How can I handle my mother's constant nagging for my attention because she is 'lonely'?
How can I handle my mother's constant nagging for my attention because she is 'lonely'? I myself am a mother, grandmother, work at home with medical transcription and volunteer at my grandson's school. My life is as I wish it. I had not planned on having to 'be there' for an emotionally needy elderly mother whose constant complaints of 'being lonely and depressed' are starting to make me depressed. My mother was not there for my siblings and myself growing up after I turned age 9, because she had a 'break' with sanity. She packed up the kids (five of us) and dropped us off at the juvenile shelter because she said "we were driving her crazy". This happened after she divorced our father. I and my siblings spent years in foster care and often, I felt we were scattered to the winds. My mother did not really come back into my life until I was married with a child. Then, I suppose, I would have no real need of her. Over the years, I lost three of my siblings to Huntington's Chorea and my surviving older sister, will have nothing to do with our mother for what she did to us as a family. I have tried to forgive and forget and have some sort of relationship with my mother, but it has always felt one-sided, on my part. My mother is a very cold, selfish person whose outlook on life seems to be, "what about me?". She has never tried to cultivate a relationship with my daughter, now grown, and my grandson. She seems oblivious to the fact that relationships take work. You have to earn someone's love and care. She seems to think because I am the surviving child who WILL talk to her, that I am her responsibility. She even moved closer to my home (less than one mile away) into a retirement apartment facility, in an effort to be close to me, and for, as she puts it, "in case she needs me". When I do set aside a day to spend with her, she sits there like a bump on a log and wants to be catered to, as if she is a desired guest. Her selfishness and cold nature have made all others in the family ignore her, and it has gotten worse over the years, where no one wants to be with her, as there are no redeeming qualities in her, as a human being. My sister and daughter are amazed that I would want anything to do with her. Sadly, I think I have tried to make this mother-daughter relationship work between my mother and my self, but again, it all feels so one-sided. I have begun to avoid her more and more in an attempt to keep my life as normal as it is. I am so tired of entreating HER to go out and make friends. One of our last conversations on the subject were my asking how it was going regarding attempting to make friends in her apartment complex. She snapped at me, and I mean snapped, when she said,...." I HAVE tried!!!!! I don't like any of them, and none of them like me!!!!!" This apartment complex has over 300 units. All the residents are in her age range. I.e., late 70s to early 90s. I am left with the feeling that she really doesn't want a friend, she wants me, and my time. My resentment over the past with what she did to our family, and the present, with how or why she feels I should be obligated to 'be there' for her, when she was not there for any of us, is getting worse. How can I keep my positive happy life from being destroyed by her constant nagging for my time and attention, when again, as I said, is not enriching at all, as she sits there like a bump on a log and barely ever says more than a paragraph worth of anything. Most of the words out of her mouth are in part, her mantra, which seems to be "I'm lonely, I'm depressed, DO for me!!!!!!"