How to take care of Mom that treats me badly?


I live in Colorado and my mom lives in Louisiana. My Dad passed away in September. I work full time but I fly to Louisiana every month or two for a week. I just returned from a 10 day stay. She is 83 and has COPD. The entire 10 days she treated me awful. She is angry because I won't move in with her. She tells me she wished she never had me. She tells me how awful I am and that I am no better than a stranger. I have her set up with 24/7 caregivers but give them the time off while I am there. She was behind on her utility bills and I tried to help her pay them and she told me do stay out of her business. She said that the only reason that I am there is because I want her money. I love her so much but cannot continue to be treated this way. I have tried to explain that to her and she just yells at me. Everything wrong in her life is my fault in her mind. I miss my Dad terribly...he was such a sweet man. I know that she treated him badly also. I witnessed a lot of it. I just returned to Colorado last night and can't stop crying. I called her and she told me to stop calling her every day that there is no point because we are just strangers. I forgot to mention that this is nothing new - she has always treated me this way - it just gets worse the older that she gets.



Thanks so very much to everyone that has posted. Your support has been a tremendous help to me.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to caringj


How awful to feel judged, condemned, unappreciated, and in essence, "guilted" by your own mother, when in fact you've been a loving, generous, self-sacrificing daughter. In your mother's eyes, you can never, ever do enough, and all this pain, guilt and confusion is compounded by grief with the loss of your father. We share the same story.

I agree with jeannegibb's comments. Detachment is key. Painful, but effective in managing your relationship with your mother. Your mom has a personality disorder for which there is no cure. Placing yourself in range of her hateful barbs is not a requirement for being a loving daughter. Remove yourself from "range" and let the caregivers do what they are paid for. Reduce your number of visits and shorten their duration. A lot. When you do visit, don't dismiss the caretakers; you'll be needing them. Walk away when your mother abuses you. She may (or may not) "see" the consequences of her abuse toward you. Whether she does or not, you must take care of yourself. No one else will. Resist feelings of guilt. As someone in this community so aptly said, "They know how to push your buttons because they put them there." You are not the author of your mom's misery. She is.

Loving your mother does not include taking her abuse.

Therapy is a very good idea. Come here and "talk" when you need to. There are many good "listeners."

Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CantDance

Pray for her if you're religious and leave her be.
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Reply to shad250

Everyone’s right, Caring. You don’t deserve to be treated like this. Whatever you do, DO NOT let yourself be browbeaten and guilted into moving in with her!! You are a good person. You are a valuable person. You have as much right to grieve for Dad as your mom has. Talk to someone. Start journaling your feelings. Take care of yourself. Don’t let her make you feel worthless. This comes from a lady who took her mom out for what was supposed to be a nice lunch and got told my mom wished she’d married someone besides my dad.

Come back often. We care!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Ahmijoy

Oh caringj, what an awful, terrible situation to be in! I am so sorry you are experiencing this.

Is this behavior new? You mention that she treated your dad badly. Has that been her long-time attitude toward you? She lost her husband less than a year ago. She is still in mourning (and so are you). Her chronic COPD is robbing her of independence and causing her fear and pain. If she has always been self-centered and blaming, it stands to reason she would be more so now. Poor woman.

But whatever the reasons behind her behavior, it is not acceptable. You cannot continue to be treated this way. It is highly unlikely that her behavior will change, so perhaps you need to remove yourself as the recipient. Don't completely abandon her ... you would feel awful about that. But detach. Give up frequent contact. Call her weekly instead of daily. If she starts getting snarky, cut the call short. Continue to see that she has the care she needs, but visit less often yourself, and for shorter times.

Actions have consequences. We try to teach our children that. I don't know why we try to exempt our parents. If she treats you badly, you have less contact with her.

This is clearly a very difficult relationship for you. You deserve all the support you can get. I suggest you talk to an objective, trained, third-party. Find a therapist to help you cope with it. You don't need to be "fixed" -- but you do deserve support.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to jeannegibbs

I am amazed you state you love her so much. It must be hard to love someone who treats you so poorly. I would hope you could love yourself a bit more. You do not deserve to be treated this way and she does not deserve you and your care. Can anyone else help her out. This will just eat away at you and you cant afford that in your life both financially and emotionally. I dont have an answer but wanted to validate your sense of worth.
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Reply to Riverdale

If she treats you so badly why are calling her and visiting her? Her caretakers can take care of her.
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Reply to susanfd

Thanks shakingdustoff for the reply. No, she does not have a UTI. She has a nurse that comes by to check on her and she tested her. I appreciate the response - I am at my wits end and with Father's Day today - missing my Dad so very much.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to caringj