Basically she cannot maintain a house and over time got siblings to do the needed home projects (father is gone). The real answer is downsizing which she refuses to do. Siblings seem to be getting annoyed as I don't get involved in "discretionary" work with SAME REASON - as long as she has food/shelter/clothes (the BASICS) she is fine and can get things done on her own, or downsize. She never went "beyond" for me as a kid or adult when I needed major justified help (or if I pleaded, she did so once grudgingly like someone was cutting off her arm and complained to many). As a kid there were many times that I needed guidance on important non-school "life" things and I never had that. She always told me to figure things out for myself. She certainly didn't lose any sleep over my social issues! (Maybe the secret to living so long - don't give a sh*t).

Also, siblings drive her around town, despite the town having a free senior transport service. Mother doesn't want to use this service when I suggest. She seems to want others to drive in from out of town and take her on errands.

She would also often say to me as a kid that she never needed anyone for anything, but is now manipulating siblings into doing things for her contrary to her regular preaching from my youth. Basically a hard, tough person all along that did not extend herself but now seems to be expecting it vs "walking the walk" that she continually "talked the talk" about on never needing help from anyone.

Looking for thoughts on this.

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My father used to tell me that if he hadn’t had kids he would be driving around in a Rolls Royce I could never work this out as my parents spent nothing on me and my brother and both worked good full time jobs when women didn’t work at all

yes they expected me to visit every weekend like a dutiful daughter and be so grateful that they fed and housed me

as soon as I turned 14 years and 9 mths old my mother came home and announced she got me a part time job on Saturdays and Thursdays after school

i had had to iron my own clothes, clean the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and my own room. I had to set the table every night then clean it up and do the dishes
I totally looked after myself

from age 5 till 12 my mother would hit me with a strap if I did not make it in the top 10 of my class at half yearly and yearly exams. It made her look bad

it totally screwed me up. I should have just left them which I did but then got sucked back in when my mother got early Alzheimer’s. God how I hated them and still do.

You need to get out and as far away as possible from them

you owe her nothing. Being a parent and looking after you was her job and she did it badly

let your siblings do as they please. It’s probably just conditioning from years of being on a guilt trip as guilt is probably your mother’s preferred method of parenting
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Davina Apr 2019
That's a brutal upbringing, Pandabear. Really p!sses me off to read this.
Anonymous: You sound like you're on the right track. You don't mention that your mother has mentally declined or has dementia or Alzheimer's, so I expect her behavior is standard.

Bottom line: she's cared for by her siblings, although in time I wonder if they'll start backing off and insist she take the initiative to make better choices and help herself. She has services available, like the free senior transport, but she chooses not to use it.

I think you're wise to set your boundaries, stick to them, especially since you're aware of her manipulations.
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Yes!! You are setting boundries. If she can't maintain her house, then its time to sell it. Use the profit to set her up in independent living. A little more than an apartment but they get breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are activities and transportation to appts and shopping.

Our Office of Aging puts out a nice booklet of all their services. Get Mom one. As the saying goes "We reap what we sow".

It seems you r a strong person. Pretty sure if she ever complains to you you will say, Do you have a house? Do you have food? Do you have clothes? If she says yes, then say "thats all you ever felt you owed me, so thats all I owe you. To make sure you have those things and nothing more".

By sibling, do you mean her's or yours?
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PandabearAUS Apr 2019
reap What You Sow. I use this saying a lot
This puts me in mind of:

"You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else you get is a privilege."

This is Rule #5 from the Alcatraz Inmate Rules and Regulations handbook, circa 1956. You can buy several different items with this rule emblazoned on it at the Alcatraz gift shop.

How sad to get a similar attitude from one's own parent. I'm sorry, rm2019.
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rm2019 Apr 2019
While I have straightened myself out from that after many disasters as a young adult having not experienced normal parental emotional care and guidance (like many others here, sadly), I never understood why such parents weren't recognized and "called out" by the other adults in society for simplistically being jail wardens for their children as you so accurately convey.

The jail warden treatment of raising kids is as devastating and harmful as other childhood obstacles that regularly get large media attention (a disability, illness, poverty, etc.). The entire world seems to assume that if a child is fed, adequately clothed and sheltered, and not obviously physically sick (a bonus doing well in school) then they have a wonderful, advantaged life/parents but many don't. It was (still is?) a very superficial sort of lazy way of judging the adequacy of a parent from the outside and many parents capitalized on it (and probably still do).

By the way SnoopyLove, we only got medical care as required by state law for checkups, vaccinations, dental when due. I remember many times as a kid getting bad colds/flu and lying in bed freezing by myself. No chicken soup, comfort, extra concern; I just staggered out when I could for water and food if able. Mother didn't believe in "running to the doctor" for every little thing (which was really no little thing). Kids at school would ask me what medicine I was taking and I would look at them like they were crazy as father didn't believe in taking anything. He also viewed us kids as "living high off the hog." A favorite saying of his was "this is not a democracy."

I think that my siblings are still in denial. Don't know why I'm not!
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If this is your mom giving you guilt, just explain, once, as above, and then ignore it.  If it is your siblings giving your grief, then remind them that your are willing to help when basics are involved, but will not enable a living situation that no longer works for her. They have their choices as do you. And you are realistically doing them a favor by not refusing to enable. Also, you might explain that she is goading them to try to involve you, this kind of triangulation is nasty and finally destroys relationships.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 2019

Good reply!
Thoughts on this... Mm.

What has what kind of mother you had got to do with what kind of adult child you feel you are prepared to be?

I don't care what she was like. I don't care what your siblings do, or what your siblings think you should do. The ONLY thing that matters is what you are prepared to contribute. And if you profoundly disagree with your mother's decision to remain in her home, and you have set out a well-worked proposal for a better alternative, what possible obligation can you have to prop up her bad idea? There is none. But you may still *want* to help.

My mother, may she rest in peace at last, was a bit flaky on the basics even. She was a person who had no aptitude for nurture - whether people, animals, or plants, tending living creatures was a thing she was no good at. Had I followed her example, I would have put her in a Nursing Home at the first opportunity and written to her conscientiously three times a week. That's what she did with her four kids - off to boarding school at age eight without the option. At least we got fed reliably! But you see, she was sent away to school at age six. What concept of close maternal relationships could she have developed?

I'm only contributing this experience because I think it is always worth bearing in mind that nobody, for good or ill, develops her personality in a vacuum. Your mother was pretty good at rejecting demands on her time and attention, and your needs went unmet; but whatever the underlying reasons she didn't behave like this purely to spite you. Besides, it's past and done. You are in charge of your future decisions, and there is no need or reason to base them on what was.

Item by item: if your mother approaches you for help, or your other family members ask you to help her, decide on a case-by-case basis if you are being asked to assist with a reasonable task. If yes, and you're happy, do it with a good will. If no... smile and say no.
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Riverdale Apr 2019
Thats terribly sad to go off to boarding school so young. Personally I don't agree with the concept although I will admit there were times in our house it may have been a benefit possibly from different perspectives within the family. Not to criticize where you live but would you agree that it is somewhat more prevalent in the UK?
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Hit a nerve
Yes, being raised with the "basics" seems to somehow fulfill some parents as to their roles. "fed, sheltered, dressed'. You'd do that for a dog.

I was basically on my own after age 12. Had to pay for ALL my extra stuff (and that included clothes!!) and as far as emotional support and care--forget about it.

Mother isn't a bad person, she just should never have had children. The ones she ADORES ignore her, and the ones she doesn't care about doing all the caregiving.

I'm not really involved in mother's life anymore. Too many years of trying to get her 'attention' and I give up. If go to visit she spends the entire time asking about one of the other sibs. I don't get it, I really don't.

Oh, and when she dies? There's a 'bill' in the estate portfolio that states I 'owe' the estate $1500. Probably b/c she let me have braces on my teeth and she wants the money back. When I found this, I was SO MAD, I almost wrote a check for it and stuck it with the 'bill'.
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LoopyLoo Apr 2019
”She just should never had children”. Oh yeah. Same with my mom. Did the basics of food, clothes, but couldn’t be bothered for anything past that. When I needed help, to be listened to, or even just a hug, she pushed me away. Now she doesn’t understand why I’m not her best friend.
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You are perfectly correct in your stance.

This is what the consequences of her choices look like. Yep momma, figure it out.

Your siblings are free to do as they choose, but they are not free to try and manipulate you into giving more then you are willing. Tell them to do as they like, but you won't be giving her anything beyond what you already do, every time they try to engage you reinforce this.
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Thank you all again. I started as "anonymous" but then changed ID so now am rm2019. I joined this AM as frustrated when my siblings (my brothers/sis; mother outlived all her siblings and spouse) invited me to get together at mother's where we do maintenance. It is now the case that most major holidays are there and someone(s) (including grandchildren) end up doing something to repair something in the home while there.

I do consider myself a strong person at this point and the situation is really crazy. She does not have Alzheimer's and along with manipulating everyone into transporting her/fixing house, she is wasting money on the taxes and other expenses associated with it. Her financial decisions for long term preservation of her finances (which are OK but not unlimited) should big bills come along later like a nursing home, make no sense and you cannot use any type of reason with her. I've proposed downsizing, better financial management ideas along with sibs but she cuts discussion off immediately.

For those of you that have a parent that thinks that they were the ultimate because they provided just the basics, I relate. Mother even said flat out to me several times as a kid "I am a good mother."
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cherokeegrrl54 Apr 2019
It’s so sad that so many of us grew up like my case, I was always “compared” to this one or that one, who made straight A’s, but I was the one who got my butt beat when I told mom how they cheated to get those good grades because I had to be lying, neighbor kids would never cheat......or god forbid, I miss one note in a piano recital! Which I usually didn’t because I knew there wld b hell to pay because I embarrassed my mother.....I think the times are so different now, we know how to teach our children to be strong, independent adults and show love and compassion, and yes, discipline, when daughter now tells me she is so thankful I am her mom and that I raised her to stand on her own two feet and do what she wanted with her life.....she is in the Army and will retire in a few years....I am so proud of her.....
and yes, I help my mom now, she is fixing to turn 86 and still in pretty good health, is slowing down in certain areas, like driving....that’s why I moved back to Florida instead of going to Germany with my daughter for 3 yrs.....but I am going for a visit in the fall and I can hardly wait!!!!
rm2019, please take care of you.....please keep in touch here as everyone cares......much love and many blessings to you!
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So sorry you had to go through the pain that you did. You can’t forget certain situations. You seem very strong to me. You are a survivor. It didn’t break you. In spite of the pain, it didn’t kill you.

There’s no denying that it shouldn’t have been that way, truly unfortunate. What was her childhood like? Do you know? I am not excusing her. Was she following a pattern? Was she aware of doing what she did? Is she a person who does not understand the need for an apology or redemption? So many things to think about.

I had a friend who had 7 brothers. I did not know her growing up. I met her years later as a young woman at the gym I worked out in. We were both in our 30’s at the time.

We became friends and often exercised together, showered, did laps in the pool, then relaxed in hot tub at the end of the evening.

She confided in me about her extremely abusive mother. I won’t even repeat the abuse because it is too sickening. For some reason her mom only abused my friend, not the brothers. This happens, a ‘target’ child. The brothers weren’t nice either.

The dad walked out on the family. She had a limited relationship with him later in her life. Her life was awful.

This woman was familiar with abuse and ended up in two abusive marriages, one husband beat her so badly that she had brain damage. He literally beat her head like he was in a boxing ring. After that, she shut out the entire world.

She told me that she hated the world and everyone in it. I tried to help her. She broke, completely broke. She tried to kill herself more than once. Her abusive husband had her committed to a mental hospital. She refused visitors. She isolated herself from everyone. She wouldn’t take phone calls from anyone.

She started drinking heavily. I lost track of her. Heard she moved back north where she grew up. I wish she could have healed. Once she told me that she asked her mom to admit the abuse. She didn’t even expect or want an apology, just an admission but her mother wouldn’t do it.

You aren’t like my friend. I’m sad that you experienced pain. I am not making light of your situation. Really, I am not but I am so proud of you for being the independent individual that you seem to be.

I have no idea if my response is helpful or even appropriate but I hope you can see what I see which is a very strong person. Take my response for whatever it’s worth.

I wish you all the peace and happiness the world has to offer in the days ahead and hope that your pain subsides into a distant memory for you. Mega hugs!!! Take care.
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