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I just have to vent today. I am an only child who had to move my folks out here to Independent Living in Colorado from Florida back in 2011 when Dad couldn't drive anymore. Got them placed in Assisted Living in 2014 after Dad fell & broke his hip; he passed in 2015. Mother is still alive at almost 93 and now living in the Memory Care building of the same AL they'd lived in since 2015. She is glad Dad died b/c he was never the husband she wanted or needed anyway, so Good Riddance to him. She had to move there after a bout with pneumonia in May which landed her in a wheelchair needing A LOT of help, more than AL could offer, and after her dementia had progressed to a moderate level. She is still pretty lucid, however, and in much better mental condition than most of the other 23 residents in Memory Care.


Mother has always been very difficult to deal with. In fact, when I heard about Dad's car accidents in 2011 and knew I had to move them here, I cried on my new husband's shoulder. We were married in 2009, have 7 children between us, and his parents are long gone. He could NOT understand why I would be crying over having my parents living back near me (my mother, NOT my father was who I was crying about).


Now he understands 100% why I was crying and has probably done some crying of his own when I wasn't looking.


All my mother does is complain. No matter how much is done for her, it's just never enough. She received 4 phone calls *that we know of* on Thanksgiving alone and said Big Deal when I remarked how nice it was that she got a lot of calls. "No I didn't" she said. Ok, I replied, because arguing gets me exactly NOWHERE. "Well don't get HUFFY" she said, to which I replied I wasn't. "When people call for TWO MINUTES it's like they didn't even call." So the calls she DID get weren't long enough, so they didn't count. She hates the two nieces that called her, and threw in that she'd be better off if neither of them EVER bothered calling her again.


She hates her neighbors at the MC. They're all 'idiots and morons' and she wishes some of them would die. One of them DID die a few days ago, now she's complaining about who might come in her place..............that person might be even WORSE. Most of the residents are DEAF, don't you know? It matters not that mother is 80% deaf herself and refuses to wear hearing aids. She finds it VERY annoying when SHE has to raise her voice to be heard. When I have to raise MY voice for her to hear me, I'm 'yelling'.


Yesterday I worked a typical 12 hour shift which left me with a typical headache. I called her on the way home and she was in a very foul mood, as usual. I should add that DH and I had gone to see her on Saturday, bringing over homemade manicotti, 2 bras that she 'needed b/c the others were stolen by the staff', and a HUGE box of Russel Stover chocolates. So.......last night, she says she may have looked fine on Saturday when we saw her, but 'people look fine one day and they're DEAD the next'. She's been 'threatening' to die now for several years. I told her I was sorry she wasn't feeling well, even though she refused to say *as usual* WHAT it was that she felt. She then went on to start crying saying she's 'soooooooooo lonely like a dawg in this room all alone all day'. I suggested she leave her room and join the activities in the main hall, to which she replied 'Yeah Okay Thanks, I knew I shouldn't have bothered you with MY problems.'


I'm sick and I'm tired. I'm 62 years old and every single day of my life my mother makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. Like I should feel guilty for being alive. Like I should feel responsible for her LIFE, her social calendar, her entertainment, her misery, the fact that she's in a wheelchair which is also my fault b/c I didn't force her to walk again in rehab after bad neuropathy SHOULD have put her in a wheelchair 5 years ago.


Can anyone relate? What is YOUR "I can't cope anymore" story?

Wow....how familiar this sounds. My story is long, but it's my mother as well. I'm the only one left that will listen to her or be around her. I feel obligated.

Fortunately, I've had a great support system with the hospice staff at my Mom's AL. I just got off the phone with them this morning after I had yet another disturbing phone call with my Mom last night.

Negative is an understatement. She's wanted to die for 20 yrs as she's done living and seen all that she's wanted to see (she's now 91). Both my parents moved up by me 5 yrs ago so that I could look after them (no, I'm not an only child, pls see paragraph #1 above). My Dad couldn't take it any longer and left my Mom after 65 yrs of marriage. It's been difficult for me and my family to say the least.

I try to remain positive with her although it's difficult. The positivity part of all this is that this is a perfect example of how not to grow old gracefully.

Hang in there. Try to remain positive. Use this as an example of what not to do to our kids. :-)
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I know, right Baldguy? How not to grow old gracefully INDEED!

I will NEVER do this to my children, my husband and I have vowed! I'm sorry you are going through something similar, but would like to thank you for sharing your struggles. It does help me.
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Baldguy and Lealonnie,

Let’s make a toast to not screwing up our kids!

🍷
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Vent away :)

Just for fun I did some copy & paste..

She's in a wheelchair. She wishes to walk again.
Mother is old and annoying.
She is alive and responsible for her misery.

You said "much better mental condition than most of the other 23 residents in Memory Care'. It does sound like she needs more to do, more activity, more social contact? Would she be able to join in some activities (appropriate level) in other sections? Like a movie afternoon, chair exercise, siinging? Whatever they have on offer. (Aide to w/c her there). All her complaining & snarkiness may be her expressing her boredom & loneliness. Her feelings are HER responsibility but I suppose she's a bit powerless to change things - hence more huff! A good Facility Manager should try to meet their residents needs - social & emotional. Hit them with that sentence!
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Lealonnie,

As you know I no longer am mom’s caregiver. One thing that really got to me was she got upset if I confronted her about things. She would either flat out deny. My response to that was, “So mom, are you saying I am lying?” To which she would say that I wasn’t lying.

Mind boggling! I told her she couldn’t have it both ways. She couldn’t deny things and not call me a liar. Either she did what I confronted her about or I was lying. It could not be both! Then she would sit in silence! The cold shoulder.

She hated being confronted about anything but she could outright interrogate anyone that she pleased.

Does anyone else’s mom feel that they should never be confronted? I don’t mean in a nasty way. We shouldn’t confront in anyone in a nasty manner. First of all, that’s mean. Secondly, it automatically puts people in a defensive position. People shouldn’t get so upset about being confronted.
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Mine have their eyes open. When asked who will cut DH & my toenails when old (our joke) they replied;
Kid 1. I have no idea but I'll be living in Scandinavia.
Kid 2. Eww. That's YOUR problem.
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When my mom went to rehab for three weeks she refused all social activities. It’s sad.
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Beatty,

Hahaha. Scandinavia!
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NeedHelpWithMom - I was in that very same situation during the call last night; you can't have it both ways. What I do is I confront once and then leave it after that.

I was also called stupid, but that's a whole other story for another time. ;-)
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Smart to say it only once!

Yep! They do insult us. As much as we try to be respectful of them I must admit that I would lose it sometimes. Oh boy, but let us insult them and they have a fit!
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And by the way, I can relate! Different but still mind-destroying.

My lot were dismissing aides then calling to ask "can you just...". Now just *hint* at me instead or relative arrives with no aide knowing I will be there. They thought I'd like to get the 'clean catch' sample for the query uti as aide was booked for transport TO Doctor only - not to stay to assist. *hint* there's a Doctor appointment....

I have had enough of these shenanigans.
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My mother has never made a mistake or done anything wrong in her entire LIFE, so no, she should NEVER be confronted. She will deny ANY wrongdoing. I'll never forget the time in the ALF when the nurse confronted her about needing 2 people to help her up & down for a whole day *which is against ALF policy* She denied needing that help, to me, so I brought the nurse and the care giver in for corroboration. Well, when I say the chit hit the fan SO badly, I am not exaggerating. The nurse and the CG were stunned speechless at the hatred spewing forth from my mother's mouth, calling them every name in the book and literally baring her teeth! To this day she calls them 'dirty liars' and all over something so simple. The CG asked to be transferred after my mother's narcissistic meltdown, by the way.
Oh, and the 'cold shoulder' is known as The Silent Treatment & a very popular weapon in the narc's arsenal to use against us. I'm very familiar with it......it's been used against me since I was a little kid.
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They have PLENTY of activities in the MC that my mother was refusing to participate in Beatty........she was throwing a pity party for one, that was her intent. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the Exec Director of the place who puts up with a TON of complaining from the residents, but mostly from my mother.
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Geeeeez!
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This is when I used to threaten to carry a tape recorder to prove that she did say something. Lealonnie, I guess your mom and my mom would find a way to deny that too!
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My mother LOVES to ask me a question and then, when I give her an answer, she'll say real loudly: HOW WOULD YOU KNOW? If you don't believe me, then DON'T ASK ME A QUESTION to begin with! How do I know? I've been paying ALL YOUR bills now since 2014, that's how! I get a list of ALL your medications so of COURSE I know what you are paying for and taking each day! Plus I'm the one who has to deal with the facilities, the doctors, the nurses, the PAs, ALL OF IT! THAT is how "I KNOW"! Ugh, gets me so aggravated!!
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Oh yes I can relate. In my case, my MiL lives in our home, going on 8 years. She’s 94 and has Parkinson’s so she has balance issues, exacerbated by bouts of vertigo. She always seems to get sick around the holidays, and felt bad days before to days after Thanksgiving. Today it was vertigo, which hit her just as I was about to go out and run a couple of errands. I wanted to go, but she was so wobbly and I can’t trust her to stay in one place while I’m gone. So I didn’t go. She had taken medication for the vertigo so I reminded her that with the dizziness and the medication, she should call me to assist when she needs to get up for any reason, and she agreed. But three times she got up without calling, and I found her holding onto her walker in a most unsteady way, her feet 3 feet behind the walker. I lost it, and yelled at her for not listening, how she could fall and break something because she wouldn’t stay put or call for assistance. She said she didn’t want to be an imposition and that she didn’t like being scolded. But I countered that I wouldn’t be upset if she had only done what she agreed to do, and called me when she needed to get up. The truth is, I felt bad for losing my patience and yelling at someone who is old and sick. But I do get frustrated sometimes and my patience wears thin, sometimes it’s not easy caring for someone, whether at home or in a facility. It is a lot of responsibility.
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Lealonnie1 it sounds like we have the same mother. Everything that went right in my family was all my mother's doing even though, she really never worked and my dad worked at the same place for over 47 yrs and he bought this house before he married my mother, but if you talk to her she will tell you it was her who talked him into buying this house. In fact, according to her, my dad was dumb as a box of rocks. As for all the mistakes they made was all my dad and she didn't have anything to do with them (mistakes). She never did anything wrong or made mistakes, mind you, she had to file bankruptcy this pass summer because she doesn't know how to handle finances. My dad had always took care of the money and bills. She is the queen and I am to know what she needs, wants, and if there is something wrong I should know without her telling me. Everything that went wrong in her life is my fault and believe me I have paid the price my whole life!

My brother on the other hand was her world. She did everything for him no matter how he treated her or what a piece of crap he is and he could use and abuse her and that was ok, but if my dad try to correct her or I said something out-of-line according to her she wouldn't talk to us for days. We were always the bad guys!

When I tell you--you are not alone and that I get it--believe me--I so get it!(

Our mothers can make us feel like crap about ourselves and about our lives but only if we give them the power. I took my power back. My mother can say and do whatever and I just let it roll off me and if it doesn't then I find a way to let it go whether it is self talk, prayer, bible study or whatever I need to do! My mother is not stealing my life maybe she doesn't think much of me, but God loves me and will always fight for me and with me. He is bigger than her! And that is what I tell myself and that my dad loved me as well.

Just my thoughts!
Hugs!!!


*This to shall pass. You will get through this difficult time.
Just keep letting it out!
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MaryBee.....my mother has had severe bouts of vertigo for years now......all the worst case scenarios, of course. Neuropathy causing dead feet causing balance issues = vertigo. We've been to the ER many times and to the ENT for Epley Maneuver treatments too many times to count. The wheelchair is what's finally made the vertigo stop......shes only had one mild case since going into the wheelchair and it was after she took one of the 4 falls she's taken since June. Encourage your MIL to get in and STAY in a wheelchair during a vertigo bout and until it passes completely. Terrible situation, I feel for you.

Shell, thanks for your kind words. Sometimes it's hard to step back and detach from all the pain she causes me. Some days are worse than others, you know? I just want to run away to Europe and leave no forwarding address.....I won't but I'd seriously like to
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Unfortunately, I do get it. It is very hard to get pass the pain that they cause us. I think I cried the first year and a half of being here back home with my mother, but through all those tears I found some healing and you will too! Am I heal a 100% no but every day I get stronger and heal a little more. I do have bad days where I feel like a flood of bad memories and pain wants to swallow me whole and this is when I pray, talk to God, bible study or work on a project. When this happens to you you have to find something to pull you out of it. Bake, cook, write, read, or just watch a good movie anything to give yourself a break! I hope you are understand what I am telling you...you need to be able to pull yourself out before you go down the rabbit hole! But in time you will heal maybe never a 100%--I don't think that is possible, but the pain won't be so sharp. And a bad memory will be follow by a good one, in time the bad ones will lay by the roadside!

Remember their unhappiness has nothing to do with us. It comes from within themselves. They are not happy with themselves and project it on to us!

I have wanted to leave and never look back many times...Europe does sound great. But it is better to deal with it in the here and now. But you know this.

I am sorry that you are in so much pain...I really do feel for you:(

Hugs!!
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lealonnie vent away!!! That’s what we are here for!!! We must share the same mother. We must!! I can so relate to your story. It’s so hard.,I cry a lot. My husband older son came home for Thanksgiving and him and I usually commiserate about my mother over the phone. But when he came home for thanksgiving he said that all I talk about is my mother. I told him that’s because her problems somehow turn into my problems. She’s getting worse when it’s time to leave the hospital, or the doctors office, or the restaurant, or her house. She starts stalling!! She could be standing in the street and I could tell her to get out of the road before she gets hit by a car, and she would probably sit down in the middle of the road. That part I’m kidding about with sitting in the road, lol. But she is so stubborn and independent and won’t listen to anybody. Especially me!! She might listen to a nurse but not me. If I speak up I’m yelling, if I don’t agree with what she is saying she gets mad!! She is very secretive too. Don’t tell so and so this, or so and so that. I feel for you lealonnie.,I really do!! HUGS to you!!!!!
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Correction, my older son came home for thanksgiving, not my husbands older son. We have been married 35 years and and both of my kids are mine and my husband’s.
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Lealonnie,

Your saying that you want to run away brings back so many flashbacks. Gosh, I remember feeling that way constantly! I don’t buy lottery tickets. Never think about it but sometimes I am in line behind a person who is buying them and I would get these crazy fantasies about buying my own island and sipping tropical drinks while watching the waves roll in! Hahaha

I don’t even like sweet drinks! I’m a gin and tonic person if I order a cocktail.
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lealonnie, my mother is always right too!!! She insisted that the grocery store clerk gipped her out of 10.00. After screaming and carrying on the manager handed her 10.00 just to shut her up. This was probably 5 years ago and she was driving so I didn’t witness it but she stopped at my house to tell me. Well we emptied all her money out of her purse probably 100.00. I asked her how much she started with and we subtracted the money she spent at the grocery store and guess what? She was OVER the amount. She had 110.00 in her purse when she should have had 100.00!!! You know what that means!! My mother was wrong and they gave her an extra 10.00 back. Nope!! Not in her mind!!! They were still wrong!!! Even after I showed her. They were still wrong!!! I feel for you lealonnie!! I am so sorry you are going through all of this!!! Please vent away!!!!
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Elaine,

My mom told the bank they were off by 30 cents! But she was right. Geeeez! 30 cents. Who cares? She did. That’s what living through the depression does to someone.

I told her that she missed her calling. She should have been an accountant!
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needhelpwithmom, I know!! My mother won’t throw out food. She doesn’t want to waste any food. She eats leftovers 3 days in a row. It must be from living in the depression.
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Oh Lea I'm sorry she got to you today. You know that you aren't responsible for ANY of her problems and when she ramps up the BS take a break and don't call for a few days. In fact take time off from visiting. If she asks why tell her your sick of the constant complaints. Would she get that? Actually, scratch that..... you don't have to tell her anything. Just take a break. A long one. As far as I am concerned you go above and beyond as it is. Some people are just miserable. (my mom is too)

What's amazing is these types of people can't figure out why people don't want to be around them. They do not get it. They are THAT self absorbed. One time I tried telling my mom... well, back up, my mom is very vain. She still does her hair and makeup even though it takes hours and she's not going anywhere and gets her nails done every two weeks. One time she made a snide remark about my lack of effort with my hair. I have a simple style with long hair. It's not like it's a rats nest or anything. So I said "I heard a basic truth one time, that when people remember you they don't remember how you looked, they remember how you made them FEEL." Needless to say it went right over her head.

I really hope you take a break from your mom if you are feeling even the slightest burn out. You know what you need to do. You have helped pull me out of a funk MANY times, so you do have the mental tools. Lean on your husband and forget about mommy dearest for awhile.

Huge hug to you.
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Piper: Thank you! There ARE days when she DOES get to me big time. I am much better at giving out advice than taking my own, IYKWIM. My DH just told me NO MORE Sunday night calls to your mother.......I will handle it. It's just too much after a 12 hr shift and Sundays are bad for her, in general, b/c she has lots of pity parties over the weekend.
I love how you said people remember you for how you made them FEEL, not for how you look. Our mothers are the queens of 'how you look'. At 92, mine was the only one in MC getting her hair dyed blonde every month. The gray was bleeding through almost immediately, of course, so she finally stopped dying it and it looks much better gray. She also goes through an entire jar of wrinkle cream every month. It's not workin' Ma, even if I buy you a VAT!
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Dear Elaine; I can't tell you how many times my mother pitched a huge hissy fit at the store insisting she was 'gypped' and demanding her money back! In fact, she was the queen of returns...........she'd buy things and bring them back CONTINUOUSLY, to the point of insanity. Having no decision making ability, she'd buy something impulsively, rethink it, then return it. Poor dad had to drive her back & forth to the stores all the time, but he agreed to the insanity.

As far as 'talking too much about our mothers' is concerned, what others DO NOT realize is the HEAD SPACE these women consume!!! They create SO many issues and SO much drama that we're forced to deal with, that we become consumed with what's coming next. Because it's ALWAYS something; it's designed that way. The others who don't understand don't understand because WE are doing ALL the grunt work and THEY are going about their lives w/o all the daily BS to contend with.

As far as secrecy is concerned, OMG, I thought my mother was the only one! ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING is a secret! If a relative calls to ask what's going on, WHY is it her business what I'm doing? If someone asks what she did for Christmas? Same thing.........they're 'grilling her' and snooping and 'giving her the third degree because they're jealous'. Yeah, that's it. Who wouldn't be jealous of a 93 y/o woman in a wheelchair living in Memory Care? Sigh. I do believe the old saying of "We're only as sick as the secrets we keep". If everything is a secret, there is NO trust for ANYONE.
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Um. It's just this bit: "every single day of my life my mother makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong."

You know it's not your fault your mother's personality* is as it is, right? Not your fault she's alone in her room and doesn't like the alternatives. Not your fault she's ill and old. Not your fault she looks back and fails to see anything to be contented with.

I think you might get some relief from trying a bit less hard. E.g., if you have a headache and you're just ending a long shift, then DON'T call your mother, not then! Do it after you've had a rest and something to eat. Stop hoping she'll like the presents you and your husband spend time and care and money on choosing - get her presents, by all means, if they're useful or beautiful and appropriate; but crush that flickering internal hope that *this* time she'll be thrilled, and she'll say so.

Put yourself and your husband first; relegate your mother, who is in safe hands and will be FINE, to the time and energy you have to spare.

* I happen to love this personality type when it doesn't belong to my blood relative. If you're going to be difficult, be gloriously, shamelessly difficult!

PS, about her behaviour in the facility and out-and-about. STOP feeling responsible for her, or you'll end up like my poor, noble BIL who called a meeting at the end of his mother's respite stay to apologise in person to all of the staff. You cannot be held responsible for things over which you have no power.
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