Should I stop all communication with my mean, nasty, verbally abusive aging mother before I have a nervous breakdown? -

Should I stop all communication with my mean, nasty, verbally abusive aging mother before I have a nervous breakdown?


My mother has always been very controlling and somewhat nasty and mean at times. She has been getting even worse over the past 5 yes or so. She is only 73 and is in terrible condition. She had two heart attacks (and drove herself to the ER because 'the neighbor's might hear sirens.' She chain smoked for 50+ yes and recently kept smoking with her oxygen on. She was taking too much Vicodin and also asking her neighbors for it. She refuses ANY help whatsoever. She doesn't clean her apartment, won't shower for months (due to lack of mobility), wears filthy clothes and always has a terrible yeast infection on her chest. She looks worse than a homeless person. My only sibling (brother) tries to help, but when it comes to confronting her about serious concern he suddenly backs out and leaves me to talk to her by myself. Recently Mom finally moved in to a senior apartment where she has fallen several times. She refuses to designate a power of attorney so we can't get any info on what is going on medically. She sits in her soiled clothing because she cannot get off the couch. She crawls to the bathroom at times. I've thrown my back out trying to help her. Well she is in and out of hospitals constantly and after most recent fall ended up in a nice rehab facility for three weeks. She was released yesterday but refused to allow staff to evaluate the safety of her apartment. While hospitalised I cleaned her filthy apartment for days. When she got home she called me yelling at me because I put some dishes in the wrong cupboards. She stated that she had been 'robbed' by me, maintenance staff and that the rehab facility 'stole' her meds (which were all sent home with her). She then called the police. Long story short no one will help her. Adult Protective services has been called a year ago (she hit a pole while driving and was randomly taking pills from a huge box, etc) and they did nothing. No one suggested psych ward. She is Not safe living alone but was sent home anyway. Also she cancelled all home care and physical therapy (because her apartment is none of their business). She is taking narcotics again is is even more mean and nasty. She told me I'm not allowed in her home ever again because I moved some of her things! I have been sober for a long time and feel on the brink of a relapse! Or a nervous breakdown at the very least. I am throwing up and can't sleep! I feel I've done all I can and more. My Dad committed suicide many years ago and she's our only parent so I feel guilty all the time. Everyone has been saying I should have cut her off years ago! I'm Sad and confused. Someone Please help!!



Thank You all for your responses. They are more than helpful. I'm so exhausted I have been unable to think clearly and take even simple steps needed to help myself. After your comments I looked around and have stopped groups, hobbies, etc. No more isolating. AA meeting first thing. I didn't really notice how far I let this situation get out of hand. Many people cannot relate so this has been good. Wish I had discovered this forum sooner. Thanks again!!
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Debbpressd1975

Print out TreeArtist's response and paste it on your fridge. Takes those steps, one at a time. Let us know when you call APS. Once you've done that, you've discharged your obligation to your mom.

Tell us when you've reached out to AA- that's your obligation to yourself. It's actually the more important one and if you feel you need to do it first, then do so.

Your mom is apparently a competent, if mentally ill ADULT. She is responsible for herself. YOU are not responsible for making her well. If the authorities won't step in, it means she has the right to live the way she does. Not that you need to be doing something differently.

Your mom's mental illness is not your fault. You don't need to do anything, except call APS. Then the ball is in their court.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

It is late and you may not get many responses until the morning, so you’ll at least have one. What you are describing is a nightmare, and I wasn’t sure what to say to help other than to step away and call, no, hound, APS until something is done. The most important aspect of your post is that you said you are sober and that all this is affecting your sobriety. So, here is my advice: Call APS in the morning for your mother. Now the rest of my post is for you. Call the AA hotline to talk about what is going on with you. Go to a meeting as soon as possible, and go to another one the next day and the next, until you are feeling stronger. Talk to your sponsor and be honest with her, and if you don’t have a sponsor get one! And, most important, look up AL-Anon online for a meeting near you, and go to it as soon as possible! These are steps you can take to find some relief from your mental anguish. You have many hard decisions to make which you can’t do if you relapse or are in a dry-drunk. You have a chance, if you stay sober, but along with AA, Al-Anon will help you to see more clearly. Take several deep breaths and take action, tonight! Then let it go until tomorrow when you will take more action. Sleep well. My prayers are with you. 
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Treeartist

I would say cut her loose, but even I haven't been able to completely cut my mom out as hard as I have tried the past years; so I know that struggle and it isn't as easy to do as it is to say. Less communication does help though, I've found.

My situation isn't like yours, but I can understand the guilt that keeps you there for your mom along with the humane love you have for her; you are a loving, caring person to do that for a fellow human when you know they won't show you love back or give you a paycheck.

The response about reaching out to AA is great advice; support from people who know what's at stake if you 'lose it' could help a lot to get you through the tough times.

I hope you stay strong and stay on your path to make your life better.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to evepenman

I'm surprised the rehab facility agreed to her discharge if she refused an evaluation of her living situation. Unless they were completely confident that she was physically and mentally well enough to cope, I suppose.

Call APS and alert them to the discharge - we hear time and again of crises arising from agencies' failure to communicate with one another, so I wouldn't leave it to the rehab facility to have done it. And who manages the senior apartments where she lives? I'd copy them in too. These are the people who are actually charged with protecting your mother as far as possible.

Long and short of it is that, willing or not, neither you nor your brother have the power to cure your mother. The lady is angry and self-destructive, but you didn't make her like that and she won't let you help her get past it. You're stuffed, from that point of view.

But you can save yourself. Send your mother a welcome home card - ah, the healing power of irony - that tells her you love her and will always care about her. Then follow the very good advice above and from your support groups and focus on staying upright.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Countrymouse

Debb, hang in here. This has got to be a tough issue for you. I will pray for you. I understand your guilt feeling, those are tough. I can only tell you what has helped me, finding comfort and answers in God's word.
Truly he is our only help in times of trouble.
I would probably feel exactly like you do, if I were in your situation.
I would pray and pray some more, please don't relapse, then you lose. Stay strong. If your Mom is being like that, and does not want help, there is not much you can do. But, you don't have to carry the burden of guilt, because it is her choice.
Please don't relapse. Stay strong you are worth it.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
May God bless you and lead you in this matter.
You are not alone.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to smeshque

Debb, I am so sorry you are going through this. I think of you spending hours cleaning the filthy apartment, probably with a bit of a premonition that your mom wouldn't be able to appreciate it, but soldiering on regardless. You have to admit it, your strength is amazing! Feel proud of it, and recognize also that this particular situation is just too much for anyone to cope with effectively. Time to take care of you. God bless.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to SnoopyLove

Awe, Hugs Debb
Yes to AA and APS!!😘 And AC!!
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Bella7

Welcome aboard, Debb. Yup, HIPAA protects your mom's privacy. Like I said, she's a competent adult, free to make her own bad choices.

Not your problem.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Can you stop ALL communication with her for 3 days?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Sendhelp

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