My mother is lying about me to my out-of-state sister. How do I talk to her and tell her she is hurting our relationship?

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My mom is mad at me as I have tried to talk her into moving out of her home somewhere that can provide additional care and where she will not be so socially isolated, lonely and depressed, She doesn't want to move. I have told her repeatedly, that's fine, it is her choice, it's just my opinion she will be better off. She is 90, very limited mobility, cannot cook, has fallen several times, been hospitalized several times. I got her (and pay for) a medical alert system, HHC aides coming in a couple of hours a day, I cook her meals (paying for the food myself), do her laundry, clean up from her incontinence, take her out of the house at least one a week. I always pay when we go out and I have no access to her money and don't need any access to her money as my husband and I are very financially sound. I am the only child anywhere near here and I live 45 minutes away. My husband and I spend every holiday with her - no one else in the family will come - which means I never see my own kids (who live out of town) for holidays. Plus I have been helping her financially for 30 years, seriously 30 years, without any contributions from siblings. And she gets on the phone and bashes me to my sisters, who believe her and then call me screeching at me. She tells them I'm trying to put her in an institution, that I told her I was abandoning her, I NEVER said anything close to this. Yes, I tell her I think she would be better off somewhere else but I also tell her and them REPEATEDLY that I'm not forcing her to do anything. How can they believe this stuff based on everything I have done to keep this woman safe for 30 years? I always keep them up to date on her status. I have tried all the "ask them to do specific things" which they say they will do and then never do. I can't sit down with a third party as we live so far apart. They just came to see her for the first time in nearly a year, without even letting me know. I am so hurt. I am literally thinking of hiring someone to go there with me every time so that I have a witness. I don't know if this is early signs of dementia. She seems to function fine cognitively but the meaness and lies. But I can predict that if I bring up the possibiity of dementia, it will just pour more fuel on the fire. I don't know what to do, but I'm never going to sit on the phone again with one sister screeching unintelligibly in the background and the other questioning me like she's the Attorney General and I'm some common criminal. Any advice on how to set boundaries in this situation?

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I agree with igloo572. run do not walk to the nearest exit. inform your selfish mother and siblings that you are through being the scapegoat. give them a deadline, 30-60 days what ever is best for YOU. then walk away, I know its hard, this will be one of the hardest things you will ever do but you need to do it. you are an enabler, you are allowing them to use you in the worst possible way. I had to do this with my son who was on drugs for years. always using the poor me crap on me. his parole officer sat down with me one day & just told me like it was, if you continue to enable your son he will be die. i gave my son 60 days to get straight, he didn't belive me. it was very hard, i cried thousands of tears but after about 2 years on the street my son is finally off drugs and has a good job for the first time in his life (he's 37)
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So Very Tired..... I know it can be difficult to see or even believe that your own mother would abuse you in such a way. Then to have the family blame you it just one more form of abuse. First of all Your Mother is not Your Mother any longer. Age does things to the mind and body chemistry that can litteraly turn the human being back into a child. From your discription, and one I am living thru, this has happened to your mother. They call it lots of fancy things but that is what it boils down to and NOW you need to be the adult you are and take control of your child. If the family will not allow it you may be forced to either walk away or get legal action involved.

Either way you will have to do something if you want to survive. I am not exaggerating. I let mine get so bad I now have several health issues one of which will probably keep me on medication the rest of my life.

Ask you husband -- I am sure your relationship with him and your children are much more supportive and worth MUCH MORE than the guilt beating you get from your mother and siblings. Choices are sometimes very very hard. Trust yourself and research best options for you and your family -- no one else. That is of course assuming you want to....
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WOW!!!! You Have been a great daughter Big Hugz to you!!!! Keep this in Your MIND especially when dealing with family and no matter what your Mom say's to them or you. From your post you put her needs before your own. Money wasn't your motive, your Mother's care is. I had to remind my sister that's she's our Mother not a job. Someone's got to do it and you cannot quit the job either. Do your sisters realize that if something should happen to you then what? Oh Yes
they don't care about you or Mom so it seems. That was just a reality check you might want to pass on to the sister's.
Now for FACTS... POA has the power to handle financial matters however stated in the papers. The sister who is handling POA should be recording care and needs and generally use of all Mom's funds in Mom's best interest only. So..... rightfully if you take Mom to the doctor and bill your Mom for the transport she (POA) has to pay you if you were charging. If you take Mom shopping and it takes 200.00 a month for her food your Mom should be paying for that. Are you getting the picture, one that needs to be painted for your sisters. Send you sister a bill for your care there is a caregiver amount allowed legally for daily needs and covers all care,food,appointments etc. Anything not recorded or proven to be spent without good explaination AS "In the Benefit Of" POA is responsable for spending Mom's Money on Mom. I do believe if your Mom needs care and you cannot provide her with what she needs and a doctor say's it's in Mom's best interest for her to go into a facility the POA may have to agree or it may be an abuse issue. Abuse of POA and Mom. Have you been recording care and expenses and appointments, feelings? If you haven't I recommend you do. If your sister isn't doing her job as POA you may need to have her powers revoked and if Mom won't make you POA then you may have to seek guardianship. Either way what is best for your Mom is the right thing to do.
If you think your Mom is starting to get dementia, mention this on her next visit to Dr. , but not infront of Mom. Without POA or Mom's agreeing to this it might be hard to handle this due to HIPPA laws. Diagnosis is helpful and may make your life easier, if she is properly treated for this, if she is having these issues.
I have many stories about Mom saying horrible things about me to others. I almost got arrested once, she said I was hitting her, I was trying to keep her out of a road,simply held her arm. Another officer was completely understanding and well aware of Mom's condition of dementia he cleared up the confusion. I learned not to take insults from anyone, it's a waist of energy and needed that for Mom. Actions speak louder for sure. If your efforts are the best you can do with good intentions, you should live with peace in your heart. Oh... and your Mom's telling you something, by not wanting to go into anyone elses care, it is because she knows noone will care for her the way you do. Would she be fighting to stay if she really was unhappy. Like a 2 year old they figure out who will be there and defend them no matter what. AND she is your Mother you know each other very well. When she complains to your sisters she's really just testing thier love. She can't complain about them, she never sees them. Be Strong!
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Many thanks for all the wonderful, caring responses. It's very good to have a sanity check by hearing perspectives from the outside. I can't thank you enough because I was feeling pretty low. I will certainly let you know what happens with the mediator, if everyone agrees to go.
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Dear SVT, After reading your posts, I am blessed to be an only child. I can't agree more with others who have advised that professional intervention is necessary for you to have the peace of mind you so deserve. You can't control your siblings or your Mom and it is clear to us looking in that you may be co-dependent to their wants. Guess you need to ask yourself, what are you getting out of this situation? If you are truly ready to change, with the help of people "outside" your family, you can do it. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about, no matter what you decide. Good luck to you and keep us posted.
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I would encourage you to call your mother's doctor and request that your mother see a Gerontologist and that he give her a mini mental test to determine whether or not she is cognitively impaired.Ask for his input, and get it in writing. If you do not have his support--ask for a 2nd opinion. Next, find a good social worker who can recommend a good Skilled Nursing Care in the area.Ask them to recommend SNA's in your area and visit them at 3 different times during the day. Ask your mother to accompany you during one of the visits. If your mother has insurance that will pay for the above, call the insurance companies and find out what they will pay for, or ask the Social Worker about MediCAL. Find a (preferably family) advocate to support you.. I needed to pray during the time I did the above to just do what is right in the situation, and not go with feelings of guilt, regret, etc. I am at peace knowing that my mother is in a safe environment where she is lovingly cared for by a professional and supportive staff. We usually visit mom every few days, and now that she is in a wheelchair, access the City Coach for destinations outside the Skilled Nursing Care home. We go to movies, out to meals, for rides downtown, etc. Unfortunately many of the aged in our culture are dropped off at SNA's and abandoned which is appalling.

It is so important that your immediate family is not neglected at this time; so I hope you will learn to balance your time--take care of yourself and your family; if your money is sound--go for visits to see family & friends outside the area, etc. If you know your mother is well-cared for by professionals, this will free your time to tend to other important issues.

Please keep us updated!
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SVT, you have put in more than your time. If the root of this is lifelong alcholism, remember alcoholics are master manipulators. I agree with the poster who said take a vacation. Let the home aids know, contact meals on wheels and let your siblings know by registered letter when you are leaving and how long you will be gone. The rest is up to them.
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SVT - stroll, walk or run away from this dysfunctional madness for the sake of your family. By that I mean your DH and your kids. By maintaining the situation you are enabling your mom & your sisters. They view you as Cinderella to do all the scut work but there is no prince that is coming in to rescue you in this nonfairy tale. If it has been going on for decades, I'll agree with the others that you need counseling to make it work for you.

Pay for the alert system and home care and meals for the next 30 days and tell them that you are out of commission for the extended future, the above is taken care of & they need to decide how to handle mom's situation and needs in the future. I'd call and mail them all a short nice note. If they press for why, tell them you are needing extensive dental work (better than medical as with medical someone always wants to come & visit you at the hospital, with dental you can say you can't talk and they can't look to see what was done). Then really truly check out from the whole nonsense. If she has dementia (realistically if she doesn't have it now, she will have it eventually), this is not going to get better. You've done your share and then some. Let the others take over.

It's good you found this site to vent! Good luck.
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Soverytired, You have done so much more than you should be expected to do. You are part of a family diseased with dysfunction. Like Madge said, you really need to get professional help. It's good that you are looking into mediation, but go beyond that and get yourself some personal help. It really will help you to see how your family minuplates your emotions which lead to your caving in. My heart goes out to you because I was in the same situation for years, years ago. It seems to me that your Mom and siblings have been making you the escape goat for a long long time. It's sad but the more you try to fix everything and take the responsibility's of your Mom and sibs the harder you will make it because it will prolong the inevitible. Here is what I learned from the therapy I had. No matter how you try to behave, they are going to "BLAME" you, accuse you of untruths, they are going to hurt you beyond what you can believe. The first step in healing for yourself is to get to a point where you recognise that "what you fear" they are thinking of you, is what they are going to believe and accuse you of. I know it's hard but the only way you can stop them from making you feel this way is to stop them completely from making you feel anything at all. That might mean that the mediator does the talking. As painful as it might be you have to hold your ground and let them say, believe, accuse all they want and just keep your mouth shut. If you have to leave the room and let the mediator get control over them before you re-enter the room that is okay. Talk to the mediator ahead of time and work this out with her. Above all else know that just because you are accused by them it does not make what they say the truth. It is for the very reason that you know and care about the kind of person you are and feel the need to defend yourself when they make accusations that they use this in you to manipulate you. If you don't feel the "need" to defend yourself because you know what they say is "twisted" and "designed to provoke" and just be silent and not give ANY response you will take away the fuel for their blame. It will be the most painful thing you will ever experience with them but it will be the most liberating and strengthing act you can do for yourself. Once you get to the other side of this experience you will be FREE.. We can't post links here but a book that helps us deal with our emotions that I highly reccomend is called "You can heal your life, the study course" by Louise L. Hay. It will help you tap into why you feel the way you do, process your emotions and let go of all the pain from your ordeal.
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Oh my God, Soverytired, this is beyond anyone on here's ability to help. You need to see a professional. Change your phone number and possiblity move and leave no forwarding address. The sad thing here is you are still being treated as you were treated in childhood. A professional would be able to open your eyes to what your dysfunctional family has done to you. Please read all the information you can about alcoholic parents, narcissitic(sp?) parents and learn what you can not change. This is just abusive and it will continue until you and only you put a stop to it.
I don't think any of these people you are dealing with are even worth keeping in your life. I have had some problems with my Mom and brother concerning her elder planning. He is on everything, POAs, executor of will, bank account. Mom only wanted one person on these things because she is paranoid and has some sort of personality disorder. Instead of just saying, "I want only (my brother) on the financial paperwork", she started telling lies about how I was not to be trusted, basically just not honest. Nothing could be further from the truth. And like you Sovery tired, I don't need anything from her, never have. But it hurt. Over time and much reading, I realize this is the dynamic my family has always had. It is just more of the same. My brother is the male prince, I the lowly female.

I suggest you walk away from these people. I mean ALL of them. I will do nothing for my Mom but make sure my brother is on top of everything. Or I will call Protective Services on him. My hands are tied and I don't want to be accused of anything by being near her money.

What alot of people don't understand is the damage these dysfunctional parents do to their children and continue doing into adulthood. But you are no longer a child. It is sad to think you have to cut ties with your family but they are no family. Just like my family, they are worthless as loving and supportive people and the more you engage with them the longer the pain goes on.
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