How can you be at peace when caring for a toxic aging parent?

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How can you be at peace when caring for a toxic aging parent?

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Thnk you. It helps. Phone not texting well.
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A couple thoughts - your kids and husband didn't sign up for the guilt trip you are on with your mom. They reach saturation hearing us rant about Gma's latest stunt and at some point, they say "enough". Start by limiting discussion with your husband and the kids about Gma. Make yourself have entire dinners or quiet time with them without a word about your mom.

I had that issue with my mom waiting until she was out of something before telling me, creating a pseudo emergency. I started noting on my calendar when she'd be needing meds, would call them in and picked them up on my schedule. I proactively checked her cabinets weekly and noted items she was low on. I always made sure there was an extra of all key items - toothpaste, shampoo, and lots of tp. If anything else came up, I'd tell her I'd get it on my next regular shopping trip.

Knowing and believing you'll never make her happy actually makes it easier to choose to spend time with your own family, where your time and involvement really matters and makes a difference.
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Toxic people aren't toxic ALL the time or they couldn't manipulate people.

I let "compassion" steer me head first into decades of mental servitude and obligation to my mother that was NOT appreciated or reciprocated.
She took advantage of my compassionate/rescuer personality. She made me that way in the first place.

The thing you have to understand about personality disorders and mental illness is that it's not constant raving crazy like TV would have us think. It can come & go. There can be moments of honesty and vulnerability, just enough to suck you back in and make you believe it's all OK. But it's a trap.

People who genuinely love you for being you will not guilt you, berate you, demean you. They will not blame you for having obligations other than them.

Therapy - worth every penny.
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The problem is she isn't consistently mean. She was for the most part kind when we were young. However, one sibling, my middle older brother, cared for her for 17 years, but also was an alchoholic and became very ill with an ongoing infection. We used to think why doesn't he get a job and secretly say he was a bum. Now, I don't know how he did it and kept any sanity. Some crisis is always happening. She had cataract surgery that failed and has had two different hearing aides that don't work. When my brother went into the hospital, she went in the next day. Then we had to transfer her to the downtown hospitals where the big medical center is so she could have stents put in rather than open heart surgery. I was trying to travel back and forth where one person is out of his mind and having hallucinations and has been moved to Intensive Care at one hospital and the other one is throwing a fit because I'm not spending the night with her in her room at the Medical Center hospital. My brother dies. My younger sister, who has moved to MOntana, doesn't have a family or a job because she can't stand on her feet, She had Lymphomatic edema-I know now. But we convince her to move down here and live with mom. As crazy as it seems, my idea was, move down, go back to school. You'll be there at night, but have your own life the rest of the time. My mom convinced her that she couldn't be left alone. My sister and mom are getting along great at first. Then she's calling me as they are having screaming matches. I'm driving across town at least twice a week so she isn't in this mess alone. Unknown to me, she has started buying huge quantities of Vodka, and she basically drinks herself t death in about 12 months. We're even back in the same Intensive Care hospital room we had been in with my brother.I didn't have a close relationship with my sister, but I had tried many times. She ended up going into the hospital with a different infection than my brother's. After a week they sent her home with a prescription. No one told us she was leaving against doctor's orders. Some of the family is convinced that my mom talked her into coming home before she was well. A week later she went back in for 30 days till she went into a coma and died. Even that makes me angry. A surgeon working with my sister said talk to some of the burn units and see if they might take your sister's case. I was. But I went out of town for a day to see my daughter who was in college. I got a pphone call the doctors had talked to my mother who is very hard of hearing (and they knew this) and asked he if they could make my sister more comfortable. Mom said she thought they were going to give her more pillows, blankets, etc. They unplugged my sister's machines. My older brother explained that my mother had not understood or heard the situation but the doctor refused to put my sister back on the machines. She died about three days later. Now I see treatment centers for lymphoma, but at the time I had no idea what to do. So I am angry at my mom, but I keep feeling compassion also. She has a dog she loves that has been very faithful but the AL place doesn't want to help take him out(we are paying for the service). I can't just take him away from my mom. I am so worried that I will listen to others and have terrible regrets. I am also worried that I will be the child she kills next. I couldn't break away till I was 20 years old. I guess the guilt and emotional blackmail must be part of it. But she seems to have changed and seems to be trying to be a different person sometimes. I am trying to come on Tuesdays when we have a television show we watch together. But these crises keep coming up where I know my mom is part of the problem - doesn't make friends easily. Doesn't get along with others. My daughters make me feel like the Little Red Hen when I try to depend on them to help. My husband has gotten to the point that he is fed up with my mom and her demands on my time. She always needs supplies. She wants to move to a different place. Nothing seems to make her happy. My one remaining brother lives in Dallas and doesn't get along with her. My daughters insisted I needed therapy because I was always angry. It helps, but I am still not sure of the path I should choose. Thanks for listening.
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You walk out when the toxins start flowing. They do catch on to that.
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I have done what I can to ensure my mom's safety and wellbeing.
I am not responsible for her happiness with anything or anyone.
I am free to live my own life, pursue my own happiness, and enjoyments.

I see to her bills and obligations. I set myself free after 40+ years of mental domination by this woman and a lot of physical abuse when I was younger.

I put 1800 miles between us for many years, but as her dementia caught up with her, I had a choice. I could have let her rot in her home and be found dead or step in. I'm an only child and none of the other family would have anything to do with her. Not even the ones a couple miles away!

So I moved her into a place that has independent apartments all the way to hospice for the dying. She's now in the memory care unit and I go see her when I muster the strength. About every 4-6 weeks or so.

Distance and boundaries are the two tools you need to rely on to find a workable peace for yourself & your aging parent.

My mom wouldn't plan with me, so it really did have to become very very bad before I could intervene. Be prepared for rejection and to never hear anything remotely close to a thank you.

We are here when you want to vent or need a little virtual hug! Lots of us have been through this & are going through it now.
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