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Finally, after many years of struggling with my mom's issues in terms of aging/mental illness, Adult Protective Services (APS) has decided she'll need a guardian. She'll get served next week and there'll be a court date in September or October. The guardian informed me they had a social worker out a couple weeks back and they decided that yes, she needs a guardian.

Some background: My mother is almost 78, lives alone. She had a stroke 13 years ago and recovered OK, but her dementia has gotten worse. She's not totally out of it, but she gets paranoid and thinks people are plotting against her, etc. She shows signs of being a classic narcissist, and she has some mental issues aside from that (not formally diagnosed) but she's demanding, will threaten suicide if she doesn't get her way.

If she's unhappy (which is a lot) she'll cut off contact with people. She's told me to not contact her anymore several times over the last decade. She cut off contact with all of her family over the last 30 years. (She really hates her family, says everyone has disappointed her, was jealous of her, plotted against her, etc.) She also ends friendships after a few months or a couple years.

Her doctor, who I've brought up concerns to several times, has always thought she was OK, just a bit dotty. I called police who did wellness checks, and they thought she was OK.
In the meantime I hear the rants and raves about how people break into her place to steal her canned food, or the neighbor wants to marry her because he parked by her window, or the young police officer who came by to check on her fell in love with her on the spot, and so on.

It's hard to deal with her persistent delusions, but on top of that she fights me left and right. She complains about medical bills yet won't let me see them to see if I can help her. All she wants is me to shop for her, and most important is picking up cigarettes and pills for her. I want to help her, but she is very hostile to me, in part because I'm married and she sees me as "dumping" her for my husband.

So now the social worker says she'll need a guardian and I need to decide if I want to be it or if it should be a state-appointed one. I'm the only family she has, and I'm not sure. I want to help her, but she's never really let me help her aside from taxiing her around. I work a crazy job with long hours and no time off. I'm already fried from arguing with her for the last dozen years, dealing with the drama. I'm not sure if I want to be guardian, to be honest. The social worker says to think on it and do research.

What are the pros and cons? Does anyone have stories to share on the good and bad points of getting a state guardian?

On one hand I think a neutral third party would be the way to go. There's a lot of bad blood with my mom and it's not going to get better unless she gets to the point where she forgets to resent her family.

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I got a call from my mom this morning, confirming I can take her to court this Wednesday. Then she proceeds to tell me it's her right to choose a guardian and she chooses me. (No questions about if I had doubts or concerns, as usual.) I don't think she's choosing me because she loves me; I think she feels I should be obligated to be under her thumb.
I tried to say, this would be easier if she'd cooperated a bit (as in, letting me help her with bill questions, or finding her supplemental insurance -- we've had social workers, home nurses, and everything in between come around and she's fought it all, and for many years.)
She even got all sweet about my husband. ("Say hi to him! He's a great guy! I have the best son-in-law!") A week ago he was a thief scheming to steal away her valuables. Now, great guy!
I know if I were appointed her guardian it would be the same drama. I'd just get the bills in the mail to sort through and have to, what, call the cops to have her dragged to a doctor's appointment? I don't think I can be strong enough to be neutral for her sake, or my own.
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Neraf2015, I keep telling my mom it's better for her to take some help (meals on wheels, a home nurse, utilizing the senior center, which is a great one in my community), because if she takes some help it'll help her to remain independent. I've tried to see her bills and bank statements because she gripes about this explanation of benefits or thinks AARP is stalking her because they sent something in the mail for membership or a cell phone or whatever. She won't take help. She just gets hostile. Then she demands what she wants, which is mainly cigarettes and xanax.
I can't afford to take time off to help her. My job doesn't give me days off; I have to plan ahead to take them. My husband got laid off 2.5 years ago and has only found part-time work and some freelance, but most of the bills are being paid by my paycheck. He's willing to help her to some degree, but she resents him, thinking he stole figurines from her and things like that, so he can't always help her. Plus she has odd thoughts, like she doesn't like pasta, and she thinks he's trying to kill me because she thinks pasta is bad for you. (He likes to cook pasta, and a guy who cooks is alright with me...) But that's a problem, too.
At this point I can't afford to play taxi and shrink to an old lady who's going downhill. I get she doesn't want her money to go into a nursing home or whatever, but she's honestly not doing a thing with it except smoking it up into her ashtray.
She doesn't trust anyone, so no one will make her happy or content.
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Simple and sweet, Babalou. Thank you.
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Heidi I feel your pain to a point, I have SO much drama and while my mother is not hostile "yet" she is demanding and if your mother can care for herself for the most part I would suggest a Medicaid Asset Transfer/Spend down which includes a 5 year look back. It sounds like she is "all there" some of the time but part of the sickness she appears to have (dementia, etc.) is rapidly progressing. She will need at some point a place to live and be cared for. There is so many variations in the process of the disease and also the care and concern of a parent. I would speak to a Elder care attorney in person, speak of your situation and see what your options are. If she is placed in a nursing facility the cost after all her assets are exhausted will still need to be paid and some of the facilities cost $6,000 -12,000 per month (NOBODY) has that kind of money so you are stuck with keeping her and all the abuse which is not fair, unhealthy and I think I saw that you worked and to pay someone to sit with her comes more income and also trust. God Bless You I cant imagine yet I can to some degree of your situation.
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You tell the judge that you are incapable of being her guardian because of the unpredictable behavior she exhibits. You tell them that you want someone else to have the responsibility of making sure she's safe. You've done your best. It's time for someone else to make the decisions.
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I finally heard from my mom today about the guardian court date next week.

She wanted to know who called the cops and who was persecuting her. I told her I called the cops once because she wasn't turning on her AC during a heat wave and other stuff, so they checked on her to make sure she was OK.

She now tells me she wants me to be her guardian if it comes down to it. I didn't say anything. She went on about how she wants me to get her money and not the state or attorneys, etc. I really don't care. After burial and storage and whatever, after she dies, if we got $5,000 that would be massive from her. ($5,000 is nothing to sneeze at, and if I won it in the lottery I'd be thrilled, but with her, I don't know.)

She did a 180 turnaround from the last time I talked to her. All sweet and gentle and concerned, all while she was planning to fool the court that she was perfectly fine. I told her, if she wanted to be independent she'd best take some help like the Meals on Wheels.

I agreed to take her to court next week but I really don't want to be her guardian. It might sound like a betrayal to her, but she's been calling me a sneak, a liar, cruel, calculating, etc., for years. Plus the dramatic change in tone as she plots her great escape.

Then in the midst of that clarity, she told me she would have enough food if her neighbor's friend hadn't come in and stolen all these cans of soup she'd bought. Because this friend has a brother who likes chicken soup, so she had to steal it from my mom for him. I have no idea how these thoughts develop.

I know she's plotting to be the great actress she thinks she is and fool the court into finding her capable. How can I even begin to explain I want no part of it anymore? If she were someone to be helped, I would be willing to do it, but for literally decades I've helped in many ways and it's just grief. I want no part of it anymore.
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I was feeling more guilty in the past but was thinking yesterday:
I've tried to help her.
My husband has tried to help her.
Her neighbors help her when they can.
I've brought up these matters to her doctor, to the police (by asking for wellness checks), calling Adult Protective Services. They've all tried to help.
I've taken time off, used vacation days (when I had them) and more to help her.

I suspect she's a severely depressed person and now it's just worse in a lot of ways due to the dementia setting in. She isn't happy about food, thinks she's either neglected or harassed. She's spiteful and negative. ... paranoid ... delusional.

I once read a quote that we're not responsible for the happiness of others. Sure we can do our thing because we want to be kind, etc., but it's not my job to make her happy. She's committed herself to being miserable.

Oddly I think that's what makes her happy! She then tries to flip her mood on me, accusing me of being spiteful or hating her. I just want peace is all!
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Heidi, I think your husband offers good insight. There does come a point at which we can't solve someone's else's problems and we have to find a way to accept the next best solution.

It isn't easy reaching this point though. It seems as though you've exhausted your efforts, and it's time to work on accepting that guilt is only going to affect you.
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GardenArtist, you make an interesting point. I've gotten bogged down in guilt, etc., and mention it to my husband, and he'll say something like, "Well, she told you not to call her anymore..." He admits he'd stop dealing with he. He's pointed it out that she's been offered help, including from us, in many forms, and she can't be happy about it or accept it, and instead she just stays bitter and angry and difficult.
I just sort of feel obligated because she's older and more frail, but I really want nothing to do with her anymore. If I never spoke to her again, I probably wouldn't care. She's been "gone" for many years already.
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Heidi, WindyRidge made an observation on another post. Men would not get trapped into caregiving responsibilities for someone ungrateful, nor would they stay in them.

There are differences in these kinds of situations between how men and women respond, as in other situations in which problem solving is required.

Women try to find solutions, and keep trying, and trying, and trying, sometimes getting trapped in the "trying" effort. Men assess and announce their conclusion and GENERALLY don't get sucked into hopeless situations.

I'm not saying there's anything inherently wrong with each position....I guess it just arises from the fact, that according to someone, some of us are from Venus and some from Mars. Apparently these planets have different resolution mechanisms that we adapt despite ourselves.

I see this in my own situation. Sometimes I'm so anxious about a problem that I have difficulty sleeping at night. My brother takes a different approach and assesses the likelihood of a positive intervention occurring. If that likelihood is low, he doesn't attempt intervention.
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Vstefans and GardenArtist: Good points. Thank you!

I spoke to the social worker a bit today. I think she is even overwhelmed a bit with my mom. She's offered many options, from meals on wheels to interfaith caregiver rides to the city senior center's services to senior housing (pushing the social aspect, and that they'll have rides there, too).

My mom told her the main problem was no one could take her anywhere, but of course my mom leaves out how hard it is to help her (possibly to play up how "abused" she is, and possibly because she's confused).

The social worker admitted to me she's not even sure what my mom wants or how to help her.

Rides to the store are a big issue, but she won't let a church help her, she won't let me take her at a time we can agree on. I had a friend lined up to take her, and my mom thinks giving someone $25 to cart her around for four hours is generous. And I can't jump at her beck-and-call because she's just decided today would be a good day to shop. And she literally will back out of 8 or 9 out of 10 shopping dates I set for her.

When I had more time I used to help at a homeless warming shelter. Sometimes we'd get there super early or work really late helping feed and shelter these people so they wouldn't starve or freeze in the winter. It was never a burden to help them, even if we had to drive in heavy snow or get to the church at 3 or 4 a.m. to start prepping breakfast or staying afterwards to clean up because those people needed help and were happy someone was taking the time and the money and the effort to ease their burden a bit.

My mom doesn't get that that there are people willing to help her; instead she just dwells on how everyone's cheated or screwed her over. Or how it's so inconvenient because it's not at 1 or 2 p.m. on a Tuesday. What a sad world view. If she got out of her smoky apartment she might see that there is some good in the world.
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Heidi, I just skimmed your posts and realize I made an error. It was another poster who had been abandoned by her mother. I am so sorry and apologize for that erroneous recollection.
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Raw meat? OMG - she's lucky she doesn't have parasites!

I haven't reread this whole thread recently but as I recall she abandoned you when you were young. Just skimmed your post but didn't see that reference - perhaps I'm confusing your situation with that of someone else.

Still, I think I'd be thinking I'd had enough of this and limit what you do for her until the guardianship hearing, whether she attends or not. The courts do NOT generally accommodate anyone but the attorneys, so the fact that it's her diarrhea time isn't going to concern them.

Perhaps you could hide all the diarrhea and vomiting inducing foods for a few days so she can go to the hearing, although I suspect she'll find another excuse.

You might want to find a way to document that by having her tell someone else, even call the court clerk herself so the file will show that she's not cooperating with attending the hearing. I suspect it would be a quite an experience if she did go, but she'll find that the judge isn't going to baby her and listen to any outbursts.
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Best wishes for the guardianship hearing. If I understand correctly, you are not obligated to help her show up to contest it. They have to be given the papers, but if they can't process and act on the information, that's just part of the indication they really need a guardian. I could see you telling them that she could not track the date and told you she could not be there at that hour because of her GI symptoms, which probably ARE due to the bad stuff she's eating, plus or minus some acid reflux.

I know it sucks to field such irrationality and ugliness from your own mom - but it really is your mom's pathology, not what's wrong with you. My mom told me I looked like a drip or looked tired all the time - then we found out that her vision was so bad she could barely count fingers. So, it wasn't really that there was nothing good on TV or that she'd lost interest in looking at pictures of her grandkids that she used to love...she was just one for whom nothing could ever be wrong with HER, so the faults had to be found elsewhere in the environment or people who cared about her. :-)

I was blessed that my POA was enough for everything for my mom, and I'd be hard put to tell you to take on or not take on your mom's guardianship. There are hassles and reporting on finances that must be thorough and complete, and some things you might need to do that require prior approval from the court, but that will be spelled out and you can decide if you can do it or not. Rarely, a non-family guardian may not be a good fit or may even be abusive, we have heard a horror story of two on here, but usually they would do the right things and would consult with you about your mom's wishes and needs. You might want to find out what your local agency for guardianship typically does and try to meet someone from there to help you in decisionmaking. Some are called CASA (court-appointed special advocate) but every state and area may have something different set up - some use private companies, others use combinations of volunteers and paid staff that are state and county employees.
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GardenArtist -- she isn't on Amiodarone. She's on lots of other things. I think she was just being cheap -- not giving up her cheese! I know when you're older and on lots of meds that your sense of taste changes. She complains about lots of things. Most things, actually. Bring her a basket of fruit, and the apples will be too hard or too soft, or too tart or too sweet, and so on. It's always something.
She's long had odd food habits, at least odd for U.S. tastes. When I was a kid I remember her putting raw bacon on bread and we'd have it for lunch. She'd also take raw hamburger meat, mix in raw egg yolks, onions, salt and pepper, and we'd have that on bread -- I think that was her take on Steak Tartare. And she'd whip up raw egg whites, add sugar, and drizzle in some raw egg yolk, and then we'd eat that, which is a 1950s version of a German dessert called Zuckerei (sugar-egg) which as far as I can tell was a quick high-protein dish in post-war Germany. Of course we ate that when I was a kid in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
I think her brain is just stuck in certain decades, and today those habits are not good when you're old and frail. She actually went to the hospital after eating raw bacon three or four years ago, and blew her stack when I told the doctor and nurses about it. (Hey, I thought that might be why she vomited and diarrhea so much that she became dehydrated and had what may have been a mild heart attack -- call me weird in that way.)
She also insists her diabetes just went away -- cured as if by magic. I told the social worker this, too.
She sees me as persecuting her or sharing family secrets, but I see it as explaining what might be behind her daily diarrhea. And that she vomits enough to remember it as a regular concern, that's not normal and it isn't healthy!
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Heidi, we learned from our neurologist years ago Amiodarone had been prescribed for A-fib that it has side effects which can include loss of sense of smell and taste. Someone who's experiencing those side effects may not realize he or she is eating spoiled food.

As I recall neuropathy was another of the possible side effects.
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She's a belligerent woman! Oh my, eating rotten food-now I'm nauseated! I feel for you.
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The social worker served my mom papers about the court date for the guardianship. My mom insisted she would not be able to go because it was at 8 a.m. and that's when she has diarrhea each morning, and often vomits. (This is just part of the reason why she needs a guardian.) I asked what date it was, and she snapped at me and told me she hadn't looked at the papers yet. So apparently she knows the time but not the date.
She wanted me to take her shopping one day, around 1 p.m., even said I should be able to take a day off, and I said I could but it'd have to be in the morning or in the evening. Afternoons, around 2 p.m., are okay, she told me, then added she needed to be taken to the fruit market, tobacco store, Kroger and Aldi so she could buy a month's worth of supplies. That would take hours! I wasn't buying enough for her apparently. Well, one, I'm paying out of my own pocket for some of her food, and two, I'm not buying her $300 worth of groceries so she can hide in her apartment until December. The goal is to buy small amounts and hopefully get her out on her own, but she needs to compromise a bit, too.
She's getting angrier, because she's mad about the guardian stuff, too. I say, the reason they're doing this is so she has enough food and medical care, etc. Instead she just says, she'll go to Germany, and she's always done everything on her own. (Except when I drive her around, shop for her, do errands for her, etc.) She even pulled up her garbage about how I never should have been born. (Too late, mom, too late!)
I finally just said how about Saturday later in the day, since I'm meeting friends for a charity walk that morning. Nope. "Don't call me anymore." She then hung up on me. She'll probably forget she did that by tomorrow morning, but I won't.
I have to admit I'm frustrated with her. I do have a hard time being neutral, but when I try and explain, vomiting many mornings is not a good thing. Last week she told me she'd had some limburger cheese a year or two ago, and she likes to leave it on top of the fridge to get soft. Well, she'd forgotten one time and it'd gotten wormy but she ate it anyways. I told her, if you're eating wormy cheese, this is a cause for concern. At your age, being more frail and full of health issues, eating maggots (I'm thinking that's what she ate) is a very bad idea!
This is why they think she should go to a home or get regular meals on wheels visits. They tried to set it up for her and she told them no. They used to deliver it and she complained because they brought rice and pasta sometimes, and she was annoyed because she had to be at her apartment -- which she never really leaves -- at 11 a.m. each day.
After she hung up on me, I called the social worker and mentioned these latest things, with the poor food choices, the talk of moving to Germany, and that she has no clue what the guardianship really is.
I really don't want to be her guardian. Will they assign her one right away in October at the court hearing, I wonder? (I hope.)
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Agree with GardenArtist-just agree with her. Or another one-refuse to answer insane accusations.
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Thanks, Surprise. I don't necessarily see my mom as evil -- is that brainwashing?
I think she had a rough upbringing and mental illness and now it pairs with the dementia and gets ugly. It would have been nice had she gotten therapy ages ago, but she's not willing to change or see another viewpoint, so I guess there's no point to it.
I brought her a few things yesterday. She'd been out of cigarettes, and she'd said she'd gotten a neighbor to get them for her. No food, just cigarettes. She had to add that she gets those people to do it for her for free. She wrote me a check for driving her to the grocery store and back, and for carrying in groceries and unpacking them some weeks back, for $25, which I haven't cashed yet. But the last few times I've gone to get her things I've paid for them out of pocket, and it's gone well beyond that $25. I don't even want to present her a receipt, though, because I can't stand being in that place. It's hot, smoky, yet smells like potpourri went to die them, and then she just talks so loud, nearly shouting, and it's all about how everyone has screwed her over. Then when I look tense, I get told I'm the nasty person.
My husband hasn't even found full-time work since he got laid off, so I'm a bit resentful that I end up buying her food, driving her around 75 percent of the time when she decides to go out, and then listening to all her garbage talk.
A state-appointed guardian sounds so good. I don't care if I get anything from her when she dies. I just want peace. Sometimes I do wish she would die, because she's just sitting in that apartment smoking her days away and letting resentments fester. A social worker was trying to talk her into a nursing home, mentioning the activities and so on, and she said she'd prefer to be alone. She said she'd sue anyone who'd call an ambulance if she fell again. She also said if anyone tried to move her, she'd call Germany (she's still a German citizen, after being in the U.S. since 1983) and have them sue for her rights. I'm just so tired of it, you know?
I have to say, though, it feels good to vent here. Even if no one were to read it, it feels good to type it.
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You are doing the right thing. I for one am proud of you! Despite your upbringing, you are a kind person who wants the best for a really evil person. You are awesome.
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Hi all. I was thinking more on my mom. I called to check on her and she was instantly hostile, and it set me on edge. I mainly went to "is there anything you need?" Cigarettes, was her answer. How about food? Soap? Toilet paper? Medication? No answer there. She went back and forth between having enough and next to nothing. I don't think she can focus anymore much. She just kept talking over me. I could not even get a simple answer. Somehow it was like she didn't event want to hear anything I had to say and kept talking over me. I just said I'd get her some things and cut the call short.
As for the abortion comments, yeah, it surprised me that she mentioned that, but it doesn't bother me too much. She's far from the only person who's had that moment of doubt when facing a pregnancy. But healthy people say "you were a happy accident." Unhealthy people say things like "I was thinking of having you aborted" or "you were a mistake." I've commented, "well, you didn't abort me ... too late now." Sometimes that's quieted her.
I again think it's her form of regret or how she faces disappointment. I didn't turn into her indentured servant and instead of being able to put it in a civil way she turns to say things like she'd considered having me aborted or the whole family hates her and now that includes me, etc.
All I can say is that guardianship -- it'll be state appointed -- can't come soon enough. I was a tiny bit on the fence on it for a bit, but talking to her again, I realize there's just too much bad blood.
I'm angry, too, and it mainly bubbles up in my contact with her. I think someone else could make wiser decisions for her, to get her to eat regularly, get checkups, handle her EOB statements and so on.
I think it'd be better for me to just be able to visit and do something nice for her now and then. I'll help her pack if she moves into a nursing home, if it's needed; I'll move personal belongings; I'll help store her stuff, if need be; and I'll even take her cat if need be to give it a good home should she be moved to a home. We're both too angry and bitter in our respective ways to be of much good to one another. This person is only a ghost of a person I knew, and she doesn't know me. I sometimes wonder if she ever wanted to know me, or for me to be a complete independent individual. It was always great in her eyes when I was a baby and a young child, but the older and more independent I got, the worse I got in her eyes.
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Heidi, your mom is seriously mentally ill, untreated, AND has a mean streak. I only wish for you and her that the hearing date were sooner. Thank God/congrats on finally getting that far though! If you have any documents to make sure any attempt she makes to contest it fails, give them to whoever can use them. I think that would discharge any "debt" you owe to her - seeing that she has the best shot possible of getting the care she has needed for many years is the most loving thing you can do. My prayers are with you that this will all go as it ought to as well.
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Maggie, you've really handled that conversation well, moving forward and not letting it debilitate or haunt you mentally.

Even if you had, there could have been factors like their youth, money and other considerations that had nothing to do with being a parent. And even though it must have been shocking, it was clear that he was expressing a sincere emotion of love and pride for you.

Your moving on without looking back to let a conversation haunt you is a good lesson for everyone. I'm going to think of that when I get in a snit about something cruel someone said to me!
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Garden artist, I couldn't help but add my two cents. I haven't even read the post you're talking about, but wanted to share this story.

My dad had a debilitating stroke. It changed who he was and removed that social filter we all have. Mom and dad had been divorced 25 years ago or so. I was talking to him on the phone one afternoon, and he said, "Maggie, I'm so proud of you. I'm so glad it was too late to get the abortion we wanted when your mom was pregnant with you."

Gulp. I just said, "Me, too, dad."

I never discussed it with him again. And three people on earth know what he said to me. I never talked to mom about it, and would have been horrified if she somehow found out I knew that. Dad never even realized the import of what he'd said. I was grateful for that.

I loved mom. Mom loved me. She was right up there for the "best mom on earth award." Took me about ten minutes to put that conversation behind me. Never bothered me in the Itsy-bitsyist.
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Heidi, I'm of the firm belief that we don't owe our parents anything. Parenthood was their choice not ours. We owe our children our love and support while they are young. We raise our children to become independent and self supporting human beings who make use of their own talents. We it to owe ourselves to prepare for our futures, including our old age.

I just don't see that the "owing" goes in a backwards direction. And yes, let the state take over Guardianship of your poor mentally ill mom.
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I can't believe anyone could be cruel enough to tell a child he or she might have been aborted! That's the height of insensitivity and deliberate cruelty.

If anyone said that to me, I would probably just be able to contain my anger long enough to say something equally cruel, such as it's unfortunate you didn't because then I wouldn't have had to endure such a miserable life you've created. That would shut someone up.

Heidi, I think your mother does have a mean streak.
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I stopped by her place to drop off groceries today and mom was pleasant. I suspect all that crabbiness she let out on me made her feel better, though I felt irritated and got a migraine as a result! I honestly sometimes just put the phone on the side and put it on speakerphone at a low volume and just say yes if she asks if I'm still there.

As for cigarettes, that's one thing I refuse to get for her anymore. I tell her if I take her to Kroger she can buy them while she's there. She doesn't like that. Hence asking the neighbor to drive her to the tobacco store.

She's very manipulative in her ways. She often told me you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Oddly she never tries that approach on me.

I guess I "owe" her because she gave birth to me and raised me. She used to tell me, and still does, that she considered having me aborted. So does this mean I should be doubly grateful and eternally indebted to her that she didn't have me vacuumed out of her womb?
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She's taken control of the situation, puts you on the spot and makes you defend your actions. She's definitely a "button pusher."

One thing you can do is refuse to engage. One tactic is to throw her completely off balance by agreeing with her. Another is to compliment her on her insight, something like that. Then change the subject and keep doing so every time she tries to provoke you, which is exactly what she's doing.

Another tactic is to tell her (when she's insulting you) that you're not going to listen to this nonsense and if she doesn't stop you'll get her food and leave it on her doorstep, and she can take it from there.

As to the interfaith volunteers and others, I would alert them ahead of time so they know they too will have to establish boundaries with her. She'll test them, I think you can count on that.

As to the cigarettes, I think I would tell her that if she wants them, she'll have to make arrangements to get them herself. Even if she's smoked all her adult life, she still should be considering stopping - although she's probably in denial of the dangers but being defiant as well.

And I do think you have a right not to be in the house when it smells of smoke or when she's smoking. Your health is important too.
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Oh god, what a day.

I got a call from the social worker yesterday and the court date should be Oct. 7, but they haven't served papers yet. She says my mom will need groceries soon, so I'm going to break from work and grab a few essentials. She'll have food and something to complain about because I always get her the wrong things, even if I get milk or eggs!

I call her, though, and she says, right off the bat, oh, I thought you dumped me. No ... Then she says I accused her of stealing $43,000 from me. I think it's tied to some money I inherited when my dad died, which I spent on some college expenses and just wasted in other ways. That's decades ago, though, so what's the point. I was young and dumb, but I spent it; no one stole it!

I don't know where she came up with the $43,000 number, though, or the stealing, for that matter. I told her this is the first I've heard of it. But she insisted her memory is long and perfect. Um, no... Then she says she doesn't know why I'm so angry. Well, it is troubling to start a phone call with accusations! Obviously she's not understanding things. But I just say can we not bring up past problems for a change. She then insists that she only -- ONLY! -- thinks of happy things and is jolly and doesn't dwell on the past. Then she goes on to bitch about my dad, how her sisters and mom dumped her when they found a man and how I am just like them, how I am waiting for her to die so I get a few bucks in life insurance or something like that. (I'm not, I told her, so she then said, well, my husband is! He can't wait for her to die so he can get his hands on some money.)

She also said she's running low on food, and had the neighbor take her out .... for cigarettes. Well, did she go to Kroger to get cigarettes and maybe some milk and eggs, too? Maybe the party store, where you could pick up a couple subs, maybe some chips or crackers? A bag of nuts? No, she had to go to the tobacco store because their prices are good and the owner is an Arab and I think she likes that because they're both foreign (she's German) so they're allies or some sort.

She also told me she told the social worker, who is seeing about interfaith volunteers helping her with rides or doctor visits, that she told them that they better not have any trouble with taking her to buy cigarettes, because it is her one luxury. Again, it's charity. How can she demand volunteers who want her to get her essentials drive her to the tobacco store? She could afford to hire a driver for $20 an hour and drive her around once a month for five or six hours!

I think the guardian is going to be state appointed. I can't take it anymore! I honestly cannot take it any more. I know a lot of what is happening now can't be helped, but it's stuff that's been building. It's death from a thousand paper cuts!
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