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This is just one of many incidents. Long story short, As I was driving home, I was listening to her rant and rave and complain about her cleaning lady not staying long enough today, etc., and I offered advice, here and there. She kept fussing about this over and over.. I finally said that I had to go because I was nearly home and it was storming, and I needed to get out of the car, quickly. She took this to mean that I was bored with everything she said (I was listening, quietly, to her), that I didn't want to listen to her or talk, and she hung up. I knew she was mad, but I called her back when I got settled in the house. She finally answered and said that she wouldn't be calling me anymore, since I didn't want to listen to her, that I could call her if I wanted to. I just said ok, whatever you want. I didn't argue. And she hung up the phone. How do I deal/look at this situation? She is 80 and stays in the bed most of the time, due to some physical problems. She is also very depressed. Any advice would be appreciated! (BTW, I am an only child, have a full-time job, and am raising triplets (with my husband.)

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aaaaanddone, I just want to point out to you that this post is 6 years old.

If your have questions or want opinions about narcissistic mothers, start a new thread with your specific concerns. Many people on this site have experience with this topic. I think you will reach more of them by starting fresh.
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I am also unsure why you and your sister are giving her money...speaking as someone who has been manipulated and verbally abused/manipulated by my mother for my lifetime (including the buy x for me and I'll pay you back, which never happens), I'd say cut her off financially. I do not understand that component, it seems to be taking a further toll on your relationship with your brother and his family, and from what you said it's voluntary and she doesn't need it. It sounds as if you are resentful of your brother, which I'm not sure is based in your mother's attitude towards him or has some merit outside of that. Again, I'm in a similar situation with my sisters and brother, he is the "golden child," but, especially as I get older, I realize that the bitterness that one of my sisters holds towards him and other family members is based largely on my mother's actions and words...no fault of his own.

As far as your relationship goes, I came across this post because I'm in a similar situation. My mother has always called only when she wants something, withholds love and just says, "hmph," if you say you love her and there is something she wants that wasn't done/given to her, etc. She hangs up on me all the time, screams at me in front of my own family, including young children, etc. There is a webpage about narcissistic mothers that you should google...the newsletters have made me try to become more emotionally detached from her, but guilt (that has been driven home hard since birth) and sheer proximity to other family members have kept me involved, though my contact has been significantly reduced.
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I am so confused by this post. Just like Countrymouse, I can't understand why you and your sister give your mom money if she is a "rich woman". Very confusing. I am an unsure if you are exaggerating or if your mother really is wealthy.... Which if that is the case, why are you giving money to a wealthy woman??

It makes it really hard to give constructive advice when the premise of the the relationship and financial situation with your mother is described in a way that is difficult to understand.
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CTTN55 Thank you for your reply and support. You are absolutely right in your prediction. That is something my sister and I talked about too. Thank you for your good energy!
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Countrymouse, what makes you think it is only NOW that I am wondering what to do? You are making a ton of assumptions as to the situation I am describing. It is clear from my description that this is something that has been evolving -- you must be daft not to realize that. Anyway, if you can assume so much and be so negative and sound so angry, maybe it is YOU that needs a therapist as to why you get so angry over a stranger's situation. You have said nothing in your reply to be constructive, but have just struck out in anger. I suspect your reply has its impetus in some unhappy situation in your life or guilt in you, and has nothing to do with my post. Good bye and don't respond to me. I don't need another abusive entity. Go do something else with your time.
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"...she is a rich woman and saves the money (we give her) to give her son who has a great job and is married to a woman who does not want to work and by choice have no kids (unlike my sis and me who have children and households to support)."

There are two possible scenarios here.

1. Your description is a wild distortion of what has actually happened.

2. Your description is true and accurate, and you and your sister were idiots to give her money.

Either way. You describe a mother who hasn't spoken to you in nearly five years and you're wondering now what to do about it? Why now? And how does a woman who refuses contact convey to you that she expects you to support her?

I think perhaps you should see a therapist. You seem very sad and confused.
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Happiness1, when your mother needs care your brother will probably start pressuring you and your sister to do it. Stand firm! He the Golden Boy son should be the one to take care of the mother who thinks he is more important than her two daughters.
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Sorry if this is a little off this thread's topic.  But my mother and I had a falling out because she got angry (yes, angry and abusive) at me and my sister when we both did not agree with her thinking that her only son should get everything that my dad left us all when he died. Instead, she wanted us to give her money each month but she is a rich woman and saves the money (we give her) to give her son who has a great job and is married to a woman who does not want to work and by choice have no kids (unlike my sis and me who have children and households to support). So when we told our mother our dad's inheritance should be shared by all her children, she said sons were more important than daughters and daughters should get nothing and should get married and leave the house. OK, so this picture is so wrong -- my sis and I supported her and the household after our dad died and supported our brother as well. Now years later, she still expects my sis and I to give her a monthly "income" even though it all and everything else goes to our brother. This was almost 5 years ago that my mother refused to talk to me even though I have tried to call her to just see how she is. I don't even want her money and told her that 5 years ago, and I had told her that it's the way she treats her daughters over her son that I am upset about. She got mad at me for saying that and when I call, she either sees her caller id and refuses to answer (but I know she is home because I had the neighbor check), or when she answers and hears it's me, she just hangs up. I am done with her. She has not spoken to me or my sis in almost 5 years. I have longed for a real mother-daughter relationship but know I will never get it. She has done so many more abusive things to my sister and me (mentally abusive) but others outside think she is a saint and she lies to her friends and makes my sis and me out to be the bad, money-hungry people and that is not it at all. My sis retired 5 years ago and said she could not give my mother any more monthly income but my mother got angry at both me and my sis when I agreed with my sis. It is so toxic to be around my mother and even though I would like to be able to talk to her, I know it's actually better that she is out of my life. My sis feels the same way. Actually my sis told her outright she was cutting off from her. I never said anything but my mother decided to cut off from me after my sis told her that. I am writing this because my situation is not me not wanting to call my mom or talk to her (even though she makes me crazy) but she is the one not wanting to do it. Everything I have read is about how a (toxic) parent would try to call but the son or daughter not want to talk, etc. Anyone out there in my kind of situation -- I think my mother is narcissistic. She used to be happy to hear of my brother fighting with me or my sister and I not getting along, and instead of bringing her children together, she would call each one and add more fuel to the fire by lying that each was saying something bad about the other. Then she sits back and enjoys the attention where each child would call her to complain about the other -- not anymore, and she is angry that my sis and I found out what she was doing.
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DotDotDot...(love that handle BTW) ...well, "bitter bubble" sounds like another name for depression and that can be treated, even if "they have a reason to be depressed" - people can't normally pop those bubbles on their own though. At best, they can be encouraged to accept treatment and helped to feel worthy of feeling better.

Some people say optimists see the world through rose-colored glasses; depressed people see it through um, *brown*-colored glasses. Negative interpretations of everything tend to rule. Daisy 3 got great advice here too, I think! Most people hate being around depressed people because of all the negativism and the way you can get sucked right in. But realize its the depression talking if you can. Think about how they handle Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh land :-) - he gets included and negative comments are pretty well let slide.
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I don't know what to do either, I try to be compassionate but she is very stubborn, what she says goes, what she thinks and says is always right, She lives with my brother, who works a lot, my sister stays here and there for a couple days, but she is also battling cancer, whenever we call, she doesn't answer and doesn't call us back, she is sleeping a lot, she's bored, but also very, very negative, when we try to talk to her, she takes offense, gets mad and thats that..we cannot afford assisted living, sometimes she puts stuff on the stove, and then goes and takes a nap..I feel for her, I try to look at life through her eyes, but she won't talk, she won't let us in and has put herself in this bitter bubble...
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I agree with Melrose set boundaries -if she acts like a spoiled child-stay away-when she can be a grownup then you can be around-she is not entitled to bad behaivor-my husband would rant to me on the phone when he was in rehab-then hang up so I stoped visiting him whenever he acted like that-he did learn what I would not stand for and would change his behaivor-it is better to be alone than spend time with someone who enjoys hurting you. Let your answering machine take her calls and if you are not happy with her attitude do not call her back-do not encourage rudness-detach yourself from her mean ways.
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Daisy, you need to think back to who your mother was when she was at her best years ago. Remember how hard she worked to take care of you in your teen years, your childhood years? The person who did that is not the same person you can talk to now. Today, your mother is losing control of her life, her environment, her mind. She's panicked, she's helpless, she's mad as heck and not going to take it anymore. Whatever she's feeling as her life slips out of her grasp, she's going to take it out on you. Don't distance yourself from her; just protect yourself from her. Put up a mental fence between you. Empathize, listen, comment, but don't expect her to react as if she was 40 years younger. You are making her final years what they will be. Take care of her, but take care of you, too. Give yourself the strokes she doesn't give you anymore. Forgive yourself. Forgive your mother. Try not to agonize of the things you cannot control and the things your mother cannot control. No point. Be with her. Do your best. Celebrate your victories. Be good to you. Good luck. God Bless You.
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People learn by how others react. By arguing or by allowing anything other than acceptable behavior you only reinforce the behavior. My mother used to call me to report every single injustice every did to her. She would tell the same stories over and over. I didn't speak to her for a long time because she was being manipulative. I wrote her a letter explaining the behaviors that I found to be unacceptable. I told her that I loved her but that I loved myself as well, as so would not allow her to monopolize conversations, intentionally try to upset me, or bring any negativity to my door. That if she could leave the BS behind, she was welcome into my world, but if she was unable to do that, she should leave me alone. It was a couple of years later, when my brother died, that I spoke to my mother again. I have boundaries and Mom recognizes my boundaries now. Still I sense some negativity at times, but she tries to curtail it with me. If she does that enough, it will become habit, just as the way she has learned to control herself when speaking to me. I love my mom, she did the best she could with what tools she had. We all need someone to keep us in check at times.
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I feel your pain. Does your mother have cognitive health issues, or is it simply the isolation & depression frustrating her? I am also a single child, I work full time & care for my disabled daughter. My mother frequently 'martyrs' or ignores me for a couple days because I may not be available to her...until she needs something anyhow. I've explained that she cannot call me at work or when I have obligations for my daughter. I try to remain calm, but at times its impossible to not lose my temper & I end up yelling at her. I regularly see a psychologist, that helps me deal. I try to keep a line of calm communication with my mom. I schedule regular time with her, keep a calendar of my obligations as well as hers that she can see. It doesn't always work, she forgets to look at the calendar or makes impulsive demands on me. But at least with these tools in place it has made it easier to remind her gently instead of a fight erupting. Good luck to you!
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They tend to pull this with the children who will let them get away with it. My mom does this to my sisters. As for me I have never tolerated this and to this day she seems to respect me more for some bizarre reason?
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My mom started doing this when she was in very early dementia. Maybe it's time to have a geriatric doc check this out? There are meds that can help. Mom finally admitted to me that she only felt safe when I was around. Maybe that's the same with your mom. She's starting to feel unsafe and alone? Just a thought from someone who's been there. Hugs and I hope everything gets better. We only children (my brother hasn't seen mom in 7 years), are easily guilted aren't we?
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If you can count on her hanging up on you with whatever you say can you just use caller ID and not answer the phone very often-and whenever she started raging on me I would be the one to hang up on her-she may just want to pervoke you and enjoys doing it.
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Daisy, I have been through this exact situation sooooo many times with my mother. I'm not an only child; but feel like one as my brother is deceased and my sister lives 3,000 miles away and detached long ago from my mother. My mother even complained about the same things you described your mother is complaining about. My mother constantly hangs up on me. Tells me I am not a good daughter, etc. All for reasons of not agreeing with her or not saying the things she wants to hear. I don't know if your mother has always been like this (mine has) but it became worse with age.

My mother has depression as well. I use to take it so personally, always trying to please, say the right things, etc. Years ago, during a conversation with a therapist, I described the hanging up, the constant guilt trips, etc. He said no one can make you feel guilty - said I was "trained" to feel guilty. Told me not to call her back if she was the one to hang up on me. He said he understood how I was hurting over this (as it has been a lifetime of if), but said to remember anyone who acts like that is hurting too - and she is a very troubled person.

I took his advice and did not call her back and still don't call her back when she hangs up on me. It was difficult to do, but it truly works, in my case anyway. By calling her right back everytime she hung up on me, I was just perpetuating this behavior. She is on medication now for depression and other mental health issues; but the medication truly helped.

Your mother could also be in the stages of developing dementia. You mentioned she stays in bed most of the time due to physical problems. This in itself is very depressing. God bless you for raising triplets and working full-time. Your plate is full. Perhaps her doctor could prescribe depression medication. Also, would she be open to an assisted living situation? or having someone additional come in to help her - Elder Services can help in so many ways with suggestions for all situations.

It's difficult going it alone; but you will find a lot of support on this site by extremely caring people with wonderful suggesions. Blessings and hugs to you.
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