My mother, who is a highly functioning 84-year-old, stepped over the line as far as verbal abuse. How do I handle this?

Follow
Share

She has always used me as her"whipping post" although I was always her child that stayed out of trouble and was attentive. She glories in feeling that she " has the right to be mean at times because of her age" and she certainly did so with me on Wednesday. I am her primary care giver and what she did not realize, was that I had just left a therapy session with a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome due to years of being the child and adult child who dealt with her drinking as well as the major issues with my father's very painful and drawn out death. I am a recently retired teacher (35 years), and want to start enjoy life without anxiety as I take care of my mother as well as at least one older sibling. I intend to be emotionally healthy. Mother insists on living on our farm in the house that my Dad left to me by herself. (3400 square feet/189 years old) with no neighbors.I have checked on her religiously day after day to ensure she lived through the night or had not fallen and was safely locked in at night. My question is: Since I have had enough, what can I do to ensure her safety without daily contact? I am thinking of every third day, perhaps. My siblings all live long distance by phone and are much older themselves. The younger one is either in the Middle East or Africa. I know I am whining, but I truly want to change my life without neglecting her. I hate to say this, but she has never been very kind to me and I am never a priority. I love her, respect her as my mother, but I do not like her. Thank you for any help you can give. I am looking for solutions.
Rebecca

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
24

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
My husband had Phillips lifeline and I kept it because I fall occasionally-my son tested it outside our house and it works out there except for one area near one part of tge house outside. They call me once a month to test it -it is always after a phone call that I answer so you do not have to worry that it will not be done. The only thing my phone is with our cable company and when the power is off or the cable is out it will not work and I am going to call them to see if I can use my cell phone. It is 39 dollars a month and when they test it -it comes through loud so you do not have to be near the monitering box.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Me again. I know your question was more about alert systems that your mom could use if an accident occurred or she needed help. I think that's a great idea and I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions for your area.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Rebecca: I'm not sure I understand your situation completely, but let me just share a personal reflection. I am the oldest of 4 children. I always had a difficult time with my mom growing up. I left home at 18 years old and moved away. My 3 sibs lived closest to my mom and dad all their lives and were there for holidays, birthdays, etc. My mom had a way of hurting my sibs too. Long story short, at age 55 I extended an invitation for my parents to move out of state and live next door to us on our property. My husband and I had retired and my mom had always wanted me to be in charge of her health issues. No one else (sibs) was retired, everyone worked and my parents had health issues and safety issues. My husband was not happy about having my parents move here, but he did it for me. I did everything I could for my mom, but I think she was somewhat narcissistic. At one point, I started walking with a friend on my street and going to weight watchers. I lost 35 pounds and was so happy about it. But my mom was pretty resentful that I was so into my walking, etc. One day she let me have it about my walking (this took about 60 minutes per day). She said, "All you think about is your walking" and I was shocked at her attitude. I told her, "Mom, walking is the only thing I do for myself. It's for my health." Now bear in mind, that I gave my mom daily injections, took her to hundreds of doc appointments, colored and fixed her hair, cleaned their house, took care of their finances, prescriptions, etc., and fixed their meals. My mom passed away after 3 plus years. The first two weren't so bad, she was happy because I had no purpose but to serve them. But the last year was bad. That's when I started walking and looking after my health. That's also when she started overdoing her pain meds. I still regret that the last year of her life was so hard for both of us. It's not what I would have wanted. I can still remember my Dad telling my brother, Maureen does everything for mom, but nothing she can do is good enough. I was grateful for that, but I am still kind of ticked at my mom for not being more loving towards me. I did my best and thought at this stage of my life I could handle her with more grace and wisdom. Unfortunately, the last year was much like my child hood memories. I would have wished it could have ended on a better note. One that would have made me feel like I had crossed a bridge with her.

My point is, it's totally reasonable for you to not want to spend your life living with anxiety about your mom or her nasty attitude toward you. Life is too short. Still, no matter what it's hard to live with the loss of not feeling like you ever made that connection with your mom that you wanted to make. It's a need we all share.

Don't let people bully you or treat you badly. If they can't give you the respect you deserve, at least give it to yourself. What else can you do?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The farm is large and Dad arranged for the lake (13 acres) and some pasture land for horses to be community property. Mother has a life estate for the house, but it is very large and 189 years old. There are no visible neighbors.Dad wanted my very small family to live with her and plans were drawn up to create Mother a large apartment. Mother does not want anyone living with her. The house is not something I really want. It is too large and I would not ever feel like it is my house. All of the children are allowed to select property to build a house. My suggestion to her has been that my family does that instead of the house being left to me. We can vote as a family group to do that. I am the only one living near her now, and have been looking after my parents for 20 years. My father wanted me to have the house for several reasons. He felt I could keep the family together, and he felt badly about not being able to pay for my college education during an earlier recession when he did so for the older children. Mother and I had a very frank discussion, and my older brother seemed to be the catalyst to her rant. He is a doctor,and ignored my parents and everyone else for about 40 years. I was brutally honest with him and am on speaking terms with him now. I will no longer allow people to bully me. If mother starts a rant, I end any contact. I am trying to use the kind suggestions given by members of this forum to find her a monitoring system. Thank you to everyone for your help. Rebecca
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm just trying to get the facts straight. Your mom lives on the farm that your dad gave to you. Maybe she has a life estate? I'm guessing that you don't live there, but I'm not sure. Could you clarify that for me?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When I was growing up I called myself Cinderella because that was how I was treated-you might want to read cmagnum's thread about dysfuntional families -he has good insight on mothers and how they affect their kids later on in life and about detachment-which is what I have had to do with my mother-even now she has me feeling like a bad 6 yr. old and now I know it is not me that is and was the problem.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Dear Rebecca, first let me say that I know what you are going through. I am 52, single and after living in NYC for 10 years, I have moved back into the family home to live with my 90 year old Mother who is healthy, thank God... but has treated me terribly at times in my life. It's ironic that I am the one to move in to care for her and keep her in place. Living with a Mother who is critical, abusive and dwells on administering as much guilt as she can dish out, it just horrible. Isn't a Mom supposed to love you, all the time, no matter what? I think its the generation. I often wonder what my Mom's childhood was like. I don't have children but I feel like I treat my nieces and nephews fairly and at sometimes have to practice some tough love, but they know the boundries with me. Having to visit your Mom every day has to take its toll on you, I can imagine that everytime you drive up to the house you are wondering if you are going to find her alive. I know that feeling of wondering what will I do if she's not alive..I feel that way in the early morning hours when I check on my Mom before going to work. I looked up the monitoring bracelet for you. I hear that ADT offers a good service, http://www.adt.com/home-security/solutions/medical-alert-systems..I called about the other one, the one that's on TV, but I didn't like how they tried to get information on how much $ we made. Seemed like a scam. ADT has a monitoring service which I think it important for an elderly person. If your Mom is like mine, no matter what you get it won't be good enough, so just get one that you think is the best and you'll be fine. It will help to give you some peace for when you aren't there. My sister calls our Mom about 5x a day so she is like a living life alert system. I work during the day and can be home in 15 minutes, so for now that's how we are caring for Mom. I don't socialize much and feel like the years are just flashing by. But at the end of the day I look up to heaven and give my Dad credit for putting up with her for 56 years and I do this for him because he loved her more than anything, and she's my Mom and this is the right thing to do. Hang in there and thanks for posting and pulling these words out of me. This is my first post/reply, so I apoligize for rambling...this is good therapy.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Alert One is the most resonable monthly service we can find. As for me, it is my MIL living in our home for the last three years. She has had no kind thought of anything I do or think from the moment she moved in. I am still purposed to be kind and caring, but it is a drain. I say all of this to encourage you to take care of yourself. We went to a Senior Support Group for over a year, but the guilt game for my husband is now damaging his health. I already have Fibromyalgia and am force to caregive myself. Again, take care of yourself first so that your health is not more damaged making you in need of care-giving.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Rebecca I think you are doing the right thing staying away-she is not going to change what she is doing works well for her. I have Lifeline by Phillips it cost 39 dollare a month and they call once a month to check on it. I ive in a small town and my son tested it outside and it works well in most places outside.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I have never been on one of these boards. But I found it because I am at witts ends with my mother. What you guys are describing is my mom exactly. She is 83 and the only difference is I am the only child. She is so mean, she embarrasses me when we are out eating or to cashieres because she is so hateful.She is hateful and jealous of her sister and if she starts verbally attacking her and her sister hangs up on her then she cries to me or my kids telling us how bad her sister is because she hung up on her. She can be the nicest person in the world but she can be the meanest. She has always said the meanest things to me when she is mad at me. She brings up every mistake I have ever made. I do not have a job right now and am desperately trying to get one. I am going to school to get my Bachelors degree and she even bashes me for that saying that I go to school just so I dont have to work. I never get credit for anything. I am expected to be there though at the drop of a hat. She is so self centered and everything has to be aout her. Her entire conversations are about her. I love her but I am so tired of being beat down by her words. If she does help someone we here about it forever. I am just so tired of living like this, but she has no one else that will do it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions