tina12345 Asked May 2012

What should I do if my mother moved in and is treating me like a companion instead of her daughter?

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I had a severely abusive childhood.by both parents, when I was old enough I left to establish my own life. When I was twenty four and just recently married, my mother decided to leave my father for another man, but the new man in her life didn't want my little sisters so she dropped my three little sisters at my door and took off. My new husband and I raised them along with my two infant sons for 8 years. She destroyed my life, because it was so hard my husband and I divorced. I haven't heard from her in 35 years until her second husband died recently and left her with no money so she calls out of the blue after finding my phone number on the net saying the state will put her in a home if she has no where to go. So now she is living with me and trying to be "the good mother" she never was and trying to run my house, telling me when to eat and etc., she wants me to be her constant companion since the loss of her second husband. I do not feel obligated to her although I have tried for the last four months to please her. I am sixty years old and she is eighty she is exhausting me.She is independent and can get around but she does'nt want to do anything by herself. I have never had any help from her, nor did she ever come to the birth of my children or send them anything. When my sons came to visit they did'nt know who she was, but she wanted to be called grandma. This is sick, when I confronted her on several occasions about the abuse and leaving her children with me she claims she does not remember doing that. Meanwhile, my sisters are doing fine but want nothing to do with her and she says she does not understand why. She lived her life and did what she wanted but she has always destroyed mine and now she is dependent on me and keeps telling me I am a good girl. What????? I put myself through law school raised my two sons and her 3 daughters, never remarried because of too much baggage, have a beautiful home and recently retired thinking now I can travel and live my life but now here she is after 35 years moved in with me on a $600.00 SS check and again ruining my life.

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momhouseme May 2012
Please do not get sucked into taking care of your mom. You can be an excellent daughter from afar if you want to be. Sounds like mom didn't save for her future or old age.
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momhouseme May 2012
Have Medicare or Medicaid take over. She will ruin your life in ways that others have described and based on her monthly income, you are going to get stuck financially supporting her at some level. When my mom came to live with me gas electric and water increased. She would wear a short sleeved shirt and have the heater on or if not the heater she would be complaining about how cold she was even though I explained blankets etc. Its not that she was mean she has Alzheimers and just never had to worry about these sorts of things. I am divorced and self supporting so I do worry about these things. I had a dysfunctional family and i was in alot of therapy because of that; it helped me let go, set boundaries etc etc. Make sure you let medi cal medicaid know that you yourself are in your 60's and do not have the physical strength to care for your mom as she ages; don't explain you want to spend your golden years living your life. Although you can say you are not able to financially support her.....good luck. move on this soon and let us know how it all progresses!
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Tina, your mom can't ruin your life now unless you allow that to happen. I agree with everything Jeanne said above and I hope you will act on her advise.

Let me remind you that your mom can qualify for subsidized senior housing. She can qualify for Medicaid, if she hasn't already, which will cover her medications and medical. She can qualify for food stamps and other assistance with her utilities.

What she can't qualify for and never has qualified for is the title of Mother. She's just a woman who had four children, you being one of them, and then left you holding the bag to raise three of them.

You need to find the courage to tell her that you've changed your mind and want to continue your life as it was before she moved in. You will help her get moved and that's the best you can do.

If you need help with this, get a good therapist. That you find yourself trying to please her makes me feel that the child in you is still wanting some validation from her. That she can't remember the abuse and dumping her 3 youngest on you tells me you will NEVER get anything from her except more BS and disappointment.

Do the right thing for you. She never will. Love and Hugs, Cattails
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jeannegibbs May 2012
Tina, forgive your mother if you are so inclined for your sake. And then throw her out! Seriously, you need to now do what is good for you. Having her live in your home is NOT good for you, for your self-esteem, for your relationships with the children you raised, for the dreams you have of a post-retirement life.

She has a sense of entitlement, but she is NOT entitled to live with you and treat you like a companion.

You sound like an extremely intelligent, capable person. When she called and said she has no money and the state will put her in a home, why on earth didn't you say, "Let me know your address when you get settled so I can send a card once in a while." I know that even intelligent, capable people make mistakes. You sound strong enough to be able to correct this.

The "state" surely isn't going to put her into a nursing home if she has no medical needs. Social Services will probably find her subsidized housing. That sounds perfectly appropriate to me. Get that ball rolling. Surely with your skills you can help her down that avenue. You raised three of her children for eight years and she doesn't remember it?!! I think you have more than done your family duties.

She wouldn't like subsidized senior housing? THAT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. She lived her life the way she chose and the consequences are all hers.

Please look in Discussion section for a thread called
"Two years this July my mother has been living with me. She is a mean and hateful woman and I just can't do it anymore."

It has grown very long -- maybe 200 posts in about a month -- but I'm sure you will find it very interesting and relevant.

Good luck to you.
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golfgirl07 May 2012
Well said Jane B! Forgiveness doesn't mean mom can stay! It means that you have accepted her unacceptable behavior long enough, Ok she's probably had some bad treatment along the way that attributes to her acting the way she does, and you've decided it time to tell yourself what a deserving person you are and it time to pamper you. You've accepted the fact that your never, no matter what, going to get any good treatment, appreciation for all you do, not even an atta girl! You've "hit the wall" or let's put it this way "the elevator has reached the top floor"! You realize she has other options and you're ready to seek them! Forgiveness means your no longer allow her free rent in your brain! Every word from your mouth is no longer about her! You have forgiven her! Now it's about you!
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golfgirl07 May 2012
So true! If we keep looking for those Kudos from these people, it will be a 24/7 disappointment! At some point, we must realize it is us who must make the change if we are to have any peace in this life. We can't make the change unless we accept the facts, forgive (notice I didn't say forget) and move on. Now that's not to say that we need to continuously revolve around them and keep trying to make them happy! No that's not what I'm saying. And, I agree with you, most all of us here have had bad treatment, not only as children but have picked bad partners because of treatment we received as children. So...unless we change in some way....it continues!!! Now you see, we are caretakers!!!!!

So while I totally agree that it is definately easier said than done, we have to start somewhere! It used to make me very angry when someone would tell me to forgive so and so! I'd just want to scream! But what choice do we have if our lives are to be better. It's very likely that no one is going to knock at my door and ask what they can do for me today! I've got to do it myself with whatever tools are available to me. I just can't keep running back to the well after it has run dry!

Love your last sentence: Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves!!
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So true libracat. Forgiveness is to ourselves and not for the other person.
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JaneB May 2012
I am all for forgiveness. But forgiving this mother does not need to include letting her live in the same home with you, Tina. Forgiveness doesn't have to mean that you let her once again define your life by her desires. You can honestly and truly, fully forgive her and still say, "Sorry -- if a state home is your only option, it's your only option. My home is no longer open to you." There doesn't need to be a crisis for you to say this. Simply that it's not working, and she has thirty days notice to find other quarters.
You can't argue with reality. Well, you can -- but reality always wins. Your mother isn't going to listen to reason, isn't going to care for anyone but herself. It won't be easy to move her out. But it will be soul sucking not to. I hope you feel the encouragement of everyone here to get her out of there, and reclaim your life.
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seven13 May 2012
Hi Golfgirl, I agree but easier said than done - hard to forgive or even like someone who has put you through terrible treatment......but you are right: forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves!
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golfgirl07 May 2012
Another point! Let's talk about forgiveness! Someone me
ntioned that in one of the above posts! Now I hear you all nah, nah, nah!!! Forgivness is for our benefit! We forgive them to get them out of our heads so that we can go on with our lives. If we continue harboring those thoughts of "look what they did to me", we'll just stay stuck where we are! We must move on and enjoy our own lives! Let the past die! We can't have a positive life when we have a negative mind! I say forgive and move on with your life!
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