They'll do it to you every time.

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We're having a new fence installed today. I hired a company two weeks ago and we laid out the plan for the fence. I'm really impressed. The company showed up right on time and already has the posts in the ground. Mom has been letting me plan and work with the contractor...

... until today. She decided that she didn't like where the fence ends and where the gates are. I told her that it was too late, that the time for the input was before the work was done. We had some trees we had to work around, which is why we designed the fence this way. Now she is mad at me because I should have had enough sense to know where the fence should go.

To tell the truth, I knew she would start getting mad when the work started. And I know she won't be happy with the fence when it's finished. After a lifetime, I know how these things go.

Sad thing is that I was so happy about getting the new fence. The old metal one was in tatters and was depressing. Now it has turned into a thing of stress. I suspect that I may end up paying for it myself. That is okay, I guess, since to me it will be worth it to have a nice fence with pretty, wonderful smelling wood.


((((((Jessie)))))). I am having one of those moments too. It doesn't matter what you do, you are going to get blamed for something, told off for not doing it right, or not doing enough. I suspect your mother has a personality disorder. Her responses ring true. It is very frustrating, isn't it? Will she recruit anyone else to support her concerns to further show you how wrong you are? Will you have a well intentioned flying monkey on your back? Going aaaargh along with you. Everything gets turned into a battle and you always lose. Hope you enjoy the fence
Hugs, Jessie. Me too. As part of the clearing, I just came across mother's diary from 2009, in which she noted "dreadful day" on July 31st, the day we moved in here - to this beautiful house, which she'd been fully included in choosing, where we were all supposed to be going to be so happy. I have no idea why I would be surprised, but I feel so kicked in the teeth.

Of course! We are meant to be mind readers, aren't we? Come on, don't tell me you didn't know where your mother really wanted the fence to go..? Weren't you *listening* (to her secret innermost half-formed thoughts…)?

I started out thinking "f*** me!" when I saw my mother's mournful entry but I'm determined to switch that to thinking "f*** you. Nobody twisted your arm. If you felt that way why didn't you speak up at the time?" Same goes for the fence. Inhale that fresh resiny smell and enjoy. And you make sure she pays what she agreed to pay. No refunds when the work has been well done and to spec.
Jessebelle, just let the stress go - you are not going to make Momma happy - she is not fussing about the fence as much as she resents that you are doing it because she is unable - I found that my LO would get agitated anytime I had to do something that he used to do or that he was a part of I ask his opinion which rarely makes any sense, but I listen patiently and then get whatever I need done, done my way - and try to do as much as possible when he is not around and avoid all discussions about it - I just tell him, we discussed this and you gave me your input which I appreciated and walk away. You will never make them happy about it as again it is about their losing control and you "taking" over. . In my case I am paying for it - not him - so it is even more frustrating ...but my only other option was to let the house fall down around us just to keep him happy and that would not have been safe for either of us.
Thanks, everyone. I remember for the longest time when I was young I had a "why even try?" attitude. I have to admit it is starting to settle in on me again. But we have to try to make our own lives pleasant, which answers why we should try. I had discussed everything about the fence with Mom a few times, but they are among the discussions she doesn't remember.

This is something else I'm learning about my mother's dementia -- She doesn't remember normal conversations with me. She forgot that we talked about Dad's birthday two or three times. When my brother called, she said she hadn't thought a thing about it. But she does remember that my brother mentioned Dad's birthday. I think I am becoming background noise to her.

I'm going to make some brownies tomorrow and celebrate the completion of the new fence. If she pays for it, fine. If not, I'll be able to cover it. No sore point there, since we both live here. (I just hope that the house doesn't end up going to the state down the road. I'll have to make sure to keep records of everything I paid.)
Strange thing is that I was inspecting the fence later and looked at the area my mother was angry about. A voice said, "You did a bad job." I looked and it was all wrong. Then I looked objectively and all was just fine. It looked good. I had thought long and hard about all the problem points and how to work around them. And here I was talking to myself with her words. As an adult looking at these things, I can see how words from a parent can do such harm when spoken to a child. We all still have that little child in us that wants our parents to say good job.
Jessie, we could never get any contract done with Mom without her constantly wanting to make changes. You did good. She will get over it. Get her out of your head and keep your objectivity. And make her pay the contractor, tell her changes cost a lot more and the answer is NO. Be strong.
Something I once read is that a rep-payee can use the (patient's) funds for household maintenance and repairs. Re: Social Security income.

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