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Vintagekelley

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all, I'm a newbie to this site. I apologize for the length of my post. I haven't talked to someone in my situation before.

My dad died after a short, unexpected illness 3 years ago (much due to my mom's inability to care for him and their denial of that fact) and I have been in charge since that time. I discovered the term "Narsissistic Mother" quite by accident while perusing Pinterest, but since then have done much reading on the topic and it fits my mom to a T.

I had to put her in assisted living, much to her protest, after he died. I am an only child and have had to muddle my way through all of their finances since I was not prepared by them to do this. They had a will and trust, but never gave me copies, didn't have things organized, and had no health directives. Dealing with Medicare over just the past 3 months has almost put me in a straight jacket. I work full time as a middle school educator and the demands at work have grown this year. I am stressed beyond my normal amount and have adrenal fatigue caused by the stress. Last year we almost lost our adult daughter to an eating disorder; this was her second bout with it. If any of you has ever felt that you thought you may lose your child, you know how debilitating this is, and we were powerless to help an adult (legally).

Mom and I never got along and rarely saw each other. Their house was a hoard from her overshopping, so we could not go spend the day with them at their house; there was no place to even sit! They could not come see us, as it was too far for them to drive. We tried to get together for every birthday, but it was difficult. She is a shell of her former self, although she has retained all of her negative traits. She was kicked out of an assisted living facility because they could no longer handle her tantrums, and she now resides in a lock-down memory care facility near my home.

My issue is that I feel guilty not wanting to be around her. I could stop every day and see her after work, but it's painful to see her and even more to leave. I feel judged by the workers there, since I rarely go to visit her. Yes, I know they don't know me and what my responsibilities are, but this is just me. Bottom line truly is I really don't like her, never did. Her inability to love me and then having the audacity to tell me she would have aborted me if it was legal, have all been ingrained in my mind. HOW do I deal with this guilt? I truly want to do what is right, but often can only do my job, then go home to recuperate.

How does everyone deal with guilt? I've been to therapy and really got no help with this issue except her telling me to go once a week for 15 minutes.

Thank you in advance!

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Vintagekelley
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Mike Gamble

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Vintagekelley,

Your mother has proven time and time again that she will never be the person you wish she were. There's nothing you could ever do to change that fact, nor is there any reason for you to continue feeling guilty. You have NOT failed her.

You are your own person and have your own needs. Don't worry about what others (her facility's caregivers) may think about you.

We've prepared an article, "How to Divorce Your Abusive Parent ... and Survive," that should be helpful.

Stay Strong!
Mike

 

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Vintagekelley

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Mike,
Thank you for the response. I need to break these patterns and I will definitely read the article your recommended. I also bought a book on narcissistic mothers. Hopefully these two things will help.

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Vintagekelley
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Reply with quote  #4 
Vintagekelly, try not to feel too guilty. Your mom has done this to herself. It's hard to love someone that doesn't and can't love you back. And all they do is make you feel bad. I have a sister that does this to me. She was always the chosen daughter. I always felt like an after thought. Anyway, keep your chin up. As I told my step-son, "you do t have to like your mother or what she does. You don't have to respect her, but you should at least treat her with respect. She is the only mother you'll ever have." Take care of yourself. Give yourself permission to Not go see her. Who cares what others think, anyway. Your friends already know, and your enemies just don't care.
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Christa4

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Posts: 47
Reply with quote  #5 
Vintagekelley- I read Mike's article. It is very empowering. My own situation is not as extreme as what you are dealing with, but some things that have happened have the same effect on me. Guilt!!!

I had contact with a friend yesterday who was describing putting her mentally ill teenager in a residential home. I told her she looked so much more relaxed than the last time I saw her. She said she talked to her therapist and that person said guilt is for when you do something wrong, and you haven't done anything wrong. That statement stuck with me.

When we go through life being vulnerable to the judgment of others, we never free ourselves to be strong. I say this as one who has done that. I recently had a doctor tell me I'm headed for a major medical event due to what stress is doing to me. I have taken minor steps to get demands on me under better control. Let me emphasize minor --- It has helped me though, because I feel stronger. Before I make this sound like a miracle turnaround, it should only be seen as a first step.

So all of that to you is, start small. When you're trying to decide whether to go see your mom and having that inner conversation, tell yourself no, not today and not tomorrow. If I feel more capable two days from now, I'll reconsider then.
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Vintagekelley

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you everyone; even though I don't know any of you, your words have a profound affect on me. I have shared with family, but they know me so I guess I don't heed their advice as much. I need to free myself so I can live my life and be less stressed. I'm exhausted and all of the worrying and guilt makes it worse.
I'm going to work on saying no when I am busy. Spring break is coming up and it can definitely wait until then. [smile]

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Vintagekelley
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LillySam

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hello everyone.  I have just joined the group, so bear with me.  My typing is not so great and sometimes I have trouble getting what is in my brain to come to my mouth.  Ok, saying that.  I too, am an only child.  I have a mother that is hateful, selfish, just plain out mean.  Nothing I do seems to please her.  I continue to try.  The other day I was coming from a Hospice House after visiting with my husbands mother.  Not long after I have gotten in the car, the phone rang.  It was my mom.  She cussed my out because I was not at home yet.  She said that I didn't even know where my home was.  The next day she started again.  But this time she said I called her.  Then the usual thing, "Get the **** out of my house".  My husband and I have lived in this for seven years now.  My step-dad died in 2010 and naturally his kids disappeared. 

I'm sorry I spilled my heart on my first visit but I have no one to talk to other than my husband.  I have no friends.  In situations like this you find out who your true friends are!

Thanks.

LillySam
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Unregistered
Reply with quote  #8 
My daughter just sent me this link and another one. https://ouragingparents.net/deal-toxic-controlling-mother/

We deal with a toxic, demanding mother in a care facility. The article in the link above is excellent.
Hope it helps.
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Vintagekelley

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #9 
Hi LillySam,
First let me say bless you! You must be a saint to still be living with your mom. I would have lived anywhere but with my mom after I left. I always said one of us would not be around if we did. She and I just never saw eye to eye on anything.

Your mom sounds like a complete control freak, although maybe she is taking out some of her frustration on you since her husband passed? I'm grasping at straws. I will say that venting here was amazingly cathartic for me. I hope it is for you too.

I have the above article on my reading list. There are also some others in this site that are really helpful.

Good luck to you,
Kelley

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Vintagekelley
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LillySam

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #10 
Hey Vintagekelley,
A saint, I don't think so.  My mom told me on Monday that I was more like her than I thought.  Boy, did that bite.  I always said that I never wanted to be like my mom and that if I had children that I would not be the kind of mother to them that she was to me.  Thankfully, they turned out fine! Several years ago my doctor referred me to a psychiatrist because I was having trouble dealing with my mother then.  We were not even living in the same house then either.  I look back and think how ironic.  I went to this doctor to talk about how I disliked my mom and now I am her only caregiver who, along with my husband, live in the same house with her.  

If anyone is a saint, it's got to be my husband.  He has put up with more than a lot of men would, I think.  I can honestly say I don't know what I would do without him. 

I don't know what the answer to all of this is going to be.  Everyone says put her in a nursing home.  I'm not at that point yet.  I probably should be.  I'm not though.  Is it guilt stopping me?  Yes.  It is. How do I get past that?  Can someone tell me? 

I used to be a full of life, fun, happy all the time person.  Now, my husband says I have lost my joy.  That's sad.
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Vintagekelley

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #11 
Dear LillySam,

I have struggled with guilt and obligation my entire life. I'm a rule follower, I always do what I'm supposed to, I go the extreme to be dutiful. Except to myself. I have had to reevaluate what I do for others and think of myself. Last year I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, more than likely stress induced. I am not willing to give my life for someone who wasn't there for me, treated me poorly, and was vengeful to me for most of my life. I'm just done and I'm getting over that guilt and need to always be the best daughter. I just cannot leave my own kids because I killed myself taking care of an ungrateful woman who, in her own words, "would have aborted me if it were legal" and blamed me for her bad marriage.

Look within yourself and ask yourself what kind of life you want for you and your husband. Does it include mom, or is it you and your hubby and visiting mom where she is cared for by professionals who are paid to put up with their attitudes? I must sound so calloused, but I have 52 years of being unloved and under appreciated by my mom. You have to do what is right for you. I cannot stress that enough!

Take care of yourself,
Kelley

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Vintagekelley
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