My Mom was always spoiled as a child, then my Father took care of her. Now, she pulls stuns for attention. Advice?

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My Mother was youngest of 9. Recently, to strike out at me, she took off and went home. Leaving me searching , ultimately involving Police , only to find she just went home. Fortunately, a neighbor has my number & called me, informing me she was home. Police reviewed store videos, showing her taking off. I've reached my limit, it was intentional and an act of meanest to cause me distress.

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I'm glad I shared this most recent episode. Not only did I learn something to combat my guilt...thank you AngieJoy, but I forwarded it to my siblings and reading it seems to be less stressful than hearing it directly from me. The "face", well what we've experienced is the dark beady eyes. As far as not really wanting us there, my sister and I went together one day and she got to witness me saying the same sentence, in the same tone 5 consecutive times before my mother acknowledged I was talking to her (not the first time & not the only time that day). She states she has some difficulty hearing but don't whisper, she listens. Honestly, if it wasn't so frustrating it might be funny. I have to find humor where I can.
Mspring, God bless you caring for 2 at the same time. I don't know how you do it.
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Sounds like the borderline or bipolar personalities that we read a lot about here on the message board. Many of us have parents that fit into the category. It makes caring for them particularly difficult, because there is little consideration for the caregiving child. It is all about them.

I was in church with my mother Sunday. For the second week, the preacher chose to talk about children obeying parents. My mother kept looking at me and poking me again. And I wondered what the church would do if I turned and bopped her a good one. Of course, I didn't do that. But I sure wished the preacher would stop giving her ammunition to use against me. To her it said that God and the Bible both said that I had to put up with whatever she dished out. Of course, I realize that the words were intended to parents who had goodness in their hearts and minds, and not just self interest.
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Donna - I feel your pain! When you described the attitude surrounding the shopping incident I was having visual images of "the face". When my mom dishes out the silent treatment she gets this look on her face, a certain setting of her jaw and mouth - all while she is turning her head like a 4yr old who, by way of avoiding eye contact, is saying "you don't exist right now". Absolutely no dealing with her when she has "the face". I am also very familiar with "stop yelling at me" when I've never raised my voice. The one I like the best is "I'm sorry I'm such an inconvenience for you. I'll be dead soon and then you won't have to be bothered". This has been in the manipulation rotation for over five years and counting. At least my mom can't hop on a bus. Mom claims she can't bear any weight to stand up or transfer on her own or even help with moving her - yet 3 months ago when she was trying to make a break for it from her new NH, they found her walking down the hall, pushing her wheelchair which was piled high with some of her things. (Big sigh!).
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It is difficult to give a short explaination,but I'll try. During this particular episode, we had just buried a favorite Aunt of mine. I was driver for viewing & funeral, for both of these, I had to contact neighbors to pound on her door, she wouldn't answer the phone, making us late and holding up funeral procession & missing final viewing. The next day she wanted me to come to her place for dinner, I stayed on phone, but told her I was exhausted and would take her out the following day. When I called for 3 hours, she finally answered saying she was watching tv and would be ready when I got there. I arrived at her building and again she didn't answer the phone. It took an hour to get into the building. When at her appt, she was not dressed and showed me the food she wanted to make for dinner the night before. I assisted her getting ready and out of the place. She stayed silent as I explained, that she knows this week has been stressful and not answering her phone doesn't help. I asked why she didn't respond and she said she didn't appreciate being yelled at. I said I'm not yelling at you, I'm trying to help you, why are you making me jump hurtles. She was silent. She went into the store with me leaving behind her purse & keys. Once in the store she started loading up the cart, I said Mom you left your purse in the car and said you didn't want anything. She said I have $5. I said there is more than $5 in the cart and that I was short and couldn't cover it this time, she said I guess I have to put it back & headed in another direction, I stopped her and said I think you came from here and lead her back. I said I have to go on the other side of the store for something, do you want to come with me, she said no. I said ok, I'll grab a cart, get what I needed and come find her. That was the last I saw her. I searched by myself, then the store & police help. Reviewing the video, she checked out right after I went to the other side of store. Got on a bus, had neighbors let her in and was at their appt. She didn't know that they had my phone number, fortunately they did and called me. This was 3 1/2 hours later. When I arrived at their appt. she was sitting there like an injured helpless pitiful person. The police had EMTs come to make sure she was ok. The neighbor was trying to stress the importance of communication, but she just commented on what was on the tv. When leaving, I said I was tired and going home and headed to the stairs, she went to follow, I said Mom, shouldn't you take the elevator (2 floors). Oh yeah she said, walking hunched and pushing the button. I walked down to her floor, looking thru the door, waiting for her to get off elevator, to make sure she got into her appt without any further events. Then instead of the elevator, she came thru the door of the other stairwell, standing totally erect, proceeded to her door and opened it with ease.
My Mom has lived with myself and my siblings creating situations where we just had to have her leave (30 years). This time, she said she wanted to live in a highrise with a terrace and on a bus line. I found the place and moved her in.
This was just highlights of one week. I omitted somethings to keep it short.
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What looks like passive aggressive tantrum-throwing could still be vascular dementia, or at least have an element of that about it. So much of your post sounds horribly familiar to me, I'm sorry to say. I agree that if you possibly can get it done, a cognitive assessment would be a good idea.
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Donna--
Sounds like your mother can live alone (and kind of has to, right? She's worn out her welcome everywhere else) and can function. My mother will do the same kind of stuff. Act all babyish and incapable on the one hand, yet is perfectly OK to make decisions. Mother was also "babied" by her father to the point it was not healthy. He died 53 years ago and she has stated many times she hasn't had a "happy day" since then. She's 86.
There's not a whole lot you CAN do. I opted to take a break from mother. I know she's safe, she lives in an apt. with my brother's family. I was going twice a week to clean, run errands, etc., and I have stopped. Suddenly I am hearing how dirty her apt is, how it smells, etc. Well, nobody is cleaning! This has been a bit of a wake up call to the other sibs. She had them all fooled thinking she was much more competent to care for herself, and she's not. I'm so sick of the pouty face, the poor-pitiful me routine--can you step away? She's got neighbors who can check on her, would they do that?
She is manipulating you and I would bet she's just enjoying herself. Can you take a break (a long one??) You would not put up with behavior like that from a kid--if your mom is competent--you shouldn't put up with it from her.
I have not really spoken to my mother for nearly 2 months now. At first I felt horrible guilt--now I am in the groove of not seeing her and I feel so much better. My 4 other sibs are off board and only show up for the occasional drama. How are your other sibs handling this?
She's got you right where she wants you--dancing attendance. Just. Quit. (Seriously, my pscyh dr told me that exact thing. Just. Quit.) YES, I felt guilty and bad at first, but now I don't do anything for her that I don't want to do, or that is not appreciated or necessary. (Running out in a full on blizzard to get a book for her friend's birthday 6 days away..NOT NECESSARY). Mother tells everyone I am having a snit, and that's fine. Maybe if you do feel she needs help, hire outside help. Likely she'll treat them better than she treats you.
Sorry for the overlong answer--your post hit a nerve!
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Donna--
I actually worked for an Elder Care company and my first client was one deemed "difficult". She'd already fired 3 people in the 2 weeks before I was hired (Of course I didn't KNOW this). We got along just fine. She wasn't my mother, I was closer in age to her older children, I was being PAID to get "bossed" and I knew how to keep her safe and happy. I was able to work for her, take her quirks and oddities and the aging and problems that Parkinson's comes with in stride. Again--BECAUSE she wasn't my mother. She drove her family crazy!!
This might be a possibility for you. I guess I was a rare commodity, an older woman who had understood the patience required for the job. I could only work 32 hrs a week w/o being deemed FT and the company nor I wanted the hassle of that (I also had another PT job)--so she was my one and only. Maybe trying this for your mom would help you. This lady lived with family in her own home and did eventually end up being placed in a lovely ALF. But I worked 2 years for her.
We're in a situation with mother where she wants more attention from family (it's not happening) she's asked me to leave her alone, my brother is at his wit's end with her and she is oblivious. I wish my brother would look into hiring someone to come help mother 2-3 times a week and I know she'd behave for them, where she can be really a pain for the rest of us.
Good luck. I know mom is just in her 2nd childhood, the problem is, it can last one heck of a long time! At least if mother went "wandering" she couldn't go anywhere, she can barely walk. Your mom sounds like a holy terror--jumping buses, leaving you at stores. You have a right to feel frustrated!
I am glad for you that you do have SOME support with family. And no, you are certainly not alone in this.
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When my Mom was alive I just stopped jumping. That is my suggestion. I was thinking about you trying to call her for an hour, 3 hours. Not me. If my Mom did something like that I just went about my business. And for sure the Walmart trips would be over. My Mom was very passive/aggressive. And I always gave in because of guilt. After some therapy/counseling the change for me started this way... she asked me to come by over the weekend and hang some pictures for her. I told her I would come on Saturday. When the weekend rolled around I got busy with something at my house so called and told her I would come on Sunday instead. She got mad and said "Just forget about it". I simply said "OK. If you change your mind let me know" and got off the phone. In the past when she told me to forget about it the overwhelming guilt would have me cowarding and saying that I would stop what I was doing at my own house and come on over. But this time I didn't. About a half hour later she called and asked if I would still come on Sunday. That was the first big step for me. Things got better. I hope you can find your way to some peace.
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I've decided, I will not go out of my way anymore. She remarked to my sibling "I guess she's pissed off and won't be talking to me for awhile." It was intentional, mean and lied when asked her version of situation. Anyone think there is a better solution?
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I feel for you with such difficult relatives. It makes mine seem angelic, and my tiredness much easier to take.
We do have some family examples, though. My dad took in his father, who had mental illness. Grandma warned all of us to never take him in, but it happened after she died. The day a neighbor came to Dad to say this 'nice-looking old man on the porch' was telling stories about how abusive Dad was, was the day Dad looked for a nursing home for his father. It was simply the final straw.
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