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My mother lives with me in my house. Even though I pay the mortgage and all the bills, I have no say in what goes on in my house. She is 71 years and is reasonably healthy with except of arthritis. The last few years she has become meaner towards me, quick to snipe at me, nothing I say is right, etc. Yet, my alcholic brother (who lived with us for awhile) can do no wrong. She tells him she loves him, never says it to me. I disagree with him, I'm a horrible person who hates him. It's becoming so bad I just stay in my room when I am not at work so I don't have to see her. She even once told me I was around, so I could pay the bills. I'm afraid of what she is going to be like as she gets even older, because I'm to the point I don't want to be around her anymore.

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dizzyrider,

It sure sounds like you could use some help from your local Area Agency on Aging, for some pointers on how to get on a better track.!!!

Sounds like Mom has made sure to run all the finances into the ground
--and destroy your finances in the process.
THAT should NEVER have been allowed to happen
--but I can totally understand how,
with family being so dysfunctional!
It is past due for you to begin doing some damage control!
You need some good, solid help from whatever sources you can tap for information, direction, advice, etc--whatever you can find.

It is probably too late to rescue the house.
The reverse Mtg. will provide income to Mom as long as she is alive,
but that disappears the minute she goes into a nursing home or dies.
UNLESS you were disabled and over 62, and on that reverse Mtg. also...
IF that was done, you would also be a recipient of that reverse Mtg, beyond your Mom's needs....
But it doesn't sound like that got done.

IF Mom connived you into signing over your home so SHE ALONE could get reverse Mtg income based upon YOUR property equity,
AND still has her own income [even if it is only SSI],
it is PROPER for her to be paying you monthly, to help cover costs of utilities, etc.
Seriously, $300/month is chump change.
Figure what rent would cost her ANYWHERE else--even for a low-income apt.
THEN figure what it would cost to hire someone to do all the things you do daily [and nightly] for her. Add that to the monthly estimate.

Clearly, she must be clueless how much it costs to pay for herself, out of pocket?!
It is proper for her to pay you a monthly stipend, no matter what--since she basically took your home's Equity!

You MIGHT be able to put a lien on that home for all the work you do daily
...a lien on the property means, before proceeds from the sale of that property get distributed, you get paid first [well, you stand in line after whoever filed liens before you did.] NOT sure how this works when the bank owns the house, and the bills are generated by Mom.
IT might take the form of a Lien against her Estate--if there is one, or if she has not yet given it all away, burned it, buried it, etc..
Get a copy of that Reverse Mtg. paperwork, so you can have a lawyer look at it to see if you can do this.

For that, keep meticulous records daily--write your hours spent, duties done, every day, on the calendar, and keep those calendars.
Use those calendars also to put together billings that can be submitted;
I am not sure how a lien is done, but someone should be able to advise you!

Please get legal and financial advice, how to do some damage control for yourself!

It is terrible for relatives [ANY of them, for ANY reason] to destroy anyone who does the care-taking.

Sure, you [and so many others of us!] have trusted the wrong people
--it is easy to do, when one is starving for the love we missed as children
--that hunger never goes away, and leads us into some deep pitfalls, too easily.
BUT...we CAN learn how to prevent falling into so many holes, can learn how to protect ourselves, recognize the trains coming before we get hit with them.
It's a learning process.
Takes time, takes friends,
takes folks who understand and are cheering for your successful resolution of these troubles.

I dearly hope your situation gets resolved, and quickly enough to find you some bootstraps to pull up to protect yourself !

{{{hugs!}}}
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Boy, I can so relate to this subject! I have one older brother and two younger sisters. I have been my mother's sole caretaker for 20+ years now, since her brain aneurysm and subsequent stroke (who would have thought she would live THIS long??). My brother, being the oldest and only son, has always been favored by Mom. My next younger sis was favored by my dad while growing up, leaving me and the youngest sis being the "step-children." Diane (the youngest) is sweet as can be, but also has Cerebral Palsy since birth so, as far as I am concerned, she is the only one who has a legitimate reason not to help with Mom. My dad died 4 years ago, but he had divorced my mother and remarried, and lived half-way across the country, and I have had to face the sad truth that my daddy was the only one (besides Diane, that is) that was true to his word. Neither of my other siblings, nor my mother, have been good or even decent toward me for caring for her for so long. Neither have really ever said, "Gee, you probably need a break once a decade or so, would you like me to stay with Mom for a few days?" I have managed to fight my way to get them here to stay with her for short periods, but it hardly seems worth the effort. They usually act like they have to catch a plane or something the way they rush off from here when their job is done (usually their job being driving 50 miles to borrow money from Mom or to bring Mom cookies and sweets that she hoards in her room, and they usually take her (lor vice versa) to lunch in order to please her and keep their credit good or whatever.

Yes, I am bitter toward them a lot, but usually more in awe that they can be so selfish toward me. I have had all 3 of them steal from me now, brother tried to bully me and Mom treating me like a slave since I ran out of my own savings and retirement and she has to share her little empire with me. Getting money from her is like pulling teeth most of the time, and she always wants to be sure to be as dependent as possible so I am made to EARN my pay. Very sad situation I allowed myself to get into, mainly because I thought we had a fairly close family and, certainly, thought I could trust them. Once Dad died, it was ON, because he was the one who held the family to good values--little did I realize.

So I can certainly give advice about what NOT to do. It seems I trusted the wrong people, gave way too much of myself and my money in the belief that they would do the same for me if the shoe was on the other foot. No, I had to quitclaim my 1/2 of our home so Mom could get a reverse mortgage on it and I have gone through that money. It was a fraction of what we paid in 2007, as you can imagine. All I can do or suggest is to pray and try to hang on to your sanity. God bless all of you for your generous gift of yourselves and time; you are angels! (We are!)
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Learning [and using!] better ways to set boundaries
--healthy ones--
on others' use [or abuse!] of you, is very important.

Here is the "business" directions page of an article Oprah posted, that is kind of a nutshell for anyone to learn/use:


It has good, concise directions on this webpage, many who came from abusive families can surely lean to use
--stuff we needed to learn as children, which dysfunctional families usually work hard at keeping members from using
[to keep them dysfunctional and under control of the "lead abuser". ]

It is always good, at any age, to learn helping, constructive tools like these, to replace the dysfunctional ones we got raised with.

Hope this helps!
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Good ideas from other posters! One thing that might be wise is for our to get an idea of legal requirements applying in your state so that if Mom tries to threaten you, you know where you stand. One thing ever abuser I've ever run into does, is use ignorance to victimize. This doesn't work when you know where you actually stand. I had to separate myself from my mom's life - a therapist helped me to see what had been going on. I had never seen it as the abuse it was because there was no physical violence involved. Being Catholic I was concerned about obligations to parents, so I consulted several priests about conservative Catholic teaching on this topic. I was told that children owe their parents help if the parent falls into destitution, BUT this does not mean taking them into your home, or even spending time with them. You can get them under public conservatorship, into a safe facility, etc. That is actually the extent of your obligation - you are never obligated to let them, or anyone, abuse you. None of us human beings is anyone else's "lawful prey." One priest I talked to about my family situation actually warned me never to visit my parents without a friend accompanying me, and even then only for a short time! Hearing the moral law spelled out that way made it possible for me to ignore parental guilting. Please take care of yourself - this world needs all the good people we can get.
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Sticks: I just read Austin's post to you. I really struggle with things that SVT says, plus Libracat and sometimes 3PinkRoses. They have lived a life that I have been exposed to, but not anywhere to the extent that they have endured. They so understand the mental hard wiring of a person raised by a narcissistic mother. I spent my time in therapy, as has SVT. It takes a lot of effort to do that and try to change the perspective that you've trusted all you life, but it can be done.

Here's the problem I have with babying along someone who continues to take abuse from a parent, no less in their own home. What would these same people say if you were living with a man that beat the crap out of you physically everyday. Would they just say how they understand your pain and not encourage you to make changes. Abuse is abuse and at some point in our lives we have to take steps to heal ourselves. In the case of an abusive husband, you get a restraining order or move yourself to a battered women's shelter. You don't stay with someone who inflicts pain on you everyday. Why is it less abusive to be emotional tortured and made miserable than it is to be physically abused. The scars are less visible, but they are there and they change how we love and who we think we are. The fact that we just continue to accept the abuse is an indicator that we don't see our value and the wrongness of the pain we continue to accept.

That's what really upsets me. Someone who intentionally hurts you is an abuser. My husband was in law enforcement for 35 years and I've seen things most have not and I would not wish on anyone. Maybe it is easier to have a reaction to a woman who is in a hospital with photographs of a swollen face, blackened eyes and bandages around her head. That's undeniable abuse and anyone with a brain in their head would want that woman to get to a safe place. That's how I feel about women who are abused and used by their mothers. We just can't see the scars as easily, but they are there.

I respect SVT and I know she is trying to explain the basics to you. She wants to get you thinking about how you think and why you think that way. I may not be as gentle because I know the years SVT has put into therapy (my guess) to get where she is. You could spend a lifetime as you are now. What a waste of your precious life that would be.

Sticks, general rule of thumb. Don't live with or date anyone that does not make you happy. You've spent a long time with your mom and the result is you have crawled further and further into a dark hole. You mom takes up more and more space and rules the roost and you pay all the bills. HELLO!

Sticks, I'd like to see you come home from work and find someone making you dinner for a change. Someone who would rub your feet if they hurt. Someone who would let you know you are special and they feel blessed to have you in their life.

Everyone has an opinion and they are all honorable. I want you to be happy. Don't be lazy about that. If you are too tired to do anything about this, if it's just easier to go hide in your room, then that is called depression and you need to get some help with it. Talk to your doctor about what is happening in your life. Please get into counseling.

You are a precious loving person. Take steps towards your own overdue happiness. Just my thoughts. Love, Cattails.
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Why is she acting this way-because it works for her -she has arthrities but her mind works well give her 3 months to get other living options-she will just get worse if you want proff read about Elisa on the thread two year Mom has been living with me and see what she went through and finally got strong enough to break out and her Mom is now gone-give her choices AL or NH or live with brother dear-why should you have to hide in your own home-right away so not take off from work to take her anywhere -there are taxie's or busses-stop enabling her-it is about time she grew up and took some responsibility for herself-you do not owe her anything-keep us posted and get strong or else 20 years from now you will be having the same problems-you do not deserve to be treated this way-we teach others how to treat us.
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SOVERYTIRED---
Such a wonderful answer! It had me crying as I read it to my DH, because I am one of those kids, too [even tho I'm well over 50]--so is he, though he's been in denial of that.
The way you described, it made sense...we do our darndest to please our parents; when it does not work, we keep trying for the rest of our lives, badly, unless we figure it out and put the stops to that mess!
This is such a great bit of advice!
It takes work, but with persistance, we CAN rewire our early conditioning, and get a better sense of self-esteem.
As long as we repeat the same bad-early-childhood-conditioning habits, those who treat us badly get to keep doing their bad trips on us--it's almost like giving them permission to keep doing it.
The -minute- we start making healthy changes for ourselves, the dysfunctional people must change too, since they no longer "have our permission" to keep doing it.
And, they don't like it.
Elders who find themselves in that position, often act out badly or worse
--probly because they cannot just freely find elsewhere to go on their own, to help themselves keep being the same old way.
They want to keep being the same old way, and will fight to keep that bad behavior, because change it scarey.
Make sense?
WONDERING:
When you started making good changes for yourself, perhaps, getting brochures for care-homes or facilities that are potential places for your Mom;
Or, stop giving gifts to her. If she asks [it would more likely be a complaint], tell her "you have disliked what I gave you as "presents"; I give to you quite extravagantly already, in providing housing, bills paid, food...
[things like that].
Make dates for yourself, have fun, learn to reward and treat yourself far beter than your parent[s] ever did.
IT helps one gain a radically different perspective...just understand, as Soverytired said,
THOSE parents were broken as kids, too; they could only dish out what they got programmed with; no one told them any different.
WE know different, so can do different/better.
It takes work.
Sometimes we back-slide.
BUt at least we know, and try better.
You can too, Sticks.
You have been doing a heroic job of taking care of your Mom under very difficult circumstances.
You surely have some Stars in your Crown for that, and will have more before it's over!
The knee-jerk response might seem to be "get her out of your house!"
But that might not be do-able yet, or you might, once you start feeling better about yourself, think you can keep doing it --be wary about suddenly feeling better about keeping her in your house!
When a dysfunctional adult gets on a roll, so to speak, things get worse.
You really need to have backup plans, like other places she can be moved to, or ,
be ready to turn over care of her to the hospital if she gets admitted to one for something--even for a day or 2--just notify the Social Worker at the Hospital, upon admission, that Mom cannot come back to your house, as you can no longer manage as her caregiver.
At that point, the hospital social worker becomes responsible for finding her a place to move to, NOT you. The whole load would then be off your shoulders--and it makes a hugely better difference for your health!
I pray for you a Peaceful Heart, that you find good resolution before you lose any good memories you had of her.
{{{hugs!}}}
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Sorry I got so interested I read last page & posted then realized the conversation here had 1 more page now I see cattails is here she is why I said sticks the people on here will look out for you. Im ussually the one getting advice. Trust me I know what it is like letting everyone walk all over you & you just sitting in your room missing life. These ladys have helped me alot. When seems like no one else cares.....
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Sticks You came to the right place these ladys on here are amazing & wise & look out for you when no one else is. Im early 40's to I have 2 sisters never knew much about the golden boy syndrome till Ive been around my MIL for past 20 something years she treats me good. Always has said I'm just like her own. My husband is the baby but, never did no wrong but, he was always good to her but, his older brother has ran all over country with different woman she would send him money & many of holidays get the sisters going wanting them to contribute to send him money. Then 10 years ago he moved back got married had 3 kids & his wife said she couldnt do it and walked away. He is single dad now and even comes and sits with mom what kills me them two never do no wrong never did in her eyes. I see that alot on here The mom favors the boys. I have 3 kids My son being oldest 23 & I love him to death but I love my girls just the same... I just don't get the golden boy syndrome you think its the era?????
Sticks Hope you find a solution soon you shouldnt suffer to make others happy. Would she want to move? Keep us updated.. And you can always come on here and vent IT helps so much......
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Sticks: I'm sorry I was so short in my previous post to you. I agree with Soverytired and she has a great way of explaining things. Here's my problem, and it is mine not yours or anybody elses. I just hate to see people mistreated. It just rips my heart open. When I hear someone talk about a parent who abuses them, I just want to step in the front door and haul someone's ass to another location.

Making your way out of being abused by a narcissistic parent is not easy task. As SVT said, you are hardwired to keep trying to gain their approval. Their validation is all you have ever wanted. The sad truth is you will never get it from them.

Sticks, save yourself. It's the best thing you will ever do.

I am sending you love and apologies for not being kinder. I just want you to be free and to learn how to love yourself. You are so deserving of a better life.

Love and Hugs, Cattails.
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Soverytired: you are SO very right. Very well said! and I and I'm sure a lot of us on here can identify with what you have said. We are like Pavlov's dogs: conditioned as to what to do, what to say, what to buy, how to act, it goes on and on.
Yes, she should buy/give what SHE chooses, not what the mother wants......imagine getting a list every year of "this is what I want for Christmas, and here's another list of what I DON'T".....talk about a dictator!!
Then, imagine these comments, one year after each other: "This is the first year I didn't get any jewellery" "I wonder why nobody gave me any money this year"......... what can a person say?
BUT it's ok for you to get 10 gifts from her, all things for the house, nothing personal picked out for YOU, just things she figures you need. No love put into any of them but you're supposed to grateful!
And just imagine if you happen to stumble and pick out the "wrong" thing for them -- and hear "what on earth would make you think I'd want a thing like that!!"
Bottom line is you are 150% correct: there is no changing them, you were never good enough and never will be, you will never receive the love or validation from them that you deserve and you have to do some mental housecleaning and put an imaginary them in a box in your mind up on a shelf and leave it there -- go and live your own life and DO NOT enter theirs or succumb to their conditioning!
Easier said than done but you have to keep your sanity! I'm trying to...........
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Okay, Sticks, let's explore your last comment. First, about "changing". Pretty much people don't change. We are who we are. Even when you want to change, when you want to get rid of some childhood hardwiring, for example, it's hard to do. You have to make a concentrated effort. So your mom is not changing, she is who she is. Next, if it's that hard to change yourself, do you think you have the power to change another person? No way can you make your mom change. It would be hard for your mom to create change in herself, so there is nothing you can do that will make her change. Even you doing more for her, buying her more expensive presents, being "gooder" than ever isn't going to change her. It's not about what you do. This is your hardwiring from childhood. As children, we are learning from the minute we are born how to get our parents to meet our needs. As a baby - If I cry, they will feed me, pick me up, comfort me. As a toddler - if I touch that radio dial, they get upset. If I dance to the music, it makes them laugh and be happy. So we are learning to modify our behavior to please our parent to "make them" happy with us, to "get them" to love us. So we're like 2 years old and we think we can control them. Then it gets a bit murkier. In a perfect world, good parents will start helping us discover who we are and how we feel and how to make choices that make us feel good about ourselves. They will validate our feelings and teach us it is okay to have feelings. In this scenario, we would come to know what we ourselves like and dislike, we would learn how to make choices that make our own self happy. Unfortunately, many of us didn't have those parents (and likely our parents didn't have those parents). Instead, we grew up in households where everything revolved around the parent, around the parent's emotional well-being, or the parent' addictions, or the parent's choices. So we got stuck in a world of trying to figure out how to act, how to be, what to do, that will earn our parent's love and it was hardwired into us and we can't stop. I think that's where you are. Whether or not your mother approves of your gift, or treats you nice for a couple of days...this shouldn't be central to how you feel about yourself. You should be able to choose your mother's day gift based on what you want to give, what you can afford to give, what you are willing to give...without the need for approval and without any guilt. Your survival is no longer dependent on her reaction to it. Your value isn't dependent on whether she likes your gift or his gift. (Those of us who grew up in households where love and attention were scarce are very sensitive to competing for that low supply of love and attention.) You were born with value - we all were. Make a list of all your good personality traits. Write a letter to yourself about all the wondrous things you've done in your life, including how you survived your childhood. Read these over and over and over agan. Put your effort into getting yourself to approve of yourself. Forget getting her approval (or anyone else's). Did you buy a scent of lotion that is just heavenly, what did you like about it? Did you wrap it creatively? Do you enjoy wrapping gifts creatively? Talk positively to yourself about you all the time. For every negative thought you have about you like "maybe I should have" or "why didn't I" or "what is wrong with me that I did such and such", say/think 10 positive things about yourself. Change your hardwiring. It takes time. Give yourself the positive, consistent love you should have had as a child.This I can tell you for sure - It is OKAY that you gave her a basket of Bath and Body Works stuff. I love that stuff. I would have loved that gift. There is nothing wrong with you that you gave her that gift. In fact, there is something wrong with her, if she values money more. There is something wrong with her that she is repetitively talking up some other person's gift to you - I mean would you do that to a friend? Would you keep talking to one friend about a gift from another friend? She has the problem, not you, there's nothing wrong with you. Once you make approving of yourself a habit, you will find lots of people who see your value without you having to do anything special for them - other than just being who you are. It is so less exhausting than trying to be who we think others want us to be. Start today being consistently loving with yourself. I think you sound like a wonderful person.
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sticks: Quit with the rationalizing and listen to what Sovertired said. It doesn't matter if your mom has a few good days or not. You are the one who needs help. You can seek it out or stay stuck in the same shit. Please read over and over what Soverytired said to you. It's the best advise you will get if you want to move into a better place. Best wishes, Cattails.
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Thank you for the support I appreciate it. I thought about going to talk to someone because I have years of feelings built up, but, I don't know. Its frustrating because she has a good couple of days treats me great than bam its back to the way it was (yet each time I think shes changing - stupid of me!). She keeps mentioning my brother gave her $140 for mothers day. I got her a $40 Bath & Body basket of stuff. She says it isn't how much you spend, yet she keeps bringing up how much he gave. Ugh! Thanks again.
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Sticks, I have had a similar relationship with my mother. My sisters can do do no wrong, especially my oldest sister. Your mom's remark about you being around to pay the bills - I've had similar things said to me. In a joking way, but still it was true. I was around to pay the bills. You're in the role that was assigned to you by your family of origin. It is hard wired into you and it will hurt you in other relationships too, because people react to us, they meet us where we are. Don't spend any more of your life as Cinderella. Personally, I went to counseling and it helped immensely to sort out family roles and family myths, to learn how to set boundaries, to learn that self acceptance is more valuable than your mother's approval, to learn that there are others who will love you for who you are, not what you do. It's amazing what the human brain accepts as fact when it is drilled into you from an early age. Don't wait 20 more years like I did to figure it out. I can't tell you what the right thing to do is with your living situation or your relationships with your mother and brother. This will come from within after you learn who you are - not who they say you are. Once you have confidence in who you are - when you start changing the hardwiring - you'll react differently and perhaps their behavior will change. But you can learn how to act and respond as yourself - without guilt - rather than acting and responding as you think they want/expect of you. Imagine how great that could be. Good luck, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
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((((((((sticks)))))) I agree with you taking steps to get your life back, and find a facility for your mum. I truely don't believe that she is going to change - perhaps she can't change. You live like a prisoner in your own house, being abused, and providing for everything. That is no life, dear one, and you deserve better, and as shrayn says, you deserve respect. Please do talk with a social worker and ne honest about your situation. Somewhere you have learned to put up with treatment that no one should put up with. I have been there and changed. You can too. Let us know how you are doing
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Sticks~you have been some great advice. I concur that assisted living or senior living would be the best thing for your mother. Don't let her guilt you into staying with you. Let her know she no longer can live with you. You have been a wonderful daughter but sometimes parents cannot live with their children. It just doesn't work for the very reasons you are experiencing. It is hard for some elderly parents to respect their adult children as adults. As long as your home is completely your home, then you should control in it and your mother should respect that...period!! I hope I have not spoke out of turn or offended you, but you must stand your ground and set boundaries with her. (((Hugs))) to you!!
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Libracat,
When an elder goes into a facility, they can demand thingsall they want--but as with raising children, they do NOT always get everything!
It costs money to bring stuff in, and, the more stuff in a room, the harder it is for caregivers to actually give care.
Facilities do not appreaciate families helping elders "hoard" in their rooms--though I have seen a few that were approaching some upper limits on "stuff" collections.
A person in facility can argue, plead and complain all they want. They can simper, whine, cry, act out, threaten, etc....it still boils down to their own fears and grief over their losses, and fears about their ability to survive.
IF the family or the patient cannot afford the stuff being begged for, it's not happening.
Do NOT let anyone guilt-trip you!
[[there are a couple of those posting on the various questions on AgingCare
...they only show how sad and hurting they are themselves, as they attempt to guilt trip or otherwise hurt feelings of other posters.]]
Guilt-tripping is not appropriate in children, and it is egregiously out-of-line in adults!
Someone can keep doing guilt-trips and complaints, as long as you let them.
If they cannot stop themselves doing it, it is time for them to live elsewhere, if you cannot manage to keep yourself healthy while they are doing it.
Once the elder is in a facility, you can drop in for brief visits as long as you are able to tolerate the verbiage, which they will keep doing.
It allows you to limit their access and damages to you.
God knows I love my Mom, but she cannot control her fears, terrible temper, mouth, nor what she chooses to inflict physically.
Therefore, it was essential for me to find some way to get her out of our house, in order for us to simply live. No, I have not healed to the point of allowing actual verbal conversation with any of them [her or those siblings], as they play her games [she taught them well].
It has been almost a year, and I am just barely beginning to have vague memories of some nice things she was also capable of, in earlier years
--she nearly wiped those memories out of my mind with her bad behaviors over the 6 years she was here.
It is important that I do NOT return to the broken-child role she worked so hard to create and expects, but stick to maintaining the distance and only allow written correspondence, to help prevent misunderstandings, and to have a paper trail. No surprise, all of them have only tossed out more verbal "hooks", and Mom has not written nor called, even though she knows how to do that, and my number is programmed [or at least, it was...] in her phone.
Otherwise, the verbal-only games [plausible deniability] they so love to play, are terribly destructive.
Anyone can do similar.
Or, one can choose to stay stuck where they are.
YOU wrote: "...if she stays here, her behaviour continues, and I am faced with dealing with it; if she goes into a facility, the first things she will demand are a tv, and a phone (as she does the minute she goes into hospital). Then the phone calls and demands will start: ...."
----That sounds like you, being STUCK, doing the same old things you have been taught to keep doing all your life.
From your posts, it sounds like that is not working for you.
But it is up to you to choose if it is or not.
Maybe it is working for you?
I found ways to do something different, to get different, better results for me--though it took over 60 years to figure that out.
You do not have to do what I did,
but, you might think on the matter; you might figure out other ways to handle things radically different than what you have so far been doing, to date, in order to get different results.
Remember, "insanity" can be defined as "doing the same old things, expecting different results". Someone brought that up just at the right moment so that my brain really took it in; I managed to formulate a really different path to follow, and it worked.
Yours may look different, but something different needs to happen for you to survive your predicament!
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Libracat,
When an elder goes into a facility, they can demand thingsall they want--but as with raising children, they do NOT always get everything!
It costs money to bring stuff in, and, the more stuff in a room, the harder it is for caregivers to actually give care.
Facilities do not appreaciate families helping elders "hoard" in their rooms--though I have seen a few that were approaching some upper limits on "stuff" collections.
A person in facility can argue, plead and complain all they want. They can simper, whine, cry, act out, threaten, etc....it still boils down to their own fears and grief over their losses, and fears about their ability to survive.
IF the family or the patient cannot afford the stuff being begged for, it's not happening.
Do NOT let anyone guilt-trip you!
[[there are a couple of those posting on the various questions on AgingCare
...they only show how sad and hurting they are themselves, as they attempt to guilt trip or otherwise hurt feelings of other posters.]]
Guilt-tripping is not appropriate in children, and it is egregiously out-of-line in adults!
Someone can keep doing guilt-trips and complaints, as long as you let them.
If they cannot stop themselves doing it, it is time for them to live elsewhere, if you cannot manage to keep yourself healthy while they are doing it.
Once the elder is in a facility, you can drop in for brief visits as long as you are able to tolerate the verbiage, which they will keep doing.
It allows you to limit their access and damages to you.
God knows I love my Mom, but she cannot control her fears, terrible temper, mouth, nor what she chooses to inflict physically.
Therefore, it was essential for me to find some way to get her out of our house, in order for us to simply live. No, I have not healed to the point of allowing actual verbal conversation with any of them [her or those siblings], as they play her games [she taught them well].
It has been almost a year, and I am just barely beginning to have vague memories of some nice things she was also capable of, in earlier years
--she nearly wiped those memories out of my mind with her bad behaviors over the 6 years she was here.
It is important that I do NOT return to the broken-child role she worked so hard to create and expects, but stick to maintaining the distance and only allow written correspondence, to help prevent misunderstandings, and to have a paper trail. No surprise, all of them have only tossed out more verbal "hooks", and Mom has not written nor called, even though she knows how to do that, and my number is programmed [or at least, it was...] in her phone.
Otherwise, the verbal-only games [plausible deniability] they so love to play, are terribly destructive.
Anyone can do similar.
Or, one can choose to stay stuck where they are.
YOU wrote: "...if she stays here, her behaviour continues, and I am faced with dealing with it; if she goes into a facility, the first things she will demand are a tv, and a phone (as she does the minute she goes into hospital). Then the phone calls and demands will start: ...."
----That sounds like you, being STUCK, doing the same old things you have been taught to keep doing all your life.
From your posts, it sounds like that is not working for you.
But it is up to you to choose if it is or not.
Maybe it is working for you?
I found ways to do something different, to get different, better results for me--though it took over 60 years to figure that out.
You do not have to do what I did,
but, you might think on the matter; you might figure out other ways to handle things radically different than what you have so far been doing, to date, in order to get different results.
Remember, "insanity" can be defined as "doing the same old things, expecting different results". Someone brought that up just at the right moment so that my brain really took it in; I managed to formulate a really different path to follow, and it worked.
Yours may look different, but something different needs to happen for you to survive your predicament!
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Libracat,
PLEASE talk with a Social Worker, or Patient Advocate to let them know what the situation is.
Let them know that you are at wit's end, and cannot take her back to your home, cannot deal with her demands and manipulations.
TECHNICALLY, she is in the custody of the hospital.
She is under medical treatment by them and cannot be "abandoned".
As long as she is NOT in your custody, you can make moves to in effect, turn her custody over to the hospital.
It might be a good, to just tell the Hospital Social Worker that alternative housing MUST be found, IMMEDIATELY, since you cannot have her back in your home.
I messed up--I didn't kow I cold do that.
I faltered, and failed to put foot down when mine was in the hospital.
Still trying to be "the good kid", totally understanding Mom's mental illnesses she's had all her life, with dementia starting to develop--I really thought I could deal with it.
But that was delusional on my part..
I totally failed to recognize my siblings getting sucked into her stories, and that they were perpetrating her behaviors back at me from their perspectives--until it was darn near too late for me to keep breathing.
They did finally get mad enough
[operating under thrall of her lies] to come get her out of here.
But if they had not believed her lies, they would have left her here.
I asked the Hosp. to do a psych evel while she was in the hosp., and it got her even more angry and retaliatory.
Your Mom's personality will not change, only get worse, at this age.
Your only protection is to be very clear with the Social Worker, she cannot return to your home.
If she got back to your place, you LOSE leverage to get her out.
ONLY while she is physically at the hospital, out of your place, do you have some bit of leverage to get her placed elsewhere.
If she has made it back to your place, maybe you can figure some way to get her removed--72 hour psych watch in a hospital for instance?
It will cause her to become very angry.
But out of your place!
Talk with a Social Worker!
Right now, your emotions are raw, and rapidly falling down the "rabbit hole" into worse dysfucntion yourself.
Please talk to Social Worker to get some better direction and help getting your Mom out of your place and permanently placed in long-term care!
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Hi Chimonger, well, here's the dichotomy: if she stays here, her behaviour continues, and I am faced with dealing with it; if she goes into a facility, the first things she will demand are a tv, and a phone (as she does the minute she goes into hospital). Then the phone calls and demands will start: "You'll need to bring me my housecoat, not the terry one, the dressy one" "Find me my silver earrings - the flat ones that I wear all the time" "Check and see if there's any mail for me, you can bring that when you come" "Look for my lipstick, the one in the black tube - it's in the bathroom, you know where it is, and if you bring the wrong one you'll have to go back and change it".......etc., etc., etc.
I have been through this many, many times, since she was hospitalized for four months a couple of years ago, in four different hospitals. The only way I could avoid taking the subway all the way downtown so she could get what she wanted (she had my daughters going down there to bring her butter tarts, danish, cookies etc. and then told the nurse she DIDN'T have diabetes - that she "controlled it with her diet" - now there's a joke, control is the right word)
was to not answer the phone and let the answering machine pick it up.
Eventually when I did pick it up it was "Where WERE you? Everytime I called some man (the answering machine!!) picked up." Then I would ask her what she wanted so urgently and she would call to complain about the food in there.
One time she cajoled a person in the bed beside her to steal an extra sandwich off the lunch tray!! The deviousness is beyond belief!
You did the right thing with the rest of your family, though.......I made huge mistakes. My sibling doesn't contribute a single cent to her care here, not for groceries or anything else -- yes, it's my fault for not demanding he help financially. He also doesn't have to have her living with him! He wouldn't be able to since he has a one-bedroom house.....
If you read about these narcissists you will see that your "Divide and Conquer" comment is 100% correct - they play the two-sided game very, very well and that is their control and manipulation. They are the top of the triangle and you are one corner and the rest of your family is the other. This is so they can be the center of it all and control what each of you know about the other. She has done this since childhood: if you ask her anything about the other sibling she will say "oh we didn't discuss that" (b.s.!!) or "don't blame me - he didn't tell me that" YEAH, right! She will also tell stories to the other sibling to garner their sympathy but is careful not to complain too much or he would stop listening.
I think we should send all of them to "Toxic Island" and be done with it!
I know I have been a good person, I have tried very hard to invent a new life for myself since the age of 20 when she kicked me out of the house for doing nothing, because it was easier/more convenient for her; I even changed my name to rid myself of the heredity I had inherited.
So we can now invent a new life for ourselves, even at age 60!! Now after a nasty incident I had with her two nights ago, she is on her best behaviour except for faking that she has a cold, and she better be because the next step if something like that occurs again is a one-way trip back to her town!!
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Libracat--you got it right on the nailhead!
I barely survived that kind of situation.
Yes, those kinds of persons WILL keep upping hte ante--that is, escalating their bad behaviors, as long as limits are not set--and sometimes even with limit-setting. Limit setting infuriates them, since it is yet more evidence they have lost autonomy.
The ONLY way to get relief from this kind of bad situation, as far as I can tell, is to get that person OUT of your house, and give care of them over to either assisted living, or a dementia/alzheimers care unit if appropriate.
They will NOT go willingly, as they LIKE being able to battle their caregiver.
IT is up to you to determine how much of it you are willing to take, how ruined your life is acceptable to you.
Shy of being a Living Saint, normal humans simply cannot survive alone faced with the damaging words and actions such a person likes to use.
Talk with Social Workers, Docs, Counselors.
The Narcisits, the Bipolar who has managed to get by in life without diagnosis, the Split Personality [Dissociative disorder] who has gotten by their whole life avoiding diagnosis, keeps being their disruptive self, and it gets compouded by againg dementia issues.
There are LOADS of these people existing in the world, who never got help, much less proper help, and will avoid getting help til their dying breath, no matter what destruction it costs them and their families.
Believe me, I know!
The only solution is to get them into a facility of some kind, where professionals can caregive, instead of you. You could always help out at that facility, if you want, but I am kinda inclined to think you will really really need some downtime yourself, to regain some health to yourself and to your marriage partnership, which suffer under that kind of regime as your againg relative puts you through.
Document her statements, episodes, make 911 calls to make police reports. Be very specific when filing police reports, which can be after-the-fact, preferrably not longer than 24 hrs.
Give letters/ documents stating concerns about described behaviors, to her Docs, to include in her charts.
People who have managed to survive a lifetime avoiding getting mental illness diagnoses and treated, have developed VERY devious ways to hide it, particularly from any who might report it, or to other relatives. Their game is "Divide and Conquer" ...divide you out of the family herd, away from your spouse or other immjediate family members.
The only way to stop them, is get them out of your house.
That allows you to start healing, and to again start remembering any actually nice memories of that person...because they DO have them-they have done some nice things--it is just really hard to remember any of those little goodies when that person is behaving so badly in your own home.
Get that person out of your house and away from any sort of direct influence on you. Nothing is worth allowing that to continue.
The strongest sign that my siblings can be as dysfunctional as Mom, was that instead of simply telling me to find Mom a suitable place to live that was out of any of our homes, they instead pulled off a "007" maneuver to get her out of our house, as she played them like a fiddle, telling them how terrible we'd been here, and how they loved her more than I did. She pulled out ALL the stops to play them into her hand. They suckered for it. Now they have her.
It took 60+ years for me to realize how sick all those behaviors really are, and to "get it" that the only way to protect myself from those, and to have the chance at a better life, the only remedy was to sever commuications with them.
They can contact me by email, snail mail, but phone calls are clipped short as possible.
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Hi Sticks - just realize that these mothers have been at the "favouritism" game for a long time - especially if they are narcissists. They need one child to be the scapegoat, and another to be perfect. That way they can vent their verbal and physical (if it happens) abuse on the scapegoat, and even use the perfect one to inflict that abuse on the scapegoat, so they themselves can say "I had nothing to do with that" and "I didn't do that". We are their escape valves and help them prove to their false self that they aren't bad people, that they are trying to do their best but look how ungrateful that child is, I try to help her but she won't do what I say, etc. I've lived this my whole life.
NancyH, easier said than done........my brother tapped in to what our mother was really like and, if she tried to pry into his personal biz or got too close or demanding, he just distanced himself and became totally unavailable, moving out of town, changing his phone #'s, etc. to the point of disappearing for almost 12 yrs. I think I might have talked to hime 3 or 4 times during that period.
He, of course "works and you don't". He also lives in a one-bedroom home - isn't that convenient? So before you suggest that someone turf out a parasitic parent, you have to try to scope out what else is going on.
My brother knows full well how my mother operates and wants none of it - isn't he the smart one? He also knows how to "play the game" very well with my mother and makes sure that any contact is on his terms. I should have taken a lesson!!
I think what you need to do, Sticks, is own your life again -- this is what I'm attempting to do right now. Everything she complains about, do it anyway. Mine hates loud music, complains about any noise from any other condos, constantly complains about the food, etc. and I could go on and on. Everything bothers her - if I am sewing, if I am on the computer, whatever, so from now on I`m really going to push my own agenda.
The only thing I can`t change is trying to go out more often. I would do that if she weren`t prone to falling and creating medical dramas while I'm out. One time I wanted to go out for dinner with a friend and my husband was out of town. I had set the whole thing up and when I let her know she says "Well I suppose if I take sick I can always call 911 and they can come and break the door down - they'll probably bring the police too." This threat was pure manipulation on her part as well as control and an attempt to sabotage. Also she snoops while we are out and you can't leave anything personal lying around but she will look in drawers, cupboards or closets and I don't appreciate that invasion of privacy.
Whatever you do NEVER complain to her about your lot in life, for it will be used against you somewhere down the road. Last week when I said I was tired from what I had done that day (and my grandchild was over) she says, "You don't have a life." Well wasn't that a brilliant observation? I wonder WHY when you have sucked almost the last of it out of me!!
I wish people would realize that these elderly and narcissistic parents are jealous, angry, pitying themselves, feeling sorry for themselves and if they have complaints about the way they lived their lives, or do not appreciate the one they are living now, they need to talk to a professional about it......but the dr.s have told me that there is no chance she will change at age 87!!
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Sticks69, I don't understand why you surrendered your freedom and power in the first place. Time to take back the control in your own house. Tell mom to move in with her favorite child, and move on. You might remind her that SHE'S the one that needs you, not the other way around. I think a reality check is in order, don't you?
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Sticks: I just want to add one more thing. What you tried to do for your mom was especially kind and decent. You are a good person.

Sometimes, over time, things change. Actually, things always change over time. You can't put the same shoe on a 4 year old when he/she is 5 years old. So what worked at one time may not work a few years later, especially when taking care of elderly parents who are getting worse as time goes on.

I'm just saying, don't be hard on yourself. You mom is changing. It's not your fault. I know it's hard as does everyone who has posted here. It's hard to make so many changes to try and make something right in your mom's life and then be disappointed. It can feel like a personal failure, but it isn't.

Many of us have been there. We understand and are here for you. We just don't want to see you take a beating you don't deserve. It's just not your fault.

Love, Cattails.
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Sticks: Thanks for sharing about the ownership of your home. I asked about it because I wondered if you felt indebted to you mom because she helped you obtain the house. So now it is clear that it is your house and the only thing your mom contributes is some housecleaning which she can't do so much anymore due to arthritis.

I think Fordellcastle had a good point in suggesting that your mom see the doctor and get a full work up. Maybe she has a medical issue that is causing her to be so difficult. Take some steps to rule that in or out.

Libracat made some comments that also made sense. It's funny how mom's can be so harsh to daughters who do so much for them and be so protective of the sons who do nothing and have obvious problems.

If there is not a medical problem to address your mom's attitude, then I would suggest that you check into assisted living for her. She pays no bills, so hopefully she has saved her money.

Your mom is relatively young and she has no major health issues from what you have said. Do you want to spend the next 20 years like this? You can't get those years back. You are in your very early 40's and these should be good years for you. Don't spend them hiding in your room.

Stay with us here and listen to what people offer. Give it some serious thought and start thinking of a plan to separate you from your mom.

Hugs, Cattails.
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It is my mortgage, utilities, etc. 11 years ago I was living in the city when my mom asked me to buy mike's house because he was about to lose it from non-payment(the house was hers till she took out a mortgage to pay his bills). I kept getting pressure to do it (even though I didn't want to leave the city) and finally caved but only if I bought my own house. She moved in with me he got a job sold the house and moved away. She does clean the house for me, but, arthritis is now extremely bad, but, that was how she contributed. I take her to all the doctors, hospitals, etc, he never has (he lives in area), I have to rearrange work schedule for all this, etc when I ask if he can she says he has to work? What I don't? I've stopped voicing anything re him because she yells at me and says I'm mean and hate him for no reason. I could go on and on with examples, but, what's the point. It just seems hopeless somethimes, but, I keep hoping she will change or appreciate me, but .......
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Didn't you know? Sons are idolized, while daughters are criticized. He is idolized because mothers don't want sons to see them in a bad light, and she sees him as her "golden boy" who can do no wrong, alcoholic or not. I have the same thing with my brother.
These guys can go to jail, not call their mothers in five years, forget their birthdays, treat them like crap while we, the daughters who do everything for them, are dumped on. It's because they resent another female taking their place and they don't want to relinquish the "mother'" job so when they see us independent with a family of our own, they turn on us because they see that we can operate on our own and don't really need them anymore.
I don't say it is right! I just say what it is. Sick!! PS That "dementia" exucse is wearing very thin and it's an excuse, all right - these doctors are to blame for saying that anyone over 80 yrs. old who acts selfishly and mean has "dementia". Well I'd like a heapin' helpin' o' that please!!
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I understood from the statement that the poster said "I pay the mortgage and all the bills", that the Mom was not contributing.
But you are right--more details could be missing.
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Hi Stick, to me this sounds like a case of narcissistic personality disorder. Look it up and see if your mother has any of the other symptoms.
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