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I was just there yesterday, (Tuesday), with all the supplies she needed. I'm not feeling well, & have decided to stay home (alone) on this holiday. It's going to be 8 degrees outside & the parking on holidays can be up to 2 blocks away. So I called to let her know that I was not coming for Thursday. At first she just said, that's okay, but later I got a voicemail accusing me of lying (about the weather & the parking thing so I could just avoid visiting her).


It's shocking to me that she would want to make me feel bad, when I still go there weekly, keep her bills paid, & am constantly shopping for something she "needs". I almost threw up after hearing the voicemail, cuz I knew she did it to hurt me. Just yesterday I was helping her make arrangements for dental work she wants done, & today I'm very confused. What could I do better? Or is this just a guilt trip again? Trying to live happy is hard these days, but I'm definitely thankful for everyone here.✌🙋

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Your mom may not be able to process or understand what you are dealing with. I'd try to not let it get to you. The facility will have a nice celebration for the residents and she will be fine.

I would not insist that anyone come to visit me in 8 degree weather and where they have to walk a long distance. That's just too brutal. So, that tells me, that mother is not seeing things clearly.

I might make a mental list of all that you do and what is reasonable under the circumstances. Accept that you can't always please everyone, but, keep in mind that you have to set reasonable boundaries and be at peace with yourself. You are not a slave to others.

Plus, if you're not feeling well, you need rest and not going back into a facility where you might carry a bug to seniors.
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Tiger55 Nov 21, 2018
Thanks for your understanding,(I wish my mother was that reasonable!) I don't know why it still hurts so much when she is disappointed. But I will have to work on not over-reacting. You guys are the best. 😀🌸🙋💞✌
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Your mother was disappointed. Then she sat there for a few hours, ruminating on what you said about why you'd decided against coming. To the objective observer you gave perfectly sound - nay, very sensible - reasons: you're not feeling on good form, the weather is atrocious, and once you get there it's going to be a heck of a game finding anywhere remotely near her to park. But to your mother, after a few hours' chewing, they weren't good reasons, they were "feeble excuses" and the *real* reason was that you don't care to spend the holiday with her. You're leaving her all alone - in a cold, gloomy room, staring at the bare dining table, with nothing but the television to remind her of happy times gone by, while you gad about making merry in some way she disapproves of. Probably involving cocktails, and questionable company. Oh woe. Nobody cares...

It isn't that she wants to make you feel bad. *She* is the one who feels bad - disappointed and hurt. Hence the bitter accusations in her nasty voicemail.

I do not mean that you should change your mind, take it all back, and walk barefoot to her house. Not at all. But rather than ring her up (I know you wouldn't do this anyway) and accuse her in return of spiteful ingratitude, acknowledge her disappointment and point out something else that she has got to look forward to to cheer her up again. Who will she have her TG dinner with? If nobody, what's next on the entertainments schedule?

If it doesn't work and she's still in a grump, never mind. You've done your best, you're in the right, and if she insists on sulking... just let her.
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Tiger55 Nov 21, 2018
We do 'over-think' things in my family, but I'm doing my best to let it go. (She's always had a mean streak & it's not going to change now). I will try to ignore it from now on though, cuz when I tell her she has hurt my feelings, it doesn't seem to 'register' anyway. Thanks for replying.
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You have set a boundary and your Mum is pushing back. Stay strong, do not acknowledge her voicemail. If she calls again, wish her a Happy Thanksgiving and hang up if she starts ranting.

If you had just told her you were not feeling well and would not be there tomorrow as you need to day to rest and do not want to risk her getting ill, that would have been enough. By going into detail about weather and parking you gave her ammunition to attack.

You are allowed to tell her you will not listen to her abuse. You are allowed to delete voicemail when it is nasty without listening to all of it. You are allowed to hang up the phone, walk away etc, when she is mean.

You do not have to be at her beck and call. If you were dead, lived in another city, state, country etc, she would have to manage. If she runs out of something and it is not a day you planned to visit or shop, then she can wait or make other arrangements. You are not a slave to her 'needs'.

Keep up setting healthy boundaries. You will get push back, that is to be expected, but it will be worth your staying strong. It took 12 years of no contact with my father, for him to understand that I will not accept his crap. Dad acted up this summer and I reminded him that I would walk and never see him again. 3 years with my mother, after she betrayed my trust for the last time.

PS it also took me 3 years of intense therapy to recover from decades of abuse.
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Tiger55 Nov 21, 2018
Thats so true, about the abuse! (My mother would have sudden episodes of rage that scared the crap out of us kids). She wud chase me down & choke me, if I couldn't find a place to hide. I had nightmares for years, but I tend to feel nothing for her now. Thanks for sharing cuz boundaries are essential 4 me also!☺🙋✌
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I can only sympathize. I faced exactly the same kinds of guilt trips from my own mother whenever we tried to celebrate a holiday without her. I always had to ask our hostess if I could bring Mum too. Not a nice situation to be put in. One year we even had our dinner at a friends house before visiting which she knew in advance and she still had dinner on the table when we got there.
Stick to your guns and stay home. you don't feel well and there is no sense in walking around in that kind of cold. A hot toddy and warm blanket is my recommendation. If you feel really guilty send mom some flowers.
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Tiger55 Nov 21, 2018
Thanks, that's a good idea, the 💐 flowers. I will probably just have to expect this kind of behavior cuz she's 90. I just wish the Dr would let me know if she has dementia or what. God bless you.✌
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We all get disappointed sometime. And you know what, most of us don't have someone else who will tie themselves in knots to make sure we won;t feel disappointed. We all have to figure out a way to deal with it. Let her be mad. She will either get over it or die mad. Nothing you can do about that.

I've always had my parents over for Christmas eve and they would sleep over. Mom died in 2003 but Dad still did this. He is 91 one now and a lot of work. It is a job just having him over. He can barely make it up the two steps to get into my house so he would never get up a flight of stairs to the bedroom. I decided last year that he would only come over on Christmas day. Well you'd think the world was coming to an end. There was no way I could go through all the work to pick him up, wrangle him out of his AL room and into a car then take three of us just to get him into my house only to have to run him back there later and repeat early the next morning. How is this an enjoyable holiday for me if I exhaust myself catering to him.

This year I am concerned about him blowing through his money so I said maybe he should pass on giving Christmas gifts or at least cut back. He made the comment to me several times one day about how he wasn't sure we would want him there at Christmas if he wasn't giving gifts. I found it highly insulting he would say such a thing but I kept my mouth shut. Finally after the tenth time I just agreed with him.

My point is that when your mom said "well I guess I will just be alone that day", you should have said "yes it appears that way" and move on. She wants you to feel bad. You don't need to feel bad for doing something YOU want. She had other options, she just chooses not to do them. That is not on you. Hope you had a good trip.
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Tiger55 Nov 23, 2018
Thanks for your reply, I'm probably just worn out from her complaining. I'll have to go back to the 'low contact', to save my sanity.
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You have to get in the mind set that it is OK for you to do something that YOU want to do. Her wants/needs shouldn't always come before yours. I think that is where the caregiver gets bogged down in. They think they can't do anything for themselves until the elder is completely satisfied. Has anyone here ever know an elder that was completely satisfied and happy? It just doesn't happen. The minute your focus is taken off of them they are unhappy again.

You do what you can and that will have to be enough. I moved my father to a smaller apartment last week. I was there Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon. My normal visit is a quick one every 3-4 weeks and here I was there two days in a row for several hours at a time. His parting words to me on Tuesday were "you'll be back here tomorrow right?". You give an inch and they want a mile.

You try and help your mom out but not at the expense of your own life.
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Tiger55 Nov 27, 2018
So true! I honestly have never seen my mother satisfied with anything. (It's weird how common this is amongst elderly). Yet my (ex)mother in law is very pleasant, (91 yrs old in nursing home). She often laughs, says 'thank you', ect. 🌸🙋
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You can always call her tomorrow and tell you are still sick, and the home will not let you visit while you are.. vomiting, have a fever.. whatever it takes to give you a day off to recover. And then relax and enjoy your day.. and don't pick up the phone after that!
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Tiger55 Nov 21, 2018
Thanks, I feel better after sharing, & reading the replies. But I'm not going to call her for a while, cuz I really need some space. (I doubt she will remember much of it anyway). God bless you for helping. ✌
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Prehaps you could call her and talk to her for maybe 30 mins to hour. But you shouldn't feel guilty for not feeling well and it is to cold out.

Just a thought; the next time you go see her take her a small gift. I don't know if that will help, but worth a shot.

Hope you feel better & stay warm.
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Tiger55 Nov 23, 2018
Thts a nice idea, but I just bought her all new clothes & shoes for her birthday. Nothing helps. I need a break, (going back to 'low contact' so I can be happier.)
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You know she's guilting you Tiger.  You need to say a prayer and let it go.  Take care of yourself, precious one.  💙
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Tiger55 Nov 27, 2018
So kind, thank you, I'll definitely be saying those prayers☺🙋.
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I went to CA to visit my daughter and family for Thanksgiving and had a great time despite my mother’s belly aching that she would be alone for the holiday. She is always invited to go to my brother’s in-laws but doesn’t “like them.” She is notoriously sarcastic and couldn’t refrain from telling me after the fact “I hope you had a good Thanksgiving” inferring that she did not - to which I simply said “thank you”.
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paulfoel123 Nov 29, 2018
I get the sarcasm too....

If I don't visit often enough or tell him I cant visit he says "Well keep in touch then" as if I'm going to australia for 6 months.
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