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Many of us, myself included, come from a dysfunctional family which adds a lot of weight to the challenges of caregiving. I have read stores on various threads on other topics and decided it would be good to have a thread just for this topic for people to share, vent and discuss.

The idea for this thread originated on the thread named "The Caregiver....How are YOU doing today?"

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Well this was my first week back and its been good. I fell asleep on train and woke at conductor saying west 4th street which is where i get off to go to therapy so I jumped up and then settled down realizing I had my morinings confused. Its tomarrow morning that I go to therapy.

I am just going to take it easy. I am concerned about an agreement i have with paying back owed taxes because I didnt get paid for a good 3 weeks if I go into default it could be a penalty so I am anxious to get that cleared up. Other wise I am just going to go with the flow not try to catch up on undone chores and stress myself.

So I am wishing you all well. Lots of sunshine and light in your hearts and lives.
And rays of love and peace.

Good night and sleep tight.
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Rosie, its sad to hear your post. I can understand how you feel because in many ways I was and in many ways I am still in same situation.

If you can, why dont you get a very secure lock or replace the door with your belongings. With all the dysfunction, take pictures. I am thinking that involvement with a police report would shame those involved.; jSo breaking down your door would be illegal and cause for action.

My mother used to theaten me with crazy stuff call on the job saying I leftr the light on and if Idont come and turn it off she was going to break the door down. And she did this a few times. Each time of course I was anxious and intimidated but I didnt leave my job and come home to find the light was off and all was well.

If your daughter is handicapped, maybe check with foundations for assitance also if your state has a shelter system Im sure your case would be a prioity.
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Gidget, Sorry for your loss. For want of a better word "Forget" what family or anyone thinks or feels. You did what you could and honored your father and no one can take that away. Your blessings are in your clear counscious and will always flow from a job well done. Hold your head up they werent there for you when you needed help so do you really need them now. God Bless, be strong.

I think money is the root of all ugly thoughts and sabatoge. I would keep my distance.
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PAMZIMMRRT_ thanks for your response. I am once again online tonight looking for just that. Housing assistance. Having tried many times before, I am sure it will be a no go. I work because it's more money than assistance, even though it is grueling on my body. I must take care of the job, because it takes care of me. I have steeled myself to the upsets that may be coming from the brothers. The lack of positive coping skills in this family is well known. I can get a storage place thursday. That may buy me some time. I am online tonight looking for resources more that a few friends in the field of aging have helped me with. I am practicing how NOT to get engaged in verbal negative play from my parents and that may also buy me some time. This is not the first time they have done this particular method of negative coping. Growing up, my brothers bore the brunt of the parental games. I am going to continue to pray for wisdom and help. And document what is going on.
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Rosie, I don't know your background, job or age.. but I sure would not be going to work tomorrow if I thought my things would be stolen or put on the street. If you have a job, can you afford low income housing, or an emergency woman's shelter for you and your daughter while you sort things out? And it is not as easy to evict someone these days, check other posts! Do you a have a friend you can stay with for a few days? Can you get disability? Good luck with this!
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I am getting a crash course in the realities of the aging parents. I live with them. I have extra medical of my own. I have a multi sibling family. There is no will, power of attorney or guardianship. Once again, there was a serious medical change. Even though I live here, both parents sought to hide it from me for the past year. Yes, it is a lifelong dysfunction and erratic and abusive behavior. Aging just sweetens the pot. A very recent heart surgery and pacemaker implant for dad, of course brought a lovely drama, (again) with it. Several years back, my siblings got together without me, to discuss the fact that they expected me to take care of our parents in the aging process. They decided without me, since I had raside a special needs daughter in this home, that, I was well suited to the task and, I owed them for living here. I never agreed. I have had my own lifethreatening medical to endure among everything else. Denial is the perfect game played in this family. I am aware of the changes of alzheimers and dementia with a new crach course this week to educate myself. The siblings are blaming me for the condition of the house thanks to secret conversations over many months by my parents to make it look like I am the odd one out. It's the opposite. How do I protect myself, my belongings and yes, my 26 year old daughter from the ongoing chaos? I have already learned better ways to not take anything said or done by my parents-personal. This includes verbal attacks and abuse and destruction of my personal belongings. They are fighting with manipulation, tooth and nail to hide their deficits. They do not want to be placed in any type of assisted care. I have no claim on the house even after living here a lifetime. The stress alone is a detriment to my health. What steps can I take? I actually believe while I am at work tomorrow, wednesday, they are allowing brothers in to remove my things. It's a cover for the fact my father has ocd anxiety and hoarding. My mother is pell mell helter skelter. Hides the silverware, cannot finish a task, pulls things out of cupboards and leaves things on the floor etc. I have fallen multiple times in the last 6 months because of the stuff on stairs and kitchen floor. I cannot clear it fast enough or even keep up every day. But, it's blamed on me because I live here. I was paralyzed twice by autoimmune reactions and pushed myself through what recovery I could. The entire family including the parents, are in complete denial of the grueling work that takes. I am lucky to walk. There must be a positive way through this. how do I proceed?
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Gidget, sorry for your loss. Congestive heart failure is very difficult. When money/inheritance is involved, family gets nuts! Mine did too, after I cared for mom for four years 24/7. Sorry you are going through this. Been there.
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My Father just passed and he had chronic heart failure at 93 and my mother is 90 and still functioning fairly well. My dysfunctional family has not stepped up to help at all but are gossiping that I am doing this only to try to get to my family inheritance. The inheritance has been fairly split. I am tired and worn out and try not to let them bother me. He needed care for the last four years, and no-one offered me a hand. At his funeral my father the gossip was flying and no-one came up to thank me or support me. I feel truly saddened that I come from such a family that is so self centered and worried about money. wow what a world we live in and what a family I come from. I am so disappointed that I am part of this family and will disappointed.
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Barb I saw such a pleasant surprise when I went on your message board.

Tg I hope you pay heed to some of the advice you have been getting, now is the time to act and get you father in the proper setting. He will probably love it. Meet some nice ladies.
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Girlsaylor, glad you are good and low blood pressure, low sugar can present with same symptom with an increase in pulse rate to get o2 and sugar to the brain. Glad you are coming along okay.

That meal sounds scrumptious.
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Barb, APS is still on case. Mr. G (APS) came by a few weeks ago. Seems he does a monthlyt check, calls and asks if he can come by. He comes in looks around check my mother and leaves. This last visit he called I came down to wait for him. My DN came in just before Mr. G came. He asked if that was my nephew, the one who is a cop and asked if he could speak with him. I said sure and at the same time DN was coming down the stairs so he met him as he was passing the door on way out introduced himself and asked to speak to nephew all quiet no disrespect or testosterone show. Nephew stops and walks into room he follows and then DN stayed in kitchen talking to my mother for a good disrespectful amount of time and then walks right past the man. I asked him if he did not see the man waiting to speak with him, he says he's not there to see him and I say that he introduced himself and asked to speak to you and you could have had the decency and respect about yourself to say yes. no, I dont have time.
So much had happened while I was home recovering. Its crazy for me because its the same thing I have been seeing all my life and I still get dumbfounded to see the same ole shT. The disrespect, the ugliness, the pain and I try my best to not hurt their feelings.

Then one day after I didnt come down I find the adverstisement want ads for apartments again. So I sent him a nice nasty text telling him to be a man and say what he has to say to my face not on the down low, come at me straight. And that he is supposedto be a grown ass man and tricks is for kids.
I also said I didnt understand what this meant so I was tapeing the advertisement to his mother's door, that maybe she could help him. Things were quiet until my dumb but text him about the obvious flood and sewer problem and he told me I could fix it or get plumber to do what ever I wanted which also made me head hot.
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DDDuck- wonderful to see you here. So glad you are slowly recovering. Surgery is hard, and it messes with the head, no matter how calm one’s home life is. For the rest of us, it’s horribly tough emotionally. While I don’t have the answers on your Mom, and your situation, it’s beyond shabby that your family couldn’t be motivated to cover your mom’s needs during your surgery and recovery. Lordy, forgive if the caregiver doesn’t make it through surgery. Wouldn’t have said that before your surgery though. You have enough to worry about.

Tonight’s dinner was some Swiss steak I had cooked in crockpot and froze meal portions. It froze and reheated very well. Added mashed taters and fresh steamed broccoli. And my usual cut raw relishes, which I eat along with a tiny scoop of mashed potatoes, so I keep the carbs low. Feeling better, but gaining strength and endurance is so slow going for me. Some days I get shaky, and have to get out all my meters to check whether it’s blood pressure, heart rate, low oxygen, or low blood sugar. I have never been able to tell the difference between diabetic low, low heart rate, and low blood pressure. They all take turns deviling me!

Gentle hugs to all here. Do something for just you today!
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Duck, I'm glad that you are recovering well from your surgery.

Has APS been in touch? I'm sure that they will be interested in your sisters lack of follow up on the neuro appointment.
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Greetings everyone! I am back to work tonight and glad to be here. My recovery time was a lot longer than I expected and well no work no pay. So to avoid complications down the line I waited until I felt I was fully recovered enought to return to work.

Being home and not able to do certain productive things had me crawling the walls. Also the times that I stayed in my room and had no contact with my mother was a sad revelation. The first two days after surgery I stayed in bed. I had notified my nephew that I would be out and unable to care for my mother due to surgery. Well when I came down the place was a wreck, old food and containers were stacke in a pile on stove and kitchen table. My lheart fell. It was evident lthat someone was bringing her food here and there but not making sure she ate. I did a little bit of damage control, fed her (and she was hungry) and went out to get my sandwich supplies which is basically what I had up until my fith week out. I knew I wasnt right or well because I was not cooking and had no desire to do so. I love to cook.

I also became very angry that I felt guilty for the poor care my mother recieved and how sad it was. Didnt I know I was the only one really care for her duh!! So I get upset and cry and go into a depression because I cant handle this alone.

Meanwhile I had opened my mothers mail awhile back and she had a referral to be evaluated by neuro for severe dementia. I taped this to my sisters door and later taped a note on entry do to please followup on that referral. It had a to do by October 17th before expiration. Something like that. I put it on door in August. It was ignored.

Every little change in mental capacity I have notice over many years has bought me to tears. So she tears the house up on occasion and I feel its not safe for her walking up and down the stairs. She needs 24hr home care.

So I am not caught up at all and maybe I will get the chance because I see there not much activity. I guess we are all just living and trying to make it through the trials, tribulations, the pain that comes with dysfunction and caring for a loved one.

Girlsaylor I hope you are doing well in your recovery. That type of surgery is long term for recovery and pain and therapy. God Speed.

Sometimes we dont realize how much of a toll stress can have on us. And these life changes that come with life can give knock out blows. Sometimes I just cry and dont even know precisely what it is I just know Im hurting and I know there is so much more to come.

My heart, prayers and thoughts are truly with you all. I dare not go into details and get names criss crossed but to all of you be strong, hold your head up and try , (I know its hard) but try and cast your burdens unto the Lord.

Dang! Idont know why I have to be in a significantly low place in spirit to be able to let go and know God has it but I am getting a little better.

Light, love and healing to all. Good Night.
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Polar and all, thanks for the kind words and thoughts. It was harder than I expected, but I'll be ok. The hospice team is really good, helpful and kind. Adapt, adjust, keep on going.
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Linda - sorry for what you're going through with your mom. Does hospice offer counseling? If so, it may be helpful talking to a therapist.
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TG you hold yourself to an impossible standard - WTF does an old man in rehab (or anywhere else for that matter) need with pressed shirts?
When it comes to your relatives helping sometimes you have to be willing to accept what is offered even if it doesn't measure up to your expectations, telling everyone no thanks and then b*tching about them not stepping up is a non starter.


(And as for those Chefs in facilities - I know from experience that many of them are quite capable but are restricted by impossibly tight budgets and dietary restrictions and most often have no say in planning the menu, it' can truly be the job from hell)
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TG, I think it's time for a serious talk with the discharge planning folks at the rehab about appropriate placement for your dad.

You have an opportunity right now that will not come again. Please get some professional advice.
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So sorry for what decisions you have to make with your loved one Linda22, we were just in the same situation with my BIL and he decided when it was time to go. Hospice is a fantastic service to assist your loved one. They are truly angels in compassion and caring. Having gone through it with my SIL we found the caring was so great to allow them comfort.

Dad is in for his 2nd knee. Was in the hospital for 3 days and now at rehab. Before he went he was raving about the place, "I talked to the chef and they have remodeled the place and I have my own room!" Yeah, he got sold a bill of goods, the "Chef"? Not so much, lots of sandwiches, having to deal with lack of help on the weekends, terrible service, the room was remodeled about 40 years ago and has patches on the drywall unfinished. As for the "Chef", I guess opening a can of something makes you a chef?
So every day I take him a snack of KFC popcorn chicken and some grapes. I ironed his shirts and starched them hung them on hangers for him and what does he do? Throws them in a clump on his chair, "I was too lazy to go to the closet to get them".....
He has one more day of PT there but is not progressing. Needs to climb 28 stairs in my house 3 story house and it is 14 steps to the first floor then 14 to his bedroom and shower. Doing 6 steps at PT is not progressing. He just lays in the bed there......
Now a few weeks of people coming and going to OT and PT at the house.
I have been busting my butt to get all new replacement windows in before he gets home and painting and cleaning his room (sawdust). Needed to replace windows for a long time so this is the best time.
So for a few weeks it will be driving him around.... #nohelpfromsiblings.
I get calls form the relatives telling me what he says how the numbers are different from his tells them to what the staff tells me.
One offered to fly in to help him...... No I dont think I need someone to get in my way and yell at people. I think after taking care of my SIL with cancer living with us and hospice and her estate by ourselves, my BIL for 10 years in a NH and managing him all by ourselves until he passed. Managing dad for 5 years in my home and numerous hospital trips. Helping my neighbor for 6 years and her issues and her husbands hospice, I think I may know something. They all think I am stupid and an idiot. But no one steps up to help! They will all tell me what I should be doing but not one finger.......
My aunt had the same issue with her mom and dad, everyone would call and say what to do yet she was there every day for years feeding her mother doing laundry etc.... every day.....
Gotta love the relatives........
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Linda22, I'm sorry to read of this development, but I wish you peace and solace as you and your family journey down this last road.  And I hope your mother's journey is also as calm and peaceful as it can be.
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Processing.....tomorrow, we sign up for hospice for my mom. There was no precipitating event like my FIL, or serious conditions worsening like my MIL. Just a slow decline since January. The extra eyes and hands will be good, and the hospice company was wonderful with my inlaws. I've been trying to process this since the call a few hours ago. I know it's the correct next step. Not at all sure what I'm feeling...sadness that our relationship has been so rough. Sadness she's been so unhappy for so long. Sadness for what was, what wasn't. Sigh.
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Still struggling with dysfunctional family and taking care of mom. My mom is pretty nice but is extremely passive and doesn't seem to care how awful and selfish my brother and sister are. I am doing the majority of work by far and she treats us all the same even when my brother and sister are cruel to me and to her. Drives me nuts. I have thought of getting her another place to live but it would have to be with assistance and she doesn't want that. I just can't do it to her. Some days are better than others. Usually it's better when I just ignore them all and do the minimum required. What a hard we have. And I work full time and am broke... just venting. Yes, my family is extremely dysfunctional and it makes it so much harder. Do something nice for yourself guys and I'll try to do the same. We have to take care of ourselves no matter what. I've been doing this for three years about now. The best piece of advice I have to give others is don't try to be the superstar caregiver. You'll just get taken advantage of and burn yourself out. Get as much help as you can and do as little as possible to get by so you have time to take care of yourself and your own life/job/kids/pets/whatever. And, yea, sadly the best way I've found to handle the difficult and crazy family members is to ignore the shit out of them and just do what you know you need to get done. Write down events, money spent and all that too so if it comes to it you have detailed records and receipts of the time you've spent and the money you've spent. I realize also that my brother and sister don't care as much as I do and that's something I have to accept and realize we are different kinds of people. I talked to someone once about this stuff and he said, "you're setting the bar too high for your sister" and that is so true. We expect them to care and want to help our parent as much as we do... but they don't. I guess I'll stop rambling. I think I am trying to convince myself as much as anyone else that things are ok cuz honestly it's still a huge struggle.
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Not that this is much practical use, but I think everyone here should give themselves a treat (preferably involving a moment of peace) as a reward for being so wonderful. I have found this helps: whenever I have a frustrating incident (sisters stirring up trouble / Mum dragging away from my work, study and friends to deal with the latest drama) I buy myself something, go for a walk by the sea or read a few pages of a cheap paperback thriller (I am so time-poor that it takes me ages to finish a book now). Or I listen to music at night with earbuds in and one ear open in case Mum calls me to fix the TV. Venting here helps too.
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ExhaustedJenny, your story is heartbreaking. I don't know what to say except I hope you can seize little moments of me-time and look after your own health because your resilience can only last so long. God bless x
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Been there Renoir, I had a bullseye on my back too. Actually thought about a tattoo , small one, of a bullseye. LOL! Might as well laugh, one day we will.
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Eldest sister called Adult Protective Services on me prior to my seeking Guardianship for my early-stage dementia mother. "Elder Abuse check" per Social Worker who arrived at the door. Very upsetting that family getting so very vicious. Wow. I believe it is all about the $$$$, aka the will. Siblings worried I will inherit everything, I guess. I had no idea when I took on job as Caregiver to my parents that I would have a permanent bullseye on my back one day. ((sigh)) It's days like this I want to walk away, yet I stay... My parents need me.
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Not really sure what's going on with Mom. She was out of sorts earlier in the week, then better, back tonight in a sour mood. She said her neighbor said oh your hands sound like exactly what I had - carpal tunnel. I'd told her the symptoms (per online stuff) all came up with carpal tunnel. Nope, I didn't know what I was talking about. She may have been hinting at going to a doctor, but I've tried that only to be yelled at profusely.
Then she had called me multiple times because she couldn't reach a friend of hers by phone. Oh see, that's how she is - she worries about everyone other than herself and she's not selfish - like I am. Sigh. Friend was ok, just a malfunctioning phone, and didn't have her cell phone on or charged.
She calls me back because she sees an Amazon Fire Tablet on sale on tv. The same freaking one I gave her over a year ago, and which she returned because it was "no good". She said she wished she'd bought one of those because the laptop she bought (which she had said for well over a year - I want a computer - nothing else would do) is a waste of time. Basically, she wasted money, and it's my fault. I haven't shown her enough on how to do it. Uh, turn it on. Enter a PIN. I saved everything she would want under favorites, and it's a touch screen. I wrote it all down in a notebook for her and we went over it multiple times. But, sure, since she won't do anything on her own with it, it's my fault. She kept saying how the fire tablet was such a great idea. I finally said that is the tablet I got for you, which you didn't like, which you returned to me saying it was "stupid". I told her go ahead and order it if you want, but it's the same thing you didn't like. She then said I sure didn't show her "much" on how to use it. I said not sure what else I could have shown you - you turn it on, tap on the icon, then move within each app. She wants something that will totally take her to exactly whatever article or item she wants to see right now. I've told her every app or page still requires some navigation, but I'm wrong.
She's also had three cell phones (1 from me, same as my phone - 2 different ones from my brother); all of which were "stupid". She's asked my brother for yet another cell phone; he's said repeatedly he's looking into it - which I think means he's done with it - not even going to get her another one. He took 2 away to try and sell and/or get refunds.
Now she's on a rant re: the holidays. She's not going to do any planning! The planning she's done is to buy a turkey breast for Thanksgiving, and to buy a ham for Christmas. Most years, I've brought the ingredients for side dishes. She's going on about her neighbor, who has grown children who live in Florida or have a winter home there - they are making arrangements for her to go there. Sorry, I don't have the money for a winter home nor live in FL (or a warmer climate).
She's also back to dredging up every slight, real or imagined, that has ever happened to her. And adding basically now she has to deal with such an awful daughter - why is she so punished? She's so selfless, and basically I'm just rotten. Then she wants me to do her favors and wants me to move her into my house. She really wants me to wait on her hand and foot - I owe her! She has dexterity issues, but she exaggerates it when I am around. When she doesn't know I can see her, she moves much quicker and is more agile. She's also taken to calling me multiple times a day, and says I should call her more, even while at work. I've explained I cannot sit on the phone at work for 30 to 60 minutes (listening to her complain), but I'm just wrong and selfish! I don't know if this is early stages of dementia or just depressed?? Thanks for letting me vent. Hugs to all!
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Sister and I had a disagreement about dad and insulin last week. She went in (behind my back) and exaggerated his numbers. Then wanted me to be the one to administer. I refused so she started talking about teaching dad and you know, he was going along with the plan. I didn’t like that idea. Needless to say the saga continued this week. So I went in to see his doctor. He said come back to him when I have a solution. That solution was hospice. So while letting his other doctors know he was going under hospice, I learned dad is ill in more ways than one. So as of yesterday, he too is under the nursing part of hospice. Now I’m just thinking on the walking away again. Did it once and got talked into coming back.
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Just stopping in to say hi and wish you all well. Its tedious typing on phone. Rays of love light and peace to all
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Went to Mom's for the weekend. Last time there wasn't horribly bad, so I had expectations of at least having an ok time. Wrong. She went off almost immediately as I got there, and said, I don't even know why you bothered coming! I got there around noon, which wasn't early enough for her. She and my brother leave for church on Sat around 3:30 (or a little after). She gets so anxious - 2 hours ahead of time. I said I can get ready within that time no problem. "Well it takes me longer!" Uh, ok? Rest of that day was okayish. I remade her bed, reorganized part of her closet, put away summer linens, did a basic pedicure on her. Then Sun, I'm up early, doing some laundry, then swept up her front porch, switched out some décor items, put items away that she'd asked about. I made her exactly what she wanted for breakfast, carrying it to her in her lazy boy. She said going to the dining room table is just too much for her. Ok. I then started vacuuming, but noooo she was on the phone with brother, was to make NO NOISE and be QUIET. I had a huge list to get stuff done, so I wasn't very happy. I then went on to clean her bathroom. It was bad. I almost think she leaves stains on purpose. So I then clean the other bath, then the kitchen. All the while she is now sound asleep in her chair. I asked what she wanted to do after I'd finished. NOTHING - I don't like your attitude!! Ok, fine. I made her have an upset stomach. Couldn't be her usual bad diet of candy and snacks? I'd made her a nice lunch, dinner, and breakfast. But whatever. So then after she yelled at me and said she didn't want to do 'nothin', I said well let me pack up, I don't need to be part of this. Then she demanded I come, sit and talk with her. What she meant was for her to lecture me and tell me how I have failed her, and how she's been nothing short of wonderful - to everyone. She had said when my dad died, I didn't pay enough attention to her. I said, what - I was 13, a kid. No, I was an adult according to her. I should've paid my own way, got my own food and clothing. She doesn't like it when I say it was her responsibility. It was - both legally and morally. But no one gave her enough attention at that time. She went through a lot. She made the comment, did you see that woman in church how SHE took care of HER father? Ok, so I'm a lousy daughter. I never said that! I never say anything negative about you. Not directly, true. She has friends, lots of friends (as in you do NOT). She knows about hard work (as in you do not - nor does anyone else). I had no business buying such a large home on my own without consulting anyone (i.e. her). No not just her. Fact - her home is larger in square feet, but I am a liar. All righty. After an hour or more of this - I said so do you want to do anything. Well..... I then sat and ate something I'd bought that I didn't want to haul home, as she then did her entire rant; I sat in back of her at the table, while she ranted away. She'd also made it to the table to write out a birthday card. She sends cards out to everyone, so she will get a card in return. It's not just because she's so big hearted; it's always quid pro quo.
So I finally get home after a horrible drive, call her to say I'm home, and she continues to rant. I had said I get it, you're bitter, and I'm the whipping post - no, you're crazy!!! It's a classic narc strategy along with projection and gaslighting, which she does all the time. Tonight, she's not answering the phone, so back to not speaking again. I know she's ok, because golden child brother calls her daily; if no answer he'd stop by (he's within 2 miles of her house). I'm not sure why the meltdown over nothing. She said she had 3 close friends just pass away. Not really. Two were pen pals (both had stopped corresponding with her), and one was a cousin's wife, whom she said before she didn't really know that well. I guess maybe because close to her age?
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