I blocked my mom's number because I thought it would help me cope, but she found my work number and calls the phone there. I work at a very busy cafe where I serve hundreds of people a day, and it is very disruptive to my day and the day of the other employees when the phone rings unnecessarily. I unblocked her to see if it would help but now my safe place - my work - isn't a safe place anymore. My only safe place is gone.

It's to the point where I told her I have every right to ghost her - change my phone number and find a different job.

If you read my other posts, you probably know that my mom just recently got diagnosed with dementia but her doctor is confident she also has Borderline personality disorder which severely clouds her thinking. For example she has no empathy for other employees at my work answering her many phone calls after I have repeatedly told her my management isn't happy.

I almost want to call the police because I feel harassed. I am her POA but I have a right to decline her calls, I have every right to not visit her, and I have every right to make my workplace a safe place free from harassment of any kind.

I just learned recently learned that the way she talks to me is actually just gaslighting me.

Like, here's an example of typical conversation:

Mom: "Why don't you answer my phone calls? I'm your only mother. Why are you so hateful?"

Me: "Mom, I don't call because I don't like how you talk to me. I have a right to my own life. I have every right to remove you from my life if you don't adhere to the boundaries I make for myself"

"I don't have to do that. I'm your mother. You're just hateful"

"I'm not hateful. I'm angry and depressed and hurt."

"Well, then you should just go to the doctor."

"I can, but my depression is because of how you behave towards me."

"Then stop being so hateful."

"Please stop calling my work. It's disruptive."

"I will call your work as much as I want until you answer your cell phone."

"My management will have to talk to you then"

"It won't stop me. I can call as much as I like."

She always circle back to my downfalls. My inadequacies. What are my downfalls? I refuse to take her out of the nursing home because literally everyone: her doctor, her siblings, her social worker, EVERYONE has said she is NOT safe elsewhere.

YES she is young for a nursing home. YES it is not the most optimal place to live the rest of your life.

But her choices got her there. I'm trying to make sure she stays there because she has the care she requires, she has food, she has a warm room, and she has access to other humans to socialize with. I'm making sure she has the opportunity to thrive as best she can.

She is going in for a neuropsych evaluation Nov 15. The doctor recommended that I do not remain as POA no matter what they find. She will find a guardian/conservator in my absence. My family and boyfriend agree. As sh*tty as it is to say, I don't have to be in her life if all she is going to do is give me grief. I don't have to consent to that.

Life is hard right now. I feel like I'm barely existing anymore.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Isn't she in a facility? Have you called there and addressed it? They may be able to do something on their end.
Helpful Answer (0)

CTTN55, just as an aside, I wouldn't expect it to cost anything to block a number - it's more a matter of technical know-how. But modern phone systems are so sophisticated there probably is a way.

E.g., from Auntie Google (who else?)

Method 1 Blocking Specific Numbers on a Landline
Call your telephone service provider. Ask a customer service representative whether call blocking is an available feature. ... 
Dial *60 on your phone. ... 
Add a phone number to be blocked. ... 
Remove a phone number from your block list. ... 
Hang up the phone.

So if this method didn't work, I'd expect there to be another that did. It shouldn't take fifteen minutes to get it all done.
Helpful Answer (0)

TwinRivers: "What I get tired of is this idea that we have to have this moral responsibility and superhero ability to assist the ones we are caring for.. even when most of them are so abusive."

Society certainly does expect that of us! The attitude is that there is something wrong with the caregiver if they cannot continue to put up with it.

ag6044: "I feel like I'm barely existing anymore."

Work was your safe place, and now it isn't. And she is not just affecting you, but also your coworkers. Your job might be at risk.

I hope it will be as simple as blocking her number. I don't know about this -- does it cost money just one time or is it a monthly fee?

"The doctor recommended that I do not remain as POA no matter what they find. She will find a guardian/conservator in my absence. My family and boyfriend agree."

Does your mother ever see any other family members? If your doctor is recommending that you stop being POA, then please consider this.

Please update us.
Helpful Answer (2)

This is going to sound unbelievably callous but bear with me - the upside of dementia in a person with one of the personality disorders is that you can blame the dementia and stop having to address their ghastly behaviours.

So, for example, chewing over Snoopy's practical suggestion - you can't just take someone's phone off her without good reason, because it's her property. And in establishing that there is misuse of it to put on record, even assuming she's not capable of fighting this step effectively, you'd have to explain the source of the problem.

Well. "She's got dementia and doesn't realise what she's doing" is far more palatable for everyone whose agreement is needed than "she's BPD and a *massive* PITA."
Helpful Answer (0)

I have to occasionally interact with a friend of my father's with BPD and am left emotionally worn out after even relatively uneventful, brief encounters. I share Tothill's horror at the idea of BPD with dementia. How devastating to try to deal with!

I vote for getting rid of her phone, as she is misusing it.
Helpful Answer (0)

BPD is a challenge. I have a family member diagnosed with it and I cannot imagine it combined with dementia. My heart goes out to you.

I have no solutions other than having her number blocked at your workplace. You should not have to give up your job to avoid her terrible behaviour.

I do want to congratulate you on setting boundaries. It is hard, but your health and welfare are worth fighting for.
Helpful Answer (1)

Your mother seems incapable of responsible use of a phone. Her behaviour is putting your employment at risk. As POA, it is quite appropriate to remove it. Inform the nursing home of what you have done and why. Inform the phone company as well.
Helpful Answer (1)

Take the phone out of her room at the nursing home (most are unplugable). She will bug the nurses to death at the desk to call you but that's not your problem. Instruct them not let her call you unless it's an emergency.

Has her primary doctor been alerted to her incessant behavior? Maybe he can prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help her to be more relaxed.

For sure this should be addressed at the neuropsychiatric appointment. I'm sure meds will be part of the treatment program. Can she be distracted by activities, TV/movies, etc.?

Remember that dementia is a brain disease. Even if she was a pistol when you were young, the dementia and Personality Disorder is guiding her behaviors. Knowing that doesn't make it any easier but it at least is something to blame it on.

You need to balance your life with sleep, work, personal relationships, FUN, home duties and Mom, in that order. Make boundaries as to how often you'll be involved with anything "Mom". Seek out a support group (this AgingCare website fits that category).

If you give up POA, the court will appoint a guardian. You will have NO rights or input to anything dealing with your mom. If they believe she would be better off not seeing you (ever), their decision will stick. In this case, blood relations doesn't mean a thing. Think twice before letting go of her POA.
Helpful Answer (1)
Tothill Oct 15, 2018
SueC, unfortunately Borderline Personality Disorder does not respond to medication, the only treatment currently is ongoing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy with some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well. I do not know how that could work with someone who is also suffering from Dementia.

Someone with BPD will often attach to someone, and if that person displeases them, they can turn on a dime and treat them in the most terrible way. My family member switches whom they like and it is very strange to watch them go from being loving to nasty almost over night. It is incredibly painful to become the person they appear to hate, only to have it change again in a few months. I have to remember that it is the disease, just as we have to remember the dementia is beyond the control of the people suffering from it.
It is a free service here.
Helpful Answer (0)

Block her number on the work phone too.

To block a specific number on a land line, first dial *60 at the dial tone, then put in the number you want blocked.
Helpful Answer (1)
JoAnn29 Oct 14, 2018
Just looked this up and you have to pay for this service with ur provider.
I'm sure the café's owners can block a number if they put their minds to it and ask their telecoms supplier how. Why not ask them very nicely if they could see their way to doing that for you.

Alternatively, if they ask your mother to stop calling their place of business and she still persists, that is harassment and perhaps the police could be asked to interview your mother with a view to dissuading her. She cannot call the café as much as she likes, quite simply - there will come a point where she is crossing a line in the eyes of the law.

And at the very least, stop engaging in conversation when she's like this. Hang up. Every time.
Helpful Answer (4)

I get it and feel for you. Do what you have to. Take care of yourself.

My mother has just been diagnosed with dementia and refuses to go into a home where she would be safer and looked after. Because she has mental illness, it seems she wants to antagonize me with guilt. She recently called the police to do two welfare checks on me. The officers showed up and of course tried to improve an estranged relationship, but I've had enough of her bad behavior. What I'm getting from siblings is anger, resentment and now they have nothing to do with me because I've stepped back from the situation. I did it to save myself. Despite the fact that I've done my fair share for many years, and was there when they weren't, they don't see things my way.

I think we all reach that breaking point, aj6044. What I get tired of is this idea that we have to have this moral responsibility and superhero ability to assist the ones we are caring for.. even when most of them are so abusive. I don't think I'm a bad person for walking away. I don't think you are either. You are doing the best you can. I'm surprised you haven't lost your job from her behavior. Sometimes we have to walk away from people. Your mother will do better in an environment with people who are trained to deal with her behavior and that know what to expect from her. There are many people on here who could probably express this better than me. Just know I get it. Good luck and don't be so hard on yourself. It's real life. You're human.

"As sh*tty as it is to say, I don't have to be in her life if all she is going to do is give me grief. I don't have to consent to that."
Helpful Answer (3)

It sounds like you are getting good advice from friends and professionals. You are right that you do not have to consent to being treated so poorly.

In the meantime, is it possible for your workplace to block her number? Or, since you are POA, you can remove her phone since she is misusing it. If there is an emergency the nursing home can make a call for her, and they certainly won't cooperate with phone calls to your work like you are getting now. Yes, she will probably get very angry, but she brought it on herself.
Helpful Answer (6)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter