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I was diagnosed with ms in 2006, and forced to resign from the medical field. In 2012, my mother was asked to leave her home shared with her sister. I have no siblings or other family. Her assumption was that I would automatically provide a home for her. Prior to her moving in, I had lived along for 18 years, quite an adjustment. I must say.
I provide 80% of her financial support including our home, etc.
My issues are that she is NEVER satisfied with anything in life. Hates that I “drug” her 45” away from her town. She hates where we live, has no friends, or hobbies. Mind you, She had none of these things prior to moving in with me. Her friends abandoned her because of her constant negativity and are long gone. The glass is always half empty, and nothing I do is ever good enough. No matter how much money I spend on her, compliment her, provide emotional support to her, it is still not enough. Remember, I have MS, yet I am the house keeper, yard maintainer, pet caregiver, etc., never offering to help out with anything. I know her tricks, she’ll do a chore or a minimal task, complain, scream and yell, and use profanities while doing it and then she’s pissed off for the rest of the day. I’ve gotten to the point that I can’t stand her attitude and behavior and will just do it myself, just to keep the peace and quiet. I know she knows I’ll say I’ll just do it.
Knows my buttons for sure. Then I’m pissed at myself for giving in and resentful of her just because. I feel like my blood pressure must be through the roof, and my heart is pumping a hundred miles a hour. I have undergone counseling for three years, read so many books on narcissistic mothers, meditation, yoga, you name it, I’ve tried it. I basically live on antidepressants and anti anxiety meds daily. And yes, I have talked to her doctor multiple times and he agrees that she is also depressed, but whenever he or I mention it, she is in total denial. It’s always someone else’s fault, never hers. I’ve told her many, many times that I am not responsible for her unhappiness, nor her miserable life she’s experiencing.
In her lifetime she experienced 3 miscarriages prior to my birth and she has actually told me, “You should’ve been a miscarriage too!” Wow, hard to respond to that!
I know that not every mother has motherly instincts and I believe she’s one of those, no compassion, care, or anything.
I have several really close friends that know my situation with ms as well as my relationship with her. She says she doesn’t like any of them (I’m 56 btw) so that is not really an issue, but whenever plans are made for the 12 of us to do something together as a dinner or an overnight camping trip, etc. she actually tells me that I am NOT allowed to go! So when I do go, I suffer the wrath when I return. She has not cleaned up after herself, creates indescribable, personal unsanitary messes that are left for me to attend to, dog waste, etc., I’m sure you get my drift. And of course there’s more attitude and name calling, etc.
Mind you, she is 82, but manages to go to the gym 3 days a week, shop, drive, etc., so physically she’s is able to care for herself.
My ms started to progress this passed July, involving a wheelchair, then rollator, then walker and cane. Thought I was through it until I dislocated my hip in October, and now am anticipating spine surgery after the first of the year.
She has actually told me, ‘I could take care of you, but I’m not going to because I don’t want to.” Simply amazing.

I do apologize for the long rant, I just seemed to have unloaded a lot of stored up anger!

I guess I’m asking for help with setting boundaries, that it’s okay for me to say no. How to let her verbal abuse and attitude not effect me day after day? It is so stressful and exhausting to deal with it on a daily basis.

Before someone mentions it, I can not kick her to the curb without her having resources. There is not any elderly discounted living that she would qualify for, besides, there is a two year wait list. There is no other family I can send her to. And although I am comfortable with my income, it is limited, so putting her in a home or assisted living facility is not financially possible. I will say that I have finally learned to worry about my own financial and future healthcare needs before hers. Of course she wants me to cash everything in to spend it on her!
Again, simply amazing!

Thank you all so much for any tips, advice, and personal stories on how you’ve handled similar situations is greatly appreciated!

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Sally I have so much empathy for you. It is so hard to stand up to these narcissistic mothers. I did nursing in the prison system and was assertive and in control of hardened criminals and the hardest thing I've ever done is stand up to my abusive old lady mother. It's a horrible psychological hold and it is so ingrained, so I feel you.

BUT-- yeah I bet you knew that was coming. How you are living is not sustainable long term, at all. Your mom will just get worse and need more care. You and I are the same age, we can not do this ourselves long term. It will put us in an early grave.

Please make an appointment with an elder attorney and find out how to get her on Medicaid. Make a plan to get her into a medicaid approved facility. You don't need to discuss any of this with her. This plan is more about saving YOU than anything else. Your mom will be the same no matter where she is, let the paid professionals deal with her.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to ExhaustedPiper
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I'm sorry, but there is SOMEWHERE your mother can live, other than with you, on her fixed income, period. And if not, then have her (or you) apply for Medicaid to help her finance some other housing. This does not constitute 'kicking her to the curb' ie: making her homeless, but it DOES constitute getting her OUT of your house into her OWN place where she can no longer abuse YOU. She's in perfectly good condition to live on her own, what with going to the gym 3x a week, for petesake! She doesn't 'need' to live with you.......and she's sucking you dry!

Enough is enough. It is imperative that you save your money to use it for YOUR care and expenses; NOT to finance your mother's life!

Do whatever it takes to have your mother LEAVE YOUR HOME RIGHT AWAY. I say that because I believe it's the ONLY way to effectively deal with your mother.........in SMALL doses, at YOUR convenience, and outside of your home. Some people are just too difficult and unmanageable to deal with, so no strategies work.......they all backfire, so limited contact is the only solution.

I wrote a discussion thread yesterday venting about my narcissistic mother who lives in Memory Care and complains 24/7. You might want to check it out and add to the venting! https://www.agingcare.com/discussions/just-a-vent-can-anyone-relate-454248.htm

I have to add that I am already depressed & at the end of my rope as an only child who's healthy and with mother living OUTSIDE of my home. I just can't imagine HOW you are doing this, with MS, and with a mother acting more like your enemy that someone who's supposed to love and care for you, who needs more care than SHE does.

What a sad excuse for a mother you have, unfortunately. Sending you a big hug today and lots of empathy, too.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Sally, happy to see that you've fixed your question!

So, has your mother applied for Medicaid (or Medi-Cal)?
What are HER resources?
Have you considered a consultation with an Eldercare attorney to figure out what your options are for getting her out of your home?

Have you heard of a technique called "Grey Rock"?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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This is terrible! Don't "help" her. She doesn't deserve it. You need to take care of yourself because you don't have anyone else. She is a horrible person. Get her out of your house. Tell her you sold the house and are moving in with a friend and she has to find another place to live. You are not responsible for her. 82 isn't that old and she takes care of herself very well.
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Reply to Goody2shoes
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You have a nightmare on your hands. There is no way that you can keep this up. You certainly don’t deserve it.

She is not going to change no matter what. She has proven that. If there is a pleasant environment it won’t be enough. If you gave her a dose of her own medicine, she wouldn’t take the hint.

If you ignored her or even agreed with everything she said, she still wouldn’t change but it might make her angry! It always did with my mom. If I ignored her she would get twice as mad.

We don’t have the power to change anyone. I ought to know because I foolishly kept trying to persuade my mom. NOTHING worked! I wouldn’t waste any more of your life if I were you. I am exhausted just reading your post.

I wish you all the best. You deserve it! Hugs!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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There are senior apartments based on income. Your mother seems competent, ambulatory, goes out socially to gym! She definitely qualifies to live on her own. You didn't mention, does she have a vehicle of her own. Find the nearest retirement villa or if she complains about you moving her away from her home town and friends, so yourself a big favor and find her a retirement apt in that town! She can't complain or blame you for moving her away anymore!
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Reply to DGB2154
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Sally, I just read your profile.

I have one question. What are your mothers financial resources and is she paying you room and board?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Your health is at great risk here. The stress she is putting you under - mentally and physically - you can not continue. Get on one of those 2 year lists today. . . . many have a sliding income scale, and she will pay what she is able to.

You owe her nothing -- and you have the RIGHT to a life! She sounds much like my MIL, caring only for herself! I bet her two favorite phrases are "I deserve . . . " and "You owe me . . . " Both of those are hogwash!

Keep coming back here for support and encouragement, it will be a hard road to get your life back (Unless she takes a fall or something, and ends up in ER or hospital. In which case you promptly and loudly declare that you are not physically able to care for her and she can NOT come back to your home!)
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Reply to calicokat
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I assume you mean everything you've written in your profile?
It might be simpler to just highlight, cut and paste the whole thing yourself Sally, but you can contact the Admins by clicking About AgingCare at the bottom of the page.
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Reply to cwillie
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You do not need to pay for your mother's AL. She either self pays or apply for Medicaid. Get on a waiting list, this is just an excuse on your part.

For some reason you do not want to stand up to her, have you considered therapy?

Abuse is wrong at any age, it appears that you have been beaten down by her and she is in total control of you...your life.

Get some help, you have lost your way.
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Reply to DollyMe
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