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Hi fellow caregivers. I have been here before but it's been awhile, and maybe I am finally ready to be completely honest and transparent about my situation with my Mom.


So my Mom moved in with me 9 months ago, because she is in hospice and her nurse asked me to just come get her....she could not live independently anymore with her advancing COPD and dementia. We moved her into our home....but in all honesty this was not an easy decision.


Just to give some background, she was physically abusive toward me during my whole childhood, but worse...was the neglect. She actually abandoned me to her live-in boyfriend...who sexually abused me for seven years. They broke up, and she allowed me to move in with him...between 9 and 13 years of age. She knew the whole time, that his was a one bedroom apartment. She had to know it was likely I was sleeping in his bed. But she looked the other way, and to this day...pleads ignorance.


But I've tried my best to forgive. She was not highly educated, came from an abusive background herself...I've done my best to just let it go..


So now she needs help. As stated before, she is half out of her mind with dementia. I've done my best to take care of her, considering it my Christian responsibilty...until finally I could not endure any longer. I have clinical anxiety...and while it had been controlled for several years, I was having frequent panic attacks...not sleeping...weight gain...high blood pressure...


Finally made the decision to put her in a nursing home. But I am struggling with that decision. Turns out I can't see her, without weeks of notice and covid tests...visitation is only available around once every 3 weeks. Her nurse keeps in touch with me, to tell me she's so angry with me. Like I have failed her.


All of this has me so totally depressed. Whatever progress I had made in my life, with my mental health...by being separated from her, from the drama and triggering of our relationship...just feels worse than ever.


Her nurses are sending me texts, telling me how she's the sweetest...thanking me for allowing them to take care of her....make me feel like such a failure. I feel so judged by them, and extended family, for not being able to handle her at home.


I know this is a crazy situation. I would not even expose this openly except for the fact that I feel so alone, and desperate. Has anyone out there had to care for an abusive parent, and the feelings it brings up?

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If a stranger kicked and punched you for YEARS, there is no way that you would feel guilty about not seeing them. Getting them the best care possible would be a feat for almost a saint. That's what you have done.

Now, it's time for YOU to heal.

Thank you for sharing your story. We surely do care.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to cxmoody
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You have fulfilled your obligation to care for your mother by placing her in a nursing home where she IS being cared for 24/7.

The nurse is out of line for telling you your mother is angry with you. Call for WELLNESS checks, not attitude checks. Who asked YOU how angry you were when her bf was abusing you all those years?

That you even care for or speak to this woman you call "mother" is a testament to the beauty of your soul.

Please allow yourself to heal from the trauma you've been exposed to by not allowing any more trauma into your life. That means you do whatever it takes to minimize or eliminate contact with your mother. Remember she IS being cared for and with dementia at play, she's even more prone to outrageous behavior and language than ever before. You don't need that. Check in with the director of nursing once in a while to see how she's doing, if you do feel so inclined, and leave it at that.

And stop feeding yourself a story about it being the "Christian" thing to do to suffer any more abuse at the hands of ANYONE. God wants you to honor and respect YOURSELF and the life He gave you. Not subject yourself to ugliness and disrespect from those who should cherish you most.

Good luck with the healing process you deserve to undertake for yourself.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Laren, you know the truth. YOUR truth. Mom will get better care from the team at the nursing home than you, one person, can possibly provide as she nears the end.

Plus, they don't have a complicated past with her, do they? To them, she is a sweet, sick little old lady. Not the self-centered gorgon who abandoned you.

Please stick around here for support. We care!
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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You are not alone when you’re posting here.

PLEASE DO NOT allow yourself to diminish IN ANY WAY, the care you are giving to someone who betrayed you in the most HORRIFIC WAY.

I’m sure you have been told in therapy that it is NOT YOUR JOB to forgive her. Attempting to do so is a waste of your resources and energy.

In her dementia, her perceptions are even MORE inexplicable than they were when you were a child. Her thoughts and anger are less and less related to any authentic reaction to you and what your relationship was to her, OR IS NOW, and that can hopefully allow you more and more freedom from your past.

I often speak here about my own mother’s life in residential care. (Please NOTE- the idea of “putting her in a nursing home” is obviously a dreary and dark description of what has happened. If they love her in her residential care setting, YOU have done something wonderful for her).

My mother was a tragic, severe agoraphobia victim. She was often totally unable to function as a mother, and she didn’t. When I ultimately placed her in the best residential care center I could find, she came to LOVE her circumstances. Those 5 1/2 years were among the best of her adult life.

Those years couldn’t give me the mother I never had, practically from my earliest memories, but they could, AND DID free me from the mountain of guilt that she’d used to control my life. I too had made the terrible mistake of thinking I could take care of her in my home when she needed full time care, and the ultimate realization that placing her in a wonderful setting where she could receive care 24/7 was both freeing and empowering.

Are you addressing YOUR present needs right now with a compassionate therapist? Are you considering all the RIGHT THINGS that you are CHOOSING to do for someone who was unable to choose good things for you?

Are you listening to affirming messages, and making those messages louder than those that you perceive as negative criticism?

You will often see here that as caregivers, we need to take good care of BOTH ourselves AND our “clients”. You’ve made excellent decisions on your mother’s part. Be sure you’re developing a healthy structure now, FOR YOU.
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Reply to AnnReid
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Wow...I am overwhelmed with the kind and insightful responses here. Wish I could remove this dumb one by myself, where I thought no one would care. Boy, was I wrong! I think sometimes depression can make you see things with a negative slant. I do thank you all for helping me to readjust my thinking in that regard. Just knowing that people DO relate, and care enough about others to go out of their way to offer support. I know I will revisit these comments again and again because there are so many good points here that I can apply. Thanks so much 499HopeFloats, Geaton777, notgoodenough, cxmoody, AnnReid, BarbBrooklyn, & gladimhere.
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Reply to LaurenD
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Lauren,

My heart goes out to you!!

I am responsible for my narcissistic mother.

The abuse was nowhere near what you've been through, however, it makes our relationship turbulent at best. Of course Mom thinks I'm her BFF. She doesn't think she ever did anything wrong!

Some of what you described in your post sounds very much like NPD. YouTube is a wonderful resource for doing research on the subject of narcissism. Search "Is my Mom a narcissist "

Most likely you were programmed to feel guilty from a very young age. It's a hard thing to get over. I imagine if you treated your Mom half as badly as she's treated you, she would never want to speak to you again!

You've done more than most people would in your shoes!!

You have nothing to feel guilty about!!

God bless!!
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Reply to xrayjodib
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I have a narcissist mother and I could never live with her which this community helped me realize The abuse and neglect build up in your body. When I was a kid our friends would say our mom was so nice. My sisters and I knew the truth. The nurse doesn’t know anything. Don’t give her another thought. Please take care of yourself!
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Reply to Kmjfree
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Lauren - I am so sorry for your horrific childhood. Your 'mother' does not deserve that title and certainly does not deserve you. Anything you do for her is considered charity.

Regarding the comments from the nurses, when my Alz. mother was in the hospital, I had nurses tell me how nice and sweet my mother was. (At home, my Alz. mother drove me up the wall and I tried not to be around her if I didn't need to.) In my mind, I said to myself, "Only if they knew..."

But they didn't know. Since these nurses had no history with my mother, and only knew her in the short time that she was there, to me, they were being nice and just showing me that they liked mother, and that my mother was nice to them. That was ALL there was to it. Nothing more, nothing less. They weren't trying to send any other message. And I took their comments as such.

In your mother's case, I don't think the nurses are trying to make you feel guilty. They are just being nice, and they want to let you know that they are being attentive to your mother, and that your mother likes them. That's all there is to it. I don't see any hidden message from them. The part about you feeling guilty, I think, is coming from your own mind.

And you have NO reason to be guilty. Your mother was the guilty one.

My suggested replies to the nurses' nice comments would be:

"I'm so glad I found a place with such wonderful caring nurses for my mother." or
"That is so nice to hear that about my mother." or
"Thanks for being so caring. I feel relieved to have her in your care."

And welcome to the forum. Many of the posters here, unfortunately, have the type of mother you have.
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Reply to polarbear
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I am so sorry for you. You sound like an amazing person for even letting her into your home after how she treated you. I have no contact with my parents because my father sexually abused me as well. I cannot imagine having to take care of someone who treated you so poorly when you were just a child. It makes me furious and again I'm so sorry for you. I hope you can realize that you did better than most people would, in my opinion. She is lucky you even still speak to her, let alone let her into your home. Please disregard the judgment from nurses. You are being triggered by this situation and I know when I'm triggered it brings up all kinds of stuff. Please take care of yourself first. You deserve it. Also, you are not obligated to keep your mothers failure a secret. You are free to explain to anyone that you need to, that she was abusive, neglectful, and worse, knowingly put you in a situation where you were in grave danger. I know it is something that comes up every day, and I don't even have to talk to or see my parents. I can't even imagine the horrible torture it was for you to take care of her for any amount of time. You are amazing, but turn that care back on yourself! You deserve it. She does not deserve you. Much love to you.
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Reply to frustrated45
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Lauren, big HUGS to you and everything you have been through! You deserve happiness. Please find a therapist to help you. I am so glad you decided to place your mom in a nursing home. It was the best thing you did for YOURSELF!! You need to take care of yourself.

That must be so sickening to receive text messages about how sweet your mother is and how and how they love taking care of her. If only they knew the truth about her!!

My mother was 96 years old living in her own house by herself. She was a hoarder and gambling addict and refused to bathe and change her clothes or wash her hair. She wouldn’t let me help her except on a rare occasion to use disposable washcloths and a shampoo cap.

So when my mom was in the hospital for a stroke and the nurses were doting on her and bathing her in bed with no complaints from her, I walked out of the room with tears streaming down my face because the nurses were able to bathe her and I never could. She wouldn’t let me. At that moment I felt like a failure.

But I realized she wasn’t in her right mind and was dying from the stroke. She passed away 4 days after having the stroke in October 2020.

Please take care of yourself and you have nothing to feel guilty about. We all care on aging care forum.
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Reply to elaine1962
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