I am almost 50. My stepfather has been diagnosed with Dementia and recently had a "mental Breakdown" in which he was admitted to the hospital, then psych hospital and now in rehab. Our hope is that he can come home eventually--after he regains his strength. My parents live about 2 hours away--so it is hard for me to be there to help on a regular basis. When this started happening- my siblings & I decided that the best thing would be for my parents to relocate closer to one of us. Since I am the only girl- we thought it best that they move near me.....they love the city that I live in and I have more time, travel less and am an empty-nester. My mother, who is fiercely independent....agreed. Over the last 6 weeks--I have been there 4 of the weekends, helped pack up her home, helped relocate my step-dad to a nicer facility, made endless phonecalls, put together PLANS (plan A if this happens, plan B if that happens) Ive taken days off of work------and tried to console my mother when she was close to breaking down. And I have done this out of love and care (and a little excitement that I will get to spend more time with my mom as she ages)
My question is.......(and this is where my pity party starts) is that I feel I take a lot of verbal abuse, negative comments, unappreciative jabs from my mother. I know she is going through a lot...her life is changing (and change is hard for someone who is older)...she has always been very independent and very controlling---and I understand that there are things that she is losing control over---so I have tried to listen, offer suggestions, help make decisions....I have "taken the bull by the horn" a few times wen she asked ME to decide, because she was too stressed to. I call her every morning and every evening....
But-when Im asked my opinion, give it --then she starts an argument over it......I just dont know how to handle this! Ive tried saying "ok mom" and there are times that I have bantered back because I am so upset (and tired)
She has since told me on 2 occasions that she isnt moving here, that her & I "never got along" and that she cant discuss anything "stressful" since it hurts her chest. (She is fine--she uses it as an excuse to get out of a discussion that isnt going her way...or to get me to back peddle)
BACKGROUND: I was never my mother favorite...she said she never really loved my birth father.....and she has always played favorites with my younger brother (who is a product of the love of her life) My current Step-Dad is husband #3---and she has never really loved him either. He is a wonderful man- but has taken a lot of verbal abuse from her too.
So--How do I handle this? My mother has alienated a lot of people. She doesnt really have any friends (although she claims to- I have not met anyone in years that she says is her friend) My brothers love her, but one is wrapped up in his own issues in another state, and the other has a family with young children and he travels for work. Neither one of them play into her. They call her once a week and they are done.
My hope was that I could help her, grown closer to her, reconnect as mother/daughter/friend and help her with my stepfather (Im in the medical field)
This would help her if she wants to become more active, or wants to make friends and go on trip (or just live her life!) and I can help caregive so she doesnt have to worry or feel "tied down".......I have asked advice from my patients who are caregivers and tried to incorporate some of that into my relationship with my mother.
But- I feel she is so unhappy (with a life SHE CHOSE) and she is taking it out on me. Ive tried to take it- but I am starting to struggle with it.
Can anyone offer me some suggestions? Thank you so much!!!