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After my dad passed away a year ago my mother came to live with me...At first it wasn't so bad, but it has become a nightmare! She refuses to do anything for herself, wants to sit in the recliner and be catered to. I work, and go to school, my daughter has been helping me with her as much as she can and I pay my granddaughter to stay with her the weekends I work..I am a nurse at the county jail and I work 7p-730a. Literally, my mother is draining me of my life. I have lost friends and now,she is doing the best she can to separate me from my kids/grandkids, and my ex-husband who is wanting to work things out with me.
She is a manipulator. She knows what buttons to push and does it to me NON_STOP!. for eample-- my son and I went out shopping for a patio set for my backyard -- we decided to stop and get a bite to eat. We were gone for 3 hrs max -- SHE CALLED 911 AND TOLD THEM HER CHILD WAS MISSING, AND SHE HAD BEEN LEFT ALONE WITH NO FOOD. When my son and I got back she was hysterical..HOw could I disappear and not call her, etc. thats when the cops showed up and I was livid! Now, my son avoids coming here and has told me that he won't do anything with me because of her.The woman is crazy. I don't have the heart to stick her in a nursing home BUT I can't do this much longer before it takes a toll on me.She has run off the OT, the home health aide, and the visiting nurse. She wants me to sit here 24/7. She has a fit when I go out to run my errands --"who's going to take care of me?" She is NOT as needy as she proclaims. I am 55yrs old and she is 85...I keep telling her I have a life and she keeps telling me "You owe me." She is driving me crazy. I can't take this anymore. I need some advice. Her doctor gave me xanax to give her--it doesn't help unless I give her more than what he prescribed and I can't legally do that..HELP!

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Yeah, Ruby... I'm tempted, but not sure I can just LEAVE though. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
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Well, your older sister can't say that your mother has been abandoned with her children living with your mom or should I say freeloading. Unless they don't have a job, they should be paying some rent or get out and get their own life for they are adults now. BTW, does anyone know where your mom's will is and what it says? I hope your meeting Monday goes well.
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The problem with narcissistic mothers is that no matter how you try and tell them that they are being badly behaved, they will never ever agree with you, it would be easier to try and herd cats than ever try to get her to take responsiblity for her actions.
It will always be your fault, as far as she is concerned, in short you will never win and will live in constant conflict and drama with her, this is her thing, its what keeps her alive with all the attention she needs to feed her. It is manipulation at its most stunning, it will drive you mad and you will then be considered the crazy child..lol.
If you confront her with what a nasty ol bag she is being, you will pay dearly, and she will make you pay.
Good news though...get her out get her gone, wish her luck and get on with your life. Sounds hard? It is, is it worth it for your life and sanity healths sake...ABSOLUTELY!!!!
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Me too. Older sister has Durable, medical POA both. As of current both her children (grown 31 and 27 are both living on my parents property). 1 is in a mobile home and the other is in my homeplace. No rent is being collected to my knowledge as has not for the last 5 years which we have records of. She wants her children to live there so as not to be a bother to her, and mom is a burden to her as well. Before Mom went to live with her, she always said she had no room for mom or time because she works fulltime. I too, work fulltime. I feel that she is up to something as well, but do not have monies to get too involved with lawyers. I do however, have an appointment on Monday to try to see if I have options.
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Your older sister is treating you and your twin sister like little girls instead of as grown women. Did you take your mother back to her own house? It sounds like your mom is of sound mind and body and so I don't think it would be considered elder abandonment. I would see an elder lawyer to make sure. BTW, who has Durable and Medical POA for your mother? Your home is your home. Your older sister sounds like a very intrusive person without any respect for personal boundaries. I think your sister is up to something she does not want you or your twin sister to know about.
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My mother has been thru all 3 of us, her daughters. My dad has been gone for almost 2 years and she has done the same to us. Sits back and wants us to wait on her hand and foot. She stayed with my twin for 7 months and was with me while she was on vacation. My older sister during this week decided that mom would not go back to my twins house, but stay with ME. No discussion was made and I was told I would take on the responsibility. After 7 months of no help, I made the decision and told my older sister, I was taking mom back to her house or to hers. She is know wanting to sue me for Elder Abandonment. Can she do this is my mom is of sound mind? She cooked, cleaned, drove, paid all the bills up until the day Dad passed and then just quit. What are my opinions? I know can not go see my mother without being theatened that I will be arrested.
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Thank you, Jeanne.
Sadly, I chased after my Mother my whole life, until she caught me after her 4th husband died. My sister is just like her--I believe it is Narcissism--my brother is helpless, and I, due to my personality of not letting something go until I either conquer it or die--am it. It is not my nature to give up on something just because it's hard, but, this is about struggling with caring for someone who never gave a flip about anyone but herself--not my brothers or me.
My husband is a loving, generous family man, who believes in doing "the right thing", however, we have given up much these last few years and need some balance. I know the lesson for me to learn is to keep my power while serving others. We must value ourselves and not let another ruin us. I would say that Mother made my life very difficult from the beginning, ignored me through the middle of it, and because she needs me now, she "loves me". She is a finely honed manipulator. Yes, I will continue to see to her needs in the care home. I will go over to see her when I am not working, or seeing my friends, or traveling with my husband, or working in my garden, or playing the piano and singing. First, I will take care of my husband and me, then Mother.
Thank you for your encouragement, Jeanne. I wish you the best on your journey, too. All the Best to each of you struggling with this job. Blessings.
Hugs, Christina
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Christina, I think you have a particularly challenging role. If your relationship with your mother when she was healthy was not the best, it must be particularly difficult to deal with all the demands and irrational behavior now. Gold stars to you!

In general I agree that people are pretty consistent throughout their lives. I always say the older we get the more like ourselves we become. :) I think there are two exceptions. 1) Some people make a deliberate effort to change. A Chirstmas Carol is my favorite Chirstmas story. Not many people are as dramatically transformed as old Scrooge, but I do believe in the possibility of redemptive change. 2) Dementia (and maybe some other pathological conditions) does not respect its victim's true personality. Trusting people are made paranoid. Agreeable people become demanding. I had never heard my husband swear in the 30 years we'd been married, until he developed dementia. What a shock! Outgoing, pleasant people are made self-centered. Mild-mannered folks seem full of rage. The mantra for me has been "That's not my husband talking. It is the disease." and "That is not my husband's behavior. It is the disease." I think it would be harder to convince myself if that is the way he had talked and behaved before dementia came to live with us.

You hang in there, Christina! You are in a very difficult role. I hope you take pride in what you do, even if some days it seems a thankless task.
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Hi Jeanne, no, I know dementia happens to all types of people. Unfortunately, my experience-- which is all I have to draw from-- is my Mother. I am working on how to deal with the responsibility of being there for her and having a good attitude about it. Work in progress:)
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I agree with all of the above.
You do not need to put your mom in a nursing home she can live in a
Adult Family Care Home it is a home away for home.
Some one else will care for her, and you can visit as often as you like.
if you would like some information look up AFCH in your area or I can help I owe one
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Christina, I hope you don't mean that dementia is a result of self-centeredness, or that dementia is a sign that the person was self-centered before the disease developed. Self-centered difficult people can develop dementia, for sure, but so can giving, caring, nurturing, well-balanced people. I know. I'm married to one. Among the people in my local support group, some of their loved ones were difficult to get along with all their lives, and others were models of mental health. Dementia is a disease. It can strike anyone. There is no personality type more suspectible than others.
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Well, Lilli, obviously your Mother didn't learn from what her Mother did. I think people are alway the same, from childhood to elders--you always saw the difference. The mentality that effects their self-centeredness seems to turn into dementia.
You seem very healthy and wise to me, Lilliput. Love your advice, always. Christina
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What happens to us as we age? Do we become fearful of the world? Do underlying mental illnesses come to the surface full force? Or are we ticked off that we are old and everyone else is "young?" Maybe it is all of these things.
As I read these really great posts above, I was reminded of my grandmother who lived with us. Whenever Mom would leave home for more than a few minutes, grandma would pick up the phone and just start dialing random numbers and ask, whomever aswered, if they knew where her daughter was. (btw, g-ma did not suffer from Alz or Dem.) We lived in a small town whre everyone knew everyone so eventually Mom was "tracked down" and sent home.
Even when I was little, I knew this was not right and watching my Mom wait on her mother made me mad. Now, it appears I am in the same shoes, although my Mom is infinitely better than grandma.
So when does change take place? Are we doomed to just keep repeating the same mistakes. One thing that I have learned on my few years on this site is that it is very difficult to combine any two households under one roof. Both parties need to respect each other's privacy and boundaries and that is very difficult. I think ailing parents look at the caregiving child as if we are life preservers and cling on to us for dear life. Unfortunately, that results in caregiver burnout and we mourn the relationship that never develops.
The one thing this experience is done for me, is to see that we are all responsible for how our life plays out and for our own happiness. So I am planning on making my own arrangements for my elderhood and let family be the nice people who visit once and awhile....at least that's the plan :o)
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omasgirl, how about print this thread out for your mother to read or get her online to read what people are saying.
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1. Her doctor needs to know the prescription is not working.

2. Your mother sounds like she has an undiagnosed mental illness like borderline personality disorder given her abandonment issues, her irrational rages, and her manipulation.

3. She put those buttons in you so that she could control you with emotional blackmail via F.O.G., i.e. Fear, Guilt and Fog. Freedom from these buttons requires therapy. I'm not a therapist, but I'd advise to get one soon.

4. Get her out of your home. She's alienated enough people out of your life and was probably glad to see your ex become your ex. Now that the two of you are working on your relationship, your mother is the one who needs to leave.

5. I don't blame your son for his outlook at all. I think on some level it is an indirect plea for you to do something with your mom so that you two can have a relationship.

6. Stop trying to reason with her for people like your mother can't be reasoned with. It is not your fault she's this way. You didn't make her this way. You can't fix her and you will die trying. You can't control her and she'll kill you if you try. All you can really do is to chose a healthy path for yourself to live on not so you can take care of her but because you are worth you taking care of you.

I wish you well in establishing some new boundaries in your life and important relationships so that you can get your life back.
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Like deb I'm wondering why she is living with you. She is a widow but is she also an invalid? Does she have problems that prevent her from living on her own? Clearly her living with you is not healthy for either of you. Has she always been manipulative? Is this a change in her personality and behavior patterns? I think the answer to these questions might help decide the options for where she should be, but certainly it isn't in your home.
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Don't let her bully you. Find a way to walk out (at least for awhile) and make a scene of it.

As one writer posted here, they sometimes know when they've gone too far. My Mom did.

It didn't fix everything for me, but Mom won't quite go to the edge of my last good nerve anymore.

Every situation is different, so figure a way to make it work for you!
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I wish my mother could read this. I feel that this is great advice Lilli! Thanks.
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Why exactly is your mom living with you? Is she unable to live independently for physical, mental or financial reasons? Lilli (above) has given you excellent direction. Do it! You are not obligated to sacrifice your life and home. Let us know how you do.
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Isn't it amazing what havoc a little 'ol 80-something can wreak?? I agree with all the above. Anything done in guilt cannot possibly be healthy for anyone. After three years of taking care of Mom, the hub and I took a 3-day vacation. Mom had a meltdown, called everyone but the people we had lined up to check in on her. It made our little break miserable. When I came home I realized that I am one person and that Mom really needs a whole army to do the things she wants. Three years of waiting on her hand and foot have meant nothing because I am viewed as a worker bee and not her daughter or someone she respects.
You need to make changes now. Your mother sounds well enough to be in an ALF. They use a "tiered approach" now so she can stay in place as her needs increase. Take some time to gather information in your area...ask friends and co-workers about their experiences. Then visit the facilities and narrow them down to a couple and take your Mom to visit. Limit her choices: "you can live at any of these lovely places you choose." Make a time line and stick to it. She will shape up temporarily, but will return to the same old behaviors eventually.
What we owe are parents is this: a clean safe environment where their physical/mental needs are being met by caring professionals. Any energy you expend beyond that is yours to give. Get back your life. Spend some time with the kiddos (it is a shame that your son cut you off because of his granny's behavior...a little empathy is called for here.) You will be amazed at how much time you will get back. Energy vampires are all around us...it is up to us to draw the line in the sand.
good luck...we have all been there.
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Hi Barb9222, Oh my, I so want to talk to you. First let me say that my twin daughters are nurses also, ICU and Med/Surg. They work very hard and it is emotional and physical. I feel so for you. But most of all I have a mother very much like yours. Dad died 3 years ago and she is the poor little widow, can't do anything or pay for anything (even though she has plenty of money). She still lives in her home and expects my brother and nephew to do everything for her (but they stand their ground) and is stingy beyond belief. She decided that I, one of her two children, wanted her money. So she went about telling lies behind my back for years. Friends and family "enlightened me". After much heartbreak, stress, near mental breakdown, she finally pushed me over the edge. I haven't talked to her in three months. And you know what, it is heaven. Of course she doesn't ;live with me but if she did and pulled the S&^%r your Mom is pulling, I would let her make a choice. Live with me or the nursing home. Take your pick. Like you Mom, my Mom is manipulative, always has been. They thrive on pushing your buttons. Also, as far as I can tell Mom has no dementia either. You deserve better. So what I have done is cut Mom off. If she wants a daughter she can call me, write me, or contact me in someway to say she is sorry. Until then I truly can live without her. I hope you find the courage to do something like this. Don't let anyone make you feel bad. No, you do not owe her, she owes you. She brought you into the world. Any Mother who does not love their child above themselves, is no Mother at all. I know, I have three beautiful daughters who know I would take a bullet for them. Don't let her selfishness ruin your life. God bless and stay strong.
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I agree with Helen, she has to be evaluated first to see if it's dementia or just bad behavior. And I also agree that your mother has probably been doing this all her life, so why would she change now? Your dad probably needed the purple heart or something while you were growing up. If it's NOT dementia/alz then it's bad behavior and you'll have to make changes. First of all, would you lay that on your son by telling him just because you gave him life that he owes you? No you wouldn't, that's stupid. Parents are supposed to love and WANT to do things for their kids, not expect them to repay them for giving birth for Heaven's sake! So that in and of itself is guilt laden evilness in my opinion. Depending on what the doctor says about this, is how you're gonna have to deal with it. Do NOT be manipulated by this selfish woman. I don't care if she did give you birth. Tell her next time you want to go out and she calls the police, that you're gonna have her moved to a nursing home so she can 'be safe and fed etc' because you obviously can't do it. Take back the power that she's taken from you. And I'm sorry, but if you and your ex want to get back together and she's going to drive a wedge between that, then she's gotta live somewhere else. Period.
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Your mom is out of control and your responsibility is to keep her safe, but not to be her companion, 24 hour on call nurse-maid. How I see it is as follows:
Your mom knows how to manipulate you so that she gets you to do what she wants. This is probably a life long behavior and you have complied with it, even under protest. I would definitely get support for yourself, see a therapist and begin to realize that it is O.K. to deny mom and not feel guilty over it. As one ages, sometimes seniors regress to childlike behavior (like a 2 year old) and holler and scream to get what they want. If the parent gives in, (now that's you) the parent reinforces that screaming and hollering behavior. So, YOUR behavior and how you react to mom is key here and you can change that with help for yourself. Secondly, mom is probably very anxious about her aging, being left without family members, despite the caregiver being there. The zanax is a short term remedy. You should bring her to a Psychiatrist or good internist who deals with the elderly. She probably would benefit from an antidepressant that would help with her anxiety and possible depression. Zanax could be used as needed, but as people age, depression and anxiety often develops due to aging brain and reduction of seratonin(feel good chemical in the brain.). Also, irrational anxiety can be a sign of beginnings of dementia and this should also be evaluated by a psychiatrist, or eldercare internist, or even a neurologist who can do paper and pencil and verbal evaluations to see if she is begninning to show dementia issues. If that is the case, maybe she will need more meds such as Aricept, or Namenda. Seraquel is a med that can be used also to stop her hollering and can help behaviorally for mom. But first, I would definitely have her evaluated and change your behavior and get help to see if it is worth sacrificing your life for hers. Perhaps there are day care centers around for mom during the day to make friends, etc, There is alot here that you can do. Get advice, research community supports, and consider nursing home if nothing works.
Good luck.
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