I'm so angry at my 85 year old mother and brother that I could spit nails! I'm dreading the upcoming holiday and don't know what to do.

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Long story short, my 85 year old mother went to live with my brother in California 6 months ago, after she refused to go into a VERY NICE assisted living apartment 10 minutes from my house in IL (they were going to give her a month FREE to try it and she flatly refused). She had been in and out of the hospital and rehab 6 times in 6 months, lost her driver's license, and everyone agreed she could no longer take care of herself in her 3-story home, even with caregivers coming 3x a day, 7 days a week. My husband and I (mostly) spent numerous weekends visiting AL facilities, filling out paperwork, running back and forth to the hospital and rehab, cleaning her house, buying groceries, then having to get rid of everything because it spoiled, dealing with the daily phone calls from caregivers, neighbors, friends, etc., etc. Moving her in with us was not an option for many reasons, and we live an hour away from her. The thing is, my brother and mother came up with this "plan" of her going to live with him without even talking to me...I found out from the hospital social worker. I have been the sole caregiver for my mom since dad passed in 2013, have handled all her finances, taxes, fixing up the house, etc., which I am STILL stuck doing because she refuses to sell her house here! Anyway, while I was angry with the way everything came about, the past 6 months have been such a relief for me....I didn't realize how much stress I was under until it was gone. I miss mom a lot, but not the stress of caring for her, so my husband and I decided to take a trip to California for Christmas. Our plan was to stay with mom and brother for Christmas Eve and Day, then we rented a two-bedroom condo in Palm Springs for 4 days, during which mom agreed to go with us, and brother and son (did I mention brother's wife filed for divorce 1 month after mom got to CA?) would join us for a couple of days if possible. Yesterday my brother calls and says that they are all coming, AND he wants to bring "a friend" for my nephew, and his friend's mother! This is a two-bedroom condo! But, I believe this is actually his new girlfriend (divorce isn't final yet!) and her son. And mom is saying she hasn't been feeling good lately, so she might not go! This is not at all why my husband and I are spending thousands of dollars to go to California! I want to see my mom and spend time with her, not with my brother's girlfriend and her kid! But again, I have been blindsided....just like the whole move to California. No discussion with me, just a decision by brother. And mom COULD step up and say NO, but she always leaves me to be the bad guy. Then brother and I get into a fight, she gets upset, and I get blamed. I know mom is mad at me that she is not happy in California....she doesn't call me, or pick up the phone when I call her. I've sent her some things and all she does is call to tell me she received them....no thank you, no wanting to talk with me. I had no input into the decision, and I knew it would not be a good situation. Mom was always very social, going to senior luncheons, being in the local women's club and women of the moose, etc., Now she sits at home waiting for my brother to come home from work every day. She has no friends or relatives to visit with, but this was all her and my brother's choice. Yet I am the one she seems to blame and now when I am trying to be nice and come to visit with her, they are ruining that trip and plan, too. I've already decided I won't do this next year, which means this is quite possibly the last time I will ever see my mother. It all makes me very sad and angry at the same time. I have to start packing and have a knot in my stomach. What can I do to try to get through all this?

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I simply wouldn't go. You are dreading it. Why force yourself to go through with it? Why try to get through it?

Plan to see your mother at a less emotional time of the year. Stay in a motel. Take her out for the day (if she wants to go) and bring her back to her home for the night.

What was it Ann Landers used to say? Nobody can use you as a doormat if you refuse to lie down.
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Yeah, I agree with others - I would just tell him no, repeatedly if needed. I know it's hard to do, and nobody wants family fights during the holidays. But if he's still that selfish or self-absorbed, it's because he hasn't been told "no" enough in his life. I know it's no fun to be the "bad guy." That's what enforcing one's boundaries feels like, though. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
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Thanks everyone for your input. After a second day of upset stomach and sleepless nights, I texted my brother this morning and told him the friend and friend's mom could not stay in the condo with us. I used the property occupancy restriction as the reason, but regardless, I just don't want it. I'm still waiting on the fallout, but I figure worst case is my husband and I have a nice trip to CA on our own! I'm hoping mom will still go with us, even if brother and nephew stay back, but if she doesn't, I'm done fighting with her, too. I am making an effort to see my family.....more than my brother ever did....and if it doesn't work out, I won't take the blame. I had a plan in place....they wanted to change it, without even discussing it with me. It's my (and my husband's) vacation, not theirs, so we are making the plans, not them. They can choose to go along with what we decide, or not. Unfortunately, things like this make me miss mom less and less, because I see the "real" person she is. As long as she is getting her way, she is a sweet little old lady that everyone loves and won't stand up to anyone if it might "ripple" the water, no matter how wrong that person is! If it might upset HER apple cart, then no go. To those who said having mom go live with brother in CA is a dream come true, you are absolutely right! And since I had no input into the situation, I live guilt-free about how she is doing. I absolutely have been enjoying my life since she left, and won't even entertain the idea of her coming back here without going in AL. Period. I still hate that she won't sell the house, esp. every time I have to pay a bill for it, but again, I have resigned to the fact that it is her decision and she will have face whatever comes of that, not me (even though I will likely be the one who has to clean up the mess.) But until that happens, I don't put a lot of effort into worrying about "her stuff" anymore. I hope others can find peace like this eventually.
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No No and NO!! Tell brother this is a non starter! the original plan or no plan at all! If mom is not coming,, you and hubs just enjoy that 2 bedroom condo ALONE! I agree they can get a hotel!
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The bills for the house are being paid out of mom's funds, but it is still a waste and eating into her money that may need to be used for her care going forward. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it I guess. On a positive note, my brother accepted my terms regarding the condo and instead booked 3 nights at a nearby campground for him, my nephew and their "friends" to stay in his RV. Why he didn't do this in the first place I'll never understand, but this is actually progress with him as he is usually pretty confrontational. LiviningSouth, he WILL probably bring his dog, but now he can have it with them at the campground! So maybe this Christmas will be somewhat pleasant after all. Happy Holidays to all!
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I guess you told brother that there is not enough room for these people. Just Mom and him. You don't feel comfortable spending the short time ur visiting with strangers. He can get a motel.
Mom made her decision. I would also tell her u will no longer take care of her house. She needs to sell it for her future care. If she says she wants to come back, tell her only if she goes into an AL. Brother wanted her so gets the responsibility that goes with it. If u go, don't be surprised if brother expects u to pay for everything. If Mom doesn't want to go I would cancel based on that.
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I wouldn't cave to their demands. That's just crazy!

And, BTW, ANY condo or hotel room has a "maximum occupancy" rule and you could get kicked out for having so many people in your room. If you can't man up to talk to brother and say "no, nope you're not coming", then tell them the condo has the max occupancy rule and you aren't going to break it.

It's so sad, the manipulation that people use to get what they want.

Personally, I would not go if the ONLY option is to have all these people (most of whom you don't even KNOW!) showing up, uninvited and probably mooching all the way.

Prepare for anger from brother. But please be tough.
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Amen with pamz...put your foot down & speak your mind! Drive over to see your mom if you can but that’s it.
Love the Ann Landers quote, which is so true. You are in control here. You set your own rules.
If they get angry, enjoy Palm Springs with the hubs.
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For many here, their mother going to live with a golden boy brother would be a wish come true! It's sad that your mother has so limited her life by going to live with golden boy brother. She must have been sick of the snow in IL?

But here's something to use -- isn't there an occupancy limit for the 2-bedrm condo? 7 people in a 2-bedrm condo? Often it's also limited to family groups (at least the rentals around here often are). GF plus her son aren't members of the family, so they can't stay.
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Hulacat13, Bravo! Sounds like you are making some good decisions! But regarding 'I still hate that she won't sell the house, esp. every time I have to pay a bill for it', are you spending your own money on this bill? That seems like such a waste of money, probably eating into your savings that you are keeping to be able to provide for yourself someday so you will not be a burden to anyone. I wonder how much money is wasted on unoccupied homes where the (irrational) homeowner simply cannot part with them. How impractical. Enjoy your holiday. It's gonna be awesome.
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