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Oh no! I just thought of something. Mom said that she hasn't heard from my sister that lives close by for 3 days and I know she doesn't do weekends and my other sister is busy studying for exams and I am going to a party without mom. Sounds like a perfect time for mom to call 911 and get herself admitted to the hospital! Good grief, I hope I get through the party first! I am starting to feel like I am that horrible daughter that everyone thinks I am! ps Thanks for the tip on font size JAH.
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Do forgive me, I'm in a very evil mood! >Sounds like a perfect time for mom to call 911 and get herself admitted to the hospital! When she calls, say "Great they give excellent care- have a good time Mom, let me know when you want to be picked up to go home! Gotta Go Bye!" Where's that post by Prodigal where she tells about her mom having a 'spell', called 911, was admitted to the hospital, and Nasty Prodigal (*GASP*) did not visit her Dearest Mama the entire time she was in the hospital <strike dramatic pose> All By Herself With No One To Talk To And Order About! Dearest Mother was *beside* herself that Horrible Daughter didn't drop everything and rush to her side! Dearest Mama stopped having 'spells' after that for some reason........
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Guilt is a really difficult emotion to deal with. I know that I have been having a great deal of trouble with it lately. Last week, many told me that I need to disengage. I can't react to everything I hear...especially when it comes to my NM's nasty and mean behavior. I am doing my best to comment as little as possible...Therefore, the conversations are very short and sweet (ok...maybe not so sweet) I try to get through them with little or no emotion, and absolutely no detail about my life. I'm good...my kids are good, Don is good...great talking to you...have a great day, bye....This seems to work best for me. You don't need quick comebacks...you dont need any comebacks at all...Try to plan your conversation before you call....just know you will not get into it with her...If she tries to get your goat, ignore her...she wants you to react...As for lying, it's very difficult to believe that these moms have their own agenda. They always have, and as kids we fit right in...its so hard to break it...fortunately for you, you are 1 hour away...Try not to feed into her...I know its almost impossible at times...
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Hi Enuff, I've been tied up for a few days and not reading or posting much ... but I just had to respond after you wrote this:
"I've been home on disability for over 6 years now and I'm afraid I am at her mercy most of the time."
Please read that statement over several times and please please please tell me that you see the programmed insanity in it. Let's see ... you are so ill that you can no longer work and therefore are home on disability. SO. That means YOU ARE AT YOUR MOTHER'S MERCY??!!! For WHAT, pray tell??? YOU. ARE. DISABLED. You need help YOURSELF. Your days of slaving after your needy helpless demanding mother are O.V.E.R.
Please rehearse this speech or something like it to give to your mother, your sister, your mother's clueless social worker, or anyone else who is so callous and uncaring as to view you as an able-bodied caregiver:
"I wish I didn't have to point this out, because I would think by now it would be an obvious thing that no reasonable person would have to have explained to them. I am ill myself. I need help myself. I am not able to provide help to anyone else unless my health improves dramatically. Do not ask me to do anything like this again. Repeat, I AM ILL. I'm not going to argue about this anymore, so other arrangements will have to made that do not include me."
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YOU. ARE. DISABLED. You need help YOURSELF. Your days of slaving after your needy helpless demanding mother are O.V.E.R.
Prodigal I read your post and your words just hit something deep inside me so hard I started crying in relief.
I don't know if you have any idea how I had to hear and most of all understand that statement!
I have been struggling for so long and making excuses for my disabilities. I've been apologizing to my family for being ill! and waiting for someone to notice that I was having a hard time but no one ever did.
My family doesn't understand how much pain I'm in both mentally and physically and how I'm having a hard time looking after myself and how I can't look after mom anymore.
I can see now it isn't just them in denial but me too.
I'm the one who has to say 'it is over'.
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Thank God! It's normal and healthy to be hurt and angry that your mother's ineffectual social worker and, most of all, your family haven't bothered to notice or care that you are ill and struggling. It is normal and healthy to be exasperated and frustrated that they are turning a blind eye and selfishly, lazily expecting you to continue saving the day with Queen Mother forever and ever. But it is NOT healthy for you to be ashamed of falling ill or feeling guilty that your disability is now interfering with your lifelong servitude!
And it is flat out horrifying that you are still limping along trying to actually continue doing some of this bunk while YOU ARE ILL. I am so relieved that you realize that this MUST STOP. Like many caregivers who do too much too soon (and in your case for a narcissist with endless expectations) and ignore their own mental and physical decline, you were steaming straight ahead toward an early grave. My heart goes out to you that nobody in your immediate circle seems to be looking out for you ... I guess everybody has been too conditioned to notice only the towering 'needs' of the Queen Mother ... but YOU can save YOU. That whole bunch of clueless bullies need a dressing down from you and a big BACK OFF. Except for Queen Mother -- please don't try reasoning with her. There's no point. Just make her take 'no' for an answer and let her fuss however she wants. But you need to lay down the law with everyone else. And GET WELL.
You need some people in your life who care about YOU. (Starting with YOU.) I hope you find a new, loving family out there with your best interests at heart. It is not necessary to be biologically related to them. You have been such a loving person yourself. It's way past time for you to get support in return! I promise you, people who truly care about you will not use you up or beat you down into the ground until you are dead. That is not love and it is not how sane, reasonable people behave. I'm pulling for you!
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Prodigal I guess in some ways I can't blame them though because most of my family are so messed up that they could never see me or anyone else and I have no idea why I keep trying. I kicked my abusive husband out over 20 years ago and he almost destroyed me and my children and I have been trying to put back the pieces ever since. The stuff that we have been through is just unbelievable, the countless boyfriends every couple of months to the drugs and alcohol addictions, all types of abuse, to gangs and guns and knifes and crime. I could write a book and it would be a best seller but I wouldn't be safe if I did. Somehow I managed to keep me and my kids as safe as I could but there was a very steep price to pay for that safety. I have read any self-help books that I could find, went to self-help groups like alanon and had years of counseling by psychologists and psychiatrists and woman's shelter counselors, prayed, worked hard, played hard and tried anything I could think of. Everything helped a bit and was another piece of the puzzle but the pain always continued and the endless 'running' continued. Yes I know I was headed for an early grave, even welcomed it sometimes but for some reason I still had hope. That's why I was always searching and now I'm here and I think this is where I was supposed to be all along. I just want to thank all of you for caring enough to try to put a dent in my n' armor It's very difficult and painful to have those n'layers pealed away and I don't even know there is a layer until after it's gone. Everyone of you that has posted to me and on other posts have helped in some way to loosen the grip that n'mom has on me.
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Well, its time for a big breath a sigh of relief if you will. You and I say this to all of yall, are not alone in the scary world of Ns. I am so thankful to all of you that I found this site and your support. I see lying to my Nm as nothing more than karma too. She's lied to me all of my life. I just think its sad that we have to lie to get any peace from them. Its all that fine training yall. I have two fav aunts too that I hang with a lot. One tends to tell the N way too much of my business so therefore I now tell her a lot less. Nothing irks me more than to talk to my Nm and have her tell me about something or somewhere I went before I tell her. I normally wouldn't mind but with Ns its the fact they want us to believe they know more about our business than we do. E-nuff4me as for waiting for them to notice how bad off you are health wise, they see it honey they just don't give a rip how bad you feel or how disabled you are. They probably think well, she is well enough to volunteer she can do for ME. Its like if you fell down dead they would kick you to try to make you get up and do for them. One thing we really need to have sink in our heads is that because we just don't want to is good enough reason for us not to do something. When I took my short hiatius from hoop jumping Nm threw faux health crises 3 of them.All came after 3 days of multiple messages left on my voice mail that I didn't respond to. I really couldn't. I was worn down and exhausted from dealing with her multiple manipulations.She sent people to my house to tell me she needed me when I wouldn't answer the phone.I answered the door using my walker and told him I was unable to go but I would call her. Now she has started using a walker when it suits her to try to get sympathy. She does the same with her oxygen. She even suckered someone into taking her to the hospital. They never keep her though. It was hard but I was so ticked off He!! was going to freeze over before I jumped back into that mess. Yes the though that someone might think I'm a bad person or sorry daughter for not immediately tending to the poor sick thing. That one still bothers me a little but I counter these thoughts with the facts that 1.She can call me and other people to try to manipulate me in to hoop jumping she can call 911 if its a real emergency. She has sent the police to my house to check on me once when I wouldn't answer her for a few days. She knew I was home because the phone line was busy thanks to dial up. She got a couple of stern warnings from me and hubby for that one. She was told that the police don't appreciate 911 being abused and if it happened again they would be knocking on her door so she could explain abusing the system. 2. I really have a hard time getting around now and am unable to wait on her hand and foot when she can do for herself. I have started making her use her walker instead of me to help her walk when she goes to the doctor because I don't feel like being pulled on. I also no longer carry her oxygen if she wants to take it with her. She has emphysema and continues to smoke. Right now she doesn't have a lot of shortness of breath with exertion but she will take it to the doctor for effect. She don't put it on until she gets in the parking lot. I can barely do for myself somedays and I'm tired of others wanting me to play mommy and nurse maid to them too because they don't want to do for themselves. Maybe its just me but does it seem that children of Ns are held to a higher standard of endless BS.After I wrote that I realized the answer. Of course we are. We are raised to believe that we are basically worthless and are on this earth to serve others come H or high water no matter what state our health or life is in. I am finally able to cut myself some slack just as much as I give others. What I 'm trying to say but I started rambling is stand strong in your boundaries and know that the games will escalate in an attempt to manipulate you back into being the slave. Just keep reminding yourself that as hard as it is to believe you are the only one who really cares about your health. You are responsible only for yourself. Its a matter of self preservation life and death yours. Since illness is her complaint of choice for attention and has been for years. I tend to be very unsympathic. It doesn't help that I've worked long term care for several years and I know when someone truly is unable to do for themselves. She has age spots on her arm and keeps trying to tell me its from where had shingles one time. She used to claim they were from scabies. I guess she thinks I went to nursing school just to be able to do good in the world. I did but its helped me a lot in knowing the difference between attention seeking and when something might really be wrong. If I play her complaints off and it is something that is really bothering her she makes her own dr appts. DING DING DING and her brain doesn't work right. RIGHT!!!! Nm is on good behavior now but I remind myself that it is temporary until I drop my guard. She then will be back full force with the shennigans.
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Yes Raye I do think my mom noticed my health problems but not in the way that I wanted as she just got angry at me and put more demands on me and played more helpless and sicker herself.
as hard as it is to believe you are the only one who really cares about your health.....
its a matter of self preservation life and death yours.â€
Thanks Raye I really agree with that statement. Sorry to hear you have a similar situation to mine and even with your health problems n'mom expects to come first and most of her 'sick symptoms' are just for show.
I am having trouble with not telling my mom how I feel about everything and feel that I want to confront her and I know she won't change but I wonder if it will help me. Has anyone had any success with this in the way you felt afterward? Did it settle things for you? Did you see her for what she really is? Was is any easier to keep boundaries and detach?
Is it ok to say..... 'I don't like it when you ask me to do things for you that you can do yourself. I feel put upon and then I don't want to do anything for you.'
I have been saying..... 'I hope you can continue to do as much as possible as It's always good to keep active.'
I feel like such a wimp when I say that though. It feels to me that I'm sucking up to her and I hate that. I hate pretending and I think that this is a reason for some of my anger.
I'm tried of letting these abusers, these people who only want to hurt you get away with it with nothing, not a word of reproach or anything! Is it really so wrong to want to stand up to them? Ignoring her isn't working for me.
I can see what I really want is for her to just stop to just leave me alone, no demands, no manipulations, no guilt, no pain, no nothing, but this is not going to happen is it?
I see what Prodigal meant now in her post to me awhile back, it's not courage, it's desperation.
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"Is it ok to say..... 'I don't like it when you ask me to do things for you that you can do yourself. I feel put upon and then I don't want to do anything for you.'?"
How about letting me play your mom and answer that question for you?
"WHAT??!!! I CAN'T do this for myself!! I CAN'T!!! Why are you being so CRUEL?? Why are you trying to KILL ME?? Do you know HOW OLD I AM?? IF YOU LOVED ME, YOU WOULD HELP ME!!!! (insert sound of hysterical, angry weeping here)
Yeah ... I don't know, Enuff ... my attempt to confront my mother almost resulted in Dysfunctional Family World War. Far from backing down when 'called' on her behavior, my mom went NUTS. She went from whining and demanding and painfully manipulative to MOLTEN UNCONTROLLABLE BALL OF FIRE FROM HELL. Right on the heels of this ill-fated attempt to stand up for myself, we found out that my father was terminally ill and this was the traditional cue for her to fall apart and for me to return to loving daughter servitude. This I did, on the surface. But in the back of my mind I had finally come to realize that mom was never going to take responsibility for her behavior toward me and that she was never going to change. No, the only potential I had uncovered was the potential for her to get WORSE.
So from that point on, I began to confront my mother with actions, not words. I avoided contact with her for anything but the most essential eldercare arrangements and set it up for her to have help from others. To whatever extent she sabotaged my efforts, I was pleasant and passive and left her to make her own choices and live with the consequences. I didn't let any of her minions guilt-trip me into compliance and slavery either. Instead of arguing or pleading with her (or them), I would "Um-hum" or change the subject or make up an excuse and leave. I stopped reacting to everyone's manipulations as much as humanly possible. I simply refused to do what she wanted in the most evasive non-confrontational way I could think of. I slowly became the Master Slippery Weasel Daughter that I am today. She's worn out three answering machines, but I'm still standing. This is the only path that has improved our impossible relationship. And life is SO much better.
So ... I absolutely do not recommend outright confrontation with people like our mothers. I know it's tempting, but I like the saying I got from a therapist about dealing with narcissists: "Don't Engage and Don't Enrage."
At most I think you might sit down and 'sweetly' explain to your mother that you have given up on her acknowledging your illness and accepting that you can no longer provide care for her. Tell her that your health has deteriorated to the point that you can no longer go along with that AT ALL, period. Once and for all. And you are insisting that she face it whether or not that's how she wants things to be. Then let her have her meltdown, whatever, and never mention 'the talk' again. Let your actions speak for you from that point forward. She will probably NEVER openly acknowledge your revolt, but in the back of her feverish little mind somewhere ... she will know the score. I really think you should try not to get into a fight, even though you are spoiling for justice and satisfaction of some kind. I am here to tell you, I do not think that's a good idea. No.
Please, Enuff, consider my plan as an alternative. I realize you have to decide for yourself what you need to do ... but think about it. We'll be here and we'll support whatever you decide.
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My experience is similar to Prodigal's. While you may get somewhere confronting normal people, you probably won't with Ns. Ns typically lie, deny, cry or act sly to avoid taking responsibility. Plus, if they know that something bothers you, they tend to continue doing it. Ns seem to enjoy the power and control of pressing our buttons.
Think about what you want to accomplish. In my case, I want to maximize my peace, while I minimize my Nmom contact. The easiest way to accomplish this is by being somewhat numb when I interact with her. Even though it feels wimpy not to react to her (and she certainly does deserve to be chewed out mercilessly), I usually choose to ignore a lot of what she says and does. She really doesn't care about me, so I no longer give her the satisfaction of knowing that she can affect me. Instead of confronting her with my words, I confront her with my actions. I have my boundaries, and I just execute them. I often tell her what she wants to hear to placate her and then I go about doing what I need to do. I try not to offer explanations or engage in anything personal. We have polite, bland conversations. When she tries to press my buttons, I try to ignore it. Sometimes it is very hard, but that is the hand that children of Nmoms are dealt. You certainly should do whatever feels comfortable, but I would try to say as little as possible and let my actions speak for me. Good luck.
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I totally agree with Splotchy and Prodigal. After a few months on this site, I have learned that confrontation with NM's does nothing but backfire in your face. They don't get it...They have an agenda, and they hear nothing else. I've tried what you would like to do...it does feel good for the moment, but rest assured, they aren't the least bit interested. My NM knows that I suffer from Lupus. Its's a very difficult illness, and I can honestly say, NM doesn't give a damn about me or how I feel...Oh, thats not totally true. She does care only to the extent that I feel well enough to visit and do what needs to be done. Whenever I have confronted her, I ended up feeling worse...One of my symptoms with Lupus is a butterfly rash across my face (very red cheeks). Each and every time I blasted the NM, I was so bright red...It's not worth my health...and its certainly not worth your health.
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Prodigal Splotchy and Eilene all of you have the same opinions re confronting our n'moms and I can definitely see what is being said here.
I had a little chuckle with the mother-daughter play acting! but I know the real thing wouldn't be funny at all. I know I'm not strong enough to deal with the kind of emotional disaster you describe as I'm having trouble with a 10 min phone call right now.
I thought that if I spoke up to mom maybe she would just get angry and leave me alone and not want to bother with me but I guess I never really thought it through and it would probably be just a big mess.
I do respect all of you and your decisions to keep your n'moms or n'dads at a safe distance and find a workable truce and I'm going to give it my best effort to do likewise and I thank you for your support.
I think I'm just over reacting to some upcoming wedding stuff and I was just trying to find a way out.
I looks like I still have my perfect car and mom is looking at me for transportation and mom's already told me she's not going with my sister again. Mom also looking to me to look after her at the wedding and reception and and I don't know what to do.
Mom's plan is for us to go together to the ceremony and then go to her place and wait the 5 hours with her in her small hot,(she cranks the heat up to max) bachelor suite before the reception and stay with her and look after all night at the reception. I have been vague in how I was getting there and I also told her that sitting 5 hours in her apt would do me in and I had other plans for that 5 hours but I would need my car for that . Even if I got away without driving her, I don't see how I can get away at the reception because this will be the perfect time for her to be so needy and helpless and have her daughter cornered to wait on her. I done this for so long it's just expected of me not only from my mom but everyone else and even though I have changed, they haven't not one bit.
I really want to go the wedding and have a good time because I know it will really be a good wedding with singing and dancing and wonderful food but if I have to get stuck looking after mom, I may as well stay home!
If I stay home though I know I will be very upset, and somehow I'll get blamed for it, just like what happened at my grandson's birthday last year. My sister and my mom planned my mom's birthday on the same day and time as my grandson.'s party I couldn't get anyone to change or even compromise so I just got so upset, I stayed home and didn't go to either party. Then my mom and sisters came down on me so hard for missing my moms birthday and how mean I was and how mean my kids were too. There wasn't anything mentioned about my grandson, not even a happy birthday. I was just so upset that I let them intimidate me into not going to my grandsons party and I will never, never put my mother or my sisters before my kids or my grandchildren ever again. You know when I did see my grandson he just gave me the biggest hug and said I love you granny and mother on the other hand is still giving me 'birthday digs' 10 months later.
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E-nuff4me, >Mom wants you to be her slave at the wedding. I think it would be worth it to hire someone to be your Mom's 'attendant' /driver (SLAVE!) for the wedding. Someone with medical training. That person can attend the wedding/reception handcuffed to your mother and listen to her whine all day.
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That's what I was going to suggest too. Hire an aide, or a college student if her needs aren't too great, to get her food, help her to the bathroom, drive her around, whatever. Mom will pitch a fit, but who cares? Tell her that's the deal if she wants to go. Maybe she'll refuse to go altogether, wouldn't that be nice? Although she'll probably go to show off how her daughter is "neglecting" her by "dumping her" on the aide. Don't fall for it.