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It is very sad that so many of us are struggling with elderly parents who become mean. I had a very happy childhood and raised by 2 loving parents. That all changed when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 6 years ago. However, he is still a delight to be around - happy and appreciative even though he is in moderate stages with a short term memory of minutes. My mother has become a lying hateful monster.

For years, I had talked (begged) them to get their affairs in around and to move into town (luckily finances aren't an issue). She told me that no one was going to tell her what to do and then told relatives that she wasn't dead yet. My brothers and i hired housekeepers and sitters. She fired them. She then faked having a stroke and was taken to the hospital. When she was to be discharged, she told the nurse that none of her 4 children would help her and she had no where to go. I live 2 hours away so talked to her every day and visited every other Sat. The nurse called Social Services who then called me and said it was being escalated to ensure there we weren't abusing my parents. I had to leave work, drive 2 hours, get her and my father into assisted living.

My father hated it so went home. My brothers hired sitters for my father during the day and one of us stays every night (one never stays). They are local and since I live away, I take weekends. I get off work Friday, drive 2 hours, take care of my father, leave Sunday evening, drive 2 hours home, and then go to work Monday. I work 7 days a week for nearly 3 years. My brothers cover for me so I have a weekend off every 3 months. I take my father to see my mother every Sat and Sun when I'm there. My mother won't speak to me and blames us for taking our father home. She tells relatives that I never visit. She acts like she can't hear me but can hear everyone else until she gets angry. The staff at the facility are complaining about her. She is healthy and mentally sharp. I realize that caring for my father became too much for her but she won't accept outside help. My brothers will not visit her anymore since she is so hateful to them. Luckily she is kind to the grandchildren and great grand children. I can't sleep, cry often and suffer from depression. I am missing my own family and friends. She will likely live for many more years (10+). I feel very guilty because I want it to be over and don't want to ever she her again...but I have to take my father to visit her. I have told my husband that if I die before my mother, I don't want her at my funeral.

I am a 58 year gay man and has been with my husband for 30 years. He is amazing and is supportive of what I'm going through.
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I was so grateful too find this thread. I don't choose to go into my parent problems and feelings, just to say I am lucky, I do love them, unlike some of my siblings. But I went through years of counseling.
I do want to put my feelings down however.
We as humans have to care as best as can for ourselves. When I feel guilty and because of that feeling choose to help someone or do something I am sure I put off a feeling of anger. Sometimes my anger comes from "why should I" sometimes it comes from "Well no one else is going to help". Then what I think is the best, "I just don't want to!" There are many things in life we don't want to do, go to the Dr. the DDS. Sometimes going to work. But we do them anyway, and at times helping our parents will be one of those things. And I think I can truthfully say even if we love them or not.
Unless our children want to help, I don't feel they should have to. Their time of choice will come soon enough with us. Unless it is not legal and or we will be doing harm we have choices.
Talking to a mean mother on the phone, "Sorry mom, I have to go now." Christmas? ? Take turns with siblings, if you don't want a turn, offer one of your siblings something to take your turn. And I don't mean something like "I will pay your way there." Family feelings last a long time and the feeling of being used is a very hurtful feeling. If you wouldn't like it, why would you think they would. There is also the other side of the coin to, your mother may be kinder to you than one of your other siblings and you don't mind.
As for feelings of guilt, anger, selfishness, ect. I feel, and you may to. NO ONE can change those feelings but us. I really had to think about this with myself. When I told my friend I felt guilty for not going to be with my mother on a Sunday, she ask point blank, "What do you think anyone can do about how you feel ?"
So if your not going to do something, allowing yourself to be ok with your decision, that is the only way to care for you.
Caring is a hard job no matter who or what it may be we care for, parents, childern, pets, ect. I am at this point in my life trying to help care for my parents, a elderly uncle and aunt, we a elderly ill friend. I'm 63 and I promise I am not saying any of these things lightly. I am tired and depressed, sometimes more than other times. Coming here and seeing how others feel and deal helps me.
I pray truly for all who are trying to care for someone else and themselves. May God bless you for your kindness.
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I’m reading your post and all the comments and just shaking my head. My mom’s health deteriorated after my dad died and ultimately mom couldn’t live on her own. With my two other sisters in agreement, we found mom a great assisted living facility near my home. (My sisters lived out of state). Mom lived there for a few months happily and regained much of her strength and health with daily nutritious meals, regular accurate dosing of meds, physical therapy and lotsa of social engagements. Once she felt stronger, she decided she didn’t need to be there and wanted to move home. No amount of talking could convince her otherwise. While I was hospitalized for a knee surgery she called and told me she was moving herself back home. (That was 4 hours away to a home that had no phone service or other communications system in place). I told her that she should not do that, it wasn’t safe. She hung up on me. I alerted my other sisters to the concern. They literally intervened and canceled the movers. The next day mom called me (still in hospital recovering from the 4th knee surgery in 6 months)...she leaves a voicemail. “You can go straight to hell”. Wow, yep that’s what she said. I was floored. After holding dad’s hand and helping them through the years of his cancer diagnosis and treatments. After being the caretaker of their home when they became too old to maintain it. My husband and I just couldn’t believe she’d actually said that to me/us. That was 18 months ago and she did in fact move herself back home. I’ve been to see her twice. I feel nothing towards her now. My grown children do not want to be around her as they have had very nasty phone calls from Mom. I’m emotionally disconnected. It’s hard!
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I feel the same way about my mother and it upsets me to be around her!!!
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The term mother doesn't mean loving person. I'm so sorry you are dealing with her.
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You’re not alone. I care for my 90 year old father. I took a leave of absence from work and cared for my mom in the hospital 24/7 who ended up on a ventilator for 5 months until she died. I loved my mom and miss her so badly I was trying so hard to get back to work and try to take care of myself and have a little life with my kids. But my father who is actually in not so bad health makes it impossible. He is miserable and hateful. He does not appreciate or acknowledge anything I do for him. I work and care for him. I have no life. I have two beautiful adult children that I can’t even enjoy. He refuses any outside help. He treats me like garbage and never passes a chance to criticize and put me down. I’m always depressed. I’m stuck. I wouldn’t want to live if it weren’t for my kids. I feel hopeless It’s affecting my health and I’m scared something will happen to me and my kids will have no one. We literally have no family. Their father is not a part of their lives.
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I try to see where my mother is coming from. She has a lot of physical disabilities and life is a real struggle for her now. She needs and receives a lot of care. She moved to Florida for warmer weather (no family lives there). She is 86.
For years I heard her complain about her unappreciative mother, my late Grandma. Grandma lived to 95. She was very independent, healthy, had ample funds, needed very little assistance until the last 6 months of her life.
However she may have treated my mother (which I did not personally witness) she was very kind to me and we were great pals. I miss her.
My own mother just told me that she appreciates all the caring and nice things I say and do for her even though I am “a pain in the neck”.
I have many struggles and neither of my parents help me. I live far away and all I do is try to listen patiently with respect and try to help as much as I can from afar.
So now I am a “pain in the neck”. No particular reason. Just no filter on what the woman says and she just lets fly. I find these remarks injurious and exhausting. I told her that was a mean thing to say and she went on and on about how I am not perfect. Wow!
I try to keep contact with her to a minimum. She says a lot of mean things and it is very hurtful to me. I know
she is coming from a difficult place but I am not Superwoman. My parents divorced when I was was
young and both of them gave me a lot grief - for my entire adult life.
This escalated nastiest when I am trying to be as helpful, kind and positive as possible is a little too much for me. I let my mom know that saying I am a pain in the neck is mean and please do not say that.
I just check out from her from time to time. When I speak to
her on the phone she always has some critical follow up text message she sends me. So I have gotten around to just sending her text short text messages, as
much as I prefer speaking with her. Less “ammunition” for her to use against me. I do not point our her faults (she has many), only remark if she makes a nasty comment about me in particular.
She is twice divorced and is
quick to point out what she perceives as people’s shortcomings and is combative. Needless to say most people do not appreciate this. It is no wonder she is alone in her old age.
The irony is that she explicitly expresses that her mother was “so mean” to her. She does the same. She learned nothing from that experience- except how to be mean.
I have 5 siblings. I have no idea what she says to them.
I have no kids, no husband (never married). I am just trying to keep my own head above water. She wants me to come visit her. Apart from the fact that I cannot afford it, I do not think that I could psychologically, emotionally or physically handle it. My brother offered to pay for a trip for me to go visit her, but I declined. I need to focus on taking care of my own problems which are numerous. I had many older relatives I just loved spending time with. They cheered me and I cheered them. I am not a selfish person but my mother seems to repeat the pattern she expressed she had with her own mother with me.
No thanks. I just can’t do it.
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I am absolutely gobsmacked reading these posts, because so many describe my mother in law perfectly. She's always been controlling, now she is losing control and is incredibly mean. It's a balancing act to be kind but to not let it destroy us and our health. When she says these things though, it seems that she always hated my husband, but not she just says so out loud. I guess we might never know for sure, but this is painful.
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We are just at the start of the process. MIL has always been domineering and tries to control. She is also OCD. The filters are quickly dropping away and she is saying cruel things to her son (my husband.) I have to back off. My BP skyrocketed this week as we have been trying to help her with some necessary work in her house. I am sure assisted living will be in her future. I am all about compassion, but boundaries are important too.I won't let this jeopardize my health.
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Don’t let the guilt continue! My mother didn’t have Dementia, but made a sick sport of putting her five daughters against each other our entire lives. Could never have any two daughters around her at the same time. Holidays were a fight. Distance didn’t matter. She would tell one of us something to tick off another and there would be more fights. I finally put my foot down and said I wasn’t letting her talk to my grandchild the way she speaks to us. I stopped making my children go there to visit. I stopped taking my granddaughter there. Finally got my point across. There comes a day you have to be the adult they refuse to treat you as and put your foot down and stop subjecting yourself to all that hate. Hire caregivers. Put space and peace between you. You can be a responsible daughter from a distance. Good luck to you.
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Same here - 85 year old father who is so negative, cynical and pessimistic - he’s also a hypochondriac and has OCD - triple-whammy. He gets worse. It only takes me 10 seconds to realise why I haven’t visited him for weeks - I get a torrent of complaints, whining and moaning about the weather, people, TV, his neighbors, his landlord. I can only be near him for about 5 minutes because he’s as toxic as radioactivity - find myself burying my head in a pillow and screaming when I get home - it’s the only way to release pent-up anger and frustration. I’ve seriously told my two daughters to lock me away in a home if it ever looks like I’m behaving like him.
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Hi,
You have just described my entire life ... My mum dominated me and my dad all my life ..now 87 she is even more unbearable .. Your not alone i hope you did go on the holiday with your children and have a lovely time
Best Wishes
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You are not alone; None of us are. Nor are we so immune from becoming one like the woman who you, so painfully describe, as your Mother. Someone has said in the past: "I think therefore I am." This is a fact of life. That not only of ourselves but also of how we perceive others. In particular those closest to us.
Yes there usually are certain memories that stand out in the backburners of our mind.Only to seemingly flare up when we least expect it, only to sour the moment or suddenly drift a dark storm over what would otherwise would've been a nice ending to a day. Sure life is unfair, so to speak of, but it is fair in that when the sun shines, it does so on all, both the right and the wrong, the good and the bad. And so it is when it rains well. If a parent happens to be as you describe, take a moment and ponder their life. What was it like when she was young and growing up? Your Grandparents; What were they like as her parents? What kind of upbringing did she have? Was she hurt by a young boy during her adolescence, or spurned by a young man a little later in life? What was she like as an mature adult before you came along? WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU CAME ALONG? Understanding your Mom just a little bit more might help you to discover that she is not so different from you except for that one moment in her life that left her in so much pain. So much so that she did not nor could she not let it go. And so it now rears' it's ugliness in the form that your experiencing as her child. Mathew12:33-37
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You are not alone. You just totally described my life. I got on google this morning and was researching hoemone therapy in elderly women because my mom is 80 and has always been controlling, dominating, negative and just down right hateful mean when she gets angry which she does anytime you dont bend to her whether its as simple as agreeing with her opinion or her criticism. I know she loves me but in that moment of full blown rage it feels a lot more like hate. In these last 5-10 years it has got worse because she seems to have less compassion, has started to lie or be in full denial of her own actions and its almost like Im dealing with 2 people at once. Like a switch flipping her eyes narrow and what I call her evil low tone voice comes out and it always a mean sarcastic challenging snarl of a comment. Im seriously scared she is losing her mind. I love my mom. I want to learn all I can about hormones, mental health, foods that are good or bad for controlling anxieties that trigger this behavior and I think most of all ways to control how I react to her attacks on me. I need to reprogram my mind to stop being hurt and defending myself because it allows her to control me. I need to not let her get to me because I roll in and out of depression. I feel guilt because I can't help her if I can't control my reaction to her. It is very hard to feel so lost and helpless and at the same time the guilt of wanting to stay away to save myself and like you said protect my kids from going through what my sibblings and I have been through for so many years.
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I understand completely. Unfortunately it is the balance of self care and limitations or healthy , secure boundaries around her which she will probably break or not acknowlege.
I get it.
L
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Beware of the woman who's father ....wanted a son.

Remember

these women were first born to a generation of men who hated women and wanted a son. Or had a son and looked down on there daughters. That can't be ignored. Of she's hateful bet you her father couldn't stand her.
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Feels like you are taking about my relationship with mother. It is a constant nightmare!
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I can understand exactly how you feel. I am currently caring for a 83 yr old woman who complains about everything ,criticizes, and demeans everything you do for her and say to her. Nothing makes her happy no matter how good it it. She is draining the life right out of me! Unreal! Sad because I as a caregiver want to help others but this one makes that totally impossible. She is pure evil. I have been a CNA 1 for over 30 yrs and never felt this way about a client/patient. I think her family has her spoiled to the point she treats everyone like dirt under her feet even the Drs. And to beat it all she was an operating room nurse. One would think she would know better or have a professional side. Gee wiz!
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The same thing here, my mom has always been a nasty person and since she isn't well and older she has upped her antics. When I was dating my second husband, I kept telling him, my mom was out to get me. He did not believe me at the time, he does now
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Surprised to see so many similar stories. Unfortunately the love of ourselves is reflected in everything we do and everyone we choose to have in our life. Now the most intimate of our relationships tell us the most about how we think of ourselves and what we value. We do have the choice to not treat our own children the way I/we were treated. My adult children have never been on the receiving end of physical, verbal or emotional abuse
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I have the same problem wth my Mother. For years she lived alone and was forced to move to my town one month ago. It has been a roller coaster ride. Some days I think "aww, she's just an old lady, she doesnt mean any harm," but then she will start vilifying everyone she knows and meets. She has no filter and says anything on her mind. When we are together I wince when she has to interact with others because I know something ugly and insulting is about to come out of her mouth. I have tried to put my foot down and reduce my visits but she guilts me into taking her out. I have to find peace with this or the stress of ealing with her is going to kill me.
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I am so glad to find this post and not feel so alone. My Dad died last fall and I brought my Mom to live with us, since their place was over 6 hours away. I had back surgery 6 weeks before my Dad's death, and went to see him and stated because it was his last day...I found him in a adult diaper and tee shirt laying on a paper pad with just a blanket thrown over him...he was freezing. I got him up and dressed, to make up his bed..my mom was walking with a rollator because she broke her femur that spring. She said he made a mess and everything was in the washer (which was done, when I got there and she did have other sheets). I think she just got tired of taking care of him. I called hospice and they came out and said it was a matter of days...he died that night - but in a fresh made up bed. I cleaned out his room for her , she said she could not do it. I was in so much pain from moving my Dad around and hauling garbage to the road and bagging good stuff to donate. Anyways, being the youngest I have always been there to take care of my Mom, when she was ill, knowing my Dad was in the last stages of cancer we knew she would have to come her because they lived in the middle of nowhere with a lot of winter snow. She was horrible, she pretended to be sweet but tried underhandedly to cause problems between my Husband and I- we caught on. She wanted me to wait on her hand and foot, like I was 17 and living at home. She lied to me and when I finally confronted her after 3 different versions, she called my sister(who she has hated all my life and caused problems between us) and threw a fit and left my home....a lot more to the story, but that sums it pretty much up.She said living with us was like being in prison, I took her to all her appointments, PT, got her hearing aids fixed. Told her I would take her to the Senior center, check into the local college for free art classes, wanted to take her to the movies-everything was 'No". She just wanted to go to Walmarts all the time and spend money she really did not have to spend, buying clothes- which she had plenty of. She went back to her own home eventually...and yesterday I received a letter telling me she wanted what was given to me as mementos from my father- since she inherited everything from my Dad. They both did wills years ago and it was written as spouse, me as second beneficiary and then my son if I should pass before. So I understand your pain, it hurts real bad- you just don't expect them to become so hateful.
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Facilities always have special dinners and activities around the holidays. Leave grandma there and enjoy your family. Completely guilt free.
I am the full time caretaker for my mother who also (as we have put it for years) "does not play well with others". Since I care take I have not had one holiday or family activity/outing without the invitation stating I am to bring our mother. For years. I actually have started to despise the holidays and will only participate in the ones I can't get out of.
I would also ask if there is anyone that could do an evaluation and prescribe something to help with her aggressive personality. I don't like to push medications but if it can calm the lashing out I'm sure it would be a blessing for all involved.
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Have you considered that possibility that your mom is a Narcissist? It might be helpful to research this to get a better understanding of what you've endured your entire life. I wonder whether you've been "trained" for a very long time to be available and responsible for her every need. It seems to me that there is a voice inside of you, that is telling you that this is an abusive relationship with no good in it, and telling you it is time to protect your family.
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It seems she did a good job on you, for certain, as with all you say, there you are still doing her bidding. How about just saying "Hey, I am too selfish to do this. Hey, I am not a perfect person". What do you feel guilty about? Having been born to a Narcissist? I would seek help at once so that you can comb out a decent life for yourself; none of us are getting younger.
I had a friend go on and on and on the other day, and finally she said "Do I smell the odor of burning Martyr here?" Your mother has done enough, it would seem to me, to your life. Are you willing to give the rest of it over to her as well?
Not everyone is a good person. Not everyone is deserving of our constant care and compassion. Your first job is to give yourself a decent life. Your second is to make a decent life for your own significant other and your own children. Respect is owed. Caring for her is not. That would be a gift. A gift you choose of your own free will. Or not. I am so very sorry you are going through this, but you are going to have to make some decisions for your life; please get professional help with them.
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It is hard being there for someone that doesn’t treat you well. I am very sorry that you have had such a rough relationship with your mother- it must be very hard on you. However, remember that without her, you would not be here. If visiting her and seeing her is hurting your own mental health, then do not go visit her. But let your adult children make their own decisions on whether they want to see her. Keep in mind that she is going through a very rough time, which certainly is no excuse for her to be mean, but losing your own mental and physical capacity would be absolutely terrible. Do what is best for you and your own happiness. But remember that these may be her last holidays. Even though you struggle to tolerate her presence, you might just end up missing it when she is gone.
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Janny, it's terrible when our elderly are so mean. Many people decline to care for them when they are so awful and ask the state to step in as guardian. The state will appoint and pay (if the person has no money) for this service if the person is deemed incompetent. Then the guardian puts them in the best care setting. The family has no power, so grandma can get mad, but it's easier for the wrath to roll off your back when you have no power to change the situation.

Practical help: Many cell phones allow you to customize the ring for each contact. I put mthr's number on "silent." And I delete certain number's voice mails without listening. It really helps!
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I'm sorry. But if someone is telling you that you have to take this bs then ignore them. My husband and I have been married for almost 40 years. His mother is the narcissistic one. She has been physically and mentally abusive her whole life to her kids. My husband uncle told him years ago "you were not put on this earth to be anyone sacrificial lamb". In other words, you don't have to put up with an abusive person. We have tried to help her over the years. Move up near us, we can take care of you. No, I can never leave this house. All irrational reasons why she can't move (her mom loaned them money to buy the house and she promised mom, who has been dead for 50 years, she would never sell it.) We just went through 3 months trying to help her. She won't listen to her son or daughters but will trust the stranger at Wal Mart. She went into the hospital in January and the dr's said she couldn't live alone. Needed 24/7 care. Moved her into a wonderful assisted living facility that even took her 2 dogs (as long as she could care for them). Two weeks later room smells like dog urine and the director is telling her that she has to take them out. They have never been potty trained. Her carpet in her home is so urine filled a normal person cannot be inside for longer than 10 minutes. So, long story short her dogs get kicked out and then she wants to move home. It was a wonderful facility. She was meeting people and enjoy breakfasts with friends but the dogs were her life. So now she is home. (wasted $9k) Her health has taken a turn for the worse and she needs 24/7 care at home. How expensive is that??? She doesn't have the money, we don't either so rich cousin is helping foot the bill. Thank God for him. So, I'm venting. (All this on top of my husband and I caring for my 89yr old dad with dementia. He's in his home with my daughter and SIL who live with him and a hired caregiver who comes M-F. We go down every other weekend except when we have a ton of work to do on dad's acre and with his rental which we are in the process of repairing and cleaning up for new renters 7/1.) I'm 62 and so is hubby. We're both tired. Don't feel guilty. That's what she wants, your guilt making you submit to her will. MIL to my husband "when I get moved back home I never want to speak to you again." Fine with us. She's cussing out her care givers, cussed out the director of the home and told her to her face she was a b***h, cussing out the geratric care manager. But she can turn on the sweetness when she wants to. ugh.
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Soooo, you've met my mother? She is 94 and the most hateful, self centered person I have ever met. I only talk to her when I have to, she still lives by herself and refuses to budge, although, this decision has made me and my brothers life pure hell as it is over 800 miles from where we live. We have offered to buy her a place closer to us...nope. She tells us we are useless and that we should go F ourselves, has no friends and none of our relatives talk to her, haven't for 30years. This is a nightmare and I pray that it will end soon.
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Dear friend,
It is rare to find someone who in so many ways describes a side of life that so few understand. Your story, short as is, contains more than a plate full. Difficult as things are, you are your mom's son; Therefore this cross is yours to bear, so bear it for the sake of mercy towards her since it sounds like there is no one left to give her that. Do it in such a way where by you do not allow the suffering to go beyond you. In other words try and absorb as much as you can; Not by making yourself a martyr. By no means, for that would be selfish and prideful. Instead Be deliberate in your decision to get on with it. Remember, there is going to come a time when you will be at the head of room filled with family and friends who will be present to bid there final prayer, farewell, or what have you. How do you think it will go if you give up now? In the end, the cross that has been appointed to each and every individual will reflect back something about how each person handled it, whatever it might be; Though, basically, one is either vindicated in life, and so comes a sense of relief and fulfillment unlike anything else. Only tears of sorrow and relief can truly express the heart at that moment. The other is condemnation. Only you can choose. I'll p[ray for you and your family in Jesus name. In the meantime let your family watch as you take hold of that which is for you to do. And pray for perseverance, for yourself and your family. Also place your mom in the care of the LORD thy God and pray that she would receive all that is good, that is coming to her from you and yours. It does take a village at some point.
Kind Regards Henry
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