Dealing with feelings of guilt, frustration and anger over 80 yr old mother...

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First let me just say how thankful I am that I found this forum. To find a place where others really understand all of the emotions that one goes through is priceless. My mom makes me crazy. My dad died a little over 2 years ago and she was the one who took care of him when his health started to deteriorate. He was in the hospital 3 times in 6 months before he died. At that time she was also still working full time on top of caring for him when she got home. He wasn't an invalid or anything, my mom just made sure he took his meds and ate. He really didn't even need help with that, but my mom has always been overbearing and controlling so he just let her do that to keep the peace. Shortly after my dad died, my mom finally decided that at 78 it was time to retire. Her life changed dramatically and in a short span of time. They were married for almost 60 years. She's never lived alone, she's never done anything alone in her entire life. So suddenly she's living alone and no longer working. She suddenly has all of this time on her hands and she's never been one to do well with time on her hands. I tried to help her with this transition because I knew how difficult (to say the least) it was going to be for her. She's healthy, except for some hip pain and sciatica, and is still driving and can get around just fine. I tried recommending joining the senior center near where she lives, volunteering, things like that to get her out of the house and to meet people that are nearby as her friends all live at a distance. She blew me off which is her prerogative, but then she still complained to me constantly about being alone and not having anything to do.

Fast forward 2 years and I'm at my wits end with her. I call her EVERY DAY and see her once a week. That's not enough for her. I work full time and have my own life with a ton of stresses that I have to deal with. Here's the stuff that makes me nuts... I tell her that I can't talk while I'm at work, but if it's something important to text me and I'll call her back when I'm able to. What does she do? She'll call my work line and leave a message, then immediately call my cell and leave a message and then text me. I see her calling but don't answer. If I don't respond to her in a matter of minutes she'll do that call cycle again and again. RARELY are the calls so important that it can't wait for our daily phone call. Long story short, she doesn't listen when I tell her to only call once and leave a msg and I'll call her back when I'm able. She'll call me 4 or 5 times in a row ALL OF THE TIME. I can't go anywhere without her calling asking where I am, what I'm doing because she thinks something terrible is going to happen to me. She doesn't understand what bounderies are and is overbearing and treats me like I'm a child and makes me feel like crap. I take care of all of her medical bills, insurance issues, arrange her doctors appointments, prescriptions, general bill questions, etc, but heaven forbid I try to take a vacation free from talking to my mom every day. I love my mother, she has a good heart, but I don't really like her. I don't like spending time with her. I do the things I do for her not because I want to, but out of obligation. I get easily frustrated with her and every time I speak to her I feel stressed and annoyed and then guilty over feeling those things. She's one of the reasons for my Xanax prescription. She wants to see me more than the one time a week we already see each other, but I just can't do it.

I know others have it so much worse dealing with really sick, or narcisstic parents, but she really makes my life unpleasant and the thought of another possible 10 to 15 years of this cycle with her has me feeling so hopeless and depressed. She doesn't listen to what I say and does the guilt trip thing all of the time. Sorry this was so long and babbling, but I just needed to vent. No one else in my life is going through anything like this yet. Thank you...

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Chi photocopy or scan those years of apointments, and send them to your sainted brother.. with a note that says "I am done".. and be done..
Afaria, , I have always told my family I can't be called at work unless someone is dead,, and in 20+ years I have gotten 2 phone calls,, yep,, someone is dead.. otherwise it is text me and I will get back to you.
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ChiGirl68, have you quit the caregiving for your ungrateful mother who has taken advantage of you for years now? I am still shaking my head over her disinheriting you, and then taking advantage of you with the free caregiving.

What a lousy mother you have!
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I could have written this. I live a block away from my mom and go to her house literally six times a day to do stuff for her. My sainted brother, who is also sole POA, trustee, etc, has been absent forever with his "important work" and can't be bothered. Literally we are not ALLOWED to bother him with things like doctor appointments, health concerns, shopping, etc. When she started falling at night and I finally told her to call her POA son because I have to actually work for a living and don't get a $4000 paycheck direct deposited every two weeks, she started calling my EX HUSBAND, who wasn't allowed in her house for ten years until she needed him. Then when I told her to stop calling him after she made him her personal slave, taking him away from working to support our children, she started calling MY NEIGHBORS to take her to the doctor, shopping and even to pick her up off the floor when she fell.

If you read my posts elsewhere, you'll find that I just discovered she basically disinherited me five years ago, though I gave up fighting and basically gave up my life to take care of her again years ago.

On the XANAX, I am a full blown alcoholic from this crap. I have not been to a doctor in ten years but I have taken my mother to literally hundreds of doctor appointments in the past few years. I found some of her old day planners the other day, the ones with a box for each day, and literally there have been three to four doctor appointments a week going back years. I was staring at these pages, going, "Oh my God. I took her to every single one of these appointments," including getting her toenails cut every four weeks by a podiatrist, teeth cleanings, denture fittings, mammograms, stress tests, vision screenings, eyeglass fittings, retina surgery, knee surgery and all the days and weeks spent sitting with her in rehab from those. Meanwhile I am literally dying, have rotten teeth and toenails, am sixty pounds overweight, alcoholic, and haven't had a pap smear or mammogram in 9 years.

I have frankly had it with these uber-insured #ssh#les and their doctor appointments, medicare, and three weeks basically in a hotel every time they trip.

I do not like my mother either, and I know it is mutual. There was a period where I did not speak to her for a year and a half--and she was 88 years old. I was like, are you kidding me? This is how it's going to end?

At this point, I don't even think I am going to attend her funeral. And then my brother and everyone else can talk about what a gold digger i am and didn't show up because I'm not in the will, blah blah blah. I really don't care anymore what she or he or anyone else thinks of me. I want my stupid, broke little life back with my awesome daughters and the people who actually like me, love me and respect me.

Tell your mom to bite you!
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afaria and upstream, what worked for me was to distance; TELL them you will not answer the phone at work until break or lunch, same as Jo Ann says, and stick to it. When they complain, are nasty, or treat you in any way badly - leave. Just say you have to go and hang up the phone or walk out the door. You can tell them you will talk to them or see them when they can be nice to you, and do as you ask about things. Then stick to it! Do it every time you have to until the behavior changes; it worked with my mom and my alcoholic brother in law. The calls are way less often, and a once a week visit, now and then twice, is OK with mom. I call her most days, and she calls me some; no more aggravation.
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I just said this on another post. My family was not to call me at work! Unless it was an emergency. Tell Mom your boss does not tolerate personal calls. You could be fired. My phone is set up it doesn't ring unless the person is on my contact list. It goes to my voicemail automatically. Tell Mom, you will check for messages at lunch or breaks. If you feel its something that can wait, you will get back to her after work. Tell her she needs to find a life. Contact friends. She has to find things to do on her own. She worked till she was 78. Maybe she can find a p/t job.
You can't be there for her every minute. You have a life.
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Have you thought about a face to face meeting and telling her that you would like her to be evaluated at a psychiatric hospital, she obviously has something going on that she can not follow a simple request like, do not call me at work. Maybe, just maybe, making it an issue that needs medical attention will get her to knock it off. She sounds like a narsasist. So sorry for the PITA she has become.

Also, why are you dealing with all of this busy work for her, give it back and make her do it. This should expend some of her energy. The more you jump for her, the more she thinks she has control.
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BarbBrooklyn this is her ON Xanax lmao..... I can't imagine how she'd be not on it..
Thank you everyone for your responses. I'll try it all and try to take it one day at a time.
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Upstream LOL, I lie to my mom so often about how where I'm going has no cell service! It's the only way I can get a break! Even then she STILL tries calling! I don't answer of course but it just pisses me off that she refuses to respect my time.
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I think it's your mom who needs the Xanax, lol!

Has she ever been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist for a workup of her anxiety issues?
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My heart goes out to you! I would say your mom IS narcissistic - she does what she wants to do and doesn't listen to you or care about what you want. That's pretty self-involved and self-centered. Bothering you at home is one thing but bothering you at work is a big NO-NO in my book! She has no right to mess with your livelihood. I'd tell her if she calls you at work again you won't speak to her for a week or month or whatever you think is appropriate and then stick to it. That's not cruel or unusual.

I'd also set up a specific time that you speak and that's it. Sit down with her and have a 'come to Jesus' meeting about her behavior. Just because she chooses not to engage with anyone else does NOT make that your problem. It's her problem to solve. You are not her social committee. Call her once a day and don't answer any other calls. If she has an emergency, she calls 911. It sounds like she's used to getting her way just by outlasting the other person with her overbearing personality. You just have to be stronger in your resolve to retrain her behavior with you.

Would she move into a senior living place, so that she'd be around others her own age? Just create your own boundaries and then you stick to them, whether she does or not.
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