I have been her primary caregiver/POA and I'm devastated. I am the eldest daughter, with one sister. I have always been the primary caregiver to my mother who is now 87. I have noticed decline but have helped her gently and been her 24/7 concierge, making sure not to shame her for forgetting, etc. She has faulted me for seeming "rushed" and, conversely, for doing too much. I can't seem to win. I quit my PT job to be more available to her but then she complained that I do too much.

We have had a difficult relationship. I am the daughter of a narcissist, but thought that I had come to terms with that and that age would mellow her. It is quite the opposite. She expects people to bow before her.

I just take a deep breath and keep my eye on the prize which, to me, means doing the right thing and care for my mother. If she has a need, I fill it. If she has a question, I try to find the answers. If I see a hazard, I fix it. I have put my own needs to the side.

Two weeks ago I was setting up her voicemail and asked her the birthdate of her late husband (my father) needed for a security question. She flew into a rage and threw a phone book near (not at) me. A few weeks earlier, I was trying to solve an identity theft issue and asked her for her credit card to speak with the customer service agent. She slammed it in front of me. Again, I took a breath and just dealt with it.

Recently, however, I couldn't take it anymore and told her that I didn't deserve this kind of treatment, that I wasn't the enemy, that I was trying to care for her with love and an open heart. She said that I mistreat her, etc. It broke my heart because it's not true. I told her that I was not able to do the things she needed doing in a way that pleased her so I would find others to do it. I found an administrative assistant and a lady to water her plants. I have stayed away from the home since that day, other than to do some work on the outside creating an earthquake kit

I have been working on preparing an earthquake kit for her home and have told her that it is sufficient for 2 people for 2 weeks. She asked me how much I owed her and I told her that she owed me nothing. The next week she went out and bought duplicates of everything I had put in place, cleaned out a garden shed (I don't know how she managed to do all the lifting) and said she would be keeping "her" supplies in the shed. She also dismantled all the safety gear I had put in place (gas and water shut off tools, flashlights). This is such aggressive and discounting behavior.

I have POA and have recently been made co-trustee but I don't know how to effectively perform these roles now that she has made me Enemy #1.

I am single and have no one at home to express my grief and confusion to. My sister, who lives an hour away and who has spent years telling me that our mother has not been a good mother, is acting in a "holier than thou" manner instead of offering any support or participation, siting her own declining health.

I have been reading obsessively about the aging process since the recent blow up occurred and understand all the challenges that our elders face. That is why I have been treating her with such care and compassion.

She has made a mockery of all that I have done, discounted me, and this is bringing up old wounds from childhood.

I am feeling physically ill, cannot sleep, so depressed, so confused, angry, etc.

What do I do now...?

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It sounds like your mom has been a problem for many years and your sister sees it and has distanced herself. You decided to be the better person and do right by your mom. But your mom is still being the same woman she's always been, which is a problem for you. Your sister isn't surprised because mom is being mom.

I'm sorry your mom can't appreciate your love and sacrifice, but it's time to move on. If it were me, I'd opt out of the POA and trust and let your ungrateful mom find others to take care of her. She doesn't deserve your sacrifice.

And then get yourself some counseling to deal with the havoc she's wreaked in your life. You deserve to be happy and healthy. You're a good daughter, whether your mom gets it or not.
Helpful Answer (1)

joyau1, I think some elders get upset that they are unable to do the things they use to take for granted years ago so they snap at whomever is the closest. The fact that your Mom flew into a rage when you asked for information about your late Dad tells me she is both heartbroken he is gone, and very angry that he had left her never to come back.

Then there is the issue of the parent-child dynamics... maybe she is once again seeing you as the child. Example, my Dad [93] thinks I still love driving like I did back when teenager, yes I couldn't wait to drive places... but now at 68 years old, I hate to drive.

Does your Mom live in an area where there are others of her own generation? Any nearby Senior Center so that she can develop new friendships and maybe a BFF? Friendship is so very important no matter what the age.
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Your mother is not in her right state of mind. You are being abused. Your sister has already distanced herself from the abuse. I would recommend you follow suit. Forget the prize, it's not worth what you are going through.
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Joy, I'm so sorry that you're experiencing this lack of appreciation from your mom. You're obviously a good, kindhearted daughter, and this treatment is not fair.

My husband went through this with his mom, who I believe may have had a personality disorder. Add even some mild cognitive impairment to that, and you've got a toxic mix---someone who threatens to call APS and report abuse when a loving child points out that smoking is not good for her copd!

Stepping away is the right thing. Find yourself a therapist to talk this out with.
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