Hi there,
I felt the need to reach out tonight because I am possibly at my wits end. I cry as I write this because I just feel so defeated. I don't know what it's like to feel happy anymore. I have been here with my mom for 2 yrs now, after my father passed away. We lost him unexpectedly to a fall and I happen to be the one who found him. It was the most horrifying experience in my life. My father was my best friend and I miss him more than I could ever explain. As a promise to him, I swore I would never let my mom be alone and that she would always have me to look after her. I know it was his biggest fear. He also worried for me as i was the baby, never married, no children, and really had some tough times in my past, but I had definitely come a long way. After his death, I was forced to rent out my home and move to my parents home by my sister and her husband. I had to quit my job and career where I had been for 6 years. I gave up a lot to come be with my mom and I did it because I promised my dad. My mom is 77 years old and is still somewhat independent, but she has declined so much since Dad passed. She has maculate degeneration in one eye and does not see well, she had to take her drivers test 4 times before she passed and I am still quite positive she should not be driving at all. She has osteoporosis and falls a lot. She is forgetful and shows signs of dementia and alzheimers. I know how my mom will be in the future because I watched her take care of her own mother (my grandma) who had alzheimers and it was hell. This is my destiny... I have to face it. The worst thing about my mom is she has become so mean. Just mean to the very core! She tells me I am fat, a loser, I am ugly. She will tell I am stupid, no man will ever want me, I don't do anything to help her, she thinks I am a mental case and starts in with her Bible verses that pretty much in her mind explains I am going to hell. She will turn around the next day and tell me I am a good daughter, buy me twinkies and cookies, tells me I am smart not to put up with any man's bs and you get the jist of it...contradicts herself. I can't even talk things out with her because she always brings her religion into it and it's a no win situation. I feel as if my mom isn't happy unless she is b*tching about something and I am the whipping post. Her negativity is overwhelming and I see it getting worse everyday. I live in a granny unit on the property, her house is 5 ft away. She will get her binoculars out and watch me through the window! She will call me 50 times a day. She comes over when I am away and turns on my lights or opens my shades, then complains that I live like a slob and to do my dishes.She will take my dog over to her house and complain that he misses me when I am gone and she felt bad for him, but continues to gripe to my siblings that she has to take care of my dog. She talks mean about my siblings to me, then turns around and tells them mean things about me. Tonight I went to a friends for a few hours to visit, I got 10 phone calls from her asking when I was coming back. I answer every call because the "what if" starts going through my head. What if she fell, what if she needs me, what if.... I came home right away only to hear a lecture about what a liar I am for saying I wouldn't be gone more than an hour, she doesn't have anyone to talk to so I shouldn't either or I should be sitting over there with her instead of going to see one of my "stupid friends." Then told me to get out of her house and she was packing her bags and leaving. I felt like saying THANK GOD GO!!! I just can't take it anymore. I feel guilty when I mention moving out because the look on her face just breaks my heart. My sister lives 2 minutes away from us and comes over 1 time a month if that. I have learned to become a mechanic, a gardener, a plumber, a house keeper and a pool boy. I clean the crap she leaves behind on her toilets, the 2 inch thick dust on her bazillion knick knacks. I am the cable guy, I am the computer tech, I am the search and rescue for when she loses her dog, her glasses, her phone... I do everything I can for her and I resent my siblings for not doing anything to help. I sometimes feel it's my fate, with no children and husband. My siblings went back to their lives after Dad passed, mine is the only one besides mom's that has changed. I am depressed and I can't seem to pull myself out of this rut. I feel horrible about myself most of the time and it just gets worse. I want my life back and I haven't even started it yet. Does that make sense? I am 44 years old and just started living when all of this happened. Now I feel like I never will know what it is to be self sufficient, hard working and independent. I can't even hold my head up high because the negativity that surrounds me is pushing it down. Someone please help me.

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Wow. I have a short answer because this is a classic case. First, what do you want to do? Do it. Second, was your mother always a malignant narcissist? Probably. Third, did Dad really love you so much that he expected you to take care of her by living with her? It reminds me of people who take the " honor thy parents" commandment out of context by putting up with ultimate abuse in childhood then are guilted by manipulators to keep taking it in adulthood. What value does that place on a human being by the abusive parent? Not much.
You don't have to do anything for this old witch except try to find her the paid help she needs and resume your life, far, far away. You are abused and put upon.
You are a chronological adult, but something tells me your emotional development was stunted somewhere around 10. Please use your survival instinct to do the right thing and save yourself. Can you imagine what you would think if you read the above question and it was written by another person? Would you think it is normal and healthy? Well, go back and reread what you wrote, then answer it as if you want to help that person, because you are a smart woman. You need to face your fears and heal. Good luck. xo
Helpful Answer (20)

I can so relate to everything you have written. We need to have a hall of shame for some parents. Most people cannot grasp a parent who will tear a child down at every opportunity. I don't know what gratification they can possibly get from doing it or why they feel the need to argue about everything. All I can say, KKSway, is that you don't owe anyone your happiness. I don't know how feasible it is for you to make other arrangements for your mother, then leave. I do know you can put your foot down about what you will or won't tolerate.

When we move in with our parents, it can be like they are the children, but the difference is they have dominion over the house. There is talk of the uneasiness caregivers feel for the role reversals that come with old age. I don't know if most caregivers that move in with their parents are really uncomfortable with it. I think the ones most uncomfortable are the parents themselves. They are the parents and it is their house, and they may need one of the children to remain independent, but they really don't want them there. No matter what the adult child does, it is not right. No matter what the child says, it is wrong. If the child stays home all the time, they are told they need to get out more. If they get out more, they are told they are neglecting things at home. If they want to bring in help to do something, they are told there is no money and "they" (meaning the child) can do the work. And if the child does the work, they didn't do it right. Nothing is ever right to these parents and the child gets the brunt of it.

And then they play nice for a day. That can make us even crazier. Is it us or them?? The answer is easy. It is them.

You've given a lot. I know how much you've given. If I could have advised you two years ago, I would have said don't quit your job, don't move. Now the only thing you can do is look for your own happiness either by making other arrangements for your mother and leaving or setting up a new relationship with her with you as an equal adult. We can be respectful of our parents without sacrificing our happiness. We don't owe that to anyone. The promise made to your father is not a valid contract!! This is because he didn't include that two of the costs of the agreement were your life and your happiness. You actually still can honor the agreement with your father by making arrangements for your mother's care if you need to.

Hugs to you. I know exactly what you are going through. What I hope for you is that you can become as tough as nails on the outside and still remain as sweet as your are on the inside. Caregiving a hall-of-shame parent can certainly take it out of us.
Helpful Answer (12)

I read and re-read your post several times and it triggered a wide range of emotions. I feel compelled to reach out to you and I truely pray that I may provide a little solance if not just for today. Your post is heart wrenching and the magnitude of your distress is heard accross the country. ( Boston-burb is my home.)

First of all my condolences to you on the death of your father and the circumstances. Finding your father must have been devastating and his death heartbreaking. It is evident that you loved your father dearly and he loved you in return. Hold on to those memories dearly.

As for your mother's behavior, yes she is sick and very very mean and abusive.The magnitude of her abuse in my mind is unspeakable and frightening. Jessie Belle could not expressed my sentiments better and she is a very smart and compassionate women. "The promise you made to your Dad is not a valid contract.....he did not include two costs your life and happiness". He would never want you to endure such abuse. You are kind, loving, attractive( checked out your photo-nice) and as Joel Osteen professes you will see a season of increase as God as given you all you already need. (He is inspirational )

Your mother needs professional care and you are not the sacrificial lamb. As I eluded in my post, I live close to Boston and the events that transpired here a few weeks ago has changed my perspective on life. I heard a bomb go off in the early morning hours, a young women who lives in our town was killed and many were serverely mamed and I mean mamed. (Double amputees). Life is precious and
unpredictable. If these innocent people can move ahead and display such courage so can you and so can I. Everyone needs hope, faith, and loving support and it appears that your support system must be provided outside the confines of your family and this is doable. (This is also true for me)

Let's talk about the possibility of resurecting your dreams and yes your career. What are your thoughts?
Helpful Answer (8)

My opinion is that you need to have someone else take care of mom. You did what you promised dad and you can still do that on a limited basis, like once a month go see her for 10 minutes. Arrange for her care with someone else. You need to get your life back. Get your career back. No one should withstand such abuse. Get your own apartment and have limited visits with her once you have her cared for by someone else. Wash you hands of the mess.
Helpful Answer (8)

Oh my goodness, I sit here with tears streaming down my face as I read my own post from over a year ago. It's me, KKsway (aka Kristi Lou), the original poster that was making a plea for help. I don't think I ever returned back to this site after I wrote that. All of the heartfelt replies went unread until now... . as I read the posts, I had this overwhelming feeling of relief and I just could not stop sobbing. I still am. I was brought back to this site tonight in search of help because sadly to say, the situation is exactly as it was when I wrote last year. It actually is worse. Just knowing that you guys took the time to reach out to me and tell me I don't have to carry this burden alone, I have people like you and this site for support. I need to remember that. Mom is the same, only worse. She is just miserable every day. I started working a lot and even though I wasn't happy at my job entirely, I liked going there everyday because it was all day without her. I got laid off a week ago and here I am. Last week was tough for me and she made it worse. She started in with the religion sh*t again, the world is coming to an end and I am going to hell and then tells me she doesn't know why she's trying to save me because I am so stupid & ignorant that my life doesn't mean anything to anybody = never has and it never will be. I am insignificant. I lost it. I told her I hated her! Said I was so sick of the shit that comes out of her mouth and I hated it, hated her and everything about her. I hate what she's made me become and I hate her for dying when dad did. I couldn't tell her enough times that I hated her. I then said I was done with living this way and here I am.... 3 days later. I have to leave here. I know that it's ok with my Dad now, I've heard him in some of my dreams tell me to go live my life and be happy. I know he would want that for me. I feel I have walked in his shoes these last 3yrs. I understand why the man was an alcoholic now!!! Thank you all again, one year later, for the replies and human kindness. I am going to print all of the posts and keep them with me for strength. Much love to all of you! Kristine
Helpful Answer (7)

i have finally learned that when mom is despondent and sits there trying to drag me down to a near suicidal state at some point i tell her i cant take this shit ive got to go sit down. in a matter of minutes she will be at my bedroom door acting civil if not pleasant. i guess at some point you have to stop providing the audience / fuel for that despondant, delusional shit.
and you have to learn to stop trying to reason things out with the elder. its like reasoning with a wall except you let less resistance and argument out of a wall.
im suggesting reading everything you can get your hands on and learn from the wisdom of those whove been thru this.
Helpful Answer (6)

KK. Why are you expecting Mom to be reasonable, when her reason is going or gone?

All dementia is not the same, and in vascular types (non-Alzheimer's) judgement and empathy tend to go before memory, especially long-term memory. Either way,
a key is to set some limits and lower your expectations. Mom needs you, she is also mad as hell, and she will take it out on whoever seems to be safe to take it out on. That would be you, the devoted daughter. It's not personal. And it makes no sense because it makes no sense. And it is not wrong to get help and respite and be able to have some kind of a life; mom could, with help and time, get used to someone else being involved in her care and less 100% dependent on you to be there. And it would be a very good idea for this to happen before she needs even more support than she does now.

I'd let her do the dishes too, even you still have to go over them again when she's done. Forget about it making sense. Eat the Twinkies (wow - where is she getting Twinkies? ...not that I could afford to touch them with a ten foot pole myself) and cookies if they aren't really making you fat and have a tea party/Bible study once a week. Wave when she comes out with the binoculars, and exchange the "bitching" stories with the siblings - see who can top whom. If you don't have other good options, and you are really stuck, make the best of it when you can and get whatever help you need to try to reduce the effect of Mom's unreasonableness and negativity on you. I say that all as a daughter whose mom was in a facility but attended to nearly daily by me, and I got lots of the same sort of helped just to realize it was unreasonable, and of course I could go home. Those calls in the middle of my day at the hospital where I work to make sure she had more briefs or would I take her to her podiatrist appointment on Sunday (probably dreamed that one, but she was really mad that no one was ready to transport her there) eventually dwindled because she lost her ability to even remember how to use the Jitterbug cell phone. I missed it and didn't miss it at the same time. I didn't really miss being told I look like a drip and how tired I seemed, and it turned out when she said this even she could not really even see. But I miss being told she liked how my high heels sounded, so I wore them to her funeral. And I miss Mom and Dad. I'd like to think I could have would have should have done a lot more with them while they were still here and active, but it was so hard to get away and have time and we all have to realize there is only one of us.

I think what I am saying is you are obviously doing your best, don't beat yourself up because you don't get gratitude or support, its an awful common story on here. And your experience with losing Dad and seeing Mom decline is what it is - a very bittersweet journey which you will hopefully come out of, and with as few regrets as possible under the circumstances. My hardest experiences were clearing out and selling my childhood home once it was clear Mom would never go back to it, and then driving 15 hrs in snow to Pgh only not to make it for my Dad's last illness (though at least we had said all the important things already) and then that last morning when mom woke up with the horrible vertigo and chest pain and after all the meds were given that they could give, I was left alone in the room with her when she took her last breath. But, she had said she did not want to die alone, and I take a little solace in that.

I hope you have some better times soon and a chance to make some good memories instead of just feeling bad about this situation, which, BTW, is NOT YOUR FAULT. And BTW, you ARE hard working and independent and you ARE the one who is taking charge of a tough situation.
Helpful Answer (6)

Kristi, I'm so glad for you in making this decision. Your mom is Still Independent. Go while you can. And when the time comes when she's no longer able to be independent, know that staying with her is NOT the Only option. There are soooo many options. Your father gave his blessing for you to move on through your dreams. So, you can now leave with a clear conscience. Remember - if your mom can no longer live by herself, there is other Alternative living, etc.... You don't need to live with her to help her. If she's not willing,that's her decision - not yours. When the time comes, and she's being stubborn, call Adult Protective Services. You take care. And I hope you find a job - and one that you enjoy. {{hugs}}
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Report is another one who has a controlling and abusive mom...but mine has always been that way, and I always tolerated it. My sister and daughter have been telling me to put my foot down and stop taking her crap. but that's easier said than done, when you've already taken it for so long. (I'm 64)

Well, after I brought her to live with me, it got so bad, that, like you, I was crying all the time and just tired and miserable. My doctor asked me if I was suicidal, and I said, "Well, I would never kill myself, but if a car were speeding towards me, I wouldn't move out of the way, either" He suggested that I join this site,see a psychologist, and he put me on an antidepressant. The psychologist said, that I was fine...that he would feel the same as me, if put in the same situation, and dismissed me after 2 visits. What a difference all this made! I not only stopped crying, but was able to take mom's criticism with a grain of salt. I was able to smile/laugh at things she said, or as I said things that might've caused her to go off before.

Know what else? As *I* relaxed, so did she. Eventually, she learned that her criticism did no good and she was wasting her breath. Things are much more 'normal' now. That's not saying that we never have days where we are misunderstood, but they are fewer and farther between.

MAYBE, my mom wasn't as bad as you're mom was....(although it seemed that she couldn't get any worse)....but it's worth a try. What have you got to lose? If this post helps even ONE of you, then I'm glad I wrote it.
Helpful Answer (5)

Went through some similar things with my mom. Things got better and I felt better when I started doing what Maggie talked about. I know mom knew what was happening to her and I believe it was her way of showing she could still be in charge. I know it scared her and it was a way for her to cope. Unfortunately for me she would also become violent at times. The slapping, clawing, hitting, pushing, pinching and biting stopped after I started going along with her. And when she would catch me crying she would always ask what was wrong. I would lie and tell her I heard a sad song, story, whatever but then I started telling her why and she would always sincerely say she was sorry. On a different note, it was sometimes very funny! And you do have to look for the humor when you can. She bit the crap out of mu sisters upper arm one time and sis went to go check the damage and I asked mom why she had bit my sis and mom replied it wasn't her, it was the dog. It's not easy when your parent becomes the rotten child but I did finally learn how to let the insults roll off my back and to not take things personally because 99% of the time mom really wasn't "herself" or was just trying to deal with her life the only way she felt she could.
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