Does anyone have any advice in dealing with a selfish, hateful and demanding mother?

About 2 months ago my mother said she was really weak and falling alot. she called me all the time and i would have to drive in, sometimes in the middle of the night, and then she seemed to get ok really quick after i got there. it got so bad that one night i was laying in bed and sick at midnight (she knew i was sick) she called me to move some things from one freezer in her garage to another that was also in the garage. she said one freezer went out...she told me she was too weak to do it so i drove over. it was 4 items. not even heavy, like tv dinners. took me about 1 minute to do and then i drove back home. after that it became more and more of the same. she had fallen and i had to rush over. it was costing me gas and stress..alot of stress!
so one night she said she fell so i ran over. it appearred that she had because the shower curtain was torn down and a couple things knocked over in the bathroom but when i got here she was back in her room in her chair.
My dad passed away in 2010. he had a fall and had 3 brain hemorrages. he was in a coma for 7 days before he passed. i promised him i would take care of mom when he was lying there. i feel like honoring that is something i need to do.
so, she finally got so bad that she asked if i would move in with her. so i did. i sold everything i had, gave up my place and moved in with my mom, who i thought was very febile and weak and in very bad shape...well, she acted weak until i got moved in...now she seems fine, however, im expected to do everything.
i work from home and am one of three siblings. my 2 other siblings live out of state so it was inevitable that it would be me facing this alone. by the way...my brother has not been back home to visit in 20 years yet he is the golden child and her favorite. thats ver obvious to everyone. he calls her and yells at her for money. she gives it to him. he makes her cry...she makes excuses for him and treats me like crap. yet i am still here. still doing what i need to do and being nice and polite to her.
at first she seemed grateful but not anymore. i can do nothing right, its never enough and it is constant wants. even little things. she could be doing everything for herself yet she sits in her room watching tv barking demands.
i have an older daughter that i share custody with my ex. my mom recently told me that she didnt want any of my kids over. (they are in their 20s) and the one i share custody with is 17.
she isnt a bad kid at all. my mother said since she didnt like my ex that that had alot to do with it ..ok, she now says she can come over during the day but not at night.
she brings up stupid stuff i did when i was 16 and tries to make me feel bad. (just stupid teenage stuff, i didnt do drugs or anything).
so the other day i had enough. i sat her down to tell her how she was being and how it was hurting me...all she did was get mad. i was not being mean to her, just firm that she was not treating me fair. i failed to mention that i am a 49 year old woman and she is 82. she does not have dementia or any health issues. she has always been this way but wow is it getting worse! only she acted so sweet and pitiful when she wanted me to move in and help her...that changed rather quickly.
so now she acts like she has been done so wrong because for once i stood up for myself. she pouts and acts like she has been done so wrong!
she has even pulled the 'my house, my rules card on me now. this mainly had to do with my daughter visiting.
what the heck is going on here! i am so totally confused. why would she do this to the one child and ONLY person who she has to help her.
i am now here...unhappy! and feeling stuck! and im very confused!
she would never ever admit she has done wrong. she always plays the victim. if i try to say anything at all about my needs or feelings she pulls the age card and usually runs to her room in tears saying she is old and she just cant listen to me...(i have only had a serious talk with her recently and she did this, but also does this when i say anything at all that she doesnt like. even little things like i dont agree with not putting the silverware in the dishwasher.
i swear, i dont know how to deal with this! you can not reason with her, she is always right in her own eyes and demanding and so selfish.
all i can ever think is, this is not what i signed up for!

Answers 1 to 10 of 14
Top Answer
Really, for ur own sanity, move out. And when u do, make boundries. You refuse to go out in the middlevof the night. A freezer will keep things frozen for 24hrs or more if u don't open it. Same with a fridge. No one should have to take abuse. By the way, your Mom giving her son money could effect Medicaid help if she needs it. The look back is five years. May want to tell brother he is getting Mom.
If u do move out and she says she fell, tell her to call 911 and have them call u when they get there.
i have been thinking that moving out is the only solution. i have a sister who is very supportive and i call her a lot to just talk. she knows how our mother is and agrees that i need to move. now i just have to figure out how to do it. i sold everything and its going to take time to have the finances to rebuild.
Your mother strikes me as an extreme version of my mother. She is only focused on her needs/wants/whims of the moment, she is not thinking how any of it affects you. My mother also has no sense of proportion or priority - everything is urgent and an emergency. It doesn't matter if you're sick, if you've gone to bed for the night, if you had other plans for the day or night. It doesn't matter how trivial the issue is that needs to be addressed.

In my case, I did move out, and now I live about an hour away. That allows me to avoid all those manufactured emergencies. Don't blame yourself - it takes some time to develop boundaries with someone who is a master manipulator and who knows exactly how to push your buttons. If I were you, I'd start exploring my options re other places to live. Your mother could live a long time. You don't want to be subjected to this behavior without letup for years on end. It will drive you mad. I'm glad your sister is supportive and that you have her ear. Good luck!
OMGosh, NewUser, you are living with my mother. Everything you wrote, I could have written. I have a feeling you're dealing with a covert narcissist. They seem sweet and wonderful to everyone, but can be terrible to a caregiving daughter. I told my mother one time that she should have bought a slave instead of having a daughter.

If your mother is like mine, she will say that she never asked you for your help. Whenever you say you're moving, she'll get sweet a while, then revert to the covert narcissist self. In the case of my mother, as long as I don't challenge her she is fine. She sits in front of the TV all day year after year. I feel her life is wasted and she is also wasting mine. But she doesn't care at all. I owe it to her and this is HER house, and she is doing me a huge favor letting me stay. I have my own money, so this is crazy. It is just something she has to do to keep the matriarch position while sitting in front of the TV all day.

If we say anything to anyone, we feel like a traitor. And strangely, when we make plans to leave, we worry about them. The trouble is that no one else wants anything to do with them. So if they won't go into a facility or hire someone to come in, what in the world do we do with them? It's not as easy as just walking out the door.

I hope you can get away. Did you and your mother have a good relationship growing up or was she neglectful/abusive? It is so hard to know what to do with these isolated parents who can stay at home if they have someone. I just wish they could be pleasant most of the time.
thanks for all the help! it really makes me feel like im not being a terrible daughter, which is how she will make me feel if i move.
growing up my mom was kinda cold. dont remember her hugging or much of that. she expected us to be perfect though. she snooped like crazy. one time when i was 45 yrs old i found out she was driving by my house in the mornings to make sure i hadnt had my bf stay over, lol...yes its true!
im so sorry that you all are going through this too. its so hard because we feel like its our duty but not sure where being a helper but not taking abuse is or how to deal with it
i miss my dad. he had a heart of gold. i think she is jealous of the way me and my sister talk of our dad because it seems lately she has been trying to make me think that her feelings would be the same as his. i just told her i wasnt putting my dad in something that he couldnt be there to speak for himself.
i might add that her dad (my grandfather) was the same way and he got so hateful that when he did pass she didnt even care and she still hates him. nobody even went to his funeral except me, my sister, my mom and my dad...and my mom acted like she was just going cause she had to. no emotion at all.
my dad however, he went to my grandpas everyday to check him and go to the store or whatever. he was mean to my dad but my dad would jokingly tell him...'i know you dont like me, but ill be back tomorrow to check on you' lol. my dad was a great man with a very kind heart. how he put up with her i will never know but i do remember her controlling everything!
Your dad is probably the bright spot in your childhood and life. He sounds like a wonderful man. If you have the time, google "covert narcissist." You may be able to relate to the videos and things you read. It also gives some ideas on how to deal with it if you're unable to get away. In my case I avoid contact as much as possible. I don't think my mother wants my company much, anyway. I have two rooms in her house and have a little apartment set up in them. I come in and out of her part of the house just often enough to not seem weird. I also go out to lunch and the gym three times a week. I enjoy seeing and talking to people more than the exercise. It helps me to recharge myself. I get grouchy and irritable if I stay home too much.

BTW, I also came here without my furniture. I left it all with my ex when I came here. There was nowhere to put it. He did give me a little money for it, since it was mine before I met him. I really miss my old stuff. As it is now, I have a roof over my head but I feel homeless. I guess we can only hear, "This is MY house..." so many times before we do feel homeless.
exactly! i feel the same way. like i have a roof but im homeless...
and i stay in my bedroom all day unless i have to do something for her...its not a fun way to live. i seem to be slipping into a depression.
i will google that and thanks for the info. prayers for you that your situation gets better too!
I remember that "homeless" feeling too. I also left all my stuff behind when I went to live with my mother (mostly in storage), and was confined to my room unless I wanted to be in my mother's line of fire. I had no use of the living room or study, and no use of the kitchen without my mother expecting to be cooked for and served, and for all meals to be tailored to her preferences. Just last week I stayed overnight at her house one night because I had to take her to a late afternoon medical appointment and an early morning one the next day, and the first thing out of her mouth was "What did you bring for dinner?" I hadn't mentioned dinner to her at all and was planning to go out!

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support