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My mother was always physically abusive when I was a kid and now she lives with me. When she couldn't abuse me physically anymore she resorted to the verbal kind. I am the only child (of four) left so she is my responsibility. My husband and I are separated but he is still in the picture. He is long on adivce and short on help. My grown children don't want to bother with her because she never says much that is pleasant and has always degraded me in front of them. I made a mistake having her live with me. Nothing I provide (and it's a lot) is quite up to her standards even though I'd have no mortgage if I hadn't had to buy a home with an apartment in it to accomodate her.
I feel depressed a lot of the time and so tired of hearing about her accomplishments while never getting a bone tossed my way about mine or what I have provided for her. She has never worked and has always had an easy lifestyle. Nothing I provide or do is quite good enough. She does pay me some rent but feels she should be living with me for free. I can't understand what it is she feels I owe her. This week I am putting out 3500.00 (that I can't afford) on a bathroom reno for her and all I've been told is that she could care less. I've been dealing with this defiant woman for four years in my home and a lifetime before that. How do I continue to cope? She can't afford to move to a seniors home, nore does she want to. The government will subsidize her for assisted living as she qualifies financially but they don't want the expense when there is me to oversee her care. She can still do the day to day activities like microwave cooking, and her own toiletries... so they tell me she doesn't meet their criteria for assisted living... on their dime. I am stuck.
Lately she has started telling lies and then telling me I am a bit mental and it's me that's lying because I just want her out of my house. Talk about wanting to rip your hair out!
Help! I am going to go to my first Caregiver meeting at the beginning of next month. I hear they are a lifesaver.

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Yes, my hubby is in the same position in which he has been made to feel as if he owes his mother one for having the nerve to be born. I don't get it. It's horrible.

You have the right to protect yourself from abuse without feeling bad. You deserve to be treated with respect and if she refuses to give it to you, then I would give her the number to your local agency for aging and show her the door.

Easier said than done. I know. But neevr forget that you do not do not desrve this!!!
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Sorry, PG is a public guardian, who works for the county. Sorry for confusion...There are two threads going on abusive parents currently. The other one has over 90 messages.)

The two deadbeat sisters mentione above around the same time perpetrated financial elder abuse, which I reported to social worker at Mom's day care program. Since it was a crime, she had to report this to the law, and the county's adult protective services got involved immediately, with investigators for the court, a lawyer appointed to represent mom (at figure which exceeded the original thefts!!), and others.

There was a court hearing (several actually, cause they never had their shit together in time), where the county sued for conservatorship over Mom's person (health decisions, how caregiving would proceed, etc.) and her estate. The work on me during this was excruciating, caring for Mom as well as digging up financial reports, running to the court, being investigated, meeting with self serving lawyer.

The caseworker who oversees the "day to day" (ha!) is called a Public Guardian.

Overall, they should have benched those two sisters and had a big cop get in their faces with legalities and threats of "ten years in jail for you two!" They didn't do any of that and let them go without even a finger shaking.

Anyway, for a family caregiver being under this system it means a lot of hassle, injustice, and unfairness. Cruelty too. On an every day level it means you can't hire anyone yourself for plumbing, home improvement, yard work. You cannot ask a neighbor to watch Mom for an hour while you run to the store. You will get no vacation, and perhaps no respite at all. They may hire a caregiver for $20 hr, yet deny you a penny's pay for your own work. They may ALLOW you to live in your parent's house for FREE and not have to pay for food! They may NOT.

They will give you an allowance for the parent, to be spent only on the parent...which you have to account for. And when you do, they don't even look at the receipts! When an emergency arises, such as a vet bill, car repair....you're not allowed to loan the parent money, but just try to get emergency cash out of the system.

And, to stay within the topic of Abusive Parent, the actual caregiver is assumed to be GUILTY. I don't see I have any resource when the county employees screw up (and believe me, they do, and consequences can be tragic!)

Our county system is pretty good compared to horror scenarios I read of the system in Los Angeles. There predatory scam artists worked the system, but that's a whole other topic.
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AlzCaregiver, what's a PG? I don't understand all of what you have written. It's is like hyroglyphics, and cryptic to me. And so is my mom's crazy world, with secret traps awaiting me at every corner. Caregiving for me has been fraught with danger.
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So this veers off "abusive parent," but stays on the unfair dealings with adult protective services and how unjust it is to caregivers.

My mother is not abusive, but pretty docile and often angelic (really!). One of my two deadbeat sisters on a rare visit on Mom's birthday last Aug, she was 3 hours late and fooled a good sister into the quagmire.

My mother greeted her with open arms, not knowing sister's sabotagin behaviors. During their brief visit, my mother mentioned that "she takes me to the senior center just to get rid of me." This sister then teamed with the other thieving sister (who NEVER VISITS) and they went to the public guardian in PERSON to report this comment. And they reported that I complained to the two that they never help, should repay their thefts, quit the passive aggressive behavior, etc.

AND THE PUBLIC GUARDIAN DEFENDED THEM!!! And if the county previously decided they were not going to prosecute over the thefts, then I CANNOT demand they pay Mom back. I apparently cannot demand anything from them "on behalf of Mom"...and the county is not demanding anything from them. So who's watching the store here? The county thinks it is by demanding of ME.

So the PG has to visit and have this talk, starting with "we should put your mother in a nursing home if you don't want to do this. Do you WANT to DO this anymore?" Nursing home? now? over my dead body! WHY WAS I SO DETERMINED TO SEE THIS OUT???

"Look, I want to take 'want' out of the equation. Really, who WANTS to do this? If given the choice to be stuck caring for Mom or go to see Mahler's 8th at the SFO, or to be soaking in the view of Yosemite Valley...I want to do both those things more than I WANT to be stuck with Mom 24/7.

"Caring for Mom is what is 'wanted and needed.' She is my mother. Furthermore, I have invested 7.5 years of very creative and fulfilling caregiving...and it's paid off for her. She lives a rich life." [And believe me I have videos and photographs by the hundreds to prove it.]

"But because I have had good results does NOT mean that the situation here for me is fair. It is NOT fair. It is NOT just. It is cruel, cruel to ME. [Actually having good results somehow backfires and makes it seem like "I" am having it easy! Sisters have attacked me cause I do fun things with her.]

"If I am not supposed to criticize my sisters on behalf of my Mother, I reserve the right to criticize them on behalf of MYSELF. They keep my mother waiting three hours...or they stand mom up TOTALLY...really, they've kept ME waiting. One of these sisters has stood Mom up over two dozen times. I lost count. The county cannot stop me from being upset with them for what they've cost ME."

"Well, that's UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR." EXACTLY. "They Can't DO that!" YES, THAT'S WHAT I TELL HER. This had been going on for 7.5 years.

Actually, the conversation went quite well, and I had some satisfaction when she admitted that rather than "they have the freedom to visit with their mother whenever they want..." BUT THEY DON'T WANT!! THEY DON'T WANT AND THEY DON'T...turned around to "they have the absolute right" to contact Mom as LITTLE as they want. They have the RIGHT to be a deadbeat. And collect their share of the inheritance when Mom passes.

The PG then took over scheduling visits with Mom with those two. She didn't take action against them when they were two hours late, but at least there is this veneer of accountability.

Really, caregivers are given little justice. "Let no good deed go unpunished." (Oh, you're just being negative...really, YOU live through this. Yes, there are rewards, but caregivers are officially, politically, dumped on. It's true.)
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Back to the subject at hand: Abusive Parent

This is a timely thread. I have mixed emotions about it, and tried to rest last night, but woke this morning thinking about it some more. First, I realize more and more every day, that this is a prevalent problem, and that many have suffered under the hand of an abusive parent or parents. Personally, I felt like I had to navigate through life despite them, and it's been quite the journey. Now, as they age, I was asked, then chose to be their Caregiver. This may/may not have been a good choice, as I am faced with difficulties and conflicting emotions, and have come to realize that the abuse did not stop in my childhood.

Everyday I find new challenges with my abusive parents. For the most part, Dad is no threat, as he is cared for in a nursing home, with Advanced Stage Alzheimer's. He was angry and combative at first, but now shows affection and tenderness toward me, for the first time I can remember in 51 years. And my anger has been replaced by compassion, empathy, and forgiveness. Strange how that works. We now live "in the moment," as much as possible, and I am hoping the tender moments bring memories sufficient to replace our harmful past.

With mother, it's a different story. She continues her abuse. As Guardian, I am confronted with it quite regularly, and her nasty attitude and bitter spirit have permeated my family life with my husband and son. Not good! I didn't foresee the extensiveness of this situation two years ago, when I was asked to step in as their legal Guardian and Conservator. My life had been fairly peaceful and content prior to that, as there was a lot of distance from my parents, aside from the occasional birthday card, phone call, or limited visits. Distance made things much better.

Fast forward to today, and I am regularly being criticized, tyrannized, falsely accused, and tormented by her increasing demands and unreasonable expectations. Now she is using the legal system against me to have her way. This is the height of insanity, and the broken court system is supporting her. It seems they see even an abusive parent as "a protected individual," and the Caregiver is not. As a child, I was a victim of neglectful and abusive parenting, and now, as an adult caring for my mentally incapcitated parent, feel the system has failed again, in their crusade to "protect" their ward. Where are our rights?!

I have bent over backward to please mother, with a spirit of reconciliation, forgiveness, compassion and love. This has been met with despicable behavior and further abuse. Perhaps it's the perfect time to cut any further losses, and walk while I am still able. Their is no justification for her behavior, except that I have come to realize that she is either too mentally challenged to understand her actions, or has chosen to be this way.

No good deed I have done has been unpunished. In fact, the more I do to meet her demands and expectations, the worse she seems to treat me. Therefore, I have concluded that it was me who made a huge error in judgment, thinking I could be of assistance to her. This has been to my detriment, and has taken away from the joy and peace my husband and I once shared. They have been victimized by the tyrannical rule of a ruthless dictator. I am sorry for dragging them through this, as we all were just trying to help our aging parents out in their decline. Two years have been spent trying to reason with an unreasonaly mind and system, and wasted time and emotional energies.

I am no less angry and confused than I was as a child, at the audacity of her demands and expectations, and the brokenness of this system. She has called the police on me, and lied about me to authorities, trying to get me to conform to her every desire. I feel foolish for catering to her whims, thinking I was "helping." There is no appeasing a tyrant, and further imprisonment is the only reward. Even the court system "protects" these individuals, so I doubt I'll be filing charges. It would only cost me more grief, expense, and loss. Now, I must figure out how to exit as gracefully as possible, putting an end to this nightmare. Our lives have been hellish under her rule, and I pray we can salvage our selves from her further victimization; especially my precious nine year old's tender life. How terrible this has been for all of us! Unfortunately, the system requires much more from me, still. Paperwork, accounting, and possibly more. The powers that be aren't interested in listening to me, or protecting my rights, only mom's. They grind on, not caring who gets hurt in the process. Is there not a cause? Is there no justice? Why do Caregivers get punished for doing right?

Chicken Little went to court. The sky fell. End of story.
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yes--i wrote back
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AlzCaregiver, this is a topic on Oprah and Dr. Phil, isn't it?

Nance, wrote you elsewhere, did you find it?
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Sister--off the subject--where in MI are you--i'm from MI also
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This should be a topic on Oprah or Dr. Phil!
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Thank you for starting this thread. I will not say much at the moment, as I can't add anything pleasant, at present. And I don't want to pour out thoughts from a bitter spirit, poisoning any one here. Let's just say, I understand about living under the tyrannical rule of a abusive mother. Soon, she'll be under the rule of a new Guardian. Thank God it will no longer be me. Praying for some closure and healing for me and my family. Wow, the stories here are...too familiar. Such as it common to man. Thank God we have a safe place to vent, and each other. Thanks for being here, and for sharing your thoughts.
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Thank goodness child abuse is not tolerated officially these days. Now we just have to break through the "okay to abuse the caregiver" barrier.
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Alz:

Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, back then it was called "discipline," not child abuse. The woman who brought you into this world, however screwed up, apparently had the right to take you out if she so wished and the whole community was okay with that. Whether we turned into basket cases or not, if we were still breathing at the end of the day she had done her job. Mothers, however rotten and abusive, were to be placed on a pedestal and worshipped. Let's say, for example, that she felt like making you kneel on raw rice poured over a concrete floor for no reason whatsoever except for the stress caused by having too many children. Anyone else who saw you kneeling on the rice, crying and completely naked, would say you must have done something really awful to deserve that kind of punishment and go about his/her business. Over time, we all grew to accept the abuse and be grateful for it; and for having a mother who cared so much about us and expressed her love in so many inhumane ways. Sick, isn't it?

I can defend myself now, so whenever I see a hint of that twisted tyrant coming to the surface during Holiday parties or family reunions I put her in check. Make no mistake, I do love her -- and sometimes feel sorry for her because she "tried to be a good mother" or "did the best with what she had." But I WILL NOT tolerate that kind of behavior from her anymore. If she's at my house, I have no qualms in asking her to leave. If I'm at hers or someone else's I'll put on my coat and walk away. ... I can do that now; back then there was no place to hide.
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ediverajr...wow what a story. Speaking of Dicken's Christmas Carol, sounds like yours is a story from Oliver Twist. If only your mother had been reported for abuse. In some communities, doesn't take long for Child Protective Services to get involved. Anyone see "The Middle" last week? The youngest boy got bonked with a bottle as the family rushed to take out the trash. He went into the bathroom and took out all the bandages, wrapping his arm in a wad of gauze. A teacher saw it, questioned the boy about what was going on at home. The kid made something up, and the teacher had to report it.

The rest of the program showed the family as they frantically tried to deal with the inevitable investigation and home visit.

Too bad there isn't a Caregiver Protective Services, but there isn't. We're always presumed guilty.

Again, for the original poster, it would not hurt to videotape some typical moments of your mom, perhaps on your cell phone so they can be easily shared...or via your digital camera if you have that sort of thing.
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Place her in a nursing home--the easy way is to get her in the hospital, when they release her, just tell them she can't live alone and theres no place for her to go--they will release her to a NH.
If you can't do that-get the needed papers from a NH -you will need a Dr. report too and get on the waiting list.
It really isn't too difficult. Good luck.
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I've said it before in this forum, and I'll say it again: from the moment our children are born, WE owe them; not the other way around. And that includes respect. Spitting children into the world doesn't automatically make anyone a good parent, even if children came with instructions. My mother's idea of parenthood, for example, included physical, mental, and verbal abuse and other inexplicable terror tactics to ensure our silence and subservience. A few times she popped into our filthy bedrooms in the middle of the night with a knife in her hand and told us to sleep with one eye open; other times she'd say "I'm going to bathe in your blood." Every year she'd take a step and a baby fell out (we are 14), which meant less and less food. And don't you dare ask for seconds or tell anyone in the neighborhood you were hungry. Abuse is abuse, and you'll continue taking it as long as you believe that somehow you deserve it. So stop enabling her behavior and going out of your way to make her feel comfortable.

This might sound like a callous, drastic measure but try it: (1) go with your husband to the police and file a complaint against her abusive treatment [he'll love the idea]; (2) find if there's a Department of Homeless Services in your city that includes flophouses and a meal or two; (3) get about 10 cardboard boxes and tell her to start packing because she's moving out soon; (4) if she has keys, take them from her or change the locks if she refuses; and (5) put your foot down and remind her [often] that it's your house and she's your guest.

She's still mentally sharp enough to continue her tyrannical, psychological torture tactics and can ambulate, so either she shapes up or ships out. ... Don't negotiate! If she doesn't like it, she's free to make other living arrangements all by herself. Stand up for yourself, if only this one time. Good luck.
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It's amazing how much abuse a caregiver feels she has to endure. My friend the social worker said case workers are the same, and regularly "accepted" verbal and physical abuse from the people they counseled, abuse that should land these people in jail. The friend eventually did seminars for these people to get them to snap out of it.

Perhaps if you mentally switch roles/behavior. What would happen to you as a caregiver if you behave as your mother does? You'd probably end up in jail for elder abuse.

Your mother needs to grow up, needs "Supernanny" to come in and put her in the naughty corner. As your mother, she has had ingrained dictatorial power over you, and sounds like she is not giving up that position (never has) nor the behavior, nor are you totally willing to INSIST on it.

She has probably never experienced herself as a kind person, and facing that aspect of oneself is a humbling experience. (on the other hand, where does her kindness show itself? kittens, doggies, red sunset?) Take her to see the new Christmas Carol, a few hours of facing one's shadow side and being willing to transform...and eat major crow.
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My dear lady -you need to get her out of your home the verbal will never stop I know from experience my husband never changed even with much counsuling and meeting many times with our pastor I had to get tough and not let him get to me -he would have been placed if he has not died I was not going to give up my life for someone who treated me bladly even though when you place a spouse you are left pennyless with all his debts but with a parent they have to use their money or go on medicaide and let the nursing home do the application because that alone will drive you batty-forget and lose the quilt do not own it once she is in a nursing home you can just stay away from her until she treats you with respect and if she starts up when you see her just walk away I did when he would start on me and I let the answering machine get his calls and turned it down so I would not hear his nonsance it is hard at first but when you keep doing it it starts to feel normel. Been there done that.
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If your mother is still relatively mobile, able to cook a bit for herself, and can pay rent she may be able to live in subsidized senior housing. Most towns have a few apartment buildings that are designated for senior housing and you have to qualify to live there. The rent is really low and they usually have someone on staff for emergencies.
My mother has Parkinsons and a heart condition...but she is still able to live independently...at least for now.
If you could get your mother into one of these apartments she could stay there until her situation changes and then she could qualify for assisted living.
You need to be living apart. You do not deserve anymore of her abuse and you have done your humane fair share. Do not feel guilty...let the verbal nastiness go in one ear and out the other or walk away everytime she is inappropriate. The more she sees that it bothers you the more she will do it. Get outdoors and take a deep breath.
This forum is a great place to vent, get advice, and just hang out with those of us who have "been there, done that"
Good luck
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