Sorry for the book..

My girlfriend and I have moved her 60yr old mother, Amy, in to our apartment. I am 25 and my girlfriend, Brianna, is 24. Amy was living in a trailer that should have been condemned a long time ago. She has neuropathy in her legs and struggles to get around. She doesn't work, and hasn't for about 15 years.

When Brianna and I found out how bad her living conditions actually were (noticed when repairs were being done) we made the decision to move her in with us, since Brianna promised her mom that she would never put her in a home. She has no other children or siblings, so it fell to Brianna and I. We both feel like we are being played. Amy is very selfish, rude, lazy, and a type of woe-is-me person. She is very negative. She plays the pity card every time you turn around. She is constantly repeating herself, but to the point where it is noticeable that she knows she's doing it. Something is always wrong with her. Granted, I know that she has some medical issues, but she is exaggerating. Not only that but she exaggerates everything. She waddles when she walks because her legs are constantly hurting her because of her neuropathy. Just the other day, Brianna was sitting on the couch and her mom came walking out of her room, like nothing was ever wrong with her. She was practically fast walked to the kitchen. But as soon as she saw Brianna sitting on the couch, it was back to her hobbling. Everything is about her, especially if you tell her something that happened to you. All of the stories she tells are about how when she was young, drinking and doing drugs. If she suggests that you do something a specific way and you tell her that you're going to do it, but a different way, she pouts and always says the infamous "Oh, well, alright, I was only trying to help" and storms off or "I guess I just won't say anything anymore" and storms off. I just don't know what to do any more.

I attend college full time and work a full time job. Brianna has two jobs and is wanting a third just to be away from OUR home, where she is. We are trying to save for a house together, but it is difficult because we are having to pay for everything she needs (like meds, toiletries, etc) because she blows what money she does have on tobacco, rolling tubes, and groceries (that only she can eat and they go bad).

Her days are spent laying in bed, yelling at her dog (not that she takes care of her, that is left up to us), and sitting on the patio chain smoking. She refuses to learn anything new, especially technology, and has no desire to do anything. Trust me, we have tried. Nice outing? No, her stomach hurts. Okay. Playing cards? No, she's tired. Dinner out? No, she doesn't feel like it. Dinner in? Oh, I already ate/ I don't eat that. When she does want to go somewhere, I'm expected to play taxi because we can only afford one car at the moment. It feels like we can't win.

I feel like we are still so young to be having her mother live with us. But what are our options besides a nursing home? As bad as this is going to sound, she could be with us for the next 30 years! That is the entire first half of our life, gone. Just putting this in writing is not doing justice to how poorly we are treated and taken advantage of.. Especially Brianna.. Nothing is ever good enough for her mother..

I am just at a loss. Any advice, comments, criticisms, etc are gladly welcomed.

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It is time for mom to gain her independence.

She will throw a whale of a fit, be prepared. Let your girl know that no matter what her mom says, don't buy into it. She did not break her mom and she can't fix her, you said it, it's never good enough.

As far as promising to never put her in a home, grrrrrrr! That is emotional blackmail and should be treated as such, ignored and reneged on.

As I told my dad, everyone in the house contributes to the house or it doesn't work, that does not mean just doing your own thing, houses have needs, ie vacuuming, washing windows, scrubbing toilets, sweeping, you get the idea. So if you can't pay to be there, you work, you can't do anything, oh my, you need to be in a facility with caregivers so you can be taken care of. Period.

It is terribly selfish for this woman to try and hijack your home.

Please reassure your girlfriend that she is not doing anything wrong by moving her mom out, regardless of where she has to move.

Best of luck getting this dealt with straight away.
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I don't have any advice except you need to listen to the people here. There is no reason for any of you to live this way. Your partner's mother is to young to give up on her life, and the two of you are just starting out on your own path to a life as a couple. Don't let your partner's mother steal your future together.

Good Luck!
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Oh...and Brianna needs to renege on the promise about a nursing home... blame it on a spades game confusion, she never meant it....

a home one is a home... a trailer, an apartment, a nursing home, an assisted living facility is still a home. Because she can’t walk ( or it’s in her mind she can’t)... unless you both plan to have ramps and other equipment to make movement around the home easier, the option to put her comfortably somewhere still has to happen... and assisted living aren’t all horror shows.

Resentment at work has a paycheck attached ... it somewhat softens the aggravation. Resentment with family lasts longer and the mere fact she wants to work tirelessly to avoid home proves my point. Consider saving your relationship with each other and beyond by just folding on what you originally, ( and nobly) had planned to do (like we all did) before reality kicked out butts. Call it a learned lesson and make it happen.
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I applaud you both for wanting to try to handle a situation that’s hard enough, but I’m going to agree with everyone else; she will need care that will be beyond what you both can do so starting now would be good.

the best way to start taking out the sting of of living with a self-focused individual (and they will be because that’s what disease does) is reframing your words in certain instances and stating the rest.

ie: “we are glad you’ll have your own space in this ‘facility’ as opposed to ‘ we are looking to put you in a assisted facility/ somewhere else because you’re crazy enough to make us crazy.”

Ie: “”we are heading out with my friends for a few hours; don’t wait up but we have a friend coming to keep you company” opposed to “ we are taking advantage of respite care and paying them to come in and care for you cause we need a break from the drama, k?” (PS: do check out respite care in your state and any other adult services that can transition her to the professionals that can assess her and get her the help she needs.

State as opposed to coax: one of the things we did is create our own TV dinners that can be heated up in plastic containers, stacked them and left them in the fridge for “help yourself meals.” I color coordinated it, ( I assigned her red because it’s her favorite color) and told her “ foods in the fridge in your favorite color; I’m off to work.” My mother was finicky as far as her stomach allowed her to, and no one can hold out indefinitely on hunger when their “housekeeping/servants” like you both have become turn into pumpkins and resume life under a different set of terms, if she complains, remind her that ‘ we didn’t want to encroach on your independence, since it’s “your” desire to resume living on your own.

You need to encourage her her independence and autonomy even if the only thing she does it put on slippers and head to the shower. She’s bored because she doesn’t want to do anything, but don’t become hostage to her boredom. The only thing that will break is your relationship to each other, so it’s time to set a fence around what you both expect to happen and “hold the line.”

When at work, we engage but set limits when you have an obnoxious colleague; somehow being a family member blurs that ingrained habit. Give only what you both can, and you have: food and shelter. Deflect what you can’t control; drama, negativity, hostility, and laziness. The illness is hers; don’t make it yours to fix; neither of you can, thats why medical staff and facilities like nursing homes and assisted facilities and government services exist. I have stated in earlier posts... when your parent no longer resembles the memories you had, they become manipulative, violent, and an all around ( insert profanity here) 😊, we have to learn our limits when we are dealing with an unhealthy person, which she is.

Yes, she can live 30 years or 5 years, but it’s time to see what options are available for her, and neither of you should feel guilty for “supporting” her independence. (Isn’t reframing wonderful?) That said, you both deserve applause on what you have done so far, try to finish it by helping her (ie: you two, not her) to make sure she has a place to live and food she refuses to eat around the care of professionals (which isn’t either of you). 😉 the best to you both, hope it helps
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It doesn't sound as though she could ever afford assisted living, I think you need to get her on the waiting list for subsidized housing ASAP.
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You two are saints to try to do what you're doing. I see no reason for you two to have to put up with someone who can't help herself other than to dump on you two.

Other than hobbling because her neuropathy, it sounds like not much physically is wrong. Perhaps a counselor to help her decide where she's going to move to: an apartment at best, an assisted living facility at worse.

Now's the time for you to be strong and help her to help herself: a counselor for emotional issues; her doctor to give advice if she can indeed be on her own and/or get a job or if she needs assisted living; social services for welfare and/or food stamps so she can least start to pay her own way.

Good luck to you all.
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