Handling Controlling Elderly Parents

Carol Bradley Bursack Minding Our Elders Updated
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I am exhausted from dealing with my stepmom who lives with my Dad that is in failing health and she acts like she can’t do anything alone, not even take him to a doctors appointment alone. I work a full time job plus overtime, and she expects me to be available at her every request. I have a husband and three dogs, and five other brothers and sisters who are never available will not answer text messages. Last night my dad fell and my stepmom told me it is my responsibility to come and help him he is my dad, I was tired after working a twelve hour shift, I replied back to her I know he is my Dad but he is also your husband and I am not his only child. God help me I know I said somethings I should not have said, we moved closer to them to help my Dad who at the time was running a wrecker service he has since gotten out of the wrecker business, but it seems to me my stepmom thinks I am there now to be his full time care giver. She does not care about the stress it is causing on my marriage, or the resentment that I feel towards her and my brothers and sisters. She was not the mom of the year when I lived at home, she made sure to tell me daily how stupid, fat and unlovable I was, but now she expects me to be the good daughter and do anything she needs me to do. I am close to selling my home and moving counties away like some of my brothers, and that is her excuse for not calling them to come and help with my Dad and also because they have a family, I guess my husband and dogs don’t count as a family to her.
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What do you do if your parent is controlling, verbally abusive, OCD, totally rigid and without a proper pension. My parent has placed the full burden of not having planned for retirement onto me. The few living relatives I have refuse to help or even to talk to me. I am so totally overwhelmed and burnout.
My parent came to live near me and now with me 2 plus years ago. Already my income has been damaged, it's impacting on my marriage and I have no idea what to do or where to turn.
I can't make decisions or function in my own life. Everything I do is criticized, put down, found fault in.
I can't hire help as my income virtually dried up. The part-time work I tried to get unfortunately they let go 40 workers only 2 months after I joined. I am trying all kinds of ways to earn but can never know how much time I have in my day to me. If I sit at the computer to do computer work, I get interrupted.
I don't have the time or funds to do full time entertainment for a critical parent who can never hear anything I say. The parent will listen to anything anyone else says but never to me. Refuses to listen if I say the words used are hurtful or upset me or to not put my husband down.
Body language is also very hard to see. The negative facial expressions towards my husband are uncalled for.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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My mother is a good 92 years old. She walks two miles a day 5 to 6 days a week with a neighbor. Recently, a cataract surgeon operated on her right eye and it was not a succession surgery leaving some of the cataract and retained lens fragment in her eye. The surgery caused major floaters in her eye. I stayed with her for a couple of days and then brought her to my home so my husband and I could take care of her while she healed. By day 3, at our house she wanted to go back to her home. I waited until the follow up doctor appointment said ok, which she did. I’m 51, only child. No children, no relatives but have a very supportive and helpful husband. My father passed away, 23 years ago and he was a wonderful dad. Since I was young my mom has always kept me at the bottom of the pecking order. I always wanted to have a better relationship with her but at this point I don’t know if it will be, I’ve always hoped, it will get better for a while but then she’ll go back to this other person. At 51, she still treats me as I’m 16 years old. I’ve done so many things in my life and accomplished a great deal. When she treats me like 16 it’s not healthy for me. Even when I’m nice and helpful, she tells her friends how great I am but threats me differently, emotionally, when we’re alone.

On the web I do research to try to understand why thing happen. I found your article helpful, thank you.
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The only way to not destroy yourself financially is to simply - stop. Stop spending money you don't have, stop catering to their needs, etc. You have one of two options; continue on the road you are on straight over a cliff, or pull off to the side and let is going to happen, happen. When the lights get turned off, and they can't get what they need because they refuse to see things as they really are they actually start to deal with it. Quit enabling. Well, maybe except for the dog. The dog can't help that it is sick and needs help. Yes, I have a soft spot for animals. No so much for people who insist on getting what they want to the detriment of everyone else around them.
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Apricot - Your roommate's expectations don't have to control you. You can tell her how you can feel. You can set limits on what you're willing to do to help. You can remind her that you're her roommate, not her caregiver or the hired help. If push comes to shove, you can move out.
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My roommate 84 expects me 66 to fill in what her caregivers don't provide. Her kids don't help much. I did not sign up for this when I agreed to move in. Help!
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Lorraine, I feel for you, as my mother is also difficult, to put it mildly. Is there any way you can just limit contact with your mother? She sounds pretty toxic, and it's unlikely that she'll change at her age.

It also sounds like you're still very affected by her behavior towards you. I know that probably sounds like a given, but I think that for many of us dealing with personality-disordered parents, we've learned to just let it slide off us like water from a duck. Or we limit contact, or both. In my case, both, but it took me a few years of therapy to be able to do either. Don't think counseling is only for sick people. It's even more useful for those of us who have to deal with toxic or narcissistic parents/family members.

I hope you can find ways to keep your mother's behavior from affecting you so much that you cry yourself to sleep at night. Keep coming back and posting - many of us have been through similar situations, and we're all here for you.
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I have just been reading and joined this website. I do not know where to start and cry myself to sleep most nights. I did not see my mother for 6 years and we have recently got back in touch. Her behaviour is steadily going back to how it was before and the reason we did not see each other. She is domineering, does not accept my point of view or others. If something does not go her way, she becomes aggressive and blames everyone
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How do you deal with the family that just makes excuses for their mothers bad behavior?
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How do I manage an elderly father who continuously verbally abuses my elderly mother. Is very controlling of her and blames her for all that is deemed wrong in his eyes?
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