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History of my mother's behaviour: She is always right and if my Dad who has passed away or myself or brothers disagreed she would make life miserable for us. Example slamming doors giving dirty childish looks, stomping around or just ignoring you. We all have the experience of walking around on eggs shells we could never have fun with Dad and just say and do what normal people do when together she was a nasty women towards my Dad and he was liked and loved by all. She never treats her friends this way so they are surprised when I have told them . I really do not know what to do. She wants me there for company but I do not enjoy being there she cooks for her self and still drives please help what should I do

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Hello again
I have not spoken to my Mother for a week now when we last spoke I told her I was going to do some light house keeping for a friend of hers to help this senior out and extra cash for me . Well she got mad and starting telling me how much I should charge and that I had better tell them what I would do and not do because they will take advantage Then she says I thought you were going to help me! So I said I will you just have to call me when you need help by this time I am getting annoyed with her so ended the conversation and hung up. I have not called her back and will not she can call me we'll go from there hopefully on my terms. To answer your question my mom's parents were loved by all they were loving warm parents my grandma was also bothered by the way my mom treated Dad so I think you are right she does have a mental illness
but she would never ever agree that she does. I have to encourage anyone who has problems to go on this web site because you all have given me such helpful advice thank you all very much.
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Barefoot, you sound like a very intelligent, perceptive individual. Having grown up in the environment you did it is probably not realistic to change your attitudes overnight. I suggest you see a mental health therapist. Even a few sessions can give you the encouragement and support you need to set boundaries and protect yourself. It is not your job to ensure that your mother is never angry. You know that, I'm sure, but you could use a little support to act on that knowledge.

You can also get support by continuing on this discussion board. Come back often and tell us what you are trying and how it is working out. What you write will also be helpful for others in your shoes (and there are many!)

Some of the responses have speculated on why your mother is like this. Was she treated this way as a child? Did your dad and family create a monster by enabling her? Did you teach her how to treat you by putting up with it?

I think there is another very real possibility. Your mother is mentally ill. There is something wrong with her brain that prevents her from connecting normally with other people. Many mental illnesses can be treated and can at least be mitigated so the person can function. Narcissism, as I understand it, is not one of the conditions that can be successfully treated. People who have it see themselves as perfect, so why would they change? I don't even play a doctor on tv -- I have no qualifications whatsoever to diagnose your mother! But I think mental illness is a possibility you should seriously consider. And then take the next step and realize this is Not Your Fault. Not your Dad's fault. Not your siblings fault.

But whatever caused your mother to be as she is -- childhood trauma, being enabled, a defect in her brain -- you do not need to subject yourself to behavior that triggers such terrible feelings in yourself. Whatever causes your mother's behavior is Not Your Fault, and it is OK to remove yourself from harm's way.

Keep in touch here. We care, and we learn from each other.
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Keep visits short! My father was nasty but not to his friends either.....it's like they are 2 different people! If she starts to get nasty make it clear you have something else to do! She can drive, cook and has friends she is just looking to control you like my father did, don't tolerate the behavior. Mine stopped the nonsense once he understood I couldn't be controlled anymore......and remember it may reach a point where dementia does set in then you can't take it personal. Then you make the choices you can live with when it's over. This is my 4th time of dealing with it and each one is different since their personalities were different......hug & TAKE CARE OF YOU!!
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Barefoot, it's about respect. If she's not treating you with normal respect, you calmly tell her that you're not going to sit there and be treated that way, and you leave. If it's on the phone, you do the same. Sadly, people like this have people "going along to get along" all of their lives - spouses, kids, family. We enable them to behave badly by our silence, and ultimately create a monster.

You mention that you help with housework she can't do. A bit of advice - this sort of thing grows slowly until one day, you're spinning around trying to do it all. You're at the point where you can be careful about what you add to your plate, and what you say no to. Don't let making her mad stop you - that's just an unfortunate part of setting boundaires.
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Thanks for sharing more of your situation.
Don't deminish the affect rude behavior has on you. If your hand were in a fire would you leave it there if it made mother feel better? You can't hope to change behavior that has been going on a lifetime in a short time. I doubt she is aware of how painful it is even when you tell her. Perhaps it was how she was treated as a child?
Do try to have an agenda when you visit to help distract yourself from the remarks. Not a tit for tat. But perhaps a conversation with a purpose. A story of her life perhaps. Where were you born? How old were your parents when you were born? Figure it out right then if she doesn't know. Were your grandparents living? Did they all live in the same community? What was your relationship like with your grandparents? Did you have aunts and uncles? What was your favorite time of the year? Write down the questions and let her talk. Notice if it makes her angry. Happy. Sad.
If this is not a good topic pick another and when you leave the visit check in with yourself and see how you feel. See if it helped or not. New behaviors don't happen without effort. Perhaps take a trip to where she lived as a child. Where she went to school. Where your grandparents were buried. Take photos and get them made into pictures you can put in an album. Elevate the occasion any way you can. Notice if the questions agitate her and move on if they do. But try to have a plan each time that keeps you moving forward and doesn't allow for too much straying into troubled waters.
And since you just retired be careful that you don't spend all your free time getting beat up. Limit the days and amount of time. You can always increase it when you want to but if you start with spending too much time with her it will be harder to cut back. Enjoy your retirement. Someone who has always been negative probably doesn't feel that great. I'm sorry your dad wasn't honored in your home.
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Thank you all you your helpful advice I suppose I have been conditioned to be afraid of making her mad seems silly feeling this way as a grown women I spent 20 years working at a hospital on an acute medical floor and would often give advice to fighting families and look at me afraid to be myself with her. well thank you so much all comments are so helpful
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My mother was the same way, in addition to being paranoid, dramatic, and a martyr. She was very polite and well-liked when out in public, but at home, well, we got used to slamming doors when she was angry. She, also, was always right. When she was kind and loving, she was the mother I adored. But when she was “in a mood”, well, since I was all she had, I tolerated it until the day she died. I agree that you should not, however, do what I did. If you’ve seen an increase in her rude behavior, I might be tempted to make a physician’s appointment for her.

If her behavior is truly intolerable when you visit, tell her you’ll come back when she can be civil and if she isn’t, you will leave. At this point, you are two adults. You would not tolerate this behavior from anyone else and you needn’t tolerate it from her.
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Oh my, Barefoot, that's troubling. I'm not sure what I would do, but, have you thought about counseling? Maybe, they could help provide you with some tools to sort this out and not feel guilty. It seems you have nothing to feel guilty about, regardless of what route you choose to take about the relationship. You are entitled to your feelings, but, feeling bad, because of the way she acts.....I'd try to get past that. Sometimes, longstanding issues within the family last a lifetime. I'd try to get advice from someone who could help me put it into perspective and not allow her to bring you down.
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Agree with Sunnygirl1. When Mom calls to ask for help with housework, a simple "I'm sorry, but I don't feel comfortable being there because of your rudeness. Can I get a cleaning service for you?" will more than suffice. If you visit and she starts acting up, again establish your boundaries in a non-confrontational way, "Mom, I don't feel comfortable being here when I'm disrespected." Then leave. Trust me - been through this with my father, who has had dementia for over 7 years & was a nasty piece of work and now Alzheimer's & my Mom, who lies & enables him. So I get it. Fortunately for me, they're in an assisted living community with my sister close by to "monitor them". I live out of state, but take care of all their finances & bills. I do understand how you're feeling & you shouldn't have to walk on "eggshells". Don't give yourself permission to "feel bad". Its very self-destructive. Best Wishes.
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Barefoot--
My mother was much the same. My sweet dad----he put up with so much!
Now 88, Mother lives with brother in an apt attached to his home. We have 3 other living sibs, but only he and I take care of mother. They are 100% MIA. For quite a few years after daddy passed, Mother was angry and mean to me a lot. It was a carry over from my childhood, when she was angry all the time. I mean, ALL THE TIME. I barely have any memories of her being sweet to me.

I did have to pull the "Mother, you have to at least FAKE acting like you like me or I just can't some here to help you. I'm done. Treat me with respect!" (And I was about 58 or so when I said this. I took a long break from her, checking in with brother on her, and after a while, began to go back and help, a little. I never do more than I WANT to and if she gets nasty, I walk out. Actually, dementia has been a blessing. She has become quite sweet.

DON'T let feelings of guilt drive you to do what you can't handle emotionally. People generally reap exactly what they sow.
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I guess I wasn't clear My mother has always been angry and controlling that's why my brothers don't come to help or even her grandson. I guess I have guilty feelings thinking that she is 84 and alone and I should be there as company so she doesn't get lonely. My son and my brothers all harper resentment towards her for the nasty way she treated Dad so it's left up to me and her and I have had many words about her behaviour but you see she is always right and everyone else is wrong thanks so much for your advice
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Oh, I see. I suppose I'm an odd bird, because if she was nasty to me and asked me to come for a visit or to help her, I'd probably say, Mom, I'd love to, but, not if you are going to treat me poorly, be rude or disrespect me. If you do that, I'm not going to visit anymore. A reasonable person would get that and honor it. If she doesn't.....I'd question why her judgment is so poor.
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Thanks for your comment, I live close by not with her. I do have a life just retired from nursing. When she calls for help with house work she can't do I help or she wants me to come over for a visit but I am always walking around on egg shells like a little kid.
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I wouldn't allow her to treat me poorly or disrespectfully, if she's competent. If she isn't then that requires a different approach and more understanding. Is she competent? I wrote off some pretty nasty behavior of a LO once as her being mean, nasty, spoiled, unreasonable, but, as it turns out, she was getting dementia. So, in retrospect, I should have been more patient and examined her symptoms more.

Sometimes, nasty behavior can get magnified as people age. And they may do it with their own adult children, since they think that's safe. I mean, your kids will always love you, right?

I might talk it out with her, but, if she's thinking clearly and refused to be nice.....I wouldn't be around it. IF she needs help, I'd let her or her POA find professional help.
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Leave.
Don't go back until you have a care contract that works for both of you.
What do you do for her if she cooks and drives? Why did you move in or have you never left? She has friends for company. Go out and find your own life. When you get busy with your own life you won't notice her rude behavior quiet as much.
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