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I blocked my mom's calls and texts because... well... I hate talking to her. She ALWAYS calls when it's inconvenient (meetings, dates, etc.) and she never has anything good to say. It's always because she needs something that she doesn't need right that second but demands it right then or she picks a fight. I just can't deal with it. I call her when I need to tell her something important and give her an opportunity to tell me something important but other than that I have no contact with her. I feel guilty about it sometimes, but my days have been better.

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You will get a lot of answers to this one. This is one of the downers with cells. Please don't feel guilty. If it was a landline with no ID you won't even know she called. You are entitled to a life.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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j6044, OMG I am at my wit's end. My mom lives down the street from me, alone with no other family or any friends. She is verbally abusive and extremely bitter. She calls me daily to bring her alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, food, etc. It could start at 6 am and it can be as late as 8-9 pm. She's blown up my cell at work while meeting with clients, at dinner out with husband/friends. So, Saturday I took the afternoon to actually have fun. I turned off the ringer. She called three times between about 3 pm and 8 pm. I did not call back. Boy Sunday she was FURIOUS and extremely nasty to me. I had to tell her it is not fair to expect me to be on-call 14 hours a day. She says because they helped me out by putting me through college and chipping in toward the down payment on my first house, that I owe her this - no matter what I might be doing. This is becoming a total nightmare. I cannot be available by phone all of the time and nobody should!
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Reply to Upstream
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I quit answering my mother's calls because she's an abusive narcissist. It takes me six months to get over talking to her and I can't afford the destruction. I've tried my whole life to make our relationship tolerable but nothing, nothing, nothing works. She's 91, frail but very tough and can take care of herself. She will probably live on forever, ruining our family. You are wise to protect yourself. Some of these people don't appreciate anything you do for them. You could die for them and they wouldn't notice.
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Reply to Davina
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The first few months that my Mom was in the nursing home, she would call me almost every day--if she didn't get me on the cellphone, then she would try the landline or the other way around. Often her calls were about nonsensical things so sometimes I didn't answer the phone when I saw her phone number on the cell phone or the Caller ID. If Mom needed something really important, the nursing home staff would call me after Mom tried to get me and failed. Some times it isn't worth talking to the person, especially if they are upset or having a delusion as you cannot console them or redirect their delusion over the phone.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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The answer is yes...you have a right not to answer your phone. I totally get where you’re coming from. It got so just hearing my ringtone at night made my stomach sink or if I saw my dad's name come up on the phone. I finally decided I would not answer the phone once we were sitting down to dinner or after that. I needed a peaceful evening with my husband and not to be yelled at by my dad because then my whole evening was ruined. I couldn’t even get to sleep etc. so yes, I’d either block his number or not answer. I knew if there was an emergency then the staff in the AL would call me. I wouldn’t allow him to have a phone in the NH. You have to do what you have to do to preserve your sanity. Don’t feel guilty. You are setting boundaries and that is healthy. Do you think your mom who is quite young at 61, feels guilt? Nope.
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Reply to Harpcat
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My sister and I will let our 84 y.o. mother's calls go to voice mail. She has called up to 7 times back to back but doesn't know she's doing it. She doesn't like to leave messages but will. A few nights ago, I heard my phone ring 4 separate times. I was in the shower but since they were back to back to back, I knew it was Mom and able to get it the last time. I had just taken her to dinner and she was calling to find out where we went. So nothing urgent. We call her a couple times a day if we're not visiting with her to make sure she gets out of the house (lives alone, in-home care is NOT an option because she hates people and wouldn't let anyone in anyway). I don't feel guilt about it, though my sister does. But she feels guilty when it rains. ;o)

It could be a manipulative technique. But if she has handy resources and is calling you to test you, I hope you can resist the urge to answer. Good luck.
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Reply to shb1964
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You remember that scene in 'Love Actually' when Laura Linney sacrifices a perfectly good boyfriend in favour of her in-patient brother's rambling paranoid phone calls? What can you say. Girl's an idiot.

You are taking good care of your mother. I see absolutely nothing wrong with organising that to suit your own convenience.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I let the calls go to voicemail and turn off the ringer when my dad is fixated on something and just calling to repeat the same questions. I have also started letting everything go to voicemail after 7:00 p.m., but it is still frustrating when I hear the phone ringing or vibrating. It has gotten to be so much that I resent them calling about anything.
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Reply to Jumary
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At 21 I was trying to figure out how to gracefully escape mthr's tentacles. At college, I had to talk to her hours in the morning, afternoon, and evening on the dorm phone in the hall. I was a slave to her for financial support and she kept telling me about the riches she had that I would inherit.

I finally made the decision that my sanity was worth more and took a break from her. No calls for 6 mos while I worked on establishing boundaries with everyone - I was the most walked all over person ever. I tried again, and had to take another break. This was on and off for about 6 mos to a year at a time until she CHOSE to not be in contact with ME. I said that if she could not treat me with the decency she showed strangers, she could just not visit. She chose not to visit. 8 years later, Adult Protective Services called me to come rescue her from herself. She's been in a memory care unit here since, and I have been "taking care" of her better than she's ever taken care of herself.

I was able to do this only because I took care of myself first and learned what that looks like. Jesus said something along the lines of love your neighbor as yourself, but if you don't know what loving yourself looks like, it's really hard to show anyone love.
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Reply to surprise
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The problem with "multiple-call mom" (or dad) is that they're "the boy who cried wolf". I also have someone in the family who calls the house 3x, then immediately my cell 2x, then another call to the house with no voice mail ... all to pretty much tell me their day sucked. This is how they operate each call. Really? One well-placed voice message would have gotten a return call, but now I'm thoroughly annoyed, desensitized to the severity of multiple-rings than I used to be, and lost a modicum of respect for their number when it again appears on the called-ID.

One day there will be an ultra-important call I’ll ignore, and that time there will be “real” trouble. But you can't ruin your nerves and life - it's sad, but sometimes that's the way it's going to go. Some things will just not end well, that's life.
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Reply to KBEllison
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