Reply with quote #61
Prodigal, I totally agree with you. Lil, please dont feel that I am ganging up on you, but my situation was much like Prodigal. My NM never slaved for her mother or MIL. The MIL was sent to the NH....where she lived out the rest of her days. My grandfather (mom's dad) lived alone until he remarried a year after my grandmother passed away...and my mother had many nasty comments about that union...When it came to my mother needed to be relocated, she thought she should move in with me....she didnt see herself in the same arena as the rest of the family...I believe she is in large part to her narcissistic personality...the same rules just didnt apply to her. I'm very proud of your progress, but as was stated, be prepared to "fall off the wagon." These are difficult changes...I do hope you have the ability to enjoy the wedding....One more thought...I think it was fortunate for you to have your aunt present during that conversation with your mother...I too bring my husband or others when I visit my mother...she will never be as bold with others there....Take good care...
Reply with quote #62
Hi E-Nuff, Again, something you posted just now hit me. You already use a walker. Dear God ... you have more than ONE. You use a power scooter, which your insurance paid for and I know for a concrete fact that they would never have done that unless your medical condition fully warranted it. And, despite all that, you are being pressured by your family and social services to be a caregiver for your mother. Wow ... wow. I can't quite find the words for my reaction to that. Insanity at its finest.
Starting tomorrow, I am going to be out of town off and on for the next week, and don't know if I will be able to get online or post. Please know that you will be in my thoughts, and that all those thoughts will be chock full of hope and energy for you!
Please take care of yourself. Please!
Reply with quote #63
I was out with my youngest sister last night and we has a good talk actually and it was really interesting to see how much my thoughts about mom have changed. My sister still buys into the manipulations and guilt though and it was quite an eyeopener and sad too. I really leveled with her and told how much mom's behavior has been effecting me and how I had to go to a psychiatrist and a support group to help me deal with everything. She was quite surprised and I told her some of the new things that I was learning to deal with mom. I also said there was no way I could drive mom to the wedding and look after her said I hoped she could and if not mom will have to go with one the the younger kids. My sister suggested a taxi or why couldn't my other sister provide the ride as it's her wedding. This sisters has been busy trying to get away from mom too as she was just smothered by mom right up to her thirty's. She also told me that my other sister and her kids are snubbing her too and not including her and her daughter and she is really hurt and doesn't know what happened. She said it looks like after mom passes away she probably won't have anything more to do with the other sister and her family and she was really sad about that. Our mother is messing up all our lives and hopefully these boundaries that I am setting will help but so far it just seems to be making everything worse because now that I'm not doing my job anymore everyone is fighting. I feel better now though and there is no way I will go back to the old ways just to keep the family peace anymore. They are just going to have to learn to adjust. I was thinking about what was said about whether my mom in willingly doing all this to us or there is some other reason for her behavior. I really don't know what to think as I don't have all the facts and I'm still trying to understand all this. I do know that my sisters and I are all hurting and right now we all want to get as far away from the source of that hurt as possible.
Reply with quote #64
Just remember that you are the not the reason for these problems. You actually used to be the family's human sacrifice, and now that you are done with that role, no one else wants it.
I am sorry that you are hurting, but I hope you will continue to protect yourself.
Reply with quote #65
Take out the first "the" in that post!
Reply with quote #66
Prodigal and Eilene, I won't disagree with you for disagreeing. :-) I hear what you are saying and don't disagree with the points you raised. We all know it is hard enough to deal with elder needs, and then having a parent be an N is pretty hard too. ... and then... seeing our N parent as using us to serve their needs is major tough! It hurts. ... if looking at it from their history softens the blow, well ... I think that is worth a look. I find understanding where they are coming from helps. It does not necessarily mean I agree with what they want at the time. It just helps to keep things in perspective-- Certainly, unreasonable demands and manipulative control issues have to recognized and need to be stopped. I am forever thankful for all the good people here who help with that! Enuff, my heart goes out to you with all the challenges you are facing. I agree with Prodigal about your using walking aides and having others expect you to be your mother's caregiver. ...That is too much! Over the top! You deserve to enjoy life as much as anyone else! I wish I could be at the wedding to help you. I'd even take your mother to the bathroom for you! :-) I don't know if this can help, but this web site addresses relationship issues with short videos done by a couple of doctors... they cover a lot of things... the emotional stuggles page/channel is where I look to gain insight. http://www.cloudtownsend.com/channels/struggles.php
Reply with quote #67
'Just remember that you are the not the reason for these problems.' Thanks Splotchy for pointing that out to me. I am so used to getting blamed and believing that everything is my fault it's really hard to change but I guess eventually these new ways of thinking will sink in. You are right the family is not going to give in to this easy. Maybe I had a good day when I took my aunt to visit my mom but it's back to business as usual already. Oh the drama about this ride stuff my mom and both my sisters are really obsessing about this now and I know that they will collectively agree it will be my fault if this isn't resolved the way they want it to be. I think when Prodigal suggested a while back to get rid of my car I should gone right out and sold it immediately. This car is the only thing right now that is keeping me in this n'game with my family. If I couldn't get around then I couldn't do all these things they want. The trouble is though then I would have a transportation problem too and maybe become just like my mother......needy! I would love to dance too but I am afraid my dancing days are over but I sure love to watch though. Thanks Lil for your offer to look after my mother at the wedding. I really appreciate your kindness
Reply with quote #68
How bout your car suddenly has to go in the shop a day or two before the wedding? Or it's developed a weird problem and you'd hate to have it break down on the way there or back and your mother have sit in the car for hours while you wait for a tow and miss the wedding.
Reply with quote #69
I understand your frustration. You were hoping that you could just state what you were reasonable able to do and they would respect that. One thing I have discovered (but still haven't completely accepted) is that no matter how much we try make these situations work, our families aren't always willing to cooperate. I think it's because we are the only ones who really want things to change. They don't want a fair resolution. They want things to stay the same. They want us back into their grasps and back into our role. (And sometimes they just want some drama...) So even though we think we have addressed an issue, we often later discover that our family members weren't really on board. They didn't want to be respectful or fair or reasonable. They only wanted what they wanted when they wanted it. Yes, we deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully, but our loved ones apparently disagree. Only their needs matter. Only their agendas are worth following. This leaves us with few options. If we want healthy, loving relationships, we need to look elsewhere. If you choose to maintain a relationship with unhealthy people, (and I am doing so for various reasons), you need to accept that things will likely not change. Once you accept that, you need to give up the notion that you will ever please them or get their approval. Instead you need to begin spending time healing yourself and getting your own approval. While I am far from there yet, I am trying to spend less time worrying about their wants, and more time caring about my needs. Again, I am sorry they are giving you so much grief. I hope you can find a way to disengage from their grasp on you. It's so hard to do, but so worth it when we do. Please take care.
Reply with quote #70
OhDear I think I have been hearing this troublesome noise coming from my car lately, good idea. The car is out of commission! Actually the more I think of this the better getting rid of the car sounds. Having the car keeps me mobile but I am getting to the point where I probably should be using my walker or my scooter and use the Handi Dart.
I just don't feel safe on the scooter though as I was once chased once by a man and it just terrified me. I managed to get away to safety but I don't go very far on my scooter anymore. I have heard so many horror stories of handicapped people getting robbed or hurt or run over by cars while on their scooters. Once an elderly lady who lived near to me got pushed off her scooter and the guy stole the scooter! Although not seriously hurt, she had no choice because she couldn't get up, to sit on the ground and wait there till someone noticed and came and helped her.
I know most people are great and consider an elderly person or a disabled person but there's always that certain few who can make a vulnerable person's life harder then it has to be!
I don't know what I was thinking Splotchy maybe that if I was able to gather up the courage to speak up to them that would be it. I guess not! This isn't only hard it's next to impossible. I think I see what growing a spine means now.......now only do we have to make sure our needs are met but we also have to do it with the same tenaciousness as they use.
I am beginning to see that I can never please my mother. Even if I do seem to please her at the time, she will just use that at a later time to put me down. I spent over 2 days recently sewing, hemming, mending and fitting some clothes on her and adjusting them to her wants and then a couple of weeks later she said 'oh you know those clothes you fixed for me, they weren't right so I gave them to the Sally Ann.'
It seems that is doesn't matter what I do, it's not right so I may as well not do it at all and save my energy and I will never get to the bottom or her n'pile anyway as there will always be the next thing to do.
Reply with quote #71
Hi: I have been reading this thread with great interest, and have gained a LOT of insight about my own situation as well. It seems that when we approach our N parents with reasonable, logical explanations, and possible solutions, we are immediately rebuffed and rejected. They are not happy unless everything is "status quo." But that leaves us in the same quandary, and feeling exhausted, and angry at all we have to do. Every attempt to find an alternative solution to our being a full time slave is argued away.
This is what finally led to my estrangement from my N mom. She fought me on everything! I was giving out emotionally and physically, and my health was deteriorating rapidly. Unfortunately, I have had to go on injections for my diabetes due to all the stress, and I presently take 9 different medications. I realized that I was going to die if I continued trying to meet her every need. Let me give you an example of how ridiculous this gets. One night when she was in the NH for rehab for a broken foot, leg, and hip, she fell again. It was decided that she should go to the ER for an x-ray. I was notified by the NH. Then I was called by a nurse in the ER to come and get my mom to take her back to the NH, which was right across the street. I kid you not!!!! It was late, and my husband was already in bed, but he was furious that I was having to once again be "on call" and at such a late hour. I told him that I had no choice as the ER nurse had called, and said I needed to come get her. We stopped by the NH to inquire why this was happening, and they said it was their (the NH's) responsibility to get her back, and not to worry about it. At that point, we would have had to roll her back to the NH, as she could not have gotten in my DH's van. After much reassurance from the NH, we left, and decided that if an ambulance took her, then an ambulance could return her. The ER nurse indicated that my mom had told her I would pick her up. It was after midnight! She could care less. I existed only to be at her beck and call. My husband pointed out that by the time we rolled her back, and then got her settled, it would be 2:00 a.m. before we got settled in bed. The next day she asked (somewhat snarly), "What happened to you last night?" I told her that the NH said that the ambulance would bring her back. She went on to say how she had stayed there all night waiting, but we had a nurse check, and it was a couple of hours at the most. However, she could care less that our whole night (and next day) would have been wrecked! (And not to mention, the reason that she fell again was because she was not using her walker.) At any rate, I physically could not hold up anymore. I moved her into a nice AL, and my brother moved her out. Fine! Now, he (Golden Boy) has the responsibility for her. But he has what I never had-HELP. A lady watches her while he works, and does all the things that ruled my entire life. (Doctor appointments, errands, shopping, pharmacy runs, etc.) He still will never know what I endured. Would she have EVER agreed to such an arrangement when I was in the picture? NO WAY! Therefore, the only way I could ever break out of this slavery was to walk away. And now, I feel I cannot enter back into the picture (even though I would like to see her once in awhile) because I feel that everything would go back to the way it was, and I can never do that again. Perhaps some day I will have the courage to visit on my terms, but I actually think it would be very destructive for me at this time (and perhaps ever) as I cannot detach once I am back in her life. I have played the role of the scapegoat and slave for so long, that I don't know how to function in relation to her in any other way. For 3 1/2 years after my step-dad died, I cared for her lovingly, compassionately, and with great faithfulness, until I could no longer take her emotional abuse (typical N) or lack of empathy for me. I simply knew after she called me names, that it was useless to play this game anymore. I could never please her or dance fast enough. I am 56 years old, and I deserve to have some kind of life before my journey here is over. So I understand the dilemma, and I warn others that if you don't set boundaries, there will come a day when you can't take anymore, and you may find yourself estranged as I am. OR you may die before your parent if you are pushed to the max physically or emotionally. It happens all the time to caregivers, so don't take this warning lightly. Thanks so much for the added insight that this thread has provided for my situation. Enuff, I pray that you continue to draw the line, and make it in black permanent marker. Big Hugs-Sparkle
Reply with quote #72
They are not happy unless everything is "status quo."
Sparkle it's funny that you should say that because since I informed my mom about not driving her or looking after her at the wedding it's only been 4 days and I have already been invited out by one sister twice and the other sister once. Since I have only seen them twice since last summer do you think that this could be an attempt to get on my good side and then maybe I might reconsider? Maybe it's to check out my health to see if I am sick enough to get out of helping mom. I know that both my sisters have had issues with me for a while now and maybe I should just sit back and enjoy all this attention and wining and dining. Now it's 3 against one as mom's got my 2 sisters working for her too but I guess it's always been like that, I just didn't notice before.
Although I love my mom I dream of the time when she is out of my life and I am free to live my life on my terms. I posted before ....".Mom's in my head 24/7"...... and it's true. She has been in my head to some degree for 15 years and although it wasn't as bad in the earlier years but lately it has become pathological and it's making me ill.
Thank goodness I am being forced out of this craziness and getting the opportunity to live my own life. Now I just have to learn how to do that.
I am trying to set boundaries and detach and hope that this will work for me but I realize that no contact is an option that may be necessary. I can see where it could come to the time where one might say no more and that would be it.
I am so sorry Sparkle that your relationship with your mother resulted in no contact but I can see where it was necessary for your health and well being. I can feel the pain in your post and see that even in no contact it is not really over because there is still the pain of grieving and loss but I hope one day you will find acceptance and peace. I thank you for being here.
Reply with quote #73
E-nuf4me, Hire an aide to help you at the wedding and have the aide drive you there and back. 'For insurance reasons', blah blah, 'lawsuits', blah blah, etc etc..... ;-p the aide can only have YOU as a passenger, no one else.
Reply with quote #74
Please reconsider selling your car. If you need it for your convenience and safety in getting around, keep it! Otherwise, you'll find yourself depending on someone else (maybe your relatives - yikes!) to take YOU places. I really think you would be sorry later if you sold your car just to avoid a row with your mother.
Reply with quote #75
Please don't sell your car...why should you hurt yourself just to prove a point to "them." You are entitled to make decisions...and stick to them...You are right, they like the status quo...They only like the status quo that works for them. You seem to be upsetting that, and they are unhappy about it. Just a quick question....do either of your sisters have disabilities??? I find it more than a bit perplexing that they rely on you, knowing your situation. I guess it fits better in their lives.... Sparkle, I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I often think about going no-contact...but unfortunately, there is no one else. I'm it!!! But I have set boundaries...and I am doing my best to stick to them. I just told my hubby last night that my health is so much better when I don't see her...it's been two weeks!!! Hang in there....