I am already on depression medicine for caring for my mom. She is too hard to deal with and I don’t think I can keep going. What can I do to help myself through this difficult time?

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Mom only wants to starta fight, no matter what is said. I can make the most simple remark, like yesterday when I ask her to remove the :"info grid" from the tv so we could see the program. I have always tried to respond nicely when she makes a nasty comment but am finding it harder to hold my tongue, then we really get into it. I don't want this kind of relationship. I fight ending my life on a daily basis and don't know how much longer i can go on. I go to therapy when i can afford it but my only real friend just died and i have no one left to talk to. I am already supposed to have called her this morning, "God forbid she call me" I need some help emotionally today. and every other day. Mom is still capabable of living on her own at 90 but i try to go up twice a week even though she lives with my sister. their relationship has hit rock bottom. We used to adore her, now it seems to be all hate and tolerate.

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First, AJ, sincere condolences on the loss of your good friend. That has to be a very sad and difficult milestone in your life. Allow yourself time to grieve.

If you used to adore your mother and now she has become mean and nasty, that probably means that something in her physiology has changed. Does it help at all to know that she may be doing this deliberately? Personality change can be a sign of dementia or other disease. Has she had a thorough exam lately? Knowing what causes this behavior won't make it go away, but it does help some people to take it less personally and to distance themselves from it.

Perhaps it would help if you gave yourself a little respite -- a vacation from Mom. You say that she can take care of herself. Why don't you tell her that you are feeling very sad about the death of your friend and you need some time by yourself. You'll call next week. She might be mad, but what else is new?

While you are taking time off from Mom, don't isolate yourself. Walk around in a mall. Talk to other friends. Email someone you haven't contacted in a while. You deserve time to yourself, but you don't necessarily need to spend it alone.

Come here and vent or chat each day, or more than once a day. It can help to know that others are having similar experiences.

Look up and copy down the suicide prevention line or the crisis center helpline in your community. Place it in several handy places. If you feel you are fighting to not end your life, CALL one of those numbers, so you won't have to fight alone.

Take good care of you. You are a worthy, unique individual. No one can take your place on this earth. The mother you adored, the mother you had before disability took her true self from you, would want you to have a happy life. Take care of yourself. Call upon whatever resources you need to do that. You deserve it!
I wish we could edit our posts. I meant to say that your mother MAY NOT be treating you this way deliberately.
I have the same situation. My mother has always been critical and over reacts about everything. There's a possibility that your mother may need treatment for depression or anxiety. If you can get her to go to an adult daycare, this would help all of you. Seeing others who are much worse off than she is may make her appreciate things more. You mentioned that you go to a therapist....maybe your therapist could meet with you, your sister and your mother to try and sort out the situation. At least the therapist could back you up and let your mother know that you have some boundaries and need some space and respect. Good luck - it really is tough to deal with constant arguing and bad attitudes.
ajashadenough, I read your profile and see that your mother has been a narcissistic handful during your entire life and that you are married. What does your husband think of all of this. I bet he is fed up with it too. I'm sorry your finances are so limited because therapy just for your well being is needed. Many therapists have a sliding scale for people with limited income.
The suggestions from jeannegibbs are wonderful and I hope you will follow them. Remember that you did not make your mother the way she is. You can't control her narcissism. Nor can you fix it. All you can do is to pick a healthier path for yourself regardless of what she does or does not do and that includes your sister too.
ajashadenough, just had to respond. I am so sorry for your pain. When cmagnum responsed about your Mom being a narcissistic handful, that hit a nerve with me. I have the same problem. I thought Mom was just great too when I was young. When I had children this began to unravel. And now she is 81 and a horrible old crab. Nothing has changed but me. I recognize it. I am trying to deal with her at the present and through wonderful advice from this site, I am making some progress. Read all you can about narcissistic personalities. Sadly, they will suck you dry. maybe it is time for Assisted Living or a Nursing Home. I just don't feel we have to give these selfish parents the rest of our lives. They have done enough damage. Many will tell to forgive and forget. That is good, but a narcissist doesn't care about your feelings. You just have to disengage.
So interesting to read all of these responses, and so helpful to know that I am not alone. My Mom came to live with my family after my Dad died. She worships my daughter and my husband but doesn't find much good to say about me. My brother has told her that if she treated him the way she treats me he would never come to visit. He is the one with the good relationship with her, however, he doesn't live with her. But he has also helped me see that it is OK to set boundaries. I struggle alot with feeling guilty when I don't meet her every need as she sees it. Funny that she doesn't see that my family would like me to be a part of their lives, too. Well, I said all that to say, "You are not alone". Keep remembering that. Another thing. You said that you have a difficult time holding your tongue. Me, too. And then I feel terrible afterwards. It doesn't help to lose my temper. When I am able to answer her politely but firmly and hold my boundaries, afterwards I feel a sense of accomplishment, like I behaved like an adult, instead of giving into being childlike, which is how I often see her behaviour. And the advice about getting time away is good. I am going to an art retreat this weekend. My husband encourages me to get away, to spend time with other women because he know that I need it. I know you said that your finances are limited, but maybe there is something you can find that would help you get away and meet new people. Churches sometimes have weekend events. I go to a scrapbooking retreat with my daughter twice a year. Many times the same women are there and we have gotten to be friends. They are wonderfully encouraging. Also, sometimes there are caregiver support groups through hospitals or community resources. Reach out, don't struggle by yourself!
Mom44, " feeling guilty when I don't meet her every need as she sees it." That statement is packed with F.O.G., i.e. Fear, Obligation and Guilt. As you have come to see with boundaries, it is not up to you to fix her emotional state, etc. She needs to deal with her own emotions herself and you are not her mother. Your mom sounds typical of some personality disorders where they split one child off as all good, i.e. your brother, and split the other child off as imperfect. I'm sorry you are on the bad side of her seemingly black/white thinking.
I would encourage you to get off of the depression medicine, and instead start walking, get a pet, volunteer somewhere (ie reading to children, or having them read to you, assembling packages for the troops?) My mother was on depression med, and suffered some of the side effects (i.e. dizziness & constipation) and it made her so relaxed, all she wanted to do was sit around and watch tv, or sleep. She was having a hard time thinking clearly and making rational decisions. Of course the dementia and her Aricept medication also added to her problems. Now the doctor has taken her completely off of her Welbutrin and Aricept (it was started too late for her). She is eating healthier meals, has physical therapy every day, and because of incontinence, they took her off of diuretics (no coffee or tea) My mother was at an AL, we tried to have her live at home until she wanted to kick the caregivers out, and she is now at a conv./rehab hospital--with an opinionated roomate, but one who is involved with the activities--and my mother is happier than I have seen her in 5 years--who would have thought? If you do not have long-term care ins. and/or money is an issue, perhaps start an adult co-op with friends with loved ones w/ similar issues?
Places to drop off/meet for an hour or two: a park, restaurant, someone's home (trading off every week or two). You can have lunch, two adults could stay with the elderly, while the other two take off for a few hours. You could trade co-op hours like we did when our kids were young. That was going to be my next try if mom's rehab/conv hospital didn't work out, and I was planning to go to the Senior Center to obtain names. Mom would never go to the Senior Center where "all the old looking folks lived", but now that she is amongst "them" at a Conv/Rehab she is seemingly doing much better. Have any of you heard of the co-op idea, and has it worked? I was beginning to get desperate and entertained the idea for awhile and was just wondering if it was do-able.
Other suggestions for you: Our church has a "Sisterhood of Speed Scrabble" and ladies of all ages get together every couple of months. We also have a bookclub and just finished "Eve's Daughters" by Lynne Austin--a wonderful and highly recommended book about 4 generations of ladies--a daughter Susannah, her mother Grace, the grandmother Emma and the great-Grandmother Louise and-- all of their trevails. Please keep us updated. I am so thankful for this site! {:^)
Ouch!!! Your mother and mine could have been separated at birth they are so much alike! I have been looking after my 94 year old for 11 years now, for the first couple years I had to go on anti-depressants just to keep from breaking down and crying. Still feel that way sometimes. I think the biggest thing is the disallusionment I suffered seeing what my mom was really like. I say really like because her behavior was well masked, though I look back now and see that it was always there if one knew what to look for. When my dad was alive she took it out on him a lot, he was able to absorb a lot because he was a narcissist too, in a different way, and he just let all family relationships just roll off. I do not ever remember my dad hugging me spontaniously, mom not much either. Her OCD made us (my sister and brother but me in particular as she "latched onto me" from an early age) feel as if we were "in the way" ,more than we were a member of the family. She also has Zero imagination, and I do not believe anyone can imagine what lengths that goes to . Living with my mother is like living with a not-too-bright 7 year old. I look back at her behavior when I was smaller and a teen and I wonder how I could have been so stupid as to come back here.

I moved from California where I had lived for nearly 30 years back to the midwest to look after her and left everything familiar and friends I could 'let down my hair with', and have made no real frilends since I have been back here so I have no one to talk to either (that is why I am here...) I have been coping because I am in reality a very eccentric person and rather than let the average midwestern personality take over, I magnify all my eccentricities and fly them all like a banner, just to maintain my individuality. I 'tune out' my mother as often as I can, and spend a lot of time in the basement doing my hobbies that I put on the shelf for several years. More than that I really cannot tell you right now, it is one day at a time and I take every opportunity possible to even just "tune into myself" and keep myself separate from my mother's absorbing ways. There is another blog on this site that is "I love my mother but I don't like her", bring that up and do some interesting reading - you are not the only one. It is no shame to admit you do not like your mother. You can chose your friends, you can't chose your family.

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