My relationship with my mother has always been difficult, but I have now had to become her parent. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My relationship with my mother has always been difficult, but I have now had to become her parent. Any advice?

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I recently discovered that she has started an online relationship with someone whom she believes "wants her" for her beauty ....age is not an issue in love .....ugh. This person created an identity on Facebook and lured my mother in with calling her honey and sweetheart, all to begin asking her for gift cards.....the first request, an Itunes gift card. What?! My mother who is 84, will not believe me when I explained to her the dangers of social media and that this is a scam. She continued to contact the person. I have now had to take her tablet from her. She is very angry and thinks I have no right to be angry with her. She continually sells me out to people telling them how I am getting her into trouble, etc. "spoiling her fun"....I realized after reading the comments about the narcissistic personality , this is who she is. I feel so hopeless at trying to have a decent , real relationship with her. She is in assisted living in a lovely facility...but says they don't have any "entertainment" so she is bored. I appreciate the responses that I read to create boundaries and pull away emotionally. I just have the hardest time reconciling how to care for her with how irritatingly needy she is. I realize I am venting here........ just hoping for encouragement from others who know what it is like to be in this kind of no win relationship. She has abandoned her children for men, all of our lives. And with no real acknowledgement of the damage she has done. Help!

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This is maybe a little crazy-sounding, but if mom is good at computer games, get her a copy of the Sims from Origin.com and she can have all the romances she wants, in-game.

Also it won't do any good threatening to report a Facebook scammer to the police. Especially if he's from overseas. If you can access mom's account, take screenshots and report him to Facebook.
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Reply to Dorianne
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Countrymouse, I looked up the soldiersangels website. It looks good. I will do some more research on it, but it may be a great suggestion for her. This "soldier from Afghanistan" was no more a soldier than I am......the language and grammar told me plainly this was a person from perhaps Africa or India. But she likes the soldier connection. And this might provide a useful diversion for her. Thank you very much for the helpful suggestion.
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Reply to AndiFisher
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Does she like writing letters? Or, might her facility's activities co-ordinator be interested in this? There is an organisation called Soldiers' Angels which organises pen pals for soldiers serving overseas - this is from their website:

"Who We Are and What We Do
The Letter Writing Team (LWT) is a team of amazing Angels who enjoy writing to our heroes, and who know how important it is for the service members to hear their name called at mail call. Sadly some service members get no mail at all from back home. LWT Angels write a one-time letter to a service member who is waiting for adoption through the Deployed Adoptions Team and to those who might need additional support. Angels on this team are required to write as few as one letter a month but some write as many as 14 letters per week!"

Gosh, they also do a sock campaign. Knitting or crochet circle idea, maybe?

I hope this organisation is respectable - they seem to be but I haven't come across them before, I must admit. You'd need to keep her attention off the fund raising sections, obviously.

www.soldiersangels.org if you'd like to follow it up.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Cm has a great idea to stop her CC's if you can, so she can't give this loser on FB anything but her "company".

Mom isn't going to change, and honestly? this "flirtation" online as long as it never progresses to the point they actually meet (and I'm pretty sure this person is phishing, big time) and your mom looks forward to talking to him/her and having something to divert her--may not be so bad. As long as you KNOW mom can't give anything to this person, well, the relationship will probably end, but she might be legit enjoying it.

I know my mother (88 and looks every second of it) thinks all the men at the Sr Center "want her". We just let her have her little fantasies. Since in order to "date" this old guys would need their kids to drive them....it's just a flirtation. No matter our age, we want to think we're slightly desirable, I guess.

The other day she did say she'd NEVER remarry---and I chuckled whole way home. I'm not going on THAT honeymoon and pushing TWO wheelchairs.

If she's truly bored, find some games and such on her computer and show her how to play them. Solitaire, Bingo, Yahtzee--a few I can think of. You can also do "virtual puzzles" online.
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Reply to Midkid58
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I'm not her POA......yet. That is probably coming soon. I did uninstall Facebook and Messenger from her tablet. She loves Candy Crush, etc. so she will still be able to do that. And Countrymouse, you are right. Of course she is in no mood to thank me. But to be honest.......this was so completely a scam.......no soldier in Afghanistan is going to ask an 84 stranger for an I Tunes gift card so he can call his family on his phone.....and there was no getting her to understand. She went out and bought the gift card and was going to send the code to him, so the bank account was already a non issue. The attitude she takes with me is the most upsetting.....and you can probably hear from my post how very irritated I have become with her. This is a life long thing.....this putting herself on a pedestal with the poor me act...... and blaming me for whatever she can. I received a letter from some guys daughter not all that long ago telling me off.......I couldn't figure it out, until I realized that my mother had to be the source blaming me for some financial problem they had. Which was completely ridiculous...but the daughter had no way of knowing because she didn't know me or our situation at all. I've just had it with her blaming and inability to be happy . no matter what steps I've taken to ensure that she is living the life she wants....... she is still not happy. I'm trying to work through this emotional mess in my own head so that it doesn't affect my own family. I'm a busy grandmother of five boys.....helping our daughter to raise them. I have ministry and friends and other family to care for as well. Thanks for your input so very much. It's amazing to me how many of us are dealing with the same kind of things at our age and stage of life. I didn't realize it was so widespread
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Reply to AndiFisher
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Can you not disconnect her bank account from online access, rather than disconnect your mother from the fun? Doesn't matter if it's a scam as long as your mother can't actually pay up, does it?

If you were having an exciting fantasy and someone burst the bubble for you and told you you were an idiot, no matter how right that someone was you would not be in the mood to thank them. Your mother was enjoying herself.

I sympathise with the frustration and hurt of this. Not my mother - she had other foibles - but other ladies I have known still do the "I'm a damsel rescue me" routine and I have to say that it does become positively undignified past a certain point. But old habits die hard. Your mother is not going to change now.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Oh boy. I had exactly the opposite issue with my mom. She thought every man on the planet was stalking her. She was in a nursing home and she told me a “young black boy” rode a bike up and down the “street” (hallway) outside her “apartment” (room) and stole her underwear, parading around with it to prove they’d had sex. There were not enough ways for me so say “e-e-e-y-o-o-o!
Your mom is being extorted for money. If you do not take measures now to shut this person down, they will take all her funds and she will have nothing. I was almost scammed out of my iPhone by someone who also called me “dear”, etc.

To be brutally honest, you need to take the helm here. Disable Mom’s access to social media. Warn the AL that she is being scammed by someone and she should not be allowed access to Social Media. Intercept a communication from this person, identify yourself, and tell them you know they are scamming your mom. If they don’t stop trying to contact her, you will notify the police with their contact information. If she has saved the communications, make copies. Suggest to her that if she feels the need for companionship, she should become involved in the activities at the AL and find someone in real time.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Create boundaries and pull away emotionally. But you know that. Pull away physically, too. See her less often.

You feel so hopeless at trying to have a decent , real relationship with her because you are a perceptive person. It is hopeless. It ain't gonna happen. NOT YOUR FAULT!!

Are you Mom's POA?
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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