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My father passed away at 85 six years ago and my mother who is now 86 still lives in her large home with pool because she can't get rid of anything - she is very materialistic. I have been there for her to assist her but she doesn't trust me to help. Both prents were very much controllers or tried all their lives to control my sister and I using their trust saying that they will give their money to this charity or club instead of to my sister and I. My mother has never said I love you or I'm proud of you to my sister or me. She is verbally abusive to both of us all the time. I finally said that's it and blocked her from my phone so I don't have to put up with the abuse. I feel guilty and that's exactly what she wants. We were told that we are there to help and do as they say. At 64 years old I am tired of being treated like child. I quit. I'm divorcing my mother at 86 years old.

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elizabeth: Love your words, "Don't do anything out of a desire for revenge so you won't have regrets." excellent advice
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My father was extremely self-centered and angry all of his life. He was a master of manipulation and because my mother was weak and had her own mental illness, we all lived in fear of his anger. Because I was stronger than Mom, she often pitted me against Dad - she would fight him through me. Periodically as an adult, I would back away and just leave the two of them to themselves until I could regroup and be emotionally ready to help them again.

The last words my father said to me were in fury because I would not stop what I was doing (packing my mother to take her to the psych ward) to do some mundane task that he wanted done immediately. It's been 7 years since his death and while I haven't forgotten our last meeting, I am not grieved by it. I know in my heart that I did everything I could within healthy boundaries to be a good daughter to them. For the longest time I kept wondering when the deep regret would set in, but I've finally realized that I don't own that last conversation, he did. I'm sorry that it happened that way, but he died like he lived - angry and controlling.

My advice in this situation is to be aware of your feelings. Don't do anything out of a desire for revenge so you won't have regrets. We are to honor our parents, but that isn't a license for them to trample us. I can honor my parents by seeing that they are safe and cared for when they can no longer do that for themselves. That doesn't mean that I must stand there and take whatever venom is spewed my way. Boundaries. Healthy boundaries. And those boundaries look different for every one of us.
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I feel your pain. My mother is in a nursing home, but the manipulation never ends. She has no money, so it's not about that. It's about control, control, control. I am just learning to set boundaries. My mother is 90, has mild/moderate dementia, and is extremely depressed. The anxiety and depression is nothing new, so it adds to the problem. Hang in there....there are so many of us out there!
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kale4na, back then you were too afraid, but now you have courage. Believe me, I understand.
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THank you all for your kind input. I think that everyone's is a bit different from another. I have ot spoken to my mother for a month now, my choosing. She could contact me through others or my sister but she refuses to do that. I have taken this abuse from childhood and tried to hard to please her and my father and I never could. There is a time when we have to say that's it - no more. And that time has come for me. She can give her money to charity or whomever, I'm sure that my sister and I won't get a dime. Sad, my sister is living in section 8 housing and my mother could have helped her but she won't. Instead for her April 11 birthday, (no card or gift) she called and continued her control of no, you shouldn't do that or you can't do this. So no one in the family talks to her or goes to see her as a result of her abuse (and my dads) since I can remember. My kids and my sisters son know and lived with their abuse also and I allowed it. I can't forgive myself for allowing the abuse to my own children.
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My mom use to do that sort of thing too, but she has paranoid schizoaffective disorder. When she's on her meds and they're working she would never say anything like that but when she's not its awful especially for me! I'm the one she takes things out on. I feel for you. I don't have any good answers for you but just wanted you to know I understand.
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A friend of ours used to say, "I do not attend every argument to which I am invited." When she gets in control mode, just decide that you will not attend. Maybe you could still help her out without getting involved with her emotionally ... that way you would have the peace of mind knowing that you did everything possible to help her. No amount of money is worth putting up with meanness. If she threatened to give her money to charity, I would say (and mean it), "Aww that's really nice; that's a good charity, and I'm sure they would appreciate it."
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Dear kale4na,
Welcome to the club... Don't feel guilty. It is part of the 'guilt, shame, blame game' they do so well. I divorced Daddy in January after him abusing me of killing Mother and trying to kill him and not doing enough for him, etc... I too had blocked their number from my phone this summer. It is a very difficult tight rope to walk. Our divorce lasted 2 months. Now I go once a week, under my terms and there are topics off limits or I walk. (This includes verbal abuse.) Trust me, walking out on them once or twice, while making it clear that this behavior or abuse will not be tolerated, you may find they come around. It has worked for me for the last month. Re: changing the will... Talk to the lawyer who wrote the will and keep him in the loop. I did this and when Daddy would call him he would pretend that his phone battery was going dead or he couldn't hear him on his line.. I had already invoked Power of Attorney and Daddy had been take from the home by the police and Adult Protective Services. The lawyer was kept informed and notified, after family visitation when cutting me or Sister out of the will, so he would expect the call.
It is 'control freak' stuff. They really do wish to keep/re-establish control in their lives. Don't take it personally. It is VERY hard. Parameters need be in place, negotiated, and you may find, with practice, that your visits are nicer.
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It sounds like you have learned to live the life of an emotional slave and you are tired of having lived this way for a lifetime. Sounds a bit like my father in law after some influence I had upon him that his enslaving wife who claimed to believe in equal rights did not like. I took her not liking it as a compliment. Sounds like "Mommy Dearest", like the person the book was written about has enough money to hire all the help she needs just like my mother in law does. You don't have that many years left to live your own life. So, emancipate yourself and get away from that wicked witch of the west.
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I am so sorry kale4na for all you have had to deal and put up with. My very best friend,who is only 61 had almost the identical situation growing up as you have. Reading what you wrote was like listening to my friend tell blow by blow what you have dealt with. Her mother passed away over a year ago. The mother was extremely wealthy and she gave it all to charity. My friend heard her lawyer make this statement, "I don't think anyone can buy their way into heaven." As children from this decade, we were taught to be compliant and respectful to our parents, no matter how they treated us. Only we can give them our own self worth if we allow it. Take back your worth my dear and know that your a vitally important person. Your mom acts like she does because......"she can." You allowed it but that does not take any value away from you at all hon. You have learned humility, kindness and caring from being just the opposite from her and there is no amount of money that can buy this! She is the looser in this scenario. Do not feel guilty for anything you have done. You know that behind anger is deep hurt.
Own it sweetie and allow this to come out as you heal. You need healing. Wake up each day knowing that you are special and you have so much worth and value.
Rejoice in each day and know your not alone in this. May God lift you up and give you comfort and peace and joy as it comes into your life everyday.
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Tilda, that was a great idea. Draw up an official contract. Kale4na, you don't need to worry about your mom. If she has all of that money she can hire people to do her bidding. People she can feel to boss around. I am about 10 years younger than you are and I am very tired of it too.
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I learned a long time ago that we have to let people be who they are. If they want to change, you can help them, but people do what they want. My dad used to say that you can't expect a cat to bark or a dog to fly because it's not in their nature. When you realize that your mother does what she does because she is what she is, it becomes easier to deal with. Addressing your own reaction to your feelings of powerlessness will do you more good than trying to modify the behaviors of your mother and sister. It's hard, but you need to find the strength to accept the things you cannot change . . . Good Luck. God Bless You
Jonathan
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I am very sorry you feel the need to divorce your mother at age 86. You and your sister have to stop buying into her emotional blackmail. The two of you should tell her how you fell about her and that you will be there to assist her as needed. But neither of you will stand for any further verbal abuse. When she starts just say you love her but refuse to be treated that way and leave.
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Sounds like you're drawing some boundaries, which is great. Only you can assess whether you can stay within the boundaries or whether you will have to sever ties to your mom. None of us can know your life. I would add to the wise counsel of others here that I believe you have absolutely no control over whether you will receive any money from your mother. So if that promise keeps you hanging around, forget about it. I believe an abusive person could well make their last abusive act the disinheriting of their lifelong objects of abuse. But I freely admit that as a person who did not have abusive parents, I can't know your path completely. You sound like an intelligent, capable person. Do what you believe to be best and try your hardest to lose all guilt. Good luck.
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"When someone tells you who they are...believe them." This is a quote I repeat over and over when my mom pulls that manipulative strategy on me.

By trying to control everyone with money she has shown that she is shallow and matrialistic. She also showed that she has no faith in her childrens ability to do the right thing on their own...so she has to bribe and blackmail.Fear not love runs her life...

She has trained me well...to be a caregiver and caring person...and she did it so that I would be her insurance in her old age. The only thing she didn't count on was my having developed a deep sense of justice ...and that lies unfold as time goes on.

I discovered that her "love" for me was not love at all, but fear for her own comfort. Had she truly loved me...as I love my daughters, she would have let me live out my dreams instead of crushing them with mockery and judgment. If she had truly loved me she would have wanted my independance so that I could willingly and freely care for her , instead of being a tyrant and misusing her role as mother. She held control by holding her will and assets over my head like a whip. Having lost all respect and trust for her I now was left to make an important decision.

I had to decide on caring for this abusive and imposing being who happened to be my mother, or leave her to her own fate...which was what my two brothers wanted. They who had been given all the freedom and attention I would have sold my eyes for...were now rejecting and turning their backs on her out of spite.

It has been a journey in forgiveness and tolerance. It has been over seven years and all of my free time is spent supervising her housekeeping, her live-in aids, her doctor appointments, her bills, her home repairs, her hair cuts, her comforts. How do I do it? I drew up a contract of employment.

After the first few months, when I saw what it would involve, I spoke to an elder lawyer who helped me draw it up. I presented it to her and my brothers. I draw weekly salary and am paid directly from the pool trust from her reverse mortgage. There will be no money after she dies...and at least this way I have part time income for work I did for free all my life.

The point was, this is my mother. Would I not do it for a stranger if asked of me? Since my answer was yes, and this was a personal challenge, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and be the daughter I would have liked to have..just because it is the right thing to do. Not the smart thing, just the right thing for me...for now. I would not have been able to face myself in front of my maker otherwise.

I hope some of what I said helps. Good luck. in your adventure with aging.
Tilda
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MAGNUM:

Emotional blackmail. ... Short, sweet, concise, straight to the point. It is what it is, and I couldn't have said it better myself dear brother.
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Tell your mother when she dies you're turning her house into a homeless shelter.
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Divorce her by stop buying into her emotional blackmail which is the title of a great book by Susan Ford. Your mother and my mother in law sound like twins.
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KALE:

If the trust is worth sacrificing your dignity and self-respect, then don't say anything and let Mommie Dearest keep treating you like a cockroach. If the money isn't that big of an issue for you, Mrs. Meanie would have to make other arrangements to dump or tear someone else down so she can feel better about herself. Do, however, keep in touch here and there to check up on Dad and lay the groundwork for boundaries that you'll have no problem enforcing consistently without feeling guilty. Good luck.

-- ED
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Try taking a vacation from your mother. That sounds strange, I know, but it may give her the understanding that she is not the center of your world and cannot control you. I agree with your decision to tell your mother to do whatever she wants with her money. Money can make you miserable and being free of stress can make you much happier. If you feel guilty,you can look after your mother from a distance.She can depend on family/social services. Another choice might be that you can have a checklist of items that need to be checked each week and try to pay someone for an hour's worth of work to check on those issues. If there are problems, your mother can seek the help for solving them. Many people in their eighties are very capable of looking after themselves but still like to treat children as puppets if that has been their lifelong habit. Try to take your vacation first and then set up your own ground rules for any interactions you have with her. Holidays are not a requirement, and the Dept. of Social Services can help her as she gets older. There are many of us who have dealt with toxic parents all of our lives and understand your feelings. Hang in there!
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It is so easy for someone to say to you, "just write her off." However, when a parent is in our care they will somehow always end up being our responsibility. Added to that are those parents who spend their lives attaching strings to their loved ones. What a waste of their time on this earth.
I think it is perfectly healthy for you to set boundaries and get yourself in a better place in order to deal with this woman. Shift your role from daughter to care "manager." That way you can make objective decisions but not be tied to her psychologically. Once she sees that you are treating her humanely but not in a dependent manner, she will no longer have control over you.
Everyone says that you cannot become a victim without your permission. However, children who have been indoctrinated all their lives do not know where to cut the ties. Their parents have done a good job making them feel guilty for any act of independence they exhibit. In adulthood the "carrot" is the will, money, property, etc.
Let your Mom know that she has every right to do as she pleases with her money, because she can't take it with her.
Sounds like you are on top of things...make choices for humane reasons and let her keep the drama to herself.
good luck
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Hey, hard place to be. There are multiple threads about narcissistic parents, controlling parents, or abusive elders here with support websites and books that you can read. The Love of Money, or the Control of Money, can make people do some unpleasant things. The same qualities that make good caregivers can also make us vulnerable to other folks. You might consider looking up information on a condition called codependency - there are support groups to help folks like you (and me!) find healthier relationships and set boundaries. My opening statement at my father's funeral was "You can't make somebody love you the way you want them to - you either accept that they love you the best that they can or you get on with your life". Good luck with your decisions, Helen
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