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So, for the second time in 6 years my mother has decided she does not want me in her life. However, this time I'm okay with it. I'm much happier not dealing with her each week. I did not come to the lightly, it's taken 8 years of therapy to get to this point. I was devastated the first time she made that choice. I will never be the person she wants me to be, I can't. I've seen her for years cut people out of her life and then draw them back in again. I'm not doing that. I knew at some point it would be my turn. This all came to a head during the pandemic and election cycle. She does not understand how I don't want to discuss guns, elections, or religion with her. She can't accept that we simple don't agree. I would rather not fight, she thrives in drama. She told me not to contact her again. I will respect her wishes. Yesterday (Mother's day) was a bit rough but I'll get by. But my real questions is I do worry about her aging and living circumstances. I see my husband's mother getting older and having a harder time getting around, every time I see that I think about mom. How can I manage no relationship and making sure she is safe? I'm the only living kid and she has no mate.

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On a different discussion thread here on AgingCare (about narcissistic parents), one of our posters was saying how she'd read a memoir which talked about how we need to give up hope for a better past. That's quite a profound statement, isn't it? I know it is for me; I've spent what feels like a lifetime wishing for a good relationship with my mother, which I've never had. Instead of wasting more time wishing for what never was and for what never could be, I'll focus on MYSELF for a change and on TODAY, you know?

Your mother is pretty young at 74, and full of her own opinions on life and how she should live it, which doesn't include you, for some odd reason. And while that's an unfortunate choice on HER part, you can't change HER mind about it. This past year or so has sewn SUCH division among people and even in families; I've had to 'unfriend' my own daughter on social media because she was constantly picking fights with me! I didn't 'unfriend' her in real life though, I just told her we will NOT discuss politics or hot topics while together. She's agreed and that's the end of that mess.

If and when the time comes that your mother needs you for something, THEN you will decide how much of your time and attention to give her. For today, you will go about your life without worrying about her or devoting your time or energy to someone who doesn't want it from you. There are others who DO. Focus your energy on THOSE people instead.

Live your life in the present and don't borrow trouble from tomorrow, that's my advice. It may be years before your mother needs help or runs into trouble, needs hospitalization or your help in some way. Enjoy your life fully in the meantime, that's your right 100%.

Good luck!
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Math, you cannot care more about a person's life and safety than they care about it themselves.

Some folks seem to lack the capacity to trust anyone, including their children, to have their best interests at heart.

There really is no good solution. Have peace in your heart that you tried.
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mathisawesome May 10, 2021
Thank you. It's just a crappy situation. It did not have to be like this but I'm done having my life turned upside down over her moods. I'm 50 and feel I've wasted a lot of time worrying about her.
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You need to take care of yourself and keep yourself and your husband healthy, happy and safe. Live a good life. There is nothing you can do right now and worrying about it won’t change anything. It will only take a toll on you. By cutting you out of her life she is trying to hurt you - step away from that drama. I agree with many of the posters here: you should not borrow trouble and you don’t know what the future might bring.

A friend of mine once said, a long time ago, that even though my mother failed at many things and was an abusive mother, somehow I became her success story. I did cringe a little hearing that as it was a tad “woo woo” for me. But I think she was trying to say that despite my mother’s horrible parenting, I turned out to be stable and loving. I could be proud of that success and in some way also became my mother’s success - that was how to honor a parent while not being in that parents life. She knew I struggled with the whole “honor thy parents” thing. Like - how do you honor parents without a relationship? So, go be happy. Be a good person in the world.

I can and will never have a relationship with my mother. That is reality. I do oversee her care right now as she has advanced dementia and there is no one else. It’s painful. I have no feelings of “thank God I’m here and, oh, suddenly my mother appreciates me.” Fat chance. She is still awful and I have great anxiety at times. I don’t want this job. But because I have built a stable life, have my own solid and healthy family ties, good friends, and have enjoyed myself, I am strong enough, most days, to withstand this burden of care. I do no hands on care at all and never will. I have said this in other posts that I effectively act as my mother’s case manager. But there is no love there. And, I had to wait until she could no longer manage anything by herself. Her parting gift to me was to let me clean up her messes. I never want my children to go through what I am going through.

Don't task yourself in advance with this thankless job. Someone else said that your mother may pass quickly. It is painful most days, and really unsatisfying. My mother’s current accusations and her years of gaslighting me, the manipulation, the drama and and constant chaos that I experienced as a child still bother me. But I likely do the best job of managing her care and finances. That is my parting gift to her.
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marymary2 May 13, 2021
So sorry you had to go through all that, as I'm sorry for all of us here who had to. Your friend's comment is so interesting. I never thought of being my mother's success either. My sister (her darling) is just like her - a narcissist, lifelong housewife who values money and status, and cruel. But my mother always warned me how horrible men were and how I had to have my own money, so, surprise, I worked and saved my whole life. Ironically, she never valued anything I did. In retrospect, though I'm not a "success" by societal standards, I achieved all that she told me to do - have a career and make my own money. Thanks for sharing a different and possibly helpful perspective to thinking I'm worthless - as she and her darlings treated me my whole life.
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You can not "make" anyone accept help.
Unfortunately what happens in cases like this is you play the waiting "game"
Something will happen and she will require help. In the form of hospitalization and if she is lucky rehab. At that point it will be determined if she can continue to live on her own.
Given the fact that she has decided to cut you out of her life you may or may not be informed when this occurs.
This is on her NOT you.
Your question...do you worry about her aging and having a harder time getting around...
Sure you can worry. BUT you do not have to do anything about it.
What you do need to do is keep yourself healthy mentally and emotionally.
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mathisawesome May 10, 2021
Thank you. I just wish it was different. And you are right.
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Mathisawesome, you are a better daughter than she deserves and I give you credit for being concerned for her welfare.

I agree with the others that your mom made her choice and yes, she will probably call on you when she gets in trouble. While you have been cut out of her life, think about what you might be willing to do for her and think about the boundaries she will have to abide by.

Is there anyone you know that can keep an eye on her for you without letting your mother know? Someone who could have wellness checks on her if she isn't seen for a while.

Work on keeping yourself to be mentally healthy with the fact your mother may refuse you even if she needs you. You have no control over her actions. Live a healthy, happy life.

I wish you well and wish blessings of peace and grace for your life.
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Reply to cweissp
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You are a kind person. If the truth be told, your mom doesn’t hold a candle to you. I wish that she would wake up and see what she is missing out on, but we can’t make anyone see something that they don’t wish to see.

I have no idea what is best in this situation but I want to offer my support to you. Your compassion is inspiring.

You are so wise to know your limitations. I wish you peace and joy in your life.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Change the question to “How do I care for someone who doesn’t want my help?” The answer is you can’t. You can try, but it will take a huge toll on you. It can even be deadly for you.

I suspect that she will call you one day when there is an emergency. At that point you can choose to step in or not. If you choose to step in, do so in the role of case manager not daughter. You can use your energy, if you are willing, to shepherd the assistance of others such as doctors, social workers, care facilities ect... but you keep your distance from your mother.
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Riley2166 May 13, 2021
WHAT A WONDERFUL ANSWER - bravo.

My feeling is this - she may be you mother and you had hoped for a close loving relationship which you obviously never had. She was not a real mother to you no matter what. Why are you so concerned? I don't feel she deserves what you are trying to do. In life we often find ourselves in these situations - do we stay and suffer and feel guilty? Or are we worth more - and we cut the ties and move on and live a normal life without this stress. This is where I see you. Why do you want to help? She does not want your help - why does not matter. She sees you as trying to make her do something she does not want to do. If she finally does reach out be prepared to give her all kinds of information on where she can get help from professionals who are there for that. Or, if you want, you might want to step in but beware of how she truly is before you take that on. And if your husband's mother is a nicer person, do help her. My motto is to help only those who treat you with respect and love.
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I agree with everything that has been posted by the other forum sages. I had to deal with a manipulative, passive-aggressive step FIL who thought we (me and my entire family) were his and his wife's (my MIL) "retirement plan". He had Parkinsons, was broke, upside down on his 2nd ballooning mortgage and had tens of thousands of dollars in cc debt. Yet he thought we would "take care" of their daily calls and needs in spite of the fact that my husband and I were both working full time running a business, had younger kids in junior and sr high, and he wouldn't give us any ability to legally help him (like assigning PoA). Finally when he had me fill out the Medicaid app for him but then refused to sign it when he realized his money would go directly to a facility, I had had enough so I sat him down one last time and told him in polite but no uncertain terms that he either be cooperative (on Medicaid and multiple other issues) and assign someone PoA or we would back away and let the county get guardianship of him. He chose option B. I never went to visit him in his Medicaid facility and felt little sympathy for him. He didn't have cognitive issues when I was laying out the options and outcomes before him. I did it for his sake AND mine, so that I could go to sleep at night with a clear conscience that the choice was all his. You may want to consider doing the same with your mom and then backing away completely. If you are not her PoA then when she is no longer able to manage her ADLs then you contact APS and report her so that the county-assigned guardians will eventually take care of all her needs.
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mathisawesome May 11, 2021
I don't understand how parents think all will stop when they are older. I don't expect that from anyone. I will go into AL and the NH. It's not going to be great but it is what it is....My mom thought I would retire at 50/55 and be her fulltime assistant. I would need heavy medication.
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I’ve never been in your position and am truly sorry that you find yourself in this place. I have known people with such toxic relationships that all caregiving was done from a distance. Your mother will likely be calling on you when her needs increase. If you choose to be involved, do it from whatever a safe distance looks like for you. A care manager can be hired, for example. Or if she’s moved to a NH, you can visit without her ever seeing you and ensure her care is good. Don’t accept blame no matter what you choose. I wish you peace
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mathisawesome May 11, 2021
Thanks, I never thought about a "visit" without actually seeing her. I doubt she will go to a NH willingly. But she may end up there. I just want her to be well taken care of, that what's the most important.
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mathisawesome, be thankful you are not in her life - things happen for a reason. One of the resources I read mentions "when a toxic person cuts you out of their life, run!"

Over the past few years we wanted to make sure my drama-creating MIL was safe and cared for, in her early 70's, so we helped her into a senior living residence. She was doing good, but we didn't know part of her drama was telling lies about being mistreated - by her family (see Narcissistic Personality Disorder). We actually just gave her a larger audience who is trained to care for the elderly to get caught up in her drama. Not only did we have to deal with my MIL but also the management team at the residence who for some reason think they need to protect her from us. It escalated into a dangerous nightmare as we continued to spend thousands of hours trying to care for her and get everyone on the same page for her care, sacrificing our emotional well-being in the process.

You were given a gift of freedom by a toxic individual and perhaps saved you so much emotional trauma in the future... it is painful it is your mom, but we are all here to be joyful and live our own lives.

Most states have tons of help and assistance for the elderly, from transportation to meals, financial support, living situations, etc. that are available for her safety and care.

Another resource I have mentioned "toxic individuals don't get better as they age, they get more toxic." That was true in our case.

best wishes -
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