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I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. Most of the time things are good with my Mom. But sometimes she gets in severely depressed and angry moods. When she does she says some very extremely hurtful things. Things like how she regrets having me as a daughter, how useless I am, etc. Within a day or two she gets better and things go back to normal. I know that it's her depression and frustration talking, but her words take their toll. It especially hurts as I stayed to take care of her while my brother and sister took off the first chance they got. I try to do my best by her, but it gets hard as I have severe depression and anxiety.

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When I was a kid (less than 10) my mother's favorite phrase to sum up how stupid I am was " You are so stupid you couldn't poor piss out of a boot". Sometime she followed up with " even if the boot was upside down". No matter how old you are this type of verbal abuse takes it's toll. Here's my suggestion. Don't react ever. She's baiting you. She's miserable and frustrated. By no means do you have to take it. When I sit in silence it helps defuse some of my mother's wrath. When it gets to much I have used her own words back at her. Next time she tells you something like "You are useless" try saying this in a flat even tone "If I didn't have to listen to you complain I might be". If she says "I wish I never had you" Try saying something like "That makes two of us". Then just sit there and wait. if she persist and keeps on you might say something like "No matter what you say to me or how awful you try to make me feel it's not going to work".
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Reply to Jhalldenton
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When she calls you "useless" try reminding her that you are her daughter and must have inherited that trait from her. Cruel? A tad, but it may just shock her to have her words fed back to her. Also, offer to find someone to take care of her so that the "useless" person does not have to do so. Then leave the room. Allow her to stew in her juices for a bit. It may not make you feel perky, but it may just make her realize that relationships work two ways.
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Reply to Tynagh
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I am so sorry that you are catching the brunt of your mom’s frustration. All of us become frustrated with life’s challenges but we have to adapt to our circumstances without being cruel to others. She feels safe with you, so she unloads her emotional distress on you. Not only is this not fair to you, it’s not good for her either. She may not intentionally trying to hurt you but it still hurts.

People say things that they don’t mean when they are going through difficulties. It’s up to us to tell them that we aren’t going to listen to it. Walk away if needed. You aren’t obligated to listen to her abuse.

Don’t hesitate to speak with her about other living arrangements.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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It sounds like it has become a continuous cycle. Being depressed may be unavoidable, but being angry and saying those things to you can possibly be modified. I'm sure by now you can figure out her moods enough to know when it's likely to pour out of her mouth. Be ready and rehearsed to respond. She says she regrets having you. Your response is I'm sorry you feel that way because it looks like I'm the only person who is taking care of you. How would you feel if someone said those words to you? For me it breaks my heart and hurts very much. If you are so unhappy that you would say something like that, would you like to live somewhere else? I want to see you happy. And I don't want you to hurt me with your words anymore. So let's decide what to do here. I really would like an apology and for you not to say that again.

For the 'useless' stab, respond with - not sure why you would say that. I am quite useful to you. I clean/bathe/etc/etc for you each and every day. Do you know anyone else that is more useful to you? I would like an apology and for you not to say that again. If you would be happier somewhere else, please let me know. Your words are hurtful.

If she is clear headed and aware of what she is saying, she needs to be called out on it. If she has no idea what she's saying or dementia related, you may just have to come up with some lighthearted reply: Why, yesterday you told me I was your favorite child. Or, 10 minutes ago you thanked me for being so helpful.
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Reply to my2cents
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"Mother, when you say these hurtful & terribly mean things to me, you cut me to the bone & hurt my feelings deeply. This makes me regret giving up my life for you, so I will be moving out the next time it happens." Your mother is exacerbating your own anxiety & depression issues and that is NOT acceptable, I don't care how old she is, that she's your mother, or what her current health situation looks like. You deserve respect so please demand it.

Mother can HIRE in home caregivers or move into Assisted Living where she pays others to put up with her caustic personality. A daughter does not deserve to be treated like dirt. She either stops the crap or faces the consequences, her choice.

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I take care of my elderly parents in my thirties and my sister who is now 50 simply won’t help and doesn’t understand what I go through. I too have mental health issues. I wish I had some advice for you but I just wanted to say, stay strong, you are an amazing daughter for wanting to do this when your siblings took off. I know it’s hard, but just remember you are doing the best you can. Words hurt some people more than stones do. Keep your head up, stay strong.
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Reply to Cris123
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I totally get where you're coming from GeneGal27 because I live in a similar situation with my mother. If it's possible for you to move out, you should for your own sake. No one deserves to be treated like this.
If moving out of the house isn't an option then completely ignore her when the abusive behavior starts up. The next time she calls you useless, let her experience firsthand what real useless is like.
Do absolutely nothing for her. Do not lift a finger. If she calls for you and needs or wants something, totally ignore her. Go and stay somewhere with a friend or something for a few days if you have to. Don't take her calls either. Tell your siblings or another family member where you are and that you're staying there and not taking mom's calls for a few days.
Mom needs a little tough love and has to learn that words have power and abusive behavior has consequences. This is what I did and it works.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Do you have a therapist to help support you and give you a healthy, objective perspective on your relationship with your mom? Boundaries sound like they are in order and a good therapist will help you identify them and have strategies to keep them in place for your own well-being.
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Reply to Geaton777
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I’m so sorry, GeneGal. You are obviously a very caring and compassionate person and do not deserve abusive, hurtful tirades directed at you.

I have to say, I think your siblings are correct to keep their distance from your mother given how she chooses to behave. (You don’t mention dementia or other cognitive issues that would cause her to lash out without knowing what she is saying.)

Have you considered taking steps to remove yourself from this situation?
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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