Mom is broke and manipulative. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom is broke and manipulative. Any advice?

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I am 29 and live in Oregon with my long-term boyfriend who is similar age. My divorced mother (age 61) lives 2000 miles away and has no friends/extra family. She has been unemployed for over 2 years and they cut her off unemployment 3 months ago. She looks for jobs every day--has interviews every week but not getting hired. I have been struggling with trying to financially help her out, also while trying to manage my own finances. I send her over $500 a month to bail her out of bills, disconnections, gas, food. She get food stamps but no disability, no unemployment, no income at all. She is always broke and is trying to sell her house to come live with us (although we don't want her to--we have a strained relationship). My relationship has been suffering as has been my stress level and my health. She has no TV/internet, her gas was shut off--so no hot water or stove, and no money to live off of. Her fridge broke 2 weeks ago so I bought her a used one. I pay her phone bill, insurance, and send her extra for gas. I recently told her I couldn't help her out this week because I had a short paycheck and she called me a spoiled little princess. I live very modestly and make a nurses salary. My boyfriend is still in college so he is living off of student loans and he tries to help as well. We frequently argue because she gets mad when I cannot help out more--I have offered to move her in with us but I also know that's not the best idea either. I just don't know what to do anymore! Im overwhelmed with stress, guilt, and anxiety. She is very good at emotionally manipulating both of us!!! We live in a pretty crappy place and we would like to move and start a family soon but we feel like we will never be able to bring another life into this world with all the stuff that's going on with her! I could try to cut her off but then she may end up homeless--not to mention her continued guilt trips...I am an only child with no other family that is willing or able to help. Advice anyone?????

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ill bet if you dont send a dime she'll have some kind of employment in a matter of weeks .
just sayin .
if youll start sending me money i wont work either ..
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Just. Stop. It.

Stop enabling your mother.

Brutal? Ya. So is not being able to live your own life.

Don't even consider having her move in with you. Tell her that outright. Make it clear that that isn't her ace in the hole. If she thinks she can guilt you into that it is a perfect goal for her.

I'm not so heartless that I don't feel sorry for your mother. She probably does have a mental illness. That it sad. We don't always know how to help our mentally ill. But what you are doing is not helping her and it is hurting you. So stop!

It is sad that Mom has no friends. Not your fault.

It is sad that she has an undiagnosed mental illness. Not your fault.

It is sad that she hasn't been able to land a job. Not your fault.

Helping someone out while they get on their feet is one thing. Helping them out while they plot to come and live off of you is quite another.
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I am 61. My kids are 31, 29 and 26. I can't imagine asking my kids for money. Your mother is barely a senior citizen. She can't even collect her SS, yet. In fact, she needs to find work to increase her retirement benefits. You really have to show tough love, now. Set boundaries. Do not answer every phone call. You have your own life. As an RN, I bet you can ask some friends for advice and they will tell you the same things that we will tell you here. Do not send money.
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Right now I live in a Winnebago I found in someone's pasture... I talked him down to $200,,,,I call it the Grapes of Wrath wagon.....Nothing in it works, no running water, no stove or fridge..... but like Veronica said... I have figured it out...... I have a microwave.... I have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in and never asked my wonderful children for anything..... they would have helped... they are great kids.... but I would never ask them to...... not false pride here, just that life is hard, life is tough sometimes.... and SHE needs to pull up her big girl panties and get moving on finding solutions..... copy and paste what Veronica said and send it to her....... if you continue to enable her, you are simply volunteering to be her victim...... many of us have it really hard.... so what.... I also have a ton of things to be grateful for also..... that outweighs the problems any day !!!
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Dave, ladeeM is correct. Food Stamps is entirely different from receiving cash welfare. It's just all handled by the same office. This lady might be able to get Medicaid, depending on her state and what it did about expanding the program under Obamacare, and get to a doctor for some help. I sincerely doubt that she is out every day looking for a job. There are plenty of organizations that could help her become employed...Goodwill, the state unemployment office, etc. If she ends up living in her car or a shelter, ok. Dave, quit trying to scare this young woman with filial responsibility laws. She's been doing more than enough and should stop. Mom either needs to work, apply for disability (she does sound mentally impaired) or suffer through until a crisis sends her to a hospital. Onlychild, don't let her live with you. She's going to get by, or not. You can't fix her. The best you can hope for now is for her to get treated for whatever her problem is. And don't feel you have to carry yet on your back. She'll crush you.
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Do not send her anymore cash.
Do not have her come to live with you.
If you feel you need to help in any way have her send you that bill ie electricity and pay that directly, never send the cash. never pay for the phone TV or Internet.
Many things we consider essential people managed without. If she does not have gas and can't bathe buy her an electric ring (order online and have it delivered to her) She can heat water on that and take a strip wash thats what others have to do. if she previously had a stove she has got pots and pans so get a small propane gas ring and use that.
Is there stuff she can sell?
If her house won't sell can she rent her house out and find a room to rent for
herself.
Is she using food banks?
Are there free meals in her areas.
Ask at her local chuches if they offer any help.
Any hospital theat accepts medicare/medicaid has to treat any patient who shows up. Now they will still expect to be paid but you can't get blood out of a stone.
What was her last job?
What is she capable of doing?
Minimum wage is better than nothing,
For Dave it would be wonderful if everyone fulfilled what the States believe to be their filial responsibilities and if they did in this world it would mean other family members would go hungry. I often hear stories of how children help their parents and the parent then feels entitled and expects a free ride.
We certainly should help those less fortunate but not become an enabler and be very sure that contributions are going for their intended use. I do not blindly give to charity but would help out an individual when I truly see the need.
So pull up your big girl panties and take care of yourself the way you take care of your patients and discourage your boyfriend from contributing. He will have to earn the money to pay back those student loans. look to your joint future and plan better than your mother otherwise you will end up as a single Mom and good old mom wan't be there to help you out. Blessings you have a lot of support here.
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The comments really have been helpful. My mother has been unemployed for the past 2 years-She tells me she applies for 15 jobs a day. I don't know what to believe from her anymore. She has a masters degree for crying out loud. She is in pretty deep with her house and owes a lot of money. But she is also extremely stubborn. She has an ideology that family is supposed to help out family, however what has been going on with us has gone to far...just in the past year she has gotten several thousand from me not to mention I have paid for 2 trips for her to come out to OR of the things I need have gone neglected. I think I will continue to pay her phone bill so that she can do interviews and look for jobs- She is already pissed at me for telling her this but I have to draw a limit to a certain extent. She has turned down 2 jobs in the past that were offered to her. One was here in Oregon that she turned down because she didn't want to leave her house. I think there Is some mental health issues going on but she would never go get treated. She wont even apply for disability. Maybe Its better for me to just limit my contact until she can get herself together? I have not spoken to her today but I think its time for me to put my foot down--I dont think it will be easy but it cannot go on like this any longer. Its very hard to be dealing with something like this, and as the name implies---there's no one else to really confide in.
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I am 62. I don't have a master's degree, nor do I have an undergraduate degree. My girls all have these things. Two are nurses as well. I would never, ever, even if I had to live under a bridge, do to you what your mother is doing. If she has the ability to be employed she should take whatever comes along until something better comes along. It is a cruel world out there. Many educated people are unemployed, many non educated people are not employed and can not find work. Times are tough. It is hard for an older person to find work after they lose their job. But there is a difference between helping a family member when they are down and out and enabling someone.

You are about my daughters' age. You need a dependable young man before you even think of having a family. You need someone who cares about your welfare. Does your boyfriend fit this description?

I am concerned for you. Having daughters your age, please look out for yourself. Don't accept less. You need to have someone who loves you and would do anything to make sure your life turns out well. That includes both your boyfriend and mother. If they can not do this, do that for yourself. Find people who will help you find the healthiest path for your life. And move on. Good luck.
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MaggieMarshall your mother is amazing and there is much to be learned from her. I tell my girls to live "beneath" their means and be frugal, not cheap.

My girls have introduced me to the thrift stores where I find so many little treasures. We are such a wasteful society.

Great comment Maggie!
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There are indications that this mom is not a healthy person to live with. I had a friend live with me for five years because her mom was such a difficult person that she was totally messed up. If you've had a good mom, praise God for her! It's hard to believe sometimes how much damage a messed-up mom can do to her children. I've seen a few, and I've seen their children's struggle. One of my best friends right now has a mom who plays guilt trips, plays head games with him, and he's had to stop going to see her in self-defense. Trying to help someone who is stubborn, uncooperative, irresponsible and ungrateful is a thankless task. A couple of things I've learned from difficult people I've had in my life: say what you have to say, shut up and don't argue--and pray hard against the bad stuff coming out of their lives.
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