Hello All,

This is my first post. I've been reading and following this site for a few months now. Since I'm at my wits end, I thought maybe I'd go the the 'experts' (all of you) for advice.

My Mother moved in with me almost 2 years ago. At that time, she was suffering from extreme arthritis in her hip, and mobility was almost impossible. We saw a couple of Doctors who both said no one would do a hip replacement given her age (79) plus she's a smoker. On top of that she quit cold turkey her anti depressants which put her in a full panic attack/depression mode for 3 weeks. So, I moved her in thinking that she would be with me for a short period of time before she HAD to go to AL because she would be immobile with the arthritis. (I would not have been able to care for her around the clock). We finally found a surgeon who would do a hip replacement, and it was a miracle for her. She started back on her anti depressants and her panic subsided, but I'm pretty sure that there is no drug to cure her depression since it is self imposed.

Fast forward one year after surgery, she still lives with me, and I am going mad.

She is controlling, manipulative, dependent, guilt tripper, boundary- less, toxic. A complete Narcissist.

I've watched her mentally abuse our family ever since I can remember and I'm having a hard time even looking at her, much less talk to her.

I am her butler, house keeper, errand guy, health care organizer, taxi service, social organizer, finance keeper, check writer...really, you name it, I'm it. She is not handicap, and her mind for the most part is till there. I can see she's slipping, but she is far from being unable to be somewhat independent and responsible, participatory. She just chooses to let someone else do everything for her. She expects it and always has.

I have stopped doing everything for her, but that comes with the co-dependent guilt trip. I'm sure many of you can relate to this.

This past week I lost it...After I finished my (and hers) Christmas shopping, wrapping, cooking and cleaning she asked me to make dinner. Now this may not seem like much, however, I work full time, (2 hour total commute),

take care of my home, yard, take care of 99% of her needs, (no help from sibs) try to have a social life, spend time with my kids blah blah blah. So for someone who sat home all day watching CNN, and then had the nerve to ask me to cook dinner - did she really expect me NOT to blow a gasket?

I did, and I said almost everything how I feel. Now I feel guilty, bad about myself. And then I shift gears to not caring. Not only is she driving me mad, I'm doing it to myself.

It's crazy how Mom will appear to be "helpless' until a fight ensues, and then believe me - she is capable. I think she quite enjoys a good fight.

I'm on the verge of telling her to find her own place and someone else to wait on her, that I'm resigning my post.

Neither my brother or sister have the financial means or room to take her in, and if they did, they wouldn't since they know the madness. They've told me such.... they hardly even visit.

Here are my options - 1 - continue living like this 2 - make her move to my basement - she won't want to do this 3 - find a new home. How do I do this without feeling like a terrible person, without guilt?

Option 2 is most likely at this point, she is not eligible for Medicare, and really where would she go? I care enough to make sure that she is taken care of, but I just can't be and do everything for her anymore. I need my space, independence, privacy. She is not at the point where she can't do for herself, but I know her, and she will start putting on the act. ARGGGHH!

How does one TELL their Mother how things are going to be without getting sucked in?

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If you were realistic in thinking that your mother could make dinner, then clearly she is capable of many other things as well. If she won't do them, you don't need to. Make a list of what you expect her to do (just like parents do for children and teenagers). Put it in a calendar on the fridge, with ticks to say if it was done each day. Say that is what it takes for her to stay with you. If she doesn't front up to the jobs, she goes! You don't have to feel guilty - guilty of what??
Helpful Answer (1)

I ran across this today, and thought I'd share:

A Narcissist's Prayer

That didn't happen.
And if it did, it wasn't that bad.
And if it was, that's not a big deal.
And if it is, that's not my fault.
And if it was, I didn't mean it.
And if I did
You deserved it.

There's no winning with a Narcissist. Do what YOU have to do to get your mother to live elsewhere. Even if you feel guilty, it's better than the alternative.

Helpful Answer (3)
I've copied your prayer - it's great!
"Her dependence, never ending demands, constant need for company is going to be the end of me."

No, it isn't, because you are seeing the situation for what it is, gathering information, and preparing to take the steps necessary to get your life back! You can do it!
Helpful Answer (2)

Thanks to all of you for providing your insight.

To answer your questions: Mom is capable of doing most everyday things herself, i.e. make herself something to eat, , do her own laundry, clean up her bathroom. She just doesn't. She won't even do her own hair. She bugs my sister to make the 30 minute drive to do it for her.
She has a tendon in her foot that is basically destroyed caused by an antibiotic that was prescribed years ago. She can walk, not for long periods, but she can enough to do the little bit that she can and should still do. I feel like she's given up, and will whine or avoid her responsibilities because she knows someone else will do it for her. (We have been an enabling family) As much as I'd like to blame this on her age, I can honestly say she's been like this for as long as I can remember, so I have a hard time figuring out if she really is having a hard time.

She doesn't drive because she can't see well, and when she could drive she didn't very often.
Mom has about 50k in the bank,. and that's all she has, How long will that last, and then what? She will fight AL. and she wont be eligible for medicare until that is down to 2grand.

As for AL, I think of course she would be happier being with people her own age, however she is the most unsociable person I've ever met. I did mention a senior coffee group that they have going in my neighborhood. She said no way, she has no desire to hang out with old people. (My response was neither do I).
Me and my sister - if she makes the 2 hours once a week to visit - is all my Mom
will socialize with. She doesn't call her other family members, make plans, nothing. She has been this way for the last 40 years no exaggeration.

I'm just cooked. Plain fed up. It hurts your own soul to have to emotionally remove yourself from someone who should love and appreciate you.
Her dependence, never ending demands, constant need for company is going to be the end of me. I want my life back!
Helpful Answer (1)
put her in an AL now as self-pay and start the Medicaid application. That way Medicaid will kick in when she spends down the $50k to $2k. Self-pay at an AL is a great way to spend down her assets
leslie2l, any time a parent moved into a grown child's house, the parent/child dynamics start, and you are seeing that first hand. That is difficult to change unless the parent moves out.

Your Mom sounds like she isn't a happy camper regarding her life. It's tough getting older. So many things that your Mom use to do a couple of decades ago are difficult to do now. Heck, I am even experiencing that myself in my 70's. Now I need to pay someone to do the chores I use to do easily.

Methink your Mom would be happier around people her own age. Could she budget for Independent Living? My Dad, who was in his 90's, loved it there as the rent included weekly housekeeping and linen service, plus meals in the community restaurant.

Check around your area and see if there are any senior apartments where the rent is based on one's income [social security/pension/retirement fund, etc.].
Helpful Answer (7)

It sounds to me it is time to move mom out!

First start looking into AL. You do not have to tell her yet! This will give you idea of prices, what they offer, and prehaps put her name on the list!

The guilt that you feel is not real! Yes, it feels very real but it's not! I use to feel guilty when I would stick up for myself when it came to my mother; however, one day I realize that 1) guilt implys intend: like I am doing something to hurt her on purpose. But I wasn't! I was giving my feelings a voice. Setting boundaries! 2) that I can not help how my mother feels or how she reacts, but I can help how I feel and react! I made the decision I am not going to let my mother or my emoticons control me anymore. And that is what it comes down to "a choice"! Look at it this way, if this was anybody eles would you put up with it? No!! So what, our family members get a free pass to treat us like crap, or guilt trip us? No! You have to and have the right to take care of yourself! You will a better caregiver and adult child.

When the time comes that she has to move out, you make sure that you know what you are going to say. Rehearse what you are going to say and what she will say. Just make sure you go into the battle with a plan, and stick to your guns.

You can do this. And remember you are not a bad person!

I hope this helps.
Good luck!
Helpful Answer (5)


You are a good person. You are doing the best you can for your toxic mom; your siblings keep their distance because they understand the dynamics.

Call your local Area Agency on Aging. You need to get your mom a "needs assessment". You need professional advice on what level of care mom needs.

You are your own person. You have no legal obligation to care for your mom. She has resources (either her own, or public monies) that will provide for her care. Don't let anyone tell you that you are obligated to have her live with you.

Guilt? Are you doing something wrong? Or are you saving your own sanity?

Why isn't mom eligible for Medicare?
Helpful Answer (5)

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