I can't help wonder why my mother would come to my home and not notice that the entire house had been painted a different color. I can't help but wonder why my mother would not utter a word about new carpet you've installed and last week I couldn't help wonder why my mother would come up from her suite and sit in one of two new occassional chairs that she knew I'd waited two months for then actually sit on one and not utter one word about them. This has gone on over several years and are the larger incidents that have occurred. I know I shouldn't take it to heart like my friends tell me not to but as I'm sure a lot of you's easier said than done when it's your own mother who never throws you a compliment or some praise from anything as big as painting a house to a good dinner you've made and invited her to... but allows you to be the caregiver, home provider, chauffer, washer-woman and general goffer. It's what I've come to call "deflating". Is my mother jealous or can she just not want to add to my happiness for some reason? Go figure!

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I know it's easier said than done because this is your mom and you are her daughter, but your friends are right. You'll have to learn to not expect compliments from her (did she ever compliment you or is this new?).

My guess is that she is feeling her losses that come with age, she resents getting older and depending on you and she is taking it out on you. It's very hard, I know, but understanding her a little may help.

You may want to read this article if you haven't:

What your mother is doing isn't abuse, but it makes you feel bad. Know that you aren't alone and please keep coming back for support.
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Let me keep it on the I:

I never had, nor ever expect, any kind of compliment from my 76 y/o mother. Nitpicking seems to be genetically encoded in her, so finding fault with things she never got to have but always wanted comes natural. She's always had her rightful place in my heart, but if she's going to come into my home and make me feel less than with her petty antics her stay is going to be a brief one. That kind of stress is never an option, and she won't hang around long enough to finish her coffee. If she insists, I'll pour it in a Styrofoam cup and walk her to the door.

Many years ago, I'd let her go on and on because she's my mother and I thought she was entitled to correct the "errors of my ways" because a mother's job is supposedly never done. Hogwash. You can stick a fork in her now, because she IS well done. The moment I utter "Don't hate" immediately after "constructive" criticism designed to deconstruct me and make her feel needed, she realizes she's crossing the line.

When you love yourself, you respect yourself; and other people see it and feel it. Very gently remind your mother that respect is also a two-way street.
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Can a parent be jealous, you betcha! My mom has been abusive and mean to me my entire life and a lot of it is jealousy. No, mom does not have dementia or Alz, she's just mean. What kind of mom is jealous of their own kid????
Every mistake or misstep I ever made, she was right there to put in her digs. If I got something new, it was ignored or she had one better. The out-of-town relatives came only to visit her she said. My family and I were not invited to visit with them while they were at her house. If daughter and I went on a mini vacation, we were harlots abandoning our husbands. On and on and on . . . what did I do to deserve this?
I understand getting older and ill is traumatic for some elders. but what about the ones who deal with this as a natural part of life? aging with grace and honor? Do we have to put up with this garbage just because someone gets older? I don't buy it. I cringed every time I heard mom say "but I'm old and won't be a round much longer and I DESERVE to be this way". No you don't.
Bravo to Ed, wonderful post. That's the way to handle a mom who won't see it like it really have to point it out to them and give them a sytrofoam cup!!!! :-)
Jealousy is hideous! It clouds your thinking, makes you do things you shouldn't,it's hurtful and it's tragic that it comes from a parent.
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I've commented on this already, but let me say something else:

Jealousy isn't something that lessens with age. What I don't understand is why you're still seeking her approval to enhance your self-esteem after all these years. Rewind the tape of your existence to your childhood and you'll probably notice that nothing you did right was ever good enough for her. Then again she might find it difficult to pay compliments because no one ever complimented her much. I'm not trying to make excuses for her, as there are also people who tear others down so they can feel better about themselves. That kind of abuse should never be an option.

If every time you see her all she's going to do is make you feel like s__t with her silence, disapproving eyeball rolling, and holier-than-thou attitude then why do you let her in? As I said in my previous comment, respect is a two-way street; no matter who, no matter where, or their social status.

-- ED
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Your issue has been one I've been trying to deal with for years now. I still can't wrap my head around the ungratefulness and verbal abuse I receive. But, I have learned that whatever small praise I ever do get, to hold it tight and think about it for a while. It's hard for us sometimes to understand what our parents are going through mentally. The embarrassment of care(depending on the level of care), isolation, sense of loss of everything around you, mentally and physically, I could go on.

You need to take care of yourself first! If having your mother in the home is destructive to you and your family, then no one blames you for not having her there. I'm glad that you made this decision for yourself and for your family, so many of us tend to place our parents needs ahead of ours. Even when it's not the right choice. In this instance, maybe it is better for her. She will be around people her age, have activities. Don't let her resentment about going to the facility deter you. You know what's best for yourself and her even if she doesn't.
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Isn't family great!! I think you just move on with your life and take the toxic family members in small doses.

Don't let your mother control how you feel about yourself. This is definitely her problem not yours. My mother won't even speak to me any more because I would not take her crap. It hurts but sometimes I think it might be a blessing.

Obviously your mother is very selfish. The only reason I know this is because of my experience.
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That's it, I cannot change her behavior, I cannot abandon her, all I can do sometimes is shut down. And pray that I can come out the other end. I guess i always said to my mom that I would not lie to her or hide things. I make myself vulnerable. I have to accept that. I was a teacher of children, you'd think I could figure this out. But it's my mom. No one ever gives you a manual on how to raise your parents. Right? Now just babbling.
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Anonymous, jealousy? H*ll yes. My mother has been a mean, spiteful, manipulative narcissist life long and couldn't bear a) anyone other than her getting attention and, b) anyone who didn't run the minute she snapped her fingers. Of course daughters of narcissistic mothers/parents grow up taking the personal hell they dish out, trained to do so from birth and thinking it's normal. I only found this forum and the forum in the last year and reading so much, at 64, I see how it has been all my life due to this evil woman.

My father, who passed 15 years ago, was a wonderful gentle, sweet man and everyone loved him. He came from a large loving family but all my life he was cold and distant with me, his only child I now know it was in fear of my mother's wrath and he had to live with the witch. He was of the old school, would have been 90 now, and of the generation that you made your bed etc. These days she'd be kicked to the curb pretty darn quick.

I came to Canada alone in 75 with a job, 2 suitcases, $100 and a roof over my head for a week. I worked hard, often two jobs to become established. In 1985 my mother forced my father to leave family behind and come to Canada as well ... God forbid she would lose control! In 87 I bought my first house, a tiny war time built cottage needing work. The day I moved in, after paying the movers, I sat amid the boxes with my beloved dogs and we shared Chinese food - I had $60 to my name. Oh yes, mother came to see the house and it was "Ewwwww, what a dump!" but it was mine, my dump, my first home. Now in a NH, unable to sit up or stand, she keeps on about coming to my present home, a wee dilapidated cottage on 2 acres in the country which I'm working on as time and money allow. I can't lift her in my truck and the NH staff aren't allowed to do so. The house also has a few steps, so it's impossible. In any event I'd never allow her in the house as all I'd get would be "Ewwwww, what a dump, you need to do this and that". No thanks.

I sold my first house in 97 and moved to the big city and a well paid career, buying a highrise condo overlooking a lake. When my father passed and their big fancy house was sold she came to live with me for nine months of hell. She brought along her 3 dogs. One attacked my cat such that he pooped himself in terror. Her reaction was "oh, he's only playing". I and the cat lived in my bedroom for 9 months while she had the run of the place and paid not a dime until she bought a lovely little house back where she came from. A couple of years later she sold that house and bought a huge 3 bed, 3 bath, 3 living room, double garage which she could barely afford to keep. I asked her at the time if it wasn't too big for her and her then dog. Her response? "Well, why shouldn't have the very best!" Gotta keep up with the Joneses dontcha know :(

I eventually sold my city home and quit my career to care for her (purely out of duty) and ended up in the basement of that freezing cold barn for 4 years - she refused to use heat or AC much. She'd lived in "the barn" for 12 years by then. Next door lived a lovely lady, a school teacher who'd taken early retirement, gone on a cruise and had her basement finished. A few months after she learned she had breast cancer.

Though she'd never ever spoken to her, my mother referred to Margaret as "Old fancy pants". I got so sick of it, I asked her why. "Well, she's never offered to help me". Well, over a period of 12 years she's seen you going out dressed to the nines in your car shopping and walking your dog - do you look like you need help? The answer was "Never mind, I'm old".

Having heard about Margaret's cancer from neighbours, one day, out walking my dog, I popped a note in her mailbox asking if I could help. She called me and wondered if I could occasionally drive her to cancer treatments - she had friends and relatives who were on call for this as well. I said sure and the first time I took her I used my mother's car, with her permission, as my then van was a bit dog hairy.

The next day I got blasted about "How dare she use my car!". After that I used the dog hairy van which didn't bother Margaret at all. Then I got "How dare she keep calling you to drive her". You see, it was just insane jealousy that someone else was getting attention. Margaret passed away and I went to her funeral service, taking along an elderly neighbour. My mother refused to go "Just tell them I'm not feeling well".

When I was a kid she drummed into me that childbirth was the most horrible, disgusting and painful thing ever so I decided I was never doing that. When I was 6 she knocked me around, cracked my head open and put me in a hospital - I still have the scars. Any boyfriend I ever had was quickly run off because "he's just after MY money".

Rather than bore you all to tears, which I've probably done already (and I could tell you stuff that would make your hair curl), I have to say that you can never reason with or expect anything more than pain and suffering 24/7/365 from a narcissist and you have to abandon them and their toxicity before they suck the life out of you to the extent you end up in an early grave.
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I just discovered my 80 year old Dad is jealous. We have never lived close to him and only visited 2 or 3 times a year. Now we live near some of his friends and they are so much fun we have lunch sometimes because my Dad is at his summer home. My Dad now acts annoyed that we have a relationship with his friends, which is so strange to me.

He was diagnosed with alzheimers 5 years ago and is on aricept. He drinks starting around 1 pm every day and sleeps alot. I guess I am in shock because it is like my Dad is gone. He has plenty of money and does not want for anything.

It is really weird. I have gotten to the point that I don't want to tell him when I have seen his friends.
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Going back to the question - why she would not utter a simple thank you. Was she like this when you were growing up? Maybe she never did provide you praise or thanks. Something to certainly think about. And, if you are doing these things for praise or thanks you may stop and ask why? Your relationship with your mom did not start over night so it's years of developing. Stop and decide if this is truly how you want to be with her? Maybe have a heart to heart talk with her vs. doing "things"'s hard but use this as an opportunity so you don't build up resentment.
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