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Joan is very wise I would take her advice and folloe what she has to say.
(4)
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TreadingWater - God's waiting room! That is brilliant. My mom was narcissistic as is my MIL. MIL is living with us for now. I think because she is not my mother, I can be more objective of her behavior. She does get to my husband. The mantra we are living by is she complains about anything and everything. There is absolutely no way to predict what, if anything, will please her. So, why try? It is futile. Do what is best for you. My MIL gets royally pissed if we don't hang up the kitchen towel where she thinks it should go. She is utterly unappreciative, and sometimes downright ugly, if someone gives her a gift and she doesn't like it. Why waste any energy or guilt on someone who cannot be pleased. When you look at it that way, it is very liberating.
(8)
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In the old age the best place for parents is old age assisted care homes, because there they can find better facilities then home and there are many people of their age. Its seeming bad that parents live in old age home but that is the best place for them in old age.
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No you are not alone. I can totally understand how you are feeling. I've come to the realization that my Mom's nasty, negative comments about EVERYTHING is a direct reflection of the miserable person she feels like on the inside. She is so bitter and unhappy with no self esteem...I feel so sorry for her that her life is that painful for her, but that's on her. She made her bed and is now sleeping in it. I understand where the comments grow from, but it really doesn't make it easier to deal with them. Someone told me when my father was in the last months of his life and fighting everything that he is just trying to hold on to his dignity and remaining manhood. So much was being taken away from him that he was desperate to hold onto something. I'm trying to find a support group myself because I like you do not want to spend anytime with my Mom, but feel I should because I'm all she has. Just keep one thing in mind. It may be all sorts of difficult right now, but when she's gone you will never again have another "mother". So, try to cherish what you can, try to make her life as good as you can, because after she's gone you are the one who has to live with yourself. You are going to be the one to wonder if you did all you could for her. I wish you luck!
(3)
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I am 53 years, only child and dealt with a mother similar in behavior. I was blessed to have grandparents who taught me how to love her in spite of those ways. It took me until I was 40 yrs old to realize that her happiness only came at the expense of my own unhappiness. After years of therapy, the death of one grandparent and grandmother now being 95, I've learned to make choices concerning my mother based on me not her. It is not easy and I am a work in progress but PLEASE remember that they have had generations and/or years of knowing how to trigger that guilt from a child. Drawing boundary lines is not easy but that is what I did concerning my mother and refuse to let her close my heart to love. I love her in spite of her behavior, I speak what I will and will not tolerate from her, I have chosen to be happy and enjoy my blessing, and make the choice of when I will deal with her. Lastly, you are not GUILTY of anything concerning you mother because it is clear you love her but some people are just not able to return that love because their hearts are closed and wounds are kept deep inside themselves...that is not your fault.
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It is comforting (not sure that is the word) to know others have experienced the same thing with their elderly parents. I am convinced that my parents possess one "brain" between them. My father gives the orders, and my mother carries them out. Whatever comes out of his mouth, my mother believes is the gospel. She married him when she was 16 and he was 25. He cheated on her throughout their marriage, but she is so pathetic and weak.....she would never have left him. Together they truly deserve each other. They are both miserable, controlling, hateful, spiteful, jealous, manipulative and down-right mean! Listen, I may not be perfect, but at least my family (children) love and care for me. And I love them way too much to alienate them in any way, shape, or form. My parents get exactly what they give.....and that is nothing. They are empty and cold inside. Wishing things could be different and they would change is counter-productive thinking on my part. One day they may need me, but I may not be available.These people do not deserve my love, respect, or attention. It feels better to just say these things and not keep them all bottled up. God bless each and every one of you who is suffering at the hands of abusive and intolerable parents.
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Dear Tread, been there done that. Although I am most grateful that when I was a little girl, Mom was very nice. But now she has dementia and is not all that nice. I consider the source and the illness. As for your holiday, I am of the opinion that you should not have her come to your place for Christmas. If you feel guilty about that, visit her the following day for on Christmas Eve. But there is no need to have yet another Christmas ruined. Take care and Merry Christmas.
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I feel like I am in the same boat. I am an only child and my Dad was the kindest man and stayed that way all through his Alzheimer's ordeal. My mother is a nasty, self-centered woman and has been that way all her life. She treated my Dad poorly when he had Alzheimers. Guess what, she now has dementia and is nastier than ever. I have made sure she is in a good nursing home and until today, visited almost every day! I have had enough. I refuse to watch her mistreat her aides and nurses and me also. I am 63 and it is time I devote myself to my husband, children, and grandchildren. She made people miserable for years and now it ends. No guilt here. Went through too much of that and will not stand for it any longer. I wish her well and wish her peace.
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AnOnlyChild: Yea, every day is too much if she's a pain. if she were pleasant and fun to be around you wouldn't be posting, ditto about 80% of us. Maybe twice a week. Enjoy the life you created with your kids and husband. We support you:)
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Wow, so glad to have found this site. My mom is 80... miserable.. her neighbours hate her.. all she does is complain about the stupidest things and my husband and I have just bought a home with a suite and she wants to live in it... NOOOOOO... been there done that. We had a farm and she put a double wide mobile on it and was the worst neighbour ever. I can't put myself and my husband through that again.. as it is we are taking her on a holiday next month and she's already complaining! What were we thinking.... Big hug to all the guilt ridden. Why should we feel guilty? I am 49 and sure don't intend to let her ruin my middle age...
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I think you have done enough live your life and be Happy.If you want to go and see Her go and if not don't go.Who says you have to put up with this the rest of your life.You have a right to be happy
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My narcissistic mother has now revoked my durable POA and is spending like crazy. She thinks she can handle her affairs but is still asking me for help. She as caused SO much commotion between two other sisters, one of which is out for her money, the other has her head in the sand and thinks mom is fine. I live close to her so its me for everything. I don't want anything more to do with her. I did so much for the last 4 years, taking her shopping, where ever she wants to go. Now she is calling a cab and spending $60 per outing. Spent $1500 on a lawyer for the revocation. She is mean, swears like a drunken sailor, lies to my face, deceitful, always conniving behind my back. I don't want anything to do with her, no one else in the family wants her either. She belongs in assisted living facility, which she was at before demanding to live by herself. Don't know what to do, but I know she is not healthy for my wellbeing, mentally and physically.
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And I thought I was the only one who had the mother from hell. My mother has been a narcissist, mean, manipulative and spiteful her whole life, caring nothing about anyone but herself. My father passed away 15 years ago and shortly before his death he said "Your mother will never be satisfied with anything" - he'd spent 56 years busting his chops to give her anything and everything but she treated him like dirt.

As she could no longer manage alone - she has Parkinsons, has had strokes and unknown to me until last year, has had dementia for a number of years - four years ago I gave up my home and career and moved 200km to live in her gloomy cold basement to care for her. I couldn't go anywhere without getting a tirade over something or nothing on my return. The only saving grace was when she could no longer get down the stairs to come after me. My life consisted of cooking, cleaning, waiting on her and being verbally abused at every turn, when I wasn't racing her to hospitals due to increasing falls and injuries. Last September she had a really bad fall at 2.a.m. and was in hospital. It was clear that she needed 24 hour care. I looked at a number of nursing homes and, planning to move into the country, found a lovely one in a small village (she went there in October), bought a wee cottage on 2 acres not far away and moved in after Christmas. In January I broke my toe and for the next 3 months spent all my time running back to the city house to get it cleared and renovated (she never spent a penny on it and it was cosmetically rough) ready for sale. To start with she liked the nursing home but she quickly showed her true colours, being mean, demanding, manipulative and nasty to the staff and other residents and playing people off against each other. I'm all she has and she has no friends - drove away the very few she had over the years.

She's now refusing to eat much because "the food isn't to my liking". I've offered to take her something she'd like but she says she doesn't want it. I've taken her a little fruit which she always loved but she throws it out and screams at me never to bring it again. Two months ago she fell, broke her hip and can't walk any more. Since then she's deteriorated terribly, just skin and bone and even more hateful than ever, I dread calling her because she's so nasty and argumentative and it upsets me for the rest of the day. I've had it up to here and then some.

Yes, you're right, it's guilt because we're supposed to take care of our parents but she flatly refused to lift a finger to take care of hers as it was just too much trouble when she was living in a fancy house nearby, driving an expensive car, shopping for nice clothes and generally having a good time.

I give up. I've promised myself I will not call her or go to see her unless and until she can be pleasant and reasonable (fat chance!) before the stress makes me really ill. I just want to get on with rebuilding my life and enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside with my dogs.
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I haven't called her today. The phone rang mid afternoon and I decided to let the machine pick it up. No message was left so I expect it was her. I'll have to answer it eventually or she'll call the cops. Yep, she did that once before "because I was worried about you". Like H*** she was worried - it's just a control thing. Despite her life long mantra of what would the neigbours think, I had four cop cars on my doorstep! Guess I'm going to have to ask her not to call or, if she continues to do so, change my phone number and make it unlisted.
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Betterdays, I'm coming in with a response around #75 after reading up to your post around #39, and Kudos to you for taking a stance. I was going to say how in the world have you been letting your brother dictate to you and make you do 99.9% of the work when he has 100% of the responsibility with his POA's?? He was not doing his job. I am so glad you tossed it all back in his lap. I hope you are truly free now and don't back down!! Blessings to you and everyone else that puts up with this abusive behavior from parents and siblings.
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If she has been mean and nasty to you and everyone else for all her life she is lucky you've included her all those years past. In my opinion, you should spend holidays, which are supposed to be enjoyable, with your children and family members who are pleasant to be around. Your mother will complain no matter what you do, so I think you should help your children have a wonderful family visit that does NOT include the grandmother. To lessen your guilt, visit her the day before or the day after. If she starts complaining, tell her you don't want to hear it and leave if she continues. My own mother is the opposite. She is in a nursing home and her sweetness and friendliness have endeared her to everyone. She reaps what she has sown, in that staff members greet her, touch her, smile at her, and tell me how much they love her every day. She never complains, although to be honest she has a lot she COULD complaint about -- chronic pain, lack of mobility and independence, loneliness for her deceased husband. But she chooses to exude kindness, compassion and love for humankind. People get it. She is surely an example to me. Several weeks ago we had a family reunion at the nursing home and spent four days enjoying her and each other. She had a blast! The love she's shared her whole life is coming back to her now in the nursing home.
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Dear Treading Water, You have NOTHING to be guilty about. From all these posts, you have realized by now that your Mom had a personality disorder all her life and it is made worse by her dementia and old age - Not your fault! Now that she is in a facility, make sure she stays there, and start rebuilding yourself and your family dynamics the way YOU want them to be. If you care to visit her at all, decide how much time you can emotionally handle, even if it is only 1 hour per week, and then stick to it. You will be surprised what a load is lifted from your shoulders when you do that (it took me over 6 months to regain my emotional and physical strength after my Mom went into a NH, and she was not a miserable personality- just very strong-willed and stubborn). Additionally, if she bad mouths you during your visit, I would tell her "Mom you are not being nice or respectful to me right now, so I am leaving" - and do it. Same thing every visit, until she gets the picture. If it doesn't sink in, you may want to stop going altogether - NO guilt. Only other thing I can think of is medications - drug interactions? something for the 'psychotic' behavior? It might help some, but I don't think anything is going to change her basic personality at this point - again, NOT your fault. With her out of your home, I would concentrate on myself and my family's happiness, and would leave Mom out of all holiday dinners, to enjoy yourselves first and foremost, and then all go see her later for an hour or so IF you ALL feel like it, and then go back home and have another holiday drink to unwind!! You're 60 years old, more than paid your dues, and deserve some happiness at this point in your life. I pray for you and all the other caregivers on this site.
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Mockingbird, I think your did the right thing for yourself. I would not let proximity dictate who gets to handle her shenanigans. Personally I would pass her off to the sister who is in it for the money = let her earn it LOL. I think she did you a favor by revoking your POA. Whoever has it now is legally bound to see to her affairs.
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Ashlynne, You father told you the truth so long ago. It's sad that your Mom has gone through so much illness, but in a way it seems like she's paying the dues for the misery she has caused you and your Dad all these years. The way she is now, and then, you are aware is not your fault and you certainly have done everything you could to make things better for her. I don't blame you for giving up - that in itself took courage (to push away the nagging feelings of guilt that seem to plague us). Sounds like you are an only child - you can still oversee her care and wellbeing in the NH, while keeping your personal distance. I hope you keep your promises to yourself. Prayers and blessings to you.
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We are going through the same thing with our mother,, my father passed away on christmas night and we took her in and have done so much to keep her home.. Her frontal lobe dementia has progressed and she has turned into the same hateful self serving mother she has always been and add a sense of entitlement to that. Her eating always puts her in the hospital she refuses to eat healthy even though my sister n law came down this go around to bring her home and do everything right by cooking for her a cardiac diet. My son saw her in the kitchen eating poorly while everyone was asleep and the next day her cdiff relapsed and we had to call the paramedics.. She is awful to deal with telling us she is not sick and we are trying to get rid of her.. She even went as far as to tell my sister she owes her because she took care of her when she was little and sick,, saying how stupid she was to do that.. How crazy is that. My sister lost it and went off on her the other morning and then felt guilty.. We have decided she is going into a nursing home this time for good we are going to have the hosptial transfer her straight there.. I kind of feel like why kill yourself for a mother that doesnt remember, realize or appreciate all the effort and money spent to keep her home.. Bottom line she is never going to be happy she never has been. its tough but we have finally had enough
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My heart goes out to all of you who have suffered or are suffering through this nightmare. There comes a time when we hit rock bottom and know we must take a stand, but we think we're alone and we feel so guilty. This forum is a godsend, sharing experiences, receiving support and giving us the strength to do what we know we must do.

I have vowed not to call my mother in the NH, maybe go to see her no more than once a week and concentrate on rebuilding my life. Lifting out of my deep depression, this morning I'm taking my dogs to the dog park to meet up with friends and this afternoon I'll do some gardening. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I've got a way to go yet but I won't give in. You can't put a price on freedom and peace of mind.
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Way to go Ashlynne! You're probably 50 lbs lighter already!
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Thanks Orangeblossom. I haven't been to visit the NH in a week and not called for several days. I have some strawberries ripening and next week I'll take her some. If she gets abusive I'll leave probably never to return. After a lifetime of abuse, I have no choice but to take a stand permanently.
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My mom is not as bad as yours, but it's more and more of a challenge to have her over for holidays, so last Thanksgiving, we had her over for lunch and we just served ourselves a tiny bit, knowing we'd eat again later. She had a nice time and was soon tired and we took her home. Then our friends came over and we did our thing. It worked well.
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My mom had me (the youngest) ,2 older sons,and a daughter(the oldest).She was a self centered,irresponsible,abusive alcoholic for 15years,cared little for her kid's welfare or safety.Now,after 2 abusive marriages,she met a good man and they are on their 25th year of marriage,has stopped drinking,but is just as hateful as ever towards me.I pay her and her husband rent & stay in a one room structure to pay off bills after divorce of my wife.I gave her numerous gifts of love ,help constantly on her property when they ask & DON'T ask for my help,but still,the hateful comments,the insults,the provoking comments continue.I am trying desperately to pay off enough of my debts to get away from her.I sympathize with her gentle,caring husband who endures it all from her as well.I cannot understand where all her animosity and hate comes from,except that possibly she has just chosen to be a bitter,self absorbed,ungodly hateful woman that blames the world for her faults and bad marriages,and takes it out on her kids.She has totally alienated her daughter and niece,who will no longer have anything to do with her.They have no friends in town,only past ones online.They hate visitors and she only gets emails and facebook comments from her other sons who keep their relationship"safe,brief,and distant" which she is totally unaware of.She sees nothing wrong in her attitude and actions toward her kids.
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I really feel your pain here. I moved my grandmother to Texas from Washington State a little more than a year ago. We added on to our home for her and thought everything would be ok. We have now moved her into an assisted living. I feel like the roller coaster of caring for her is literally killing me. I had no clue what I was getting into. She was always absent from my life until about 10 years ago. I have now learned that she obviously had psych issues on and off all of her life. To say the least she is not easy. Every visit I feel like a literal punching bag...maybe it is just me taking it too personally. I finally got online and googled and found this group. Hoping you guys can help me along this path. My husband is super understanding and is worried about me. This may sound crazy but I think just typing this might be helping some although I will have to stop now because the tears are keeping me from even seeing what I write, lol. Any advise is appreciated.
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Dump her into AL or a nursing home. She's never been there for you. "Doormat" stamped on your forehead do you have?
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You know. We think we are alone in this journey and when we find out that we are not I think it makes things easier. My mother and her sister are the only ones left of 6 kids and my mother has outlived them all and is the oldest now. She was in the middle. The boys (my uncles) I never really heard much about. I just know that all their kids had some serious problems also. My grandfather was a real demon and I think that had a lot to do with how they all turned out. They learned fighting growing up and carried it on throughout their lives. My mother is exactly the same except she lives with me. She complains so much especially when we are going down the road sometimes I want to just crash into a telephone pole. There are 6 of us kids and my sister and myself are the only ones that have anything to do with her. I want to shake her and say WAKE UP OLD WOMAN. CANT YOU SEE THERE IS A REASON YOUR KIDS DONT COME SEE YOU. It cant be them, ITS YOU. She complains about any friends I have, any spouses my siblings have, anyone I have dated or even known. Complains about food. LORD, does she complain about food. She will go into a restaurant and order a meal. Take 3 bites and say it taste bad. If she eats anything to amount to anything, she then comes home and says it made her sick. Today her dialysis clinic sent her home with 2 Thanksgiving plates. Personally they were delicious. She said the dogs wouldn't even eat them. She complains about EVERY meal and I don't want to even cook for her anymore. I know she feels bad, but why waste a meal when she is going to get up in the middle of the night and make a apple butter sandwich anyway. After she throws what ever meal she had that evening in the trash. Milk goes bad quickly...LOL..No its not. She smells the jug and is it has any smell at all it gets poured down the drain. Bread isn't fresh after 2 days and she wants more and usually half loaf gets thrown away. She will sit and watch TV and make fun of people at how ugly they are. So much negativity is really bad for her health and everyone around her. I told her nurse the other day that I didn't want to hate her, but she is making it easy. If I confront her about anything here come the tears...Im going to a nursing home. So the other day I surprised her with 3 brochures from different nursing homes. Told her when she got out of dialysis she was going to tour them and pick one. She had saw where I had been calculating on one of them and I think she knew I was serious. When I picked her up from Dialysis that afternoon she got in the car crying. Said she didn't want to go anywhere, she would be good. It broke my heart. Like a 5 year old. But the constant complaining still gets to me.Today when we were eating the meal the clinic sent home that I thought was so good, she literally got up from her chair in her bedroom and came in the living room where I was eating to tell me the rolls were soggy. I laughed and said, YOU GOT UP FROM EATING JUST TO TELL ME THAT... I was reading something that said that this is perhaps her only way of conversation. She actually doesn't know how to carry on a conversation because she has complained all her life and if she cant complain, she has nothing to say. Sounds crazy I know, I just wish I could change her. She is getting old, sick and wont be around much longer. I would like to see her make a change so her kids would come visit before she dies. We're all dying but her doctor said she had a year at most. Even knowing that, it doesn't make her complaining easier. I believe it is GOD's way of making her death much easier on me. Since I have been her caregiver for over 10 years now. I am on disability and take her to all her appointments and everything. And since she has lived with me for several years I think I will be confused when she does die. I will not know what to do with myself. And now my health isn't too good, heck I might go before she does. Was talking with her sisters sons the other day and they lost a brother several years ago. They had found a letter that he had written where he said he wished he could go 1 day without his mother wishing him dead. Only in choice words if you know what I mean. HOW MEAN. A mother to wish her own son dead. I personally think he actually took his own life. He had been involved in an accident which he was injured severely and was having a hard time. Now she is in a wheel chair and her other two sons don't even bother visiting until they absolutely have to. She, like her sister, my mother, birches ALL THE TIME. I never thought that my mothers death would be a relief but right now GOD FORGIVE ME, but I think it will be. If I had one wish it would be for her to find GOD before she dies. But I feel she has done something in her life along the way that she thinks GOD will not forgive her for. Anyway, know your not alone. My mother doesn't know her grandkids and doesn't care. Life is all about HER. Never sends a card, calls and wishes someone happy birthday but wonders why she didn't get a card. You know, it is sad, but when you see that you aren't the only person dealing with an uncontrollable parent somehow you don't feel so bad. GOD BLESS You all, and know you aren't alone.
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Mark if you are able try to detatch yourself from her complaining-before my mom died after she screemed at me yet again-I said to myself I am taking back my power and will not let her words hurt me-it set me free-she became ill soon after that trip and died a few weeks later-but at least I had broken free of her verbal abuse-your mother is narcisstic and her behavior is classtic of that type of person-it is not your fault even though they do not see the problem being them. I felt relief when the husband died he was the same as my mom-it was all about him-I also had taken my power back from him before he died-now I have a kind nice man in my life-he says he can not erase what I went through but can make my life good from now on-which he does every day and he appreciats me for who I am-I finally have someone who loves me for the first time in my life.
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I also have a *very* difficult (undiganosed BPD/NPD/Lord Knows What) mother with high anxiety & depression and "nerves" my whole life. It's her world and I just get to live in it. She's in senior apartment now, and will likely shift down to the AL unit in the next few months. She has dementia, diabetes, and a very long list of maladies and complaints. If there's nothing to complain about, she'll start some drama about something utterly trivial. Very controlling, threatening, dishonest, and emotionally manipulative, always. Dementia has dulled the sword though, and she's not nearly as crafty & clever as before.

I moved nearly 2,000 miles away the minute I got out of college, and have only been back a handful of times. Now she's a mile away, but I still control my boundaries.

Those of us in this situation must get therapy. It is a real sanity saver - no pun intended. I learned to re-evaluate my priorities and cast off that heavy concrete cape of guilt. Having her live with me for nearly a month really made that crystal clear.

Every day, I give myself permission to do these things:
- Put my husband and children first and do what they need, as they are my support system and the family's future. When I fail to put these guys first, this is the only time when I feel guilty.

- Do what I need to, to ensure we can take care of ourselves. I work full time in a professional career, and it's a big part of who I am. The paycheck is mandatory.

- Take care of myself, which includes NOT doing certain things, like being a door mat.

- I am allowed to do what is possible for me. Not what is supposed to be possible by TV daughters in TV families, or what is possible for other people in different situations. I am not omnipotent, and it all just is not possible at the same time.

- I am allowed to have boundaries and say no. My mother said No to me more times than I can count as part of growing up, and the same word is necessary as she ages for a lot of the same reasons!

- I am allowed to be an adult. I do not need to take that subservient, compliant, calculating and adjusting child's position any more. Her feelings are her problem. I am grown with obligations and am not "on call". I am not responsible for her happiness or any other feeling. I *am* responsible for her safety and that is all.

It has taken me a lifetime of work to get to the point where I don't feel responsible for how her day went, or trying to be a certain way to keep her from being upset with me, or denying my real "truth" just to make sure she doesn't fly off the handle and make us all pay hell.

My therapist helped me understand I can let myself out of jail. And I'm not going back in there.
I wish that everyone here could connect with a good therapist to help clear things up and set matters straight.

I also think "if my kids do this to me when I'm old, will I be OK with it". And that's how I try to gauge my choices now. I don't intend to be an emotional sink-hole or manipulator or hateful obligation who controls them. I want them to live their lives and be happy. I will have had my turn by then.
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