What to do with mentally ill mom terrorizing my family?

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My mom is in the first stages of dementia. She has also been diagnosed with a mental illness that we all feel that she has had forever. She has always been manipulative and conniving, but she was at least able to pretend to be caring and loving also. Well that part of her facade is gone. I am an adult survivor of child abuse. Mainly at the hands of my father. Now, my mom says the most vile things to me and hubs. In front of our teen daughter. Then plays the victim, When reminded of what she said, she says, "Well you must have said something nasty to me get me to respond like that to you". No non-abusive parent would ever say the things to their child that she says to me...

Well, all of these diagnosis have come to light since I moved her a block from me. (She had lived 30 minutes away). She was calling me up having "nervous breakdowns" ever day because she was so alone. I thought maybe closer to us, she would feel more involved and loved, less alone. I wanted her to be a part of my family's lives as well. She refuses to join in the unit the way it is, she must control it and conform it to something to suit her needs. It is exhausting. She disregards my boundaries and goes on and on about all of her "troubles". (She is 79, living in HUD housing, on medicare and medicaid, I buy her pills and supplement her food, she wants for nothing except her car fixed but the doctor does not want her driving). She dwells on her abusive childhood and constantly rehashes every hurt, real and perceived. I know this is only going to get worse as the dementia swallows her. I know that the way she acts is because of the illness, but how much do I have to stand for? My Sis lives in Fl and my bro in CT and mom and I Live in the mid-west. My sister wants to fly here and put her in assisted living. I just feel like I have failed and like I am being brutalized all over again......but mostly like I failed.

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chunkiemunkie, was she diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. What you describe sounds so much like it. Many of us here deal with mothers with this personality disorder. I know the pain and anger that you are feeling. It is not you. You are holding up the best you can. It sounds like you're doing a very good job.

I wish you could go back and not move her closer. The thing most important in dealing with bpd is keeping those boundaries strong. No matter how strong they are, however, your mother may not respect them. They are more for you. If your mother is like mine, she will blame you for everything that is wrong. It is pointless to argue, so you just have to tell yourself that it isn't you and know it is true. It sounds like she is also using what is known as gaslighting on you. This is a technique where you are made to feel that your memories and reality are wrong -- that bad things never happened. If you haven't read about gaslighting, it may help you to learn more about it.

I don't know what you are going to end up doing. I know it is easy to think we'll just put them in assisted living or a nursing home, but it may not be that easy. If your mother is anything like mine, she'll have to feel that it is her idea. Maybe you can make that happen. To try to force her into doing something would require for her doctors to deem her incompetent. Maybe your sister and you could make assisted living sound like the best thing so that she will want to go there. Good luck! At least you would know her needs were being met.

Please let us know what is going on. Many of the people here are dealing with difficult personalities, so I know you'll get a lot of support.
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Ditto what Pam says......grab onto that and realize that your sister sticking her neck out and doing this for a "difficult personality" mother is a BLESSING to you. Getting into memory care is a necessity as this evolves.

Read more of the wisdom here has to offer. All of us feel guilty after making this kind of decision. Your mother's problems and condition is no reflection on who you are. I would have given anything to have a sister willing to do this! Back her up!
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Sis wants to fly in and move her to assisted living? That is a lifeline, grab it and support her decision.
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As her dementia progresses, I doubt she'll be able to live where she is currently living. She'll need 24/7 care. I think you'd be wise to consider getting her into assisted living that has a memory care unit that she could be moved to when the need is there. It's NOT a failure on your part in any way, shape, or form! You've tried to help and her situation is beyond your capability. It's difficult enough to try to work with a parent who has dementia without a personality disorder, so when you add dementia and personality issues into the mix, it's more than one person can handle. When she's in care, she'll have three shifts of people doing what you're trying to do as one person right now.

So reframe your view of what you did. You tried your best and now it may be time to let professionals take over her day-to-day care, so you can be her daughter advocating for her in a different way than you are right now.

Hugs to you...you sound like a wonderful daughter.
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OOPs she is 74 that is....
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