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To let my mother stew in her own juices

(167 Posts)
Lucyellensmum95 Thu 21-Mar-13 09:52:14

because i just don't have the energy or headspace for her bullshit anymore.

I really haven't been well myself (mh issues) and she is making it worse - i have had ENOUGH.

She had an appointment for the doctor (after i persuaded and cajoled her into it) only for her to get into a temper because she got a letter from the council tax people, she now has to pay £38 a year council tax and thinks this is disgusting because she is a "pensioner" and shouldnt have to pay anything (entitled, much?) So because of this, she refused to go to the doctor - i was feeling terrible by this time (a whole other thread which i namechanged for) so i took the appointment and was referred to the psych team.

So, she had an appointment which she just didn't turn up to (assumed that I would cancel it and sort things out, like i always do) and she rings me in a rage this morning because she tried to get an appointment today (like gold dust) and coudlnt get one - She only wants an appointment because she has run out of tablets, despite me telling her tht all she only needs to ring the chemist, but she has to do it a week in advace - ( i know i should have done this for her but have been all over the place lately, struggling to get through the day myself). Nothing i say can appease her, i tell her i have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow and i'll get her a prescription then - not good enough, "no, you stupid cow i need the tablets tomorrow" I would have got them by then - Then i decide i have had enough - i tell her that im really not well, she knows this - she knows i was at the psych yesterday - She starts screaming at me to pull myself together or they will take my DD away.

How can i pull myself together if i have to deal with her shit too - she just slammed the phone down on me telling me she will just go without her tablets - she will die without them.

AIBU to just let her get on with it? She is a grown woman, if she can't sort her tablets out herself (she is perfectly capable of making a call, surely) then i really just don't have the energy for this - i feel bad but she does this every time she can't get her own way over things - i am sick of it. I am really unwell and she just doesn't give a flying fuck.

buildingmycorestrength Tue 09-Apr-13 09:21:18

It is sad when the switch flips and you realise it isn't going to get better, she isn't going to be the mum you want. I and many others here have been through this grieving process. I know how sad it is. is much better on the other side. smile.

It is okay to prioritise yourself. You need to protect yourself.

GreatUncleEddie Tue 09-Apr-13 09:09:07

That is her choice. You can't make her choices for her. She is making bad choices, for whatever reason. Let her get on with it, she isn't going to change.

Lucyellensmum95 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:38:30

Dontmind - to be fair, i have enjoyed the peace! I had a lovely day out with a friend and feel quite relaxed, just sad that my mum is being so self absorbed and she is missing out on DD.

DontmindifIdo Mon 08-Apr-13 21:25:42

OP - it's ok, but you don't need to talk to her. It's ok not to ring. She's probably enjoying upsetting you and winding you up by not answering, you are chasing her. Tell yourself you won't ring again until next Friday - if she wants to talk to you, she will call you. Your mum being lonely isn't your job to fix. Your mum going mental at people isn't your job.

I think you sound like you need more help. She is making you worse. You are fixating on her. It's ok not to have anything to do with fixing her problems.

Stop chasing, stop calling, stop sending DP round, if she needs you, you know she'll contact you. The silent treatment is punishment only if you let it be. perhaps just enjoy the peace, the lack of stress.

Lucyellensmum95 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:18:54

Feeling really sad today sad Haven't spoken to my mum since she stormed out on Friday. I tried to ring several times over the weekend but she didn't answer the phone (she rarely does though, its not unusual or worrying in itself). I was worried yesterday so i sent DP round to see if she wanted anything from the shops to make sure she was still alive. She has a bad cold (we have all got it) but he said she was ok. Didn't mention me though hmm She hasn't got in touch today, and i haven't called her. I don't actually want to talk to her, but for some reason i feel really sad about it, i know she is playing her old game and wants me to chase after her but i just can't. Its like a switch in my head and maybe it is me but the minute she starts going on about her pills or the council and the fact she has to pay £2 a week rent and she really shoudlnt because she is a "pensioner" etc and other people get loads of money hmm She actually gets quite a lot of money, taking into account my dads pension, her sick pay and her statutory pension. I had a whole year of shite tooing and froing with DWP as they were threatening to claw back a significant overpayment, which to be fair, was their fault and not my mother's. I did all that without her knowing, writing letters, arguing the case etc, arranging things - DWP agreed to this due to my mother's medical condition (what they didn't realise is that i was wanting to prevent her going nuclear over it and me having to pick up the flack). Maybe I'm the controlling one? I need to step back i know but right now i feel really shit - my mum is lonely and im sure she is depressed, but i am depressed too (on diazepam and citalopram) and ended up taking way to many tablets on friday and spent saturday in some sort of semi-lucid state, DP was livid.

Can't help but wonder how long she will go with the silent treatment? I did ask DP to tell her that i just couldnt cope with the conflict anymore but I don't think he knew where to start. He is so good, he feels sorry for her but he totally understands why i just can't chase anymore.

BerthaTheBogCleaner Sat 06-Apr-13 16:56:54

You don't have to apologise for her. You are not her keeper.

You don't have to give her lifts - there is a bus.

Have you got a chain on your door? Could you say "you were very rude to me last time so I'm not letting you in"? Let her talk through the gap, and shut the door at the first sign of any behaviour that you wouldn't accept from any other human being on the planet?

piprabbit Fri 05-Apr-13 18:32:02

When I first started reading your thread, it made me think of a mother who is struggling to cope with her toddler's feeding issues. You run yourself ragged, trying to fix everything and make sure things are just how she wants them to be. When you don't anticipate her needs, or she just plain doesn't like what you do, she has a tantrum or threatens to make herself ill.

I could give the same advice that I'd give that mother with a toddler... no matter how fussy they are, toddlers don't starve themselves to death (and your DM is unlikely to do anything which genuinely and urgently threatens her own life), just ignore the bad behaviour, don't pick food up off the floor or prepare lots of alternatives she will not thank you for it.

You have to teach a child about choices and consequences, and it seems that your DM has missed out on this life lesson somehow. But it is not too late for her to learn.

(and just maybe, thinking of her as an oversized, tantrumming toddler, you will find her outbursts less frightening and more laughable).

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 05-Apr-13 18:14:40


I understand that you are having a really really really hard time accepting this - but you are NOT responsible for her.

You are choosing to take responsibility for her.

They are two totally different things.

Why do you consistently make the choice to take responsibility for her when you know that she is going to treat you like shit, regardless?

When you can change that choice that you are making, you will feel so free.

But you need to stop saying I have to do this, I have to do that...

You don't have to. You choose to.

If you had a gun at your head or something, then I would accept that you had to. anything short of that is a choice. Your choice.

Once you can accept that fact, you will be one step closer to changing it.

StephaniePowers Fri 05-Apr-13 18:09:07

I know this is easy for me to say, but if you were to write her a very clear letter, would that work?

Dear Mum,
I will not take on responsibility for your health and medication. Do not call me to shout at me because of something you can easily sort out yourself. If you need help with your appointments and medication, keep a calendar so you don't lose track. Ask me if I'm free and I may be able to accompany you in future. I am not here for you to shout at. That behaviour ends now.

No? Probably far too easy for me to type and difficult to do sad

By the way, I recognise that she's ill, but she sounds awful.

DontmindifIdo Fri 05-Apr-13 18:09:00

That sounds like a really good start!!!! Well done. Keep it up, you don't need to deal with this. Eventually she'll have to do it herself.

Really, you don't have to go apologise for her, you really, really don't. If her shoutiness is part of her illness, the doctors will make them aware of it, if it's just that she's a twat, that's not your problem to fix. Quite frankly, if she realises at some point she has to say "sorry" for being a total bitch face to people just doing their jobs, perhaps there's a slight chance she'll stop being a total twat once she discovers how it effects her. Right now, it only effects you. Stop letting her push the concequences of her bad behaviour onto you.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 05-Apr-13 17:31:02

chaz, thanks for that, that is useful information - thankfully DP was aware of the situation and there is enough money to cover things.

My mother stormed off, i just pretty much ignored her, i dont know what she wanted me to do exactly - i told her she needs to talk to the doctor - fine. She said she will go to her specialists appointment on her own - good! I am done with it all. She made my dad's life HELL with all of this shit, she literally drove him mad. Now she is trying it with me

piprabbit Fri 05-Apr-13 17:25:01

Try repeating "This is between you are your health team, I cannot get involved." until she gets it.

Just for info, you are allowed to tell the bank not to apply any deposit you make to the overdraft and instead to pay the mortgage. You do have to write to them every time you make deposit.

This is from the CAB website
"Banks may make a charge if your account is overdrawn. For more information about overdraft charges, see Bank charges. If your account is overdrawn and then you get paid, your bank could try to use this money to pay off your overdraft without your permission. However, you've got the right to ask them not to do this and to pay other expenses first, such as your rent or mortgage. This is called first right of appropriation. You have to ask your bank to do this in writing. Make sure you write the words 'first right of appropriation' in your letter."


No matter how much she tries to make this your burden, it really isn't your problem. She is an adult and she chooses how she behaves. You now know she has enough medication to see her through the weekend and beyond so she can sort things out with a phone call to the doctor's on Monday.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 05-Apr-13 17:02:59

Fucking hell - she caught me out, she came round my bloody house, showing me her steroid card "are you thick?, look it says I have to double up and i only have these tablets shoved in my face (she had 30, thats ten days supply, five if she has to double up - so plenty of time to go to the doctors and get more, or call and ask for more)" Err, yes, i know this, i know this because I hae a degree in biochemistry and took a whole module in endocrinology that used my mum's condition as a model pathology, so yes, thankyou very much - i get it! I am so angry, what exactly does she want me to do? Yes it would be useful for the doctor to give her an extra months supply to keep in store in case she needs to take double dose, but she needs to explain this to the doctor, not me - to be fair to the GP, she is a new doctor (to my mum, she is my GP and lovely - totally on the ball but my mums condition is actually quite rare so she may not be aware about doubling up the pills, but it only takes a phone call to ask for some more or an appointment) Now my mum has decided that not only am i thick, the doctor must be some sort of imbacille (her words not mine) too angry She apparently has already given the chemists a mouthful (she is already barred from one pharmacy in the town) So i WILL have to go and apologise. blush DP said that i should never had got her to change doctors, the problem was that her doctor was a car ride/bus journey away so it meant DP having to ferry her all the time and her GP was never there which meant she wasn't getting continuity of care. My Doctor is brilliant and i thought it would be better all round if she had a doctors that was literally at the end of her road (saving DP having to run her blush so a bit selfish i suppose) and that she could see the same doctor.

I just want to have a nice weekend with my family but i knkow this is the tip of the iceberg - am shaking with anger and also because i took my meds all at once on an empty stomach <idiot> and then had coffee in the cafe to try and calm down.

lisac99 Fri 05-Apr-13 14:32:56

The world will keep turning if you don't give into your Mothers childish tantrums.

Nothing will happen if you ignore her for 5 minutes.

Take a deep breath and let her sort things out for herself. She won't change if you keep doing things for her.

You are a good person and you don't need this level of stress in your life.

Try and have a 'backup' plan - when your Mother gets arsey, hang up on her and pull the phone out of the wall for a few hours. Lock the front door and go upstairs with a book, or go out to a local coffee shop with your daughter - investigate all the local parks or feed the ducks,

Take the control back.

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 05-Apr-13 14:29:53

Be in the shower/bath when she comes knocking - or at least tell her the next time she phones/pops around that you couldn't open the door to her because that is where you were. Even if you weren't. You are allowed have time for you.

Good on you for not answering the phone to her.

Dawndonna Fri 05-Apr-13 14:24:39

Oh, and if she comes round when you are back at home, there is no need to answer the door. Turn television up and watch a nice dvd with your dd with the curtains drawn.

Dawndonna Fri 05-Apr-13 14:23:32

Well done Lucy! Ignoring the calls is the first step. It's a long path (took me best part of 53 years), but oh the relief, it is fantastic.
Good luck.

YouTheCat Fri 05-Apr-13 14:12:27

Lucy, it's not even a month since her last debacle with the chemist so I'd say she probably has enough tablets if she gets a monthly prescription. So don't worry about her not having enough.

DontmindifIdo Fri 05-Apr-13 14:11:34

Good that you ignored it!

One thing that strikes me, if she isn't allowed the meds until next week, then it must be she has enough already. You don't need to do this. She's an adult, she can cope.

But you know what, how will your DD cope if you are too ill to care for her? Your mum is driving you mad and making you sick. Take your DD for a walk to the park, let her run off some energy, blow the cobwebs out of your own head. come home and do a lazy dinner and then watch some trash TV.

It's ok to not jump just because she's told you too.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 05-Apr-13 14:06:22

just rang DP and he has sorted the money side out (bless him, he is so brilliant - ha! he said im not allowed to get stressed or he wont give it to me doggy tonight - nutter!)

She rang again, home phone and mobile - i ignored it, have to get out quick now or she will be round - NOTE to self - move house! it is no good living in the next street to your mother - grrrrrrrrr FFS

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 05-Apr-13 14:04:41

LEM95 - I'm not having a go at you. I can feel the stress and anxiety levels just jumping out at me from the computer screen.

You don't have to listen to your mother screaming down the phone at you. If you don't feel brave enough or strong enough to hang up the phone, just put the phone down on a table and walk away from it for 10 minutes. She can't keep ranting at you for 10 minutes, right? If she gets tired of shouting, just hang up. When she phones again you just say to her "Mum, I doesn't suit me to have you shouting at me, ordering me about. When you can talk calmly to me, I'll be ready to listen" and then see what she says.

As the others have suggested, you don't have to do anything for her. I get that you feel obligate to do stuff but you 100% don't have to dash around at her every whim. It reads to me as though a lot of the stuff she comes up with is on a whim and you are 100% allowed to tell her "I'm busy at the moment, I'll drop around shortly" or "It doesn't suit at the moment but I'll call you when I'm free" and whether that time is spent sitting waiting for your mug of tea to cool or watching 30 minutes of tv to chill out then you do that, for you.

Wishing you all the strength in the world to get through this - I have a sneeky suspicion that you will smile

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 05-Apr-13 13:32:48

Deep breaths. You NEED to let your Mother take responsibility for herself. If she phoned and screams at you, HANG UP. Don't even listen to what she is saying if it can't be said politely.

It's NOT your responsibility. If she won't take her tablets, she will get ill. She will be CHOOSING to get ill by not sorting out and taking the medication that would prevent that.

Why should you run around after someone who is CHOOSING to make themself ill to emotionally blackmail you?

In the situation where your DD (even as an adult) was suffering from this much anxiety, would YOU call her and scream down the phone at her?

If it's not acceptable for you to behave like that to your DD, then it isn't acceptable for YOUR mother to behave like that towards you!

You CAN make contact on your terms only. It is often the only way to save your sanity if you have a mother like this.

Just hang up if she starts calling you names of screaming at you. If she demands you do something inane like put a box in the loft now or go get her meds, JUST SAY NO. Or say "It isn't convenient for me right now, I'll get back to you about when that will be possible". And if she starts screaming, shouting or calling you names (all of which is verbally abusive), then HANG UP.

And yes, screen calls.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 05-Apr-13 13:30:34

I cant do that Dawn, its DPs account not mine sad

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