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My mother does not have dementia or alzheimer's. She is mobility impaired.
She constantly preaches that I will have her ailments, she warns me that I am too old to find a job and no one will want me because of my age. She says that her "religion" is the supernatural. She wants to talk about numerology, tarot cards, astrology and events that have happened to her. I don't believe in this "nonsense" and it bothers me. She doesn't understand why. I try not to discuss things with her; but, she gets upset that we don't sit together, have tea and talk.
She pushed me in a corner and demanded that I explain why I won't engage in conversation with her. So, I told her that I am not interested in the same things she is interested in. I feel we have nothing in common. Now she is upset and I hurt her feelings. Now what do I do? I am starting to resent her as my mother.
Is anyone else having an issue like this with an elderly parent?

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It's really hard when you are doing the best you can and because od whatever is going in in her mind she puts you down, yells and calls you a lier. I am doing the best I can but because of her financial situation and mine I can't get help. Some how I know God will help me but it is very hard on your own. I am so tired and can find no help because my time is consumed with her care that I can't think straight . Any suggestions ?
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You are so welcome!
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Jane B - I am going to print out the This is Not Personal section and put it on the fridge, the mirror in the bathroom - where ever - and will read it everyday, several times a day!! Thank you!!!
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If you can't get distance from her, physically, I have another suggestion. This will sound really hard to do, but I started doing it when I felt like there was nothing else working, and so worth trying on some level. Try telling yourself -- silently or out loud but really telling yourself -- "THIS IS NOT PERSONAL. It has felt personal but it is not personal. This is all about her. I am fine. This is not personal. I no longer needs to feel personal, and the wisest and finest parts of me know this is the truth, and now so do all parts of me." Keep repeating it. Interrupt the mulling you do over what she just said. Start this train of thought/action instead. It works, I promise you.

When my Dad has gone over and over all the slights of his life, I gently remind him that they happened, they are over and he is okay anyway. He can't change the past, and he CAN change the present moment by letting the past stay in the past. It makes him mad temporarily and then he calms down. Trying to create a different past is never going to work, and even the most curmudgeonly among us have to see that on some level. Good luck!
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givemepeace - you are right - you are not guilty - if you can let go of those feelings it would be good, What a dreadful way to live. Is it possible to place your mum into an ALF? It sounds like she has a personality disorder and narcissism like my mum. I find her too stressful to be around much, especially as I have gotten older and it has affected my health. Taking care of your mum means making sure she is cared for - I don't think has to mean you doing everything yourself. Please do look after you. ((((((hugs))))))
Joan
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I understand about the put downs from my mother too. Nothing I ever do is good enough. There's absolutely no talking to her at all, she just whips the conversation around on me, well you this, well you that I hear. So I gave up. My daughter told me I better not get like Nana when I get old. I told her if i do - then shoot me!! I do NOT want to be like her in any respect. Looking back on my childhood, I don't see much positive from her, mostly negative. My dad was a bear growing up but when he had a heart attack he really mellowed out. He since passed away 7 yrs ago and mom is living with us. And it has NOT been easy and continues to not be easy. Nothing I do pleases her at all. I understand her own frustrations of being limited on what she can do, going to work anymore is a pleasure just to get away from my own house! Then she'll pit each one against the other, so they only love her and not me. My daughter sees this and my son will complain about her at times yet since my son is the only boy (mom had 3 girls) she babies him and enables him (and I have had alot of problems with him in his teen years). I tell her she can't baby him (he's 25 now) oh but he's my grandson. Yes he's your grandson, but he is not 2 yrs old. So this is what she does and my own family is strewn apart with the exception of my daughter who understands, because of her. She complains about everything. Anything that she may do (like knock over a cup or forget something) it's my fault because of the way i put the cup down or i asked her a question. There's absolutely no winning with her at all. When dad was dying, we had an understanding with each other and even though mom was sitting there and I ran out for something from the nursing home he was in, mom would say dad kept saying when was I coming back. She didn't like that. Before dad went into the nursing home, he said to me take care of your mother, so here I am. I'm glad to have found this site to have support and know that I am not alone. She has passed on alot of guilt onto us thru the years as my sisters and I were growing and the guilt is embedded and it should not be. I have nothing to be guilty of. But she makes me feel guilty and I feel guilty in the way I feel about her and I know I shouldn't. She is what she is and there is no changing that, but I know I need to change how I handle it I suppose. Just so I don't go crazy living with her!
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(((((hugs))))) shrl and M1953 - you both have done and are doing so well. I have all but cut contact for similar reasons (verbal and emotional abuse) - just do what is good for you and your families and don't tolerate any more abuse - that garbage about the 65th anniversary is abusive - It is sad when parents and sibs pick on other famly members but we cannot control hteir behaviour, nor do we have to continue to put ourselves in the path of pain. It takes a long while to heal from these things - protect yourselves, do what you can to heal and enjoy the life God gave you. Your parents and sibs should be so proud of you both. I am!
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shrlclntz, is my sister & I am one of the 3 abused children! My sister got it worse than I did, so did my oldest brother! I was a middle child, the one who helped our parents so much over the last 25 years! I am so very proud of the woman my sister became & so very proud of her for choosing a wonderful husband, so many children in situations like that choose an abusive spouse, but she didn't!!! She chose a wonderful mate & my husband & I adore him! They have a handsome, beautiful son, who is such a blessing! My sister & her husband were very successful in life & their son is so successful, shows he had a wonderful upbringing! My sister could have passed on her terrible childhood to her son, but she didn't! She ended it with herself & I am so proud of her for that! So many in situations like ours end up in the system, but we stayed strong! I agree, we have payed enough! I am just so glad she is my sister & love her & her family dearly!
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shrlclntz, I am so sorry and sad. To read your comments brings tears to my eyes. I haven't had that happen often on this site. There is a special place in hell for some people and a special place in heaven. I hope you find your special place in heaven. Just don't have anything else to do with your parents and the ugly siblings. You have given enough.
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I am so sorry to hear of all the sad issues so many people are having with their parents. It would be wonderful if we were all blessed with caring, loving parents, at least that would give us some happy childhood memories. Sadly enough many children had a horrible childhood and not only are left with horrible memories, but are still receiving verbal abuse their whole adult life from their parent(s).

My parents had 5 children and went to church twice on Sunday. However, they beat the hell out of the older 3 children. I was beaten from the time I was small until I was an adult. I was always a good kid, never caused any problems, never drank, never ran away, never talked back, never did drugs, got A's in school. We were raised on a farm & expected to work daylight to dawn. I can't forget the beatings from mom with the old vacuum sweeper hose that had wire coils in it, belts, switches, my dolls, shoes & anything she could get her hands on. I would climb under the bed to get away from her, but she would manage to pull me back out again & beat the hell out of me some more for trying to get away. Then if an item was damaged while she was beating me, I got hit some more and blamed for the broken item. I left home at the age of 18 and dealt with lots of depression through the years because of the abuse.

This abuse affected my older brother to the point of becoming an alcoholic by the age of 15. He also beat his son, who became a permanent prison inmate. My 2 youngest siblings never suffered the beatings. Those 2 siblings & their children are favored by our parents. Any conversation with mom she will brag about those grandchildren of her favorite children. If you happen to mention how your child just received a promotion at work, mom's response will be reversed to her favorite grandsons. It is like my son and/or my other sister's children don't exist. Our mother has said very hurtful things, written very hurtful letters to me & my sister and also her children, even putting these hateful letters in the children's birthday cards. This is totally verbal abuse and beyond.

Now the 2 younger siblings are pacifying mom & dad by encouraging this behavior, like they are scoring brownie points. We have been told they are trying to get mom & dad to change their will (mom is 88 & dad is 92). A couple most recent incidents included dad being airlifted to hospital twice for emergency treatment within 2 weeks. However, no one called my sister nor I. When questioned mom and also my youngest sister about this the reply was, “you didn't care enough to come to our 65th anniversary party, so we just figured you didn't care, so that is why we didn’t call you”. This was extremely hurtful. The reason I didn't go to the anniversary party was because I was undergoing a major eye surgery (trabeculectomy) at the same time as the party (of which she and the whole family were aware of). I am actually legally blind on one eye, because of glaucoma. I have the worst type of glaucoma a person can have. I also live out of state and a 10 hour drive to where they were having the party. When I told mom that I would not be able to attend the party because of my surgery, her response was “you should reschedule your surgery to a later date, after all it is not every day your parents celebrate their 65th anniversary”. If I had not rec'd the surgery when I did, I would have went blind. After the surgery, I even had to have 2 laser surgeries during my 6 weeks of recovery to open up the drainage channel, as it was closing up. I am still going for treatment. The surgery was severe enough that I was off work for 6 weeks and not medically cleared to even drive. Further, my younger sibling sister planned the party as she takes over everything & did not even ask me or my other sister's opinion as to when/where the party would be. When she called me about the party, she had everything all planned. I asked her if she could have the party earlier before my surgery, but she said No, she already made the arrangements. Her other comment was, can’t you change the date of your surgery?

For a period of 25 years, my sister and her husband helped mom and dad on a regular weekly 2 hour round trip to mow, fix and repair things, take them to the Dr., take them grocery shopping, take them to all the family events. Now because that sister did not go to their anniversary party (of which she knew nothing about because the sister planning the event refused to invite her) mom is treating her and her husband like dirt. She has written evil lies in many letters to my sister's daughter to upset her. My mother further threw up to me how my cousin came all the way from Texas to go to his parents’ anniversary party. However, she failed to mention he don't have a severe medical condition to deal with. Further, his parents would never of expected him to travel that distance if he did medical issues or needed surgery. The longer my younger siblings can keep my sister & I away the easier it will be for them to get mom to change the will, hide it from the rest of us, & take control of the situation.
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Jonathan, what is your take on the personal attacks and put-downs?
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In your shoes, I would take this approach. 1 There are two kinds of things in the world: things I control and things I don't. Since you can't control your mother's belief system, don't try. You can control what you say to your mother. If you don't mind destroying your relationship with her, continue to tell her all the things you don't share. If you want to get something good from your relationship with your mother between today and the day she dies, you might want to change your approach. Listen to her. Try to imagine what has happened to her that would leave her looking for answers where she does. Empathize with her. Try to feel what it feels like to be her. You have two choices-- build bridges or build walls. You don't have to surrender your thought processes to her. Just share what you think while respecting what she thinks. And no, you probably can't change what she thinks, so don't try. Your interactions with your mother are precious, whether you know it or not. Once she's gone, you'll know it. Please don't wait for that to happen. Make memories now with her. It won't be easy, but you'll be glad you did it. Good Luck. God Bless You.
Jonathan
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Kimkathleen ~ I agree with you that we should respect our elderly and serve them ...as much as possible. But when a person who does not have an illness… .and is so mean to their daughter...you know yourself it is not a healthy situtation...and I feel quite certain that she has already tried being kind. That is why she is asking for our suggestions! Everyone does not repsond to kindness! It might irritate her mother even more depending upon what the mother's intentions really are. I love seniors and I have dedicated a big portion of my life since age 19 to helping seniors...and I am telling you they are not all sweet little ole people who respond to hugs and love. but I agree that many do. I have had the honor of being the hugger that made it all better for many seniors but it does not last...and when people are unstable at any age...it is not a safe nor healthy atmosphere for the caregiver or anyone else. When people are suffering , even if they just have anger, guilt or forgiveness, etc. problems or have physical pain they are not themselves...that is why they need professional help....and perhaps medication along with safe hugs and love when possible. . Another thing is...some of the seniors today came from backgrounds where they themselves have never received real love and they do not know how to show real love. They cannot give what they do not have themselves….love.

We should all be able to have our needs met and that is why most times it takes the intervention of professionals in cases dealing with the elderly. The mother in this case appears to be abusing her daughter who is only trying to help her!!!! So long as one is in good sound mind...we are suppose to be responsible and accountable for our thoughts, deeds and actions! Kim … I can see your goodness and that you are taking a high minded approach…so please do not think that I am in anyway attacking you…as I admire you for Speaking your truths…just as I am doing. Blessings~ hobbi
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kimkathleen, you obviously have nice parents. Some on this site do not. I would never make anyone feel they have to "serve" an evil parent. There are people on this site who have been abused. My Dad verbally abused me when i was growing up and Mom is selfish and narcissistic. My brother and I will care for her, but we will never be close to her. All professional advice I have received is to put boundaries in place. People like my Mom are interested on only one thing, themselves.

I know you intentions are good and maybe they would work for you. They just won't work with abusive parents. And telling your daughter she is old and no one would want her sounds pretty nasty to me.
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It is my belief that older people are to be served and respected. All older people.
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As I posted before, please check out personality disorders. All the love and understanding in the world is nothing to people who have these disorders. To tell you daughter, whom you are supposed to love, they are too old, willl never be loved, or find a job, etc. etc. is just not normal. Trying to make this better by going to church (especially with someone who doesn't seem to have the same values) is a waste of time. She will just make you feel guilty because you are a nice person. Get professional help, she has surely done damage with all the negative comments and learn how to deal with her. Good intentions are wasted on narcissistic people and I believe you mother may be narcissistic.
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Let me tell you a story here. I was a young nurse, trying to give medication to an elderly client. This older woman was using obsenities and was at home in her bed. I loathed comming near her and often got hit. But then a older nursing assistant came and I warned her about the client. The assitant hearing the cursing went into her room, embraced her and told her she loved her and asked her why she was so distressed. The client cryed and said she was in alot of pain and said she was sorry. I learned alot from this nursing assistant about older clients. I told her she was an angel who taught me a big lesson. I will never forget the day I learned that older people have different responses to pain and loniness. I learned to look at people with the love of Christ.
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Some women do this because of sheer jealousy! They have lived their lives, and perhaps not too happy with it and now they resent their daughters who are younger,good looking and still have a future. I have noticed during my years of volunteer work that some mother's just do not want anyone to like their daughters and will say awful things about them. And often try to keep them frightened in some way to keep them close by...using similar things that your mom is using. It is all about control!. My mother used to tell me how old and awful I looked when I was taking care of her and saying that I might die before she did......for sure it would be easy to get that way if we give in too all that is often dished out to us. We have to take control of our lives...perhaps your mom should have some counseling and even some meds to help with her obvious anger. I know everyone is giving you good advice but talking to people (your mom) in these situation is ofen just a waste of time and can upset the other person more and make the situation worse.. you might even eventually be attacked yourself...Of course each case is different. But I suggest you.....Be careful and do not argue as it only make it worse...and more than likely she does not care what the bible says!!!! She realizes she is loosing control of her life and is doing all that she knows to regain control...even at your expense. Do take care and protect yourself...and don't let anyone steal your sunshine!!!! I would .get her some help. If she will not cooperate try speaking with your local social services...I would get some coaching or counseling myself as what you are going through takes a lot out of one...saps your energy and can make you feel helpless and it is actually a form of abuse. It is very difficult to be true to yourself and take care of a parent at the same time!!! So... Don't forget to Take good care of you! Personally I feel that all the occult while often fun becomes a dangerous tool in the wrong hands...sounds like your mom is not one who should be dabbling in any of it. Hugs and blessings ~ Bobbi
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What else matters except that your mom is wanting to be close to you? Take her in your arms and embrace her. Ask her to go with you to your church service and have a meal with you every single Sunday! Give her some hope that you have a place for her in your heart. She can be told that some things she says are not appropriate for this moment and since you do not share her opinions ask that she respect that and not speak of those topics when she is with you. Be firm but loving. Often times the roles reverse , but always with love.
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Wow, there are always alot of responses to guestions like this. My take is get as much distance between you and your Mom as possible. Nothing you do will help when you have a narcissistic parent, nothing. I have tried for four years to get my Mom to see how horribly she has treated me and how much she has hurt me. I like the comment about the sister moving away for employment and being blamed. That happened to me. My husband lost his job when we had three (twins) little girls and I was a stay home Mom. Instead of being glad he found a good job with a good company, all Mom did was blame me for moving. It is no better now 23 years later. With your Mom and mine it is all about them, no one else.

My Dad died almost four years ago,, he had Parkinson's and colitius. He was weak from the colitius and fell in the back yard and couldn't get up. Mom told me he cried for help until someone came out and found him. For almost 4 years she has told this story, making fun of him crying for help, and how she thought he was trying to get attention. She even said she didn't think he really had Parkinson's disease. She repeated this story to me, again, yesterday. It made me sick. You see narcissistic people never change, they are evil. You have to recognize that. Your Mom is trying to force her "religion" on you. I don't like that, religion is personal. But narcissist can't stand it when everyone doesn't agree with them.

May it is time for Assisted Living, a Nursing Home or any place but yours
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yes, i once experience something that kind of behavior. It's just telling you that she is still in control.She knows that you are not listening and she will not change untill she get your total attention . The big issue is "FORGIVENESS" and it is hard to do when you continue to think about the past. I had to go back to "GOD" in order to forgive my Mom ,and when i realali
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I am sooo sorry . . . I didn't mean to write so much. Guess that's a touchy subject with me. ;-)
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Sounds like there are a lot of us around. My mom is also very negative, and everything has been so much worse for her than what anyone else has had to go through. She still goes on and on about how hard it was living with my father, and he's been gone 20 years now. She's been living with my son and me for the past 4 years, she could no longer live on her own because of trouble with back pain and no always remembering to take her meds properly. My son and my way of life came to a screeching halt! Now what we can do, etc., all revolves around mom. She continually puts me down, from I won't be able to find anothe job when I retire to I'm lucky to have the job I have, I'm too heavy, I should forget about trying to find a nice looking man because they'll never give me the time of day - I should just take whatever I can get and consider myself lucky, I'm a lousy housekeeper, I can't cook, I'm not a good Christian and I should stop pretending (I do the best I can), and the list goes on and on. She just recently had a stroke, or rather, a series of TIA's and is currently in a rehab facility. So far things are not going well, but it's only been a week. I tried counseling, which helped a little. I was told that when mom starts in on me to just say "whatever" and walk away. Only trouble is, mom caught on to that pretty quick, and now makes snide remarks about it. She's a very unhappy person, and I think she always has been. Maybe that's your mom's problem too. Does she have any friends, any other interests like reading, or word games, or any kind of needlecraft, etc.? Changing the subject when she starts in is good advice, but it won't always work. I know - been there, done that. My mom is a firm believer in ghosts, and watches everything she can find on t.v. about them. What's strange is that she is also a really big fan of Joyce Meyer, and watches her all the time too. Just tell your mom that religion and politics are never good topics for discussion, because everyone has different views, and the discussions almost always end up in an argument, and you don't want to argue with her. And just try to turn a deaf ear to her when she starts her insulting. Most probably she's not going to stop, no matter what you do. It's hard, 'cause she's your mom, but try not to take any of it personally. She wants you to be as miserable as she is, most probably . . . mine does, and more or less told me that.
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Yes I certainly do know how you feel. I've been caregiving for my mom 2 years now. She is in early stage dementia, and I do SO much for her. Like everything. I cook, clean, doc. appts. I mean you name it & I'm doing it. However she does second geuss me & my decisions alot. I'm 31, have a small son I'm raising and I need her to relize that I'm my own woman now & not the little girl she remembers me being. I want to give good advice,but I'm going thru sort of same thing. I think that we have to stay strong by being true to who we are & our own personal beliefs. If your mom & you have different views just tell her that you appreciate that she has her own belief or opionion, but you also have yours to & its ok that they are different. Just agree to disagree. Tough Challenge, I know. Good luck to you. kellyb
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Sounds like we've similar mom's. For the "put downs" I found that agreeing with her or beating her to the punch made her "defend" me and lift me up instead or she found other things to go on about (just keep doing the same thing eventually they run out of stuff to say!) as for the tarot cards etc: If she is Wiccan it may not be something you are comfortable with but it is a Federally recognized religion and can be considered abuse if you literally tell her it is "nonsense" simply tell her that you are glad she has a belief system but that yours varies from hers and you both need to agree that one subject is off limits for discussion! good luck~
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Hi NJ~
I have had this issue for more years than I like to remember. Number 1: therapy helped me tremendously. My 90 yo mom is an alcoholic; dry alcoholic at this point. She has had issues with control, jealousy (of me) and concerns about what her legacy will be; these were NOT diagnosed by anyone other than me learning why I am like I am. I reached a point where I learned to set boundaries; in other words, I didn't allow her put-downs or speaking to me as if I was a little girl. It certainly hasn't been easy, but it does keep the peace. I walk away or tell her that what she has said isn't acceptable. She still tries once in a while. Now she is working her "magic" on the hospice nurse because Sarah is kind and can be intimidated; I just changed nurses to a stronger personality one and think this may work. I can actually say I love my mom..and that wasn't always the case. It took a lot of hard work on my part. I wish you all the best; it just isn't easy♥
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How long has she been that way? Has she always been negative? Were you ever able to have a good conversation with her? If this happened suddenly, I am wondering what caused it, if it is medical, have you spoke with her doctor? If she has always been this way, then it could still be negative, could be hormonal, etc. Just a thought! My mother has always been negative, two faced & mean, to those she isn't getting her way with, it works for her! With my mom my husband & I figured out that as long as we did exactly what she says, live where she wants us to live, do all her yard work, farm her ground, then she is nice to us. When you don't do what she wants, or if you have to move, due to employment, etc., then she hates you! My sister lives in another state & she treats her like crap. She can't come to all events, most recently was eye surgery to save her eye sight in the one eye she still had sight in, but that meant that my sister would miss our parents 65th anniversary party, that one of our siblings set up, without checking with me or my sister, in fact I wasn't invited until too late to go, had other plans! So mom is pissed at both of us, being really hateful, to the point when dad goes in the hospital, we don't even get a call, he was recently in hospital & a week later out & when I called to see how things were going, was told then about how sick dad had been, had actually been air lifted to a hospital in large city, but we weren't told about it. When my sister asked why we weren't notified, mom told her we didn't care enough to go to the party, so that's why we weren't notified. My sister tried to tell mom once again that she had to have eye surgery, mom said "your surgeon could change the date!" I feel for you know what you are going through, that's why I ask how long has your mother been that way?

Lots of hugs, Marilyn
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I'm more concerned about your mother's put-downs than her love of tarrot cards. "Mom, I can't change my age and I can't change my genes, so I'd prefer not to hear your predictions of my future. Time will tell if you are right." Repeat this as often as necessary.

It sounds like spiritual beliefs is not a good topic of discussion between you. If it upsets you or bores you to hear about her horescope for the day -- or yours! -- tell her so and ask that those topics be off limit.

What else could you redirect the conversation to? A movie you've both seen? Something you remember her cooking long ago that you'd like to learn to make? An interesting article in today's paper? What you are thinking of buying cousin Corrine for the upcoming wedding? Surely there are other things to talk about other than dire predictions for your future or Mom's spirtual beliefs. Refuse to engage on the "off limits" topics, but have some other items to start talking about.
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For me being a Christian the things that your mother is believing in is also nonsense otherwise it would've been part of God's word, so that's what I would say to anyone trying to push that stuff on me. But I have no idea why YOU think it's nonsense. Maybe that's where you should start, is rebuking what she's saying and why you're disagreeing with her. Just sit down and tell her, 'I'm going to explain to you mom exactly why I don't believe what you're saying, then I'm not going to talk about it again'. For me, I would get out the Bible and refute every single thing that she's saying, but that's just because I don't mind a confrontation about things like this. But if you don't want to confront her past the initial talk, then don't go there with her. Don't let her bait you. Hold up your hand and say 'talk to the hand mom'. Whatever works for you, do it.
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