My 95 year old mother is a hoarder, gambling addict and recently started drinking nightly. How do you get past the guilt and the feelings that you have done something wrong? I think she is treating me worse because I don’t go to her house every day or call her every day. She has made the choice to live alone. I can’t even get her to go to the doctors. She cancelled the foot doctor appointment. She won’t let me schedule a doctors appointment with her primary care physician. She treated me like sh*t at Christmas. She also left a voicemail on my phone last Friday night screaming that she is almost out of her heart medicine and did I call the doctor to find out where her medicine is? I talked to her Sunday. My birthday was Saturday. She never even mentioned my birthday on Friday or when I called her Sunday. How do you let go of the hurt? I have always made it a point to get her a card and present and take her out to dinner. Our relationship has gone from bad to worse. How do you heal from it? How do you stop feeling guilty and internalizing it? I can’t even imagine ever treating my kids like crap or vice versa. How do you deal with it?

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Elaine ((((hugs))))))).

In your shoes, I would leave mom alone. I WOULD call her doctor's office and tell them that she is about to run out of meds but continues to cancel appointments and that she clearly needs more care than can be given at home.

Then sit down and type out that information and send it to the doc's office "return receipt requested". This is proof that you've notified the doc's office about the situation.

If they press you to bring your mother in, say "I can't possible do that; I have had the flu and now have pneumonia".

Your mother is "independent". Let her take a cab if she needs her meds.
Helpful Answer (17)

You have been raised to have these feelings, taught for a lifetime to have them, so they are normal to you. Given they are a life's work they will take some time, and some therapy to untangle. You cannot fix the world. You aren't a Saint. You aren't a God. You can only make a good and decent and happy life for yourself. Do seek help. None of us are honestly qualified to deal with what has been a lifelong training in feeling bad about one's self. I wish you so much luck going forward.
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I know you are a frequent contributor on this forum with good advice for others. However, I am wondering if you can’t see the forest for the trees. You mention “guilt” over and over, but another contributor here says if you’ve done nothing wrong, there is no guilt. You have done nothing wrong.

Your mother Is seriously mentally ill. She is addicted to hoarding, gambling and alcohol. It sounds like she also has anger issues. This is a lot for a trained professional therapist to handle, much less a “lay person” such as yourself. She cannot be reasoned with. You can’t “fix” her. You need to call Adult Protective Services and report a Senior Adult At Risk.
Helpful Answer (14)

Elaine, I'm so sorry your mother is mentally ill. You've done the right thing for her to get help - that is, you have stopped enabling her. I might call the doctor's office to let them know that she needs help with refilling her meds, explain that you have not been able to convince her to go visit them in person, that you do not live with her and that you are not in any way her carer, and leave mom's DOB and phone number.

You will have passed on the information that she doesn't know what she's doing and they can talk to her - or not. You will have done a great service to her by communicating with someone who will likely record the information and possibly report her to APS if she becomes worse.

By stepping back, you are allowing her to be an adult with all the rights and privileges therein. You will be allowing her to swim on her own, as she wants to do. If she fails, you will have allowed her to fail on her own, without you trying to prop her up and feeling guilty as she declines farther because there's nothing you can do to stop her. Of course she's going to try to push every button you have - that's what addicts do. Only by failing miserably will she be able to get some kind of help for herself. Allowing her to fail is the biggest gift you can give her!

The Boundaries book was great for me. One of the authors, Henry Cloud, has a great number of free videos on the most popular site. This one might help you: "NECESSARY ENDINGS · Henry Cloud". I had to let mthr go because of similar behavior and that allowed her to get to the point where she has lived her last 7 years in a clean, safe place where she did not need to think to have meals and meds. What a blessing to her - but what a horrible life before that. Elaine, you have my support!
Helpful Answer (11)

Practice; it takes practice. Put your time and energy toward positive things such as a hobby. Cultivate relationships with positive people. Volunteer for a cause in which you believe.

Practice reciting a mantra, perhaps something like: "I love myself and protect myself from hurt".

"Our relationship has gone from bad to worse." Detaching from your mother was actually a loving thing you have done for the both of you. That may sound odd but recognize that she wasn't happy in your relationship either. For whatever her reasons, your mother cannot change. Yet changing the dynamics of your relationship was long overdue. Your detaching with love took courage. There's no need for you to feel guilty when you have done nothing wrong.
Helpful Answer (10)

Thank you everyone. It’s easy to help somebody else and try to give other people advice. It’s hard for me to follow it. I need to follow your advice and follow my advice.
Helpful Answer (10)
mally1 Jan 2020
Elaine, all the heavy hitters are giving you answers to this one; you are wise enough to take their advice!
I am so sorry that your mothers antics are having such an adverse effect on you.

My mother is a problem too, has been all her life, I no longer speak to her, I just couldn't take the abuse any longer.

There is a type of guilt called "False Guilt". It is a tendency to feel guilty even if you have not done anything wrong or violated your core values. There are many articles on this, you may want to read up on it. I struggled with this for many years, it was a crazy cycle that did nothing but keep me stuck and miserable.

I really have no skills in dealing with a mentally unbalanced person, so I just have to walk away. My mother is now in AL, my brother deals with her, I work behind the scenes support and help him out, that is the best I can do.

I hope that this can somehow be resolved. Take care of you.
Helpful Answer (9)

Addicts are self centered. Your Mom has no idea how she is hurting you or does not care. Because its that next drink, that next gambling fix. You have done nothing to deserve the way she treats you. I don't think at 95 she is going to change so you need to.

I guess Mom doesn't realize no DR. visit no medication. In my state you need to get a new script every 6 months. Especially DEA controlled medications. Can't get it without seeing the doctor. There are some meds, especially at Moms age, that labs are needed to keep check on. Moms liver enzymes were high so she was taken off of Cholesterol meds.

As suggested call her Dr. Tell them Mom is unwilling to come in but she needs a refill. When they say no can do till she comes in...tell them they need to call her and tell her that.
Helpful Answer (9)

Can I say ditto? It is awful but you make me feel not alone. My therapist has told me guilt is rarely useful, we aren't born with guilt we are taught it. And often those teachings are wrong. Another thing she tells me is; if you had a friend in this situation knowing everything, would you blame them for the siutation or how they are dealing with it? As a hypothetical I him and haw, but in the here and now if I called you my friend I don't blame you, you are not guilty of anything. Protect yourself do what you have to, it is all a work in progress.
Helpful Answer (9)

I’m sorry that your mother is such a toxic mess. Please realize that you’ve done nothing to feel guilty about. She has issues that you can’t change or fix, it’s not on you. It may take you going to therapy to help with this and that’s okay
Helpful Answer (8)

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