My mom is 78 and living alone in Iowa. I am in Texas with my husband and son. My father passed away in August 2010, and in March 2011 we asked my mother to come live with us. She sold the house and brought everything to Texas. Then the trouble began. She had to go back to Iowa when it was Memorial Day. She had to go back in June because she was upset. She had to go back in August for the anniversary of Dad's passing. The whole time she was here I was a wreck. She would have tantrums, not speak, make horrible faces indicating she was dissatisfied or unhappy, refuse to go anywhere, pretend to fall, always complaining of diarrhea and arthritis, refuse to eat..the list goes on and on. In November she packed and left in the middle of the day without a word.

I have been so stressed. I was stressed with her here and stressed with her there. Because I have MS, my husband says let her go - let her be alone and to just let her do whatever. I've had a mild relapse and now my neurologist wants me back on medicaton. We even changed my cell number so she can't call and harrass me. (One Sunday she was texting me from 9 am until after 5 pm until he told her to stop it.) I am at fault for so much stuff and I'm sick of being guilty all the time when I haven't done anything.

I guess one of the clenchers is that she wants $5000 from me. Whe she lived here we were putting our house on the market and she paid to have some work and remodeling done - the whole time saying that she was helping us and we didn't owe her a thing. Now it's a new story. I don't have that money and I don't feel she is owed it, either. She also gave away most all of her furniture that was in storage because she didn't want to pay for storage. The furniture went to my husband's family.

She never stops. Something is always wrong and she is always ill. Now she's upset because a brother of her's is dying. And her twin brother is in poor health. Of course she's told me how when they pass away she'll be all alone. I can't see us with her in our house again. I already want to cry all the time. My job even sent me to see our psychologist. He told me to stay away from her!!

I want to do what a child is supposed to do for a parent. I want to help her, but my body just isn't taking all the bickering and anger and crying. I can't stand much more and my heart is breaking for her in some ways.

What in the world do I do for her or do with her?? Or do I do without her in my life??

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Hi lostchild,
Has she always been like this or is this new behavior? If she's always been this way, you may have to learn to do without her in your life. It's very hard when this happens but she is making your illness much worse.
If this is new behavior, she may have developed dementia, which would explain a lot. If that's the case, you may be able to have social services in Iowa check her out. Maybe they can get her into care. You cannot handle having her live with you, for sure. Ask her home social services to do a welfare check from time to time, so they can help her if she needs it. Please take care of yourself.
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Lost, I think you should start letting your husband take over dealing with your mother. You have health issues that are directly related to stress, so let him do this for you, and don't micro manage him either. She keeps wanting to go back 'home' cause that's where her comfort zone is, which is why she retreats there. If she's worried about her brothers, then let her move closer to them and help.
Your heart was in the right place, but your both miserable so let her do her own thing.
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Lostchild, some things such as our parents behaviour are out of our control. As Carol mentioned; she might be developing dementia. My mother has similar behaviour patterns - always ill - always complaining - nothing is ever OK. Constantly, ever since I was young, looking for attention through contrived illnesses. If this is the way your mother has always been; it will only cause you to lose your health even quicker and you have to take care of yourself.

I understand how you feel and it is overwhelming when our parent acts in this fashion and it truly effects the relationship we have with them. Long story short, I have had to keep my distance from my mother as well; but have always looked out for her welfare. That is the best I can do; I have a chronic health problem as well and the stress they can cause us as "it is always about them" is not healthy. If my mother doesn't get her own way, she holds grudges and has no one left in her life but me. My sister is 3000 miles away and calls her occasionally. I see to it that my mother is taken care of and I do feel for her as she is not a happy person. But as professionals have told me, I can't fix it and best to keep a distance. So all you can do is what Carol suggested and perhaps social services can help you find care for your mother. I know you are hurting over this and my heart goes out to you. Bless you and take care.
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