So last year I took my mother in and have been caring for her. I went to see her across country and saw what bad shape she was in alone so I moved her here. She's 89 and in total decline. When she first got here last fall she was walking, could fix simple meals, shower, hold a conversation, etc. Now she's bedridden, barely knows who anyone is anymore, needs care like a baby (diapers, bathing, etc.).

It's hard but but the thing I really struggle with is that she abused me my whole life. She was physically, emotionally and psychologically abusive my whole childhood and I spent decades as an adult trying to undo some of the damage she did and trying to live with what I couldn't undo.

We were not on good terms when I took her in; barely kept in touch. But she literally had no one left. . . I'm an only child, adopted at that. All her siblings are dead, my dad is long gone, her nieces & nephews barely speak to her. My two adult kids barely speak to her, they had it with her long ago because she was horrible to them.

My youngest lives with me and he's disabled so I care for him as well, she's stressing him out.

When I took her in she didn't qualify for nursing home care and couldn't afford it. I couldn't leave her to die. Last time we checked with insurance here she didn't qualify for a nursing home but she did qualify for a full-time aide, which has helped (though she doesn't like to let them do things for her and waits for them to leave then asks me, at least there is someone to babysit her 8 hrs per day so I can work and do other things).

Sometimes when she gets mean her health care providers try to explain it's the dementia, for me though when she's mean she sounds more like her old self. It's when she's nice I think the dementia is at its worst.

Anyway, sorry this is so long, but there are times when it feels like old wounds are being ripped open and I wonder why I put up with this, but I don't even think I really have a choice because I just feel like she's my responsibility.

Anyone else going through something similar? How do you cope?

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"I wonder why I put up with this" Simple, you were groomed to.

Over and over again, I read here the advice that those who have been abused to not be the person with hands on care of their abusive parent. With that said, would you mother not qualify for medicaid to pay for her going to a nursing home?

I wish you the best and am sorry for your past of being abused. Sounds like you are experiencing post traumatic stress syndrome from your being abused in the past. Please take care of yourself and get her somewhere else.

Do you just happen to have durable and or medical POA for her?

Getting out of being here direct care giver and what impact that may or may not have on her is nothing to feel guilty about. It's a boundary that needs to be in place. Too often the abused ends up having more love for the abuser than the abuser has for the abused. That's a trap. It's like a time bomb that they planted in your soul to keep you form fully taking care of yourself. Take care of you and your child. Those are your primary responsibility. She's made her bed.
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MackenzieSW Oct 2019
A lot of that hit home, thanks. You're not the first person to suggest PTSD either, I used to shrug it off because it's not like I was on a battlefield or anything but now I don't know anymore, maybe I am suffering from something.

She qualified for medicaid but they're short on bed space, that's why they sent the health care attendants and are going to re-assess every 6 months if she needs more hours of home attendants or if she needs to just be put in a home.
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I could not my best day care for a parent who had abused me. I understand you felt without options, but honestly, my elder, had they let me down, would be a ward of the state and in the hands of the state. I would not be capable of caring for someone who I felt undeserving of care and that would be how I would feel. Often on the forum we see family caring for people who did not care for them. I can only think that their childhoods trained them somehow to keep striving to please the parent. You know your Mom better than the caregivers and I suspect you are correct. It is when she is nice that she is having dementia. I am thrilled to hear she DOES have a few nice moments for you.
Your child is deserving of every bit of strength you can muster moving forward. I encourage you to put your Mom in the care of the State should you need to back away from hands on caregiving and I assure you they will treat her with more dignity and respect than she afforded you. I am sorry for the amount heaped on your plate. I hope it will somehow get easier for you. Hugs headed your way.
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All I can say is to remain on the waiting list. Your child comes first. You matter.

Memories are so hard to deal with. PTSD is real and it applies to all trauma, not just a battle field.

I see a therapist. It will help you sort things out in your head and heart.

Best wishes to you. Hugs.
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It sounds like she meets the inability to perform her ADLs. I would have her assessed for nursing home care.

You and your child need your lives back.
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MackenzieSW Oct 2019
Thanks, she gets reassessed at the end of the year (every six months), she's significantly declined since last assessment when she was still in phys. therapy & could walk. So I guess we'll see, but apparently there is not a lot of space around here so only the worst cases get taken in, if an elderly person has family they'll send as many resources as they can to help first until the cost of home care becomes a bigger burden than the cost of nursing home care.

I feel a bit guilty too, I know putting her in a home will finish her off, it'll just kill her will to live.
I'm not in exactly the same position, but I can relate. My mother was never much of a mother to me. My parents divorced when I was three and didn't see her again until I was 14. In fact, I thought she was dead all that time. My father sent me to live with her. He didn't know she was a barely functioning alcoholic. Bottom line is, I didn't really have a mother. I never though of her as a mother. She was a drunk who I happened to live with and made my latter teen years miserable.

Truth be told, I don't honestly think my mother deserves the care that I provide. She certainly takes it for granted. I have friends who know my history with her and they ask, "why are you even helping her", and the answer that I give them is what I want to share. I don't do it for her. I do it for me. I was raised, more or less, by my grandmother who taught me family values including compassion, empathy, and that you take care of family who can't take care of themselves. I was taught to be kind, even when it's not reciprocated. I'm a caring person. I know that if my mother were to die living in squalor, or homeless, I would feel guilty. I would feel guilty for not helping when I know I could. I know I will never have the mother/daughter relationship I wanted or deserved. I'm not helping her because she deserves it. I'm investing in my future peace of mind. Knowing I helped in her final years (and at end stage COPD, these are her final years), and that I did what I could to make her comfortable, I will not have guilt later. I know I shouldn't feel guilt, but I know my psychology. Regardless of whether she deserves my help, I would feel guilty for not giving it anyway. That's just who I am.

So I wouldn't think of what you are doing to help her as doing it for her. You do whatever you need to do ease your pain later. You feel this is the right thing to do, whether or not she is grateful, or even deserving given your past. Your help is an investment in your future peace of mind. You won't have the "if I only had ___" moments. You'll know you did what you could. Honestly, it's the only mindset that has helped me deal with the moments when I just want to throw my hands in the air and quit. I hope that helps.
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2irishlasses Oct 2019
Thankyou soooo much for your truthful words...
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Have you told them that your mother has abused you during your whole childhood plus tell them a therapeutic fib like your therapist wants you to get her out of your house because you are a victim of her abuse. My wife's therapist told my wife that.

Maybe you would benefit from seeing a therapist now for their objective support. As a victim of abuse myself, I would say you have a non battle field version of PTSD. Please take all measures to take care of you and don't take any prisoners on the way!

Is there a nursing home with openings near or further away! Your own health and that of your child are at stake.
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Does anyone know why there are so many abusive mothers in the "greatest generation" era, especially mothers of girls? Shortly before my mother died she asked me if she had "mistreated" me. I said "No" so she could die in peace. Reading all the answers above brought up so many similar thoughts and questions of my upbringing. I never understood what my mother hoped to accomplish by telling my only sibling and me different stories and pitting us against each other, then saying "When I'm gone, you won't have anyone but each other". What did she accomplish with the abuse and negativity toward me? I was never good enough, and at 66 yo I still cannot convince myself that I am sufficient.

I know this is not an answer to the OP, but others have provided answers and suggestions that any additional comment is not necessary.
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NHLGAL77 Oct 2019
I also posted below about an abusive mom. She would say that EXACT same sentence to us: "When I'm gone, you won't have anyone but each other".  Yeah, so why are you working overtime to make it your legacy that we all avoid and distrust each other?

I don't know if it's really just that generation - there are plenty of people addicted to opioids or alcohol these days that probably will leave a similar legacy for their kids - but in my own family's case, I know there was some mental illness in my mom (and with abusive people in general). That generation had a real stigma about seeking treatment for depression, anxiety or any other type of mental illness, so they frequently just didn't and it ran rampant, unchecked. Availability of self-help options and receptivity to them is a relatively recent phenomenon that is more readily acceptable now than it was back then.
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When my narcissistic, abusive mother was 82 and appeared to be declining, I moved back to be near her and take care of her (I'd lived 800 miles away for 20 years, which was the only way I could stay sane). My therapist at the time was dumbfounded. "Why would you move back to her when she's made you suffer so much?" he asked. "Because it's the right thing to do," I said. I figured she was on the downward path and that the least I could do as her only living relative and only child was to spend whatever brief time she had left helping her. She is now 92 and as toxic as ever, and again I moved, this time 1,200 miles away. I call her every day and visit her frequently, and our relationship is about the best it's ever been. At least she is no longer keeping track of my comings and goings and demanding that I keep my phone on all night in case she needs me to take her to the ER, among other boundary-disregarding behaviours. I have decided that I cannot allow my life to grind to a halt to serve her. She has paid help whenever she needs it, and though I still feel some guilt, at least I'm sane.

I applaud you for doing what you think is right, but your son's needs come before your mother's, and you must take care of your own mental health and emotional well-being in order to be truly present for your son. It's unfortunate that abusive parents often put us in the position of choosing between them and our own children, but it's all too common. Hugs to you---I wish you well.
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OM stars...we are soul singers... no more abuse...if this gets too much please commit her you do not have to take anymore...miraculously I experienced a supernatural forgiveness for my abusive, narcissistic alcoholic Mom after her ALZ diagnosis & my brothers death. Set your limits/boundaries! Get all the help/legal advice you can find & please try & practice self care daily. I didn't for 5 years & am exhausted...learn from me please...10 minute walk & stretch around the block will do wonders relieving that constant 24/7 stress...Mom passed away June 14th deepest childhood wounds & memories are healing everyday now..😍....yours will too.
Lots of great experiential advice on this are going to find your pathway through this.
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When your mother is next assessed, you need to stand firm on the fact that her being in your house is negatively impacting your disabled son. No amount of paid for caregivers will offset the damage she is doing to your son.

If need be, get your son's doctor to write a note on how detrimental her being in your house is for you.

If she has to go to the hospital for any reason, refuse to bring her home. Often here you will see posts saying it is an unsafe discharge for the parent. In your case it is an unsafe discharge for your child.
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