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My mother is 76 yrs old. My father passed from cancer 25 years ago. She remarried once for five years but they divorced. Couldn’t get along. Growing up, my parents were the corporal punishment, very strict, penny pinching type. My mother has had fits of rage and emotional manipulative ways all her life. I have never felt loved and always criticized for every move I have made. My father was the calm, cool, friendly to everyone, loving one. He worked very hard at his job and my mom stayed at home torturing myself and my brother. I couldn’t wait to get away from my mother and married at 19 while in college, went on to be married and divorced 5 times. Long story made short, I excelled at my career, but never at relationships. I gave all of myself to make others happy, then reacted negatively when expectations didn’t meet reality at home. I thought I just had a bad picker, but it was more than that. Anyone that loved me, I desperately clung to them, not even thinking that I had a choice and had worth. My brother has also had problems with her but to me, a daughter’s view, my plight has been worse. RE: my kids are crappy-his son is God given and wonderful, etc.


Fast forward to today, my mom fell twice back in May. The last time broke her ankle, had surgery, rehab, then home. She was and is a total nightmare. Called the rehab nurse the “N” word, complained nonstop, wouldn’t try to be mobile, though she couldn’t put weight on her ankle for six week. She wore diapers so as not to have to get up and use the toilet.


My brother had it out with her during rehab, so did I but I was left totally caregiving her once she came home. She insisted on coming home before she was ready and didn’t care about any arrangements that I had to make. I am 54, disabled, divorced, and live an hour and a half away. I had 7 spine surgeries 8 years ago, still plagued with chronic pain, arthritis, and bad knees and other issues. My brother is 50 and He and my SIL live 5 mins away from mom. My SIL has stuck by brother and not lifted a finger to help. To her case, her father had died 2yrs ago and she had been through the ringer with him being abusive. He was in AL and was 91. Her mother had passed 10 yrs ago quick from cancer. So I don’t blame either one of them.


Since June I have practically lived with mom while traveling back home for my pets and my house overnight here and there. Now, Mom insists that I come back and stay two nights a week. Her ankle is fine. It’s like she is scared to go back to her life and says she is weak and needs help. She refuses to get anyone else to help out even though she can afford any and all she could ever want. She would rather have me to complain to and be crazy with so no one else knows how she really is. She has some beginning signs of dementia but will deny anything is wrong with her mind. While I am there, she watches everything I do, tries to tell me what to do, sideseat drives, and is soooo frustrating to be around. I just don’t like the person she is, have never. I am so tired and so emotionally spent too. I have wished she would pass in her sleep too. I joke about bumping her off (I would never) but it feels good to vent. I took her to her doctor for checkup last week, and she wouldn’t allow me to go back with her, so that I would not mention her mental decline or her anxiety. She says she has no problems as long as everybody leaves her alone. I have heard “honor thy father and mother” so many times, I could puke. She even tried to put my name on one of her insurance policies solely if I would continue to help her. I said no. I would help cause I wanted to help. But to be extorted, no thanks. There’s enough guilt already. She is like a toddler, having crying jags about my brother’s withdrawal from her care. When I am home, I don’t want to do anything and I have sold my house to move 20 mins away from her. Just waiting on buyers to sell their house. I need to be packing. Sigh!

Find Care & Housing
Not to sound mean or harsh...but run don't walk. Get out of this situation...I mean find the Exit door. This will only get worse! Mom has money, start by hiring a caregiver Asap! You think your mom is mean now--wait because she will be meaner than a snake to you once she gets you pulled in and you have no way out speaking from experience!! I wished someone would have told me that!! Oh by the way, all the childhood demons will come back once your in full blown caregiving mode!( Didn't feel loved by your mom as a child...you definitely won't now...she will make you feel worthless, even more unloved, used, and life isn't worth living--again speaking from experience!! Run for your life!


Just my 2 cents:(
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mbradley35 Sep 22, 2019
Hi. Thank you for your response! I value your two cents. Just staying with her even before she fell, in my childhood home has triggered so many things. It’s almost as fresh as if it was yesterday. Her response is “get over it”.
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Why are you catering to an abusive, unloving person like your mother?

Why don't you leave her to her own devices? Let her figure out her situation.

She has no standing, legal or moral to demand that you do anything.

Say "no,mom, I can't possibly do that. You need to hire help".

Can you do that?
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mbradley35 Sep 22, 2019
I am going to say this when she calls next to see what days I am coming back this week. Thank you!
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Gee Mom, that's unfortunate.
Gee Mom, I'm so sorry to hear that.
Gee Mom, that just doesn't work for me.
Gee Mom, how do YOU plan to handle that situation?
Gee Mom, I'll be moving to EUROPE next month.........

Learn to use the phrases that let you off the hook. The Europe one is just for chits & giggles, unless you want to make it so.
Best of luck!
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CaregiverL Sep 22, 2019
Lea, I always say...I’m going out to do errands & chores....& btw after that...I’m going to the airport...where Im going..I don’t know, but I’m packing my suitcase....🤪🤣🥴
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So you are my age. We know you have a backbone, as you have had multiple spinal surgeries. Now put it to use.

Mum will continue to refuse help from others as you continue to provide it. Stop providing help.

Go home to your house and pets, your job and your life. You do not owe this woman a single thing.

If she calls to complain, block her calls.

Get on with your life, she has lived hers and is now bearing the consequences of her actions.
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mbradley35 Sep 22, 2019
You are so right! Thank you for your reply. It helps so much for others to say that I am okay if I leave her to her life now that she can walk and drive. She has problems, physically and mentally, but I have put in my time.
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Please don't do this to yourself. Clearly your Mom raised you to not believe you are worth the powder to, you know............ You have told us so. I can assure you, she is wrong. Please don't fulfill her expectations by showing her that you agree, that you consider yourself to be of so little worth that you are willing to be her doormat until the day she dies.
I am so sorry for all you have gone through. Please don't do this to yourself. Your mother will get care without you. Likely she will have to treat her caregivers with at least some modicum of respect.
I think that, in all truth, your brother and SIL have taken the wisest course of action. It is thankless, any participation in the life of a person such as you describe your mother to be.
You have wonderful advice below. I hope you will take it. I am so sorry for any angst it causes you. Remember, your mother has raised you to question your own worth and your own abilities. So you will suffer. But you will not suffer to the degree you will suffer if you allow her to punish you further. Hugs to you. Please be safe and well.
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mbradley35 Sep 22, 2019
Thank you for your kind reply. I know she will get more and more horrible. I will make myself back out of going every week. I get mad at myself for being a caring, loving person in spite of her. I have come to terms with myself and my mistakes and am self aware and responsible for the things I do. She, on the other hand, will not ever be any of those things. Thank you many times over!
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The next time she says something mean to you, head for the door with a wave. When she says "WHERE are you GOING?!" tell her "I'm going to get over it".
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DollyMe Sep 23, 2019
That is exactly what I do with my mother, grab my stuff and leave.
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You need to establish boundaries. If mom can do for herself stop doing what you are doing. Call or send a letter to her doctor telling about decline that you are seeing. Hopefully she has POA's setup. Refuse to take her to the doctor unless, at the very least she signs a HIPPA release, usuAlly availAble in the doc's office.
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mbradley35 Sep 22, 2019
Hi. Yes my brother has said the boundary thing to me and that he is waiting for me to admit he is right. She was very sick and unable to do for herself at first. But now, she is good. Her doctor gave her a good report on her meds and bloodwork. She has scoliosis and bad joints too. But I think I can do this. Thank you for taking time to respond.
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MB; just because your mother couldn't get around and couldn't drive is NO REASON for you to subject yourself to abuse. She can hire help. She isn't helpless and without the ability to make phone calls.

Let her shift for herself. Your brother is right; boundaries! There is a book by that name by Townsend and Cloud. You would benefit from reading it.
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So, MB, not sure why you think that your mentally ill mom would agree to go to therapy.

It's the SANE folks who need to go to therapy to stop the cycle of abuse.

Stop expecting her behavior to change.
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As I have read many times on this forum..... "No" is a complete sentence!
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cherokeegrrl54 Sep 24, 2019
Exactly!!!!
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