Should I move out and stop supporting my mom?

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My mom has lived with me for all my life. She is 84 and I am 53. She raised me with 3 brothers alone. I have always appreciated what my mom has done for me. When I was 23 I brought a house and asked my mom to move with me. She did, and we have been together since then. We stayed there for 25 years. My plan was to pay off the house and leave it for her, but that didn't work out. The property value went way down and we had to move. Long story short, I have let my mom reign in the house we lived in and now the apartment we live in. We have been here for 9 years. I have brought her a car, and I am now paying for dental work she needs done. I claim her on my taxes, but I give her a portion of the refund I get. The only thing I asked my mom to do is sign power of attorney over to me or my brothers, she refuses to do so, and I found out through my brother that she has a storage unit she has had for 9 years since we moved from the house. I was very upset, and told my mom she needs to get rid of it. She is a cancer survivor on a fixed income, and she has already lost over six thousand dollars paying for things she will never use again. This is what has caused the biggest problem in our relationship. My mom is very independent and strong willed, she is still able to take care of herself. When she asked me for a loan to get dental work done, it was over three thousand dollars. I told her I would give her the money if she got rid of the storage unit. This caused her to throw an tantrum and she cried and told me that I didn't care for her and after all she has done for me i should be willing to lend her the money. She brought up that I should have given her money from the sale of the house, because she had invested in help keeping the house up. She said that she is not getting rid of her stuff and started crying. I never knew my mom felt this way. Now I dont think we can live together anymore because she feels resentful towards me. I gave in and gave her the money for the dental work, but I told her when the lease is up in June of next year i will be moving out. I have encouraged her to start looking for a place now, to give her time to get used to the idea of us living apart. She says that she is not you going anywhere and that I can leave. She can't not maintain the apartment on her fixed income, but she says no matter what anyone says she is not moving. She knows the options she has, because we have looked at independent living facilities before. I am praying for the right decision, I don't want to abandon my mom, I would still help her with what she needed if she moved. I just wanted to know others opinion and advice. Thanks.

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
The stuff in the storage unit is all that's left of her life (in her mind). To toss it, is to erase her. Suggestion let it cool off for a few weeks. Then maybe suggest visiting the storage unit. You even use the excuse to see if it will fit in a smaller unit or that there might be something you all can use in the home. If there are any grandchildren that could be your saving grace! Suggest that she pass down some of her treasures to them. That easy the could be used, and a nice reminder or grandma. Then depending on her personality and what's in the unit, use the disasters to your advantage... Mom there are a lot of people who just lost everything they own, think you might have a few tings to donate?
Robin, excellent suggestion to donate to hurricane victims.
"I have let my mom reign" for 53 years!

I think this is the heart of the whole problem.

If the only health problem your mother has is diabetes, then she should live on her own or with others somewhere.

Is the apartment in your name or in both names. If it is in your name, it is yours and you set the rules not her. Sounds like you are providing her the housing and paying the bills. Thus, she has no foot to stand on in telling you to leave. Stand up for yourself and put your foot down. She's being unreasonable.
I sort of see it differently Sholmes31. Your mom may be benefiting from all that you do for her, but, I would think that she is also entitled to spend her own social security money on something of her choice, like the storage unit. It might seem wasteful, but, if it brings her comfort and peace of mind, then, I'd consider that valuable. And even though, she had to borrow the funds from you for dental work, maybe, she didn't anticipate that. I'd try to see it from her view. I'd hate for things to go south with your mother over something like a storage unit. Is it really about the unit or could it be more?

It might be that you are just ready to have more privacy. There's nothing wrong with that. I might consider what my real feelings are and talk to mom about it. Maybe, you just need some time apart. It's a challenge to live with senior parents, imo. I've done it twice in my adult life.

If she's not able to process that you are leaving the apt and she'll need to make other arrangements, I'd question why? Is she living in reality?
Top Answer
I can't agree, sunnygirl. If mom was paying an equal share of the housing and all that goes along with daily living - plus have money for emergency dental work - I'd say fine - pay for the storage with what's left over. But it seems unreasonable to me that mom is paying for a storage unit while the daughter is paying for everything else. Mom is an adult, after all.
Dear Sholmes31,

I know you love your mom and you have done a lot for her. The financial and emotional support is enormous. It's very hard to break this pattern after so many years of you doing everything to make your mom happy. At 84 I think that storage unit means a lot to her.

I'm not saying its right that you've had to bear so much financially all these years. I'm not sure if there are any social programs in your area that could be accessed to help your mom stay in the apartment.

I see a lot of myself in your post. I think the fact that you are asking yourself about moving out, its a sign that you should. I personally felt a lot of resentment and anger about always being the default caregiver in my family. I had siblings but I felt like an only child. At 53 you definitely have to think about your own retirement and your own future as well.
Did your mom stop working when you were 23 and you invited her to live in your house? So, she's depended on you financially for 31 years? She did nothing to prepare for her retirement and has lived off of your generosity? Yes, I'd say leave and take care of yourself for no one else will.
4 Adult Children.
Your brother knew about the storage unit and you did not.
Sorry, you have been used most likely by a narcissist.

Don't allow MOM to further divide the 4 of you. As she most likely has been playing them and receiving payoffs from them, using you as the scapegoat, or "badguy" as the reason she has no money.

Are you charging her rent? (1/3 of her Social Security income.)

Please meet with siblings and bring the truth to light if at all possible. Then decide.

What you have discovered, is it just the tip of the iceberg?  

Sorry that this issue has hurt you.  If she is secretive, and non-cooperative when money gets tight, it seems like you are living with the enemy? Seek truth, keep the compassion going though.

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