How do I stop arguing with my aging mom who is depressed?

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How do I stop arguing with my aging mom who is depressed. I feel angry that this is a state of mind she seems to be choosing. She makes up stories about her (and our life) rewriting them to be depressing and/or critical of everyone in the family just so she can eother feel superior or depressed about her "awful" life. She came as an immigrant and worked hard no doubt. But she has lived and extraordinarily privileged life...with caring children and a husband she NEVER appreciated but who is still talking care of her. She is so narcissistic and conitnues to see life through her own lens. She can turn ANY event into death or negativity. For example, she sees a happy family with a new baby and dog, she tells them to keep an eye on the dog because it could kill the baby. My father takes her laundry upstairs and all she comments is that, "he always does that, waits for everything to be folded and then he takes it upstairs." Meanwhile she could never take them upstairs herself and would be insulted if he tried to help her fold the clothes and accuse him of belittling her. In other words you can't win with her. She is ALWAYS the victim. I feel like my I can't stop myself from correcting her delusional memories or accusations but all it does it make things worse and then I feel guilty. HELP!!!

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Wow, you all are right on the money. My father lives with my husband and myself. It has gotten to point where he and I converse very little because he always has to be right (or it starts a stupid argument,) or as Quechua said, he can take just about anything and turn it into something negative with smart ass remarks. He especially likes to discuss the rest of the family and try to straighten out their lives because he has to be in control. One sister says he acts entitled, yeah, I agree. But I am paying the mental price for it. I walk away lot too JessieBelle and just turn stone quiet. I have tried to discuss this with him as he is pretty cognitive at 85, but gave up. He "wins" by default because I walk away. You know, its alot like Archie Bunker and I'm Meathead! I hate the guilt and anger I carry too, you are in my thoughts. Thanks for bringing up this subject Quechua, keep writing, it really helps to get your feelings out!!
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Thanks everyone for all the helpful suggestions! We are both doing better these days. She is on new medication for her RA and that seems to have made a big difference. She is so full of anxiety though...when she is relatively stable I am more able to fee sorry for her...I can't imagine living in a world that wrought with worry - where doom is around every corner...

Wishing everyone well!!!
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I myself have been going through all the same things you are experiencing. Its tough. Reading all the prior post, you have been given some great suggestions. Some I already put into use. Some I will also try. However, everybody and every situation is different. You just have to find what works for you. Im learning as each day comes along. My mom has always been my best friend. Even when I was younger. I was never one of those teens who was imbarrassed to be seen with their mother. In fact we were thick as theives up until these past couple of years. She has been living with me for about 6yrs and her failing health is taking its tole. Not just on her but on us. I have come the realization, she is not the mom I grew up with. So, I have had to tell myself, Im taking care of an elderly woman. My mom would never talk to me like this woman does. She is rude, negative, depressed, angry, out spoken and not very clean. She has lost all her social skills. She depends on me to be her everything. She wants me here at all times. She thinks if she gets her another car (which she totalled this year) she will be more active. She hasnt been active in the last 4yrs. Nothing is going to change and I have to except it. Even if she doesnt. Just remember one thing. You are no good to anybody if you are not at your best. So, take care of yourself. Dont let yourself fall second to your mother's needs. And most of all, learn from your mother's indescretions. Make sure in your later years, you dont follow in her footsteps. Find a higher power, share with your friends and journal alot. Its good to release it all.
God bless you on your journy and feel free to reach out.
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responces:Wow never knew that....Your right i never thought of it that way.. You have had a hard life... Its amazing you are so strong... thank god you are here.. i never would of thought of doing that... That is a easier way ... (Then you walk away smiling knowing that you just blew her mind and no fight and she is just sitting there wondering what the hell just happened.) Self preservation is key.
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I know what you mean, Quechua. My mother makes me doubt my own sanity. Several times lately I've wondered if I am a borderline personality because I have all this anger in me so often. I feel irritable, even though I try to keep it hidden. I am glad there are things that I can throw. It helps.

My mother has her own reality. The trouble with her reality is that I am always the bad guy in it. She can take things and twist them to make herself right. If I have an idea on how to do something better, she'll adopt the idea as her own, then chide me for not doing it her way all along. Talk about crazy making! Arguing is pointless because she is always right and her reasoner is broken. So I just walk away. I walk away a lot.

Thank goodness for the gym. The equipment there is so good for working out frustrations. Maybe I can get the fireplace fixed and learn to chop wood. :)
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This is just a suggestion: arguments go round and round. The desired motion is upward - feeling better, more positive. Try honest complementing, positive comments, put interesting photos pictures on the wall. Some times it is a cloudy situation but with some pleasantries interjected the mood will change. Also - we are all over burdened. Does is hurt to spend 15 minutes to be "in love" with the person right where they are at.
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Try this: when your mom complains, reply with something neutral like: "That must be tough for you." or "sounds like you're worried about the baby." or "so Dad always carries the folded laundry upstairs for you." whatever validates and mirrors what she is saying, but does not agree with or disagree with her negativity. Remain calm and pleasant no matter what she says. If she says," You sound like a parrot," you can reply, "I sound like a parrot?"
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1.Read and say The Serenity Prayer.
2.Accept that you do not have the power to change another
3.Take courage and change your behavior: focus on ways you may be able to help your Dad who has to live with the negativity daily. Focus on positives with him, a good joke-an uplifting family or community story-a brief stroll outside-some calming music etc.
4.When Mom spews her negs, excuse yourself and leave the room or the house.
5. Take things ONE DAY AT A TIME rather than focusing on the rest of HER days that probably will never change.
6.Let Go--and Let God!
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Hi Quechuca - learn about her condition, as much as you can, and how to deal with narcissism and depression. Also learn about how to detach/emotionally distance yourself. It is well worth it, and will relieve the stress on you. Also, if you can, drop the guilt. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Your mum installed stliled buttons in you long ago, and pushes them now. Remember not to respond out of FOG - fear, guilt, or obligation, as your mum will use those to manipulate you. As much as possible "let it go". You will benefit. Those are her issues and not yours -Work on separating her issues from yours. You are not responsible for her stories, or her behaviours, or her unhappiness. Good kuck and let us know how you are doing! (((((((((hugs)))))))) Joan
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I don't have exactly this same issue - my mom isn't particularly depressed, I don't think, but she's becoming an expert at throwing toddler-style tantrums which only upset me greatly, and get me to fighting with her over them. (she won't eat - she's 85#, she needs to eat...she walks down to the mailbox by herself - she's almost 91 and rickety, she can't DO this on her own...etc., etc.)

She refuses help in the house (I live with her now, in her lower level, but I'm nearly a prisoner since she's not safe alone), she won't go to a care facility, and so forth.

All of these things frustrate me and sometimes anger me and...I've started to detach myself from her when she gets like this. I walk away. Say to her, "fine, be that way" and I walk away. I have to. Unless she's in imminent danger of some kind, I...just...walk...away.

And no matter what I do or say or put in place to keep her safe, she circumvents it. Until she's so far gone that she's truly incompetent, is unaware of her surroundings much of the time, and I can emotionally deal with placing her into a facility, I have to kind of let things go for my own sake and deal with the clean-up afterward.

I just said to someone that, every time she has an incident (she just broke her collar bone after going out to water flowers at 3 a.m.; now she's in a rehab facility), a piece of her mind is lost forever.

Well, every time we have an argument about her not eating, going outside without telling me, etc., a piece of me is lost forever too, now.

So I simply don't argue anymore unless it's truly life-threatening, and I happen to catch her at whatever the behavior is. I don't always succeed but I'm getting better at it.
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