How do I control my temper with my Mom?

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My mother is 93 years old and a widow for 6 years. I am her only child. She obsessively worries about many things and is sometimes paranoid. Ie. Someone is taking her mail. She can be very controlling and frustrating. I often have to take a tranquilizer to deal with her. She refuses to take any medication besides Valium and only takes that to sleep. She has no friends as they all passed away. I am her only go to person. I feel very burdened by this.

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Sounds like at least she hasnt turned mean on you. It seems to me that all inhibitions are unrestrained at a slow increase and this is probably the way my Mom always was but restrained.
She told me the other day when she couldnt get me to jump for her "Go to hell!" I told her "Mom you dont get it. You have assured me a place in heaven and I want to thank you for that" I havent always done the right thing throughout my life but Im sure Im a "shoe'in" now. ; )
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Cm, that kind of stunt "I'll just take a cab" is passive-aggressive behavior at its best, but generally comes from a lifetime of negativity and neediness. If there is dementia beginning as well, this is a toxic brew, as her negative character traits may get intensified in the course of her decline.

Yes, get legal documents in order, but make sure you've got a therapist, good friends and this website on call. Learn to set boundaries with mom and if she says she's calling a cab come back with a neutral response like, "maybe that would be best". Don't argue with her and for heaven's sake, don't try to prove to her that you love her. It's a bottomless pit.
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Cmshul, after reading your posts, I thought I was reading my own. Almost everything you are going through is what I am going through. It is good that we have found this forum to get support and advice. Reaching out for help is a big & necessary step. I am sorry for everything that you are going through. Hang in there. Whether we believe it or not, we are always better for what we have gone through, if for no other reason than that we helped someone else in their painful time. This is what you have done for me by your sharing, and you cannot imagine how much it means to me.
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One of the best ways to keep myself in check is to come to this site and read about what others are doing. I've learned so much and realized that I am not alone. There are so many people doing things that I can't imagine for elders and disabled people. It helps me so much.

I would also mention that while our spirits are tested and tried, at the end of the day, we have learned so much about ourselves. I'm not the same person anymore and in some ways, that's a good thing.
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Sounds like a good plan Cmshul. I know how draining and exhausting the emotional stuff can be. I have had to pull back from my own elderly parents because of much the same reasons as yours. I understand the anger as well and it sounds like we are similar in that regard....rather than lashing out, the anger turns inward and becomes damaging to your well being...me too. Don't feel badly that you have difficulty ignoring your Moms attempts to manipulate you. A lifetime of dynamics is difficult to overcome. Even when you do find tools that work, employing them requires constant vigilance which is exhausting in it's own way.

Talking to others is very helpful and giving yourself permission to care for yourself is a life saver. I'm sorry you are feeling so low.
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Mother seems to have reverted back to "primal needs" mode here also. I find it hard to deal with and even repulsive at times. This will not improve but only get worse. I try to keep in mind that trying to change this behavior and "arguing" with her is a complete waste of my time.
I try to lean on my sense of humor mostly as it seems to defuse the inevitable explosion that I know is coming.
When unable to do this and get her to laugh I have set up an arrangement with a local friend who handles a lot of rental property. When Mom goes into her "I want you out" tantrums I drop an email to my friend and he sends over "available" for me to move into. As I know that much of the time she is looking over my shoulder I open the email and she can see that I have "started looking" for a place. You would be amazed at how quickly her tune changes if even for only a couple days. We do this dance about once a month now.
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I would certainly go ahead and get the legal documents in order as suggested above, especially the Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney. You will need these things if she takes a turn for the worse. At her age, I would not delay.

Most people have a certain tolerance as an adult and I don't think that you are likely to change your level of tolerance at this stage of life. Unless you suffer from rage, then I would just accept myself and let it go. You have a right to be a little perplexed and exasperated at times. As long as she don't harm anyone, I don't see the harm.

My parents can annoy me too, but I try to ignore the small stuff. I will get riled up over big things like when my dad tried to get on the roof to clean gutters! That pushed my buttons and resulted in a pretty big sermon with lots of threats. lol But, the small things I try to tell myself, it's age, it's them starting to decline, just ignore it. I do what I can and then do what I want to do. They are not my boss and as long as I am kind and help them when they need help, I fine and so are they. There is no reason for guilt.

I would also start considering options for her long term care. What would happen if she was bed bound? Would you go in and care for her? Arrange for a team of others to care for her? I'd consider all of that now, as it is very stressful to do it in a crisis, such as if she falls and breaks something. Good luck.
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This site is so wonderful. The drama has died down but I still feel raw and very distant from my Mother. The story was that I was going to take her somewhere and had to leave work early to do it. I was supposed to leave at two but got held up and told her I would be 15 minutes late. She said, forget it. I'll take a cab. I felt so manipulated and furious. Looking back, I probably overreacted but she has been pulling these stunts on me my whole life. Now, however my darling father is gone so there is no buffer and she has gotten a lot worse. I'm sure I'll warm up to her again with some time. Right now I call her once a day and keep it short. I don't call her on Saturday because I observe the sabbath and don't use the phone. I really enjoy that one morning. Thanks for listening. Hugs back to you.
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What happened to the website? There is no log in and no personal section where I can access my answers.
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Highclass, has your mom had a neuropsych workup? This sounds like the beginnings of some cognitive decline.
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