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My entire life, my mother has had to have everything be about her. She has had to be the best or "number one" to the point where if I succeeded, she tore me apart by telling me how low if an IQ I had etc.(my brother had to be number even above my father). She also has feigned illness or injury at times when she knew someone else was getting more attention and she has always denied things she has done (even if there is prof in her own handwriting) or made up stories about me to knock me down to other people. I am the youngest of 4 and the one now completely responsible for her. She lives under my roof with me and my young sons and the stress of her abuse and mental illness, which she denies and her Doctors ignore, has seriously affected my health and well being. She has said she will kill herself if the topic of an assisted living is brought up and she has no money at all. Her monthly income from SS and a pension is gone by the 15th each month because she is still supporting my older brother (who has a family and two incomes of his own). My siblings have each told me she CANNOT come and stay with them because they cannot live under the same roof with her and their spouses have said they would leave if she did. When she says hurtful things, she will walk away with an "evil grin" on her face very satisfied. I have pointed all of this out to her in a very soft manner explaining that I understood her pain of the loss of my father and asked why she would say these things to me or behave this way. She has stood in my hallway and jumped up and down like a child proclaiming that "I am number one! I deserve to be number one! I's my turn!" She does not have dementia or Alzheimers (been tested for both). All of my friends have told me they think she is the Devil. But she is my mother....I have no finances available to place her anywhere. I have nothing (not even insurance for therapy for ME) What do I do?

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Every so often, when I get loquacious about something my mother does that annoys or hurts or upsets me, my daughter gives me a particular look and softly says: "Apple. Tree."

Now then. You have children. If you want to protect them, you have a deeply ingrained pattern to break. You should be concentrating on that.

Why am I being so incredibly hard on you?

Your mother blew $300K in three months, including on you. You couldn't say no?
Your mother has four children. You took her in as part of a package with your late father (I'm sorry for your loss). Why you?
Your mother is running out of money by mid-month, giving money to one of your siblings. What are you doing about that?
I'm sorry for your divorce, too; but how did that happen? Was it by any chance connected to your relationship with your mother?
Where did this Munchhausen's diagnosis come from? That wouldn't be you, would it?
Your mother says she'll kill herself if you so much as investigate ALF? Or it's too expensive? Which?
Etc. etc. The above are only salient examples.

Look. One thing about your situation is Simple and Obvious. Your mother should not be living with you and your children. There are ways out of it - you do not need your mother's consent to withdraw your own consent to this arrangement - but there will only be a way if you make it happen. At the moment I'm not convinced that you're not thriving on the drama as much as your mother is. For the sake of your children, you have to change.
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"Needing the monetary assistance from your mother is not worth selling your soul to satan."

I love that comment. Indeed. Get a roommate for God's sake.
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You want to be "the good daughter" and your mother's "savior" but quite honestly you are the one who needs saving. I honestly cannot imagine that you think you can save this woman who so obviously is mentally ill. Pstegman said that you were co-dependent and at first I was taken back by her statement, but I think she is absolutely correct, there is something you feel you are getting from this relationship.

I cannot urge you strongly enough to stop this relationship with your mother and seek mental help from a therapist. There are many agencies that can help you for free and some do it on a sliding scale.

Needing the monetary assistance from your mother is not worth selling your soul to satan.
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You need to get her out of your house, but you have a co-dependent relationship.
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What Debra..and everyone else...said.

"She has said she will kill herself if the topic of an assisted living is brought up"

Bring it up anyway. Over and over again. Let it be known her days are numbered. Maybe she'll actually off herself and do everyone a favor. Tell her that she's out of there as soon as you can arrange it, then walk away with an evil grin on your face, very satisfied.
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She can only do to you what you let her. Heal yourself first then you can help someone else. Protect your children, they are the future. Anyone who tries to control you by threatening suicide needs serious counseling. There is a difference between helping her and codependent enabling. There are many elderly living is subsidized housing with a decent quality of life.
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Well, looks like your siblings all set boundaries and have moms number. You have her in your home, even after all that early abuse and now she is holding you hostage with her threats to kill herself, etc if you move her.

You say it's taken a toll on your health and you don't have money to place her. WELL MOM has income fro SS.

Stop this madness. Go to your local senior center by yourself and armed with understanding moms finances, ask them to explAin some local residential options for mom. There are rent subsisted senior living apts that work on sliding scale. Mom could go to senior center every day and give you some private time.

Find out your options, visit some places and tell mom she has to go and she must move out in 60 days and stick to it. If she hates you, so what? It'll be painful, but once she's somewhere else you can get on with your life. If mom gripes and throws a tantrum, tell her, "sorry mom, if you need something go to Brother Sammy or sister Sue, sister Linda, but I'm done for now and taking a break."

Only you can allow yourself to be a doormat. I know I make it sound easier said than done, but you've got to bite the bullet and do it -- cause you aren't getting any help from your siblings.
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Your kids are your first priority. No one can do it all, all of the time. If you have to make a choice, remember that your kids come first, and just about the most important thing in the world to them is their mom, so take care of yourself and your kids and DO NOT feel guilty about it. Big hugs to you.
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How screwed up would you like your sons to be for the rest of their life? I mean that question.....what you are allowing to happen in your home is not just affecting you, it is affecting your sons and will continue to, for the rest of their lives. You may not know it now, but one of these days something is going to happen and they will then tell you that you allowed them to be raised basically in hell and they are mentally messed up now because of it.

I am telling you this because at 39 I had my beautiful daughter who was the light of my life, beautiful, talented and so smart I could not believe it! She graduated from High School with Honors and was offered 5 full ride scholarships to colleges. In her 3rd year she began failing classes but I did not know what was going on, it kept happening but there were no drugs, alcohol or boyfriends. I was beating my head against the wall wondering how this could be happening to my daughter. She finally broke down and told me she had been on the verge of suicide! Why?????? Because of my mother and the crazy antics that were going on the the house and it was getting worse because her dementia is getting worse. Sobbing she says to my sister and I.."She is killing us all!" She was right, we just never said it out loud!

Now my daughter is 1 1/2 years behind, but she is alive and in therapy trying to deal with the damage my mother has caused.

See I don't know why you would allow this woman to come into your home, when she has been so abusive to you all your life, mine was at least nice to me. You made that choice to allow her to come in and hurt you, but your sons did not get a vote. They are being mentally abused and scarred by what you are allowing to happen within your home. When your husband left you, I am surprised he did not sue for custody of them to prevent an further damage being done to them.

Your siblings are smart they all said "NO," but for some unknown reason, you elected to say "YES." You need to get on the phone with each and every member of your family and tell they you need a meeting and you need help to place your mother somewhere, OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME!!!!

She may not have dementia or Alzheimer's, but she has a mental problem that needs to be addressed by a professional. You need to get a back bone and finally stand up to her and tell her to pack her bags and get her a-- out of your house. If it means you cannot afford your home, then move some place smaller, but get the heck away from this toxic woman.

You are robbing yourself of YOUR LIFE by allowing her to stay and continue to beat the crap out of you verbally. She is teaching your sons that it is okay to verbally abuse you and any other woman they come into contact with....kids learn what they live!!!!!!! If you cannot muster up enough courage to stand up to her for yourself then at least be a decent mother to your sons and get them out of this horrible life.

Personally I would ask my siblings for help and I would rent Mom an apartment for 3 months and move all her crap over there and tell her this is it Mom, you are now on your own, here is the number to the welfare office and a social worker....good luck, take care, and don't you ever darken my door again! Your days of abusing me are OVER!

You can write people out of your life. You hope it won't be family members, but sometimes it has to be especially when they are as vile and toxic as your mother is.

Save your children!!!!!!
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Debralee's advise may sound harsh, but it is sound. No easy way to deal with such a difficult situation.
You will get her to be placed for observation, preferably the next time she has a blow up that threatens suicide. Since she has already made threats you may be able to get her admitted on that basis. My concern is that if he is in a tranquil state at the time, they will not see what you see so she may not get the help she needs.
You can refuse to accept her back, legally and morally.
Unfortunately, your mom has issues, whether it is mental illness or excessive meanness, who knows. The bottom line is aging is a bear and it certainly does not make difficult people kinder.

Good luck
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Without knowing the specifics of what services etc are available in your area, I can't offer advice on that. But I can offer emotional support. Get this woman out of your house immediately by any legal means necessary. You must keep yourself and your family safe.

Prepare yourself for blowback from your siblings. Stay strong.
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Find a way to get her committed for 72 hours due to her mentioing suicide and then refuse to take responsibility for her when they have to release her after the civil committment time is up. While she is being held for observsation, call Adult Protective Services about her situation and you being unable to no longer provide for her care. You donot want to be charged for abandonment.
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People with borderline personalities frequently express suicidal ideation if they are not getting their way. Does not mean they are going to do it but you still have to call them on it even though they are rarely truly suicidal. Do not let her use that as an excuse to blackmail you! Call the police and tell them your family member is threatening suicide and they will come and evaluate her.
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Does your mother need care? Can she live independently? She can be Absoslute Ruler of Her Universe if she lives by herself! If she doesn't need medical assistance how about applying for Housing for the Elderly. At least that's what it's called in this state I think. 30% of whatever she gets goes to her housing and she can rule the roost, use the elder bus to go shopping and dr. appts. Have a homemaker.
Maybe a home health aid. Get yourself a good job and have a great life. If she threatens to killl herself I think this is a mental health issue and your local agencies will find her a bed in the psych ward of local hospital. Perhaps a geriatric social worker can help. As long as you let her stay she will. And from how you describe her treatment of you, you have nothing to lose by putting her out. Then she'll have a reason for how she feels. Let us know how you are doing, OK?
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Toxic people remain toxic people even when they are in our families. From what you have said about your Mother I really doubt if she would do the same for you. Why we allow emotional vampires to suck the life out of us is another question. These are deep questions and require a lot of soul searching. Just because they are family members does not give them the right to ruin our lives. She really needs to go.
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I can't add anything to the good advice the three ladies above have given other than to say you are NOT alone and we feel for you. I really think there's something about that particular generation of women born in the 1930s that's potentially evil. I've seen some who grew up affluent throw hissy fits because their children and grandchildren have things they didn't even dream of having. I moved around a lot and worked in many places starting in the 70s and usually whenever there was a backstabbing troublemaker in the office, it was a woman born in the 30s. I couldn't believe some of the grief they caused for others or the things they would say about their own families and this crossed all socioeconomic and ethnic demographics. I never had placed such a harsh judgment against any age group (either older or younger) and some of my closest friends people who are in their 80s, 60s and all decades below that. I'm sorry to say that I know stay away from these vicious, self-absorbed, selfish and misogynistic women.

Please, for the sake of your children, find someplace else for her to go. No matter what you do, you'll be in the wrong according to her anyway so if you're waiting for her to suddenly become a loving mother, you might have to wait until she buries you first. Then maybe she'll put on a loving grieving mom show for everyone.

To give you an example. My aunt's hatred, jealousy and refusal to behave like a mother contributed to her own daughter's early demise. She pretended to be a helpless little old lady living with that daughter and of course she put on huge theatrics at the funeral as if she was inconsolable, etc. I actually felt sorry for her and thought she was so brave to say she'd be fine if people just came to clean and bring her food, etc. However, later that week some teenage cousins saw her cavorting at a mall 50 miles away like she didn't have a care in the world. Knowing we wouldn't believe them, they followed her around for a while and took photos and sure enough, you can clearly see her dressed younger and looking vibrant, being jovial and flirtatious with store clerks, carrying huge shopping bags, etc. Denial, you say? Hardly. Shortly after that she bought herself a beautiful house bragging about how smart she had been to get a life insurance policy on her children, especially the "fat ones." No one speaks to her anymore and she couldn't care less because she has what always mattered the most: money and a lover in her bed which obviously gives her the illusion of youth. She never looked better and by the way, doesn't even care about the grandkids left without their mother!
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Wouldn't it be wonderful if people that got older all turned into Dahli Lamas, full of wisdom and good will toward people around them? I know what you are going through, cdomenic. You are so young to be going through it. It must be hard on your two sons.

Something that is hard about living in the east US is that senior apartments can be so expensive. One thing that I loved about TX was that subsidized senior housing was everywhere around. Subsidized housing seems like it would be a great thing for your mother. If nothing is wrong with her, it seems she could live independently. Does she drive? If she doesn't, some senior communities have bus/van services that will take residents where they need to go. Maybe you could look around to see if there are some safe places around that she could afford on her SS.

It sounds like you are doing a good job working with a difficult personality. She sounds a lot like my mother, who feels that women other than herself are lowly beings. Chances are that she also feels inside that she is lowly, so needs to put other people below her. You won't be able to fix her. The only thing you can do is decide what you can tolerate, and realize that the problem is not you. It's her. She may feel like she's number one and it's her time. But you know she is actually number 4. Your sons and you occupy the top three positions in your house. Your sons' comfort and happiness (and your own) should be your top priority. If you need to move her out, let her know that it is because your sons need room to grow up without the constant turmoil and unhappiness around them.

I hope you can find some subsidized senior housing around you. You'll feel guilty. Your mother will be mad. But then, you already feel guilty and your mother is always mad, anyway. She's not likely to become a sweet granny anytime soon, so I would look for her a new place.

I started out this message thinking I was not going to give any advice. I know we can only do what we feel is right. That differs from person to person. But then I thought about your sons and know they deserve better. And I know that waking up to a mother-free house and enjoying a family evening together would certainly be peaceful.
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We can't reason with people who are unreasonable. If this is how your mom's been throughout her life she is unlikely to change now. I'm curious to know how she ended up with you as opposed to your siblings. I know your siblings said they wouldn't take your mom but did you agree to take her?

If her income is as low as you say it is your mom would qualify for Medicaid and then you can relocate her to a nursing home. Don't be held hostage by her manipulative threats to kill herself. It's a ploy to keep you in line. You could even try to use the threats to your advantage by calling 911 the next time she threatens suicide. Maybe plopping her down in a psych ward for 4 days will give you time to make other living arrangements for her.

If you can somehow get her into the hospital perhaps she can then be discharged to a nursing home. Medicare will pay for a certain amount of time and in the meantime you can be applying for Medicaid on her behalf.

She really sounds awful. I would try to not engage with her in any way. It's obvious she doesn't care about your feelings so sharing them with her is useless. Yes, it's what normal people do and usually when we discover that we've hurt someone we feel badly and try not to do it again. Not so your mom. Since she lives with you make sure she has the basics like food, water, heat/air, a room, a bathroom, etc. But other than that I'd live as separate of a life from her as is humanly possible.
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My first question is, are you dependent on her income in any way? If you are, what would you be planning to do if she weren't there with you and your children?

After reading your profile, my next question is how long ago did she "blow through" her $300K insurance? Was it more than 5 years ago? If she now has no other money except her monthly income, she would be eligible for Medicaid for living arrangements, assuming some disability or that she's 65 or more (hint: disability CAN include mental). But they have a 5 year lookback and any money she gifted rather than having spent on herself is a disqualifier for a certain amount of time.

She may not have dementia but there's something definitely wrong. Perhaps frank conversation in front of a third party, religious, psychological or social worker, inviting her to either get medical help, clean up her act or go somewhere else to live would get her on a path where you could see some progress.

She may be bipolar, schizophrenic or have histrionic personality disorder and undoubtedly needs medication. She needs to be told that her behavior is destructive to your children (not to mention you but you don't need to do that). All threats of suicide should be taken seriously. Years ago, my aunt with alcohol dementia threatened to kill herself because she wasn't getting her way. In a neuropsych Evaluation Center, they put her on suicide watch but in two or three days determined that she was far too protective of herself and was strictly using the suicide idea as a threat to get her way. Without medical evaluation however, you won't know.

I know it's hard to I know what to do in circumstances such as this but remember the old adage: doing nothing IS doing something. And if you do nothing, nothing is going to change.
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