I Moved 2500 Miles Away, and Now my Mother Lives with Me!

by Lisa
(Santa Maria, CA)

My mother has always been "difficult". She is a histrionic personality - everything has always had to be about her and her wants. From the time I was a young child, I learned that I must be "perfect" and do everything she wanted for me to do in order to get her love and attention.


I became a "trained poodle" - making the best grades, taking the piano and voice lessons she demanded, playing the piano and organ at church and performing at every opportunity...so that she could brag about everything I did to anyone who would listen. (I hated it.)

At home, it was a different story. She made certain that I knew, always, that I was expected to march to her drummer - not my own. She is a very demanding woman, and I was called "stupid" and "dumb" whenever I tried to rebel. My father, on the other hand, was just the opposite. He loved me just simply for being me - and he taught me how to use my mind. We were on opposite sides of the political field, and we spent hours debating politics...he taught me, no matter what the topic, to respect others but to hold on to my beliefs. He was my strength, and although he couldn't save me from my mother's personality, he tried to temper it with love. He tried his best, but I don't think that he knew until I was grown what my mother's demands and verbal abuse did to me.

I have never been able to form a lasting relationship, and most of the time it is because I am trying so hard to please my partner. In 1999, I moved from Mississippi to California to get some peace. My mother blamed me for "deserting them", but my father cheered me on.

When he got really ill, he told me that he was dying, and spent two hours telling me what he wanted me to know...one thing being that I wasn't to let my Mother move in with me. Well, he passed away on February 8, 2006, and my Mother moved in with me on December 30, 2009. I am an only child, and there was no one else. So, I had to move her to California. I wanted to move her into her own apartment, close to me, but she said that she wouldn't move unless I let her live with me.

In Mississippi, she had lots of friends, and would drive from one end of the state to the other anytime she took a notion. Now, she refuses to leave the house without me to take her. I live in a small town in California, with four major streets and very little traffic - but she won't drive.

The only thing that I put my foot down about is going to church with her. I left the Southern Baptist Church 20 years ago, and I refuse to go back. I went with her to a church for a few months, thinking that she would make a friend who would come and pick her up for services.

Nope...she just wanted me to continue to go with her. I have offered to get a senior bus to pick her up to take her places, and again she refuses. So, I am her only contact with the outside world, except for the neighbors she sees when she goes to the mailbox every day. When I come home every day, she has to start telling me what I need to do as soon as I come in the door. She has these "ideas" of what she wants to do - for example, fly her friend's granddaughter out here for the summer and have me entertain her as a graduation present - and when I balk, she pouts. I try to explain to her that I don't have the money, but then she thinks that I am going to lose the house and we are going to be homeless.

She has pretty much taken over my house, and it is now decorated the way she wants it to be decorated...the other day, she said that she wanted to put up the rest of my Dad's paintings - there are already 12 of his paintings in the house - and when I didn't answer, she pouted once again. Since she has moved in, I pretty much live in my bedroom. It is the only place where she won't go, and it is the only place that I can truly call my own.

My bills have tripled since she moved in; my electric bill alone has gone from about $50 a month to over $200. There is really no one I can talk to about it - except for my therapist, who has pretty much given up on me - because all of my friends tell me that I should "enjoy her while she is still around". I feel guilty for feeling this way, but I am afraid that I will never have a life.

I am 49 years old, and alone. I have no partner, no children, and no siblings. I have no chance of being with anyone, because I can't bring this baggage into a relationship. I wear a mask most of the time, trying to act like I am happy. I love my job - I am the Director of Activities at a large high school - but that is the only place where I am at peace.

My life is pretty much set, because there is nothing I can do about it...and that makes me angry. I would never be mean to her, and I will always take care of her, but don't I deserve to find a life to sustain me after she is gone? It makes me angry that she doesn't consider that...she doesn't think about me or about what my life should be...it is still, as always, about her.

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Mom
by: Anonymous

Wow. I know exactly how you feel. My mother moved in with me 8 years ago. I got a whole 4 months between my daughter graduating college and moving out and mom moving in.

Everything is her way even though it's my house. I stay in my bed room or just leave home . It would be great if other family members would just give me a break.

I feel like one day when I have had all I can take, she'll get the message from the for sale sign in the front yard.

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So What Do We Do?
by: Anonymous

I am 28 years old. Married with a 9 year old daughter.

My husband and I recently moved across the state for work and my mother came with us.
My dad died 13 yrs ago and my only other sibling, my older brother was killed in a motorbike accident 7 yrs ago. I felt guilty leaving her behind.

Mum lives on a pension and can't really look after self and has recently become ill with kidney and liver problems.

I just can't stand her dramas anymore. 9 months of living with her again and I'm losing my mind.
I have been looking after her since dad died however there is no gratitude for what I do and the sacrifices I have made.

She plays the victim constantly and a simple innocent comment made by me becomes a full day argument. I don't feel like this is my home I feel like I am 16 again living under her roof and by her rules.

She wakes me up every morning as if I am unable to set an alarm, tells me what I need to do when and how, and it's all on her routine, she has even taken over the grocery shopping.

Healthy food is dull and bland according to her and my husband, daughter and I have all gained weight since she has been living with us.

She has taken over the cooking, beating me to the punch when it comes to preparing meals. She has also taken over how I raise my child,if I discipline my child I am being nasty and
unreasonable. I'm losing my mind.

However, can't kick her out as so many people have told me to do due to miss you guilt. I feel sorry for her, and promised dad on his death bed I would take care of her. What do I do?

I have tried to set boundaries which she takes massive offense too and goes and hides in her room for days not talking to anyone then the arguments start. I'm at a loss.
If anyone has some ideas I'd love to hear them.
X

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We Are Living a Parallel
by: Anonymous

Although I wasn't abused by my mother in the same way as you, I was put through guilt trips and made to feel inferior if I didn't do what she wanted/when she wanted. I moved across the state 2 years ago, hoping to get some distance and peace, which did help. That didn't last long!!

My dad passed away 6 1/2 years ago, so mom has been alone. She began having unexplained seizures last August. Of course I went back and then ended up bringing her here to live with me, even though I have two older brothers who lived within minutes of her. (I guess they are smart enough to put the distance between them even while living close by!)

My mom sounds the same as yours - everything is always about her and if she doesn't get her way, she sulks, pouts and bitches either until she does or I'm ready to scream. It doesn't help that she's figured out she hates my husband and doesn't trust him, even though he's given her no reason to have these feelings.

I've just got so much anger and resentment building every day and I can't seem to get rid of it. I can't talk to her about it because she has discussions like a 5 year old. I honestly think she's emotionally stunted and can't handle adult discussions. I've spent the last 8 months of my life taking her to every necessary medical specialist to get her health care needs met.

She was completely neglecting herself while on her own, so there were a lot of things wrong, not to mention addiction to prescription pain medications. She is a lot better now and is going back to Spokane next weekend. Of course, I've had to make all the arrangements, from finding her an apartment, changing utilities over, getting people to move her stuff to the new place, etc.

She has NOT ONE BIT of gratitude for anything I've done. She continues to bitch and complain everyday about something to do with the move. I'm ready to put her on a freaking plane and send her now and take her stuff later!!! I keep telling myself I've only got one more week to live with her but it just seems that each day I feel more and more like I'm going to blow. Literally.

Right now I have such tightness in my chest and am ready to cry. Can I really do this for one more week and then the time it will take to get her settled there? The logical part of me knows I can do this but the exhausted, emotional side of me is doubting I can make it through this. I've got a hoard of people lined up in Spokane to be checking on her each day, so I know she'll be looked after.

I think I'm rambling here now, so I'll stop. I just needed to vent a bit and try to breathe. Good luck to you. I am not a good one to try to give advice, because I know that in your position, nothing I can really say will help. An earlier poster is right - you need to send her back, even though you may feel guilty and she'll be mad. You can't continue on like this - just as I've found out that I can't either.
Take care...
DF

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I Feel for You
by: Anonymous

I really feel for you. I know you may feel guilty, but get her into a home if you can, because your life is too precious to spend the next decade or so taking care of her until you are 60 or more.

As long as she is safe, well fed and cared for, and it is affordable, she can spend her days making friends and living her life at a home.

This shouldn't be your life - listen to your Dad! I am the same - I am early 50s, no kids or partner, and I'm struggling with the idea of giving up the next decade taking care of my mother because as you say, "it's all about her". I'm sick of it.

In fact, when I read your story I was relieved to know someone else was in my shoes. Good luck to you and I hope you find a balance and peace. There is no way in hell I would let my mother move into my house.

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Your Mom's a Bitch
by: Anonymous

You are right to say you were and now are once again a trained poodle because your mom's a bitch. Why do you think your dearly beloved deceased dad who loved you warned you not to let her move in with you? He lived with her and knew the kind of hell you would face. He faced it for years.

Get that woman back to wherever in the God forsaken Bible belt she came from. She wants that niece or whatever to come to visit from Mississippi or wherever they do that gospel thing. Let her go back and live there. She doesn't want YOU, she wants to change you and train you to be some sort of automaton that she can manipulate and boss around.

I beg of you, listen to your dearly departed father's words: do not let this miserable woman ruin your life. You are miserable. You moved 2,500 miles away from her. She is using you and spreading her misery and making you hate your life. She could live another 30 years. How does that sound? Pretty awful, right? GET A LIFE!

Send her back to whatever hick town down South she came from. She'll badmouth you no matter what you do, but you won't have to listen to it.

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