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I have a story somewhat close to your own. I stopped talking to my Mother for 25 years and she moved clear across the country. Happy days. I decided to start talking again with the feeling she's getting older and needs help. The mini Stroke came and my brother here (across the country) had to bring her back here to live in assisted living that we bent over backwards to create for her. Spent money and time trying to create a palace in her apt. --They at the place call her apt. the "penhouse" and her comment was---well I don't know why anyone would call it that." It was beautiful and I spent hours decorating shopping toting this barge and that couch and well....you know what I mean. It's not appreciated. We don't really like each other but she knows my brother and I are all she has. Everyone there is beneath her. My brother goes there one day a week and I go one day a week. Each looking in on her making sure she's healthy and well cared for ---apt clean and she's eating ok. I run errands and he does bills.---We spend the time we need to and do the right thing. (Doctor appt. too but most assisted living have an in house doctor)Nothing says you have to stay and be abused. Limit her holiday visit to an hour or two and bring her back home. Have a meal for her and sit down or have someone feed her and back she goes. There's been a time or two when things get nasty and I pick up my things and walk out the door. Why do you need to spend so much time with this woman. You are (sort of) obligated to see that she's well cared for---but one person does not get to create mental and emotional havoc for a whole family ---why are" you" allowing this? This is FAMILY ABUSE"--
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II have a similar "Mother" as yourself. With the help of a therapist, and support of my husband, I've finally got it into my head that you can't change people, just change how you respond or not respond to them. If you feel good about everything you've done for her and have jumped through hoops to make her happy then, you're a better person for it. Most children would never do for their parents like you are doing for yours. Especially after the way she treated you your entire life. I would recommend that you be happy with yourself and pat yourself on the back. We with narsisistic parents know what you have had to struggle with. She should count her blessings that her child still has anything to do with her. If she doesn't like the "penthouse" you've created, well, all I have to say is, "must suck to be her?". Kudos my friend.
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I brought my 84 yr. old mom home one year ago and she also has been mean, combative, and foul-mouthed. She now takes a low dose of Zoloft and low dose Aricept for Alzheimer's, which has helped halfway. Mostly, it has been like teaching a toddler what is acceptable and not. My heart goes out to you all because I know how hard it is.
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My Dad exhibits this type of behavior more so when he's sundowning or being fed, or diaper changed or bathed. He yells and cusses at the top of his lungs. WOW, the things that come out of his mouth are embarrassing to say the least. Everyone in the room is fair game as his words are his weapon since he is immobile. I realized that the aids that work with him need to take more time and explain what they are going to do. Give him time to process it and move him slowly. He's bedridden and I'm sure it may be painful for him to be moved. I was told he has advanced Dementia. He is in Nursing Home # 3 and I'm looking for Nursing Home # 4 as they want to discharge him and I believe its because of his behavior. Another thing that I have just figured out this week is that he hates the food. Looking at it, I wouldn't eat it either. He spits it out and yells at the aids. So, every night this past week, I went by Burger King and picked up his favorite, Whopper w/Cheese, French Fries and a Chocolate Shake. I spoke to his Dr first and she said to give him whatever he will eat. Yes, its not the best since he's Diabetic, but he's 83 so I feel he deserves it. They chase his Blood Sugar with insulin anyway. Its amazing, to see the change in him. He seems content, full and he's QUIET. His outbursts are fewer and its become our routine. I would think that he'd be sick and tired of them by now, but I don't think he remembers what he ate the day before. When Dad is fussy and mean, I try to look for the root cause. Something is triggering it. Even in his pre-Dementia years he was mean and exhibited this type of behavior so I"m used to it. Thats just his personality and I'm not going to change it. But what I've discovered is "comfort food" that he loves has made a big improvement. I walk in and don't hear Dad yelling and cussing from the front of the building. The wing is actually quiet and peaceful at least for now.
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Stay strong people. I have a similar experience with my mother. I hadnt spoken to her for 9 years and when i went back she was still miserable and rejected me. My absence hadnt changed her. She would tell complete lies to try and ruin my friendships and relationships with other people so that i can be alone like she is.
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My mum is really miserable and she hates me as she told me so. I stayed away for 9 years and when i came back, she was still the same. She would tell lies in order to ruin my friendships and relationships with others.
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My mother has lived with me on and off for 15yrs. She has dementia and she has always had a difficult personality. It is hard to tell if she is in her dementia state sometimes or just being her normal stubborn, controlling self. My brother is not well and my sister is married and not interested in helping my mom or in giving me a well needed break. My brother drank most of his life and now has health problems. It is not a nice situation to be in. People don't want to get to know me because once they find our her personality, then they think I am the same way and I don't get a chance to get out or meet new people. It is not a nice situation to be in. What are the rest of you singles out there doing with your eldery parents?
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I am so glad that I found this website! I have spent the whole day feeling guilty about an argument with my 85 year old mother and after reading this thread, I feel much better. I now know that my brother and I are not alone when it comes to the issues with my mother.

I'm 60 years old and as long as I can remember, anytime my mother has gotten upset about something or not getting her way she starts saying that wishes she was never born or wishes she would die. As she has gotten older it has gotten worse and now she reminds me and my brother where the clothes are that she wants to be buried in whenever she gets upset or not getting her way. It's become very old news to me and my brother and we ignore her.

I haven't been home in two years and rarely talk to her but because of some medical issues she's having, I went home to take care of medical appointments because my brother could not go. The first visit well. The second one did not.

My mother lives along and does not drive. Her "boyfriend" (that's a another whole story for another post) has stated that he can no longer take her to her doctors appointments. She lives in a rural area and has to go about 50 miles to get to her doctors. My mother lives in west TN and my brother and I live in NC and because of distance we can't go down for her monthly appointments with her retina specialist. After much discussion and MUCH reluctance, my mother finally agreed to let us hire a caretaker to take her to her appointments. I went home to ensure that both she and I were comfortable with the caretaker. We also discussed having the caretaker come in once a week to check on her get both me and my brother a level of comfort that all was ok and to make us aware of issues that needed our attention. She agreed to try it for a month, then adamantly said she didn't want it, than agree, then disagreed, but had agreed when I left yesterday. In the meanwhile, she's telling everyone who will listen that I'm ruining her life.

I left much later than I intended, drove 12 hours in the rain and didn't home until 2am and didn't get to bed until 4. Around 8am she started blowing up my cell phone. It's in another room but I live in a small townhouse and each time it rang it woke me up. Add to that, an extremely pi$$ed off cat that was determined not to let me sleep. Anyway, I finally got up around 10 and when I my mother called, in my sleep deprivation, I answered the phone (how stupid of me!). And she started in - she would let someone take her to her doctor's appointments but was NOT going to allow someone come in her house to check on her. She didn't need it (she does), she perfectly capable of taking care of herself and implying that I was a mean awful daughter for suggesting such a thing. The whole time that she is ranting, I'm trying to explain that I'm exhausted, I'm not a morning person, I've had no coffee, I was in a TERRIBLE mood and now was not the time to discuss this but she continued because it's all about her and her issues. I just about to hang up on her when she started the I wish I had never been born crap and all the other crap that goes with it and I lost it. And I've felt guilty all day about it.

Thanks to everyone on this thread, I don't feel as bad about the argument as I did. Since she is our mother, my brother and I feel obligated in making sure she is safe as we possibly can but due to the comments on this thread, I realize that we can do that and still not have to have constant contact with her and her abuse.

I have a feeling you will be hearing from me often and thank you ahead of time for your support!
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This is my mom 100 percent. I am an only child and we have her living with us. She is still complaining about everything and anything. My mom loves to control everyone around her. I don't know if I could put her in assisted living because I would feel so guilty. My doctor knows our "history" and even he says she should go as soon as possible because of all the stress she is causing me. With my mom everything is everybody else's fault. Help
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Some parents control their adult child through fear, obligation and guilt. Lose the guilt and listen to your doctor.
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I know the horrible feeling! My mother has always put on a facade to make her appear fun & jolly. She was a good actress! She was a "wonderful" school teacher,(but not a great mother).She verbally & physically abused my bother & I. She was capable of setting us up and then manipulating us into believing that our choices were horribly wrong(instead of normal child curiosity) so she could vent her temper toward us in a way that would be illegal today. Some of our friends or shoppers would witness her bizarre punishments. This obviously didn't do any good for our sense of security and confidence. We were told that we would never live up to our "potential!" While watching her compassionate behavior toward her students, we were never shown physical love or compassion. My brother & I always wondered why we were discouraged, instead of encouraged to be independent. Lord knows we were to be perfect in every way thru my mother's eyes, and on her terms. We thought she had a close relationship with GOD. At times we didn't see her totally off-balance because there were great learning skills embedded into us that we now are very thankful for: she did her best to teach us right from wrong! And she constantly corrected us. We were taught excellent manners, ideals, respect to our elders, courtesy to all, even a chance to be creative, innovative, constant schooling during the summer months we despised, to perfect our reading, writing, grammar and math skills, in addition to a good sense of values with great emphasis on table manners to dressing appropriately... You name it, we were constantly taught everything she was able to dish out! We were rewarded by gifting, not compassion. But due to this unusual outcome of "appreciation" or the necessity to show gratitude within our world, we became extremely insecure. Especially myself. We felt controlled! My brother grew up dependent on their "hand outs" for following directions, even if he did become a pathological liar. That was his defense mechanism, his way of dealing with the tough & scary possibilities of what life may or may not offer him without even considering his own resolution to a challenge he could induce on his own. His outcome along with whatever money was involved, was always decided by our parents. In a way, his soul belonged to them. And they enjoyed that control. He made plenty of mistakes in his life choices, but had much relief & rescue from his parental units. This resulted in repeated mistakes & a sense of learning as a boy. He was always the "apple of their eye" On the other hand, I was younger, independent, very curious and would not take "no" for a answer. I was a learner who wanted to know "why". This rebellious state in me did not go well. I wanted to know what life was about,on my own, uncontrolled and did not always trust my instincts to their way of thinking. I knew there were other ideas and answers to my questions. My inquisitive behavior was a real set up for punishment. Anyway, as we became older, I learned many things(as I wanted to). But my contradictions to their beliefs or having my own beliefs was a struggle. I pursued my education, in contrast to my brother's disinterest in education.Even though I held my head up high in believing the Truth, my parents wanted to argue and even brought up activities I engaged in that were against their approval. Over time, I proved my abilities & intelligence with a knack of being innovative and creative! After being hired at the family business of dealing with natural gas & propane gas, I excelled in my field. However, there was always something holding me back. I was a girl! Always did use that excuse growing up.But, here I was, running the business. I was constantly being thrown all the hard work because my brother didn't have a clue. Doesn't seem fair that the meek and beautiful was doing all the work. What happened to the "Mans World" To finally make my point, I was voted to being the Power of Attorney and Trustee to my parents Rev Living Trust. Both parents who are incapable of dealing with their personal & financial affairs per doctor's written consent and
are living at a facility. My father can't walk, my mother has emphysema and Alzheimers. My mother became mean & controlling. She thought I was stealing. Ha! They don't have enough money to steal. She hires a lawyer to fire me as her POA. Not court ordered. I hire a lawyer just to find out what power she might have. Now, my father does not look like he has much time. This has been a fiasco! Last week my mother was wonderfully kind to me. I also suffer from Lupus. Great huh? My mother had a thorough test done on Aug 26. Its now Oct 21. No results have been released. I'm at my wits end. And I love my father soo much.
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I know the horrible feeling! My mother has always put on a facade to make her appear fun & jolly. She was a good actress! She was a "wonderful" school teacher,(but not a great mother).She verbally & physically abused my bother & I. She was capable of setting us up and then manipulating us into believing that our choices were horribly wrong(instead of normal child curiosity) so she could vent her temper toward us in a way that would be illegal today. Some of our friends or shoppers would witness her bizarre punishments. This obviously didn't do any good for our sense of security and confidence. We were told that we would never live up to our "potential!" While watching her compassionate behavior toward her students, we were never shown physical love or compassion. My brother & I always wondered why we were discouraged, instead of encouraged to be independent. Lord knows we were to be perfect in every way thru my mother's eyes, and on her terms. We thought she had a close relationship with GOD. At times we didn't see her totally off-balance because there were great learning skills embedded into us that we now are very thankful for: she did her best to teach us right from wrong! And she constantly corrected us. We were taught excellent manners, ideals, respect to our elders, courtesy to all, even a chance to be creative, innovative, constant schooling during the summer months we despised, to perfect our reading, writing, grammar and math skills, in addition to a good sense of values with great emphasis on table manners to dressing appropriately... You name it, we were constantly taught everything she was able to dish out! We were rewarded by gifting, not compassion. But due to this unusual outcome of "appreciation" or the necessity to show gratitude within our world, we became extremely insecure. Especially myself. We felt controlled! My brother grew up dependent on their "hand outs" for following directions, even if he did become a pathological liar. That was his defense mechanism, his way of dealing with the tough & scary possibilities of what life may or may not offer him without even considering his own resolution to a challenge he could induce on his own. His outcome along with whatever money was involved, was always decided by our parents. In a way, his soul belonged to them. And they enjoyed that control. He made plenty of mistakes in his life choices, but had much relief & rescue from his parental units. This resulted in repeated mistakes & a sense of learning as a boy. He was always the "apple of their eye" On the other hand, I was younger, independent, very curious and would not take "no" for a answer. I was a learner who wanted to know "why". This rebellious state in me did not go well. I wanted to know what life was about,on my own, uncontrolled and did not always trust my instincts to their way of thinking. I knew there were other ideas and answers to my questions. My inquisitive behavior was a real set up for punishment. Anyway, as we became older, I learned many things(as I wanted to). But my contradictions to their beliefs or having my own beliefs was a struggle. I pursued my education, in contrast to my brother's disinterest in education.Even though I held my head up high in believing the Truth, my parents wanted to argue and even brought up activities I engaged in that were against their approval. Over time, I proved my abilities & intelligence with a knack of being innovative and creative! After being hired at the family business of dealing with natural gas & propane gas, I excelled in my field. However, there was always something holding me back. I was a girl! Always did use that excuse growing up.But, here I was, running the business. I was constantly being thrown all the hard work because my brother didn't have a clue. Doesn't seem fair that the meek and beautiful was doing all the work. What happened to the "Mans World" To finally make my point, I was voted to being the Power of Attorney and Trustee to my parents Rev Living Trust. Both parents who are incapable of dealing with their personal & financial affairs per doctor's written consent and
are living at a facility. My father can't walk, my mother has emphysema and Alzheimers. My mother became mean & controlling. She thought I was stealing. Ha! They don't have enough money to steal. She hires a lawyer to fire me as her POA. Not court ordered. I hire a lawyer just to find out what power she might have. Now, my father does not look like he has much time. This has been a fiasco! Last week my mother was wonderfully kind to me. I also suffer from Lupus. Great huh? My mother had a thorough test done on Aug 26. Its now Oct 21. No results have been released. I'm at my wits end. And I love my father soo much.
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OMG you are describing my mother. Only difference is that my mother hates me, and couldn't care less if I was alive or dead. She does on the other hand worship the ground my brother and his family walk on, even though they use her for money and give nothing back in return. It makes me sad, no matter what I try to do, it isn't right in her eyes. I am growing to hate her more than ever and looking forward to the day she dies. How sad it that.
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Since then, the update is: she has an IQ of 37. Her mentality is of a 5 year old. She has moderate Alzheimers & the only way she's getting by is by the happy facade she has always used. She told my Dad she's tired of acting phoney, but I say "do it" if it's working for her to be pleasant to everyone, then she needs to continue to use those skills while she still has them. But deep down, we all know how miserable she feels. I've read that abusive mothers have become that way do to a feeling of abandonment from their life. She had an alcoholic father who made big bucks in the 30's-40's. She and her younger sister were spoiled rotten, along with extreme jealousy issues. Just so you get the drift, my mother abandoned her sister in 1990! Even tho my cousin died at the age of 30, he was unable to receive the love he needed too!. When my mother just got married, pregnant with her first child, she lost her mother to cancer.Her mother only being 54. I'm sure this was traumatic & has been an ongoing, unpleasant issue of my mother's struggles. The family has paid a big ugly price for this "horrible loss". Now our pressing issue is money & the lack their of. Now that mom seems to be happier in her environment, my dad wants to move to a cheaper facility! She will be pissed! What is wrong with my parents generation of not planning for their future & the future of their children. Since my bro & I worked at the family business for 35 years, there were no retirement funds set up for us! We were going to receive the profits as our inheritance. We are scared shitless. Life lesson: no guarantees in life!!!. I have no clue how long my mother's positive, phoney attitude will last. I hope you may get some relief from your mother if she decides to act better. But I do know that you don't deserve to be treated that way. I've been told by many, that its okay to ignore, step aside be nonexistent in her life for the betterment of you & your loved ones. I just hope your finances are secure for the future. I've also been advised to read ( which I have) "My 36 hour day". It may help your adult children to understand. I'm in a position of being torn apart, why am I going thru this? I essentially have no freedom with a heart that is flooded with pain & doubt. If you or anyone else has advice, I'm all ears!
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P.S. At this point in time, the only way to get out of my situation would be doing something highly illegal!!! But, I've been branded with moral fiber (which must have been done on purpose) and could never enjoy the rest of my life if I made a choice that would cause nothing but imbalance from my heart & soul & spirit. That's not life.
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My mother was a control freak. She controlled her husband and me always. When she got blood cancer, all these friends and family !!! she had, did nothing.
Good old Robyn was there wasn't she.....I just thought you only have one mother....can't pick her and she can't pick her kids, I was an only child, so we just get on with it and try to assist. I did, day and night for 3 months. NEVER thanks for that, just complaints every day. I made her tea exactly the same way every day....each day it was too strong, too weak, not enough sugar, too much sugar, not enough milk, too much milk, too full or not full enough...why do they do this? Why didn't she just drink it and shut up....no she had to call the shots. Ten years later, having really done an excellent job of looking after her until she breathed her last breath, I am still wondering why she could not have said, at least once, that was a good job, thanks for that....even once...but it was not to be. All I can come to terms with now is that she was grateful underneath, just hated to show it....the best I can accept. I am wondering if I should have put her into care right at the start, then the nurses would have copped it daily, then visited her only....but she wanted to be at home, with her birds and orchids and where the neighbours could drop in....so how could you not let her have that....in the end...you have to sleep at night....I just hope that if that happens to me, I have someone like me looking after me, if that happened I WOULD try to say thanks. God Speed mum.....I have tried to forgive you many times....I am not perfect either....but the best I can do even up to now, is to have no guilt about the way I looked after her, and accept that she was not happy to be unable to do the things she had always done for herself, so was not coping very well, and underneath she was grateful just didn't like to show it.
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I can relate to a lot of the comments here, as my mother has been verbally and emotionally abusive to me my entire life. I'm now in my early 50s and have finally realized she has become hazardous to my health. I suffer from anxiety and mild to moderate depression, and for the last five years in particular, her behavior has been intolerable. This time frame has coincided with my youngest child developing ongoing medical problems, and I have no energy or will left to deal with my mother. I have one sibling who lives on the other side of the country, and it is me she primarily expects to be there for her. She has steadily been making my life more and more miserable, and I have tried everything - from taking a break to keeping her at arm's length and sticking to "safe" topics of conversation, activities, etc. Nothing works; she is back to stomping over my boundaries and being demanding, controlling and manipulative in no time. She is in good health (although she would disagree) and is very capable with no signs of dementia (again, she would disagree - part of her game). I have an email folder full of horrible, ranting emails from her, basically about what a rotten daughter I am and how dare I treat her that way - for daring to ask that she not dictate to me regarding everything under the sun, for instance. She plays mind games and when I finally confronted her with the abuse she inflicted on me when I was a child, she agreed that it sounded horrible - and that I was lying. No responsibility, no empathy ever. She's the poster child for narcissistic personality disorder. She views me as an extension of herself that she can dominate and control, and when I "behave," she can be very nice...when I disagree with her or object to her overbearing behavior, I'm a terrible messed up person with "extreme anger and hostility" issues. She even once offered to accompany me to a psychiatrist, saying she would be able to help the psychiatrist with me!

However, I have no issues with anyone in my life except my mother. I'm married to a wonderful, supportive man and have two daughters, both young adults, and I have a healthy, close, loving relationship with both. She, on the other hand, has alienated everyone who has ever been close to her (my parents divorced when we were in our late teens/early 20s).

I wanted so much to have a relationship with my mother as an adult, that I tried to make excuses for the horrible things she did when I was growing up. I've bent over backwards to help my mother and include her in my family, but nothing I do or have done has been appreciated. The more I've done and put up with, the more she's walked all over me. She continually tries to goad me over the most ridiculous things - I'll say the sky is blue and she'll debate that; she loves to argue, and she's patronizing and sarcastic to boot.

I'm finally at a point where I have to stop this cycle, and the only way I know how is to have no contact with her. My brother (who I think is afraid of what that might mean to his life!) cautions me on feeling guilt later, and I do feel sadness but no guilt. I have a right to live a peaceful life, and I have no obligation to my mother to put up with her abusive behavior any longer. I've had no contact with her for a month now, and it's been blissful. I'm taking it one day at a time where she's concerned, focusing on the wonderful family I have with my husband, children, etc., and making my own health and well-being a priority.
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You aren't alone...there is a very true saying that we all forget when we put our obligated family blinkers on....you can choose your friends but not your family.....the people who can step back and away from poisoness family members have a much happier life. ....Start getting more selfish for you and the rest of the family.... Because she is proving she couldn't give 2 hoots. Distance yourself from her for a while and you never know...you may just see a change!! She acts like this because she can xxx
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Oh my goodness, this sounds like my mother's personality, one difference with mine she plays a totally different role when she is around other people outside of my sister and her husband, myself and my husband, not as bad around my brother and his wife but still negative. She got away with things all these years and everyone let her, old school supposed to respect your elders but this has created a monster that we let ruin our lives when she is near. It is to bad we did not have the Internet or known means of support as children so we would not have wasted all these years trying to make her our friend at our emotional expense. Yes we have the tools now at this age to try and make change for ourselves but it is truly a messed up life to carry this so many years for some of us that don't have mental strength to shake her off and carry on with our lives. It is definitely a learning process I would rather have not experienced, it does mess a person up I don't care what self help / psychology book your read, it is still a yoke we bare, guess that is what makes us who we are, yikes.
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I've recently discovered this group and it's made me both laugh and gasp at how like my mother these behaviours are! I've found it incredibly useful and am planning to pull back emotionally from my mother. But I need some advice please. My worry is my two sisters. If I pull back won't it leave them with more of the stress that is my mother? That's where my guilt lies. I have read a lot on this website about carers commenting about siblings who don't help care for a mother- won't I be that uncaring sibling if I back away for my own sanity? I've broached this topic with my sisters (both of whom also suffer from my mother) and one accused me of being selfish and not taking my share of the load, the other said she wished she had the guts to walk away. Any advice?
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Your not alone...I care for someone miserable too...It kills you slowly. I am currently visiting nursing home options...he isnt even a relative. I have been miserable for 3 years and I have no life. I say get her elsewhere and claim your life back...you get what you deserve.
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Boundaries, boundaries. Interesting isn't it - you quite rightly need to set those boundaries, but you've got one sister stubbornly sitting there on your mother's side of them and feeling aggrieved that you're not sitting next to her. Though I'd be more worried about the other, because she'll get tugged in both directions.

Keep talking to them. The three of you will all do better if you can link arms on this.

Then there's the matter of the share of the load. Well now. What load is that exactly? What does your mother need in terms of care? There is a crucial distinction to be made between actual, concrete tasks of caregiving, and - how would we put it? - willingness to be your mother's emotional punchbags. The latter, nobody has to accept: no harm will come to your mother if all three of you refuse that role.

You all make your own choices. And therefore the fact that you are saying "enough" to your mother's emotional blackmail makes no objective difference to your accusatory sister. She can follow your example or not, as she pleases. That is her choice to make.

None of you has to take this. Caring for your mother does not mean accepting hurtful behaviours from her. There are all sorts of useful, practical guides to boundary-setting that will help the three of you meet your mother's needs in an emotionally safer way - find one that speaks to you, and send your sisters copies.
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Oh! - how could I forget? And send both of them a link to the AC website!
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Thank you countrymouse for your comments. My mother needs no physical care, just constant emotional venting. My older sister would love to back off but she can't seem to find the strength. We are all terrified of mother's rages and it's hard to drop a lifetime habit of tip toeing around her. Then of course come the tears! My sister feels guilty about mother, and I feel guilty about my sister!
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Your sisters needs to see a therapist in order to find the strength to back off. It is hard to stop a lifelong habit of walking on eggshells around your mother, but that is what she trained ya'll to do. Oftentimes people raised in such an environment will take on characteristics of the parent and treat anyone who tries to break away from the dysfunctional system with the same emotional blackmail that the parent lashes out.

You might not be able to save both of your sisters from the hell you are living in, but neither can you change your mother. Ya'll did not make your mother the way she is and how she is is not your fault. It is not your fault that your sisters do not have the freedom you are finding, but you don't have to destroy yourself in trying to help them and your mother. Save yourself and anyone who will follow your example of having some boundaries in your life. It is their choice to follow or not, but it is not up to you.

If your mother needs no physical care, but only needs an emotional punching bag for her venting then why are you needed there. Why does your sister feel guilty about your mother?
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Your mother is physically fine but still feels the need to do this to all of you?

Wowzer. I think you have a little light reading to catch up on - [nobody yell "boring!!!" at me, please!] - get a copy of "Understanding the Borderline Mother" by Christine Ann Lawson (it comes in paperback which is just as well because it's not free). It's not intended to be an exhaustive study, but it is authoritative and even better highly practical about what on earth to do when you find yourself struggling with one. You could have a look on Amazon and see if the chapter headings ring bells with you as loudly as they did with me. Best of luck.
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I first thought I was on my original post... This is so much like my mother. The emotional guilt and manipulation that she continually lays down on me. I am an only child and wish I had someone else to help out. I am trying my darnedest to back off and break away from her. I have backed off from what I have been doing for the past 40+ years. I am starting to say no when no is due and not explain myself for the reasons I say no.--is it easy? is she receptive? NO! She gets more angry and tries to pull more manipulation out of the bag, but I am being strong and trying not to take the responsibility for her anger. It is very difficult to walk away from the way we have been trained. I used to think she was getting angry because maybe I said something wrong, maybe I did something wrong, but now that I am doing this on a regular basis: I am realizing that it isn't anything I am doing--I am just not doing it her way anymore. Even when I did it her way, it still wasn't the right way. Learning that it is not our fault, your sister will be able to walk away much easier.

Good luck, those eggshells can only withstand so much.
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Interesting thank you. My mother only needs occasional physical help such as after a knee replacement due January. But all the normal time my mother phones us all constantly, wants to vent about all the people who have upset her that day, wants us to visit every weekend, wants us to take her food shopping, take her on holiday, take her out for mother's day, her birthday, Easter holidays, Sunday dinner, etc. None of us want to do these things as we're all treading the thin line wondering if something will upset her and send her into a rage. She spoils every family occasion and it upsets our children. Having said all of this, my sister feels guilty if she's left alone on these occasions. So if I quit, my sister will feel she needs to pick up the slack- that's what she feels guilty about. And that's my dilemma! I feel I am abandoning my sister to my mother! I can't tell my sister "you should..." or I'll be just like mother!! Ahhh!
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Gotta add, if mother ever needs more care and my sister feels she's gotta move in, I WILL definitely intervene and stop her! If I've learnt one thing from this website it's DON'T MOVE THEM IN WITH YOU!
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Countrymouse I'm very interested in reading more books about personality disorders. I think she has narcissistic PD. Anyone recommend some reading materials please?
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