I'm new here. My dad died in Dec. My mom refused to be alone. She is hysterical when alone. She had a falling out with sibling and threw him out of her house. This was unfortunate because he was willing and able to move in with her so she could stay at her house and start working on getting used to living there. Her mood swings are not new, I have heard about them from my dad, he had 55 years of experience in handling them or ignoring them. He did complain more in his later years and I'm sorry to say that we thought he was exaggerating.

The fallout with my sibling was in Feb and since then she lived with me. We gave her my daughters room and we started to build a room for her because she did not want to live alone and my daughter needed her space. Previously my eldest son who just turned 17 would spend a few nights with her but he needs supervision to make sure he gets his work done etc so that was not going to be a long term solution, besides that's not his job in life.

My other sibling would come weekly, he lives out of state until Feb because he lost his job, but the Covid and he lives in a state with massive cases. When he would leave and I would suggest my mom go to her house she would get hysterical and lash out so I stopped.

My kids would go with her to her appts but then Covid got worse and limits on waiting rooms etc so they stayed home. I've signed them up for a slew of classes to keep them busy and engaged. She says I keep them from her but I don't. I keep them busy, they are 14 and 17 so they are not 4/7 and she treats them like little kids and expects a whole lot of attention from them and as teens you know they hardly pay attention to me. Not rude but doing their own thing which I'm ok with.

My mom hates everything about how we live, FYI we aren't heathens or anything lol. It's just not like how she does things. She holds in a million little things that irk her and then has a massive meltdown, tantrum, whatever you want to name it. She demands that I do not tell my sibling because she hates to hear anything from anyone and when I do tell him and he confronts her, her anger is even worse. She favors him, I'm the daughter I have to take it all and stay silent.

This past weekend she had a meltdown because we didn't attend a zoom funeral with her. She refused to connect on her own and had a massive meltdown from there, she stated spewing all this crap about all these things that I do wrong. To make me feel bad she refuses food, when she does that she will cry and say it's better to get sick and die. So I told my husband to talk to her. That made matters worse. She went to her house to cool down on Sunday (this started Saturday) and came back acted fine chatted with us etc. Mon am, while my husband was working she lashed out again and told me I should have NEVER involved him. I told her she lives with us not me and when she talks like that I will involve him.

She's been self exiling to her house during the day to stick it to me. But it's a silver lining as I get a break. She should have been doing that for months, so it's a good thing. The only problem is she lies that she eats when my sibling talks to her and to me tells me she hasn't eaten all day.

She can drive, she has enough money, she has her own house and with meds she has her conditions under control, diabetes, high blood pressure. She tells me she can get her own food, refuses any delivery and if I offer food to take with her she will say, why? Unless you are implying that I'm leaving. So damned if I do, damned if I don't

Back story we did live with them before but moved after a few years even though we built a 2nd house due to the meddling in how we raised our kids. If I punished my son especially, she would cry. Now as they were older if she thought I left them alone she told my daughter she could call the police and get custody even though they were old enough to be alone (and it was usually an hour or two)

Time for Mom to go back to her own house. This arrangement is not working and never will. She has to learn how to be alone. She expects too much from family. If this does not work for her, then maybe she would do well in an independent living or Assisted living. Its not your job to make her happy. Nor do you need to take the abuse. Yes, she will be mad, but isn't she most of the time? This is really not fair to ur kids. What a way to remember grandma.
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Reply to JoAnn29

rtmontoya, your husband is a saint for enduring this drama baloney. Next time your mom goes back to her house, change your locks and don't let her back in again. She can't have it both ways and you need to stop allowing yourself (and family) to be whipsawed about by her. DON'T push your husband into her path, but DO put up a boundary to defend them, which is not letting her live with you anymore. She sounds mentally unstable not from age but just in general. Maybe now she is having age-related cognitive issues on top of it. Nonetheless, what is going on now is chaotic and dysfunctional because you don't have boundaries and understand that your immediate family has priority. Your mom is a fully grown adult who had her whole life to figure things out. Now she must live with that decision. She can only jerk you around if you allow it. Rally your family and apologize to them for the chaos. Assure them you want the best for Gramma, but that means she will not be living in your home and you'll figure out a solution for her care and safety. Help her from a distance and stop allowing her to manipulate you. I realize this doesn't "feel" good and it may be very difficult for you but it's what must happen. I sincerely wish you success in helping her get situated either on her own or in a care community, and may you have peace in your heart that it is the right thing to do.
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Reply to Geaton777
Telley Jul 9, 2020
Beautiful Advice! Grow a pair and get on to restoring your family!
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The best thing you can do is reject the guilt. In another post, someone referred to the parent or other LO as the "guilt trip travel agent". You didn't sign up for that trip, so don't listen to the "agent"!

Clearly the issues are all your mother's, not yours and you shouldn't make them yours, hubbies or kids. You say she is healthy. Her medical issues are under control (at least the physical ones!). You've tried living with her before and it didn't last long - meddling. Nothing has changed. She is STILL meddling and using her age and "position" to lord it over you. You said she hates how you live. She feels you are keeping the kids from her. She has meltdowns when things are not going her way. She tells you you can't do things right, criticizes what you do, rejects offers to help (food when she goes home to sulk), etc. If it is all so bad, WHY does she even want to be there? Oh, to control, to make you in the mold she wants. I would even tell her that since you can't do anything right and she hates it there so much, why don't you just go home and stay there!?!?!?!

I personally would put a stop to ALL of this, guilt included! You are NOT the problem. Next time she decides she has to go "cool off", tell her it is time to stay - you can pack her things and deliver them, but she stays in her home. If she wants some occasional assistance and can ask nicely and be grateful, fine, you will help. If she starts in on you, walk away.

Even before our mother developed dementia, she could have her "difficult" moments. I wavered over the years about taking my parents in, and knowing it wouldn't work finally made my decision. Nope. When we took the car, I helped as best I could, ensuring she could get groceries, get to appointments, etc The original plan was to help her stay in her own condo, so I took over finances and hired aide company to come in 1 hr/day (minimum), mainly to check on her and see that she took her meds from the timed/locked dispenser. I didn't care if they just sat and chatted with her at that point. As she needed more help, we could increase the hours, but this didn't last 2 months. In her head she was fine, independent and could cook. Nope. But, she refused to let them in, so we had to start on plan B - facility. We couldn't discuss any of this with her as she refused to consider moving anywhere (one brother offered) and NEVER mention the "D" word!!!

Your case is different in that she is relatively independent, or could be. As far as eating, do you have any way to check on her (she tells bro one thing, you another, so who is she lying to?) If she isn't visibly wasting away, she's probably just trying to guilt you. Limit further contact to HER place, unless she's willing to visit on occasion to see the kids, have a Sunday dinner with you, etc. I think I would probably make those visits at HER place, and bring a meal. That way you can just leave. At your home, if she starts her nonsense, cut her off and remind her this is YOUR home. She behaves or she can go home. Walk away from her.

Just because she is your mother, she has no right to demand anything from you, order you around, treat you with abuse. None. It will be difficult, for sure, but you need to stand your ground. Set the boundaries and if she crosses them, she can go "cool off" and stew in her own place.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
BlackHole Jul 11, 2020
Your mother has a number of viable options. Your children only have one - you. Your decision MUST put your children first.
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Reply to careinhome
DILKimba Jul 11, 2020
Amen! I was going to say the same thing. The time you have left with your teenage kids is diminishing rapidly. You need to be pouring into those relationships and needs for their stability and good well being, not hers. When my kids were that age, I stepped back from many volunteer commitments even, so I could be fully invested in launching successful well grounded young adults. The teen years are fraught with big emotions, hormonal fluctuations and big decisions that affect their futures. That is where your time and energy need to be now.
When you are raised by an overbearing, controlling, demanding, and suffocating mother (regardless of the fact that she loved and lived for you and your brother) guilt is an emotion that is just a fact of life and one that you don't even realize guides your every move for a very long time. Sure, its great advice to say "stop, get out, leave her alone, give up the guilt" but unless you've lived that life, it's a lot easier said than done.

Depending on your mom's personality, from the outside it might appear to everyone that you had a wonderful childhood. You lived in a clean, nicely decorated, solidly middle-class 1960's house. Your father worked hard, wasn't abusive, wasn't an alcoholic, adored your mother, and let her rule the roost. No one was ever spanked, hit, slugged, or knocked around. Your home was a haven for the cousins who lived in chaos. What on earth did you have to complain about?

Out of this 'perfect life' where confusion and misery swirled unknown beneath the surface, I managed to marry a man just like my mom. Fortunately a few events occurred that started me on the path to recovery and along the way I raised two very independent and smart children, unafraid of anything including 'hurting my feelings'. I helped my brother on that path too and told him before he got married that he should always put his new wife first, no matter what our mother wanted. I warned him it wouldn't be easy and that she would work on his emotions hard and do everything to come between he and my SIL (which she did) but he did it.

My advice to you is:

1. Find a good counselor to talk to and ask her about narcissism. Not because you are crazy, but because your mom is crazy. It will help you pull out all the crap and put it in the trash where it belongs. You are also going to need to learn how to get away from her. After years of this treatment, you won't be able to just walk away from it.

2. IMHO - this is ONLY MHO - don't waste time or money looking for a medical reason for her behavior. My mom, god love her insanity, did the best she could raised in toxic slime. Considering her vile father and enabling mother, its amazing she came out as outwardly sane as she did. She did try, she had a lot of great instincts, but some stuff you can't just slough off without help recognizing it. Whatever your mom's back story is, it molded who she became. You can't fix her and she's probably too old to fix herself. But its not too late to fix you. You owe it to yourself and your family.

3. I'll tell you what I told my brother. Your husband and children now come first - always. It won't be easy but it's critical so you can move forward. That is why if its possible to engage someone trained to help with situations like this, you won't have to sputter along, surfing all night on the internet and trying to find the road map. Realize that one day you won't feel guilty and accept that it may take a while. Taking a step to escape sometimes is liberating enough to keep going.

Finally, realize that despite your understanding that she is a hot mess, she is your mom and you love her. I adored my toxic, controlling, sometimes demeaning mom while knowing how damaged she was. I cared for her until the day she died. And I thank her that in her last year her selfishness sucked every ounce of that love out of me so that when she died I rejoiced and never shed a tear. I consider that the last thing she gave me - freedom from grief.
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Reply to Texangal81
SMacArthur Jul 11, 2020
Thank you. I could have written this but you said it beautifully and your suggestions can work.
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I can't believe that after the last tantrum you didn't show her the door. Why are you putting up with this? Please don't say 'because she is my mom" . She shouldn't be treating you like this "because she is your mom".

Next time she leaves don't let her back in. It really IS THAT SIMPLE. She has no right to your home. No one really needs to be staying with her. It was being done as a kindness and you see how grateful she acts.

It is time to be the adult and tell her you have had enough of her behavior.
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Reply to lkdrymom

This may sound harsh, but it’s her sanity or yours. If you won’t do it for yourself, distance yourself for your family. Toxic, mean parents can suck the life out of you, leaving you with no energy to deal with your own family. I recently blocked my mom from my cell phone. I couldn’t take the abuse anymore and it has really helped. Be strong and true to yourself. This is not selfishness, it’s self protection.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Newheart15
Sausage2019 Jul 12, 2020
You are so brave! It’s hard to stay away from a crazy mom. But I will try to be brave and block her as well, if she cause too much trouble for me again. My mum always wants to be treated like a queen. Even when I had a major operation and had a newborn baby. That time, I should just send her away instead of still treated her like queen. But I won’t let her abuse me any more! Be brave and send her away :)
Change the locks on your doors and don't let her in. Keep telling her she is no longer living with you. Let her get mad. Let her throw a fit. She CANNOT and I mean CANNOT dictate to you in your own home. She's an adult...not a child. Quit feeling guilty because you've really no reason to feel guilty. Stand strong! Good luck!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Flowerhouse1952

You have guilt about your feelings towards your mother? Are you nuts? She is mean, controlling, manipulative and making life difficult and hell for you and you feel guilty. You have no reason to be involved with her given her behavior and why would you care if she acts like this. I would not under any circumstances tolerate this from anyone, no matter who or why. If possible, seek medical help as there may be issues that can be resolved. If not, get tough and let her have it - these are the rules from now on and she better obey and behave or there will be serious consequences. Be prepared to hire a caretaker who won't allow her tantrums or find a way to place her. But you must remove yourself completely before she harms you forever. She is not worth what she is doing to you. Do not feel guilty - take care of yourself and yours - leave her and move on. Oh, I get so upset when I hear about nasty people who ruin other people's lives. Walk away.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Riley2166

You truly need to take care of your mental health and the well being of your children. If your mom is able to drive and be on her own then she should not be living with you period!
Your mom needs a doctors assessment and advice if she needs live in or casual help. Given her character it’s far healthier if support comes from outside the family.
Set your boundaries firm.
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Reply to caring2

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