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My mom is treating me terribly, but blames illness. She’s demanding, unreasonable, but also very sick.

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You have good answers here. there were several things my mom did that I had to set boundaries for.

"No, I will no longer lend you money"
"No, I will not let you demand my time for XX chore"
"No, I will not listen when you speak about my dad that way"

If she kept on demanding, screaming & crying, etc. I would then say
"I love you, mom, but I have to go now, bye" and hang up or leave.

This all pizzed her off mightily as she was never used to anyone standing up to her. There were times she would not speak to me for months at a time. She would threaten suicide (until I told her I would call 911), she bad mouthed me to relatives, she would leave screaming messages on my machine, she would write 10 page expletive filled letters etc ALL BECAUSE I HAD THE NERVE TO SAY NO.

I agree with the advice - you can be calm but you have to decide what you will do and STICK TO YOUR GUNS. I had to disengage as she would keep on and on. "I love you, mom, I have to go, bye"

After several years - she figured out I meant business and her behavior changed. It does work. If she won't respect boundaries at least you can remove yourself.

My husband then started to set boundaries with his parents. Again - it took a long time to "train" then that he was no longer their door mat.

We have good relationships now with my mom and my in laws. Good fences make good neighbors. Good boundaries make better family relationships.

Good luck to you.
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Laurenwalling Oct 31, 2019
Love this thank you!!!!
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We teach people how to treat us. When my mother would start on me, I would pick up my things and leave, no comment, no nothing. If she would call on that same day, I would not pick up the phone.

After a few times, she asked me what was going on, I clearly explained it to her...she would be good for awhile then she was back to her old B self, I would leave...same deal over and over again, until I went No Contact, that ended that.

Set your boundaries and stick to them. You might want to read Codependent No More by Melody Beattie...boundaries set must be enforced or they are useless and just turn more of the power over to the abuser.
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anonymous828521 Oct 31, 2019
DollyMe 👍
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For someone dealing with a mentally competent abuser, I recommend Susan Forward's book, Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You. 

I've heard good things about Bold Love.by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman, III 
 
 
"Have you ever asked yourself and of the following questions? How do you know the difference between loving an evil person, a fool, and a normal sinner? What does it mean to "honor" a dishonorable parent? Why does anger usually outlive forgiveness? How to you love an abusive person without opening yourself up to more damage? Then read this book! "

As you set boundaries, expect some backlash because she will not like it at all. Understand that boundaries are not meant to change her, but to protect you. If she has been this way all of her life, she may have a personality disorder and beyond change.
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I think that telling her calmly that you understand that she is sick, but that is no excuse to treat you bad and treating you poorly doesn't help anything. Tell her that you expect her to treat you civil or you will have to rethink what you can do for her. Don't argue, don't engage with her nastiness, if she starts getting ugly, calmly say, I refuse to be treated like this and I will be back/talk to you later. Extend later every time she crosses your boundaries.

She will get worse before she gets better, something about saying enough sets people into a mode to show you how much worse it can get. That is manipulation and you have to walk away or hang up until she gets that you are not her scratching post.

Has she had any type of counseling for her illness? Life altering diagnosis should be required to be given in the presence of a therapist well versed in how to adjust to the new reality of life. It is frightening and creates a ton of uncertainty, but she isn't the only one that it effects, she needs to know that biting you will only leave her with one less person to care and help.

It is always okay to tell someone to stop being abusive. There is no excuse for abuse, ever.

The loving part is that you remain calm and firm, you don't engage her nonsense to manipulate you to remain her scratching post and you get her someone to talk to and share her fears, frustration and whatever else she is battling that makes shredding you seem like a good idea.

Seriously, be prepared for some kick back and be prepared to stand your ground. You can have a decent relationship after you go through the fire of setting and enforcing boundaries.

Good luck and HUGS!
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Laurenwalling Oct 31, 2019
Best response ever!!! Thank you!
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Hi Lauren, I'm sorry your mom's sick & has become difficult. It was that way for me too. Maybe it sounds cold, but it helps for us to detach from mother, (don't pay attention as much, so we cry less, & get less angry, about things they say). My mother was so unreasonable & demanding, that I began 2 feel terrible about myself. I made the choice to 'unplug', & just respond like a guy watching football would...lol. Mothers may not realize how very destructive they can be to us. Good luck friend.
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For example, if your mom screams at you to "Get in here!!" calmly and self-confidently tell her that you will no longer snap to attention when she yells/screams/demands. You can tell her that it's not necessary to speak to you in that manner and you won't respond to her anymore if she does speak to you in that way. The hard part here is following through and not caving in. If she continues to use a demanding tone then you have to stick to your guns and ignore her until she can learn to be polite. If you give in, as with any boundary, you will be right back where you started or even worse off than before because your mom will have learned nothing except that she can treat you any way she likes regardless of what you say.

As far as your mom blaming her illness you can explain to her that it takes way more energy to be angry and frustrated than it does to be peaceful and calm and if she would like to start feeling better maybe she could try the peaceful and calm way instead of the anger and temper tantrums. She'll feel better physically if she could calm down.

Remember, boundaries are only as good as a person's willingness to follow-through on them. If you don't follow through, they're useless.
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Laurenwalling Oct 31, 2019
Love this thank you
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Is your mom verbally abusive? Demanding? Demeaning?

Has she always been this way?

There is a good book called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. It will be useful.

When people become verbally abusive, leaving and saying "I see you're not feeling well. I'll come back when you're more yourself" can be effective.
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Your mother is in hospital? How long has she been there, and what treatment is she receiving?

Her demanding and unreasonable behaviours could result from pain, stress and anxiety, or they could be side effects of her treatment, or (sadly) they could be an exacerbation of an already challenging personality. If you'd like to, could you describe what's going on a bit more? What kind of abuse is she dishing out to you?
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What kind of illness does your mom have? Does she have dementia?

Has she always treated you terribly or is this a new twist?

Lots of excellent advice on how to disengage and set those very necessary boundaries. Sounds like it will be a challenge, but well worth your effort.

I am so sorry that so many of you have such terrible mothers who treat you so poorly. Such a tragedy. But it appears that you are STRONG women who have thrived in the face of this adversity and I applaud you all for that!
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CaregiverL Nov 2, 2019
Again, some of us have wonderful mothers that behave badly now that they have dementia....there’s a difference! Perhaps if my mother was always mean & nasty then I would not have decided to take her home from SNF & be her primary caregiver. She was my best friend...❤️ Hugs 🤗
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My Mother passed away in a nursing home several years. She didn't like being there and was there less than a year. She never ever had a harsh word towards me. I lived 5 hours away and stayed with my Brother in order to see my Mother and look after her house. I visited with her every single day except the night before she died because I was dead tired. This was 8 days ago and I still.feel guilty because I didn't visit the day before she died. The staff called me the next morning to tell.me she was dying. When I got there she was still alive but at the end. I just pray that she knew I was there and knew how much I love her. I'm crying as I type this.
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Tothill Oct 31, 2019
Hugs Betty. You may want to start your own thread.

Your feelings are yours alone. There is no need to feel guilty for having some self care. If you had not gotten some rest that day, you may not have been at her side when she died.
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