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I have been taking care of my mom for about four yrs. now, and I'm not sure how much longer I can do it. I stopped working about 2yrs ago, I have now gone through all my life savings my bank account is now in the negative, my 401k is gone, I just got my car repoed. I also have lupus and remoutoid arthritis, so my health is no so great. Having said all that I would be OK if she wasn't so mean to me, and run me like I'm her slave, if I don't jump right away she will just scream until I do whatever she wants. She is in her right mind so she know exactly what she's doing. She has lied on me before and told people at the hospital that I hit but she said her medicine made her do it and she doesn't remember, but whenever she gets mad she says she is going to tell people that I'm mean to her. I'm kinda at the end of my rope I feel like I'm loosing my mind. Whenever I say she needs to go somewhere longterm she tells what a horrible person I am, and I only care about myself. I don't want to send her away but I don't know what else to do.

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Michelle's, I can empathize. My mom is still managing and I don't care for her full time but I'm the only one she sees or helps her and worse, the only one she will do anything with or allow my limited help. She is controlling and stubborn. I Learned from this site and luckily haven't had and won't spend any of my money for moms care, I still work. I spend vacation days helping mom when I can and I WANT TO CONTROL what is best in my mind for her...unfortunately it's not how she sees it or what she wants...without her permission or desire to change, I'm helpless and its a bitter pill, but I accept it. You will have to put some some care pLans in place for her by seeking resources to help mom...then you wil have to step back and care for you and your future. Yes it is starting over it and starting from nothing...but one day at a time and it will be freeing for you in the long run. Get started on your new life forward!
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We do unfortunately fall into patterns, and I have enabled her to act the way she does. I know I'm also a control freak so that doesn't help, I want to fix everything and make everything better. I just need to learn I can't fix someone that doesn't want it. I just have to know that I did everything I could, but I think I will always feel guilty no matter what happens.
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This is from an Aging Care article on coping with Narcissistic Parents:


Coping on your own

An elderly narcissist is unlikely to change their behavior. Psychologists agree that NPD is notoriously difficult to treat, even in young, physically healthy people.

Thomas admits that caring for a narcissist isn't easy and is likely to, "challenge one to the core of their being," and offers some strategies to help caregivers cope with narcissistic family members:

1.Do as much as you can to maintain a social life of some sort.
2.Seek professional help from a counselor or psychologist.
3.Set personal limits on how much abuse you are willing to take, and stick to them.
It's also important to remember that a relationship with a narcissist is, effectively, a one-way street. Narcissists are so caught up in themselves that they have a limited ability to love other people.

Truly accepting this reality will help a caregiver to acknowledge their role as a protector and provider for someone who lacks the ability to reciprocate with feelings of love, appreciation, or even tolerance.

Resnick and Thomas both urge caregivers to take responsibility for choosing their personal emotional state. You can't control the narcissist—you can only control yourself.
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Michelle, no blame here. We all fall into patterns of behavior. They can be really tough to change.

If your mom goes into long term care and stops eating, that a choice that she as an adult makes. My mil did that after heart surgery. Wouldn't do the rehab. Refused medication for depression. My husband had walked away the year before when she threatened to report him for abuse (he told her that with copd, you really should quit smoking). Her other two sons stepped up to manage her care and got the docs to back off further intervention "because if our mom wants to die, we have to let her die".

Adults make choices.

Your mom can make hers. Don't allow yourself to be manipulated any longer. You said in another post that you were seeking a way to get paid for her care. Don't. That's not a long term career path. She's 59? She could live another 35 years. Think about that.

Have you investigated what long term care is available? Often, Medicaid funds small care homes which are less nh - like and more personal. How much socialization does your mom get in her/your current living situation?

And the next time she screams at you? IMMEDIATELY, stop what you're doing, from all emotion from your face, turn and walk away. Out of the room or out of the house. Wait 5 minutes. Then go back like nothing happened, very sweetly. If she screams again, repeat. In a calm moment, explain to her that her rude behavior is no longer acceptable to you. And mean it.

You deserve better than this. Your mom ought to be thanking her lucky stars that she has such a fine daughter. Shame on her!
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I didn't think anyone was blaming me. I have taken care of my mom for the most part since I was 16 and she was diagnosed with lupus, and couldn't hardly get out of bed. I got a job went to night school instead of real school. So my point is I have always put her first so shes used to always being first. No matter what was happening with me she always came first.
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AAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH I AM NOT BLAMING YOU!!!!

Michelle, it is not your fault. You did NOT create your mother's personality.

But that is no reason to encourage it, either. Listen, at the moment I suspect you're feeling so down and so helpless that you probably are really, truly stuck. It's very hard to see a way forward when you're exhausted and depressed, as well as ill. Why don't you give your local social services a call and ask them to come out to review your mother's living arrangements? I've found our ones really helpful; but even if yours can't help you much they might well know organisations local to you that can. Good luck, and keep posting.
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I know I do need to take blame for my part in creating the monster. I just don't know how I would ever get over the guilt. I guess that's what I need hell with.
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Michelle, it is not in your mother's best interests for you to enable her pattern of behaviour.

Suppose you don't die. Suppose you just get sicker, and more depressed, and less able to cope. What quality of care do you see yourself being able to provide for her? What will happen to both of your standard of living as long as you're trapped in this web of manipulation and can't get your working life back on track?

If you are serious about doing what is best for your mother, then get real. You go down, she goes down. It's that simple.

And I'm sorry for joking with you on your other post. If I'd known what you were going through I wouldn't have. Apologies.
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Your mom has the mind of a pro manipulator and she has you deep in the FOG of Fear, Obligation and Guilt. A therapist could help you get beyond all of this, but you have to want to.
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Unfortunately she is her worst enemy, she has the mind of adult but the behavior of a child, and she will do whatever she has to do, to get her way, and at the end of the day she is still my mom and I have to do what is in the best interest for her. I really want her to go to long term care but I know what she will do, and I would never be able to live with myself. I'm hoping with some of the programs out there I can at least get some help so maybe I can start working again.
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michelle - how much do you want to live? You can, you know, but you have to stop enabling her blackmail. Get a job, move out and away and leave her to decide how she is going to manage after you are no longer her slave. She can and will, you know, but not as long as you buckle under to her demands. I know the issue of abandonment has to be considered - other posters here can help advise you on that, but the fact is that you are not, and cannot be forced to be, her slave. You do not need to do hands on caregiving - especially as you are being abused. Frankly, if she were to tell me she would never speak to me again, I'd be thrilled. Since she is competent, she should be able to sort out her own mess - probably going into a nursing home on Medicaid. Her problems are not yours - you have enough of your own. Plan, get out and look to a better future.
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Michelle, please note that one out of every three Caregiver dies leaving behind the love one they were caring.... heavens forbid if that happened to you, guess where your Mom would be living?... in assistant living/a nursing home.

You said she will stop eating and stop taking to you if you move her there... will she also hold her breath until she turns blue? You need to be the grown up here, and you need to do what is best for her and for you.
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I did just put her on Medicaid, it only really helps with her medication. I have talked to her about going into long term care, she said if I do she will just stop eating, and she has done that when she has gone to rehabs and ends up in the hospital for malnutrition. She also said she will not speak to me again. I'm not sure if I mentioned it but my mom just turned 59 so she is still very young.
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michelled, check into getting your Mom on Medicaid so that she can go into a continuing care facility. And a lesson learned, never ever use your own money to continuously care for a parent, especially a 401(k).

As for the reason your Mom is mean to you, think about it, she isn't in the best of health, she feels her active life is now gone, and there isn't anything to look forward to.... I would be a bear if I was in that condition, too. I know it's not fair to you. Your Mom needs to be around people of her own generation, and hopefully she can make some new friendships if she is in an assistant living or nursing home. That way it will make you feel better about starting your life over. Hope everything works out for you.
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She has, and she plays them as well, the say she's great. She is on medicine for depression. But usually the only person she is really mean to is me, once ina while she will get snippy with a nurse or aid when she in the hospital, but mostly its just me.
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Has she been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis of her mental illness/dementia? Her behavior might be vastly improved by the correct medication.
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Your mother is a pro at emotional blackmail and could possibly out live you if you don't have her placed somewhere and take care of your own life first for a change.
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Its a little to late for that I have already lost everything, I'm not real sure how I'm going to live. I am looking into programs to get help, maybe an aid a few hours a day so I can try and start working. There are just a couple of problems, when I was working I hired someone to come in, but she would yell all night for stuff, I wouldn't get sleep for day. I fell asleep driving and hit a pole that's why I stopped working I couldn't do both, and now I don't even have a car because I couldn't make the payments, and we really don't have public transport where I live. I have been walking everywhere.
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Okay, here's the deal. As much as we love our parents, we need to take care of ourselves in order to help them. And unless you are very very secure yourself financially, you should not bankrupt yourself to pay your parent 's way in their later years. How are you going to take care of yourself down the road? You need to find out what programs mom is eligible for based on her income, not yours. Click on the Money and Legal tab and start there. You have to start setting boundaries.
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First of all there is no money that I would get from her, that's why all my money is gone she is on a fixed income. She had a stroke about 4yrs ago recovered some what. Since then she has had medical issues and has been in and out ofthe hospital. She can't walk now and is unable to be alone. I do everything for her bathing, cooking, dressing, everything. She was always the type of person that it was her way or there was hell to pay. I have always put her first, paying bills, taking care of her when she needed it. I always put her needs before mine as long as I can remember.
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Why does your mom need your care? What is her illness? Was her personality always mean or is this new?
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You need some support and help. Get a plan together. First start looking for employment and inform mom you realize you need to look out for yourself and get a job. Then do it, even if it's working retail or whatever. Sounds like mom can manage? If not, have her hire some help, get meals on wheels, go to senior center daily...they've got bus service to come and get her and return her home.

You need to move out unless mom is willing to change. Have those frank conversations with her. Yes you can. You can apply for assistance for you and seek out housing or a roommate situation. Depends on how desperate you are.
But make certain you have your plan and the strength to follow through...if not don't bother...she'll smell your weakness and her expectations will continue.
You can't make mom move out if it is her house. You can't place her in care if she is competent.

Talk to mom or seek out a mediator possibly thru your church or senior services to help you both find a workable solution. Regardless, you need to get moving and find employment eventually with benefits. Don't depend on mom or an inheritance.
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