First post, thanks for letting me come here.

I am the occasional care giver for my mom - she is early 80s, has some health issues, but is of sound mind, independent, knows how to pay bills, use a computer (for the most part).

Her health issues have risen to a level of discomfort and frustration for her, and today seems to be that day. She is taking anything and everything out on me. Yes, I know that it is likely the pain talking but if my siblings were to call it would be much different on the phone with them.

I stood up to her today, and I don’t think she liked it much, and when I eventually saw her she had a hangdog guilty look on her face but would never apologize, about this or anything else.

I’m keeping my distance for the remainder of the day, I think it’s best. How do YOU cope when your elder/SO/etc does this. Going silent for a while will help but the anxiety is building inside me for the “next time,” it happens. Thanks.

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Dear HadItUpToHere,

I can relate to what you are saying. As much as we all want to help our parents it can take a toll. In particular daughters have a rough time. I feel as you do that it seems no matter how much I do or how much I give it never feels like enough. No please, no thank you for being here. It's a lot.

I think AlvaDeer has it right. I would have been better off having some boundaries.

It's only natural to feel hurt when you are the one there and other siblings are not.

This is a great forum for moral support. I hope you know you are not alone.
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It is okay to tell her that you are not her scratching post and to separate yourself from her toxic crap.

You DO NOT have to take her verbal and mental abuse and apologize for not being able to help her with her getting old. Lots of people are old and they don't tear down their children and families. She thinks she can get away with it and you will take it, that's why it persists. Time to set boundaries for how she will be treating you if she wants you to prop up her false independence.

You matter in this situation and deserve to be treated with the same respect and kindness that she would treat a stranger with.
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The gentle appoach and the kind approach is honestly the only approach. Punishment, whether that is verbal arguing and outburst of withholding will cause only more pain for you both.
You told us everything. Why not tell Mom. You entered with compassion, said you understand things are getting harder and harder and more and more painful for her and are changing her moods. How about telling your MOM that, and tell her that you understand, and are so sorry, and that you wish you could change all that, but you cannot. Tell her to think of some things you can do to make it better for her. Tell her that anger and hurtful things will only make all of this, which is hard for you BOTH, more hard.
You already understand Mom is a suffering human being. Once you FEEL that to your inner being it will get easier. When it doesn't work and she is still angry or upset tell her you are sorry, but you will have to leave, because such things aren't helpful to either of you. Tell her you will give her a call later, and see her soon. Go and do something happy with your life.
This will be hard, this pattern, early on. But it becomes easier and easier, and you will feel better and better about yourself. Wishing you good luck.
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HadItUpToHere Aug 2020
Thanks AlvaDeer. It’s hard in some senses because she has been an emotionally toxic person. It’s taken me to get to a place of peace with her. And while it hasn’t been all bad, it seems that some old patterns in her behavior have not changed since I was 12. Ive grown tired of getting my feelings hurt regardless of what’s doing it.
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