momtxi Asked September 2011

My mother has always "pushed my buttons" - now I am her caregiver. How do I deal with that?

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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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PEGDBEELADY Sep 2011
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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daughter13 Sep 2011
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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PEGDBEELADY Sep 2011
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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PEGDBEELADY Sep 2011
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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daughter13 Sep 2011
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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LivingSouth Sep 2011
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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cmagnum Sep 2011
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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Sherry777 Sep 2011
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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sanderella Sep 2011
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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