How to cope with increasingly hostile elderly mother?
My mom has always been difficult to get along with. She's always been one of the most unhappiest people I've ever met. Very rarely has anything good to say about anything/anyone. Very jealous/envious of what others have in comparison to her. She tends to dwell on the bad things that have happened. She holds grudges. She's exceptionally self-absorbed. My parents had me later in life. I'm in my late 30s, married, with a young family at home. My mother is in her mid-80s. My dad is deceased. I have no siblings. And as the years progress, my mother is getting more hostile. She tends to bite her tongue when my husband is around - but when I'm alone with her? Out come the opinions. She's so jealous of my in-laws (she competes with them for my time), that I can barely mention them around her. And we try to avoid spending time with her and them together, as she's gotten rather insulting towards them and most of them would rather not spend time with her. My mother is obsessed with the idea that my husband is going to cheat on me if I don't lose weight or if I don't ease off my focus on my career or if I don't keep a clean house, etc. On the phone she'll frequently tell me she doesn't care to hear news about my day, she only wants to hear about her grandchildren. She tells people lies about me - that she'd never see me if she didn't travel out to visit (I live 2 hrs away) - that she's afraid to call me when she has a problem because I'l get angry with her. I get silent treatments from her. Our last conversation she didn't like something I said to her and screamed at me, "I could say things to you that would make you cry for days, little girl! But I'm nicer than you are!" Hearing her talk to me like that made my blood run cold. She refuses to allow me access to her doctors so I have no idea what her medical condition currently is (I just know from snooping in her purse that she's on an inhaler for COPD). I'm trying to hang in there because my father made me promise I'd watch out for her. But our strained relationship continues to worsen. She's ruined any and all positive feeling that I might have had for her. And its getting harder and harder to listen to the messed up garbage that comes out of her mouth when we talk. I don't know how much more of this hostility I can take from her. She's finally started to act hostile towards extended family (up until this point she'd hold herself in check around them), so they're starting to see her extreme moods. But they still have NO IDEA what I've been through with this woman up to this point in my life. I thought she'd mellow out as she aged but she's getting worse. How do I cope?