Caring for Elderly Parents You Don't Like

"I Love My Mother, But I Don't Like Her"

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Heidi, I feel so bad for you. I know what you mean about feeling peppier when the stress is behind. That happens with me, too. I envy the people who have parents and in-laws who say they have lived a long, good life and know that the end of the road is not a bad place. It is something that each person who lives will get to one day. I wish every elder could be content with whatever their situation is. I think about Jeannegibbs' mother and how she embraced the changes in her life. Then I see others who are so mean and bitter. It makes me think of Dylan Thomas's poem "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night." When he said rage, rage against the darkness, though, I don't think he meant to be mean to everyone around you. I think he just meant to live until it was all over.
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Heart2Heart: Pot of gold? I'm intrigued. I'm looking for a few new things to plant, so I'm going to have to hunt that down and see what it looks like etc. Especially if it's a perennial!
I've actually stayed away the last couple weeks because I've had other things to do, like help at my mother-in-law's, etc., and it's such a weight lifted. I dread going tomorrow to see her. And I've felt it all week, too, feeling tired, low energy, just blah. And the moment I get away I usually feel pepped up again.
It's odd how they can be so grumpy. They're angry with their whole station in life etc. and then we try to do nice things or take time for them, and they just resent us. (Or my mom does, anyways!)
On one hand I get it, that she's not in her apartment anymore, but several social workers, nurses, a couple doctors and the judge decided she wasn't fit to live on her own anymore, that she was a danger to herself and her neighbors. But she doesn't see it that way. I suspect her attitude is better around the lady who runs the home than around me, though. Me, I'm the traitor. Even as she sits there and insults me and calls my husband every name in the book, I'm still a failure to her for not throwing my life to the wind and doing what she wants.
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Phoenix... I love it!... Thank you!... Will try to do that along with more distance... Today, took my mother to her dr and surprisingly (because of my 'participation' he put her on an anxiety pill (daily)... I sure hope this helps calm her down (it may even help lower her BP). 🌷🌷🌷
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Heart dig it up put it in a pot and take it to a neighbour or to the care home down the road or throw it out the upstairs window. Sometimes you just have to rid yourself of fury. (And seeing as it is illegal to throw your Mum out of the window.....!!! xxxxxxxx)
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Heidi... You're right... You just can't win... Mother's Day (all all the holidays) are bad for me because in all of my trying to make the house cheerful with beautiful flowers, etc.... They are considered absolutely nothing... More so, because she 'waits' for my brothers and her grandchildren to call (for their 5 mins of fame) and she thinks the sky has opened up because for those 5 mins she's 'loved' (your're right... WE'RE the ones always there for them and we get treated like crap.... It's so difficult to focus and live a healthy life. Like Jessie said we have to keep a distance (whenever possible). I used to think that keeping my mother company it made a difference, but it makes things worse. I made (worked so hard and built up a beautiful life with my humble house... With beautiful flowers around it to enjoy at this point in my life... But, she finds (picks out) fault with most things. For years she wanted a perennial called 'pot of gold'... This year one finally took and is blooming beautifully... Yesterday, she said it looks like a weed.
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Does it get tougher for folks around Mother's Day? I'm torn because my birthday always falls around the holiday, too.

On past Mother's Days I've tried to make it a day for her and play down my birthday. Some years when she was more able-bodied, she'd try to make it a nice birthday for me. Usually it was gifts she'd like for herself, which she'd give to me and tell me I should like them because she liked them so much herself (never mind that we have different tastes), or she'd buy a cake she'd like, etc. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that she would celebrate it, but I'd have just liked a bit of the effort I expended to find something in a color or style I knew she liked, or to buy some fancy coffee because she loves her coffee, etc. (Fortunately my husband actually listens to me... and the self-pitying note will end once I get my visit to her over with this weekend.)

But, I used to not mind so much, but now, with my mom in one of her phases where she is constantly saying mean things about me and my husband (to my face, since she sees me most) and to the woman who runs the home she's at. I get tired of this "you failed me," "you deceived me," "you plotted against me" mentality. In some ways -- maybe most ways -- she can't help it. But to go on Mother's Day and be berated ... we're supposed to honor and cherish our mothers, and yet mine can't stand me most of the time because I've chosen to have my own life and not live mine just for her.

Heart2Heart, you put it in a good way. It hurts to get slighted and humiliated and it makes me feel sick -- literally, physically sick -- to deal with her. Migraines, tiredness, sick to my stomach, IBS ... all precede a visit to my mother. Then when I get away, it's like a weight is lifted...
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I just thought about FOG -- fear, obligation, and guilt. I knew it never felt right with me, though I do feel guilt quite often. For me it is more of a sense of responsibility, like being in charge of a leaky boat long enough to get it to shore.
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Phoenix and Heart, we'll have to start a new caregiver support group -- Abused Caregivers Anonymous. We'll have to come up with 12 steps. :) I thought about how we are able to hang in when things are not so good. Then I realize that often we are the only ones who would be willing to do it. We may hear that it would be good to put them into a facility, but who is going to do that? Us? And while we're at it, do we wrestle a big grizzly bear into a cage? We really can only change the things we personally do and try to keep from creating an even bigger problem. I do wish I were younger. At 64 I wonder if the last years of my life will be warding off the swats of an angry grizzly bear, with people looking on, saying not to take the swats personally because the bear is just old and sick.

For myself, I'm not particularly mad at anyone. I'm just in this situation and know I have responsibility to try to hold things together.
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Heart and Jessie I think all 3 of us share the same Mum. As you probably know I am not a Christian, nor an anything else I might add so I find the whole notion of religion irrelevant to the conversation other than SOME people MAY find solace in THEIR religion.

Personally I see it as a tool engineered by the state to relieve the state of many of its duties of care and responsibility for the welfare of others. The creation of that tool also enabled its use to create the paradigms of social behaviour and therefore introduce controls to monitor that (i.e. police).

I have yet to find a religion that explains things effectively (TO ME I hasten to add).

Jessie you care about your Mum, you caregive to your Mum - she is safe. If it fills her life with joy to make yours miserable then giving her a wide berth is exactly what I would do too and indeed do when Mum kicks off.

I resent my Mum for sure and I am not afraid to say so, I don't like her at all, I particularly don't like the way she talks about me to others and then acts completely differently TO me. It has gotten to the point where she is starting to treat me like a servant in FRONT of her friends now so they are starting to see a different side to her.
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Jess... Sounds like our mother's are clones. Like you, I feel locked in. I know other people wouldn't understand the position we are now in, but it happens (I never, ever thought I'd be in such a position with my mother... Nor, did you). I don't know how a mother can treat a child with such distain. Then I look at this older, weak lady and I feel sad for her... I want to accept her 'demeanor' this way, but as time goes by I just can't. Like you said... To outsider's they think "she's so sweet"... While as time goes by, her 'disgust' of me grows stronger. It's exhausting isn't it? I feel badly that you are going through this also.
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