1967will1 Asked September 2010

What can I do if my elder mother is constantly abusive to me?

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Stressed52 Oct 2013
Oh my goodness we do all seem to go through the same exact situations and I have to say that it does not help when a person says, "It's just the disease, don't take it personally." After a while of putting up with this and biting our lips...off....we do take it personally because it is abusive and hateful and it is focused on US.

I am my mother's 24/7 caregiver and hold her POA. I have 2 sisters but they work outside the home and therefore my job became taking care of Mom. I do everything around here and have for years but I am screamed at that "I never do anything anyway" I am told to "pack my stuff and get out" basically told that "I am stupid and want people to think how great I am but I am not." She is willing to say anything to me that she can hurt me with and at times it appears as though she loves doing it! She can be so hateful that at times I am tempted to pack my stuff and leave and let my sisters figure out how to care for her.

Here is the good news, "It is the illness talking, she is like the dummy and the disease is the one pulling the strings making her say the things she says." Of course you did not do anything wrong, I absolutely believe you because I have been there too. These diseases affect their brains and cause them to say and do things that they would ordinarily never say or do. Or if they were always horrible it may make them worse and in some instances it makes them nicer.

My mother was recently hospitalized and I was with her day and night, they used so many different medications on her and she was hallucinating all over the place and it was the worse thing I have ever experienced. I told my sisters, this is it, she is going to have to go into a nursing home because I cannot and will not take care of her like this.

She came home and it was a nightmare and I was ready to leave. I got hold of a Gerontologist and got her in to see him and he presented us with two medications to start her on, one for night and one for day. All I can say is "Thank You God!"
Her behavior has calmed down and is actually way better than it was prior to going into the hospital!

If your mother is not on medication, get her to a gerontologist immediately and get her on something. If she is on medication it is either not the right one or the dosage is wrong and needs to be corrected. You do not have to live in hell to take care of your mother. Do NOT let her beat you down and NEVER believe any of the horrible things she says to you, these are the ramblings of a woman with a mental illness and YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH SUCH DISRESPECT. The thing is you have to realize that she cannot help it, it is the disease causing this and you have to make sure she is medicated correctly to keep this abusive behavior under check.

Does she have a trust? Do you have her Power of Attorney? I hope you do because she sounds like she is too far into the disease to give it to you now and all you can seek now is guardianship.

Please take care of yourself and know that we believe that you are correct and we believe you are doing the best you can to take care of her. You need to get her to a doctor about getting her on the correct medications for her illness. If it takes an argument to get her to the doctor, go ahead and do it....it will save your sanity in the long run!!!

God Bless and Keep You!
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Jinx4740 Oct 2013
What would happen if you told her she had to move out? Does she have any money to pay her own rent?
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jeannegibbs Oct 2013
Sherie, I am sorry that you ever offered to have her in your home. But now that you know how bad it is, why do you continue to have her there? It is your home. You decide who lives there. Seems pretty straight-forward to me. What am I missing?
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sherie Oct 2013
My mother neglected my siblings and me as children, and allowed physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my father. My father is now in nursing care and my mother is living with me. Everyday she starts out complaining about the weather and how bad she slept. Nothing is ever positive or suitable enough for her. She is just plain rude and disagrees with my choices. When I loose my composure she gets verbally abusive. She has told me that I was crazy and that she doesn't like me. She is abusing me in my own home while I provide her with food, shelter, maid and taxi service. My nerves are frazzled and I am totally burned out. I can't wait to get into bed at night and I don't want to get up in the morning to face her negativity.
I know she is in the early stages of dementia and try to be patient, but this is affecting my health.
As a side note, she desperately needs hearing aids and refuses to get them because she doesn't want to spend the money.
I am sorry that I ever offered to have her in my home
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Pained Oct 2013
My mom, 91, has dementia and hypomania (one end of bi-polar). She has had a few TIAs also. She lived with my husband and I for the past 2 years almost until she became verbally abusive and refused to cooperate in any way with our requests. We called 911 and they spent ten days diagnosing her difficulties and placed her in a nursing home. She is terribly abusive when I visit her and will not accept living in the nursing home. She badgers me constantly about bringing her home and she remembers none of her assaultive behavior and therefore doesn't understand why she is there. She calls me daily requiring that I come pick her up; that I have no right to do this to her, etc. I am the sole power of attorney and care giver. Any ideas on coping with this fixation? She also plays on the "I just want to die" comments. Pained
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I am going through this as well and I can truly empathize with you. My mother also tells me that she can "fix MY head" and insists that I come clean (about "stealing" her belongings that she is misplacing" as well as "I'm taking everything out of your name". She has gone as far as telling me that her daughter is dead to her. Unfortunately, I have no answers for you (or me) but I wrote to let you
know that you are not alone in this situation. I wish you the very best. I hope things get better for you and that you can find a way to be strong and deal with it. If you do, please post it; maybe it can help my struggle, too
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Thank you all for posting. I love my mother but she has hurt me to my core and I never see it coming...it is as though someone has a remote control device to change her into a rabid dog of hatred contempt. She makes me feel like dirt. I do everything to maintain her apartment building and take care of things and look professional and she'll say things like 'I know how to fix YOU' and "I'm taking everything out of your name." But, I did not do anything wrong. I was happy when I went in and a basket case for days after I left.
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This may be a huge opportunity -- if you don't gag at the word "opportunity" being used to describe a situation in which you're miserable, I'm so sorry about that!! -- to learn and practice some changes in your own life. Learning not to let other people ruin your life with abusive behaviors may be the single thing that's most worth your attention right now. And look, you're already taking steps in that direction -- You reached out with your question. Good for you. Ok, now what? You need a combination of ALL THREE of these things: (1) standing up to abuse, (2) seeing it in a new way so that it isn't about you and doesn't hook you, and (3) finding practical solutions that get you away from it.

Rearranging both your internal and your external world so that your mother's behavior towards you hurts you way, way less than it has in the past, may be the #1 growth and change that you are looking for in your own life, It may give YOU a whole 'nuther chapter in YOUR life. Look at it this way. Suppose YOU live to be in your 90s. At 60, you're less than two-thirds there. Or, here's even more powerful way to look at it: Suppose you count "adulthood" as having begun when you were twenty or twenty-five and you live to be 95. You've only lived half of your adulthood! You have as many years left as you've already lived! It's so incredibly worth it! And if you think of all the ways you've learned and grown in the first half of your adulthood, imagine what you can do in the second!
Go for it and good luck.
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IsabelCares Sep 2010
1967eill1, Sounds like it may be time for you to start looking for an appropriate nursing home placement for your Mom. If she has Alzheimer's, she will require more care as time passes. You're tired. That's ok. Wishing you peace all the way.
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nancytrense Sep 2010
Does your mother live with you? My mother moved to Florida 15 years ago against my wishes since I am in California. She is now 91, blind and wheelchair bound and has to be in an assisted living facility. She left behind a condo in joint tenancy that I go to when I visit her and am trying to rent out seasonally. She had some money left in her savings, not much, and she went through it in 3 years because she wanted to go out to lunch and get her hair and nails done every other week for which I had to hire an aide. The money is gone and she was abusive to me. I don't call her per dr's orders, since she refuses to accept that she needs to be in the ALF and doesn't have the control of her money like she used to, but there is no way for her to live in the condo and have help - too expensive and you need a family member to supervise. I supervise my 90 year old step-dad out here and he is not demanding, appreciative. I have not called my mom for two weeks, and sometimes it is hard. Will go there in Florida. But I am 64 and need to live my life. My mom dumped me when I was 16 and did her thing. But that's not the point. Even if she was a great mom, I don't need to be abused now. Set boundaries, and get the support you need to deal with it. They always lash out at the children for their misery and fear and inability to be young and do what they used to.
Some mothers abuse their children when they are young, so you are not young and need her to support you, so why do you put up with it?
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