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My brothers and I are having a difficult time dealing with our 78yr old mother. Our father died 17yrs ago and she still can't get past it. She HATES being alone. Yet, her family is second to her friends. What I mean by that is if she has something planned with her friends, we don't hear from her and if we call her to invite her to go somewhere she's very short with us and tells us she has other plans! But when she doesn't she plays the "depressed card" and wants us to cater to her. She has ALWAYS been this way but she is now going to extremes to get attention. She does this by calling us to take her to the emergency room when she feels a little sick (most recently she called my brother at 2:30am wanting him to take her because she had been vomited 7 times since 11pm. She had the flu! I wouldn't take my 7yr old son to the ER if he'd been vomiting all night. You drink Gatorade/fluids and if it doesn't pass in a day or 2, then maybe the ER). She has driven our oldest brother away and my youngest brother is now purposely not calling her and inviting out to dinner and now I'm on the fence ready to jump to the other side! I call her but there's really no conversation because all she talks about is either how she is feeling or what projects she wants done around her home (new cabinets in her kitchen because the one's she has are dark and she doesn't like them. Or a new bathroom.)
I recently found out that she manipulates my twin sister into staying with her the whole time that she comes back home to visit. A couple of years ago I invited my sister to come and stay with me for a night and her and I could have a "girls evening" of chatting! Hours before she was to come over she called and said that she was just going to stay with mom. I got my feelings hurt and decided that she only comes home to see mom. I just found out a few weeks ago it was because my mom made her feel guilty by telling her she'd be all alone! What mother keeps her kids from spending time together?
Then there's the issue of her having a lady that used to live across the road from her come over and help her with chores around the house and doing landscaping for her. This woman and her husband were living with the husbands mother. The mother had to put her home up for sale in order to get them out of her home! They wouldn't leave and were taking advantage of her. As soon as they moved out the mother took her home off of the market. This husband and wife are on disability and unemployment. And every time one of us kids shows up at my moms and they are there they slither away and disappear! It makes us feel like they are hiding something. We've tried to talk to our mom about them but she refuses to believe they are anything but good people.
My youngest brother and I are planning to go talk to her this weekend. But we know it won't end well because, in her mind, she justifies everything she does and she is ALWAYS right! We LOVE her because she's our mom but she's driving us away :-(.
If anyone has some advice I would love to hear it! I'm at my whits end.
Sorry this is so long.
Lisa

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Eyerishlass, Thank you for answering back. Actually, the younger brother couldn't miss that days work so he called our Oldest brother to take her (No one called me because after taking her back and forth to the ER SEVERAL times over a 3 month period a year ago, my husband and I decided that if she needed to go to the ER again the ambulance needed to be called.)

And you assume correctly, she lives in a duplex by herself and is in good health. 3yrs ago I moved her from the home that we grew up in to a subdivision that is mainly older people. This place is a 1/2 hr. away from me. My husband and I tried to get her to move to the same town that we live in so that as she gets older and would need more help it would be more convenient for us. But she refused because she would be too far away from her friends.

Thank you for making this clear to me. I feel like I'm going to be a bad daughter if I "cut her off completely". But I just get SO frustrated with her when I do talk to her....or when I try to ignore the mean/rude comments she says and then I feel like I just allow her to be this way.

I have an Aunt and Uncle (my dads brother and his wife) that say my dad allowed her to be this way and he would just cater to her. Then when he passed away she was having such a hard time with it that my brothers and I tried to help her out as much as we could. One time (8 yrs ago) I actually sat her down (my brothers refused to be a part of it) and told her that we all loved her and that we all wanted to help her as much as we could but that we also had families and homes that we had to take care of. So, she needed to help herself as much as she could and then we'd help do what she couldn't. She changed for the better for quite a while. Then when she moved she was happy to be in her new place and it was like having my mom back again. But now it's back to where we were 8yrs ago and even worse. And I really feel a talk with her isn't going to go well this time.
I'm sorry to keep rambling. But this is just so difficult and I am struggling with what to do!
Thank you all for your advice! It's really a big help!
Lisa
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My advice is to have some concrete personal boundaries in place and dump any guilt.
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Follow the lead of the oldest brother. The only way we could stop the imminent death calls was to send 911 to the house. The drama ratcheted down when she got the bills for the co-pays.
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I'm curious: did your brother take your mom to the ER?

We've all had difficult people in our lives and I know many people who have had their fair share of difficult elderly parents. There are many people here who have very difficult parents and I'm sure you'll hear from them.

Since you didn't mention if your mom was sick or if you lived with her I'm assuming that she lives on her own and is in relatively good health. So you have 2 options. Either cut her off completely or find a way to deal with her. You can do this by limiting the number of times you call her, limiting the number of visits to her, trying to find ways to deal with her without making yourself crazy, and creating boundaries for yourself so you can maintain some peace of mind. There are many books on how to create boundaries.

Detaching With Love: Setting Boundaries in Toxic Relationships

This is an article from this site.

You'll get lots of good advice here.
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