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We had a dysfunctional childhood, & mother went into rages, (chased me down & choked me when I couldn't get away). I was constantly afraid & angry, so I avoided her a lot by staying with friends. Nobody is left to visit her (in assisted living) but me & it's been awful. I was on medication just to cope, but I feel better without it, (except that means I can't tolerate visiting her anymore because of the panic I get). I'm unable to discuss this with her, & I can't afford a therapist unless I use her money. (I have power of attorney but I feel that using her money for my therapist may be dishonest). Please give your opinions.

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If you feel you must check in with her then restrict your visits to the common rooms or dining room or when she is at a group activity, that way you have an easy out and she is most likely going to be on her best behaviour.
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Tiger55 Sep 20, 2018
That's a great idea, I will do that. (Even better cuz its so hot in her room, I will be much cooler in the common room). Thank you.
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I agree. With your history, I wouldn't visit if you need meds to cope. If you visit and she starts tell her until she can talk to you with respect and treat u as an adult, you will not visit then leave. Go back a week later, if she starts leave. No one says you have to take abuse because she is your Mom. She will eventually finally realize, or she won't. If she doesn't don't visit. Block her calls.
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Tiger55 Sep 20, 2018
Thank you, I will try visiting only once a month, & I already blocked her calls months ago. Still, I'm embarrassed to go back there to visitors the staff knows how upset I was (& mother always acts nice to the workers). Like when we were kids, she would act fine in front of my friend, then make fun of the friend after they'd left. She was critical & mean to our neighbors also, so the neighbor kids used to beat me up whenever they could find me. It was a nightmare that lasted years. Your help means a lot, God bless.
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Your profile says you are caring for a friend. Is this in addition to your mom? That’s a lot if you are.

I can understand how you would be hesitant to spend time with a person who verbally and physically abused you as a child to the point you had to move out. It doesn’t sound like it’s gotten much better.

Mom has dementia? Or lifetime mental issues? I would not feel guilty or obligated to visit her because there is no one else. Has her toxic personality driven everyone else away? It’s not your responsibility to be “the one”. She forfeited her rights by her abuse of you. And she’s still abusing you to the point you are developing your own mental issues. Break the ties. Visit once a month or less. Inform the nurses, or even the administrators of your plans not to visit and tell them you will be available for contact if needs be but because of her affect on your well-being you will no longer be visiting.

If you continue to expose yourself to this abuse, she will be more than happy to continue it. But she cannot if you take the responsibility for ending it.
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Tiger55 Sep 20, 2018
Thank you for your help. Yes, I was caring for my friend, but she died. Everything you said was so true, mother has been mentally ill forever, but nobody ever saw it (except our tiny family), cuz she never socialized. We were isolated as kids with that lunatic, & it's no wonder my sister passed so early. Nobody wants to hear that I can't stand my mother, (& all I get is judgement) except for here on this site. Thank you again for your kindness.
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"...mother went into rages, (chased me down & choked me when I couldn't get away)"

Considering this, I'd say a once a month visit in a common area is being VERY nice!

If you think she won't run out of money before she dies (do you think this will happen?), I would definitely not hesitate to use her money to see a therapist, because she caused the problem.

I say that if meds are needed to cope with an elder, then all efforts should be made to get out of that environment, instead of just going on meds (with the many side-effects they can have). In your case, that means going less-frequent contact.

And once a month might even be too much -- if it is, try going for six weeks between visits.

YOU count. YOU matter. Your mother is safe and cared-for in AL, so let her reap what she's sowed, which is little contact with you, the one she abused.
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theexecutioner Sep 22, 2018
Love this answer! It is true she caused the mental issues. Use her money for the therapy!
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I'd consult with an attorney to see what your legal obligations are pursuant to the POA that you have. And, then comply with whatever that is. You may have to keep informed on her needs, so you can attend to them, but, other than that, I wouldn't visit if you don't want to or it bothers you. If you take medication, due to the stress of her visits, I'd discuss it with your doctor. I'd explore prescribed therapy and see if your health insurance could cover it. It sounds like you have a lot of lingering pain that should be addressed. I don't find your feelings strange at all. I find it amazing that you are still so charitable. I hope you can get some help.
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Tiger55 Sep 22, 2018
Yes, I have a nice doctor (who was giving me benzos for20 years), but I quit taking them cuz I wanted to feel less fatigued & foggy.
But now I'm real serious about cutting down on my contact with mother, (cuz I can't control my fear without the meds). That's a good idea about the lawyer, I do have to get better informed. Thanks😊
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Growing up in such an environment leaves deep seated issues that need to be dealt with as an adult. If it's possible, see if there are any services in your area that would be available for free. There are also hotlines and discussion groups where you can work to cope and gain confidence. It's important that you gain peace with the situation so you feel more control over it and your emotions. There are techniques to use to assist you in rethinking how you react to your mother. It takes time and effort, and you will have moments where you slip back to your old habits, but small steps will get you there. Put yourself first and you've received good advice here. I wish you and others who have gone through this, myself included, to have peace in our hearts while doing what we feel is right by their parent(s). Even though they may not deserve it, we have our own consciences and each situation and decision is unique to each of us.
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Tiger55 Sep 22, 2018
I always felt so alone until I found this site, cuz you all have been a lifeline to me. God bless.
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Adult children are not required to visit an elderly parent - or anyone - who abused them during childhood. So why are you doing it? Is it just guilt?

Why not tell her outright that she was so abusive to you during childhood that she does not "deserve" to be visited by you, and that the visits do nothing but upset you - so you are going to stop them.

You deserve to have your own life and be happy - not visit a mean-spirited witch who does nothing but bring you down.
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Tiger55 Sep 22, 2018
Thats true, but I often think she may have had a bad childhood herself & she is mentally ill for sure. I try to persevere cuz I have to honor God, who gave me such a Looney parent. Thanks for your help.
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It's not strange. While I am not fearful that my 84 year old mother will hurt me in a direct way physically, she has had a significant impact on my emotional health which has affected me physically. I saw a pattern of a condition that occurred in my body when she went through her rages in my presence. I haven't seen her since the end of July...I am supposed to see her tomorrow for a bridal shower...and I know that I have to keep my distance so she doesn't have the opportunity to drag me down her path of negativity. I am going to counseling and quite frankly, my time away from her has made a big difference in how I am feeling.
Even if I wasn't able to afford the counseling, I would definitely stay away as much as possible. I have no desire to assist her because EVERYTHING that I have offered to do for her has become a battle. So I am backing off. It may sound harsh, but this is self preservation. My epiphany came when my daughter pleaded with me to stay away from her, because my daughter and son need be to be healthy for them, their spouses, and my grandchildren. That's all I needed to hear.
Stay strong...and do whatever it takes to take care of yourself.
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Tiger55 Sep 22, 2018
Yes that's true for me also, (I was having terribly stiff joints after every episode with her). My tooth grinding was really bad also. I finally realized that the toxic emotions, (from being with her), were building up in my body. Its not worth it, I agree. Thank you😇
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You are not alone in caring for someone who did not care for you. I have similar issues with my father and struggle to cope with the emotional terrorism he inflicts. I also limit my time. I have noticed that the false façade he has projected to others has begun to crack as he has gotten into shouting matches with both the staff and the owner of the board & care. It's vindicating to know that others are beginning to see what I already know. However, your mental health should not be dependent on what others may be thinking of your self-care choices. One option is to see an eldercare attorney about a conservatorship for your mom, based on her needs and your health. Insist that you are no longer in a position to serve and get a court-appointed conservator to manage her care. It might be wise to seek an arrangement where you maintain financial oversight to assure that her assets are not depleted with inappropriate charges. You can access her funds to set this up. Another option is to use a caregiver service that provides companionship visits and simply send someone else to see her.
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Reply to Portmarly
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Tiger55 Sep 22, 2018
So true that I wish others could catch her "in the act", but she acts so smiley & demure at the assisted living, (fake). It's humiliating when I 'flip out' or cry (after she picks on me), cuz the staff there must think I'm squirrelly. If it weren't for you guys, I couldn't share with anyone. Thank you, (& that's a great idea about the paid companionship service, I will look into that).👍😊. Mar.
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Congrats for your honesty & your family ethic but you don't need this stress - her abuse of you is continuing in your essential being every time you visit because deep down you feel it will happen again - she will never be the mother you deserved

Cut down you visits to the bare minimum [don't go at holidays] & write her letters instead of visiting personally if that would make you feel better - in the first few put in a self-addressed stamped envelope so she can write back - if she writes back continue with those envelopes but once she has 3 then stop sending them but continue to write her in lieu of physical visits

Call her facility regularly to be on top of her situation but don't do the visits often - let them know that for personal reasons you will not be able to visit as often as you have been - they have her number by now anyway because the staff can read these people well - basically your mom is reaping what she sowed years ago

Then check about getting councelling for yourself without it depleting your finances - you don't say where you are but by stating that I assume that you are in USA - I am in Canada & much of that is covered albeit with a bit of a waiting list - it might take some searching & a bit of a wait but it will do you good in the end - try even some group therapy or self-help groups like AA but for abuse survivors - even going to the library to get relevant books will give a boost as you do something positive for yourself
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Reply to moecam
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Tiger55 Sep 22, 2018
Yes you're certainly right that I avoid visiting her on holidays. (I used to work every holiday cuz it was so much less stressful). I think I'm going to try the online therapy group with Alan Robarge. He has stuff on you tube that really did help me last year, but then I didn't follow through. I will get back to it, thanks😊.
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