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I just saw a post like this that has now closed answers. I want to say that my mother did the same thing. She did have a real (and serious) stroke in 2011 but began faking them after that; among other things.
Long, ugly, obliterating story short
She destroyed my life and that is NOT hyperbole.
She was mentally ill/narcissistic/bipolar/heck if I know which but all her life she was like this but once she began having real medical issues and especially once us kids had grown into wonderful lives for ourselves she put it on like a broadway show.
It wasn't just faking illness/strokes (which 911 was called and time in hospital then all the doctors i took her to once i moved her 1000 so i could take care of her) they could find nothing new and in fact that she was doing better than she had in years.
She continued to fake to the point even the home health people saw it/her primary care saw it (when she couldn't use her right arm but at the end of the appointment was thisty and used her right arm to open the bottle) ...etc. Oh and it was even worst than that..so much worse


I wound up losing my home, my car, my credit...NEVER have I had to live this way since I was a child and I am 48 years old. Absolutely everything I worked for my entire life (put myself through HS-living on my own-put myself through college and so on)is gone...poof. Within 8 months my credit rating dropped from 780 to 502. She was with me all total about 3 months and that is how much damage was done.


Oh so much more. And I didn't have to diagnose her. I know her and I saw it. It was repeatedly obvious once I had her in my home a month or so...when she began to complain that she wasn't being taken care of (I waited on her hand and foot rarely sleeping and got to bathe maybe a quick shower twice per week while she got baths with expensive soaps and a bath brush...) but I had a home security camera so I began watching it...wow, when I wasn't home she was pulling back big curtains and walking without her cane and "sneaking" ice cream sandwiches though she had just that very day had me take her for an emergency dental check due to excruciating pain "especially when eat cold things"


She told the home health people all sorts of awful untruths which they didn't buy for a second and crushed me. I mean broke my heart into a million pieces. so, I took a stand...finally...asking if she feels safe with me she says "sometimes" and I said "that isn't enough. you deserve to feel safe all the time so i think it is best you not live with me anymore"


It turns out she thought she'd get some fancy apartment near me with others wiating on her hand and foot...constant attention and near no rent as there was such a place less than a block from me. she also thought she'd at least be sent to live with my sister who had wanted nothing to do with the whole situation but lived in mother's hometown...our theory anyway...the thing is she could have gotten me into terrible trouble when all i did was work for her to the point I vomited one morning after days without sleep or a real meal (while she got it all all the tme) and she scoffed, very clearly saying "Serves you right" and walked out to the porch to have the fresh coffee I made for her and chain smoke cigarrettes which also made not just me but my dog very ill. What did serve you right mean?


I am not sure. She didn't deny any of this. All she said was after I said she'd broken my heart (truly about to break down to falling into the floor) she rolled her eyes and said "You broke mine" and walked out to have her cigarrettes and fresh iced tea I'd made her after having a 3 course meal for lunch and fresh bath, fresh clothes...baffling...


her behavior wasn't new but just so amplified that I was and am still struggling with it/the why...why? why?


Anyway, I think it isnt a matter of diagnosing someone but a matter of knowing them and to have test after test and proof after proof...you just know. Sadly we believe they changed-NO-just worse

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Lucee, I so hope you can convince your siblings NOT to rescue Hurricane Barbara from Ohio. The sweet sister who has offered to take her in will not be able to pry that dear decrepit woman out of her house with a thousand crowbars. You all can go visit mother (if you wanted to) in Ohio with no manipulation/guilt about staying at a hotel, limiting your time with her, or even, not allowing her in your car! Seems like guardianship would be a blessing to the whole family.

Do keep us informed! It sounds like Barbara is a hoarder on top of everything, and hoarders insist their stuff be protected because it's a way of controlling people. Sound familiar?
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Lucee, please let us know how the hearing goes and if she becomes a ward of the state of Ohio. I know that you and your siblings have given her the option of getting back to TN but she's STILL being uncooperative and to be honest that ONLY 2-4 months living with your sister would probably feel like an eternity and be hell on earth. If Ohio ends up with guardianship then your sister is spared that agony. Who knows what kind of crap your mom might pull once she is living with your sister.

The sad truth is your mom is mentally ill and has no empathy for her children. Like you said **hands washed** the best thing you and your siblings can do is to save yourselves. You have all done enough, more than enough! Your lives matter too! I'm glad that everyone is in therapy and healing. The ironic thing is your mother might actually do better when the state takes over. She will not be able to manipulate the people who work for the state. Professionals will decide on a plan of care and she will have to cooperate.

In the meantime I hope you continue to get better and better. Keep rebuilding and moving forward. At 48 you have so much ahead and I wish you all the best.

If possible let us know how it goes tomorrow and stay strong.
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ExhaustedPiper yes, that is where we are now. While the one sister left that mother hasn't run through since 2013 (high horrible degree then but not to this level of destructive crazy) is open to taking mother in just long enough to get mother near her home town so she isn't institutionalized in Ohio (where mother has zero anyone and would die alone) she's only willing to do that much. Once mother is in TN she would stay with sister for however long (est 2-4 months at most) it takes to get mother into a home. Currently that isn't possible because mother refuses to leave Ohio without her "things" in a storage unit which we all pay for and will move for her...just more irrational entitled behavior...but we have all decided to stay out of that. This all distills down to APS has taken over and as of last night APS will be having a hearing Monday to decide how much longer they give before mother becomes a ward of the state of Ohio. This has been explained to mother...that my sister is trying to help but if mom won't leave without her "stuff" the state will take guardianship and place her in a home in Ohio. Mother understands this or seems to ( i say seems to because this is not new behavior for all my life with her...she seems to think what's coming down the pike won't so long as she plays pitiful and has children she believes will leave everything to save her from such a fate...so that part maybe she's not getting...that we will no longer go all out to save her when we're here and trying and all she has to do is get on that plane and leave her things FOR NOW. ) So without further rambling I'm saying that yes that is where we are. My sister is willing to get her to her home state where she won't be completely alone but at the same time will not take the crap so it's either nursing home or turn her over to the state...that's IF mother gets to TN. If not then not...Ohio takes guardianship and that's that. So yeah, weve had enough and mother will likely wind up institutionalized in a state where she has no one and so far away we can't visit or keep check. So be it. That's where we are...and I think that might be what you are saying? Sighs...I just feel relieved that my siblings and I are healing, grown stronger together, communicating more and more openly, everyone in therapy and all ready to let what will be will be rather than destroy our lives trying to move all this stuff just so mother will make the trip home. Something we've done several times in our lives and refuse to ever do again. If her things mean more than safety with family then that is her decision. No more guilt...we're focusing on our lives. If she wants our help she'll take it otherwise be a ward of the state of Ohio. ***Hands Washed*** (god bless her narc soul I'm glad she lived to see us all learn to put our feet down in protection of OUR health happiness and sanity)
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Lucee, I really feel for you and your siblings.

Has anyone considered that she should become a ward of the state? Let the professionals deal with her and place her, in fact imo it's the only solution.

Do not let that toxic sick person near your life ever again.
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Stay strong Lucee!! I am proud of you.
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into a nursing as soon as possible. Oh and she told me last night that she’s been able to speak with mother at the shelter and mom “cries” saying she misses me and so sorry for what she did to me…wishes she could talk with me. I refuse to call her.

Basically, finally, mother has been found mentally ill with an assumed combination of early dementia due to stroke(?) I am close to my sisters, especially the one now taking mom in otherwise I’d have no part of it…still only give emotional support. Otherwise I’m focusing on my life and recovery from all she destroyed, including the mental/emotional strain. I feel zero guilt or care and I’m good with that. It feels appropriate and certainly healthier for me. The next time I see mother MAY be at her funeral.
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Thank you all for your care and compassion, your advice and sharing your own experiences.
I haven’t signed in here since December though I’d meant to in order to finish the update. I think I just couldn’t bear it at the time. It was too raw while I struggled to get into a home and a vehicle. (I did! Still a struggle but feels like a big victory of sorts)

So, after all the insanity with the lies to the healthcare folks and discovering that she’s in fact much healthier than she pretended, she sort of apologized realizing she may wind up being put in a home after one of the home health ladies spoke to me privately. She asked me later “where are you going to put me?” Which was the topic of the conversation…that’s when she gave me crocodile tears and literally collapsed into my arms with sorries/she loves me/thanking me.
I digress…so after all that it wasn’t a day or so that she began insisting I drive her from Austin to basically Nashville to visit her hometown/family/other kids/grandkids. I couldn’t afford that financially or physically let alone the time. More tantrums until I realized I had enough points to get her a round trip ticket. She was to stay about 6 days…on the 4th day my youngest sister called in tears/panic that mom refuses to get on the return flight. Mom told her she was going to live with her. That sister was a newlywed with a blended family of 4 children-both she and her husband working full time as necessity. After a round of video chats trying to reason with mom that sister finally said ok that she can stay until mom’s nephew got his extra room ready for her (later mom refused to make that move) so sister lost her job and nearly her home as mother exaggerated again to the point the husband was literally carrying her to bed but sister caught her walking around fine/in the tub shaving her legs/etc Sister tried to get her into assisted living but doctors, etc said she has to be with a family member or nursing home. At which point mother tantrums wanting to come back to live with me (I was near homeless so no) then wanted to live with other sister who also same situation as youngest sister and her own health issues. Then mom decides she wants to return to her estranged husband (see other posts for that guy…wow) so sister put her on a plane back to Ohio. She was at sisters about 6weeks returning to OH in October.

And without one iota of acknowledging what she’d done to all of us. Zero empathy, compassion, apologies…nothing. I didn’t know all this until December due to my own struggles (didn’t even have a phone for a while). At that point of getting updates mom already wanted to return to either me or the other sister. Saying the same things about estranged husband she said earlier 2019 then about me to sister then about sister to husband and around the circle goes. (I’ve taken to calling her “Hurricane Barbara”)

This past week it all blew up with mom being found trying to walk to the bank while husband at work then finding some way (we still don’t know) to get to the legal aid office looking for help to finalize divorce and “get safe” and is now at a women’s shelter insisting she go live with the other sister (only person left) so that sister gave in because the shelter/aps are saying mom is not mentally competent so she either goes to live with a relative or they will institutionalize her in Ohio where she has no-one…sister doesn’t want her to die alone. So now the last daughter is making room in her house (consolidating her children sharing rooms so mom has her own) and working with aps etc to get mother to her.

The clincher in all this, mother is raising mortal hell that she will not leave OH without all her things (in storage unit) get moved with her. None of us can afford this right now but would do it in a few months. Sister is still trying to do all she can so I had a 2 and half hour talk with her last night giving her detailed insight and caution. She said, I’m going to get her here and into a nursin
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Lucee55,
I am so sorry to hear of your pain & heartache. What you’re going through is abuse and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to change.

For your own health & safety you have to get away from your mom. You’re still young at 48 and you sound like a strong person so it’s probably time to concentrate on yourself and get your life back together.

This forum has showed me that I’m not alone in what I’m dealing with and has helped my anxiety from my situation. There are a lot of caring people here who offer good advice.

I wish you all the best!
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This is truly saddening to my core. There’s so much involved in caregiving but your mom isn’t healthy and I hope you stopped trying. There’s other posts of parents who were so mean that their children hung themselves to escape their misery.
Please, you have your own health to be concerned with, NOTHING you do for her is EVER going to matter. I implore you to get her away and get yourself healthy. This is going to sound rude but you don’t matter to her from your posts that is clear but you MUST matter to yourself. You have life left to live, and you know you can’t make her happy so stop. Get her in a nursing facility and stay away. It has to be done and you’re certainly not the first to release yourself from an incessantly nasty parent. She needs more care than you can give and it’s time she go. I’m so very sad she stained you to this point but none of it matters to her! That is not going to change, my goddess she sounds foul. Let her be foul elsewhere. Hugs from California 🤗
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This is mental illness - you did not cause it, you can't cure it. In a sense you were just unfortunately in its path and in that sense it does not have anything to do with you or what you did or did not do. No way will it ever make any sense.  Detachment is probably the best answer - keep as much distance as you can and please don't feel guilty - self defense is everyone's right.
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I am very sorry to read this, although I have read scenarios like this before, some are easily fooled and manipulated by others, I am glad that you have figured her out...and, I hope that you have moved on and left her in your dust.

Wishing you the very best future!
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My heart broke as I read your post--

My mother, too, is a hypochondriac with some co-morbid mental issues--who knows what? BPD for sure, I don't even know what else.

She faked migraines for years and years. Would say she had been non-stop vomiting for a couple of days--yet upon closer inspection--there was NO evidence she had been throwing up. I took her to the ER countless times (as did my sibs and all the neighbors) for a shot of Demerol and a scrip for countless pain meds.

Everything was about HER. My wedding pictures turn my stomach b/c it was the wedding SHE wanted, nothing about it (except the groom) was of my choosing.

Looking back I see how she has used and manipulated all of us, and one by one all 6 of us kids dropped away from her--except YB with whom she lives and me. And I walked out her door back in May when I told her I had cancer and she replied "Say Hi to your dad, he'll be glad to see you". (He's been gone 15 years--and WHO SAYS THAT TO A SICK CHILD OF ANY AGE???) I was so shocked. I walked out and haven't spoken to her since and have no intention of doing so in the near future. My cancer it cured, but there remains 2 years of FU treatment that is not pleasant. I'm very depressed about it---hoping to put it behind me and I cannot.

The best thing I did was walk away, as I feel now, I truly don't care if I ever see her again. It's so sad---and nobody understands how very, very hurtful her words were to me.

I did see/do see a therapist as often as I can. It has helped a lot, but bottom line? This is MY mother and MY problem. Everyone thinks I should kiss and make up and I feel at this juncture that is a lie and I won't do it. Apologize to HER for ME having cancer and taking the focus off her for a while? No, I can't be that big a person. I am still sick from the chemo and depressed as all get out.

I'm 63 and have managed to have a pretty good life in spite of a 'crazy mother'.

Lord help us all who have one in our lives.
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I am sorry to hear your pain. From your description, your mother has a mental illness which you did not create, you can't fix and you can't control. All you can do, is what you have done now by placing yourself on a healthier path without her as a noose around your neck.

Meeting with a therapist may give you some answers as to why within a reasonable possible diagnosis that in itself may or may not bring closure.

What I suggest is something that I did with my therapist. Write your mother a letter in which you tell her what she has done and how that has made you feel. Then close with something like, I'm going to put you and what you did and the negative feelings I have in God's hands so I can let this go and move on with my life so that I'm not poisoned by those negative feelings. Then take the letter outside, burn in in a tin trash cash and throw the ashes to the wind as a tangible expression of letting it all go.

I would still meet with a therapist though.

I wish you the very best in working through and from all of this. Take care.
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I am so sorry you are hurting. I feel your pain. Your story is heartbreaking. I can’t imagine a parent faking any type of illness. You did not deserve any of that.

You are strong! You proved that a million times over. Don’t ever doubt that. You put yourself through high school on your own! After that college. Made a successful life for yourself and as you said it all came crashing down around you. Whew! What a disaster!

You are taking the first step by reaching out to this forum. That gives me hope. You are smart! You may be wounded but you can and will heal. Overnight? Of course not. But if I have faith in anyone, it’s you. Look at what you have accomplished.

Have you spoken to a therapist? Are you interested in doing so? I think it would help. What do you want to do now? What do you think would help you heal and move forward? There are many on this forum that have been through abusive situations. They will tell you what helped them.

I feel that you were right to end the relationship with your mom. Do you have contact now? Or have you severed all ties? Do not allow her to do any more damage. She has hurt you enough.

Again, I am so very sorry you have experienced such pain and anguish.

It will take some time to heal. I wish you well. A bazillion hugs for you!
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