So my mother and I have a strained relationship. She is extremely stubborn, avoid any confrontation and most conversations. She's also super emotional and I feel like she plays a lot of emotional warfare.

Recently she was staying with my husband and I will she got back on her feet after being sick and in the hospital.

She she asked if she could just live with us permanently and I said no.

She is healthy and fine and needs to be on her own.

She's made a ton of bad financial decisions and always plays the victim card.

She moved out of my house today and didn't say anything.

Just left a thank you card.

I go to the store tonight and I see her car in the parking lot.

She's deciding to live in her car, again.

I've tried to put her in her own apartment and even tried to pay the rent she wouldn't allow me to.

If she wants to live in her car that is her choice.

The part I have the biggest problem with is the fact that it's at the grocery store right next to my house.

I feel like this is another one of her games and I don't know what to do.

I lose sleep over this.

But we live in a state that has hardly any housing and I don't know how to help her if she won't take my help.

Honey, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to elaine1962
TouchMatters Apr 19, 2020
I agree Elaine. I would let the police or APS handle it.

It may sound emotionally cold, but why are you taking this bait?
Sometimes the 'best' support you can do when others use manipulation and self-destruction is to step back and allow others, with 'authority' to deal with the situation. If she decides to continue to live in her car, or act out in any other ways, there is little you can do unless she is 5150'ed - and ends up in a locked facility. I wonder-does she care about personal hygiene? Can she take a shower somewhere?

Consider your own emotional and psychological (and physical) boundaries. Has she baited you in this way before, for years? for decades? You need to STAND FIRM and hold your ground. It might be harder for you to do than for her to change however it may be required/needed for your own sanity and equanimity. And, once she realizes she isn't activating your emotions, she may stop. Providing more information here would have been helpful (her age, mental capacity), even though you say she is healthy. On the other side of this coin, many people in this country have low paying jobs or no jobs and sound mind who must live on the streets to make it. They do it somehow. While your mom doesn't have to do this, it is a choice she is making. Don't take the bait.
Wow - that takes the cake for manipulative behavior. Then everyone can see this poor little old lady living in her car because her heartless daughter won't take her in. Nominate her for a best actress award. Hold firm with this manipulative crap.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Kimber166

As suggested, switch grocery stores or have things delivered. She is living for your reaction. I'm quite familiar with people like her... "Me? Oh, no, I'm fine! I'm making sure you KNOW what shape I'm in, but I'm not about to let you help! No, I'd rather just manipulate you and play the victim!".

You did all you could to help. You offered, she refused. The ball is in her car, court, whatever.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to LoopyLoo

I'm very impressed. That's a trick my mthr never thought of! If you don't like seeing her there, you can have groceries delivered or you can change stores. I would do either in your shoes. Keep your boundaries, ignore her attention getting tricks, and go about your business. You don't need to be a martyr!

It gets easier. Once mthr was demented enough, we were able to have her placed and she did not object.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to surprise

Calling the poster honey is NOT condescending when the poster’s name IS HONEY, lol.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to elaine1962

I grew up with a manipulative mom who was also a drama queen. As long as things went her way and we let her be “in charge”, things were fine.

i obviously don’t know your mother, but I can almost guarantee that she’s having a wonderful time treating you as her “puppet”. She pulls the strings and you dance around and do whatever she wants. You’ve tried so hard to do your best for her, but that’s not what she wants, because then she’d have to be grateful to you and owe you one. If “she (truly) is healthy and fine” and there are no serious health complications or mental issues with her, let her be. If the grocery lot is large, she can park her car there and pretty much not be noticed. But, if she is, she could wind up in the pokey and/ or have to go to court for vagrancy. If that happens, I sincerely hope you won’t rush to her aid. She needs to ”grow up” and be responsible for herself. On a side note, my mom wanted to live with me, too. She had it all planned out. I’m sure that after I said no, she resented it until her dying day.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Ahmijoy

To steal from and paraphrase the late Douglas Adams:

"This is obviously some definition of the words 'healthy' and 'fine' of which I was not previously aware."

Your mother is desperately afraid, it seems, of being alone behind a closed front door.

Risking the stupid question: why?
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Countrymouse

Kimber166: "Then everyone can see this poor little old lady living in her car because her heartless daughter won't take her in."

Right. And if anyone tries to help her or asks if she needs help, she will be sure to villainize you and probably point shakily to your property and exclaim, "And she lives right THERE!"
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to CTTN55

I think that I might call APS or even the police myself to advise of the situation. You are not responsible for your mother but to try to avoid her spin I would let them know. And because I AM confrontation, before I would change stores, I would know in the window and let her know that I know her game and I will be changing stores and not dealing with her. You said she is living in her car again. I am guessing she has done this before and it worked out for her. Don’t let her get away with it again. If you dont want to call police, you could also place call to store to say that there appears to be someone living in car in their parking lot. They may make her move. Of course she may then park in front of your house. She is trying to drive you crazy. Don’t let her and don’t cave in.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to dogparkmomma

Do me a favour and read "The Glass Castle." I can't remember the author's name but she wrote this book based on her life with her mother. As she becomes successful her mom becomes homeless and how she handles it. This is NOT a self help book but it might help you. I must warn you; once you start reading it you will not be able to put the book down! LOL!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Shell38314
nitsirk9898 Apr 19, 2020
Very good book! I need to reread it again!
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