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My mother was verbally & physically abusive to us kids when growing up. She is also very controlling and demanding to us as kids & adults and when she wants something, you better do it NOW! She went to the nursing home Dec 2014 on her own free will due to a light stroke and other health issues. My stepdad has been good to deal with the past 10 yrs they have been married. My real dad died in 2000, so mom remarried in 2004. Mom named me her Power of Attorney to handle her affairs, since her current husband (my stepdad) is 84 yrs old. Mom is 80 yrs old and does NOT have dementia. They have a pre-nupital agreement since he owns a farm/house so it goes to his adult kids upon his death. Mom has a very small piece of property in another state, that my sister and I will inherit. My stepdad's kids (his first wife died in 1998) are not the easiest people to get along with, so we keep our distance. His kids do not like my mom, because of her controlling and not very nice attitude toward them. I certainly don't blame them for feeling that way, they have the "evil stepmother". Therefore when my stepdad passes away at some point we do not want a confrontation with his kids when it is time to remove our mothers things from stepdad's house. My sister was here (she lives 850 miles away) we visited mom in the nursing home and then went to stepdads house to get a few family heirlooms-mom said my sister and I could have a set of dishes, among other things. We wanted to get those items out of the house now, to preserve those memories that mean something to us (family photos, etc.) before stepdad passes away-to avoid being accused by his kids that we are removing things from "their dads house.". There is no monetary value, only sentimental value. My stepdad called me and said he went to the nursing home and told my mom that we took "everything" she owns. Of course with her contolling personality she blew up and "demanded" that I go to the nursing home NOW because she wanted to speak to me. Stepdad also told me that we "stole from our mother" by taking those things. He was sitting at the kitchen table watching us pack these items up, so we did not "steal" anything. Had he kept his mouth shut and not told her his exaggerated story that we took "everything" this would not have caused problems, he knew she would throw a fit. He said it is our fault now because mom is depressed and upset. If he had not said anything to her other than yes the kids got your dishes, etc,the situation would not have turned into what is now a family fight and hurt feelings. My sister and I are very upset with him for causing this family fued. I refused to go see my mother because I know it will be nothing but a chewing out by her like when we were kids. I am 60 yrs old, I have had enough of her controlling, disrespectful, painful words that she can dish out and I refuse to take it anymore. I am very upset with both of them not understanding why we took what few items we have and accusing us of "stealing." There are at least 2 more pickup loads of mom's items left in the house, so we did not "clean her out" as my stepdad told mom. They get these ideas in their head and there is no changing their mind nor reasoning with them.
My sister and I are ready to cut ties with both mom and stepdad completely, I am so hurt after spending weeks at their house (40 miles away) getting mom's affairs in order (her bank accounts, cancelling her cell phone, getting her in the nursing home, taking her to dr appts when she was still at home, etc.) and this is the thanks I get? It is a big slap in the face. Do I wash my hands of the entire thing (including no longer being her Power of Attorney), walk away and move on with my own life? My husband is just as hurt as I am and has been very supportive to myself and my sister. I would appreciate any advice.

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You have gone far above and beyond the call of duty. I stopped taking the abuse and let mthr have her own life separate from mine. It was the best 8 years of my life!! My therapist recommended it about 10 years before I made the leap. After 8 years, at the request of APS, I rescued her from wandering and kept someone from hitting her with their car and feeling guilty the rest of their life. I installed her in memory care where I can visit or not, and we have her on meds that have completely positively changed her personality so it's almost bearable to see her.

I am sure there are back up POAs listed for your mom. You can resign and never feel compelled to do anything ever again. Then you can visit if you want, or not visit. You have been extra through in your treatment of her because you were trying to win her praise or affection, I bet. And this is what you get in return. Nah, I'd resign no matter who is back up POA. You have to register your resignation at the courthouse where the POA was filed and the back up POA should attach a copy of the filed document w court numbers to the original POA copy with court numbers. (Mthr's original POA resigned and I'm the backup, and this is what the attys told us to do).
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Thank you guestshop for your reply. Mom asked to go to the nursing home, since stepdad is 84 yrs old he was exhausted trying to take care of her at home and he was also ready for a change. He visits her everyday (he lives 2 miles from the nursing home). I totally agree with what you said, mom took her frustrations of us taking her things out on the stepdad and I think with him calling me and chewing me out was releasing his frustration of her anger that he endured. I was helping him and he was helping me with bills of hers when he received things in the mail, etc. We were getting along very well until this blowup happened. His adult childrens relations with him are a mess, the daughter and one of the sons are on good terms with him, however he has gotten into arguements with two of his other sons and they have not spoken to their dad for the past 7 years over something totally stupid. We are now wondering since we have only been hearing his side of the story of what truly happened with the two sons that shut off speaking terms with him. He has always been good to my sister and myself until now, maybe we are beginning to see his true colors? Since they have a pre-nuptial agreement, mom and stepdad are now getting divorced ( a mutual agreement of both of them) in order to save his farm for his kids to inherit. Getting a divorce in our state is the only way to keep the state (Title 19-Medcaid) from taking away his farm to pay for her nursing home. As her POA, I will have to apply for Title 19 in March 2015, as she will be out of her own money by then. Stepdad told me when the attorney said the only way around the Medicaid thing to save the farm is divorce, stepdad gave me STRICT orders I am NEVER to tell his kids they are getting divorced. Why it has to be a secret from his kids I have no idea.
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Hi, Satin. Don't we just love people who play the game "Let's you and them fight!" Maybe stepdad and your mother are not really OK with mother in nursing home and he wanted her to have someone to focus the anger and depression on besides him. I assume that she would have stayed at home if her health permitted. Lots of threads on this site about elders that thought they *could* have stayed at home *if only someone would have provided the help they needed*. She is married to stepdad but you have POA. This could be causing some resentment for stepdad as well. This is NOT a defense of you being treated badly. But maybe this is also stepdad acting out that if you are removing her stuff from "his house" that you are also removing yourselves from his life and any help you might offer. You were there helping your mother (also read narcissist threads) but will you help him? Will his adult children (not something you addressed)? Your mother is in a place where she is safe and cared for in 24/7 shifts with medical help nearby. If you want to address it at all, give her a list of what you took from the home and the sentimental value to you connected to her and family (narcissists LOVE to hear about themselves). Don't address fears of loss to stepdad's relatives - fuel on the fire. I am a big fan of direct but polite letters to cover my behind. "I am sorry that you feel that way. Do you want me to relinquish POA to another person? I love you but I will not be treated in this way. We are both adults and will treat each other with respect and dignity." by the way, I did have this conversation with my mother years ago. It took not speaking to her for 20 years after a childhood of abuse and alcoholic rages for her to understand that I would not be treated that way once I was 18 and moved out. When she changed how she treated me, I came back and we were close and respected each other's ways until she died 3 years ago. Hugs to you and hang in there. You are not alone and NO you don't deserve to be treated this way. But if she's always been this way, you are the one who has to set boundaries and be willing to walk away. Your mother won't change a behavior that has always worked for her in the past. I would not address the stuff with stepfather other than to make arrangements for him to be there when you pick up the other stuff of your mother's IF she still wants you and your sister to have it. Take care of YOU and husband.
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Thanks for your reply soninlaw58, it is comforting to know that I am not the only dealing with these issues. I am glad all of us have each other to lean on and understand what all of us are going through. I found this site last night and I am so grateful that I did. Hugs to all !!
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You know you didn't steal from your mom. Your sister knows you didn't steal from your mom. If your mom and stepdad want to think that there's nothing you can do about it.

I understand your frustration and hurt feelings but I wouldn't walk away. Your mom isn't going to be around forever and I'm afraid if you did walk away and the day comes when your mom is no longer around you will feel tremendous guilt for cutting her out of your life. Make the obligatory visits, try to stay away from family drama, and know that you didn't do anything wrong.
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I went through some of the same stuff with my mom and she had a diagnosed mental illness and wouldn't take her meds quite often. It was bad enough that I left home at 17 and would only periodically check in on her. She never acknowledged that my kids from my first marriage were her grandkids and referred to my wife as "that whore". Still until her early death, I'd stay in touch enough to make sure that she was physically ok.

Sometimes the best you can do is just walk away.
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Whether you call it mental illness or something else, they know what they are doing and it still hurts and will continue to hurt until they are gone. When mom does pass away at some point it will be a relief to me because then her abuse will stop. When HER friends and her relatives came to me when I became an adult and they told me they knew of the child abuse that was going on, ( in the 50's and 60's that was not to be discussed), what does that tell you?. They all said "I don't know how you kids turned out to be such nice people after what you endured." My real dad did what he could to protect us, but he had to work on our farm during the day, so that left her wide open to do as she pleased with us....her idea of discipline was beating us with wire fly swatters-leaving welts on our arms and legs for several days, locking us outside in 15-20 degree weather for over an hour because she was tired of us kids "running in and out of the house" while we were playing in the snow (we came in the house to warm and then go outside again). We were huddled under the dryer vent trying to stay warm, when my dad found us outside as he came in from milking the cows. He was furious with mom for doing that to us. Instead of a swift open hand on the behind for "spanking" she was very physically abusive and would hit where ever it would land.......the head, legs, etc. I was having trouble with a math problem in the 5th grade and she got fed up with me that I could not understand a math issue. She said to me "I can't believe my own kid is this stupid." This came along with a hard open hand slap to the back of head...because I was stupid in her eyes. She has alienated my own grown children, my daughter had a son born out of wedlock a few years ago, they brought the baby over for us to see (I was laid up with knee surgery and could not leave the house). Mom and stepdad were there, I was holding the baby and asked mom if she wanted to hold her new great grandson (her first great grandchild)..........her reply..."I don't hold bastard babies." My daughter just crumbled with that remark, I felt terrible for my daughter that her own grandmother would treat her that way. Now you see why I do not like my mother, she is just nasty all the way around.
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Well, if she doesn't have dementia (which I suspect she does) then she's mentally ill. Ditto for him. Would that change your perspective?
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