My Mom has dementia and lives alone. She put my abusive father out years ago and owns the house now legally. She always blamed me for ruining her life by her getting pregnant with me and having to marry dad. My younger brother rarely visits her even though she loved him so much and spoiled him into adulthood. When my marriage broke up to a born again Christian (previously abusive) she sided with him and didn't speak to me for 8 years or visit me when I was seriously ill in hospital. She adored and spoiled my first daughter to the exclusion of all others, even my 2nd daughter. She told my eldest child not to obey or listen to me. This caused so much unhappiness and conflict in my home as a single working mum. She let her miss school behind my back (she was my paid child minder as I left early for work 25 miles away) and she had to collect them after school.Mum told both children that university education was my downfall! As a result, my daughter has emotional issues and cannot get a good job. She has had to resit all her exams as an adult unlike her sister at university. She also weighed them every week, resulting in them both having weight issues. She has done us so much harm and now needs help in her old age. My pampered brother doesn't bother much, nor does my eldest child she spoilt, and I am left to try and help her. The dementia has seemed to worsen the hate and bitterness that was always there about her life. She accuses dad of breaking in and stealing documents (I know he hasn't) and she barricades her doors.She accuses me of ringing her in the middle of the night telling her to "sign" her house over and her pension. She really believes this happened! Mum is still unbelievably independent and has to do things her way. In the early stages Drs, social worker and psychiatrist all tried to get her to give me Power of Attorney but she refused. Now it is too late as she has been certified with cognitive impairment. Her finances will eventually be controlled by the state and she will be put in a care home. That is the one thing she dreaded, yet because of her stubbornness that is going to happen in a few years. Meantime I am left to sort out her messes, lost pension card almost every week, walking away from the cashier without her change, lost keys (I am refused a spare key) lost bag, lost medications for psychosis and delaying impairment, telephone cut off, etc. The list is endless. I swing between feeling sorry for her as she looks so small and fragile now, or hating her because of what she has and does say, although I try not to show it. She has a cat and dog with whom she is totally obsessed, especially with feeding them. Her house stinks of cat/dog food gone bad and littered in dishes and floor throughout the house. when I clean up, the house gets back to the same state the very next day. Recently she has opened her door to me and made me stand in the hallway, saying she is on her way out. She wanders the streets with her dog for hours. She refuses lifts with me, won't come for dinner, has no friends who keep in touch any more and looks pitiful. I just don't know what to do any more and I know that I will torture myself when she's gone!

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Since she is still fiercely independent, cut down on what you do for her. Cut down on your visits to her. You said you try to tidy up but your effort is wasted as the house goes back to the mess immediately after. Stop tidying up. Cut down your interaction with her as much as you can. When she gets to a point where she can no longer handle her house and her bills call Adult Protective Services and have them take over while you take a back seat.

You're understandably carrying around a lot of baggage from your childhood, old hurts that have taken probably decades to heal and dealing with your mom again has probably opened up those old wounds. Like CountryMouse said, you have to take care of yourself. Try to get your brother involved but if he won't be, turn to the state. Back off as much as you can and don't feel guilty about it for one second.
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Contact your brother and hand responsibility for your mother to him. Provide all agencies, health care professionals, social workers etc. with his contact details, and politely continue to refer them to him if/when they contact you instead.

Your mother preferred him. She made her choice. Now she can live with it. It's not your fault.

This interests me. Your mother blames you for ruining her life. That's a common, if vicious, thing that some (not all) people who've made life-changing errors do - they blame the innocent product of the error; not very interesting. The interesting thing is that you have been brainwashed into agreeing with her. That is why you are trying to make everything all right, feeling sorry for her, wishing you could heal her, justifying your existence. You are trying to expunge guilt that does not belong to you. That is why you are also so furiously angry about it. But it's the anger that is the correct, appropriate emotion.

It was never your doing, never your fault. You cannot make this okay, any more than you could have prevented your mother from making foolish, youthful mistakes before you were even born. Listen to your anger. It is telling you that what is happening now is unjust, and that you are participating in an injustice - and a futile one at that.

What happens if you stop?

I fully agree with Tex that this is best taken to a therapist for guided discussion. You have been injured, you need help to heal just as much as you would if your mother had broken both your arms.

You will torture yourself when she is gone. Excuse me. She has tortured you all your life. Stop doing her work for her.

By the way, this is not about blame. This is about understanding, about seeing clearly where the wrongs are and putting things right. The aim is not to punish your mother. The aim is to protect you, ideally to heal you, and to break a pattern that could have been imposed on your daughter. Worth fighting for, no?
Helpful Answer (4)

Get yourself to a therapist any way you can NOW! You are the only one that can possibly be saved, do this for yourself and your children.Live for yourself and your children.
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