Ready to snap.

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My mother moved in with my husband and I about five years ago. With her I also got my, now, 15 year old niece. My niece is wonderful and not a problem, however my mother is having a huge negative impact on the entire household. Her health is not great (heart and lung disease), and so she is extremely limited on what she can do around the house. She refuses to go anywhere or do anything. We all feel that her whole source of entertainment is us. We are watched at every turn. "what are you eating", "what are you doing", "where are you going". What, where, when, why, how all day long everyday. then there is the starring. Always watching you. Always!, Now we are all resentful of the intrusions the questions and watching are causing. I feel like I am expected to check in with her on every damn detail of my life, and hate it! I want her to just move out, find her own place. When I was growing up I thought my mom was the toughest, most amazing person, but having lived with her these past years I have become completely disillusioned with my childhood memories of her. My anger and frustration is leaking out of my ears. I feel guilty that I don't even want to spend time with my husband or my niece because my mom has me so amped up with frustration that I just don't want to be around anyone. How sad is this?...When she had to stay in the hospital over night we all feel like a breath of fresh air was blowing through the house. The stress levels drop two fold and everyone was practically gleeful. I know that there has to be a better way to make this work, but I really am at a lose to see any light at the end of this tunnel. So I ask you for suggestions or comments that could help bring about some resolve to this issue that we are struggling with.

35 Comments

It is obvious that she needs to be in a NH or Assisted Living Center.
brunosmom138, try putting yourself in her shoes for a few moments... her health isn't great, thus she can't do everything she use to do 20 years ago... she isn't around anyone her own age to talk to, etc.... she's not really being noisy, she is just trying to get a conversation going.

Please try to find her an adult day care where she can be with people of her own generation, you might find this will perk her up, she will develop new friends, and she would then be less noisy about what everyone is doing in the household.
Has she been to her doctor recently for a complete evaluation? Are there adult day centers she could attend? It might not be something she is interested in immediately but being around people of her own age and experience might change her outlook. Tell her the doctor said to do this for 30 days. Otherwise, I agree it is time for other living arrangements for Mom.
a toxic household can indeed make you sick . the tension is something you can literally see in the air as depression sets in and causes brain fog . i dont have any advice for you but i do understand how tightly wound a household can get .
Depending upon how limited she is in moving around in the house she is, she might not qualify for an assisted living. When did she last see her doctor? How old is she? Has she been evaluated for possible dementia and/or depression? What sort of living situation does he doctor say that she needs at this time?

Does she have the resources to afford to go to a nursing home if that what the doctor recommends or does she qualify for medicaid?

Use the search site box in the upper right hand corner of this page and do a search using the word detachment and you will see some articles about detaching emotionally with love. Right now for whatever reason, your mother is sucking the life out of you like an emotional vacuum cleaner. She can't stop, but you can detach for your own self-protection.

Your not wanting to be around anyone is a clear sign of emotional depletion and possible depression. Get yourself some help. You need your husband's support. So, please try not to isolate yourself from him, but if you do just explain to him that you are totally drained and need his patient support. He's probably feeling very anxious and wondering how to fix things with seeing you suffer with this so.

If she has not seen her doctor very recently, then call her doctor this afternoon; tell the person you speak to that you need to make an appointment very soon, and ask to speak with his or her nurse who will probably need to call you back today, but that will give you some added support ant get the ball rolling!

Please keep in touch, keep venting, keep asking questions, and keep us updated.

After you call her doctor's office, call your doctor's office to make an appointment for yourself to get some help for you.
Hey Brunosmom -

I don't know what to tell you but my mother is the same way when I'm in her house. I moved out and only stay over about twice a month now, but that was one of the reasons. She drove me crazy with her constant scrutiny. Where are you going? What are you cooking? Why are you going out on the porch? What do you have in your hand? And the staring thing as well. I thought it was because it was her house and she didn't want anything happening in her house that she didn't know about and approve, but based on your account, the same thing could have happened if I moved her to my house. She just seems to have no boundaries. Or maybe it's a way of trying to engage with someone without actually investing any energy in them. Or maybe just a way to relieve the awkwardness of living in such close quarters, like stranger conversation in an elevator.

I appreciate cmagnum's suggestion about detachment. However, I wasn't successful at detaching without removing myself physically from her presence. She still does it, and it still annoys me, but now I only have to be annoyed a few days a month. I realize my solution won't work for you unless you're serious about separating your households. Finding something else for your mother to do may be the best solution. Like adult daycare or a book club or a bridge club. Something to take her focus off you and give her something else to talk about.
Thank you all for your comments and support. My mom goes to the doctor regularly and thus far does not require a nursing facility. I have suggested that she join a club or attend our local senior center on several occasions over the years, and I am always met with strong resistance. When I suggested that she attend one of the local senior Reno trips, she states she will not go with a bunch of strangers, she only wants to travel with us. I have suggested that she participate in the senior water aerobics class, also suggested by her doctor. She won't even go out on the front porch and sit in the sun. She flat out refuses to do any extra curricular activities. She simply wants to sleep, read and eat pastries. It is so frustrating! I know that if I could get her out of the house for a bit she would be happier, which in turn would make us all happier. But what do you do when your 74 year old parent flat out refuses to participate? None of us want to be her sole source of entertainment, and I don't think it is fair of her to make us feel like frustrated fish in a bowl. I just don't know how or what to say to her that will make any difference at this point.
Yep, Carla is right, sometimes the only way to detach, particularly if the attachment is very deeply hooked in, is to remove oneself physically. That is extreme detachment, but it is needed at times for the sake of one's own emotional and sometimes even physical survival.

My wife's therapist encouraged her to detach from her mother by living a certain geographical distance from her and limit her contact with her. This has helped free her up to get freedom from mom inside her head which is the hardest and last step of detachment.

What I wrote initially was to trying to help you in your immediate crisis. The whole work of total detachment involves more work, time and therapy. Only after you have detached from mom living in your head will you really be detached from her and be far less easily sucked into her drama dance by pushing those buttons that she put into your psyche long ago. Not everyone's buttons are at the same depth which is why it takes some longer than others, but the good news is they can be eventually detached and only you will be fully living inside of your own head without anyone else in your head unless you invite them in there.

O wish you the best in dealing with this mess.
I wish, no (o wish) sorry!

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