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E-nuff4me Show full post »
OhDear and SheilaJ are right about the "hire an aide" idea if that wouldn't be too much of a financial hardship. It's really something you should insist on her paying for ... you don't want to start supplementing her care with your income. But maybe just this once. Another idea is to say that you've been feeling so ill that you won't know until the last minute whether you'll be able to go or not, and that 'really isn't fair to her' so she should make other arrangements if she wants to attend.

Any further thoughts on getting rid of that car? The thing is trouble.

Oh! Here's a twist. Hire an aide to help YOU at the wedding. Your mother can't say 'yes' or 'no' to that! This will have a number of advantages. First, it won't set the precedent of you spending your own money for your mother's care. Second, it will emphasize the state of YOUR health. Third, when you end up having to use the aide to help your mother more than he/she helps you ... after the wedding you will be able to point this out and say, "You see, mother, we are both so ill that my aide ended up helping you instead of me. In the future we will have to make separate arrangements to attend social occasions. It's simply no longer possible or practical for us to go together."

Of course what I really want you to do is just say 'no.' Tell your mother that you can barely handle attending yourself and looking out for your own health problems -- waiting on another sick person is not reasonable. You're going to have to start doing this sooner or later. Why put it off?

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I have not had much time to post lately, but have to jump in on this wedding issue. Having just been through a similar situation, I can tell you that taking my mother was something I wish I could have gotten out of.

We talked about an attendant, but were not able to do that. The result was we had no time to be with people who traveled from far away to see us! The only way I was able to give myself peace in the matter was to accept being the Marter... knowing one day my reward will come in heaven. ... There was nothing good about having to deal with my mother there.

If you can, tell your mother no. If not, get the attendant even if hired for you and work it to your mom's care. That is a great idea. I even tried to figure out a way to make it a relative who would be the one to look after my mother.... some in-laws stepped up. That helped, but we were still trapped with giving my mother care and since it was a destination wedding, we had to deal with the packing, transport, hotel, food, meds, and all while my every move was tracked by my mother. "Where's Lil?" ... aughh!! It is hard to enjoy any thing when you are being "watched" --all the time.
I could not have a real conversation with anyone there, I was on guard as everything I said to anyone opened me up for my mother's critique ... I'm sure you know the multiple bathroom trips alone will keep you on your mother's leash. ...I could go on and on and on....

For sure, get someone who can help! Or, take your mother knowing you will only get "some" time to enjoy it and gleen what you can from it. ... I thought of it as somethings you just don't take kids or elderly parents too.. if you can get out of taking her--do it for you. You deserve to enjoy life too!
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Thanks  Prodigal  OhDear  SheilaJ  Lil  for your wedding problem input and having someone to look after mom is a wonderful idea and it just might work.

I did talk to mom and said 'I know you understand that I have been having more problems lately getting around and looking after myself and I really feel bad and I would love to help you but I just can't look after you anymore at least by myself and if you want to go to the wedding with me, we need some help.
So I suggested that my younger sister come along with us in my car and then her and her daughter could help mom at the wedding and reception and then I would be free to look after my self. 
Mom even said that she didn't need both of them and I could have someone to look after me too then.
 Wow was that too easy?
 Could mom be sincere here or is it just an attempt to get into my car?

 Lil this statement from you worries me a little.....I'm sure you know the multiple bathroom trips alone will keep you on your mother's leash.
 I will just have to make sure that there is other family around all the time because by evening my walking's pretty well done.

 Now to get my sister to agree to this and I think she might as I don't drink and she would love to have a driver so she could have a good time. I will even offer my place to sis and daughter for an overnight visit and breakfast in the morning.

I also have a back up plan as I told mom that this would also have to depend upon how I was by the time of the wedding and I may have to cancel if my health worsens. 

As for lunch tomorrow with aunty, my aunt and I had a good talk and my aunt feels she doesn't want to 'rock the boat' and upset her sister so we will pick up some take-out and take it to mom's for a little lunch visit.  I don't know what happened to mom's dr appt as she didn't even mention it.

 I don't understand how every little thing has to such a major problem with me and my n'mom and requires so much worrying about and planning and talking about.
 It's exhausting!

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Please don't take this the wrong way, but I look at your name on this site...E-nuff4me, and sadly, you don't seem to have had enough...It's your turn...You need to go to that wedding and have a good time....I agree, hire someone to attach to your mother for the day, afternoon and evening...You need to go and come as you please...You were invited to the wedding as a guest, not as someones slave.  If you need to make excuses about not being her "attendant," then so be it!!!  If she doesn't like the arrangements, let her stay home...Oh joy!!! Good luck...

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NMom might decide the two of you should be joined at the hip throughout the wedding and reception 'to make it easier for the helper to take care of us'.

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Eilene  OhDear you are both right about this and I don't want to keep making excuses for my wimpy behavior but I know my mother and if I were to hire an attendant for her that would probably be the end for us.   
She absolutely wouldn't hear of it whether I paid or not because looking after mom is my(or some other family member) job and not for some unrelated stranger.  I'd be looking at no contact for sure probably with the whole darn family too because if I cause trouble at my sisters (the other sister) wedding, she would never forgive, 
She stopped talking to me for over a year because I said that she was walking pretty good after her knee replacement surgery.  Wrong, she still insists she's still disabled even when she can power walk about 5 miles daily?
 I wouldn't even know how to begin. It took me about 3 years just to get mom a housekeeper.
I know the plan I had sucks and my sister wouldn't stay around to help mom and the daughter would be gone as soon as we stepped foot in the door too. Then I would have more work looking after my sister now as well who would probably have to much to drink.

I can just picture it needy helpless mother on one arm and my drunken sister on the other and where her 15 yr old, kind of on the wild side daughter would be, who knows!

Right about now I don't think this wedding is going to be fun after all and I don't want to go

I can't believe I'm in such denial.

Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!  I have to think about this for a while.

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Enuff -- please just go by yourself.
Explain to other sister, that you cannot put up with the mama drama, that for once in your life you want to enjoy a wedding.
Who invited your mother to the wedding? Is the wedding a family member's ? I feel it is their responsbility (sort of) to arrange transportation for your mother to go. I know, most people won't see it that way. But why is it *automatically* your responsbility ? I don't get that.
Or -- take her if you feel you must - but *disappear* (for the most part) for the rest of the time. Do NOT be available. Your mother can ask someone else to help her to the potty for a change. There will be tons of people around - I am assuming ?
Keep a low profile when you are there - if you can. Take numerous trips over to the beverage table, lol. (non alcoholic of course). 
I hope it is a big reception hall?
Oh never mind. All the family sits at the same table or tables. I guess it is just not really doable is it? I don't know if I could just waltz off either and leave my mom to the mercy of the other guests. Sigh.
I really feel for you. I can see why you would not want to attend at all.
big hugs.
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"Wrong, she still insists she's still disabled even when she can power walk about 5 miles daily?"

This sister has clearly mastered the technique that you, the member of the family who is actually disabled at present, have not. Think about it.
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I agree with Beth.  The best thing for you would be to go by yourself.   (even though your mom would try to punish you and torment you and hurt you and pull the pitiful-mom-card and guilt you to death and ruin your reputation....) 
So, if you cannot go by yourself, can you find a way to make your mom NOT want to be around YOU?   I learned this trick from a former boss.   He told me that the best way to get rid of a difficult client is to let them say no to you.  Offer crazy terms that are too expensive or too restrictive.  Send them away thinking that it was their idea to leave.       
Using this logic, maybe you need to gI've your mom an incentive to find another slave.  Find ways to make her not want to be around you.  Your mom is a predator.  If animals have ways to keep predators away, why shouldn't humans?  (Skunks smell bad, dogs growl, birds peck, porcupines have sharp spines, bears crush, sharks bite, bees sting. etc.)
Although smelling bad might work, it might be easier to just borrow some of the annoying behaviors we discuss on this board.  Pick your favorite behavior that smothers or drives everyone away.   It could be fun turning yourself into someone who mom avoids.
I hope you have some luck figuring this out.  I truly feel for you and hope you break free from this madness.  

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My sister's daughter, my niece is getting married and it will be a very large wedding but this sister can't look after mom so that leaves me and my other sister.  It has always been my responsibility to look after mom since my dad passed, 15 years ago and it is expected of me. The sister that is mother of the bride has been helping mom more for the last 2years but I think that in most situations I am still the daughter of choice for mom.
Unfortunately since I'm new at boundaries and detaching my family has no reason to think that things might of changed between my mom and me and think I should just carry on as before.

'daughter'(beth)  the whole reception will be mostly family, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. as our family is very large so mom will know everyone and if I know mom she will find someone to help her but I also know she won't let me get too far out of her sight.
 About the moma drama, I won't get away from it or any other kind of drama at this wedding for sure because there is always something going on in my family!

You are right Prodigal she has mastered the technique.  She just says no she won't and mom knows she won't.  This is the sister who is angry with me now, who now has to help mom because I can't help mom like I did before.  She doesn't like caring for mom and mom doesn't like it either but mom wouldn't dare cross this sister.
I have been thin all my life and just recently gained some weight because I don't move around enough anymore and mom is constantly making comments about my weight gain.  My sister has always been overweight, grossly in fact and she told me mom has never said one single word to her about her weight.
 This sister fears mom too(it's weird they both fear each other) but she will only do what she has to and not one bit more and mom respects her but mom doesn't respect me, never has and never will. This sister is more like mom then I like to be though!

Splotchy maybe I could really play up my disabilities. That would annoy her but I don't know about driving her away, but then she still has her age to get me and she's way better at playing the invalid.   I'm really going to have to think about that  How can I drive mom away?    Thanks.

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Who does your mother dislike/fear and why?  What do they do/say that makes her avoid them?   If you think back to your childhood did your mother have relatives or neighbors she dreaded meeting?

Or...... bring them with you to the wedding! ;-p  Hire them to be your aide for the day!

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Perhaps you could really play up your disability for the day...Show up in wheelchair!!!  You couldn't possibly take her to the bathroom 15 times while sitting in a wheelchair...Or, hire someone whether she likes it or not...just say you are not feeling well...and you want to have someone there in case you are unable to attend to her needs...and then don't attend to her needs...It's really a tough one...and you do belong at this wedding...Quick there another family member...maybe a cousin or someone that can help you there anyone else that is close to your mom???

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OhDear  she dreaded....... her mother! 
She absolutely hated having to spend every Saturday night dinner with her mother and always told me she would never do that to her daughters.
Well guess what she's way worse!
Mom had way more freedom then me though as she was in her late twenty's when her mom passed away.

Mom dislikes so many people like
anyone who gets more attention then her
people who have more health problems
babies and children as they get lots of attention
people who have more money then she does
people who have interest in the arts like painting or writing, she thinks they are a waste of time
her inlaws because they acted better then her
if you have a boyfriend( especially if he is of a different race or culture)
a husband especially if he's good to you
your friends because she was excluded
anyone who she feels slighted by
any one who doesn't agree with her.  I first noticed that my mom had a problem when we were on holidays and got lost and asked directions from someone walking by.  He then told us the way to our hotel and mom yelled at him in a condescending way 'that's not the way' then he said ' you stupid bi*** do what you want then'.  It was very uncomfortable.

If mom gets angry enough at someone she will hold a grudge forever.  I guess I'll just have to practice more.
Eilene that's a real good idea, she can sit with her sister.  My Aunt is older then her and maybe mom won't act up so much and I'll try and keep busy with the younger cousins so she will be bored and not want to stay with me.  thanks 
I may use the wheelchair another time though!

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Look closely at how your sister behaves.  See if you can pick up any behaviors, mannerisms, or expressions that she uses to get respect from your mom.   

My husband is very effective at getting respect from his parents.  They are very difficult people, but he has learned how to manage them.   Whenever they call to complain, he usually turns things around and starts to nag and grill them instead.  ("When did you last take your medicine, go to the doctor, take a bath, use the bathroom, make your bed, eat breakfast, cut your toenails, check your pulse, take your blood pressure, pay your long term care insurance policy, etc.")  They don't usually spend too much time talking to him.  I'm not saying it's nice, but it is effective at keeping the toxicity away.  When he visits, he also questions them.  ("Why are you eating ice cream?  Chips are bad for you...")  He shows no mercy. 

Most people hate to be nagged, so this has worked out well for him.  I'm not very good at it myself, but I have noticed that it works for him.  Maybe it's time to become a nagging daughter....

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"She just says no she won't and mom knows she won't. ... She doesn't like caring for mom and mom doesn't like it either but mom wouldn't dare cross this sister. ... This sister is more like mom then I like to be though!"

You must transition into the kind of relationship your sister has achieved with your mother if you genuinely have decided to survive. You know that now, even if you aren't comfortable with it yet. This has absolutely ZERO to do with you becoming a 'bad person' or "like mom." No, this is all about your ability to have any semblance of a life while your mother remains on this planet. If not this wedding, then when? At some point, you will have to take a stand.

Why NOT go in a wheelchair with a healthcare attendant? WHY NOT?? You said that your ability to walk was pretty much shot by the end of the day. I think this is a prime opportunity to send a message to the whole darn "Enuff Must Continue to Care for Mom" crowd. When you are at your sister's wedding in a wheelchair with a healthcare attendant, your siblings will be hard pressed to make the case with your extended family (and themselves) that YOU are able to and must continue to be the sacrificial lamb to your mom's excessively entitled old age. Why squander this golden chance? Time for you to win the Sickest Family Member Oscar. This is your ticket to a new life. USE IT.

Are you actually going to continue letting your sister power walk her way back to robust good health while you go ahead and die being mom's slave? Why do they deserve to thrive and you deserve to suffer?
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