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Better good for you -you have given your all and she does not appreciate it -you need to detach from her-she will never change-she has proven that -let her a brother deal with her -you have enough on your plate-maybe brother can rent her a place at the beach so he can spend quality tome with his dear mom-I bet she treats him better than she does you-do not give in-let her pay for help and she will find she can not treat paid help like she treats you-keep us posted and I hope you feel better.
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I know what NancyH means, but let me just state it this way. If your mom reaches out for you, say NO. Your mom wants a servant who she can mistreat and bitch about. Your mom wants you to be her servant because you have already demonstrated that you don't care how badly she has treated you all your life, you are still willing to let her continue to abuse you. And as horrible as this is to say, your willingness to be victimized by your mom may be the one thing she likes best about you.

If your mom had it in her to love you, she would not want to see you sacrifice your business, your health or your happiness to do things for her that she can afford to hire out. She would want your occasional company as a comfort, not as a means of control.

Whatever you do for your mom, make it minimal and doable. Offer to grocery shop once a week. Find a pharmacy that can deliver her medications.

Talk to the social worker and make it abundantly clear that your mom needs a care manager because you will not be tending to her in any on hands fashion. Make sure your mom and brother know that too. Your mom will be furious, but these are the steps you must take if you want to reclaim your life.

You are now 50 Years old. You are not going to live forever. Follow your dreams and know that you have a good heart. Letting yourself be abused by your mom is what a damaged person does. You knew when you were a teenager that it was time to leave. If you are having problems saying no, get back in touch with that very wise teenager and get some counseling too.

We have all been conditioned in various ways and I don't mean to minimize that, but you have to make a major decision now or you are going to be pulled deeper and deeper into your mom's twisted thinking. It will only get harder for you to access that good heart of yours and your God given free will to do what is right for you.

Take that good heart and use if for your own good. You deserved to be loved and valued and I think you can do that for yourself. Your mom will only hold you back and make you pay due to her mental illness/personality disorder. Don't let her sickness become your guiding light.

Love and best wishes, Cattails.
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Betterdays, you did your duty making sure your mother is in a safe place that will take care of her. Lose the guilt now and leave her alone. Let her live in her misery alone where she apparently wants to be. If SHE reaches out to you, that's a different thing, but still you need to make it on YOUR terms NOT HERS. She's made her bed....
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Oops!... But they have also dried my tears and picked me back up. Even after 600+ posts they are still here for me. I've said this on a couple of other threads but I so mean it. Keep reaching out and everyone here will grab your hand. I know what abuse is too. I'm still having bad days, but there are more good days. So please let everyone help!
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Better days: listen to jeannegibbs! Read it again. Then read it again. I mentioned on my thread that the 2nd post I received changed my life. It sounds like your headed down the nitemare I endured for 2 years. That 2nd post was from jg. I thought wow. Then I let my family read it and we started our journey to reclaim our lives. It's all about the journey YOU wish to take. My new friends have been with me every step of the way. They have celebrated my triumps
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This post that JeanneGibbs just made is about the best post I've ever seen, and she's made some brilliant ones. Print it out. Read it again and again. This is the lifeline you are looking for.
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betterdays: Just say No!

OK, you've had a lifetime of abuse and conditioning to take that abuse, and others who have been there (I have not) tell me that makes saying no extremely difficult. I'll accept that.

But, hey, saying Yes isn't exactly making your life easy, is it?

You brother is perfectly entitled to make any decisions he wants to. He can go to the beach every other week. He can limit his visits to 10 minutes. He is even entitled to try to tell you what to do. Don't concern yourself with your brother's behavior.

YOU are entitled to make decisions. In fact, you can't avoid it. You can decide to ruin your health by trying to please a person who cannot be pleased. You can decide to do what your brother tells you to do. Or, you can make different decisions. Really. It is not easy but it is not impossible. (Elisa1961 is our Just Say No poster child and our hero.)

If your decision is that you will not provide caregiving in your mother's home, then make that very, very clear to everyone involved. Tell the hospital social worker. Tell the discharge nurse. Tell her doctor. Certainly tell your brother. No more sleeping on the couch. No more taking verbal abuse in exchange for your sacrifices. No more saving her money while your business suffers. IF that is your decision, of course. You are free to opt to continue on as things have been. In some ways that is the path of least resistance. But IF your decision is to take care of yourself and let your mother (who can afford it) arrange to take care of herself, then I urge you to make that decision very clear to everyone.

I hesitate to bring this little example us in this context, because my mother has never had an abusive molecule in her body, but it might illustrate what I mean. When we were arranging for home care services for Ma, the intake social worker asked her if she needed help cutting her toenails. "Oh no," she replied, "my daughters take care of that." Her daughters had to make it very clear that we did not have the equipment or the training or the desire to take care of Ma's toenails. (Mother wasn't trying to be mean to us ... she just didn't want any special attention or to ask for anything she didn't think she needed.) If we hadn't spoken up, the social worker would have had no reason to doubt her and she wouldn't have gotten that service.

You mother, and maybe your brother, may be assuring everyone in sight that she will have plenty of help if she is discharged to her own home. IF you decide that that help isn't going to be you, make sure everyone in sight knows it. Don't wait to be asked. Don't wait until you can think up a way to explain it so you won't look like the Bad Daughter. Don't wait to see if they really might discharge her home. Don't wait hoping that some other possibility will open up. Make your decision and announce it to all parties who might conceivably have an interest in that decision.

Good luck!
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Betterdays, I'd focus on your brother, and get more help from him. AND (I say this firmly but lovingly) I would quit trying to make her happier when that is impossible. Whether or not she wants to go home is immaterial to the higher order problem that when she DOES go home, there is no care available that doesn't depend 100% on you being there, putting up with everything and disrupting your entire life.
Your brother has made a different choice -- pitches in what and when he can. Could he do more? Maybe. Probably. But he has set boundaries and YOU NEED TO, TOO. That he set them doesn't make him bad. That you need to set them doesn't make YOU bad. That they won't be what your mother wants them to be doesn't make any of you bad.
All you can do is what you can do. And giving her full-time care is NOT what you can do without drowning yourself. So. Find someone -- a social worker, your brother, a friend, the mirror, the people here -- who can help you set and stick to some boundaries that work for YOU. let go of the need for them to work for her. She has none.
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My dear treading water, you are sooooo not alone. I used to think that. As you can see by all the different responses on her there are many more of us in your situation. My thread has 600 + posts. Everyone is helping me cope with a lifetime of abuse and especially the last 2 years when I moved my mother in. Now she out, and I'm trying so hard to get my life back. It's not impossible. You CAN do it!
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My mother has been a narcassistic raging witch my entire life. I grew up in a foster home that I voluntarily put myself into as a young teen. I have tried having a relationship with her on and off over the years (I'm 50 now) but getting too close only causes emotional pain as she is hateful and mean. My mother fell about a month ago and broke both wrists and fractured some bones in her face. I spent the first 10 days sleeping in her room every night (5:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.) in a chair and then going to work the following day (I work full time). She'd complain constantly about being hot, cold, in pain, the food was terrible, she was trapped in her bed, she drank hot tea (all she'll drink) like crazy and peed 10 times every night. The constant interruptions all night long gave me about two hours of total sleep on any given night. My brother - who works from home, would take his laptop and do the "day shift" and push a button for the nurse whenever she needed anything. Now that she's stabilized, he shows up for 10 or 15 minutes maybe twice a week. Most recently he spent 10 days at the beach leaving me to care for her (his 2nd time to the beach since her accident). He tries to use me has his personal secretary, ordering me to do this and that for her. He's got the financial and medical POA, but I pay her bills, do her laundry, take care of her home - inside and out, schedule her appointments and spend countless hours visiting trying to keep her company so she's not lonely. Mom's in a rehab facility at the moment but they're fixing to pitch her out next week with someone supposedly looking in on her three days a week. She wants to go home with two broken wrists (three weeks after surgery). Doctors orders are she cannot put any weight more than a magazine on those wrists. Heck she can't even cut her food but she is campaigning to go back to her home and tried to sit us all down yesterday to "figure out how she's going to get help" when she gets home. My brother wants to let her go home, but I know that she's not ready as I will be doing EVERYTHING for her (cooking her meals, cutting her food, doing her laundry, bathing her, wiping her ass, etc.). She's terribly angry at me for telling her she's not ready to go home and ordered me out of her room. She has got mild dimentia but it's gotten worse since the accident. She thinks she can do things she absolutely cannot do and has proved this to me time and time again. I'm the only one in the family sitting with her for any lenght of time, so I'm the only one who knows remotely what's going on. She has told me my opinion does not matter (I'm the one who's doing 90% of all the caregiving). I work full time time trying to build a business and as of yesterday, I've told both her and my brother that unless she goes into an extended living facility, they are both on their own. She has money but she's cheap has hell so paying for someone to wait on her is going to be like extracting blood from a rock. She's verbally abusive and extremely uncaring and mostly toward me (but then that's really nothing new). As of today, I'm taking the week off from that hellish woman and I may not return to the facility at all...I need a BREAK. I've had bronchitis now for a month and a half with no site of getting better. My health has suffered and I'm stressed to the max and I'm only 5 weeks in...I can't even imagine doing this for a year or more.
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.........and you're right, there is NO WINNING
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@givemepeace: One word: NARCISSIST Please Google it, read about it, learn about it if you want any peace in your life!!
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Care since she will eat when you are there she will eat when she is hungry-I stayed with my mother after she had surgery she pulled a fuss at meal saying me i and my sister were trying to make her fat I told her to take what she wanted from the serving plates so she took very littel but during the night she got up and ate snacks-they will wt her each week and can give her supplements as need-I would not stay while she eats it is her game to play. Spent you have to do what you think is right for you -the sibs are doing what they want-maybe he wants to be alone if he has a tv maybe that is enough for him-you could offer to get books from the library-if it kills your Mom she can speak to the sibs and maybe have each one call one time a month-they might be willing to do that-and if not then I do not know.
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My mother exactly................very self centered now but if you think back she was always this way...now worse.........and I 67 and wondering how i can go on taking care of her.......... she has filled me with quilt and changing myself is hard enough.
A terrible to live you elderly life taking care of a miserable ungrateful mother
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Boy-reading your comment made me feel as if I had written it myself. However, my mother is in an ALF and it is the best thing I ever did.........I REALLY think you could consider this......I knew from many years of emotional abuse that I could not have her live with me. My husband gave me the choice of him or her.....he has known her for years and knew that having her live with us would not work and I would not be able to deal with her on both an emotional and physical level. She has always brought out the worst in me------Since I wrote the question the ALF has had a mental evaluation done on my mother and the doctor has put her on anti-psychotics and anti-depressents which have made a big difference. She is calmer more often but is now having tantrum fits and is nasty to the staff. Of course, she has alienated everyone there. I myself have gotten some counseling and am starting to come to terms with this, although the guilt never goes away..........She had her life and has "chosen" to be miserable but after letting it dominate my life for 60 years it is time for me to let her be what she has chosen to be. I will not sacrifice my home and family to try to make her happy as it is a futile effort on everyone's part. I would hope that you can come to the same conclusion and consider putting your mom in an Assisted Living there are plenty of good ones around if you research carefully. They are more equipped to handle her personality and you might even regain your own life. Be aware that visiting and taking care of needs, finance and personality will still be your responsiblity and the guilt still is there but at least, you can escape it from time to time to keep your own sanity. Please keep me posted...........Good luck
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also jeannegibbs, even with all of this support i do have, living with mom is still not an easy task, one day I do know the cycle will break.
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yes jeannegibbs, i have been in counseling, not going now as i cannot afford it, but i keep what has been said to me while in counseling as a check point and i do have a couple of very close friends who are very supportive for me, thank you
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givemepeace, are you in counselling? If this has been going on all your life, you may need some professional help to break out of this unhealthy relationship.
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I understand your feeling and glad I googled this site. My mother is the same way, nothing is ever good enough for her, what you do for her is never good enough and complains extremely also about everything and anything. She moved in which me after my dad passed away as she is legally blind and cannot do it on her own. It's been 7 yrs. I understand the frustration she must feel with not being able to see and do things like she used to but that is not anyone's fault. It just happened. If her cup falls on the floor, it's my fault on how i put it on the table. the bed pad which is flat that i put in the bed to protect the mattress, if she has a bad night's sleep it's my fault for the way i put the bedpad on. If she forgets to take her hearing aid out, it's my fault cause I asked her if she was ready for bed. If I don't take her shopping right when she wants to, she says I'm cruel. When my oldest daughter was about 5 and we passed her other grandparents house, (she's 39 now), she said that is where your mammy and pappy live, but you like us better. When i got pregnant with my other daughter 12 yrs later (i was young with the first one) she said i shouldn't have another because it is 12 yrs later. when my son was born she forgot about my other children. because she didn't have any boys. my 2nd daughter and son are 20 months apart. she said they were too close to me. how can they be too close to me? because they didn't fall all over her. my middle sister walked out on everyone (she was the main one helping mom/dad out at that time) over 15 yrs ago (she since died), my oldest sister doesn't want to bother, she has things to do and her bible study and ministry to do and then there's me. I don't want to sound selfish either but i am a person not a robot. she feels since she can't do anything no one else can. when dad was still alive and he couldn't shop anymore he'd give me a list and if i said i can go the next day, he'd say fine that 's okay, but mom would say "Oh, I see you can't go for us right away" Guilt guilt and guilt. We always heard "You kids don't care" or the famous 2 liner "I see". Then if I try to talk to her, she'd turn it right around and say it was my fault she could never look at herself. Dad used to tell her stop nagging and complaining. There is no peace sometimes. There's no way to please her no matter how hard I try. She'll talk about my son or daughter to me, then in turn talk to my daughter about my son and vice versa and also about me and then say she never said that. I talked to my aunt, mom's youngest sister and she told me nothing was ever good enough for her way back when and you could never touch her stuff. It's too hot, it's too cold, it's too this, it's too that. Like you who posted, I don't want to bother with her either but she lives with me. Before dad died he said take care of your mother, so here i am. And if she'd go in a nursing home as she was for rehab already and I don't go see her every single day, oh you don't care, she complained about the aides that they didn't come running right when she called. If she calls for me and i can't get there right away, she'll call my name every second and i said sometimes you have to wait, i may be in the middle of something, then i get "well you don't answer" when I did and I tell her I did, she says well i didn't hear you, i said then don't say i don't answer. she'll tell people "i have no clothes, i have no shoes" when in fact the closet and drawers are over full. Other people don't know her and she makes all of us look bad. Why does she do stuff like this, is what I'd like to know. Cause she's so miserable with herself she feels it's everyone else's fault she is miserable, so she blames everyone else. Then if she's on the potty and i'll walk away for a little to give her time to get done and come back and I'll ask are you done, she says "You have to give me time" so when she belts out the orders to me, which can consist of getting things from 5 different places and I say okay but give me time, then I hear oh what's the matter with you. There is no winning, so I do understand what everyone is feeling and so glad that I am not alone in the way I feel.
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Thank you Treading water for your post and all that responded, because this is my life. I am sooo glad I found this site....I know I'm not alone.
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OMG!!! I feel the same way you do, in most aspects. I struggle with guilt and depression constantly! We grew up in an unhappy home because of her. I have forgiven her for that, but she is still difficult at times. She has alot of physical problems and I find it very stressful to move her around. - dr. appts and all. She is in an Assisted Living so I have to take care of all her needs, bill, and dr. appts. With all that and trying to take care of our 4 BR home, have a son in the USMC and a teenager that just got into a little trouble lately, I am really struggling with depression. I just try to find some fun and joy each day, but that black cloud is always there. I have 3 other siblings. One lives 30 mns. away and has not seen her in a year. The other 2 never call her. I have to be EVERYTHING for her. So, I know how you feel. It is awful. I pray and all, but those feelings are still there. It 's almost impossible to escape.!! Plus, she has a cat there I have to take care of all his needs!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Can you tell I can relate? I was just venting to my husband this morning , but then I feel bad about that.
I just keep the visits short and sweet with my mother. I am doing what I am doing because I have no choice. I live near her. I constantly ask God to forgive me for the way I feel at times, ask for his help, and I am doing this because it is the right thing to do before Him. I hope this helps! Comment back to me ifyou want. Not sure how to find your comment, but I could give you my email if you get back to me. I am looking for this type of support and "venting options'. I hope I didnt scare you away :) :0
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So---- I finally heard from my Mom after a week of no communication after our flare up. She actually called me to thank me for having her car towed, fixed, paid for,and delivered to her house. Never mind that it was all my fault that we drove it in the first place, etc, etc, etc. Long story short, I emailed her and told her how her reaction that day (blaming everything on me) when we were already in a stressful situation really hurt my feelings. We both apologized and agreed to put it behind us. As she says --- " a tougue can be the sharpest weapon". So true. Glad we are able to talk about it and move on. Glad to have found the support here with others who go through similiar things. Hang in there all!
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I am so glad I found this forum. It helps to converse with others going through similar situations. Thanks to all of you!
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TreadingWater, your mother sounds like a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder with which she has dominated you for way, way too long, plus inflicted pain upon you and your children. While you don't mention how your husband is doing, I don't see how he put up with it unless like myself felt somewhat powerless until through therapy found the strength to set some boundaries which meant no more visits in our home; no more going with us on every vacation; and no more spending every holiday at grandma's for I wanted our children to have some memories of having some holiday's and their birthday's at home.

First, I'd buy and read the book Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward.

Second, I'd get into some therapy.

Third, remind yourself daily that you did not make your mother this way. You cannot control how your mother is. Nor can you fix how your mother is. All you can really do is pick a healthier path for yourself which you are already doing and stay on it regardless of what your mom does or does not do.
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Hi Gordy,

My two cents, and they come from many many years of dealing with aging personalities...my two cents are to let her stay where she is....and change the formula of your visits. Bring her some projects to work on....collage pictures, journal on tapes, ask her to document her life...Distract her ego from putting a guilt trip on you to validating herself and her life.

Since you are feeling guilt...and that is unhealthy for you.....there is a piece of emotional enabling going on. If the food is lousy, when you visit bring her what she likes, if you can get a volunteer to visit her regularly at the home it can make a world of difference. She may even defer to the volunteer to make you feel unwanted..and try to manipulate you with jelousy..Who she was at her worst when she was younger...is who she becomes all the time when angry...and angry gives her power...so why be nice? Very few have done their internal work, very few are wise....very few are interactive...very few. That generation was seduced into believing that the young are here to serve their needs and that sense of entitlement continues till the end.

I believe that children and the frail elderly have a basic survival instinct...that is,they manipulate others and seize power by any and all means necessary. It is the adult in the room that needs to draw healthy boundaries for all involved.

Children need the reminder of limits, as do frail elderly. The power struggle is different with the frail elderly than with children. I believe it is fear of abadonment and fear of being forgotten or rememberd incorrectly and the need to feel powerful again. If they can't feel strong,. they use what ever manipulative tools they have to leave an imprint...for that keeps them visible ....to others and to themselves. Anger gives power...and it is a more energy giving emotion than fear or sadness. None the less...we ...the caretakers have to deal with it...in ourselves and in those we care for...and about.

I suspect that your mothers presence in your home will turn your home into a forum for her issues. They say that if you want to see who has the power in a family...look for the sick person. Be it mental or physical...the sick tend to manipulate others....it is the way it is. Because of that....I sought therapy to learn tools and develop better responses not emotional reactions. to the manipulative and predictable power games played on the platform of senior care.

It is a real challenge because of all the unresolved childhood issues that pop up..and all the unresolved drama presents itself at the worst times...I chose to turn this most difficult time in the trenches of senior care into a learning opportunity...and a chance to learn genuine forgiveness...the new frontier. I wish you luck and hope. Courage and fortitude...Love and kindness of purpose,,,,for to quote one of my favorite songs..."In the end..only kindness matters" Be kind to yourself most of all.
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I'm reading some of the comments and it seems we are all standing in the same shoes. My mother lives with us for 20 years...My daughter is grown,out of the house, graduated college and works. My mother wants to move into independent living.....so we found a facility 15 minutes away from us. She didn't want to live in "this big barn of a house with no one around". I was working at the time and she didn't like that either. She lives in a nice one-bedroom apt. The food is terrible, the people are depressed like she is. I took her yesterday for the beauty palor and quite frankly, I think I'd showing up too much. My husband spoke to her on the phone yesterday. She only wants to come back to the house and she makes me feel terrible. She says "I won't complaint....please let me come back home". I too am so upset about this situation and feel so guilty. I am returning to work in the Fall, and quite frankly, all of us living together I finally see its not healthy and I'm really trying to not feed this co-dependent relationship. Any suggestions??
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I'm going through a similiar situation. I just don't want to be around my Mother any more. It is SO upsetting. I feel guilty that she has very few friends, and depends on me for many things. I'm to the point where I feel like I just have to take care of me and stay away from her. It is sad, but true.
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If you hadn't started this discussion, I was going to. Thank you for the sharing and honesty. My mamma has been the bane of my existence and my two brothers also all of our known days. As we look back we know it was an undiagnosed mental or personality dysfunction, but regardless of why she was the way she was, the fact remains we were abused by her psychotic self indulgent narcisistic self centered "diva" attitude all of our lives. Now that she is 93 and going on an on and on and on...I am her 24/7 on call life style manager and gofer. There is no way that I can avoid resentment and anger of one more moment of my life and time that she takes. It's like a vampire sucking my little lifes joy out of me and I have to find creative ways to stay sane and functioning. I have had to give up more of my dreams and time than there is enough paper to list. I have had to forgive the unforgivable and let go of what seems impossible.. The therapy hours ....years...that have been spent on this topic would frighten any medical biller. I am now 63 and have been on this merry go round with no ring since 2004 full time and prior to that was on call for all of her fickle neurotic moments. Have been taking care of her and protecting the family from her all of my life...as far back as I can remember. She has been my first child and it is clear she will be my last...if I don't die before she does.

Like an Egyptian Pharoh she is bent on taking hostages down with her. She will die with her slaves...I am the slave to which she owes her life to. My struggle is not with guilt or shame, it is with resentment and anger at a society that will not and can not support me in my struggle. Because of my ethics and because of how I have kept my self respect, I refuse to "leave her to the dogs"as they say. She is mentally and emotionally ill. If she were blind ....or crippled or had cancer society would consider my support of her heroic, but because she is a bitch and a nasty person over all...my helping her is considerd dumb and irrational and a waste of time. Are we only to help those that we like? Isn't it even more valuable to buffer these nasty people and care for them regardless of how nasty they are? I do not have an answer, I only pose the question.

As a caregiver, I have not found it anywhere written, that we are to care only for those we like or love. To care for a loveless person is an act of ultimate love. For was it not MOTHER THERESA ...who was a revolutionary...not a martyr...was it not she that said. "I see my Lord in all of his distressing disguises"? I see my mamma in those eyes and therefore continue to care for her, even if I don't care about her. Thank you for this platform...it does help...and I look forward to any and all feedback.
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This is my father! He just had his 84th birthday. No one called him. I did send him an email and told him I loved him. I am the only one left who communicates of 4 kids. It kills my mother but I can't stand it any more! He is still very capable of caring for himself. Is it possible he just wants to be alone? Should we encourage this or would it be a bad thing. He has always been anti social. I am not sure if this is the beginning of dementia or not?
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Abilify in a low dosage helped my dads combative behavior a lot.

If your mom is a psychopathic type person with zero empathy for others I don't think anything will fix that.
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