To just not do any more for my mother!! :((110 Posts)
My mother is difficult to say the very least - 76, so well, i guess you have to forgive a bit, but i just don't know what more i am supposed to do.
She hasn't been well this past week - hurt her back, bad stomach and generally having a pants time of it. I think i have done my best to help - have been taking her dog out for walks for her, taking meals round (she can't cook for herself because apparently her sister has been tampering with her cooker - all the way from australia, thats a whole other thread right there!), getting stuff from the shops, going to the doctors with her - saturday night was there having called ambulance and agreed to stay with her etc until pain killers kicked in.
All pretty reasonable, of course, im shattered as have had to do my own stuff with DD as well. But still, she's my mum isn't she.
But have i had one word of thanks??? No, I have had - comments along the line of when i phoned to say, did you see i got the shopping you wanted, x is in the fridge, y is in the cupboard etc - "yeah i saw, but you didnt get the cat biscuits" Fast forward tonight - had taken her dog for a really long walk (no problem, i have two dogs, so he tagged along - still, knackering though, hes a big strong dog and hard work) she wanted stuff from tesco - nothing urgent - toilet tissue, lottery tickets and cigarettes. The trouble is - i took too long, picked DD up from school and had to take her to visit a new activity she wants to do - thought we could go to tesco when that was done, forgetting of course that it would be too late for the lottery tickets.
Gets out to find four missed calls on my phone - ring her - "where have you been, ive been round your house three times, i can't stay like thiss, im going to the hospital now, im going on the bus" hangs up. So i get her shopping, by now im really stressed out (i suffer from anxiety) end up fallingout with DP because im so stressed - I couldnt make the self scan thing weigh the bananas FFS, i was flustered and wanting to get round to my mums as quick as a i could. Get there to find her hobbling down the road from the bus stop.
She isn't happy because the doctor has prescribed diazepam and she doesn't want to take drugs like mental people (her words not mine, i have been on diazepam for anxiety, she knows this) I tried to explain it was a low dose and being used as a muscle relaxant to help her become more mobile etc - but no, and its all not good enough because her back has been like it 8 days. Made worse because I took too long to take the dog out on saturday and she took him herself, he saw me walking to her house and pulled her. So, my fault. She really should have waited for me, but instead of jumping, i waited for DD and DP so we could all take the dogs out together. <idiot that i am, i should have known she would get in a stress because i took too long>.
The last call she made to me tonight was to ask why i hadn't got the lottery tickets - i explained that i forgot due to taking DD to activity and it taking longer than i expected. She then said "well its probably best if I don't ask you to do anything for me then, you can't even do that for me" She knows i can't let her do that as she cannot manage on her own. I am all she has so just have to take all the shit she dishes out - she drove my dad mad, he died with alzheimers and didn't even know me. She made his life hell really. Now its my turn. Apparently i don't believe her back is tht bad - well no, if she can walk then its not that bad - sorry but it doesn't warrant A&E. We offered to take her anyway.
So now have had massive row with DP and DD upset - I just don't know what to do anymore.
sorry you're having a hard time.
How feisty is she? Can you get away with answering back and still turning up the next day as if nothing happened? e.g "I can't rely on you to walk the dog" "fine I won't bother fitting it in between x and y anymore" then turn up the next day and offer while you put away the shopping. It's a bit of a stress outlet if nothing else.
If she's a grudge holder you may have to put up with it till you're confident you can be sent to coventry for a couple of weeks and then tell her how UR her expectations are of you considering your other commitments.
Sorry for the epic rant - i feel so selfish but i just don't know what more i can do. If i don't take the dog out he wont be taken out or she will hurt herself taking him and everyone wil think im a cunt of a daughter. She knows I dont have a choice.
Thing is iam (thanks for the btw) coming to the point where i just want her to leave me alone - this has gone on forever. I am suffering from anxiety for which i am having counselling and on meds, and its just dragging me down.
Can you suggest (without necessarily meaning it) that you advertise for someone to help her who meets her needs? So, if she says, "You haven't done x" you can reply, "We will have to make sure that the advert tells the career to do x properly".
Often repeating what someone says back to them helps as well. She says, "You are no use." You reply, "So, I am no use, is that what you are saying." Pulls them up short.
You have my sympathies. She doesn't sound easy at all.
First off - you're not selfish, if you catch yourself thinking it - stop it and remember how much you've done for anybody or everybody. Tell it to yourself even if you don't believe it.
Have you tried getting in contact with Age Concern or your mothers GP to see if there are any support services or charities that may be able to help you out with taking some of the chores out of your hands?
I wish I had advice about how to manage your mother, but I've found myself living a life in a very similar situation through my own feelings of obligation, guilt and love which I'm very slowly trying to untangle myself from because as harsh as it may appear to others - I don't see why I should do it all anymore. Not every parent is lovable or has earnt the privilege of a child who wants to care for them. If putting myself first makes me selfish then so be it, I'm taking the chance it'll also make me happy.
god, that sounds like my nan was- my mum buggered off at left me to it with them. i became the focus of all that was wrong and she actually wrote me out of her will! i was the only one on hand out of her 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren. In the end I wrote her a letter which basically said- i am happy to do what i can but husband and kids come first. i will do a shop for you on X date, I will take you to medical appts,I will be point of contact for next of kin stuff. she refused to speak to me again till she was on her deathbed. And i genuinely do not have a moments guilt over it. Specify what you can do, do it, do not engage. Also consider what if she didnt have you? she would cope.
You need to step back and let her sort herself out. You are caring to much about what others think of you.
She maybe unwell but that doesn't mean she can be rude and ungrateful.
ok, so she has fridge/cupboard full of food for a few days?
just tell her (does she do text?) that you cannot come to hers for the next couple of days.
switch off your phone and try to relax. when you come 'back' do it on your terms. her nastiness is her problem, not yours.
Having a flash-forward of what my mother is going to be like. FFS, the lottery? not the end of the world - why doesn't she buy a month at a time then you wouldn't have to race around every week.
I would have to answer back even if it caused an argument - she has to realise that you're doing a lot for her and you have enough on your plate already. I would say "OK, I won't bother then - let me know how you get on". But then I am a bitch, according to my mother!
(she can't cook for herself because apparently her sister has been tampering with her cooker - all the way from australia,
Life must be really hard for you right now, but reading the above, do you think there's a problem other than cantankerousness?
Can you speak to her GP and get help and advice? Meals on Wheels for a start, possibly a carer?
Gosh, she's got you where she wants you, hasn't she? You sound so worn down by this
bitch of a woman you can't see straight any more. Just to pick up on some of the things you've said -
"Gets out to find four missed calls on my phone - ring her - "where have you been, ive been round your house three times, i can't stay like thiss, im going to the hospital now, im going on the bus" hangs up."
She'd been round to yours three times? Really? Or is that just the sort of thing she says to make you feel bad? I'm inclined to think that if her back really was that bad, she'd have phoned you not 'been round', and got a taxi. Instead she walked and walked and walked and then got on the bus. Sorry, but she talks a load of bollocks.
"She really should have waited for me, but instead of jumping, i waited for DD and DP so we could all take the dogs out together. <idiot that i am, i should have known she would get in a stress because i took too long>. "
She expects you to jump. And you're calling yourself an idiot. You are NOT an idiot, but you are much put-upon. And she wasn't 'in a stress', she was relishing having the chance to get you to beat yourself up again over her.
"She then said "well its probably best if I don't ask you to do anything for me then, you can't even do that for me" She knows i can't let her do that as she cannot manage on her own."
Honestly? It won't kill her to try managing for one day. But she's trained you to jump, hasn't she ?
" I am all she has so just have to take all the shit she dishes out"
No, you don't. You really don't.
"i feel so selfish but i just don't know what more i can do."
You are not selfish, you are incredibly selfless. Despite this old bat making you feel ill (I'm guessing she's at the root of your anxiety) you're still putting her needs before your own. SHE is the one making you feel selfish. SHE is the one who is being selfish.
"everyone wil think im a cunt of a daughter. She knows I dont have a choice."
Who is this everyone? Fuck 'em. If they're close enough to care about your behavior towards her, they're close enough to offer some practical help to relieve the pressure she puts upon you. I'm guessing anyone who knows her (other than you) own a bloody great barge-pole though, and thinks you're a saint to persevere with her. And you do have a choice, but somehow (I'm guessing 'grinding you down' would cover it) she has convinced you otherwise.
"i just want her to leave me alone - this has gone on forever. I am suffering from anxiety for which i am having counselling and on meds, and its just dragging me down."
Of course it is. You are putting yourself at the beck and call of a selfish narcissist.
" I just don't know what to do anymore."
What does your DP and DD think? I'm guessing that the row with them was them telling you to let the old witch stew in her own juice for a bit, to step back and stop damned well jumping. And I would agree with that.
has she had a water infection? Does she have dementia?
Have you posted about her before?
The cooker thing rings a bell. I think I said in a previous thread to you that you really need to take a step back.
I think I would fake a bad migraine for a few days and let her organise her own help.
Can you just say 'I'm only going to help if you are polite to me'. And remove yourself if she is rude. I do think you need to have a big chat though and say that you feel she is very negative/rude towards you when you are trying to help.
Write to her. Tell her you love her but that it has to stop.
LEM, she's still at it and nothing has changed. I know she's your mum and everything but if she was your partner I'd say there'd be a pretty unanimous LTB.
She needs telling that if she won't be polite and respectful for all you do for her then she will have to sort herself out with some paid help as you won't be doing it anymore.
Think of yourself just for a bit and get yourself right.
Lem I really feel for you, you seem so nice, take a step back and just make her get some independence about her, she's only bringing you down! You have had some good advice already, please take it x
she can't cook for herself because apparently her sister has been tampering with her cooker - all the way from australia,
I'm sorry, but this sound deranged.
You need to take a step back.
I presume she cooked sometime for you as her child? (If not I am sorry).
Stop making this your problem - maybe contact her GP- cos this is going to break you.
I dealt with my mum's dementia for 7 years.
Whatever the problem, you can only deal with it in as long as it doesn't impact on your own life and your own family.... (I am a SP). It's about your own boundaries too, and your DC (they need you).
I am so sorry you have to deal with this, it's the hardest thing.....
re the sister tampering with the cooker, is it worth mentioning this to her gp..a psychiatric screen would be worthwhile
You poor thing. I remember your thread before about her sister and the cooker. She sounds as if there is a lot of MH issues at play too.
As others have said try to think of yourself for a change. Don't put up with it. Take a break if you can, just for a few days away from her.
Is it possible that she's dealing with old age badly? Perhaps she simply can't see your life and thinks it's as easy as hers. Write down what you do in a day and embolden everything that is to do with her to show her that you are actually trying to lead two lives.
If she still doesn't want to listen to you, get assertive and make it clear what you will and will not do. Don't let this mess up YOUR life, how fair is that?
You say she has other kids? Contact them and ask them to help out. You shouldn't have to do everything.
LEM - I remember your earlier thread about your mother & the visa etc.
It really sounds as if she has some form of dementia & you need to get her assessed - I don't think that diazepam are going to be the answer for her.
Could you see her GP & arrange this & tell her she has to help you by going for the appointment if you are going to help her?
I feel so sorry for you - I know how difficult this can be.
or if it's too early for you.
LEM, massive sympathy. It sounds very similar to what my Mum and Aunt are going through with my Nan at the moment.
Are you able to get an assessment to see if she can get any other help to spell you a bit?
Are there any other community links (church?) that you could call on to shoulder some of the load.
Like I say, my Nan's there, and she's got two daughters, me, my husband and a neighbour all rallying around her so none of us needs to take the whole of the brunt. Is there anyone at all that you can call on to even look in on her for a chat?
I'm also sending you and because I doubt she will, and you deserve them.
I think you need to get an assessment for your Mum, to see if she has the beginnings of dementia or Alzheimers. If she has then she cannot help what she is doing. Or she may have an ongoing UTI which plays have with the mind in the elderly. If she cannot help it there is no point in getting cross with her. I am surprised at some of the harsh comments about your Mum, and the advice to LTB. Adults with Dementia are like our children with SN. Would you be advocating to give up with them. This is upsetting to read. My Mum has dementia and can be nasty, confused etc, but I would never ever give up on her.
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