If I don't cater to my mother's every demand, "then we are going to be enemies" she says. What can I do?

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My whole life it has been about owing her for having me and such guilt trips. Only through the posts I have read on here, have I been able to put a label on the problem as narcissistic. This is only getting worse with her dementia. I am an only child with a half-brother, who refuses to have anything to do with her anymore. And a half-sister, whom after 20 years of not speaking to us, has decided to talk to me again. After we started talking did my sis decided that she has left the burden on my shoulders much too long. I didn't blame her for living her life and getting away when she could, I would have been better off if I had taken her advice and done the same. However, I was 20 yrs younger than her & didn't believe the things she told me about my mom could be true. (That she was crazy and only cared about herself). Now I am not sure about my sis's motives and she lives 2000 miles away, but she talks to mom which does help. Last time mom didn't get her way when I took her shopping for 3 hrs in walmart and she wanted to go 2 more places, and I said I had to get home, she started cursing me. I told her that she always does this to me, nice while she is getting her way and then she turns on me. She then informed me that I hadn't seen anything yet!! All the way home she kept yelling at me and telling me to let her out of the van. She was cursing me and even started kicking me while I was driving her home. (This is not the first time she had been physical w me). However, much to my surprise she called my over-the-road truck driving husband, and said I had hit her and kicked her while driving her home from town! Also, that I had tried to force her out of the van and I was parked right on the edge of a cliff! Thank God my husband realizes how my mother tries to control me and he informed me he knew I wouldn't do those things. Unfortunately, I refused to be alone w her and she managed to take the local transit to her doctor's office. The doctor, of course is a mandatory reporter, and my loving mother told him the same horrible story that she told my husband! And of course, I was investigated and it was unfounded, but the damage she has done to me and my name never ends! I forgot to mention that she turned me in for financial abuse at the same time. Mom's doctor who will not admit on paper that there is anything wrong with her. Instead said, maybe the person investigating this could get the ball rolling towards getting some help for her. Why can't he...he is her physician?! And I have had conversations with him and wrote a letter to him explaining her behaviors, my concerns and asked for some guidance or help! All he said is that she should definitely not handle her own finances and that he knew I didn't do those things to my mom. He sees how I am with her when I bring her to doctor appts, but he had to report it. So, I once again gave her checkbook and bills back to her since she insisted that I was stealing from her and that she could take care of her finances. I told her if she gets everything messed up and is about to get electricity shut off for non-payment, etc. like she has done before, not to ask me to help. She informed me that would not be a problem, at least she would have money now. Nine months later she was begging me to take over her finances once again. She told me that she shouldn't be taking care of anything as messed up as her mind was and that I knew that. She couldn't understand why I wouldn't pay her bills for her, I knew her health wasn't good and she couldn't do it! So, being the good daughter I am, I reluctantly took over again with stipulations this time...no more accusing me of stealing, no more insisting I will not let her have any of her money and the first time she did this, I would be done! She agreed.....and now, she tells my husband that she doesn't have the 500.00 left over every month like she did when she pd her bills and doesn't know where her money is going. My husband tells her that I am only paying her bills with her money and that the money is in her account. She recently told him that I am the only one using that account and anything she needs, she pays for with cash. I can't help but feel she is setting me up for something! We can not get along and she called me a M*#$@r F*%#&r the other day when I confronted her about be untruthful. I will not put up w that and haven't been having anything to do with her. So, now she informed my husband that if I can't talk to her, then we will be enemies! Personally that is fine, I finally realize after years of physical/mental abuse, that she has done more damage by telling anybody that will listen, how I steal her money, abuse her, took her drivers license away so she can't see anyone or go anywhere, than my enemies have ever done! What can I do with my 85 yr old mother that blames every problem on me & makes me feel as if she hates me? Thanks for your time & sorry I rambled on.

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First, LPconfused, hugs to you, and a pat on the back, and a beverage of your choice!


I don't have a narcissistic parent. Many people on this forum do, and I'm sure some will share their insights and advice with you. And you will get good suggestions for reading material. I'm just going to offer more general observations.



1, Your mother's mental illness is Not Your Fault. Your mother's unloving behavior is Not Your Fault. Your mother's estrangement from her other children is Not Your Fault. This should be self-evident, but since you grew up on a constant guilt trip it might be worth saying out loud. This situation is Not Your Fault.


2. " she informed my husband that if I can't talk to her, then we will be enemies!" And what are you now? Best buddies? She is your enemy now. How would it be different if she puts that label on it?


3. You deserve all the help and support you can gather to deal with this. I hope you find support on this forum. Please also consider some mental health counseling for yourself. You deserve help!!


4. You need to set boundaries, and in this situation I think they are going to have to be pretty drastic. Then you need to ENFORCE those boundaries. If you say you will not tolerate her swearing at you, then hang up when it starts. If you say you are not going to handle her finances, don't take the checkbook back. I'm sure this will be extremely challenging to do. It is an area where an objective outsider trained in counselling can be very supportive.


5. Be very careful not to open yourself to charges of abandonment, by going through the right channels. If you have POA or medical POA, formally resign those positions. Put it in writing to her doctor that you will no longer be doing X, Y, and Z for her. What agency investigated her abuse claims? It might be good to inform them of the change in your role. You don't owe anybody an explanation and you certainly don't need to justify yourself. Don't ask permission. Just inform those who need to know that you are no longer doing X for your mother.


6. It sounds like your mother has had a mental illness all her adulthood. I doubt she ever asked for it or would choose it now if she had options. I understand that narcissism is extremely hard to treat, because first the person has to recognize there is something wrong and want to change it. I feel sorry for your mother and other people like her. Mental illness is very sad indeed. But being sympathetic is not the same as allowing her to ruin other people's lives.


7. I doubt that your mother hates you. I also doubt that she loves you. This is not about you, and it never has been. This is exclusively about Mother and how everything in the world relates to her. Remind yourself over and over again, this is Not Your Fault.


Again, hugs to you. I know you'll get good insights from others here who have dealt with similar situations.
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LP, he does sound like a lovely man but is your husband the best communicator ever?

Given what you've told us today and earlier, I'm at a loss to understand how the ER concluded there was "nothing wrong."

Get on the phone to your mother's doctor, tell him/her exactly what you've told us, and ask for advice on how you get your mother's mental state evaluated. Your mother is at risk of harming herself, for example by crying wolf once too often, and she is a menace to you, your family and the wider community. The lady needs psychiatric help, NOW.
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I need to post again, LPconfused, because I can relate to you.

I'm sorry you have been your mother's mental slave. She shamed you into caring for her because she birthed you. Big damn deal! She had sex with your father and got pregnant. A baby is born 9 months later. Your parents knew that having sex produces babies, their responsibility.

My mother was separated but still legally married to her first husband when she met my dad at a "cocktail party". They did the wild thing, she got pregnant (me) and she married my dad while she was still married to husband #1! Yes, a bigamist. Does that mean I owe her my entire life 'cause she screwed up? Heck no. You don't either.

My mother is narcissistic also. Always the best for her-always. She was determinad to be important and recognized, having been a poor kid from North Dakota.

Of course my mom didn't have any more children-(I'm an only child too)- because narcissistic women want all the attention for themselves. She relished all the attention, boozed it up a lot, called herself "baby" and got the looks from anyone wearing pants.

You said the narcissism has gotten worse....yes it will...*until* she reaches the later stages of the disease. Then, like MidKid's mom, mother "lost" the narcissistic traits and is really kind of nice (stage 6 Alzheimer's). Where I used to get putdowns, I now get compliments. I kinda' don't know how to take them. They're nice to hear but it's a first for "her highness".

We have learned, by our mothers lessons, that we are worthless and only there to serve their needs.

Can you see how much of a doormat you are to her? She can cuss at you, kick you, lie about you and threaten you and you have continued taking it. She has reduced your self-esteem to nothing.
We all need therapy-with a therapist especially trained in manipulation. It is the best money you will ever spend. You must get on track-believing that you are a worthy person. You must see her behavior for what it is....abuse! What kind of mother does these kinds of things? A mentally ill one with no conscience.

Because we've been "indoctrinated" at birth, we need to remove ourselves from their presence while we start on the road to recovery.

My mother also turned me into Adult Protective Services through her doctor and friends. I had no idea. APS investigated her claims that I threw her on the floor, stole her money and medicines, tried to initiate incest and lied to her!! They realized she was demented but NEVER contacted me. I found out through the senior apt. manager. They were too busy to call me, wow.

You mentioned you were the "good" daughter. Yeah, we have to live up to their expectations but what we don't realize is that we'll NEVER be good enough.

You need to write a list of all the great things about you and you need to read it out loud every day. You need to believe it.

I don't understand her doctors behavior but go to another doctor. She needs to be evaluated by a geriatric neuropsychologist. They will find she has mental illness and dementia. That should be enough, coupled with the threats and physical violence against you to get her committed in a locked Memory Care or psychiatric facility receiving the proper medication to calm her anger. If you need to, file charges against her. Do not worry about what she thinks.

I'm kind of wondering why your husband hasn't been more aggressive in having her stay away from you? Could be he's on the road and unable to see it all. Maybe you intervened on her behalf because of guilt.

If you continue to be involved with her, you will stay in her sickness as a codependent and it could affect your marriage.

These people are toxic. I visit my mother once a week in a Memory Care facility. She's a lot different now. She doesn't know who I am or who she is or where she is. No more narcissism. Now, just a sad 95 year old who has no mind anymore. I feel sorry that she never got to experience real love and the rest of human emotions (compassion, respect, etc).

Get your life back and start enjoying it. Stay away from your mother.
Make sure someone has her get the help she needs.
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LP. I believe your mother's attorney is charging your mother's account for every time he answers your calls or sees you. You won't see that bill until he submits it to the estate. Here, I've heard of a 5% per year fee for the attorney in a POA arrangement. He surely knows her financials down to the penny and may have a copy of her statements sent to him as her POA to "keep an eye on it."

Your mother obviously does not trust you to be a decent POA. You are on there in name only with the atty keeping tabs on your actions in order to sue you for breach of fiduciary duty if you do anything without consulting him. Nope. Resign.
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Hopefully, the mental health facility will find that your mthr (notice my spelling) is incompetent and in need of a guardian. In your situation, I would not accept guardianship but allow the state to assign a professional guardian who is used to the process. The guardian will make sure that she is placed in an appropriate facility and will take care of whatever that costs using her money and then government programs. The guardian will also make financial reports to the court detailing where every penny goes, so you don't need to worry about misspending.

By allowing the state to take over her care, 100%, you are then able to visit without the ability to do anything to help her in any way, ie, you can't be bullied into taking her home or into moving her to another facility. You can be her daughter only. You can make the decision to stand up and leave when she's ugly. You can make the decision not to visit if you like. You will not have an obligation.

Likewise, I suggest resigning any POAs she's given you and file those resignations with the courthouse so you can't be sued for breach of duty or something. If she rents the land or trailer from you, evict her. Separate your lives from her, and have nothing to do with the evil.

I had to go no contact with my own mthr 8 years before she failed physically and we put her in a home. My husband was also the one she loved most - she thought she had him fooled that she was the loving mother with a crazy daughter he was married to, and she did try to break us up over and over. I spell that mthr because it is missing vowels. Mthr was also missing something very important inside - the ability to care about anyone other than herself.
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Your mom may have dementia but it sounds like she's had issues her whole life. Your sister was probably right. You said, "you didn't believe the things she told me about my mom could be true. (That she was crazy and only cared about herself)". Now you know she was right and you should have moved on with your life years ago. Hopefully your sister is getting involved to give you support. Being 200 miles away means she won't have to deal with your mom but she can help you make decisions moving forward. What does she think you should do? Have you read about fear, obligation and guilt? Google FEAR OBLIGATION GUILT. It will explain what has happened to you over the years and steps you can take to get out of this horrible cycle. Good luck!
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L P, what Jeanne said. Caregiving someone with mental illness is not for amateurs. Leave this to professionals. Resign POA if you have it in the proper way and step away from attempting to care for her.

Your name has been cleared by APS; you have nothing to fear from them. Reporting that she is a vulnerable adult to them is probably a good idea.
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I'd say it's time to get a diagnosis (dementia) and then place her in a facility. She's only going to get worse.
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She lives in her house and you & hubby live in your own house? Time for you to retire. You are reacting to her ridiculous stunts and she’s having a good time! Find someone else to be her caregiver. You’re burned out and acting as crazy as your mom IS.

Enough! And don’t give in. You quit.
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LP - Your mother needs to be in an institution. Period.
And you - need a therapist's couch to learn to let go of all the garbage from your mother.

Do what your half brother and sister do. Stay away from this toxic woman.

You said your guilt is that she gave you life and you have to help her. Not in your case. Your mother gave life and she's been feeding off that life ever since. Only monsters do that.
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