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She has always been spoiled - it's her way or no way. I'm her child so she doesn't want to do anything I recommend or suggest because she just thinks she doesn't have to - even when it's for her safety.

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As I have read numerous times on this site and can finally say, my dear daughter13, you are living MY life. I hear you. I know what you are saying!!! I am YOU ... and your mom is MY mom. I feel as though I have just looked into the mirror!!!
My siblings live over 1500 miles a way, my mom won't affiliate herself with church, nor has "friends" and altho her doc recommended the senior center, my mom said NO WAY. I know what you mean!!!
I am with you on that prayer as well. Keep your education in equal priority as your caregiving and you will see tremendous things happen in your life.
My mom hates the idea that a man from church comes on Wednesdays for a couple of hours; says all he wants is the money; can't understand it is FOR HER but gladly pays the cleaning women! ha ha
When my dad was still here (RIP 9/15/2010) they didn't have "friends" here either so it is what they chose. All in all, it is about choice. And I choose, as my grief counselor taught me, to "live in the living" and continue my education.
I am here to support you and encourage you along with this great group of people I have grown to care for. I am new (a week or two) and I am so happy to know everyone. So much love, support, a safe place to land after a hard day!
I love San Diego, probably won't move from here. It is my "home".
Keep us up to date on your successes ok? And I will do the same.
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Thanks Peg - That's what I hope to do. I'm happy for you for your academic achievements. Way to Go!!!!! You're right I'll go for the education. I just hope every day that my mom can remember that I'm in school and why I'm there. She has never been in a position where she's had to support herself or make ends meet.

Unfortunately, I just moved to where my mom lives several months ago. She's never made friends here, hasn't associated herself with a church, and I don't know anyone who can be a care giver or friend to her. (My siblings are 3 hrs and 16 hours away). I've tried to suggest to her to get affiliated with a church, but she rejects it.

I hope your mom, like my mom, is here a year from now when you (and I) graduate.

Thanks for your encouragement!

p.s. San Diego is my favorite city in all of the U.S.A!
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Hi Daughter13: I understand ... I returned to school before my dad died and before my mom needed me and while in counselor my therapist gave me options and the one I chose was to stay in school. I have been judged for my decision but that's ok ~ the one judging me doesn't live here. My mom does get lonely but supports my educational goals 100%. Even with her memory loss, she remembers every day to ask me: "Do you have homework?" I do feel like I am her little kid again ~ in a very positive way. I do get more frustrated with family members than I do with her ... I don't know what I would do without her right now. I pray she is still here this time next year ~ my last semester and I will graduate from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in American Indian Studies, a minor in Child and Family Development to add to my two associate degrees.
Daughter13: go for it! Get that education ... that is something no one can take from you. Take the tests with confidence and clarity and if your mom needs help: church members, neighbors, other family members (oh how I laugh when I write that [for myself]) and do your best!!!! I support you!!! Peg in San Diego
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Hi Sherri: I WAS born to take care of my mom (culturally and ethically in MY world) but sometimes just once I would like some encouraging words from one specific sibling but today one of my daughters said "that ain't gonna happen" so I gave up THAT fantasy ha ha
I am thinking if my mom doesn't take HER doc seriously and gain weight SHE will be going to a NH ... I hope not but that is not in my control. My sense of control is providing food, managing and making available her meds, tell her how I feel about this new turn of events, and pray she really hears the doc but if not it is HER choice and some of you have already identified my "pregrieving" and for that I am very thankful. It is as though you embraced what is happening and gave me permission to feel my feelings and fall into a safe place ... this group is incredibly good for me and I thank you immensely!!!
I am definitely not my mom's little girl anymore but telling her I need her still in my life (I would love for her to see me graduate from the university I am in that I have only dreampt about over the last 40 years) has been a tad bit of motivation. Perhaps we just all want to know we are needed.
Good night
Peg in San Diego
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I'm in the same neighborhood. My mom has never worked. She doesn't understand why I have to work. I live with her because she can't take care of herself, but I have to work. She doesn't get the fact that I have to work every day. When she doesn't get enough attention from me, she tells me that I think I'm too "important." She can't stand not to have all my attention focused on her so if I'm reading a book or checking my emails, she has to interrupt with any silly thought in her head just to focus my attention back on her.

I'm about to take a very intense five-week FAA course which is going to take my total attention for probably 15 hours a day. I've been seriously unemployed for 3 years and I need to get into a new career. I'm dreading the next 5 weeks because she's not going to let me study. If I "neglect" her, she'll drink a large bottle of wine and get sick, ask me to take her to the doctor, etc., etc. She's got some dementia, so if I tell her she's sick because she drank too much wine, she'll call me a liar. It's no win!

In addition, she's so negative and critical; everything that comes out of her mouth is negative. I hear the same negative stories and criticisms three or four times a week, in the exact same words. I've heard these stories and criticisms weekly for 10 years. It's so depressing.

I'm so looking forward to taking this class, using my brain, meeting new people, and getting into a new career. I just know with all the positives, there's going to be a lot of negatives.

I'm going to have to let Mom reap the consequences of her own actions because i absolutely have to in order to survive economically, but I don't expect it to be pleasant.
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Well one of my relatives has just entered an assisted living place for this reason - he didn't take his caregiver seriously and fell down the stairs! Is there any other family member who could deal with her. Perhaps you could threaten to call her doctor? I sympathize because my mother is spoiled also - sometimes I think I was born in order to look after her needs.
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Your mom put those buttons in long ago. They usually have a letter for each, F for Fear, O for obligation and G for guilt. These are the tools of someone skilled at the art of emotional blackmail. I am not a therapist, but have been in therapy and thus, I strongly suggest therapy to help you get those buttons defused. There is a very good book on this subject Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You. Remember this, you are not her little girl anymore, although she might see you that way. You are her grown daughter and deserve a more adult to adult relationship if she is capable of that. F.O.G. is used to incite a response like a child so that they can manipulate you. I wish you the best.
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Who says YOU have to be her caregiver? Thats a person's choice. Thats what I've told my sister anyways and after 2 years of misery with my Dad and helping take care of my Mother she is 5'7' tall and now weighs 106 lbs and her hair is falling out and now her bowels are starting to get loose. I kid you not ! So if you think you can handle it, go for it ! She also has a husband and teenage son to take care of also. I wish my parents before they got so bad would have suggested someone else come in and take care of them .She gets paid minimum wage through their Medicaid . I think thats what it is called. Now our Mother is on Hospice and my sister is almost pucshing up daiseys herself as its becoming too much for her and there's nothing we can do about it now. Just wait and see how it plays out. Me and one other sister rotate every other Saturday going over there which isn't much BUT we punch a time clock and have to pay our bills too. So if you think your up to it, go for it !!!!!!
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In order to be her caregiver you need to let go of her harsh words, if you can't forgive and forget you might need to find someone else to give her care and you be there for financial care. Sometimes being just a part is enough and have having another give the one on one care is better. I did it for two years and I never lived with my father but he lived with me for 2 yrs and one day he went sick to the hospital and they sent him to rehab and now he's a patient in their facility with dementia , parkinson's and blind. It's hard when they have dementia and love you and then hate you. I felt as if I was married to the abusive devil husband all over again. : )
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PRAYER! PRAYER! OH AND MORE PRAYER!
When I first "took over" my dad's life (his words) he pushed, stomped, hammered, etc. every button possible. It was a very rough beginning because I am a very loving, caring, considerate person and take many things to heart. I just couldn't believe the things my dad would say to me. But eventually I would just let it slide off my back and ignore the comments and redirect the conversation. A lot of my sentences would end in (very calmly said) "yes dad, that may be what you think of me, but I love you and I'm still here and have no plans on going anywhere." Many times after I say this, he gets a discouraging look on his face as if he's thinking "damn, that didn't work!”

@Eddie, I've used some similar come backs. My dad told me once he was going to call the police and say that I was abusing him, so that I would be taken out of his home and he would be left alone. I got the phone and brought it to him and asked if he wanted me to dial 911 for him. He decided not to call. Come backs like those seem to shock them and actually get them thinking in reality for a moment, even briefly.

@Momtxi... just let it slide. Do what you know is best for your mom and just redirect the conversations/comments. It's not easy, I know, but you will come to a point where her comments won't bother you at all and all you'll be doing is taking care of business. You might find that you'll have some good conversations with your mom at some point and not one button will even be attempted to be pushed. It could happen.
I can understand and empathize with our ailing parents, they are quickly losing their independence and for some, it is a large, hard pill to swallow. But with patience, understanding, and empathy oh... and PRAYER! PRAYER! & MORE PRAYER! We can all get through this.
Let us know how things work out and if she calms down a bit for you. You can always vent on my wall if needed. :)
And as KeepontryinitM stated "YOU'RE NOT ALONE".
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@Jennieb: I am glad that my sharing has helped you. I have one little thing that I do that "spoils" my mom (something my dad did not do for her so this is my way of caring for her). In the morning, I lay out her breakfast placemat, put an Ensure bottle on it with her morning meds in a baggie taped to the cap of the bottle, with her coffee cup, instant coffee container, a spoon, and her Equal. She thanks me every day for that ... not the items ... for doing one little thing (going out of my way) to spoil her.
I know what you mean about your husband. My brother stayed after the funeral last year and my mom was trying to make him into my dad. Then he went back home. There is no male here so there is that void.
But I do what I can to "spoil" without turning her "rotten" if you know what I mean. I can't be "spouse" but I can be "daughter" and also spoil her just a little bit.
There are other ways I am sure others would say I spoil her but I chose just one, out of the way, no one else did before way to spoil her today.
And also this ensures (pun intended) that she follow her doctor's regime in gaining weight and taking her meds/mostly vitamins every morning. Her lunch/dinner Ensure and meds (just tylenol) are important but not as important as the morning med intake.
Maybe, jennie, fine one little thing that only you can do for her that "spoils" her without turning it into a "rotten" thing if you know what I mean.
I would be appalled if anyone did my husband's laundry. Currently not married I don't have to think about that, but seriously set boundaries on that (maybe he can keep a hamper in your room/closet where she can't get to it). That's just too weird for me but maybe others have a different perspective on this that sheds some more compassionate light on this subject.
Hugs, Peg in San Diego
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Wow, another great question and responses. This site teaches me different ways of looking at things. I never thought about the fact that my father spoiled my mother rotten when he was alive. She too, expects to be spoiled by my husband and I. But pushing buttons . . . she has actually gone through our laundry and washed my husbands clothes because she missed doing a man's laundry???? She continually talks about how much he reminds her of my father, but gripes about him when he's not around. She drives us both crazy but maybe what I've read makes some sense. She misses how dad used to spoil her. It doesn't make her behavior any better, but at least I can try to understand. Thank you for sharing.
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I love this site. I could have written this post. You've described my mother as well. Mom's the red queen in Alice in Wonderland, "All ways are my way". I agree with Pegdeelady, that they live in a world foreign to us. She feels that since she took care of both my grandmothers, I owe her. But she didn't do half the stuff for my grandmothers that she claims.

"Dear Abby" said something interesting to day about complaining that I think applies here. "because she is limited in her activities, so her world has shrunk to nothing beyond herself. How sad for her."

I just tell her "Well one of us is going to half to be, unhappy, or inconvenienced, and it's not always going to be me"

It does help to know you're not alone.
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@Momtxi: I can relate. My mom lives her life with a sense of entitlement. Yes these seniors existed in a world completely foreign to the one we live in now. However, with that being acknowledged, the sense of entitlement is an attitude, a personality trait if you will. My dad, in his sense of being a gentleman (RIP: 9/15/2010) spoiled my mom immensely over the 62 years they were married. That causes a problem NOW as she expects ME (I live with her in her home; siblings live in other states in US) to spoil her as well. I do what I can in little ways but not ALL ways. I do not ask "how high" when she says "jump". I set my boundaries. A few months ago she was having temper tantrums if I said NO to her (the last one was about going to the grocery store RIGHT NOW). I took her aside and told her that when children have temper tantrums it is advised for the parent/caregiver to walk away and that's what I told her I would do in the future. I said "you will no longer get attention for throwing things and carrying on like a child" .... viola! No more temper tantrums.
My brother is the same way ... his you-know-what does not stink ... everyone else should do what he says because he is the "golden boy". I don't bow to him either. What makes me strong in this (not always but most of the time) is counseling, family and friends who support me, and sites like this that encourage me to stand up for me and not ask "how high" when these people say "jump".
I too have that sister only she is "big guns" ha ha. If my mom doesn't want to do what the doc recommended (adding ensure: found her pouring it down the drain last night) then I call my sister, she calls my mom and (without admitting it) works my issue into their conversation ha ha. Unbeknownst to my mom, sister has advocated for the exact thing I was trying to focus on.
My brother on the other hand, has his own agenda and is not wired for nurturing nor encouragement. So I cannot and will not involve him anymore in the day to day struggles I have with my mom.
I often wonder, speaking of pushing buttons, and thanks Momtxi for posting this today, if my mom is subconsciously losing weight and sabotaging her health so Golden Boy will come out here (he lives 1700 miles east of here~ heck we are in CA, everything is east from here ha ha). She and he have had an unhealthy relationship for years, she resents that he has chosen a girlfriend that is more important than she is (and a generation younger than he is but that's a separate issue for another site right? LOL). I have wondered for days if she is not interested in gaining weight so he will come out and "rescue" this "damsel in distress" ... her knight in shining armor so to speak.
Then that would me, dear Momtxi ... she is pushing HIS buttons as well.
Your post has opened my eyes to my own situation and I am sorry if I have not addressed yours adequately. I thank you with all my heart for posting; it has clarified a few things for me in my own dilemma. I hope to receive some feedback re if anyone also recognizes my mom's ploy for attention regarding my brother. After all, she was sad and disappointed when he didn't come to visit her in May for her birthday (said he was coming, changed his mind at the last minute). He also has issues in that he moved my mom out of this house (that she shared with my dad for 10 years) into an independent facility, she hated it there, she and I moved back into this house 6 months ago ... since then her weight has dropped 7#s ... she a very petite woman so that affected her body mass quite a bit. Her doc recommended many ways to "gain weight" and as the doc said "I would hate to lose you too".
Eating disorders affect the elderly too right? I am not that well informed about these disorders ... any ideas are more than welcomed.
@Lilliput: some days I feel like an "errand" person or driver and one day I confronted my mom saying "you treat me like a slave" (something I knew she could relate to as there were times in her childhood she has told me she felt the same way) and that she is happy when talking to my brother and sister on the phone then she complains about what I do or do not do. Bottom line? Set boundaries and three years later is not too long a time ... set them slowly today and with meaning.
And yes Eddie: my mom does the same thing. "I want to be with your Dad" ... ok, go then! I know it is not what we really mean but that manipulative ploy is hurtful and if we need to find humor to get by...then let's laugh!
Peg in San Diego
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Momtxi, When my own mom used to complain or have a problem of some sort, my sister (who was the baby) would suggest something that might help. Well mom would automatically dismiss what she said, so my sister would call me and tell me to talk to mom. Being the oldest child, mom would listen to me and actually take me seriously. I became what my sister called 'the big guns' so when mom got sick and told my sister that she didn't want us girls going with her and dad to her doctor appts with them, my sister would tell mom, "I'm calling in the big guns so you're in trouble now'. My sister and I went to every single doctor appointment with her and dad right up till she stopped going because at that point she was on hospice then died. You need to find someone that your mom WILL listen to, and that AGREES with what you're saying would be my only suggestion. But adding to the fact that in your profile you said your mom has dementia/alz you're in a no win situation to begin with.
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Well, she installed them. One little push from her and you react. My mom used to do the same until I decided to stop being a puppet. At first I couldn't bear the thought of anything happening to her if I didn't do what she wanted. My conscience would haunt me, no doubt about that.

She'd play sick often, saying she was going to die and praying to Beelzebub to take her with him. The first year I'd beg her not to talk like that, then I realized people like her have the nasty habit of surviving their children. So I'd say "Tell him to hurry up. I have to get up early in the morning;" or "I can call a cab for you. That way you'll get there faster."

By our 3rd year together the buttons she constantly played with had disappeared. ... So have the people who truly cared about her. She pushed them away.
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Is your Mom living in your home? her home? an ALF? Not knowing the answer, I would say getting some distance from her and setting boundaries would be a good start. You are not the "errand person." You are family and due the respect you show her.
I found that calm conversations work better than trying to get my Mom to do something she doesn't want to do (and will not do.) That way, I save my sanity.
Two things are absolute: You cannnot change her and you cannot make her happy.
You did not say if you were a son or daughter, but this article may help. Search: Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.
good luck
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