Before I get started, know I love my mother very much. I call her myself every day to check in and try to see her every couple weeks. I’m just getting frustrated and need advice. I also can’t imagine how scary/frustrating this may be for her, even though she denies there’s anything wrong. So in posting this, please don’t read it as a daughter complaining, but a daughter needing advice on what I can do.
To give a back story. She isn’t diagnosed with memory related illness, but that’s because she refuses to go to a doctor. She’s 65 years old (not what I consider “old”) and no longer works. She has all the signs of a memory complicated condition but denies it’s an issue. I’m a mental health professional, I see these things a lot and try to tell her about the warning sings I’m seeing. However, she still sees me as her child and not a professional.
So here’s the issue: She calls me, constantly. Work days, weekends, middle of the night, it’s all the time. My call log is her every 30 minutes - 1 hour (sometimes less time in between on a bad day. The calls are always the same conversation over and over again. She gets so mad and says I don’t want to talk to her if I don’t answer and denies that we’ve spoke when I try to kindly tell her we’ve spoke. This wouldn’t be an issue if she wasn’t so persistent and rude. I’ll be blunt, my mom isn’t the most pleasant of people. I love her and care about her very much, however she’s very stubborn and can be only concerned about herself. She’s been like this my whole life. She will say things like “I’m your mother, I’m important” when she’s called me 5x during my morning meetings and I tell her I’m working and can’t answer. she will say the same when she’s woke me up by calling at 11pm. She lives with her significant other, but he gets equally as frustrated.
What can can I do? This is ruining our relationship because she just won’t stop. If I don’t answer she will just call again and again. I work a stressful and mentally taxing full time job where I can’t be on my phone. I also need to have some time to decompress and this constant calling drives me crazy. My husband is so supportive, but it’s hard for him too. We will be at dinner, at a movie, with his family, etc and my phone is always going off (I have to keep it on ringer for my patients). There’s times she won’t remember calling and others when she will say she remembers we’ve spoke but she’ll say she needed to make sure to tell me ______ (which she did, 5x already). I’m trying to understand and be empathetic, but it’s so hard. She gets so mad if I don’t answer but I can’t leave my desk, pull my car over, stop my dinner, or wake up to answer her every time she calls. I wish she would go to a neurologist, but she won’t. She says she’s “doing just fine and there’s no problem.” Then will go on to say I need to be more understanding. I’ll show her my phone logs and she gets embarrassed and walks away/changes the subject rather than seeing that I’m trying to show her there’s a problem. I’m fearful for her because it’s clear something is wrong. Besides the constant calling, she has multiple other signs. She forgets when I come over, she even forgot her birthday party this year. She doesn’t remember my birthday or how old I am, she has days where she forgets what day/time of day it is, and she isn’t able to remember new things (like how to take her blood sugar). She always is anxious, for example she always feels her computer or phone is broke (never is). She has “good days” but far more bad days.
So all all in all, what can I do for my own sanity and to help her realize there’s more than just “old age (her words)” going on here?