My Mother lives in an assisted living. 1) she refuses to eat the food there - says its horrible - I buy food and take it weekly 2) she rarely goes out of her apt. (oh the germs and those people) 3) she insists only on certain caregivers (those who say no are obviously not allowed) 4) she is angry with her auditory doctor because she was told that she has comprehension issues - wants me to drive her to a place an hour away so every time I go over or try to help she complains non stop. She also tells others that I do nothing, etc, etc. I have had enough. I pay all of her bills. I just do not want to deal with her anymore. It takes hours for me to relax again after 5 minutes with her. Any ideas? Should I just say - you eat what is offered here and be happy? She is quite vindictive. Told the doctor yesterday that I almost punched her..... strange - she grabbed me while I was leaving. How do I deal with this - she is so manipulative. I never realized it when I asked her to move here so that I could help her. My father told me that nobody believed him when he told them how abusive she was. I told her she was unpleasant and I was leaving - she told me she was not unpleasant. I don't know how much longer I can deal with this. Especially taking a half day off from work for her to abuse me while I take her to the doctor.

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Five phrases you can use to disarm a narcissist (from author Lisa Romano). I've found it hard to learn to use these without explaining or engaging further, but I'm getting better - and they work! Maybe they'll work for you, too. Just saying them to myself makes me feel better sometimes. :-)
1. "I'm sorry you feel that way."
2. "I can accept your faulty perception of me."
3. "I have no right to control how you see me."
4. "I guess I have to accept that that's how you feel."
5. "Your anger is not my responsibility."
Helpful Answer (3)

Is the food at the ALF horrible? Try it. If it isn't, stop delivering groceries beyond a few snacks and treats. If your mother is still that determined to cater for herself, fine - but she can handle it, then. You needn't. She won't starve.

Hmmm... If the food IS horrible... Hadn't thought that far!

So, if your mother has had to manage without your Dad for 35 years, where did she get her next slave and what did he die of?

I'm being flippant (hope you can tell!), but just wondering: what happened leading up to her agreeing to move to this ALF and be nearer to you?

Stop worrying about what other people might think. Either they're nothing to do with anything and it doesn't matter what they believe, or they are more closely connected with the situation but they have eyes and ears and will form their own opinion. Whatever *either* of you says.

Hmmm. There are quite a few tricks of language that spring to mind, reading your post. For example. You told your mother she was unpleasant and she said no she wasn't (yes you are no i'm not yes you so are...).

Well now. Your mother can deny that she is unpleasant, of course. But what she couldn't deny, if you were to do a little linguistic wiggle, is that *you* *find* her unpleasant.

Er. I have to say. My mother drove me nuts in many ways, may she rest in peace; and my MIL - may she live forever, sigh - well, until I heard about Golden's mother I honestly didn't believe anyone could be more of an emotional hand grenade. But I don't recall (let me think. No, don't think so) actually having told them quite that bluntly what I thought of them.

I did tell my mother she made it impossible for me to look after her. Please don't think I'm having a go at you - I have certainly notched up plenty of screeching harpy moments and am in no position to criticise.

But I think perhaps leaving *before* you are driven to tell your mother that sort of thing might be your best strategy for the time being?

It sounds as if she is picking fights. You don't have to play, you know.
Helpful Answer (3)

I could see my mother becoming like yours if she went to Assisted Living. I already know the cereal wouldn't be good enough; her cereal must not be fortified because she's developed a fantasy world where she had Vitamin B6 toxicity, so she buys things like Cascadian Farms. And of course me the Dummy Daughter Driver couldn't be depended on to get the *right* kind of Cascadian Farms, so she would be expecting me to haul her around to get it and milk (and probably doctor visits). I can't imagine how doctor visits would work -- my mother would have to schedule visits correctly, remember the time and date, get herself ready, get on the van, get off the van and figure out where she would be going in the medical building, NOT panic because she's afraid the elevator door will shut on her, etc. 

That is where I would put my foot down. Don't AL facilities have a van that takes the residents around? That's part of the fee here, so I will NOT remain her taxi service, when that facility is being paid to do that. I know my mother wouldn't be happy with the van service, but too bad.

My mother would be miserable in an AL, because she simply couldn't CONTROL everything the way she does now. So she would still try to control ME (which is what your mother is doing to you).
Helpful Answer (1)

Thank you! I am working on ideas to detach and will ask the Assisted Living for more ideas. I definitely will pay someone to take her to the doctor. She refuses to get on the bus (the germs) so perhaps I will deliver her groceries when she is asleep. BTW- My Dad is still alive and very happy with his life (they have been divorced for 35 years)
Helpful Answer (2)

She will not change. She will be miserable anywhere. She probably treats others better than she treats you (when you’re not around to witness it — of course).

Save yourself.
Helpful Answer (7)


She has been abusive all her adult life, apparently. (Did you believe your dad? I wonder why he put up with it. Maybe "for the kids' sake?) Anyway, she is not about to change now.

I agree with the others, "I'm sorry you are feeling so crabby today. I'll try visiting another time when we'll both enjoy it more." Reduce the frequency and duration of visits and calls. Don't expect this to teach her anything. You are doing this for your protection, not her education.

Bringing her meals? Forget about it! What nonsense! Or do you mean you bring her things she can fix in her apartment? If so, most ALFs have a bus to a grocery store. Let her take that and buy her own food. (There is often such a van parked outside the grocery store I use.)

Ask the ALF to suggest services that will take her to medical appointments, since you are no longer able to. People in ALFs with no local relatives manage to see their doctors and dentists. Find out how that is managed and apply it to your mother.

Continue to be your mother's advocate. Manage her finances. Do what you can without putting yourself in harm's way.
Helpful Answer (7)

Does your mom have any dementia that you know about? If so, she may not be able to control her behavior. And I guess your father is deceased and you moved mom near you because of that fact?

Assuming mom just has the personality issue of selfishness and narcissism, I'd set strong limits right and left. Have one meal delivered a week to her (don't take it yourself). Don't take her to the doctor that is an hour away. Continue to pay her bills, since you don't need to be around her to do that. If you visit and she starts in, just tell her you're not going to listen to her endless complaints and get up and leave. Or hang up the phone if you're on a call to her. Again, this is assuming she has control over her behavior. I'd just see her once a week and if she starts in, leave. Let her know why you're leaving. Since she tells everyone you don't do anything to help her, helping her less won't make any difference. {{{Hugs}}}
Helpful Answer (7)

Hi justcantwin,

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry for you. You need to retreat and just cut things off when she gets difficult, which unfortunately seems like all the time. And she does sound very manipulative. Say to her adamantly "I'll come back when you are more respectful and when you stop complaining" and just TAKE OFF! Remind her that you are trying your best - and that you do so many things for her, you love her, but she does not show any appreciation. Keep it simple, she will not comprehend a long explanation of why you are upset and often these narcissistic parents turn it around and blame you!!!!! Good luck - I'm sure others here have additional good advice for you.
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