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My dad passed away over a year ago and Mom has been living with me and my fiancé now since then. She’s been very tough to deal with and has gone from “vindictive giant fight picker” to a lesser shade of “silent treatment with transient defiance and some outbursts.” It’s been very hard as she seems to get jealous that I have a significant other and a new puppy - says snarky “oh you have him and your dog so go be with them.” Funny thing is he and I haven’t had a night alone since my dad died because my life is now my demanding job and managing my mom. She also has years of significant depression and anxiety as my dad was a malignant narc. and since he suddenly passed right in front of her (and a little before he passed) she’s been varying levels of confused. She knows it and admits it but is too proud to really tell any doctors HOW bad her depression is and how confused she gets sometimes. She’s only 74 and drives but never learned technology and my dad did everything and so now I have to manage everything. It’s been A LOT all on me and I’m now seeking treatment on how to deal with her constant victim mentality and how to avoid seeing RED when she picks a fight and all the guilt that comes with it.


She knows I have a life of my own but in the next breath she is saying no one cares or helps her and it’s all I’ve done for the past 1.5 years. I've sold their house, hand sold many belongings to get the most money for her, moved across the country for 4 months and left my guy at home to help her at their home we had to sell, packed her stuff, did their taxes, do all her bills, went food shopping for her during COVID, and so much more but it’s always something. I’m tired and have no life of my own but that is a different story.


So the woman she sees for her depression asked that she go to a cognitive test to better understand what is happening with her confusion. She booked it and it’s 2 months away and she’s so AFRAID of what they are going to say. She’s used every excuse — from they just want to take my money to they’re going to take my license to it’s an invasion of privacy to it’s too long of a test and I won’t last that long.. It’s exhausting to keep reminding her it’s for her own good and they can help if they understand what’s going on. Her Dr told me they need that test to see if she should live on her own as she plans to move out of my place and get her own. But her Dr also told me if she doesn’t want to go, she doesn’t have to. If I try to talk to her about it logically, she gets so defensive and into this rage of F Bombs and how she’s not doing it


So after all this, my question is… how do I convince her that things like this test or any other medical test, are for her own good and important for her well being and health? I know something had changed with her for a few years now and she means the world to me so I’d do anything to help her but this situation is causing friction with my fiancé and resulting in fight after fight with my mom and I can’t take anymore. Hoping someone has any helpful advice on how to stop feeling guilt, how to communicate to her things like mammograms and cognitive tests are for her own good and how not to get resentful when you’ve given everything, including your own life, and it’s still not good enough and only seen as controlling!!??

My dear, what you meant to ask was "how do I get this b'itch out of my house?"
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Reply to maggatha
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Daughterof1930 May 12, 2021
The poster said “she means the world to me” so though the current situation is challenging I very much doubt that was in any way what was meant to be asked
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Imho, let her physician dictate the tests that your relatively young 74 year old mother requires.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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All this reliance on testing is no substitute for common sense. Unless you know your mother is contemplating suicide, your plan of action should be independent living.

Dysfunction in marriage is always a two way street. Your mother has learned a standard way of dealing with your father that she continues to use with you because it’s all she knows. Long term learned behavior takes a while to change under the best of circumstances. The most effective way to deal with the situation is to focus the conversation on the steps necessary to move her out of your home. If you don’t proceed with this, it’s going to wreck your life and hers. The silence of living alone for a while will teach her to stop listening to the inner voice of your father and begin to live her own life. If you feel that her living independently is out of the question, it’s time to talk about a retirement home or assisted living. If you know enough to know that your father was a malignant narcissist, you know that passive aggression and dependent personality disorder are coping styles that complement your father’s behavior. She may also be expressing rage at times because she finally can. Your mother must be frightened now, but if you begin the work to stop placating her and place more expectations on her to act responsibly and independently, she may start to blossom. Your first questions should always be, “What do YOU want to do?” And “What do YIU intend to do about this?” Do not help her any more than is absolutely necessary. Your father has been gone a year and it’s time to move on.
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Reply to Chellyfla
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Admitting you need help is the hardest part. That’s a huge hurdle. Many people cannot do it. Try to catch her admitting she needs help - even in the slightest. Then kneel down to her and praise her / hug her for being so brave.
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Reply to Mjlarkan
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You need a time line and a plan. First or all, do you have POA for her: Both medical and financial? If not, that is the first thing you need to do BEFORE she goes to get that test. If they rule she has Alzeheimers/Dementia or anything else that makes her not of sound mind, then you will have a much harder battle. SO make that priority One.
After that, you need to come up with a plan A and plan B for living arrangements: Independent, and assisted, depending on the level of impairment she has. Start doing your research and narrow it down to 2 choices for each and then you will have that ready when you get your answers on her cognitive tests.
I know you say rent is expensive, but if she has the resources from the sale of her home/cars, etc, then she needs to use that for her rent--whether it is independent or assisted living. Unless she is independently wealthy, she will eventually need medicaid and so she might as well spend down her assets by having a nice place to live, and as independent of a life as she can before she needs higher level care.
Do not give her a choice on going to the doctor. Just don't discuss it. Put it on the calendar and plan for it. When she asks, don't debate, just say "Your doctor said it's important and so we are going to go. I think you will feel a lot better when it's not a question hanging over your head. I know I will! Let's talk about something else. That one is asked and answered." And move on to a different subject.
You also need to set aside times to handle her stuff- like Saturday morning, or Sunday afternoon, and don't let it consume your work time. When we were caring for my inlaws that's what my husband did, and it really helped it not take over our lives. The tyranny of the urgent can wear you down. Don't let things that aren't urgent take over your life. In the same way, make spending time with your guy a priority. Set a date night and stick to it. Even if it's driving to the park, and hanging out with no distractions. Make a once a month date at a hotel for a night away without worrying about your mom. If you are considering her living independently, surely she can handle a night alone? If not, then install a lock on your bedroom door, and a sign that says "DO NOT DISTURB" on it. You need to get your emotional needs met too. You can choose to make that relationship a priority. I know mom may pout, but OH WELL. She will do that no matter what you do. Don't let her little barbs of "you never spend time with me, take care of me, etc" get in your head. You know that's not true. IF you need to write words of affirmation to yourself and post them on your bathroom mirror so you see it when you get dressed: "I am a good daughter: I am caring for the needs of my mom" "I am kind" "I am generous." "I am doing the best I can with what I have in the moment" "When things feel over whelming remember: One thought at a time, One task at a time, One day at a time."
You've got this. If you need to journal out/write out a to-do list and let it help you stay on task and focus on first, second, third.
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Reply to DILKimba
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I posted earlier but reread this post when it came up again in my newsfeed.

Why in the world would this doctor say that if your mom doesn’t want to move, then she doesn’t have to?

Excuse me? Is your mom living with the doctor? Nope! If ‘mom’ lived with the doctor she wouldn’t be saying this nonsense! It’s your house that you share with your future husband! It’s not ‘mom’s home! It’s not the doc’s home. Neither of them get to call the shots.

Even if you end up having to get her evicted, it’s your house! I’d be tempted to change her doctor if she doesn’t treat you with respect. You count just as much as your mom. Enough is enough is enough! Your mom isn’t appreciative and shows no respect either. Of course, do medical tests, but if she won’t agree to help herself. then she doesn’t deserve your help.

Also, mom says, “You have him and your dog. Go live with him and the dog.” Tell her that is your heart’s desire and that is exactly what you intend to do! Hey, dogs are wonderful. Some dogs are nicer than some people 😊.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Didn’t your mother have proceeds from her house? She should not be living with you as she continues to manipulate you, and she’s ruining your life. You need some downtime.
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Reply to Susanonlyone
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Your mother is pushing you around because you let her. She says what she wants, what she will or will not do. There is no down-side for her if it isn’t what you want or isn’t sensible. She is not taking any notice of anything you say. This is not ‘pride’, this is POWER. To change it, there has to be some reason for her to agree. A stick, not just a carrot. No wonder you can't 'convince her' of something she doesn't want to do.

Your mother needs to be somewhere else, not living with you. How old is she? How capable is she, in spite of this undiagnosed ‘confusion’? How much money does she have, or would she have access to through some sort of pernsion? There needs to be an alternative, even if it’s ‘behave sensibly, or you’re out of here’.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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This is so hard! Your mom obviously has some issues going on, though I don't know exactly what they are.

I am getting my mom in for cognitive testing next month. I told her "I really want to know what, if anything, we are dealing with ". Maybe something like that with your mom would work? Don't engage in a big discussion, explanation, etc. Just resort to a vague statement of fact. You can acknowledge that she doesn't really want to do it, but make your vague response. "Yup, I know you don't really want to go, but it's really important that you do so. We need to make sure you're OK". Or whatever makes sense to you.

Why is she staying rent free? Does she pay for anything? This is "nice" but she should really be helping at least somehow financially. That's just another burden on you.

She seems incapable, like many others, of realizing and feeling grateful for all the things you have done for her. You've done soooo much! You did it of your own free will so do not get hung up on feeling like your mom appreciates you. She probably does at some level, but my mom is also quite clueless about how much time and energy is put into her care. Even though she thanked me for helping her clean out her house, etc. she really did not "get" how much time and energy it took out of me. Needed to be done, I did it, over and done. I don't expect to be appreciated anymore. It's OK, though of course annoying on some other levels.

Keep making appointments and seeing what's really going on with her health and cognitive abilities. I am one that likes to know what's going on. My mom could care less. She'd prefer to complain about her long list of issues instead of figuring out WHY and trying to fix them. So frustrating.

Good luck.
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Reply to againx100
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In August 2020 you wrote 2 posts and mentioned a husband. Is this fiance a different person? Also, your mother had a house and 2 cars in those posts in a different state. What's happened to them? Were they sold, and has your mother permanently moved in with you?

My mother should have had her cognitive abilities tested, but her PCP didn't seem to think it was important. And my mother was with it enough that she probably would never have agreed, anyway. I think she would have benefitted from some kind of anti-anxiety meds, too, but her PCP told me that she didn't like to prescribe them for her older patients. Great (not). I really think that her PCP saw that I drove my mother to the medical appts, and figured that anything my mother needed, that I would take care of it. (She was from Nepal, and elders are taken care of by family there.)

I'm not sure how important diagnosis is, sometimes. There is no cure for dementia. And do we really need a test to show that someone's faculties are slipping, when this is obvious? So many of us don't succeed in getting our parents declared incompetent, because it is such a high bar to be declared incompetent.

Is the plan to have your mother continue to live with you? What is her financial status? Do you WANT her to continue to live with you, or do you think you would both do so much better with her in a facility?
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Reply to CTTN55
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K102938 May 3, 2021
Yes. Same situation. Fiancé/husband. Plan is to get her a place. She wants to live alone but rent is so high at $2k/month here that it’s nearly impossible for her to afford. I wanted this test to make sure it was the right decision to let her live alone and keep driving herself around. We are looking at housing authority subsidized options but the wait list is incredible so not sure when this situation can be improved but I’m at my end of my rope with these outbursts and how I have no privacy or thoughts of my own in the meantime. And yes, busted my butt to take her across the country and pack up her house where everything was a fight — even got pushed and called a b**** for making sure we go through the right lawyers while trying to keep her safe from Covid. She’s now living with us because she has no where else to go. She stays here rent free and as I’ve said, it’s just been a lot to keep her happy and tip toe around all her hot buttons, which is a never ending list lately. She doesn’t want to do anything that is for her own good. Mammo grams, blood tests, mental tests are all looked at as a bother she doesn’t have time for when it’s me ducking out of work or calling or doing all the run around. My heart, brain and soul need a break and I don’t see one coming any day soon and to continue to keep fighting with her for things that are important to her well being is just too exhausting after all I’ve been thru already. Never even grieved my dad yet. It’s all just too much and now I don’t even have my own life or can’t even go out of the house without a full report of where I’m going and when I’ll be back.
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Three shiny brochures.

Research Assisted Living places in your area, make a short list, pick your top 3 & place the brochures artfully in front of her.

The old sandwich 🥪💩🥪.

"I understand you are adjusting to being a widow. It must be very hard for you.

But living with me, ongoing, is not going to be the long term solution.

I would like to help you settle into a new place, help you to adjust, make friends, find enjoyment in life again. Let's do a few tours".

(Basically, pick a shiny brochure or I will...)

If my Father had gone first I would be in your situation exactly. The mixture of anxiety & lack of much independance in my Mother would result in the same. I accepted a long time ago she would not cope living alone. But that did not mean she would ever live with me. Wouldn't be in anyone's best interest.

Maybe you can convince her to speak to the Doctor, do tests etc but you cannot make her happy - only she has the power to do that.
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Reply to Beatty
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I'm so sorry for the situation you're in. The strange thing is that it's almost word for word what's happening with my mom, who is a narcissist. It sounds very strongly like that applies, perhaps, covertly, to your mother. If that's the case, think of ways to make the testing her idea. I also have no life. You have to decide what sacrifices are worth it or not. There's really no recovery from narcissism.
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Reply to lowlowlow
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I am sorry for the loss of your dad. I understand that you love your mom but do not want this turmoil in your life on a daily basis. It’s too much.

I’d say to set a reasonable time frame of when mom is required to do all pertinent testing. Tell her that you will not tolerate any cancellations of the tests.

You are right to want to assess her health. Afterwards, you can make a decision as to where she needs to be. You deserve to have your life and privacy back.

All the best to you and your mom.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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