Mom is 87 and has had issues with syncope for the past 15 months. Her PCP told her 11 months ago that she would either need someone with her 24/7 or live in an assisted living facility. The latter is out of the question due to us 3 kids promising her and Dad that that would never happen. Also, due to her income, there's not a decent and affordable ALF nearby.

After much prayer and being told that sometimes 3 or 4 days would pass before anyone other than myself would call her, we (husband who is disabled, learning disabled child, and myself) asked her to move into the apartment that was literally in our backyard. She refused due to being away from her last living sibling, doctors, and friends. That's understandable. She asked for us to move in with her. We said yes, which meant us losing 40% of our income, uprooting our daughter from the only church and school she's ever known, and moving to a city with a very high crime rate.

Before I get too far into this, let me say my husband and I have 4 children of which 3 are grown and married (30, 27, & 22) and a 12 year old with LD's. After my husband became disabled at 37 I went to college (I was 38) to get my degree to teach in order to support our family. It took me 6 years to earn my BA while working part time and had another baby. We are both 52 now. I taught high school for 5 years, earning my master's degree. I had zero tolerance for nonsense in my classroom, although there was much love and respect. I'm still in the mode of expecting respect from those around me.

About 2 months after moving in with Mom, it became apparent that she is manipulative when it comes to making her seem she is unable to care for herself. Her syncope only occurs if she doesn't drink enough water, eats too much PB, and doesn't take something to keep her regular. 3 times in 4 months it's happened - 2 of which resulted in episodes liking to seizures and calling 911. Once I realized what was going on I suddenly became the bad guy because I told my brothers (one lives nearby and the other 3 hours away). She is mentally aware of everything around her and what she does - politics, news, other people's business, etc. Including complaining about nearly everything. She promised that when we moved in she would go to church with us (she and Dad went faithfully every Sunday), but always had an excuse and got my SIL to sit with her. That's getting a little better.

She has tricked us all in some way or another. My brothers overlook most of it and I probably did, too before I was faced with it daily. Several days ago she shared a post on FB that she probably thought was funny, but actually deeply hurt me. It could cause people to think I'm hateful and beligerent towards her. I have to admit that I have been rude to her several times in the past several months. I do not curse or have tantrums, but have raised my voice to her, expressing my irritations. I deleted the post from her timeline and unfriended everyone who was not family that we were mutual friends with.

In the past 3 weeks I've had 2 episodes of where I feel like I may be slipping into depression. My husband has been understanding, as it's been getting to him, too (not depression, just irritating).

I apologize for this being so long. I need advice on how to stay strong, sane, and still treat my mom with honor and respect. Or maybe I'm just venting. Lol.

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As I was reading at first I thought I would be telling you DON'T move her into your back yard (I moved mine next door in my condo and have HUGE, huge regret) but then I kept reading and saw you moved in with her at the expense of yourself and your family.

I agree with cwillie's first answer on this thread. The sooner you acknowledge it's not working out and move the better.
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Not sure if you are going to be able to do anything at this point. When she starts I guess all u can say it you rather not here it. Just explain to your daughter that what Gma is doing is wrong. That we all need to except people for who they r.

Do you "correct" or just say you rather not talk about that subject. I guess its a teacher thing, but as an adult I would not want to be "corrected" by another adult. I had an acquaintance who did this. If I didn't say something just right or pronounced a word wrong I would get corrected. It drove me nuts. She doesn't seem to do it as much now. A woman I worked with had no problem pointing out your flaws. see less
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Reading your profile, it sounds as though your mother has some significant cognitive decline. Has she had a neuropsych evaluation? We found this to be very helpful in clarifying my mom's care needs and her overall mental health.

My mom's regular PCP thought she was "fine". We switched to a geriatric doc who saw almost immediately that she was not fine. He sent her to a psychiatrist who insisted on a full neurocog workup.

If mom has some cognitive issues, correcting her is NOT what you want to do. She may have lost the ability to plan and understand the importance of drinking water, stool softeners, etc. Its call lack of executive functioning.

It still doesn't make it your problem to attend to by giving up your career, life and future security for your daughter.
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Barb....thank you, this is starting to affect my mental health. I'll look into that.
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How hard is this to realize what is not working for you? Get out. Life is full of unanticipated circumstances that mean we have to make adjustments to the plans and promises we made. That's what divorce is for in a don't have to sacrifice yourself and your family for another destructive relative.
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Making a promise like that was just poor judgement on your part, when I was a teenager I promised my father that I would become President of the United States, well it never happened, he survived the blow as did I.

Keep in mind that old, old people have this idea passed on that AL's are all terrible and the patient is mistreated. Well, the world has changed in the last 50 years and we need to change with it. In addition to this people did not live as long, now a 70 yo can easily live to 90 or beyond. And, she will not get better, only worse.

Get yourself together, move out, don't jeopardize your mental and physical health for her. Let her hire Visiting Angels or someone like them who feeds peoples minds with the "I promised my father that I would never place my mother in a home" stuff...that is just a marketing campaign to get them the business.

IMO there is only one way to stay strong and sane...move is her home not yours...her rules.
Helpful Answer (4)
NoTryDoYoda Dec 19, 2019
She probably made that promise as a young child when she didn't know better. Plus, that is when mothers like this start grooming their children for such a role. Her mom knew what she was doing to get her daughter to promise that. Typical, parental, emotional abuse.
Your mom is an adult and responsible for herself.

She's manipulative and ungrateful. You try to get her to take care of herself and she makes is out that YOU'RE the bad guy?

Set a date and move out.

Promises made under duress have no validity. You've done your bit. If your brothers want to give it a try, let them.
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I have been avoiding this situation for years. My mum thought it was her right that we would move to her and I would retire to care for her. I can't do this, I would lose my self. She told me last night that "if I did not do what was right ...that my husband would probably die before me and then I would know how she feels." Now she stats it like she's doing me a favor and does not want me to suffer. She will not call or come and see me....she early 70's and pretty healthy. She says she won't ever come to my house again because b/c my husband made her uncomfortable. She has made us uncomfortable on many occasions at her house! I think you should discuss with her that its not working and move out. I'm so sorry....parents are hard!
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BarbBrooklyn Dec 19, 2019
math; that is just unbelievable behavior on your mother's part.

Have you read up on "Fear Obligation and Guilt"? That's what she's doing.
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Read this thread.

I think you have your hands full enough with your disabled husband and a special needs child who is going to see your mom get worse. Has your mother always been the way she is now?

Does your mom have enough money to pay for some caregivers during the day? One thing about moving back home with a parent is that they can easily forget that you are an adult and start treating you like a child.

I think you need to contact adult protective services; explain your mom's condition; and see if they have or know of any resources that might help.

You may need to see a therapist for support and a doctor for anti-depressants.

I wish you the best.
Helpful Answer (2)

Acknowledge you made a mistake and it just isn't working out for you - I think that the sooner you backtrack on the decision to move in with her the easier it will be, don't allow yourself to be trapped in this position for years. She has other options, she and your brothers need to accept them.
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