I am 2 hrs away from her. I am pretty much the only one who phones her (Borderline & NPD & Early Onset) I visit twice a month. I have a Cousin in Chicago who phones her every 2-3 mos. $ is no prob... but we would burn thru it if she went into an Independent Living or AL sitch. She is not at that place... Butttt, she is not in shape... doesn't walk... does not have hobbies... does not clean... is not friendly to neighbors. What does she do all day, you ask? Watches TV & reads & smokes cigars & drumroll... COMPLAINS!!!! "I have no friends... no one comes over... no one calls." 19 yrs at the same residence. Her only neighbor friend just moved. I am sad for her but the reality with her mental issues. Mean spirited... socially awkward... Her Doctor tells me I am doing the right thing in watching & waiting for what comes next... She told me my Mom would be kicked out of AL in 2 minutes... Some of you told me not to phone her every day... I tell her let's clean out a kitchen drawer or her closet... I try to encourage her to water her plants... (I water them when I am there-most are cacti) She won't water... says they can die... *We need to plan for our futures... be social now if you expect to have a social life when you are older. Deal with any emotional-mental issues if you want family to be in your life. She burned too many bridges. Never stepped up as a Stepmom of my Stepdad's 3 phenom grown kids... One had POA, which is right move... But they do not have a relationship with her. She was not good to their Dad or them... Decade of alcoholism & mania came & went heavily thru a couple decades. My sis in AZ calls once a month... maybe. I don't blame any of them... I tell her to have a friend, you need to be a friend. If you sit inside all day, you can't expect neighbors to know you are wanting friends... She agrees + laughs. I am trying to see if I can get a musician to come play at the complex... I would distribute flyers to residents... maybe they can all meet on a grassy hill and get to know each other... I am out of ideas... Burns me out.. I have a career & grown kids that live with & near to me... and a social life... I call her daily when I am walking and she yells at me on the phone & yells if she hears me say "hello" to a neighbor... Tells me that is rude. I tell her it isn't & that she handle me saying a quick hello.... Can you top this? ;-)
I never the understand people who think that if someone else would do A, then they'll feel B. Just because that's your thing doesn't mean it's someone else's.
Stop trying to fix her. If she complains, say "hmm" to indicate you're listening, but don't offer any advice. Then change the subject.
Like you said and it is the best advice:
. *We need to plan for our futures...be social now if you expect to have a social life when you are older.
In my city there is several programs and informal groups which focus on specific activities, walking, going to special events, travelling together.
You keep wanting your mom to be someone she is not, never was and never will be. For some problems there are no good solutions -- only least bad options. May you receive peace in your heart as you wade through it.
DON"T phone every day. Call 1 time a week, maybe.
Stop watering her plants. Stop trying to clean drawers, or closet.
Stop expecting her to change, it ain't gonna change, she ain't gonna change.
The only change that you can expect is YOUR change.
Change the expectations you have for her.
When she complains tell her that you don't want to hear about it and say "good bye" and HANG UP.
If you are visiting and she starts get in your car and go home.
If you want to get neighbors together, if you want to get musicians to come and entertain, or get a "block party" going get a job on a cruise ship, in a Senior Center, in an Assisted Living / Independent Living / Memory Care facility, some of them might appreciate the effort your mom won't.
More than that, as this is so distressing you you, and as it will NOT be changing, I would suggest you take care of yourself by seeking counseling for yourself to address what may be unhealthy enmeshment that keeps up out of habit merely. We laugh about our habits, but the truth is that they are very hard to change and we often need courage and support to do so. While we say we are miserable, we still continue like the old mill pony out to retirement, to walk in circles, because it is what we KNOW, therefore what is "comfortable " for us.
Reclaim and embrace your own life. Leave Mom to her own choices and her own life. You should pat yourself on the back when you begin to change how you react to your Mom; it takes enormous courage to do it. I wish you nothing but the very best of luck.
That's what I did with my mother when she was alive: I cut down my contact with her b/c when I did contact her, she aggravated the snot out of me. Each & every time. And you know the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over & over again but expecting different results. Which is what SHE did: the same thing over & over again but expected different results! And never got different results and was disappointed & complaining to ME about it. Sorry ma, gotta go.
Try it. It works wonders to cut down on the aggravation factor!