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I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with my mom and reading about narcissism and manipulative behavior etc, using your suggestions(Mom's in my head 24/7) setting some boundaries, detaching a bit and feeling a little better too.
My new found boundaries aren't making everyone happy though as mom says that my sister is now having more health and family problems and she's having a hard doing things (not a good time to talk to her) and she wants me to help her more too, with mom of course.
Mom's been acting weirder then usual now too and makes such a big deal of every little thing that is wrong with her. The show she puts on is just so pathetic like she can't even get the banana that is on the table right beside her and she want you to hand it to her as she moans and groans that she is so ill. Well I guess I don't have much patience anymore for all her antics and I am feeling very little guilt just anger and resentment and I am having a hard time moving on from this to some healthier feelings.
Mom told me she called a seniors group and she might go to dinner with them because no one takes her out for dinner anymore (used to be my job for years) but said she told them she might be a 'problem for them' as she couldn't eat regular food, only finger foods because she couldn't cut up her food with a knife or use a fork???? At Easter lunch she was eating pretty well ...with a fork! and she even used her knife!
The dinner outing was short lived anyway because she already canceled and she also canceled her adult day care (canceled 5 or 6 times to date).
She says she's just too ill to go on these outings and will just have to sit at home by all by herself and do nothing.
I thought that my boundaries were fairly small so far and no one would notice but I don't know what else she is up too. Could she be just preparing for her future or maybe she is going downhill fast but one good thing though mom's been a lot nicer since she has been concerning herself with becoming so totally helpless.
I don't want to be insensitive to a genuine problem but I'm finding it very hard to deal with my mom on any level right now. Am I on track with the boundaries or am I missing something?
Reply with quote #2
I guess my patience with the elders is shot E-Nuff 'cause my reaction is to respond, Well, I guess since you require so much assistance I should be out there shopping for nursing homes. When would you like to be admitted? Maybe Mama needs her bluff called and a reminder as to just how good she has it.....and your SISter needs more help according to mom? Well then mom, I guess that NH IS just exactly what you need because you know I just cannot physically handle any more....then groan and stretch and wail ala mom.
Reply with quote #3
Sounds like she's doing a Dramatic Chewing the Scenery Performance Art. Calling her bluff and saying you'll start looking into Nursing Homes for her sounds like a great idea! She's trying to reel you back in- don't let her!
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Hi Enuff, well it is hard to tell from a cyber-distance whether your mom has legitimate health/illness issues, or if she is faking it to get more sympathy & attention. But I suspect the latter. If she was feeling truly bad (???) then why would she say "I will just sit at home by myself and do nothing." ?? It is like she feels okay if YOU take her all around, but she feels "ill" if she has to arrange it herself, or go out with someone else besides you. That is just my gut-feeling take on this. You are doing fine with your boundaries. It is just that it is hard to stick to them sometimes because of guilt and the empathy that you have, and you start to self-doubt yourself. I have been there, done that. But I usually stand firm, then I find out later, it was all an 'act' on my mom's part. You start developing a gut instinct for whether or not it is an Act or the Real Thing (illness). But that does take time. Your Mom has been catered to for a long time if I recall correctly. My mom was too (Dad). She has finally learned after Dad being deceased for 10+ years that no one is going to cater to her like Dad did. She is not happy about it. But she knows better than to complain to me ! Since I am the only one that will visit her and take her out (I just returned from a 3-day trip to Mom's so believe you me, I am BURNED OUT, lol). It takes time... so just hang in there, stick with your boundaries. If your Mom is TRULY ill....truly having problems, she will call a doctor or 911. Notice how they have NO problem dialing OUR phone #'s ???? So they should be able to dial up that doctor, or even to ask you to call the doctor for them (if the dementia prevents them from being able to call a doctor). Just sending some encouragement and *strength*. Ignore the pity parties, if you can.
Reply with quote #5
Hello and welcome...It sounds to me like your mom is reacting to your boundaries..I don't think she likes them a bit...even though you indicate that they are baby steps. Trust me, she knows the difference. I have found, and learned that you need to stick to your boundaries...they are what will help to keep you sane. You didnt say much about your life. Do you live with your mom? Do you have a family, kids, etc.? As for your sister, perhaps you two can talk about the situation, and work together to set boundaries that are mutually beneficial, so that no one feels put-upon. Try to take a step back and see if this is an act on your moms part. I know that my NM is a master manipulator....she moans and groans with the best of them when she doesnt get her way...which is pretty often lately.
Reply with quote #6
Thank you for the input as it does get pretty confusing trying to figure out what's a want and what's a real need with mom and it seems like you're all alone out there in n'land with your little boundaries. It's good to know that someone understands just how much it means not to speak to your mom for one whole wonderful day!
2 nd kathy and Oh Dear I think putting mom in a nh would make everyone happy but since there is no money we have to wait on the health authority and her case workers decision and mom knows that. Mom was assessed recently and as she could still look after herself with some help, we could only wait-list her at an al. It looks like mom doesn't agree with this though and she's setting out to prove everyone wrong as she wants to go to a nh .
What I seem to be hearing from mom is that she doesn't want to walk anymore as her feet bother her and she wants to be in a wheelchair and she wants someone do all her personal care as it is hard for her to do herself, and she doesn't even want to be bothered to go to the toilet as she made some comment to me recently about this too, ( how people who work in nh's 'like' to clean up 'poopy pants')she's not incontinent at this time, and she would even like someone to spoon-feed her meals because her hands bother her.
'daughter'(beth) I know she is having some problems but she doesn't want to take responsibility for anything and she will fight us every step of the way if we make any suggestions or try to help her help herself. This seems to be the life that she wants and it is her choice but it is so hard to watch this happening whether it be her giving up or her manipulations.
Eilene my post Mom's in my head 24/7 will explain more of my situation and I do agree with you that she definitely has noticed me not being obedient to her every whim and detaching. I'm not jumping to attention any more and just ignoring her like when she said she might get my niece, a swifter for her birthday I just said that was nice. When she brought it up again, same reply and so on. She never did ask me to get it but I know that I wasn't obeying her. Funny though isn't it there are so many rules that are unspoken but you just know them and if you break them there will be some dues to pay.
Reply with quote #7
I can identify with what you're saying about your mom. Its hard for me to tell when mine is faking too which I suspect is all of the time. She wants to be waited on hand and foot too but can get around pretty good and has no problem drinking coffee and smoking. yet she acts like she has a hard time getting up after sitting down. The way she is , If she isn't really complaining repetively about anything it isn't really an issue for her. She doesn't complain of pain, she told one of my aunts that she rarely hurts. Now she likes to play the memory failing game too. She will say things like her brain isn't working right and tries to act like she can't function but...... Theres just to many things she does do without difficulty for me to believe it isn't an act too. Naturally it has to do with balancing the all mighty checkbook which she apparently didn't bother with before either.It believe its just a trick because it has stepped up since I took my 3 month long break from her and have limited contact also. Sometimes its hard for me to stand by and not do anything but I have stopped jumping every time she has a complaint or request. She rarely just comes out and requests anything. Its always a dramatic story intended to jerk my emotions to make her wish my command. I am searching for a way to scare her into putting a stop the failing mind ploy. I'm not the only one she tells this to. Too bad I can't give her a good swat on the behind and tell her to straighten up as if she's a little kid.
Reply with quote #8
Hi raye I'm beginning to think as you do that everything my mom does is for a reason too and my mom does the 'my brain isn't working right' too almost word for word.
I just realized something the reason mom cancelled out on her outings on Monday and Tuesday was because I made plans to see my aunt her sister on Wednesday and she wanted to make sure she could go too and wasn't too tired going out 3 days in a row. Doesn't fit her new image of being so weak and ill. That's another one of her rules .... no phoning or visiting my 90 year old aunt without my moms permission or her not coming along. This isn't just an unspoken rule but she said once 'your aunt has her money and I have you girls and I will not share you with her'. Today mom said she has to go to the dr on Wednesday?? (this is new) but she did not mention seeing aunty. Subject closed! Now I'm supposed to cancel Wednesday visit with my aunt. She's just so sneaky and mean about this and if I can convince my aunt to just go out with me I will. I've had enough of my mother jealousy and always giving in to her unreasonable demands. Just writing this out makes me see just how sick my mother's control over us is. She really is just a 'spoiled brat' who's been able to go on unchallenged for years. Well not anymore! and no visit for her today either. I'm staying home resting today.
Reply with quote #9
AHHHH enjoy your R&R...god knows, you deserve it. I too have found the manipulation overbearing. My mom accounted for all of my time....she may not know what she ate for breakfast, but she knew my work schedule to the minute. And, if I wasn't working, I should or could be with her....I solved my problem after many "conversations" with this group. I just made myself busier...She thinks I work 7 days/week...She always expected to see me either Saturday or Sunday...well, I told her that I work on those days. I made myself scarce...I really felt bad about lying, but I gained some sanity by doing this...Don't change your plans...try not to fall into her trap...I say this, and it is wonderful advice if only I could follow it myself...I'm getting better though....
Reply with quote #10
>That's another one of her rules .... no phoning or visiting my 90 year old aunt without my moms permission or her not coming along. This isn't just an unspoken rule but she said once 'your aunt has her money and I have you girls and I will not share you with her' What the *hell* does she think you are- a carpet steamer? You are NOT her property, and your relationship with your aunt is None Of Her Business. If you usually tell her about your plans with your aunt STOP! Do tell- what is she afraid will happen if you spend too much time with your aunt? Is your aunt a mentally healthy person, or at least nicer than your mother?
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Eilene I would love to be working or to even tell my mom that I was but I've been home on disability for over 6 years now and I'm afraid I am at her mercy most of the time. I do volunteer work a few days a week and visit with my family but as far as mom's concerned my duty to her comes first. I'm glad you found an excuse that your mother at least respects to give you your much need time away.
OhDear I just let my mom control everything with my aunt for years but the last 3 or 4 years I've been phoning my aunt and seeing her without my mother whenever I can. My aunt is a lovely person not at all like my mom and I really enjoy being with her and we like to do the same things like, go to movie etc. We just have fun, but when mom is there, everything has to be about her and we can't do any of the things we like to do. The visit with mom there is uncomfortable with little conversation unless its about mom and her problems. My aunt has more health problems then my mom does but shes not talking about her problems and playing the invalid all the time and she can't understand why her sister is the way she is. My aunt is aware of how my mom thinks(jealousy and manipulations) and says she's just like her mother(my grandmother). My poor aunt has been dealing with all the n'stuff all her life too, no wonder I feel a closeness to her.
At our Easter family function my granddaughter invited me to a lunch at her new apt. today and I never mentioned it to mom, never even thought she heard about it. I'm just so tired of worrying about mom and getting her to family functions as it's either drive for an extra 4 hours or have mom stay overnight. I just can't do it anymore. Maybe if mom didn't have me running around and waiting on her for all the stupid little stuff that she can do for herself I wouldn't mind doing the other things for her but right now I just don't want to do anything for her at all! So just as I was saying goodbye last night on the phone to her instead of saying goodbye to me she said 'oh yes have a good time at the party tomorrow.' Sooooo I think I'm starting to feel a little guilty now!
Reply with quote #12
HI Enuff -- next time? Respond to your mother "Thanks mom, I will." end of discussion. It takes time - trust me. You'll get there. big hugs.
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I hear you loud and clear...You need to set your boundaries, and really stick to them... I had an easier time setting them, than sticking to them. I "fell off the wagon" more than a few times, but I learned from that as well. Someone on this site brought up the subject of never telling the NM that you are doing something without them...and possibly having fun...I no longer tell my NM anything...its always a ho-hum existance. When and if she does hear about me hosting a dinner, or doing something with friends or kids, it always comes back to her...and the knife in the back for me. I understand you are on disability, but you need to be out and gone more....lie about more volunteer work...lie about possibly getting a part time job...if it gets you peace of mind, go for it...I'm not an advocate for lying, but it is the only thing that has worked in this instance...I forgot, but do you live with your mom...which of course would make it more difficult...You have nothing to feel guilty about with your relationships...if she doesn't like it...too damn bad!!! I wouldn't make it a conversation...its a total non-issue...Take good care...trust me, its easier said than done...I know that!!!
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none of us like to lie - we hate it in fact. However, think of it this way: your mother, my mother... all our mothers... are constantly lieing - to us, to anyone who will listen - or telling tall tales if you will. This is just Karma... coming back to bite them in the butt for all their lieing and manipulation over the years. So think of it as "their Karma", if you will.... if that helps you. (NOT vindication, NOT revenge, NOT retribution - just Karma - theirs.)
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This is going to take some planning though because I'm not very good at 'quick comebacks' lying or otherwise. My first response is the truth and I can see where it is getting me in trouble with my mom. My sister says the same thing that she can't tell mom anything about where she goes or if she has fun etc as mom would pout and expect to come along. My sister is having a very hard time with this too as she just doesn't want to have mom with her all the time. She lives close to mom about 2 min. and I live about 1 hour away so in some ways it's a lot easier for me to avoid her. At one time I was trying to get mom to live here with me and I just shudder to think of the mess I would have been it if that would have happened!
To find out that my mother lies to me and has been lying to me for years is almost unthinkable to me and has been a real shock! I don't know why it took me so many years to wake up to what she has been doing to me and how she has her own personal agenda and I'm just there to make it happen. I know some of you have it a way lot worse then I do and I don't have any idea how you have been able to cope with all of this. I still have trouble understanding how a parent especially a mother can do this unnatural harm to her offspring for any reason!