How do I deal with relatives demanding that I take care of my abusive mother?

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I am almost 60 years old and have health problems of my own. My mother has been emotionally abusive to me and my sister all our lives. She never really took care of us but left it all to my grandparents. My aunts and cousins didn't help at all when we were younger, just stood by and watched. Now that my sister and I are distancing ourselves from her (after years of tolerating her abuse) she is turning to them for help. She is in her eighties but lives on her own and can take care of herself. But she has always been demanding of others and feels that she is entitled to be catered to from anyone around her--very selfish). Take me here, take me there, do this for me, do that for me, I'm so unlucky and you have so much more than me, no one cares about me, etc. and on and on and on.


A few years ago, I moved six states away to get away from her and it has been the best years of my life. I want nothing to do with her. I do keep in contact with her by phone and she is just as abusive as ever, but now it is more like spewing hatred about everyone and everything and just has a toxic, poisonous attitude.


Now the relatives are calling us and demanding we take care of her, and putting us on a guilt trip saying she is our responsibility, not theirs and blah blah blah, and enough for me to understand that they have the same attitude they have always had, even when we were kids. That they don't care how she treated me and my sister, that's also our problem, not theirs, and just deal with it.


I've stopped answering their calls. So now I just got a call from another one of my cousins who has threatened to put her on a plane and send her to my house. Honestly, I'm shaking in my boots. I'm scared he'll do it and then what? I'm stuck. I'm actually scared of her cause she has done things in the past to try and ruin me, like call me people and tell lies about me. Yes, it's that bad.....


Any advice would be appreciated.

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Thanks for all your quick replies! My mother already has a few agencies helping her but she is so mean and nasty to people that two of them have dropped her for any services. She had one agency supplying her with a caregiver once a week to take her shopping but she did nothing but complain about every single caregiver they sent. After she became hysterical in the car with one, after the poor girl said she could not take her out of town because it was against the rules, mother screamed and threatened to throw herself out of the car while in motion. The caregiver got so frightened she called police. Anyway, the upshot is that now this agency has removed mother from the service. There are other stories, I could go on and on....

She lives in an elderly housing apartment building where there is bus and train service and she gets around pretty well. She is healthy and able bodied. However, she calls the relatives constantly to complain about her life and to ask them to take her places when she could easily take the bus. Plus she is just mean and hateful to everyone. I can see why they don't want to help her. My sister even said to them, if you don't want to put up with her, then don't, but don't expect us to either. However, they are not giving us that same consideration, constantly telling us she is our responsibility cause she gave birth to us. Ha!

I think I may get some professional counseling and maybe even see a lawyer to see what my rights and responsibilities are. I don't wish my mother ill, I just want her to leave me alone. And I want my relatives to leave me alone.

Thank you!
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Don't answer the door bell when she arrives on your doorstep...& take a vacation to make sure you're not home at the time!
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I'd have her assessed and put into a nursing home. If she's been abusive to you and your sister your whole lives, it won't stop.
But you are immediate family, so I'd get an action plan together with your sister and stick to your guns. Your relatives sound like they've been enabling your mother to keep up this selfishness.
Good luck and wishing you the best in healing yourself.
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First, make it clear to your relatives that if your mother gets on a plane, you won't pick her up at the airport. If she shows up at your door, call her a cab and send her to a hotel. Make it clear she can't stay with you. Don't assume any care responsibilities for her. If she has her own place, it will still be there by the time she gets back on her return flight.

What your relatives are doing is not uncommon. If an elderly person has children, people believe the children should and will take responsibility for them, if push comes to shove. In my mother's community, a neighbor developed dementia and became aggressive towards his housemate and other people, and the housemate called his daughter and had him carted off to another state. In other words, it's a ploy that often works, and that's why people use it.

Just don't fall for it. Don't go along with it. You can't be forced to care for your mother against your will. Tell your relatives they need to grow a spine and just tell your mother no when she makes demands on them.
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You have no legal obligation to provide care for your mother in your home.

What kind of problems is she causing for your relatives?

Call the local Area Agency on Aging in her area and get a needs assessment. Find out what services can be provided to her where she currently lives, or if she needs facility care.

Your cousin could do the same if was so inclined.
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