How do I mend relationship with elderly mom after a big fight?

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I live 200 miles away from my mother. She lives on her own and has no friends or family nearby (mostly by her own choice). She suffers from chronic depression but doesn't do much about it. Her health is suffering but she won't see a doctor to take care of some of her issues. Despite this, she is fiercely independent and she is still mostly self-sufficient. I drive to spend weekends with her once or twice a month. She drinks a lot, and last night, she got really argumentative with me. Usually I let it go and just take deep breaths, but last night I lost my temper and stormed out of her house in the middle of the night and drove home. She kept calling me, crying, sounding very drunk and rambling - it was hard to understand what she was saying. This has happened before - she will needle me with comments until I just can't take it anymore. Then if I get mad or call her out, she plays the role of the wounded victim. I should have seen this coming. Now, this morning, I feel horrible. I should have just kept my cool and let her sleep it off, but instead I reacted so immaturely. Any ideas how I can repair the damage?

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I’m with RayLin. Keep visiting if you want but don’t apologize, you weren’t immature you actually were very mature and removed yourself dpfrom an unhealthy situation.

Sounds like my mom was for a long time. The isolation just makes things worse but you can’t make her get help or make friends.

I had to wait mom out and now she is in residential care and I can stop worrying, she’s safe and healthy and our relationship is best it’s been in years. I hope that happens for you.
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Please do NOT feel horrible. You did nothing wrong. She is actressing, a common thing with elders.
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You can't reason with a drunk. I know because I am from a long and distinguished line of Alcoholics. MACinCT has it right, you need to get to Al Anon meetings to learn how to deal with her. You did the right thing by removing yourself. She might not even remember what happened. I wouldn't bring it up unless she does. If you do apologize, only apologize for losing control. Next time, and there will be a next time, try to remember to leave a lot sooner.

Wow!! did this post bring up a lot of bad memories for me. I would find I was writing as fast as possible while my teeth were gritted. Then I would erase.
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Start by NOT beating yourself up - YOU did NOTHING wrong!

Just because they are our parents - this does not make them perfect - none of us is perfect. If it was reversed, you'd have been punished for that behavior. Leaving the way you did was IMHO the kindest way out of a bad situation.

My mother and I had it out and didn't speak for a year. You can imagine the things people said to me about "honor thy parents" but you know what? The unwritten commandment is "honor your children" too. My mother never apologized, she asked me if we could "pretend it never happened and go back to the way it was before" and I said "no, but we could pick up the pieces and go on again."

Anyway, you did nothing wrong. Don't apologize. Go back if you feel up to it, but don't apologize for what your Mother did. You don't deserve to have that guilt on you.  Driving 200 miles a couple times a month to be abused?  You need to be applauded.
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Drinking is a disease. I suggest you seek out AL anon to get an understanding about chronic drinking going lockstep with depression. You can learn about proper behavior to her and why she behaves like she does.
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When you make your amends keep it about your behavior, not hers. "Mom, I'm sorry I lost my temper and left in the middle of the night." As opposed to, "Mom, I'm sorry I lost my temper and left in the middle of the night but you were just so obnoxious and drunk that I had to get away from you."

Keep your apology to what you did wrong, not what your mom may have done wrong or what precipitated your behavior. When you apologize and she accepts your apology, it's over and you will have cleaned up your side of the street which is all any of us can do.
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I'm so sorry to read about this, that feeling of guilt is horrible. I'm going to pass on advice my therapist gave to me after a series of heated arguments with my own ill parent;

When you reach out to your mom make your concern for her your focus. Tell her it hurts to see your mom suffering through her depression on her own; that you worry about her and want better for her. Do this SOON! Your mom was hurt and will stew over this; depression twists things around in your mind.

Avoid mentioning how frustrated you get, or words like disappointment. Yes the situation is frustrating, sad, and her rude comments make you angry; but you've shown that already by leaving. Focus on your wish to see her healthy and happy!

You obviously know your mom better than anyone here but I hope these few words can help you. I also want to mention that while leaving a depressed person alone under stress and the influence of alcohol is never a good idea, I can't blame you for removing yourself from that situation. I've walked out on drunken family before too! Maybe your mom needed to see that her rude words have consequences.

Wishing you and your mom all the best; I hope the clouds part soon.
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