Reply with quote #76
Ohh, gosh. I can so relate to what you wrote Enuff,
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.'
Been there on that kind of thing! Everything you did, sacrificed and went out of your way for is just discounted. What an exasperated feeling that is. I feel for you Enuff.
This very kind of indifference towards me has had me back up, set boundaries and just not do as much as I was. There is no other way. I found all my talking about it, getting angry, pointing it out was a waste as long as I kept doing. Words are cheap--actions count.
Now, I stepped back, and given the right opportunity I point it out how I did such and such and it was not appreciated my efforts were wasted. Once said, I let it go. Zip it! I don't say another word for a while. Then I change the subject to the weather or some news item.
It always seems to come back to making a judgment call about what is really needed. For whatever way your mother is "working you" to get you to do these things, you might want to start to ignore some of it or just make excuses as to why you can't do it. There has to be a balance in all fairness to you. I wish I had a nice clear cut list of dos and don'ts-- but it is not that simple. You have got to do what is best for all concerned--that includes you! Putting your foot down is hard at first, but it gets easier and little by little and I believe you will find the balance you need. I've been working on the same thing--- now I'm getting thank yous, appreciation and somewhat aware of how to anticipate what is next so I can mentally set my boundary about whatever. We can only do what we can. If you don't want to take your mother to the wedding, she will get there. She knows how to manipulate the situation and I have every faith she will find a way. Just put your foot down, suggest alternatives for her to choose from. Then, let it go-- your mother will deal--let her decide--and know the wedding drama issues will pass... your future health is what matters the most.
Reply with quote #77
I just wanted to say something about how we worry about our parent not being looked after if we don't or unable to care for them all the time.
About 3 years ago I moved to where I live today. It's kind of a combination retirement living and assisted living. It's for seniors over 55 and people with disabilities. We have some services like wheelchair access and safety rails in bathrooms etc, social events, recreation room with coffee and visiting all day long, exercise room, library, crafts, games, diner 2x a week, office with manager and staff Monday to Friday 9-4, cleaning staff and someone carries an emergency pager nights, weekends and holidays and most of the staff etc live on site too.
We even have the fire hall at the end of our block and we do keep them on their toes with regular emergencies.
It's been wonderful for me and I have lots of friends here. I think everyone knows me(they call me the baby in my building) and there is a couple a hundred people living here. I call bingo once or twice a week and I just love it. We have puzzles at the end of each floor and it is a daily gathering place and there is always someone coming by to chat and I can get pretty jealous when I see how some of these 70 or 80 years olds are running around here.
You know everyone here helps each other checking up on their neighbors if they don't see them for a while or to get something from the store for them or if they still have a car, drive them to hospital or dr office.
No one ever has to be alone on holidays because different churchs and senior organizations are always offering dinners and other services to whomever wants to take part or there will always be someone who will cook the turkey and invite anyone who has no where to go..
Even blackouts when we loose our power due to storms are fun because we all get our flashlights and hobble on down to the library and party!
One time one lady who had no family took ill and had to go to hospital 2 weeks before she was moving. A couple of neighbors packed all her stuff arranged for movers and set up her whole new apt for her so when she came home from hospital everything was all done.
We are like a family here and everyone is at different levels of function physically and mentally. Some require a daily care aides, meals on wheels, medical or psychiatric intervention and one lovely lady right across the hall was on hospice care.
Some have family's coming around regularly and some have no one but everyone knows that someone here cares and will help if needed.
I actually had a scooter date with a dear 94 yr old the first month I was here but he his family decided he should move to a nh. Still miss him!
I know if the senior was living alone in there own place they would be isolated but if they could
be in a place like where I live they would be looked after and it always doesn't have to be the family that does the caring all the time.
Just thought I let you see my perspective.
Reply with quote #78
Sounds so very delightful, and enjoyable. My mom needed socialization so badly, and she would have had that at the AL, if my brother didn't move her out. Looking toward the future, it is up to each one of us to be willing to reach out to others and make friends. It sounds like you have quite a happy existence, because your attitude is so good. And you are so right--sometimes friends are more family than "real" family. And some of us need to realize once again what a treasure friends are. I know that I need to make some new friends, and reconnect with some old ones. Thanks for a happy post! Hugs-Sparkle
Reply with quote #79
Thanks for the support re car and boundaries. I think I will keep my car for now because I really do need it and try and set the boundaries with my family. I do have to deal with this now because we have another wedding coming up this summer and it will be the same thing all over again.
Eilene one of my sisters that is now doing most of mom's care does have some health issues too and I know it is difficult for her looking after mom. I'm not sure why but she has been doing more for mom then she needs to do and I think she was enjoying playing the martyr but that seems to be loosing it's appeal for her this last while. I think she thought if she did more for mom I would feel guilty or something and pitch in but I couldn't even do what I was doing let alone more!
'whatever way your mother is "working you" to get you to do these things, you might want to start to ignore some of it or just make excuses as to why you can't do it.'
Lil I am learning and as mom complains that will be one less thing I do for her as I sure don't need to give her any more reasons to put me down.
When I moved further away my mom and my sister were quite upset. They wanted me to live close by them right in the city and I did try 3 different apts and had to move away for various reasons(one had roaches, the other was robbed and the last one had me running for the hills from a psycho stalker neighbor).
I found the place I live now quite by accident and thought it would be very good for me and it was closer to my kids as well, a little out of the way but a lot quieter and more peaceful. I could afford it and I had to think of my future and living here has given me the services that I need and I think that I can be happy here for a long time.
I have made many friends and I feel like I belong for the first time ever and I feel safe. I am 5 min from the ocean and I have a natural park right across the street. These are my two favorite places, the ocean and the forest. I love to go down to the beach and just be there. It puts things in perspective somehow. Although I can't walk to far in the park anymore I really enjoy being able to look out my window and see the trees and wildlife.
My mom and my sister are still trying to get me to move back and my sister refuses to drive out here but I am expected to drive into town at least once a week. They know I am happy here but that doesn't matter to them. They just want me to be available for them all the time. No, I will not move from here. I am finally starting to live my life for me now and there is no way I can go back.
Sparkle when I was living in my other apts I was alone and very lonely but since I have moved here I have not felt lonely anymore. You are right you do have to look at your own life and see what you need and just go out there and get it! Maybe this isn't exactly the life I dreamed about but it's what I need right now and it's good. I love everyone of my new friends and each one is special in their own way and when I am with them it's ok to be me and I am accepted.
I am truly blessed to find them and now to find all of you!
Reply with quote #80
Your home sounds lovely! How nice to have wonderful people who share it with you. You sound like you have got a handle on what you are going to do in the future with your mom and family pressures. Bravo! Not an easy place to get to.... huh? I'm looking forward to reading how the wedding goes for you and hope you will keep posting here. :-) Hugs!
Reply with quote #81
Well my mother finally did it! She did something for herself for a change! She ordered her groceries from the local supermarket and they delivered them yesterday. Well she is not a happy camper at all! It seems they got it all wrong and brought her the wrong items. She got a large bottle of bleach when she ordered a small bottle and the biggest tomatoes she has ever seen and they were all greenish and would ripen at the same time, idiots, and the crackers were so small, the size of her thumb nail and she was just thoroughly disgusted. I tried to make her see the humor of it all like when she sent my dad out for a lettuce and he came home with a cabbage. We still have a few laughs about that but she wasn't about to find anything funny about this. She was just spazzing out about how she can't lift the bottle of bleach and her dishcloths are still dirty and all these bad things always happen to her and how she ordered a small bottle and nobody can get anything right. I guess I am changing because before I would of been drawn into this dirty dishcloth crisis and ran over there immediately and helped her but I'm sorry I just find this so funny. I don't know why I am not being sensitive to my mom's distress and it's feels kinda of weird not to jump right in. Trying one of my sister's approaches I said 'do you hear yourself mom. It's only a dirty dishcloth and it is not the end of world and you will survive this.' She still said she has never in her life has had such dirty dishclothes and she is still upset about it but she did stop the ranting though so I must of said something right. The crackers though were never going to do and she would just have to give them to me when I came to visit.
Reply with quote #82
I just wanted to give an update on the wedding last night.
I went with my son and wife and 1 year old granddaughter.
I sat with all my kids and grandkids and we were the biggest table there and it felt good to be surrounded by my beautiful family because that doesn't happen very often if ever.
Mom went with my youngest sister and sat with my other sister and husband at a different table. It was nice to just enjoy the wedding and reception and I felt normal for a change!
Thank you all for the encouragement re wedding.
I know if it wasn't for all of you showing me that things can change and for helping me with my confidence to try something different.
You know it really wasn't that hard once I knew what I had to do, just took a bit of planning and trusting that I was doing the right thing and everything worked out.
It had its iffy moments though right up to the end as my youngest sister(moms ride) got in a bit of an accident on the Thursday before and ended up with a rental car.
Mom had lined up 3 different rides and waited to last minute to decide who was going to have the honor.
I just ignored all the pre wedding dramas and crisis's and let mom do her own thing and everything worked out.
The music was loud Italian style and the food was delicious Italian style, the bride and groom and all 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen were lovely and I had a good time and so did my mom.
I even had a go at the 'chicken dance' with surprising results too.
I am off shortly to visit mom with the small box of chocolates and the lovely orchid plant that I got for her. I know I am still on a high from last night but I will have a good time today and not be daunted by any of my mom Ntricks.
Happy Mothers Day to all.
Reply with quote #83
Wonderful news !!!! Thank you for sharing with us.
Reply with quote #84
So glad you had a lovely time, E-nuff4me! Doin' the chicken dance for ya!
Reply with quote #85
Well, what a happy ending to the wedding saga! And a good time was had by all! Hallelujah! Thanks for telling us the outcome! Hugs-Sparkle
Reply with quote #86
It's so wonderful to hear about you enjoying life after resigning as your mother's "right hand man." The wedding sounds like it was a lot of fun. Good for you!
Reply with quote #87
Thanks everyone the weekend did go pretty good but not without some wedding and Mothers Day fallout.......
Before I had a chance to leave, Mom phoned me with the 'you don't have to come and visit me today if you are too tired from last night and you want to see your kids.
You did spend about 5 minutes with me last night at the wedding and shared a half of dessert with me so I understand if you have plans. I don't want you to get too worn out just for me.'
I was determined not to let anything my mom said upset me so I reassured her that I did want to see her (sigh) after all she was my mother and it was Mothers Day.
When I gave her the box of chocolates I said I had them make the box up especially for her, all nuts but she said she doesn't really enjoy chocolates anymore but she unwrapped the box and had a couple even before I made the tea.
When I gave her the orchid plant she was surprised and said that she never had a orchid plant before but as it was purple, it did go with the empty purple dish my sister gave her.
Then she said that I only wanted to come over to give her the plant and I didn't want to see her.
Well I drank my tea real fast and suggested we go over to my sisters where a lot of the family were still celebrating the wedding, as the thought of more people around seemed pretty good right about then.
So after staying for the required three courses of food I left mom with all the festivities and went to my daughters for dinner. (I probably won't eat for a week after this weekend)
Prodigal I am constantly stopping myself from jumping in to help but it feels real good quitting that job and it was long over due.
I guess I am learning how to deal with moms hostility better now too for abandoning her to the care or others. I just try to keep smiling and she just keeps frowning so the tug of war continues.
Reply with quote #88
By George, I think you've got it! Don't take the bait, ignore the barbs, ban guilt trips from your travel plans, keep that smile plastered on your face (come what may) and remember there's safety in numbers!
But golly, when she called ... I would have been real tempted to say, "Thanks, mom! I AM wiped out from last night and it's so sweet of you to understand. We'll get together some other time, huh? Bye!!" LOL
What you did instead was absolutely the wisest thing, of course, but boy it's tempting sometimes to let their little pity/guilt stunts backfire on them. But since Ns never suffer alone ... better to keep them appeased. Within reason, of course.
I brought roses and strawberries. Whereupon I was informed that "some people" are allergic to roses. And strawberries. But my mother has never had either of these allergies. "Not yet" she replied ominously. That's really kind of funny now that I think about it.
Reply with quote #89
I'm glad things worked out, E-nuff. You were a thoughtful daughter.
Hey Prodigal, you have to give your mom credit for thinking ahead. She's already banking on future pain.
Reply with quote #90
Thanks Splotchy and Prodigal. I remember a friend of mine who went through this years ago telling me 'you don't have to correct them or prove them wrong. Just let it go'. I didn't really understand that then but now I totally see what she meant. It's just really hard to ignore when your just aching to say something or do something and you have to just bite you tongue and stop yourself. I am having the same problem Prodigal with the gifts. Even if I were to luck out and find mom something that she likes and it doesn't bother her or give her gas the next day she will find fault with it for sure. I have already gone through all the household gadgets and nicknack's and clothes are out so that only leaves food and flowers. Thank goodness my mom isn't into allergies yet either. I wonder if I could go empty handed. Maybe then I wouldn't be accused of coming to visit just to bring a plant. I may try it. No chicken, no cabbage, no flowers, no nothing just me!