Follow
Share

My 92-year-old mother is a narcissist and is now living with me and my family until her home is repaired after a fire. It has taken much longer than expected. My mother insults my husband and children and then acts as if she never did or said anything when called on it. She has always been verbally abusive to my brother and myself our entire lives but she puts on the "I'm a great mom." act to everyone. My brother has hands off the whole situation and does not visit or call because he does not want interaction with our mother. I am the one who everything falls on. I pay her bills, conduct all business as far as getting the house repaired, take care of her in my home and it is all so overwhelming. Sometimes, I find myself so angry at her that I cannot even look at her. She is insulting one moment and acting as if she didn't do or say anything bad the next minute. I'm sure she has dementia, but will not see a doctor for this as "someone will want to put her in the nursing home". She also is very paranoid about people, including me, stealing from her and money is always missing and she points to my husband as the culprit. She does not want to keep herself clean, wants to reuse diapers and literally has the upstairs of my home smelling so foul it is almost too much to take. I realize that most of what I feel about her is because she always made everything about what girls are supposed to do. So growing up I was made to do everything, cook, clean, etc.,while my brother received a free pass. So this is still the issue today. She is never grateful for anything I do for her because I'm supposed to do it. Although her house will be finished soon I know that she technically should not go back there as she cannot take care of herself. She is so frugal with her money that she will not pay for help with her needs when she does go back home and I do live in another state. She will not complete a will and she does have modest assets, which includes the house and savings. I would want to see her use the money for herself, but she is obsessed with saving it. All these things are so frustrating and a big strain on my 30-year marriage and for my 14-year-old daughter. Even when she is back in her own home I can only see it getting worse as she will want me to be at her beck and call even from another state.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
glonjoe, I know what you're going through. Parents can abuse their children, then make them think they are the ones responsible for it. You have every right to be angry. The thing is that anger doesn't do us any good. It just raises our blood pressure and makes us lose sleep. It also makes us grouchy to people. If I were in your position, I would let Mother go back home. If she needs help, you and your brother can help her hire someone. I don't think your mother became like this because of dementia. It sounds like she was like this, then got dementia on top of it. Because she made this bed doesn't mean you have to lie in it with her.

It sounds to me like she needs assisted living. If she won't do that, the only other thing would be to hire someone to come in. I have a feeling that you won't be able to make her do anything. We can't drag them out of the house by their ankles. We have to wait until something happens that will call for other arrangements. I know you wish now that you'd done that after the fire. Big hugs, gf. And good luck. Many of us have difficult parents, so know what you're going through. They can create total chaos.
Helpful Answer (15)
Report

The way I feel is that anger is good when it can push you through fear.
If you have constant simmering anger mixed with guilt though, that is a different story. That anger will just hurt you. I've found that it is really hard to forgive an abusive parent if that person is not sorry. You can try to understand them, but I feel like the forgiveness is better spent on yourself. Forgive yourself for not knowing what to do with all those feelings, forgive yourself for the times your inner voice hasn't been kind to you, forgive yourself for taking a while to figure out how to best handle this situation.

I do not think there is a thing wrong with telling your mom it's time to go. She can sell her house and go to assisted living, or hire in-home care givers. You can have a list of contacts for her, or (in other posts) some have suggested geriatric care managers -- maybe there is one in her hometown who could help manage her care. I am going to guess that your mom might be the type of person who views helpfulness and generosity as weakness. I wonder if you withdrew from helping her, if she might have more respect for you. (I don't mean that it's your fault, just that I know a couple of people who do not see any merit in doing good -- they aren't capable so they don't recognize it in others. They only recognize power, money, etc as signals of worth.)
Helpful Answer (11)
Report

It sounds like your expectations of your mom may not be realistic. With all the hurt you have suffered, it's probably very difficult to keep working to care for her and not getting any appreciation from her. I might read a lot about dementia, if that is what she has, and try to accept the realities of what she may be capable of doing.

How did her house catch fire? Was she alone? I'd be very cautious of leaving a LO with dementia in a house unsupervised. All kinds of things can happen, plus, they aren't able to care for themselves, past the early stage.

The behavior you describe is not uncommon for people with cognitive decline. I'd work with her doctor to see what level of care she needs. If she can't live alone, she can't live alone. There are ways to have her placed somewhere where she can get the care she needs. Once a LO in need gets the care they need, the stress, anger, confusion and exasperation seem to work themselves out. I wish you much luck.
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

This is interesting.

You ask: how do you get over the anger that you have for your mother?

Short pause while I think how to put it. Bearing in mind that you go on to say that 'walking away' - by which you seem to mean changing anything at all - is 'unrealistic.'

Okay. My answer is that you don't need to get over your anger.

You need to examine where it comes from; and then use it: channel it into more constructive behaviours such as setting appropriate boundaries, and teaching your children that your mother is not right and that daughters are not natural born doormats, and that husbands are not only there to support their wives' choices but have their own rights too.

You only see this getting worse? That, I'm afraid, is up to you.

What duty does a loving daughter owe her mother? Write down your top five answers. See if any of them involves: tolerating the abuse of her family; submitting to partial treatment in comparison to her sibling; being insulted; being taken for granted; being imposed on unreasonably...

Your mother wishes to return to her own home. Make the arrangements for that now, and include in them information about and contact numbers for support services. If the deadline keeps mysteriously falling back, research alternative arrangements and act on them. Nothing in law or in ethics obliges you to house your abusive mother.

Your mother has the right to make her own decisions; but she does not have the right to make your decisions. You don't like her beliefs? Then stop agreeing with them by your actions.
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

Just curious -- how long has she been living with you?

I think it's despicable the way you are being treated, and the way your brother is allowed to escape all responsibility.

Consider washing your hands of it all once her house is ready. Tell your brother it is HIS turn. Tell your mother it is HIS turn. Just because she believes you are supposed to take care of everything doesn't mean you have to do it!

Let her rant and let her rave...wash your hands of it and walk away.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

It sounds to me like Mom is ready for placement in assisted living at the very least, or possibly a nursing home. I know that's not the desired outcome here, but it sounds like her dementia is pretty bad and it's only going to get worse. That's a sad fact - this situation doesn't get better. Returning her to her own home may not be an option at this point - not without someone to provide care for her.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Save yourself....... this is ONLY going to get worse. You do NOT have to sacrifice your health for her. Put her into a memory care facility. They KNOW how to deal with these kind of people. Been there and done that with my husbands mother for 3 and 1/2 years. She was spoiled and demanding to begin with, and with alzheimers, that ONLY escalated. The strain and stress it put on us was insurmountable. I dont wish it on on anybody. We first set her up in a beautiful apt in an assisted living and she hated it. She had to have round the clock caregivers and hated them all. NOTHING was good enough. My husband would not take her cell phone away and she called 1000 times a day, wreaking havoc on our lives!
It was not until the last 6 months that we moved her into a memory care facility which is where she belonged in the first place. They will NOT let them have a phone. She was in late stages of congestive heart failure and it was such a RELIEF when she passed. Alzheimers only gets worse and you ca n not deal with all their craziness. Save your health!
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

OP, I didn't read the entire thread, but have you considered calling Adult Protective Services if your mother refuses to see a doctor, as well as her determination to return home? Also, your local Area Agency on Aging may be able to help. There have been two in-home evals on my mother since we have been working with AAA. That may start the ball rolling for a diagnosis. It sounds like dementia aggravated by her "normal" sucky disposition.
I think it is completely normal to be angry. I'm angry a lot...and sad. I feel like my life has been hijacked by someone who is ostensibly my mother, but the person I knew is gone.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

How much longer until your mother's house is repaired. A year and 1/2 almost seems long enough to build a new one. How is your husband enduring all of this? What impact has this had on your child? I think your mother deserves to live with the consequences of her chosen life style. Get your freedom and set your family free.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

In simple terms, YOU cannot allow her to live with you and obviously she has dementia so she can't go back home. She has money so she needs to be placed. Talk to the doctor and your local Office on Aging. The library can give you the telephone number. Do not wait - get moving - now.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.