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I posted here about 3 weeks ago and I am glad I did. Thanks to everyone that responded. It helps a lot to know that I am not the only one trapped in an impossible situation. Tomorrow I take my mother to her surgery consult appointment. It’s a 45 minute drive to the doctor and from the time I get my mother in the car till we get to the doctor she will talk nonstop about everything that is wrong with her, the medical care she will get and her to do list. Since we are going to “town” I will be expected to look nice and use my manners while I am in the waiting room, so that my behavior doesn’t affect her medical care. My mother is convinced that how she looks and more importantly how I look directly influences what kind of medical care she will get. My mother notices everything about my personal appearance and if she notices anything that is potentially “not right” she will lecture me endlessly. If I have a pimple for example she will needle me about skin care and facial washes and seeing a dermatologist. If my clothes are wrinkled she will lecture me about dry cleaners and ask me if I need to borrow starch or an iron. She will mention this over and over in the span of 30 minutes. I’m in my 50’s and I’ve had hair loss since I was in my 30’s. I was having lunch with my mother in a restaurant one time and she stopped eating and looked at me and loudly exclaimed “In another year or so you will be so bald your whole head will be as oily as your forehead”. Any advice from anyone on how to deal with abusive cracks about personal appearance that go on and on and on with little to no point?????

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I've said this before on the forum: What you allow continues.

If you keep taking it, then it remains. If somebody said that to me I would walk away or drive her back home. Tell her she can get her own caregiver.

Tell her if she continues to degrade you that you will be DONE. Then follow through.
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Reply to tevincolorado
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Was she ever any different? The only real way to avoid this type of person is to AVOID this type of person. I am hoping you don't live with her nor her with you. If that's the case, and you are helping her out now in all her frail years of your choice, then just learn to laugh it off more or less. Responses like "Oh, hon, you NEVER cease to give me the giggles" will not only let her think she isn't scoring points, but will infuriate her. An abuser hates humor. They LOATHE it. It's the best arrow for your quiver.
Give her the "OK, hon, we are going to play a game, because I'm bored. I have heard this. The game is called 'You don't get to speak unless you have something nice to say'. The game starts NOW!" When she gives a mean response tell her "I hope I am not going to have to set you off at the side of the road, hon. You are going to have to try harder".
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499HopeFloats Feb 23, 2021
Ten thumbs up!!
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Go in your pajamas, hair in curlers (Bonus points if you don't curl your hair, buy some for this occasion!), a ratty robe, and dirty slippers (dirty them up on purpose). Then sit back and watch the fun, and know that anything she says is irrelevant because you did it on purpose.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 22, 2021
Hahaha! Her mom might have a heart attack! My mother would have dropped dead on the spot!

If it wouldn’t be life threatening, it would be very entertaining! 😆
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If you have to be with her and this starts up, take the essential pair of industrial strength ear plugs out of your pocket and pop them in your ears. That’s more to the point and also more effective than talking at her.
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They are part of the ‘Hollywood’ glamour era.

My mother wore makeup before having surgery!

Of course, I tried to get her to remove it before arriving for surgery.

She refused so I let the doctor deal with it.

When the doctor told her to wash her face in the bathroom, she did.

Their generation wore make up to get the mail or newspaper in.

They were dressed to kill and they had to have drop dead figures to fit in the fashion from the 40’s, which no one can deny was extremely fashionable!

They wore pearls. They wore high heels! That was simply their style so anything else appears sloppy to them.

My mother is still beautiful at 95 years old!

Did mom criticize me and everyone else on the planet? You bet she did! She is a full blown perfectionist!!!

My mom is oblivious to newscasters not having hair stylists and makeup artists due to the pandemic and says how awful they look compared to pre Covid days!

Please don’t expect your mom to change.
I found peace when I stopped expecting change. It’s not going to happen!

Was there a time that it drove me crazy? Absolutely! Not anymore.

She is who she is and I am who I am.

There are some ways that mom and I are alike and other ways that we are polar opposite.

You are you. Your mom doesn’t have to approve, right?

If she works on your nerves too badly, step away. If needed, make arrangements for others to help out.

It’s terribly frustrating when dealing with certain issues.

Pick and choose what is important.

Set your boundaries. Let go of the rest.

It is not worth your time and energy to get upset over things beyond your control.

No one has the power to change anyone else. We can only change our reaction to it.

Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to vent, then move onto more pleasant thoughts.

Take care, dear lady. I wish you peace. I have been there!

I feel your pain. I took care of my mom for 20 years, 15 of those in my home.

I felt the weight of the world lift off of my shoulders when I stopped being the primary caregiver.
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Riverdale Feb 23, 2021
When I was in my 20's I wouldn't go out without makeup. So silly. I looked fine but was concerned who I might run into. Now nearing 65 I rarely wear makeup. To really be done up the occasion has to warrant it. I think I may next be in makeup when my son gets married next year! Plans had to be well into the future due to Covid. It's fine with me. It will likely take me that long to lose the 5 pounds I want to. My day starts off with good intentions and then if I can't get to sleep I find myself hungry. Oh well. At least I know I am not a NM.
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When my mom was alive I wanted to tell her to shut the F up, but I never did. I just pretended like she wasn't saying awful things to me. She's gone now and thinking about it feels like crap. I don't know if my saying something would have changed a thing. I kind of wish I had said something...she would have denied all of it though, so what's the point?
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Reply to geeeee
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hugs jhall!!

you wrote:
how to deal with abusive cracks about personal appearance that go on...with little to no point?

--unfortunately, there is a point.
all these criticisms of you, make HER FEEL GOOD.

every time, these narcs (often narc mothers against sweet daughters) take you down, they FEEL GOOD. it makes them feel great. like a high. like a victory dance. (do not say you're hurt. that only makes them happy.) (they know you're hurt. they want it!)

there's no end to it.

the only solution is: low or no contact (i don't want no contact).

hug!
i experience many of the same examples as you.

you might even notice, that looking back at life...many of your health issues (for example, typical is over-eating, stress eating) come from this bad treatment from our mothers.

it's stressful to be tortured.
psychological abuse is torture.
there are consequences to being tortured.

if you're told terrible things every day...criticized every day...how can you be happy?

but we mustn't let these narcs win.
we must succeed in life (how ever you want to define success). succeed!
professionally, personally, in relationships...

be happy! :)
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BurntCaregiver Feb 24, 2021
You're right on the mark, bundleofjoy. It does make them feel good and happy when they know it's gotten to you and reduced your self-esteem. They feed on it.
Back when the kids were little I had one of the Harry Potter movies playing and my mother was watching. When the dementors came on I asked if she recognized anyone. The kids totally got it and they knew. even now when she tries to start up with me in front of others, especially when the kids are around (they get more satisfaction when there's an audience) I'll yell 'EXPECTO PATRONUM!' Then she's actually embarrassed. Especially when the kids (who are grown now) are around because they remember. With parents like this, they need to be called out every chance you get. Like when they're criticizing other parents about where they're lacking, then brag about all they did for their kids. I will ask in front of anyone, 'When? When did you ever do that for us?' Then she doesn't know what to say and shuts up. It works.
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So much terribly wrong here. To begin with I would pointedly say that you don't need to spend an occasion with her such as lunch which could be considered kind and caring of you to be repeatedly insulted. Then I would take that further and say that if insulting you is so important to her that you will remove yourself from contact with her as any problems you may have are exacerbated by stress which she is causing you. Why doesn't she find someone to pay to accompany her. An employee is that and no reflection on her standards which are fairly bad with her critical behavior. Maybe she will figure it out. Your time with her does not include being insulted and since she cannot express gratitude then you can remove yourself from the time you are spending with her which causes you additional stress further compounding your appearance which she is not worthy of.
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Yeah, tell her to call an Uber or a taxi next time she needs a ride somewhere.
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BurntCaregiver Feb 24, 2021
lealonnie1 - Call an Uber. Preach that truth, sister. Sometimes, you just have to tell a person to STFU no matter who they are or how old. That's my gospel right there.
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I know exactly what you're talking about. My mother has done the same to me since I was a child. Always embarrassing me about the slightest flaw, or my clothes, or my size and everything else from A to Z and let me tell you, a lot of it has been downright cruel. Cruel to the point that people would call her out on it when I was a kid because it's worse to be harsh like that to a kid then an adult. I'm almost 50 years old now. Years ago I told her that I didn't want or care about her opinion on anything and have not sought it in my entire life, but if I want it, I'll ask. Since I've never asked it's very unlikely that I'll start now. When she makes a nasty comment about my appearance I tell her I don't care what she thinks. Then she accuses of being "snotty". So, I let her know she has a choice. Either shut the hell up or find someone else to do for her. I've enjoyed my own little harmless satisfaction for years though. My mother is a person who has to have constant reassurance on her appearance and fishes for compliments. I give her none and haven't since I was about ten years old. The most she gets from me is a "you look fine". That's as good as it gets from me. In my whole life my mother has never paid me a compliment on either appearance or for achievement of any kind, and people get what they give in this life.
You are a grown adult and don't have to tolerate that abusive behavior from your mother or anyone else for that matter. It's high time you stood up to her. Let her know ahead of time before she needs you to take her somewhere that if she gives one unsolicited opinion concerning you, or makes one single negative comment that it will be the last time you take her anywhere or do anything for her. Then stick to it.
This is what I had to do and I haven't had very much of that bull crap from my mother for years now. She still attempts at gaslighting and instigating some drama because she's an expert at it and likes to keep her skills up, but I don't take the bait. When that starts or the negativity, or the complaining I completely ignore her and walk away.
Try it. I guarantee your mother will chill her game. Elderly folks often think that being old entitles them to speak their mind anyway they want no matter how hurtful. They learn quick when the threat of their needs not being met and not getting attention becomes real. Make it real to your mother and she'll knock it off. Mine did.
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Sunnydayze Feb 24, 2021
My situation is very similar! My mother must be the the queen in the room...it's always been this way...
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