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Exhausted Piper, I was about to post a longer comment here which I’ll do in a moment, but first, for you, stay strong and focused on what you want to say, and when things blow up, which they surely will, just walk away. Good luck and remember you are doing the right thing. You do not deserve such abuse, nor should you put up with it. Block your mothers calls and texts for a while afterwards if you need to.
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Elaine1962, opening up to other people is very very helpful. I told my aunt and uncle about the problems with my mum a few months ago and since then I’ve had more support form them than I’ve had in my whole life. When you’ve had a lifetime of abuse, at first it’s really hard to believe that people can be kind to you, but accepting their support has helped lighten the burden. Also, the blame culture I can totally relate to. I grew up always getting the blame for everything. As an adult this led to anxiety and a fear of socialising. Through counselling I’ve recognised this in myself, and the more I now involve myself with supportive friends and family, the less I worry about getting blamed for things. Aleta61, well done for walking away. Stay strong and firm about this. You deserve a life without abuse. As a society we expect that mothers love their children, but some mothers are just not capable of this. Accept you can never change their behaviour, and don’t agonise over it for years as I have done. The first lesson my counsellor taught me was that I am not responsible for other people’s behaviour. My husband tells me he has been trying to tell me this for years, but for some reason the message really hit home during early counselling. Now, every time my mother behaves badly, I remind myself that she is at fault for this, not me. I have to keep repeating this to myself like a mantra, as it is hard to turn around a lifetime of thinking in a certain way. I am steadily getting stronger and that is fine. It’s better to make small steps towards a better life for yourself that to expect to change everything instantly. Hope this helps some of you - we are all here on this forum through choice, and writing about your problems is a form of therapy. I am finding that sharing my own experiences of coping is also making me feel better - giving a little is always good for us, but that is something our mothers have never learned.
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Chris, thanks for the support. I'm going to stay strong and get this over with. It's overdue as it is, and even if she does blow up (she will) I will have gotten things off my chest, and set the wheels in motion for change.

The advice you have offered is also good. The mantra you tell yourself about your mother's bad behavior not being your fault is one that I recently started to use too. I had been told that in counseling last summer, but it just kept slipping out of my mind until a poster here (BarbBrooklyn) reminded me again. It's crazy that other people have to tell us that someone else's bad behavior is not our fault!

I also agree with you that talking with others does help. I'm glad you are getting support from your aunt and uncle. I need to be more proactive in that area. I'm able to talk to my sister, and she is supportive but long distance. I did tell her I'm at the end of my rope and if things don't drastically change soon I'll move before I lose my health and mind. She gets it, she knows how my mom is and fully supports the idea that my mom needs to move to assisted living to be around her peers with memory care support for when that time comes. We were even looking at places online together on the phone. I have a feeling we'll be revisiting that conversation after today.
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Chriscat, thank you for all your support. It really helps to hear other people put things in perspective. It helps to hear her behavior is not my fault and I can’t change her behavior but I can change how I react to it.

exhausted piper, we are all behind you 100 percent. Stay focused and strong with your mother. Tell her everything you have told us. When she blows up at you, walk away.
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I’m glad my own experiences and how I’m coping are helping others. I can see I’ve made a lot of progress as 6 months ago I wouldn’t have been able to give advice to others as I was so lost and distressed. Tomorrow would have been my dad’s birthday, the first since he died last year. I know my mother won’t give me any support or kindness for this (they divorced decades ago) if I mention it tomorrow. She won’t remember it anyway even though they were married for nearly 20 years. In the past I would have been angry and upset about her lack of compassion but I’ve learned to just accept it and instead spend time with people who do care. Tomorrow I will do what feels right for me and without any involvement from her. I shall light a candle, read a poem, plant something in the garden for new life and raise a glass to my dad.
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ExhaustePiper....I so feel your pain. It's like we have the same mother. Mine has refused socialization...or alienated every person her age that she could have been friends with. She has depended on me & my sister to form her life for her. It's an impossible situation. I have absolutely no desire to spend any extended period of time with her. She is so in denial about her life & physical limitations. She's always saying how independent she is !!! It's insane...she's stopped driving years ago...just stopped....so that makes her dependent...just one of 100 things that has to be done for her. She's hijacked my life for most of my adult life...while I married...raised a son...tended to our home & worked a very demanding full-time job in Finance. None of that matters to her as long as her every need has been met. God forbid you don't meet her demands in HER timeframe !! Her attitude & nasty comments will be dumped all over you. My ex-husband couldn't stand her. He hated how she treated me.

Being free of her rath has still not really hit me yet. That horrible blowup happened 1 week ago tomorrow. I had anxiety attacks for 2 days after that....& I'm not prone to those at all. She's called me but I ignore it...thank God she doesn't text. I found-out she's called 2 of my cousins recently & told them all kinds of crazy...thru me under the bus !! They know none of it's true.

I hope you can steel yourself up & talk with her. I've been in your shoes so many times. My conversations have never...ever gone well. I'm thinking good thoughts for you. This crazy has to end. Your health & wellbeing should be your main concerns now. I'm happy you have your husband to lean on. My sister, cousin & assorted friends have been my rock. You are not alone in this fight :)
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Aleta1961, sorry to hear you are still suffering the fallout from a week ago. I too had a panic attack after an outburst from my mum. I’d never had one before and had always thought of myself as a fairly resilient person. They are scary when they happen, but in reality are a perfectly understandable reaction to an abnormal situation. They are also telling you that this relationship is toxic and really bad for your health, so do keep telling yourself that putting distance between you and your mum is essential for the good of your own health. Your mother is using whatever weapons she has in order to try to undermine you, including lying to your cousins about you. Thankfully it sounds like they know the real you and that she is just trying to alienate other family members from you, which is wicked and unforgivable. When I found out that just a few months after my mother moved in with us she started lying about me and trying to present me in a poor way to people in my neighbourhood who I’d known for years, I felt sick with shock and just couldn’t understand what I’d done to deserve it. She would tell them that she did all the housework, suggested that I was lazy and did nothing, when in actual fact I did everything while she went clothes shopping every day! What she failed to realise is that they saw me doing everything in the home and garden, and saw her dressed up at the bus stop every day, so it was quite clear who was lying. It still lead to a lot of anxiety, as I was worried about what was being said about me, and what people would think of me. I’ve since learned that I cannot do anything about the lies my mother tells, and that it’s pointless worrying about it. Instead I believe that over time, people see the real you from your actions and behaviours, and that applies to my mother as well as to me. I’ve also decided that if anyone should mention these lies to me, I’m going to invite them round for coffee with me and my mother, and ask them to repeat what they’ve told me, for her to explain. I know this would end in rage and tears, but my mother would be exposed for what she is. There’s also a danger that you can go over and over the bad things that have been said over the years, and that too is not good for your health. When I find myself doing this, I try to remember a few more healthy and positive thoughts, such as reminding myself that there are other people who love me, and that I have a right to a happy life and to look after myself. A health professional once told me to be kind to myself. I thought that sounded like a cliche but I can now see that it is a very simple and straightforward way of putting things, and absolutely right.
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Am I being unreasonable to feel a little fed up that my husband made a dentist appointment for my mother at midday on my birthday, so we can't have a whole day out together? There are local volunteer drivers who would take her for a very small fee, but he hasn't suggested this. I know it's petty, but it's yet another instance of her needs coming first because my husband is too weak to risk a nasty scene with her if he objects to being her errand boy. I don't want to suggest it either, for the same reason and because he would probably have a go at me for being silly or selfish. Sometimes I think he might as well be her husband not mine now, as her being here has affected our relationship quite badly.
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I would rearrange it and tell her that the appointment has been moved because both you and your husband are already busy that day and thus are not available as taxi service - you don't have to explain why. My husband is wonderful but it's the sort of thing he'd do as he's hopeless at multi tasking and would easily double book something else. Book something that you want to do for your birthday and put your carer duties aside for your one special day.
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Ladies, thank you all for the support. I want to give you a shocking update.

First I didn't have the talk on Saturday. I didn't feel prepared enough, so I didn't call or text and my mom didn't either. I texted her Sunday morning and said I wasn't "mad" at her but I did want to talk to her about how I have been feeling, and was 11:30 okay, she said that it was.

I actually took a propranolol so my heart wouldn't beat through my chest. Didn't want a xanax because I wanted a completely clear head. Keep in mind having a conversation with this woman about anything she doesn't want to discuss is like trying to ride a wild bull.

I actually wish I could have recorded the conversation. It went shockingly well! I'm STILL in shock. I was there for over three hours. I kept control of the reins the entire time which is a miracle in and of itself. I think what made this different than any other conversation we've had in decades (at least) is that the first thing I did was go into great detail explaining my crippling depression to her. I gave some back story about how I've struggled with managing depression all of my adult life and reminded her that I've had a psychiatrist for over 20 years. I told her I learned ways to manage things and managed to live pretty happily. Then I told her how all that changed two years ago when she moved here. I told her about trying different meds and enduring terrible side effects, my lack of self care and how some days I could not even get out of bed. I told her ALL last summer I was in therapy. I laid it all out.

A few times she tried to interrupt but after I acknowledged what she said I kept the reins and kept going. I said I felt she didn't like it here, and that I regretted buying the condo, and that we could sell it. I said I would have done things differently.

Then I told her the worst part was that I couldn't talk to her about any of this. I don't know if some kind of mother instinct kicked in for once in her life or she was just glad I came down talking about what I mess I am, but she listened with concern.

That's when I told her being unable to talk about her diagnosis was extremely hard on me. This part got a little touchy at times because she did have some push back, but I chose my words carefully and respectfully so she would understand I wanted to be an advocate. I asked what she expected of me in terms of care and she said she did not want any of her kids taking care of her if she got bad. I WAS SHOCKED. Right then I met her half way by telling her I've done a lot of research and that there would be many things to try before she would need professional care. I said the biggest thing would be safety, like wondering out in the middle of the night. I assured her she is not even close to that yet (she isn't) and that there were many things that could be done to help the situation.

I then moved to the lack of socialization, and how being with peers and keeping her mind stimulated is something she needs. She agreed and we talked about some of her concerns in this area, but I maintained it needed to be done because isolating in her condo was the worst thing she could do. Somewhere in all of the socialization talk I got it out that I could not fill those social voids and that I needed my own life too with my husband. Again she shockingly agreed.

She told me she didn't want to go to the senior center and said something about not liking the building. Then I remembered it is in a big county building with lots of other stuff so she probably didn't feel like she could navigate it, and she also said she didn't like big groups (I already knew this). So I mentioned the senior day care- not using those words (they call it something else) and she agreed to try it!! I was again shocked!

We agreed to try & communicate better & to plan our get togethers (unless emergency) and she was fine with all of it.

I'm still in shock. No joke. Was this really my mother?

Now, the test will be the follow through.
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I also want to thank the people on this forum. Without all the wisdom that has been shared with me, the emotional support and bonding over so many similar stories I would NOT have been able to have the conversation I had with my mom yesterday.

I'm not going anywhere because this journey is far from over but I want you all to know I will FOREVER be grateful for what you all have given me. I hope as time goes on I can do the same in return as new people come in from the trenches ready to lose their freaking minds.

Thank you.
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Piper, I am SOOOOOO proud of you!!!!

Good job getting the dialogue started and keeping hold of the reins!
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Well done Piper! It probably went well because you'd prepared yourself well and you stayed firm in outlining your difficulties. I hope this is making you feel a bit better in yourself. Hoping it will all continue to go well for you.
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Good for you Piper ! You've made some headway. That must a huge relief for you. Speaking calmly & keeping control the conversation...when it's possible...are key elements to getting your point across to Mother's like we all seem to have. My sister has been somewhat successful in this approach. Our Mother seems to listen to her & responds better to her than me. I'm too low on her Totem Pole to deserve the same respect & acknowledgement. Our whole family realizes who & what she is. She's not fooling anyone. We see now that we've let it go on far too long. My brother's widow called me after being at my Mother's house. No telling what all she was told...we didn't discuss the particulars...but she asked me point blank..."Why did you wait sooo long to do this ? " She's seen how I've been treated for the 30 yrs she's been my sister-in-law. She told my Mother how wrong she is & to make amends with me. I'm not interested any time soon. She told me to stay away from her for now...it as long as I need to. Her support & acknowledgment have told me I'm right in what I'm doing.

Thanks so much to this community of good people...all of in situations we never deserved to be in. Support during bad times is invaluable. You all have so much to offer. Maybe someday we'll all get a better outcome...just like Piper has :)

All
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Piper,

Fantastic news! I wish you and your family all the best. You handled that perfectly! We really do have to be direct when going through transitional times.

We also have to put ourselves first, which can be difficult due to being made to feel so damn guilty all of the time.

You took charge and succeeded! Wonderful news! I am pulling for you. 💗
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I am at my wits' end today; my brother decided - on my birthday - to tell me that Mum has now noticed we are not going round as much and, as expected, objects to it; she says she misses my husband (the compliant one who usually does her bidding; not me, of course!) and that I am always either ill or working (this from the woman who once said I shouldn't waste my degree). She told him she had left her carer bill for my husband to take to the office even though she passes it on her way to the cafe, and admitted she had sat in a cold draught all day because she 'couldn't be bothered' to get up and close the window. When I told my husband, who moaned that he is 'pig in the middle' and can't please both of us, that he should really put me first, we practically had a fight. I can't get a doctor's appointment easily because of coronavirus; we are sure Mum is depressed and may have early dementia, but if we suggest going to the GP she will accuse us of 'wanting her taken away by the men in white coats' and probably refuse to go. I am desperate; I don't know where to turn for help.
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Im so sorry Helen...it's a really tough spot to be in. I feel your pain. These mothers of ours want to be the driving force in everything we do. It's maddening !! Nothing satisfies them. They suck the air out of the room...an American saying. The neediest people on the planet...its worse than a 2 yr old. My Mother has always preferred the men in our family...females will always take a backseat....but take all crap !! Men can do no wrong. Your husband has to be on your side in this. My sister banded together with me & has had 2 very long & upfront conversations about her behavior towards me & my ending all contact with her & why I had to do it. It's a tug-of-war situation with these narcissistic mothers. We can't change them. If you can...please try to have a calm, straightforward discussion about your concerns. It right help. Please continue to update us on your situation. Venting here...to people who walk in the same shoes as you will hopefully help ease some of your burdens. Hang in there Helen :)
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Are you my sister?
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Omg I think we have the same mother!!!!
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hello. the same. what a ball of sh*t, right. I do for my mom alone, while my dead beat half witted stoned siblings ignore every responsibliity. Yet she gets along with them. Me I am the *sshole. I just keep telling myself, you'd do this for any human. Nonetheless I long for her passing. She's miserable. I've only recently stopped supplementing what my dead beat siblings take from her every month. I tell myself when she is finally dead if that is even a possibility I am free from them all. Thank God for friends and chosen family and travel and curiousity. That saved me.
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You are in control of your own boundaries. You're mother isn't. Do what you feel is best for you and your family. Your mother made her bed years ago. Now she can lay in it. I have a mother the same way. I refuse to let her cross those boundaries. Good luck
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I understand what you’re going through. I’ve had to distance myself from my mom for similar reasons. She now is recovering from chemo and radiation but she should be stronger by now. She is manipulating everyone in order to get attention and she thinks it’s perfectly fine for someone to totally give up their own family to take complete care of her. She is verbally abusive , complains about everything and nothing is enough for her. She’s even jealous that my stepfather is sicker than her. She doesn’t want anyone to help him. She says that he needs to be in a nursing home. And yet she refuses to get up out of bed , do her rehab, listen to Dr orders,or even use her walker. She can walk by herself but just needs the support of the walker. She’d rather make one of us live with her and wait on her hand and foot. I’m at the end if my rope. I wish you all the best because I’m right there with you. I don’t know who to turn to. She will not accept any help unless they do everything she wants including sleeping. She wants to control when you sleep and what time you go to sleep. No one can get through to her. I’m ready to walk out of her life but I’m scared. I have no answers yet but hoping God will work this out for you and me. Take care
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I am 51 and have had a very hateful relationship with my mother, pretty much since birth. She has made it quite clear to me and my sisters that we are worthless and a waste of space. I even stopped talking to her for 4 years. Well, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's so I moved back home to be her full time care giver. It was going great for about 7 months. I had the kind of relationship with my mom that I had hoped for all my life. Then she went down hill fast so we had to put her into a rehab for awhile. I don't know what happened but she turned evil again. She only stayed at the rehab for a few weeks and was back home again. She was absolutely unbearable. She even called the cops on me because I didn't do what she wanted me to and told the police that I was keeping her hostage in her room. We finally put her back into a nursing home and she has gotten worse, attitude wise. I don't even like talking to her anymore because all of our conversations end up with her telling me how much she hates me and that I don't care about her, blah, blah, blah. She treats my step dad like absolute garbage but he just takes it. I don't understand how a "mother" can behave in such a way towards her own children.
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Be grateful you are not like that.
My mom is as evil as evil gets as she always spent the welfare checks on alcohol and cigarettes now she complains about anything or anyone but she has always been This way "entitled" but never worked. Inconsiderate, disrespectful, rude, self centered, self rightous and just plain fake. Her day consist of bad mouthing all her children especially if we stick up for one another always trying to pit one against another. I will not ask for my grandchildren to have to even know her any longer for fear of mental abuse she may instill. Nobody likes her she never had true friends. 12 children and we were only a welfare check. She doesn't take responsibility for her terrible life of drinking and kicking us out at 11 years of age complete denial and living a liein her crazy mind. She's basically a pathetic thing who is not worth knowing.
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Today is my mom's 84th birthday & it hasn't been a good day!
She lives w/ me & pushes my buttons & challenges me into arguing... & it wears on my mental health. She wants everything her way , entitlement....which i cannot always give. If she doesn't get her way...boy..watch out..she's all over me. I don't know how to handle it as she cannot afford to live any place else.
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Beagle, when your mom gets nasty, leave the room or the house. If she asks for something impossible say "I can't possibly do that".

It takes two to engage. Be the Grey Rock.
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I think I have the male version of her as my father. I have not been able to figure out a way to deal with him either. I am trying to help him as well. He has burned every bridge and nobody wants anything to do with him.
The only thing I can say is don't call or see her when you are having a hard time with her. Take time for yourself as long as you know she is safe and she has people to care for her then step away for a bit.
Know that you are not alone there are many of us going through it and you can always find someone to talk to. You are not selfish you just expect to be treated like a human being should be treated.
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This could be my father-in-law. He was a controlling awful man who tried to manipulate everyone he could through threats and downright meanness. My mother-in-law died after 65 years of marriage and he had no one to control so he focused on my husband. Fortunately we lived 120 miles away so my spouse could not drop everything and be there on a moment's notice. My husband's brothers lived hundreds of miles away and they didn't bother to get involved with his care plus they were so intimidated by him that their spouses refused to get involved either. Before she died we moved both of his parents into an assisted living home. The minute she died he hired someone to help him move back home since we refused. Over the space of 6 months he was in and out of the same home three times. We would get calls constantly from him to come see him because of some problem. Fortunately it would go directly to voicemail. Finally the supervisor of the home denied him moving back and said he was a mean spirited controlling man and unwelcome. He hired a homecaregiver someone he could boss around who was recommended and related to his handiman. She took him for thousands of dollars plus a new car. Fortunately for all of us (I know this sounds terrible) he died. After 17 years I still have flashbacks of his awfulness when I see something that reminds me of him. He was truly an awful bastard and that is how he will be remembered and that is his legacy.
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Get on with your life with no regrets . Life is too short to second guess yourself. She is unappreciative and you can’t change that. So, be done with her to save yourself.
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