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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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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.
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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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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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Hello Mackenzie, I'm sorry for ur family's suffering. Get mom into a facility & you can still be caregiver to her. They still need us very much to visit, bring stuff, check on progress, meds, ect. It will still keep u busy...I promise. It's really best for everyone to have some 'distance', & help caring for her. Her next assessment shud do the trick! Hoping things go smoothly for u.
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Move her into a facility, you can visit her, perhaps an AL will take her in.

My mother is an abusive drunk, I would never attempt to take care of her. She is 94 and lives alone. When something happens my brother and I will place her in a home, until then we just stay out of her way.
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againx100 Oct 2019
Seems like she is way beyond AL at this point, IMHO.

Dolly - while it's a bummer that your mom is an abusive drunk, it is good that you and your brother are on the same page. Amazing that she still lives alone at 94!
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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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Morning .. all I can do for you is pray .. you are faced with a lot , but God never gives you more than you can handle .. I know hearing that may not bring comfort but trust God if your not dead then Gods not done .. I don’t know His plans for you but I do know He loves you and maybe it’s time to forgive mom, and let God handle her .. once again I’m not in your situation but I am a praying warrior and I know what God has done for me , I know what He can do for you .. forgive mom for you and your son , pray as I continue to keep you in pray and help your adults children forgive their grandma .. what I’m telling you may not be easy in your heart and mind but TRUST God to renew and restore your mind and give you a clean heart .. He will come through for you
🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
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I feel your pain. My heart goes out to you. I had the same experience, but I was not adopted. ugh--this hurts. I will tell you what I did--maybe it will help, maybe not. I accepted the fact that she was a lousy parent. (they both were, but we are only talking about Mom here.) Once I did that, step 2 was to understand that she did the best she could. It was terrible, but it was the best she could do. #3--I stopped blaming her. (See Step 2) Step 5. Forgive her. "Blame her for nothing, forgive her for everything."
Now I am free from guilt.
Do I still have CPTSD? Of course, but I am not compounding it with guilt and self-recrimination.
Peace to you and big hugs
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I had never heard of CPTSD until I was diagnosed with it this past summer. I'm in the same boat as you and the OP.

FWIW, I had to do the same as you, or I was going to end up in some psych ward. It took a lot of work and a whole lot of counseling, but at least I feel I can do it (for now) because of the very steps you mentioned. Especially keeping in mind my mother's sh*tty upbringing.

I also keep in mind that this isn't going to last forever. If I can make peace with her and help get her through this last horrible stage of life then I think in the end that will be healing for me too. At least I hope.
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"My youngest lives with me and he's disabled so I care for him as well, she's stressing him out."

and

"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)."

What happens at night? Does she disturb your sleep?

This can't go on for you and your child. If she has to be hospitalized, that is the time that you refuse to take her back home with you. Tell them you are unable to take care of her. Tell them of the past abuse.

I fear that as long as you take her back home, your mother will never move up that waiting list for a facility. And that is what you want -- for her to be out of your home.

"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."

Right now her "will to live" is so that she can continue ordering you around and stressing out your son. Does that make sense? No!
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AT1234 Oct 2019
That was the statement that stopped me in my tracks, “ my son...”. I just faced this, but only another disabled LO. My mother stresses him out putting it mildly. Someone here said tell your son or fam members what happened to you. Please don’t, that creates more trauma now shared with them.
My decision was after offering my mother smiled and declined. It was a wise call. The competition continued but not under my roof. She’s “resides” in a top end facility now and complains daily. And I battle that manipulation and guilt bombing everyday. Did we make right choice, yes I don’t believe I was capable of caring for someone as a PTSD survivor, and my LO did nothing to deserve living with her.
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I can totally relate to your situation.  I won't get into the details of the abuse, but I had a mother who viewed females as competition.  She told me that she didn't want to have children and that I was her punishment from my father to keep her from leaving.  I am sure you can imagine from that statement that I was not nurtured and loved.  After I had a child, a daughter, my mother witnessed how you can have a child and love a child and enjoy a child and want the best for them.  She stepped up to the plate and was a very good grandmother to my daughter.  At that age, my mother did not see my daughter as competition and my daughter was not her punishment.  As an adult, my mom was not in a position to treat me like she did when I was a child.  Fast forward and now my mom has dementia.  In the earlier stages of it, when she knew something was wrong, she actually apologized to me out of the blue...she said I know I was not a good mother to you and I am sorry for that.  I was shocked and let it go.  I was a short moment of clarity for her.  Trust me when I say there were plenty of other nastier conversations like her telling me that I have always looked down my nose at her. She definitely has some insecurities.  Back to your original question of "how do you cope?"   I take care of her for several reasons.... she doesn't have anyone else to do it for starters.  My brother is very self serving and if there is no benefit in it for him, he won't do it.  I feel it is my duty as her child and quite frankly, I know I am a nicer person than she is...when you look at it from that stand point, it makes the tasks a little easier.  Kill her with kindness!!! LOL
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You are a good and compassionate person for taking her in. You do the right thing, even when it causes you discomfort and pain. You definitely have a greater reward waiting for you in heaven.

That being said...You have to first put the oxygen mask on yourself before caring for others. You have to care for yourself first. You need emotional strength and good health all around. So...You can better care for your mom by getting her into a facility.

I see she’ll have an evaluation at the end of the year. Fantastic. You will once again have the chance to do the right thing by getting her the best care, elsewhere.

Praying you can separate your feelings (easier said than done, I know) as you care for her right now.
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My mother was not as abusive as yours, but she worked her way through her children as we took care of her through the years. My eldest sister explained it to me that "she used us up and then moved on to the next one". She played the victim/martyr role well, and while my father was an exceedingly large wisshole and gave her reason, she used her "forgiveness" of him to work on our emotions. She was diabetic, and when she almost died and my siblings went all bat guano crazy on me (because Mom wasn't intent on raising emotionally stable children), she pitted us against each other, telling one sister one thing and sharing a different story with another. That's nine months of hell I never want to go through again. She may not have even realized what she was doing; she just craved being the center of attention. Her victimization illness taught her that no one had cared for her for years, not realizing that her selfishness and manipulation had pushed us all away.

How did I deal with caring for her? Compassion. I had to remember that as she aged, she was losing her world. First, she started losing her sight, which shrank her world to where she could go without a car. Then her hearing started to go. Diabetic neuropathy started to make it difficult for her to walk. She became totally dependent upon my husband and myself for housing, shopping, and company. When she went into the nursing home (because no one wanted to care for her personally), she lost almost all of her belongings. As she aged, her world became smaller and smaller and smaller.

Did it make her grateful for her children? Only if they fawned over her. She became bitter when she recovered and we all had to go back to work - she was especially angry at me, who was her POA and main caregiver. My sisters worked on her and convinced her that I was no longer capable of caring for her, and she transferred her POA to them and they moved her to another home.

The only way I could deal with all of this was to find some kernal of compassion. I am also a member of Al-Anon, since I have various family members and friends who are alcoholics. This program was my lifeline during this time. Al-Anon teaches its members how to deal with difficult situations - and this certainly qualified!

God bless you and I pray you find your answers.
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Thank God for Alanon...applies to ALZ /Dementia perfectly...
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mackenzie,
It is normal to feel guilty. I was in a very similar situation with an abusive mother, and I have a son with a disability. You have a responsibility to your son, not your mother.
Even with her living in an AL or a nursing home you would be involved and would be the responsible contact. I can tell you from experience, you can worry about her "will to live," but it will never be your responsibility to make her happy. Trying to protect her "will to live" could very well destroy your own.
I really suggest you try to get on some waiting lists for placement now. If her name comes up too soon, you can always turn it down and get on the list again.
Please, place her before your own health suffers like mine did.
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I am also a survivor of my childhood and also in the same position as you, my elderly, abusive mother whose health is declining. Adult children of abusive parents spend the rest of their lives in therapy trying to fill in the gaps of what they should have received from a loving, caring parent. And many are not so lucky to have a therapist, and often turn to many types of addictions and bad decisions.
YOUR life and YOUR child's life are IMPORTANT and meaningful. You do not owe your parent anything. Your coping mechanism should be a life for you and your children. I hope you can get your parent into a nursing home and distance yourself from the situation. Reliving the abuse, anger, and a host of many other emotions that come with abuse is not healthy for you or your children and will send you back down into a spiral. I chose to go no contact with my mother because she was so abusive and I was reliving the abuse which was not good for my mental health. You have the right to take care of yourself. You are not obligated to take care of an abusive parent. Many narcissitic, abusive parents end up alone because of their abuse.
God bless and please take care of yourself and your children.
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I’m going thru the same thing. My dad is very mean, very difficult to talk to, extremely stubborn and goes into rages. He even accused me of having sex with my son!!! He raged and became passive aggressive over something that never happened. I have learned that it’s best to just respond lovingly no matter how he treats me. I am not responsible for his actions.... only mine. He will not be around forever. And when he is gone... I don’t want to feel bad about how I was in the situation. I have to let it go in and out in the same moment. Have times where you can get away with people you enjoy.
Take care of you. I have my own room and sometimes I just tell him I’m not feeling well and I’m going to rest and watch some tv. I let him know I’m here if he needs anything. I have my faith and my quiet time that keeps me sane. I also work a lot.... then I come home and do the cooking and clean up. I do his laundry work mine and try to make his life as simple as possible. But I will not let him abuse me. When he starts to.... I let him know I will be going to my room. He’s a loner anyway.... he has no friends. So it’s to his advantage to be nice if he wants company.... otherwise he sits alone. I’m here if he needs anything. This is only temporary and he is in his last days. It’s difficult to live this way because we never know if today will be the day that I find him gone. Then we go to the next phase of our life. We take one day at a time, put one foot in front of the other and do the best we can.... Pray!!! We are here for a reason.... we have to see the bigger picture. I hope some of this was helpful to you
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My wife is 75 and we’re dealing her dementia.. She is not able to stand or walk so I use a lift to get her into her wheelchair. She cannot do anything for herself. We were in a nursing home for 55 days with therapy to help her walk again but she didn’t cooperate with the therapist... so they discharged us because Medicare will not continue paying if there’s no progress. I’m the caregiver now and it’s 24/7 without help.. We have visiting nurses once every two weeks and all they do is check her vitals signs... Your situation is similar in that you’re on call 24/7.... this forum helps a little because it lets you know others are going through the same thing... some days are ok, most days are rough... My morning started with taking a beating while I tried to clean up my wife’s bottom, I just clean as well as I can while getting hit and scratched... after an hour of a physical thrashing, I had her undergarments on. Now she’s throwing a fit because she says she’s burning on her bottom.. you can’t get a break... just do the best you can and work through the fits... it will pass... the good times when everything is calm are your reward...
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Riley2166 Oct 2019
Please, please find a way - all of you who are caring for dementia patients who are abusive - to remove them from your presence before they succeed in destroying you and the life you have left. You are fools if you keep taking care of them. I don't care why they do what they do - if they do it, that is the end - remove them at once. There are ways, financially and otherwise, and you must find a way if you want to retain your sanity and have a life.
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Hi there,
I can definitely relate on some levels although I was not physically abused. My dad was and is mentally ill and now has advanced dementia. There is a neighbor/angel that helps a bit, and me 8 hours away. I am his conservator now. I consider myself his care manager and could never be his caregiver. Even my monthly visits I cannot do more than 8 hours of being with him. Because being around my dad was a huge trigger, I started therapy with an excellent psychologist to deal with my near debilitating PTSD from growing up with a dad who was psychologically and emotionally abusive because of mental illness and his own history of abuse. A process called EMDR has been amazingly helpful and has enabled me to carry out this service of overseeing and arranging everything for my dad.

It seems so far, for me, no one involved, (doctors, social workers etc .), take into account my dads mental illness. There is often an assumption by folks that my dad must have been like their own dad. 😆If only!!

I average 15 hous a week working on phone and paperwork for him- and visits require 3 days round trip with lodging. I am finally going to receive help from the state soon.

I say all this to hopefully encourage you to seek good help for YOU, delegate all you possibly can for mom—with absolutely NO guilt, and know that any role you play is not required of you but purely grace on your part. May God bless you abundantly precious one! 💕 (( hugs))
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My Mom was verbally, physically, and emotionally abusive to me from day one. She has had dementia for as long as I could remember and my Dad spent his last years taking care of her and never complained, so we never knew just how bad she was until he died. When he died, it became our turn to care for her. My younger brother told me he had to buy her a bunch of bananas almost every day because she'd eat them all in a day and then not remember eating them. Finally, she fell and broke her arm. Even her own sister could not and would not take her in and dropped her off the next morning because my mom tore off her cast like a five year old on the 2 hour car ride to her house. My Aunt has always been self centered and narcistic anyway, so we knew she wouldn't help us out I took that opportunity to call a social worker who took her to an assisted living where she lived the rest of her years until she died of pneumonia. I had 2 other brothers who helped what they could, a family of my own including a special needs child, no room in our houses for one more, and we all had full time jobs to boot, so we had to put her in an assisted living to help us care for her. I visited her once a week. She had long term and short term memory loss so it did no good trying to talk to her about the past because she did not remember it anyway. Hell, she forgot how my day was after I got done telling her in a long 30 minute oratorial, so I knew damn well she would not remember how she treated me as a child, in fact, she was actually nice to me with dementia (shocker)! I decided I had to let it go and that I would never have closure because she would deny it anyway (sad). I decided I would treat her the way I wanted to be treated and only visited her when I felt emotionally strong enough. At least my conscience is clear, I was nice to her when she treated me so terrible. I know it hurts no matter what you do in terms of her care, whether you out her in the care of someone else or not; however, it's better off visiting her when your emotionally able than to deal with the stress of caring for her and dealing with her mood swings to boot! Life is way too short and stressful as it is, you might as well make it easier on yourself! God bless.
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Riley2166 Oct 2019
My heart goes out to all the people who were abused by their parents and who decided to be "kind" and "helpful" and so on. What fools they were and are. I learned far too late in life that there are times when you have to gather your guts and walk away and move on and never look back. I have had a very hard life and have been hurt horribly but I always, being the fool I was, tried to make things right through kindness and "love" only to realize that just does not work. I spent years sticking in situations I should have left behind long ago but I didn't and now I regret not having done so as my life would have been much different. When people are abusive, nasty and do harm to you and don't appreciate you, please think and know you don't deserve that and if it can't be fixed, move on and soon your life will be better and happier. Don't let these people tear you to pieces and make you suffer - it is not right. Leave them behind. You do NOT owe them your soul and heart any longer.
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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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Thankyou soooo much for your truthful words...
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McKenzie,

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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Given your situation and the fact that you have a child, how you deal with your mother is to allow professionals to deal with your mother. You are the adult now. And you have a child who depends on you. Children, disabled or not, need to be protected by their parents i.e. you. Your duty is to your child, not to your mother. That would be true even if your mother had been the perfect parent.

You must put your child first. If that means bringing your mother to the hospital's ER because she might have a UTI and telling the discharge planner that she cannot be discharged to your home, then so be it. Hospitals have access to nursing home facilities. Let the professionals help you help yourself.
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I've had to go 'grey rock' with my mother.

Dealing with cancer (mine) and her complete lack of concern or interest in how I am doing was the final straw. I would like to say she has dementia, but until I see a dx of such, I am going to believe she is simply choosing to be what/who she is.

It has been beyond heartbreaking to watch my sibs all drift apart--YB who houses mother is very controlling about who gets in to see mother and what they are allowed to do for her. I am at the point where if I am there, he might come in and tell me he's going to call the police.

For what? Cleaning her bathroom? Their respective crazies feed each other.

I'd hoped to have worked out the problems between us before she dies or slides into dementia, but that isn't going to happen.

It's really so sad. And I am watching the exact same thing with my MIL and my DH. She's going downhill really, really fast and he cannot bear to even be in her home for 12/ hr--he comes home angry and annoyed and I get the brunt. Last thing I need--anger I don't 'deserve'.

I did get professional help with my issues with mother. It has helped tremendously, I no longer feel compelled to go to her home and help her. It is what it is. My other 3 sibs ignore her and seem none the worse for the wear. I have had to do it too.
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marymary2 Oct 2019
I went grey rock after spending two years care taking and downsizing my mother's 45 years of hoarding with no help from siblings. Also, I was the one there for her all my life, with her abuse resulting in me not being able to make a family of my own. Now I'm old, alone and not so healthy. My reward, when I went grey rock, she cut me out of her life (and will, I fear - and I could use the money given I didn't work for the years I was caring for her 24/7, while my wealthy siblings who did nothing are her darlings). So be prepared if you do that for possible loss.
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once a parent becomes bed ridden they should go to a care facility who can over see there health matters.
Its in her best interest, and you don’t owe a mean person anything if they were cruel in life to you. You can visit to make sure she’s being taken care of because your a kind an caring person. If you feel as If it’s your duty I would suggest reading “planet Alzheimer” it’s packed with information on how to detach from the madness. Just my opinion and I wish you the best outcome.
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I was in a similar boat until recently. My mom was condescending, controlling, belittling, insulting, critical, judgmental, manipulative etc to me most of my life. Never a kind word. Was far tougher on me than my siblings. Loved to argue. You learned to never tell her anything because she'd just use it against you. Thought she was an expert on everything even though all she'd ever accomplished in life was having 3 kids. Oh and she loved to pit us against each other too. She was mostly verbally and emotionally abusive but once in a while physically too. And when she got dementia she really didn't change much. She became slightly more docile and compliant, but I chalked that up mostly to the fact that the power dynamic had changed - she needed me to get/do things for her so she 'had to' be nicer to me or it would not have taken much to make me walk away and let my siblings figure out what to do with her.

I didn't really want to or enjoy taking care of her seeing as how we'd never been close, she was never nurturing or loving, or supportive or accepting of me. I often got the feeling that her love was quite conditional - if I did, thought and believed exactly as she wanted me to, then I'd have it; otherwise I just wasn't good enough. So it was tough to find myself in the position of best being able to care for her and I really resented it. But I managed to provide in-home hospice care for her for almost 6 full months (while juggling a job, a boyfriend, outside interests and my own kids/grandkids in other cities). I had to put some things on hold but I told myself I really did it for my siblings - one in particular who had a very demanding job and was simply unable to provide the kind of care she needed. (She was so difficult that based on past experience we knew she'd get bounced in and out of nursing homes so that wasn't an option).

It was also the 'right' thing to do, given that in our society people don't understand when you are not one of those people who got the benefit of having a loving, nurturing mother, so you look like a horrible person for not taking care of them. She passed away not quite a month ago.

So yes, I guess I can sleep better at night, but it wasn't easy getting here. She didn't deserve the care she got, that's for sure and I'm not even sure she appreciated my sacrifices and inconvenience in the end.

(I could really relate to the PTSD theory of dealing with a mother like this...I too underwent several years of therapy to undo some of the damage this woman did to my self-esteem and the resulting life choices it led me to make...I'm a much stronger woman now and have my life together with great people in it, but damn, it was a long and unnecessary road to have to take to get here).
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Thank you for articulating my relationship with Mom...so hard so sad.... I don't want to spend the rest of my life recovering from 67 years of this. I feel like I'm getting healed and I deserve to get on with my life and have some semblance of happiness and peace finally without her drama demands & criticisms....
Therapy here I go! I have hope I will meet myself soon...Mom's alcoholism & dementia took so much focus I really don't know who I am right now. But everyday I get a peek & some hope!
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When my mom was living with me, my dad was dying in Florida. I hadn't had much of a relationship with my dad because my parents divorced when I was 7 and my mother refused to let me see him. I saw him on my own as an adult, infrequently. I decided to fly down to see my dad before he passed. I felt it was important to get closure for both of us. I stayed with my aunt (his sister) and my stepmother. We got along very well. At night, we sat and talked and I found out a lot of things about my mother that I never knew - one being that she cheated on my dad. I had always heard a skewed version of their break up from her as a child. When I returned to NY, I could barely look at my mother. I was so angry and downhearted thinking of all the pain she caused everyone and the lives she'd ruined, caring only for her own happiness. I had to go on taking care of her, but I certainly wasn't doing it gladly. When her doctor recommended she be moved to memory care, I agreed immediately. I don't think she realizes how upset I was with her 3 years ago when Dad passed - I hope not. It doesn't do any good to rehash everything now. But I do understand that you resent caring for your mom after the way she treated you. I, too, have a son with a disability and, oddly enough, he and my mom get along beautifully, but when she lived with us, it seemed like everyone fought for my attention and I don't feel my kids should have to do that - they come first in my life. Things are better now that she is in memory care. I urge you to find a way to get your mother out of the house.
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Do you think it’s possible that you heard a skewed version from your Dad as well as from your mother? Even about why he didn’t contact you? Old break-ups often have troubles on both sides. If your mother abused you as a child, that’s different. But if your anger is just because of your father’s stories about her, perhaps it would be better to try to let it go. Did she do her best as a single mother to you?
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This has to be hard for you, but kudos for trying.

Make a list of things you need caretaker to handle for her. Be very clear with them that even if she says not to do it, do it. If they have l left chores for you, do not do them and tell her (if she understands) that she should not have told them not to take care of the task - it will have to wait until tomorrow.

It must be common that some of the mean ones get nice with the dementia and those who were nice get a mean streak - have seen it happen. Have also seen the mean ones get even meaner. Take advantage of the good days so you will have some better memories.
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Given that she has declined, you might also talk with her doctor about facility care. If she happens to need hospitalization, that would be an excellent time to talk about it because much easier to go from hosp to facility.
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Whoops, wrong post.
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marymary2 Oct 2019
I agree. And by destroy you that includes your physical health too.
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If this woman abused you, YOU OWE HER NOTHING. She made her bed. Let her lie in it. Go on with your life and don't look back. Think of yourself and your future. You have no obligation to this woman - never, ever. Move on - now. I will pray you have the strength before she destroys you and you don't deserve that. Let someone else tend to her - it is NOT your job.
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