I reached my saturation point with my AD/narcissistic mom yesterday and don't know whether to mourn or celebrate. I will now go very low contact. Over the past couple of weeks Mom's conduct toward me has become intolerable; incessant complaints, trash-talking me and all her family, lies, delusions, demands, and threats increase, despite my loving attention. Two days ago, for a pleasant outing away from memory care (she has just entered mid stage) I took her to an art exhibit on the beach that in times past might have distracted her from her hate and bitterness, to no avail. Rather than enjoying the beautiful beach, the people-watching, the original art, the perfect weather, she whined about how my sister and I never did anything for her(!!!!!!!!), how confined and miserable her life was at mc, and how deceitful we were and were only after her money (?????????????).

Mom manufactures bogus ailments for attention, and takes the opportunity to browbeat me for refusing to remove her from m.c. (which is an appropriate living arrangement for her). She threatened repeatedly to have me removed as her POA. I told her fine; the job sucks anyway. (I have no idea whether she can actually remove me or not. My attorney said that because the trust is irrevokeable (Sp.) and now that my father has passed, the terms of the trust cannot be altered. Honestly, I don't know whether she can replace me as POA or not, but I could assure her if she would only listen, that no one could conserve her assets or manage her medical care as assiduously as myself. She thinks I'm the devils bride.

I have tried everything suggested on this forum: redirection, distraction, pacifying her, telling "fiblets", hugs, returning love for cruelty, taking her on pleasurable outings of her choice and surprise outings planned by my self. I have provided her things the other mc residents don't have: petty cash, a telephone, fun gifts and cards in the mail, etc. I asked her neurologist for meds that might calm her anger, depression and anxiety, but he only increased her Aricept which did nothing but give her unpleasant side effects.

My plan of action is to get mom to a psychiatrist who will address her aforementioned issues, hopefully with meds. I will no longer call her or make visits, but take her to her Dr. appoints only. No more outings to restaurants, walks, museums, exhibitions, shopping, gifts, or cards. Nothing, nada. When she starts abusing the phone and cash (which I expect she'll do soon) they will be withdrawn, too. She is a self-absorbed, ungrateful wretch. I have done all I can; my conscience is clear. My sister fully supports me stepping back to preserve my own emotional and physical health (I'm a senior myself and have my own issues exacerbated by stress). My sister has already backed off herself for the same reason.

If Momzilla cannot be civil when I escort her to her doctor appointments Sis and I have agreed to utilize some of her money for a hired caretaker to take her to and from her Doctor appointments, and we'll see how she likes that. I have no desire to "get even" with Mom for her cruelty. I know that part of it is dementia, but the other part is a component of her personality that has always been there. I will make sure she is cared for properly and all her needs are met. I have total confidence in the m.c. staff where she lives and maintain a good relationship with them.

Mom, the joys and distractions I tried to provide are over. The phone calls, cards, gifts, personal shopping, and pleasure jaunts are done. I leave you now to your wretchedness. As for myself, I'll seek joy and happiness, and think only on those things that are true, noble, right, and pure; whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—and think on those things.

Your daughter

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Dear Amber,
I have no courage at all. This is a daily struggle for me and, If I didn't use it for storage, I'd be under my bed, sucking my thumb, crying too! Good for you that you cut yourself loose from a bad situation.

In the one (LONG) week that mother has been here, she has ordered everyone around like they are her servants, (which, in her mind, we all should be!). She doesn't say please and thank you. She couldn't smile or her face would break. She constantly b*tches, complains, screams, grumbles and says hateful things about her daughter (me, but she doesn't know it's me.) She says she doesn't want to eat but finishes a dinner plate full of food. All she wants to do is lay in her bed but I won't let her. I force her to lay on the couch so I can watch her. She can't stand on her own, so that works pretty well.

She's awake the minute she says she wants to go to bed (?) After the 3rd sleepless night (then a medication revision) I made my husband call his friend, who was glad to take the job. God bless Monica. I can sleep undisturbed all night, 4 nights a week-halleluia!

All day today she has complained that she's cold and wants a blanket (it's 84 degrees in the house), then gripes that she's too hot!!! Aaaahhhhh! "Turn off the fan, get me something to drink, where are my shoes- get them for me!" Deep breath, "Yes, my queen", as I bend low. As I walk out of the room she screams to my husband, "Is she coming back?" He mumbles under his breath, "You'll be lucky if she does."

Hubby was stroking her hair a few minutes ago and she told him, scowling, "Don't touch me!" Nothing new for her, I heard the same thing when I was little. She'd put her hands up to prevent me from hugging her because she just got her hair done at the beauty parlor. "You'll muss my hair." I've carried that memory with me for 56 years!

She used to view herself as very dignified but she's has lost all her "refinement". Now she picks her teeth and spits the food pieces on the floor, blows her nose without a kleenex, and wipes her mouth on her shirt. Quite a change from the 'regal socialite' she always thought she was. The height of her undignified behavior were the 2 nights I found her completely naked, standing next to her bed, while urinating on the floor and pushing her (dry) diaper under the bed! Oh if she could only see herself. Of course, some of this is Alzheimer's.

Now, I know what those of you who had wonderful moms must be thinking right now. What an awful daughter! Considering what those of us with narcissistic moms have had to put up with, it's hard to be a loving, caring child. I'm doing my best. I'll wipe her nose, mouth and bottom but I won't kiss her.

And Amber, I hope you NEVER run out of money. But, if the same fate awaits you, I hope you can do your best without loosing your mind. I'll let you know in 6 months if I need to be committed to an "insane asylum", (as mother used to say. ;)

Amber A, I feel so bad for you (and all others going through this). You have done everything you can do to make life better for your mom. I am going through the same thing but my mom is not yet nasty to me. I keep telling myself that this is not the mom I am used to and that it's the dementia speaking however, it is so hard. BTW, someone mentioned Medicaid if the money runs out. That's a great alternative.

There is Medicaid when the money starts to run out. The people at the NH helped to make it an easy transition.

And, good for you. You may, eventually, want to take the phone away. 😀

Dear SueC1957,

You have far more courage than me. If the money ran out and I found myself faced with the prospect of moving Mom in with me, I'd be hiding under the bed, whimpering and sucking my thumb.

A couple of hours ago Mom called to inflict a heavy dose of FOG (fear, obligation, guilt), something she does when she's bored or thinks I need to be punished. I listened, cool and detached. I didn't react in my former knee-jerk way. When I hung up the phone, I felt proud, like the adult in the conversation instead of the child. Maybe I'm finally starting to evolve into the strong woman I always wanted to be. Some friends here have described random moments when their care is rewarded by an "I love you" or the like. I don't get those moments and wonder if I ever will.

Still, I pray that the money never runs out to keep Mom in MC. The thought of bringing her into my home to destroy the peace and tranquillity I find there is unimaginable. The lifetime of anguish she has wrought is enough! God has said we won't be tempted beyond what we can bear. I am placing my trust in His word that I won't be called upon to do what you are doing.

Sue, you sound like a well-grounded person and up to the task. Please know I'll be thinking about you, and by all means keep us informed on how it goes.

While reading this thread, I thought back to my mom's and my relationship-(or lack of) when I was growing up. She sounds somewhat like your mom. We definitely didn't have a "best buddies" relationship.

I just brought her into my home yesterday, after 2 years in memory care (couldn't afford it anymore). I'm struggling because I don't have a mother-daughter relationship to draw from. My caregiving is more of a nursing job (I am a nurse) than care taking a mother. I feel guilty for feeling this way but realize it took her attitude during my youth to make me who I am today. God knows those type of people can suck the very life out of you. I feel like I am her servant. I try not to take what she says personally.

As I was reading the comments, something came to me. I have had (more than a few) life situations happen that, I had said in my youth, "Oh, I'd NEVER...... and now I'm faced with those VERY situations. It's like some weird lesson, NEVER say never. Like saying, "I'll never fly" and then having to get on an airplane.

I don't know if these things were placed in my life because I thought I was 'too good' to be involved with these situations or that I had to confront the things in my life that I was scared of or would have never sought out or that I found disgusting, sad or intolerable.

One of those 'NEVER' situations was my mother would NEVER live with me (especially with Alzheimer's!). I can hear God saying, "Think again, my dear. Here's another 'NEVER' that you need to work through."
I wonder if this, somehow, is supposed to make me a more understanding person, maybe less judgmental. For whatever reason, I NEVER say never anymore! And I believe God can help you through anything. That doesn't mean I will caretake her until she dies. Sorry, I really got off track.

You are not meant to be a door mat. You've done all you could and enough is enough. You are fulfilling your obligation as a daughter by making sure your mom is safe, clean, well fed and cared for. We are all children of God and each person is priceless. If you aren't being treated as the treasure you are, time to focus your attention on those who will treasure you.

Care-giving so far has been life's greatest challenge (for me, at least). Blessings and hugs to all who daily give and give and give. . . .

AmberA, I always remind myself the difference between victIM and victOR are 4 letters. OR is the choice. I'M (forgive lack of punctuation) the one who makes it. You have chosen to leave the role of victim for your best life. Go, you!

Hugs AmberA
...I'm trying to be like you

CDN Reader and BlackHole, thank you so much for your encouragement. I am still in a dark place but starting to feel better, now that I've recognized Mom is broken beyond repair and always was. My life has value. My energy, health and happiness are not commodities for Mom to consume. I am a good daughter. Thanks to everyone here who have brought me to a better understanding. Hugs.

BIG hugs to you, Amber. How draining. It's definitely time to save yourself.

You are keeping tabs on important things remotely. Therefore you are still caregiving. You needed to reset boundaries and that's that.

Oh, the mix of old personality plus new personality. It's sad and maddening and heartbreaking.

Keeping your distance from the static will help you heal. Seek positive, gratifying experiences to help yourself recharge. Take care. 

Dear Amber,

I'm very sorry to hear what you have been through. It is clear you have been very dutiful and responsible daughter. You have tried your best over and over again. It is overwhelming and exhausting. We as the adult children think we can fix our parents and their situations but sometimes it does feel hopeless when we are met with anger.

I am glad you are taking steps to protect your own physical and mental well being. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I know many of us can relate. Thinking of you and wishing you the best.

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