Follow
Share

Last year I moved in with my mother because she lives alone and her health has deteriorated a great deal. She fell a few times in the past, and is afraid of living alone.
I don't want to go into great detail and make this a very long post, but a few salient points as background--my mother is a VERY intelligent woman (former attorney), widowed when I was 5 (I'm now 54). She is also very well-off, and has been extremely generous financially, paying for my son's education, etc. I'm divorced, and I'm ashamed to say that at this point it would be very difficult for me to start up a career again and be financially independent, so in many ways I've put myself in a vulnerable (and perhaps selfish) position with her. She is generous, but she very often uses her money as a tool of control (again, I blame myself for allowing this to be the case at this point in my life, but there it is).
I do love her, but we have never gotten along and in general I find it very difficult to be around her. She can be hyper-critical (I was determined not to let her treat my son the way she treated me as a child) and is prone to rather childish temper-tantrums. I believe she's had depression all her life; a few years ago I was able to persuade her to go on antidepressants. They helped (she became somewhat more pleasant), but it's a really low dose and I've asked her to increase it but she refuses.
She can also be very kind, but any conversation with her is like a minefield--I never know what I might say to set her off on a critical tirade.
I could go on, but I want to get to the main question. My mother has always hated any kind of exercise, and her biggest pleasures have always been sleeping and eating incredibly unhealthy snacks and desserts. When she retired about 20 years ago, she literally said (she says I'm making it up, but I am not) that she basically didn't plan to get off the couch ever again.
Not surprisingly, at 84 she is now overweight, diabetic, with high blood pressure and heart problems (she had triple-bypass about 15 years ago). She is in constant pain because of back problems--I"m quite certain it's because her main activity all day long is sitting on the couch watching TV (which she keeps on 24/7, even when people are trying to have a conversation with her) and, with no muscle left to support her frame and her weight, her skeletal structure is just shot. Her doctors have called her "deconditioned" (again, she denies that they have said this) and have pretty much given up on telling her that she needs PT or some form of exercise because she becomes abusive with them about it.
I certainly understand that pain (which is considerable--she's on all kinds of painkillers to which she's developed a tolerance) makes her even less willing to exercise. But I also know (and I checked with her doctor again recently to make sure that I wasn't just being mean) that her condition and her pain will only get even worse if she doesn't do something other than lie on the couch all day, and doesn't make real changes in her lifestyle. I keep telling her that she could live many more years, but that she will be bedbound very soon if things don't change.
At home, I do help her keep the place neat and clean (she has become very careless about hygiene and cleanliness), drive her to appointments, shop for her, etc. I do sometimes cook for her if she's especially tired or not feeling well (for health reasons of my own--long story--I don't really eat dinner any more). But much of the time I don't do it, because I'm thinking that at least if she gets up and moves around the kitchen, etc., it will at least get her off of the couch and keep everything from atrophying completely. She gets petulant about it, implying that I should do it all, but I just don't. And of course I feel guilty and conflicted.
So the question is--am I just being unkind? I know that I have anger issues about her just letting herself fall apart and become so slovenly (aside from our usual disagreements), and it really just depresses me to see her loll around all day with the damned TV going. I see a lot of her neighbors, all about her age, and some with very serious medical conditions, doing a lot of physical activity.
I've really been on my own about this, and the resentment AND the guilt and uncertainty about what to do (or not do) is driving me crazy. She has money enough to get someone to come in and work with her, and a pool where she could do water exercises in privacy with a trainer, but no.
Any insights/advice/whatever would be greatly appreciated, and sorry for the long post here!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
1 2 3
I am not a religious person, but I do believe we reap what we sow. And actions have consequences. If you don't believe your mom has cognitive decline, then she's choosing to live her life the way she wants. You can't save her and you don't need to try. She can hire help, she can choose to get up off the couch...you've offered your support and she's choosing to stay in her pain and inactivity.

So let her make her choices and limit your contact with her. Set good boundaries for yourself so her choices don't bring you down. When she starts complaining or criticizing, hang up the phone or say, "Oops, sorry mom, gotta go" and leave. She'll learn that her negative behavior will result in less time with you.

Being caught in the web of a wealthy but abusive parent is a very bad place to be. I've seen it with friends and I'm not sure the money is worth the pain and suffering you must endure to "earn" it. So build your own independent life with your son and you'll be much happier in my opinion. And get some counseling about your parent/child relationship. You protected your son and now it's time to protect yourself. You deserve it too!
Helpful Answer (20)
Report

My mother also was an extremely intelligent woman - also very driven and head strong. Mom was going to do what she was going to do, no matter what anyone else - including her husband and children had to say about it. Conversely- God help the person who tried to tell her what to do! Now that mom is 89 and has dementia, her doing whatever she wanted - everyone be damned, has pretty much stopped - she doesn't have the mental or physical strength for much these days. However - being resistant to being told what to do has stuck - the years leading up to this point have been very difficult as she would listen to no one regardless of her best interest.
So here's what I've learned: Don't bother. Your mom isn't going to exercise and eat right - especially at this age - because you ask her to. Quite making yourself nuts over it. Continue as you are - not enabling her. Although I do think it would be wise to consult her doctor regarding what in fact she is physically capable of. If her pain is so great that it's keeping her from fixing her own meals- than certainly someone should be helping with this - and other ADLs if necessary.
Helpful Answer (14)
Report

Your mother is entitled to spend the rest of her life on the couch if she wants to. Her life, her decisions

You are not obligated to enable behaviors you see as self-destructive.

How much should she do for herself? Exactly the same as any other person who has a caregiver -- as much as she can. As Rainmom says, pain may be a limiting factor for that.

If you are financially dependent on your mother, there are other factors regarding what you are doing in exchange for her financial support.

But in a situation that isn't complicated by some dysfunction, caregivers should encourage the loved one to do as much for themself as possible.
Helpful Answer (17)
Report

Nancy, you're not exactly arguing from a position of strength here, if you're dependent upon your mom for housing and support. You could have another 20 years of active work life left; do you really want to let that go?

YOU suggested an increase in anti depressant dosage? Do you mean the doctor suggested it?
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Thanks so much, everyone! I didn't expect so many helpful responses so quickly!

Babalou--you are absolutely right that I'm not arguing from a "position of strength." As far as work is concerned, I'm a writer. And I suggested (strongly, I'll admit) that she ask the doctor about increasing the antidepressants. I've been on the same on in the past, so I'm pretty familiar with it (antidepressants tend to work similarly among family members). She is on half of the usual dosage. I have gone to the doctor with her, and I get the impression at this point that he's kind of given up. The last time I was there I asked him (again, because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just being vindictive about the exercise thing) what would help with her pain, her diabetes, etc. His answer was unequivocal--"More physical activity." My mother was there; she heard him (although I wouldn't be surprised if she denied it now).

Good points were made about whether it's safe for her to cook. The thing is, she kind of wants to eat pretty much the same thing every night--a fried pork chop or hamburger or something, some microwaveable mashed potatoes, and a vegetable of some kind. None of that involves much that's dangerous. When I've cooked other things for her in the past (I'm a vegetarian), she generally makes it clear that she's not crazy about it. I do prepare things like homemade soup and pasta sauce and freeze them in small containers for her to use, but in general she prefers her pork chops.

The pain question is, again, the big one, and kind of the point of my original question--is it better for her to work through the pain to make herself do SOME kind of physical activity (as most people do when they're recovering from injuries, surgery, etc.), or should I consider it prohibitive at this point? I just feel that if I let her, she will never get off of that damned couch again.

But I am tired of arguing, and I do feel the need to set boundaries. I don't think she's entirely able at this point to control her behaviors, because they're so ingrained (and, again, I really do think that a lot of them have to do with depression--although there is NO WAY she'd agree to see a psychiatrist).

Tacy, this is an amazing piece of information: "They said that it takes 5 days for and elderly person to regain the strength they lose sitting around doing nothing for one day." It's been about 20 years now!

The thing is--she's got no one else, unless she hires someone to live there (she does have a young woman who comes in most mornings and gets her breakfast, etc.). I told her that I would never try to put her in a facility of any kind (and I would not, because I've seen them and I know that she would hate them--many for very good reasons!). But I just find myself so d@mn angry so often...
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

By the way, aside from some small memory lapses from time to time, dementia doesn't seem to be much of an issue. Her behaviors are pretty much the same as they've always been--perhaps slightly exaggerated now by age and the pain.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I'd say let her stay on the couch. At age 84, she's not going to change her ways. She probably isn't going to be around much longer if she refuses to do anything to lessen her health problems.

Are you the only child? Are you the executor of her will or successor trustee of a trust? Do you have to live with her?
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

I would make sure that her financial affairs are in order. Is she taking care of things by herself (paying bills) ? Does she have her Durable POA, Health Care POA, Will, etc. Make sure they are in order and where the original can be found.

At her age, I would think she has a right to live as she pleases. As long as she is competent, then, she has the right to not exercise and eat the foods of her choice, even if they are not healthy choices.(I'd keep check, because some of the behavior sounds like it could be early dementia, such as lack of hygiene, lack of motivation, petulant behavior.)

Even being very active and having a great diet would gain her how many more years? Sometimes we have to accept that others make choices that we wouldn't make. When we reach her age, we may not be as motivated either. So, I'd try to offer support and accept her decision. To me, it's not the same if a younger person who has many years of potential life ahead. At any rate, I would try not to stress and find some peace about it, since it's her decision and you have done your best.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

CTTN55--I am the only child. I could probably find a way not to live with her, but part of my being there is that I feel it's the least I can do as her daughter. It's not an entirely bad existence--her house is beautiful (when it's kept clean). Certainly there are worse situations to be in.
But the problem is that I just feel myself wanting to be around her as little as possible, because conversations invariably turn ugly, and because I'm just so frustrated and kind of (I hate to use this word, but...) disgusted by her utter lack of regard for herself and her property. I know that I can't make her change, but I just resent her expectation that I enable her to do nothing. And then I just feel like kind of a jerk for not just letting it go...
Here's a story about how deep the resistance goes: about 15 years ago, after her heart surgery, I convinced her to adopt a little dog, because I thought it would give her some company and also give her a reason to get up and walk. She LOVED the dog (who passes away a few months ago), but never once in her life did she put her on a leash and even take her out to the yard for a little walk. She took to simply letting the dog go out on the lanai of the pool and do her business there. It was a MESS. I would clean it when I came to visit, but it was truly disgusting. And this is a big, gorgeous, expensive house in a "gated community." I don't know if the neighbors saw it, but the people who came to work on the yard, pool, etc., must have thought it was awful. And this started well before her pain started to get really bad.
At this point I think I'm just venting. :) I appreciate the opportunity, and the helpful words!!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I would bet that your presence means more to your mom than you know, even if she doesn't show it. Living with seniors isn't for sissies. That's for sure. My parents can be annoying, but are pretty easy to get along with. I feel fortunate, but we don't know what the future holds. I try to share at this site and focus on outside things like friends, social events, other activities. If you can manage that, it might help a little. Take care.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you, Sunnygirl, for your kind and wise answer. I've been thinking today that I really just need to learn to chill about it--do what I can for her and be kind, but create some kind of boundary so that I'm not feeling stressed, guilty, and angry so often (while remembering that she really is a good person who just can't seem to help acting really badly sometimes). I do spend a lot of time outdoors, walking and swimming (trying to at least keep myself in decent shape for as long as possible), and I also do my own work (writing). And my son is almost always good company!
But you're right--definitely not for sissies!! :)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I use quotes a lot. One of my all time favorites is from the fabulous actress Bette Davis:

"Old age is no place for sissies". ~ Bette Davis
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Sunnygirl, I just saw your earlier comment after responding to the later one. Her financial affairs, etc., are very much in order--she's a whizz at that stuff! If her behaviors (hygiene, petulance, etc.) were relatively new I'd agree with you about early dementia, but she's really been like that to one degree or another her entire life.
As far as lengthening her life is concerned, I'm less concerned about that than I am about her quality of life and her pain level. She often starts yelling that I don't care enough, and that I never ask her about how she's feeling, but the latter is because she tells me constantly about how she's feeling--I'm well aware, but I'm helpless to do anything about it other than suggest the things that I believe might help--pt, getting outside sometimes, possible increase in her antidepressants, better food choices. It's kind of a no-win situation--say nothing and be accused of not caring, or make suggestions and getting shut down and/or yelled at.
But you're right--it is her life, and they're her choices. I guess I'll just have to bite my tongue.
I guess I just feel bad/guilty that we don't have one of those close, loving, mother/daughter relationships that seem to be the ideal--or at least you see them a lot in the movies!
(BTW, when I say that I'm less concerned about longevity, it's because that's just my own personal feeling about life in general--that quality of life is more important than length. It's not a personal statement about my feelings about her.)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

There's a certain "nobody understands" aspect to the rip current between an only child/daughter and a mother who never quite fit the mold. (Not judging. I am one, too.) As you were growing up, you were undoubtedly loved and provided for. And mom might have cast you in a role that runs counter to boundaries.

From a young age, female only children are often groomed to be mom's mirror. Or validation. Or filter. Or confidant. Or window to the world. Or domestic partner.

If any if this was at play, it's Not Your Fault. With my mom, I struggled to read her signs of old-age decline. I thought she was just "being herself" to the 9th (and most intractable) degree. Turns out she had 2 different conditions that hampered her brain function.

People from different parts of mom's life were callng out her weird sh*t. And I responded to a dangerous % of it with "that's just her." Because mom had me all too well.....to never challenge The World According To Her.

My heart goes out to you. Be sure to get several opinions on your mother. Whether they are formal or informal. Stay committed to taking care of your own physical and mental health -- and keeping a foot in the outside world.

God bless our old mothers, but every last one of them would sit back and let it turn into Big Edie and Little Edie [a reference to Grey Gardens].....IF we let them. ((((hugs!))))
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Nancygb,
That's great that her affairs are in order. Too bad that she's so miserable though.

I have a little experience with that. One of my family members complains a lot too. She always has pain and some kind of ailment, needs to see doctor, worried it's fatal, etc. She refuses to take anxiety/depression meds, though. Her doctor and I encourage it, but she creates a reason she can't tolerate them. I believe she doesn't want the relief the meds might bring. I just shake it off.

Things that have been engrained for years are not likely to change at this point in her life. I chalk it up to a form of mental decline. I don't blame her, but I certainly don't blame myself either. I think I have a pretty healthy sense of self and have peace in not catering to unrealistic expectations with the seniors in my family. Still, it must be difficult to hear verbal putdowns. I'm not sure how I would handle that.

Hang in there.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

I'm curious why she wouldn't go to a psychiatrist. There are several of us here who can attest to the fact that medication management by a skilled geriatric psychiatrist has made all the difference in the world with our older relatives.

Many antidepressants are used in pain management regimens (is she AT LEAST seeing a pain management specialist?). Your mother needs more specialized care than her GP or internist can provide. And as a side note, don't judge MOM"s antidepressant dosage by your own; the senior body processes those meds quite differently.

It also sounds as though there is underlying mental illness or personality disorder in the mix, which make any kind of cognitive decline more problematic.

I think if I were you, I'd find myself a therapist, tell mom that you love her twice a day and avoid most interactions with her, since they seem to go south.
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

nancy, I can relate to a lot of what you're going through. I agree that your mother should do whatever she can do. She should be able to cook her meals and do her laundry. She should be able to keep the area she occupies clean enough. You can fill in the areas that would be too much for her. Though she is supporting you, you are not her private slave daughter. You being there and keeping the difficult things done are enough.

I'm more concerned about you than I am about her. I get the feeling you need to get out and about more. I don't mean to the pool or for a walk around the neighborhood. Your mother should be fine if you want to get out for a few hours every day. Writers need experiences and you won't get them sitting at the house. Another good thing -- Your mother may be like mine. She likes me better when I go out for a few hours. I think it is because it gives her some alone time in her house. Try setting up some things to do -- nature hikes, bird walks, yoga or exercise classes, whatever you're interested in. Perhaps you could start a workshop in writing at the local senior center. Keep yourself out there and don't resign yourself to being just your mother's daughter. It's easy to do. Believe me, I know. You might be surprised that there are people and opportunities out there waiting for you. If you worry about your mother falling, get a life alert button. "What-ifs" can keep you in a box, so work through them and get out of the house. You're too young to be old just yet. Your mother could have an accident, but she could also have one with you there. You can't let it keep you penned up.

Hmm... I think I needed to say that to myself. I get out for a bit every day, but I need to get out more before I wither away into early elderliness.
Helpful Answer (12)
Report

Has your mother's doctor checked the thyroid function? If not, ask her doctor to do so...well...most importantly, ask if your mother is willing to do this. Hypothyroidism can cause depression, weight gain because it slows your metabolism big time, low energy, mood swings, etc. If you're not already familiar, then Google "symptoms of hypothyroidism" to learn more about it. Anti-depressants will just make you mother fatter. Sorry to sound mean, but it's a known side effect of so many anti-depressants. My mother has low thyroid and a mental illness. If her thyroid function is fluctuating and the current dose of medication isn't working, it'll affect her mental health status. If your mother's thyroid is all good, then you need to be prepared to get someone to help when your mother does lose her mobility - and you shouldn't feel guilty about this. I understand where you're coming from. You want the best for our mother. But you also don't want the guilt of wondering if you did enough. I live with this conflict of hearts every single day while my mother is living. Several years ago my mother lost her mobility as a side effect of her stroke. In the early stages of me frantically trying to save her mobility, she would fight me on it. She actually pretended sleeping every time the physical therapist would come over to our home for mobility work. Right after the therapist left, Mom would "wake up". It was actually a little funny for me to see her be cunning in her old age. My mother is very stubborn and knew what she was doing. She didn't want to exercise. She was okay being the way she was. It just got to them point I finally accepted it and wanted to enjoy whatever time we had left, which means I had to accept her limitations and find a way to work with them. And I understand financially where you're coming from. I'm frankly embarrassed that I can't support myself. I was successful and independent before my parents became ill, but they needed my help full-time and my technology skills became outdated fast, like within six months, as I simply couldn't return to the workforce. For me to enter the workforce now in middle age with no updated technology skills on my resume as I've been working as a "caregiver"- it's a joke. I have so many intangibles but no tangibles to put on my resume, if you know what I mean; negotiating a medical bill isn't the same thing as negotiating a multi-million dollar deal, according to employers. They won't hire me at an entry-level position because they think I would quit working if Mom needed, and frankly, their right. Although I have a bachelor and a master's degree, I feel invaluable because I left my career to take of my aging parents, so know I'm viewed as "just a caregiver" to future employers. It's humiliating. I've changed career plans and have started a business because this will be fastest way for me to make up for retirement. After I get a stable source of income coming in, then I want to enroll in a doctorate program.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I need a new computer keyboard! I'm making errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammer. I'm thinking you'd find this a little humorous as you're a writer. :-)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I can't believe how many really helpful, understanding, and compassionate responses I'm getting here! It hadn't occurred to me that so many people have been in similar situations (of course I knew that people acted as caregivers for their parents, but for some reason I thought that the difficult dynamics were unusual).

At the moment I'll just address a few points that people have made--otherwise I'll end up going on forever yet again!
First--careisgiving--I did not notice a single error, and I'm only really judgmental about that stuff with my son (poor kid was properly using semicolons at the age of 5 :) )!
Also, I'm not sure if she's had her thyroid checked, although hypothyroidism would certainly be a suspect (I had mine checked at one point because of tiredness, etc., but it was fine). As far as the antidepressants are concerned, she is on (as I was for a long time) Wellbutrin, which is unlike SSRI's in that it is more likely to make people LOSE weight (either on purpose or not)--I lost 30 pounds when I took it. It also really helps with energy level and motivation in people for whom it's suited (obviously, "what works" is different for every person with depression). When she started taking the low dose a few years ago (after quite a struggle!), her mood noticeably improved (I wasn't the only one who noticed it). It clearly works for her but, again, the dosage is very low and it seems clear that the depression is still in play. Obviously, a medical professional would be the one to evaluate whether or not she should change the dosage, but I'd be willing to bet...
As for a psychiatrist, she just doesn't believe in them. She proudly subscribes to the "pick yourself up by your bootstraps" thinking of her childhood era and upbringing. She STILL swears that the antidepressants made no difference, and at times I've found out that she wasn't taking them and lying about it (I could tell because her mood worsened).
Babalou, she is seeing doctors for many different things (including pain management, big-time), mostly through Mayo, so her care has been quite good and thorough. I don't know if anyone has suggested a psychiatric consult for her, but if they have I can assure that they were shut down in no uncertain terms. I think you're also probably right about the personality disorder. But you raise a good point--properly managed antidepressants could also be useful in the pain management. I wonder if I could approach her that way on it... And your last paragraph was spot-on. :)
BlackHole, yes, on so many things (I believe I can check the "validation"--and not quite working out as that--box!). And "never challenge the World According to Her"--yes!! I'm sorry that you've dealt with that stuff too. It's amazing how the effects remain after all this time.
Thank you again, Sunnygirl. Sounds as if you've found some good ways to make peace with things--definitely something to be admired.
Back to Careisgiving--I laughed about your mother and the PT. I can easily see my mother doing the exact same thing! And it's nice to have someone who "gets it" about the career thing. I have no idea what I'd put on my resume at this point, and any skills and training I've had in the past are now pretty much passe. But I do get published a great deal (as a poet, so I'm not exactly making a living, to say the least :) !), so that makes me feel good.
And finally, JessieBelle, thank you for your concern. I am actually very happy doing what I do. I'm not a total hermit, and, until my son graduated H.S. this year, I spent a lot of time attending his performances at school, talking to his friends' parents, and just generally taking care of him (I still do the latter!). My writing gives me a lot of satisfaction, and I love to be out getting exercise and just enjoying nature around here. I'm not lonely at all--just frustrated by interactions with my mother at this point. I've had more than my share of a social life in my life; for the time being I'm enjoying the relative solitude. That may change again, and if it does I'll definitely get out there. I really appreciate your concern about it.
Well, I went on forever in spite of myself. If I left anything or anyone out, I apologize! Thanks again to everyone.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So proud of myself! I just went downstairs long enough to make some coffee and she started up with something and I just took my coffee and walked back upstairs without a word and I remain relatively unflustered! Do I get a gold star or something?! :)
Helpful Answer (14)
Report

WOOHOO!! You get TWO gold stars and a big hug for taking care of yourself! What a great first step!! We're here right behind you, cheering you on!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Thanks, blannie! I needed that!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I'm so proud of you! You get student of the week in my book!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

YESS! Thanks, Babalou! Now we'll see what happens today... :)
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Hope today went well, Nancy!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Great advice from everyone! So hard not to fix it when being a fixer is a big part of a caregiver's personality. We are going thru this with my in-laws, with my MIL being so much like your mom.

One thing to add, please don't force your vegetarian meals on your mom. If she likes pork chops, hamburger, whatever, then make them for her. It's not like she is expecting you to eat them with her, so what's the big deal? My mom likes her ice cream and I don't; however, that doesn't stop me from giving her a bowl of it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I wanted to comment on two replies. First Babalou's - I am one of those people she mentioned. My treatment by my mother had become crule, hostile and demeaning to the point my mental state was in serious jeopardy. Shortly after I found this site - a Godsend in itself- I began seeing posts mentioning Getiatric Psychitrists. Then on a visit to my own PCP to get help managing my stress - he suggested a geriatric psychitrist as well. I knew if I suggested it to my mother using honest reasoning I would get the same flat out "no" that you are expecting. So I made up a "therapeutic fib" - another great tip I learned from here. I knew mom was aware of her memory slipping and that it bothered her - so I told her "new medications addressing memory loss were available" but she needed to be determined eligible. It worked. The psy did a complete medication overhaul. It took about a month to see a diffetence as some of moms meds needed to be stopped/started gradually. But what a difference! Had I known this type of thing was available and what a marked difference it would make - I would have done it years ago. Isn't there some "in" you could use with your mother to get her to go? You are a writer and creativity is s job requirement - get to work on getting your mom seen by a geriatric psychitrist. I promise you - you won't regret it!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Wow - talk about a long post! Okay, the second comment is regarding JessieBelles reply - and you not being a slave just because you are living for free in your mothers home. Unless you agreed to indentured servitude as a condition of you moving in - it is unreasonable that you be treated as a servant. You, me, JessieBelle and probably most people reading this feel that way - perhaps your mother does not. When my mother was bullying me to let her come live with me and my family, she came up with a doozy- she said she was entitled to live in my house since she helped pay for it! Trust me - my mom did not contribute a single cent towards my house. In fact, she threw a tantrum when my dad gave me a housewarming gift! But this invention of reasoning by my mom, gave her the sense of entitlement she needed. Perhaps your mother feels you owe her. I'd suggest approaching her with something along the line of "there seems to be a disproportion in the work load here at home. Perhaps it would be a good idea if we discussed your expectations of me and what I do for you and what you can do for yourself"? Lay your cards out on the table - it might even serve as an opening for a discussion regarding her own inactivity.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The best way you can help her is to move out and get your own life. You are an enabler (as we in the medical profession describe people), and your life is not over at 54! She will continue to deteriorate and will die earlier than she has to. But, she wants your sympathy, and you are there giving it to her. She uses her wealth to control you, and you allow it to happen. You are capable of getting another job, go back to school or move in with someone who wants your help. You have options, and apparently you are acting like a child being controlled by your mother. Your choice...
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter