication. We go to the same doctor and I will make sure that the doctor knows all of this before her next appt next month.
First, if she suffers from clinical depression advising her to change her attitude is about as realistic as telling a lame man to stand up straight and walk. It might work for a little while if she really tries hard, but the core problem is still there. There is no reason she can't still sing and play for her own pleasure even if she can't hear well, Beethoven was deaf after all. Losing interest in things that used to bring you joy can be a sign of depressive illness. Has she ever tried any anti depressant medications?
You need to ask yourself if you can accept your living arrangement if things don't change, or if they change for the worse as she gets older. You say you are going for therapy so be honest with yourself. She seems to be telling you that she agrees she needs to be close to family for your support, but you could still be that support in an assisted living facility close to you, perhaps with nursing home option if needed in the future.
I agree with cwillie. You need to ask yourself if you can live with your mother's passive aggressive behavior, as it will only get worse. My story is hauntingly similar, however, my Mother's financial status is dire, and she will deplete her funds from living independently in less than 2 years, and her living arrangements are being dumped on me and my sister. WE have suffered our entire lives by my mother's borderline personality disorder. At 80, she lives in her own apartment and still tortures, taunts, and has the expectations of moving in with both or at least one of us. Although, your Mother is already living with you, you need to be clear about your expectations from her. I know my abusive Mother will never change, and I have told her what I expect from her should she live with us: And being a borderline, she could care less. All we asked was that she be seen by a neuropsychologist and pre-pay her burial. She laughed in our face and asked if she should be checked for AIDS as well :(....To be con't....If your Mother has the funds, I would be looking into an AL facility. You will never change your Mother, and you don't have to live with her moods, unless you want to get sick yourself. You cannot help someone who does not want to help themselves, especially if they've been driving the bus their entire life. Time to take the keys away, and do what is in your and your family's best interest. Your Mother will be okay. Good luck!

Thanks Allie. I just wish I had known that when I called my Mom before she lived up here and she was in one of her moods that these moods were not just once in a while things. I will get counseling for myself and just wish that she would go with me. I know that I can't change my Mom. I just don't want our relationship to totally deteriorate and maybe counseling will help.
Also CWillie, I tried to have my Mom ask her doctor (even called the Dr's office) to see if she could get medication for depression. She refuses to take anymore medication. I also know that there is no reason that she couldn't still sing and play the piano but she won't although I have tried to encourage her. She moved here in October and I wouldn't make any changes until at least the weather got warmer as doing anything at this time of year would be all but impossible. Thanks for your comments!

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