My 85-year-old mother is verbally abusive.

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She has been all her life. My father is in the hospital with stage 4 cancer. I brought my mom home with me for a week so I could have some medical care myself. This has been going on for a year. Tomorrow, I am taking her home, but this time I am not staying and she does not know it yet. I am going to fill her refridgerator with food and leave. I am her only living child and she treats me so badly that it is affecting my health. I feel guilty for leaving her and am hoping my aunt helps her out. It makes me so sad.


I'm very sorry about your mom and dad. How far away are they?
Will you continue to look in on your dad? I don't know why some elders get so disrespectful. So unable to accept the care that's intended for them. It is so demoralizing. It's like they had all their hopes pinned on their loved one who simply doesn't have the power to turn back the clock. It seems like a dissatisfaction with life that they take out on their child. I don't know if they can help it or not. I do know that you need a break and perhaps a plan for the future as to how to get someone else involved in your parents care. Sometimes the best we can do is manage their care and not try to provide all the hands on. Did you let your aunt know that you were dropping mom off? I'm sure she knows your mom and understands that you need a break.
Does your mom not drive? Do you think your mom is getting enough oxygen? Extreme anxiety can cause irritability. Not being able to breath can make one very anxious. You could also call area on aging and ask them to check on your mom. Also you could call your moms dr and ask for home health to check on her. I hope you get a good rest and come up with a plan that works better for you both.
Hi Katie,
I suggest that you do a "search" on this board about 'narcissistic mothers'. You will have many responses pop up. Under this title, you will find many of us whose moms were less than stellar. Many tell of horrible childhoods with super mean women who were supposed to love them, not verbally abuse them. My mom wasn't as horrible as some but it sure was tough at times growing up. She wasn't a warm, caring person.

You don't mention if your mom has dementia/Alzheimer's. If she does, then, at some point, she will need some help. Please start preparing for it now. (I wish I had been better prepared.)
If she has her mind, then the best thing you can do is set boundaries and not let her cross them and take care of yourself. Yes, constantly treating you badly will affect your health. You can not allow that to happen. You have many years left to live and but your mother's days are numbered. Just because you are her (adult) child does not mean she has the right to berate you. You are a grownup and an EQUAL with her. You must take that power and not allow her to control you. Do NOT feel guilty. As Popeye says, "It's all I can stands and I can't stands no more." You come to a limit of what you can take. I think you have reached yours. Maybe she will see her poor behavior when you will no longer tolerate it. Good luck.
Thank you for you replies. My Mother was actually diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. So she has been downright mean all her life. She does not have Dementia and she does not drive. I have Multiple Sclerosis and now I am having other issues. But since my sister died I have felt an overwhelming responsibility to take care of them. I live an hour from my Mom. I plan on telling her that when she wants to go see my Dad or needs to shop that I will take her. It will be hard traveling back and forth, but I truly cant take anymore. I keep telling her that if I could take my Dads cancer, I would...I am 54. I have been going through this for over a year...cant do it myself and she refuses to hire help.
A big hug for you. It sounds like a good plan.
Katie, I know what you were going through. I think that taking her home was an excellent idea. I wish I could take my mother home and leave her, but we are at her home. I don't know about you, but my mother tries to boss me around like I'm a servant. I'm 65. Maybe I should bring elder abuse charges against her. :-) I don't think that would work, though, since she is 90 years old with advanced dementia. Narcissism and dementia are an ugly mix and very hard for the adult child. Since you have MS you definitely do not need the stress of a parent with NPD. Do you plan to help her arrange a place to stay if she needs it in the future? In your shoes I wouldn't try to live with her.

Welcome to the group. There are quite a few people here with problem parents. My mother is toward the end of her life, so I feel bad writing sometimes. She is trying to keep control, so I'm having to do what needs to be done and trying to avoid her ill temper. I wish she was someone I could feel close to, but it's not there.
Oops, was a double post.
You do not need to be mom's chauffeur to the hospital or groceries - she can hire a senior driving service or take a taxi. Take care of yourself.

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