brokeneck Asked February 2013

What can I do about an irrational senior mother?

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My wife and I have been overseeing her care, for the last 10 years, since her husband has been denying her medical care and other needs. He does not believe in doctors so we had to step in. There is no word of truth that comes out of my mother's mouth and never has been. She is very irrational and abusive, which are worsening and becoming more frequent. Her attacks have been aimed at my wife and myself. We cannot live our lives this way...help!!! Thanks in advance.

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midwest May 2013
What ever it takes, get her out of your house. Period! They are nothing but "Mental Vampires."
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Get a shrink.
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golden23 Mar 2013
(((((BJ1Okla)))) sounds familiar. It used to be phone calls, then it became emails. I have had up to 25 in a day demanding attention, and she gets mad when they don't get answered immediately. I don't think there is any enjoying a narcissistic parent - not much anyway, I am glad you are having a family meeting and telling your mum she has to go into independent living. The stress does hurt, and more and more as you get older. I would be thankful that she won't talk today, though I know the atmosphere this kind thing creates is sheer tension. Be prepared for her to react and overreact and say nasty thungs, but hold firm. This is no way for you and your family to live, I am so sorry that so many of us have to go through this. I had a childhood full of it, a teenage, young, middle aged, and older adulthood, and now at 75 I want some peace. I need some peace. Protect yourself! Blessings and (((((hugs)))) Let us know how the meeting goes.
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BJ1Okla Mar 2013
I can so relate. So much. My mom has started something new lately. If I 'talk back' to her (her words), she 'punishes me' by staying in her room after making huge messes in the kitchen. I took her to my sister's house yesterday around 2pm so I could meet with my son a few miles away to have dinner out, a rare event for me. My sister finally got to witness what I've been telling her about Mom. I met my son at 3pm and we had about one hour of a great visit before mom started calling me. I sent a text to my sister to make sure mom was okay and then tried to continue enjoying my short visit with my son. Six calls in less than 20 minutes to me and 4 calls to my son's phone. Her messages were demanding, asking why it was taking me so long. I'd met my son 30 minutes away and really had just gotten there. After two hours I just gave up because the calls weren't going to stop. She told my sister she knew I'd get mad at her for calling but 'she didn't care and was going to call me anyway" ... which she did. When I arrived back at my sister's house to pick her up, my sister asked if we'd had a good time and I said .."we were until the phone calls started." That really made Mom mad and she said .."I knew it! I knew you'd be mad at me for calling!" and she was stomping around, gathering up her purse for me to take her home. All in all, including the travel time (one hour), I was away from her for 3 hours and 15 minutes. That is how possessive and obsessive she is of me. And because I dared to speak up, she's refusing to talk today ... only coming out of her room to cook (three times today) and make another huge mess in the kitchen.

So we have set a family meeting for this Saturday. It will be my sister and brother in law, my nephew, my son and me ... and we are going to tell mom she needs to go to independent living. She has the funds. I'm so very tired of her obsessing about me and so tired of being with her constantly. I so want to enjoy my mom in her final years but the stress is really hurting me. She has already alienated my sister by 'dismissing her' and not wanting to spend any time with her and now my son, who has always loved his Grandmother -- is not happy with her.

None of this is easy.
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golden23 Mar 2013
@apples - you might try your local agency on aging and'or social services., also any alz/dementia group in town, or caregivers group. Looking after a demented senior is not small job. There may well be help out there for you. The job is not going to get any easier. If her doc will call her incapacitated, which I suspect she is at stage 5 alz. you can go through the courts for guardianship or conservatorship so you can manage her finances. Eventually she may need to be placed in a facility for the good of all. Read around thus site - there are many going through thge same thig. Great that your brother is on board. Good luck!
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golden23 Mar 2013
Well, I belong to the club, and agree that setting boundaries, detaching and distancing is all that works. They are never happy for long, and any good deed doesn't go unpunished. The effects of such a parent are lifelong, and require a lot of work and energy to combat. Mine is 100 and doing well, still in an ALF, I am 75 and have virtually cut contact in the last year, as since I turned 70 and moved her to one ALF and then another as she couldn't get along in the first one, the stress has affected my health. I told her if she could not manage there, the next move would be to a nursing home. Her complaints are continuous, very repetitive ( not dementia - she has always been like this) and nasty. Her energy in being critical, seems endless. I had POA though she is still capable of looking after her affairs, Not sure if she has appointed someone else since I set some very firm boundaries about the nasty communications I was getting. As I result I haven't heard anything for several months, and like midwest, the less I hear, the better off am. I have a narcissistic sister waiting in the wings to inherit all of what mother will leave. Apparently she has planned this for years, and does what she can to blackball me. Whatever! No money is worth it, and they will use their even limited funds to manipulate and emotionally blackmail. Look out for FOG - manipulation through fear, obligation and guilt. Obligation is a big one - though they seem to forget that they have some obligations too - as from one human being to another, Let go of the fear and guilt buttons which were implanted in you from birth. Narcissistic people have an enlarged and unrealistic sense of entitlement to other people's time and energy, and what others will put up with. You have to protect yourself. Karyl McBride wrote a book for daughters of narcissistic mothers called "Will I ever be good enough?" We all know the answer to that. As the mother of a narcissistic daughter too, I am convinced it is genetic in our family as there are cousins on my mother's side like her, though her siblings were the nicest people you could meet. The book could also be written to mothers if narcissistic daughters, and the answer to the question is also "No". I am surrounded by narcissists. The good things are forgotten and anything that could be called negative - like saying the weather is bad when there are weather warnings out, is construed as being negative. Right now I am unsuccessfully trying to negotiate how to see my grandchildren, as my daughter has gotten worse in the past year probably due to approaching menopause. She is well educated but can't hold down a job, and has no friends. She does well on antidepressants but won't take them. Life goes on, and you have to take the good parts and move forward with them.
Thanks for letting me vent. Who thought the retirement I worked so hard for would be like this? Not me!!! (((((hugs)))) and blessings
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applesed1 Mar 2013
I don't really have an answer; just a great deal of empathy. This site has helped me just by reading the responses of the people who visit. We too are taking care of my mom who is in stage 5 of dementia. We live in a black and white world of extremes. Her erratic behavior has led to us not being able to talk to her about anything; she no longer has the ability to think rationally. The She has no short term memory and basically lives in a world where everything is fine and paid for - which of course it is not. The latest thing now is that she will read the newspaper and come up with some irrational comment about how the article she's read affects my family. What makes it worse by not having POA or guardianship I can't help her with her finances. My dad passed away last June, so it's just me and my brother. We now take turns taking care of her, but my family's patience is running thin. I certainly don't want to complain as so many people have situations far worse than mine, I just don't know what to do next. Whom do I contact for help? Any suggestions.
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midwest Mar 2013
Thanks brokeneck. We all must do what we have to, in order to stay emotionally and physically healthy.
I still think of my mother, but each day goes by I feel better. The less I communicate the better I'm off.
Hugs to all.
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brokeneck Mar 2013
we wish you the best and you cannot deprive yourself of your own health and happiness, it is hard to to just erase them out of your head, because of all you have sacrificed, it has been about 2 months since i have even spoke to my mother, but it feels like she has put a curse on me, consent irritation, depression, bless you and hang in there.
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midwest Mar 2013
If the Senior does not have dementia and they are irrational, then they have been mean spirited all their lives and there is nothing anyone can do. In fact they are going to get worse. There is no gratitude.
I'm still working through the nightmare that my 85 year old mother caused me when she came to visit me in California. I thought she was lonely and I felt guilty leaving Chicago and I suggested she come and visit me for the winter months. Huge mistake. She was belligerent, vile, hurtful and simply mean spirited not only towards me but to strangers as well. I haven't lived with her since I was 23 years old and I left her home as soon as I could. She was problematic through out my entire life and I always forgave her. She always stated "you are against me" if I did not agree with her and I clarified it by stating "I'm not against you, I simply disagree with you, after all I do have my own opinion." This simply taught me that if we do not do or believe with their thoughts and actions, we are being criticized, put down in the worst way, for me, my mother would state "I wish you were never born and you do not know how much I hate you." Mind you this is not a woman who has dementia, she simply is mean and hateful. And yet she would reel me in since I was a child with her pitiful I'm sorry. She would slither back in to my life and once I was comfortable again being around her, she would slowly tear in to my character and we would not speak for a while. She meddled in my life and I always had excuses for her. My mother was the Queen of meanness.
There is an ongoing drama going on with her and me. At this time we are not talking because I chose to be non communicative, even though it hurts me. Although I do not need to be mothered at my age (63) I still feel very abandon. I have to keep limited communication. If I allow her in to my life I will open myself up for continues abuse. As a child she was physically and emotionally abusive and I did not know any better. As an adult she continued to be verbally abusive towards me. I never put 2 and 2 together as her having a narcissistic behavior issue, until December 2012. I was in such dis spear of her behavior when she was visiting me, and I went on line searching for answers and I found this site.
Update:
My Birthday came and she sent me a Birthday card. The card was seeping with sweetness and I was an "angel" underlined. I wanted to gag. She also called me and as soon as I heard her voice, I hung up on her. And yet I am very sad that I have to do the silent treatment. I think of her often and tears come to my eyes. I'm terribly hurt and I can't understand how a Mother can say those brutal words " I wish you were never born." I have children and I never even contemplated these type of words. Mind you my children do not want anything to do with her because she has offended them as well and now they know how she hurt me recently, they are pleading with me to erase her out of my life, for she is simply nasty. How does one do it? I think the only time I will be free is when she is dead.
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