So Angry and Upset

It really does help to read others' comments and to see that so many people are in the same (or worse) position than me. My mother has always been needy and demanding, but I felt we had a good relationship.


Her health was declining for some years and I'd go round every weekend to check on her, take her out shopping etc.

She then suddenly had to have her leg amputated above the knee, was in and out of hospital with infections and then ended up in a wheelchair full time and in a nursing home for 3 months.

She hated the nursing home, despite it being the best place to care for her and insisted she move home to her first floor apartment (with no wheelchair access).

So we did this for her and I ended up going over 2 or 3 times a week (20 miles away), plus paying all her bills, organizing her medical appointments and going to them with her etc etc.

But of course she couldn't get in or out of the apartment independently so I had to push to find somewhere suitable she could live - we don't have room for her at our house. I eventually found her a ground floor apartment. But she doesn't like it, she moans about it all the time.

If she just knew how hard it was to find that for her and how much effort I've put into everything.

So, she's still been ill since then - her circulation's shot and she's had to have part of her remaining foot amputated and was again very ill, in and out of hospital etc.

Again, I took her to the nursing home afterwards - but nothing was right for her - she moaned about the people there, about the staff, about the food - everything.

And of course she insisted on going "home" i.e. back to the flat she can't stand.

Like so many others I'm working full time with my own children and husband, as well as my home to sort out. This has now been going on for 3 years and I'm absolutely exhausted.

I've put on 2 stone in weight, my blood pressure has gone through the roof, I'm constantly tearful and depressed - and still my mother goes on expecting me to do all of this for her.

When she demanded to go home this time we had a major argument and I just walked out. I said to her that my health was suffering from looking after her and that I couldn't offer her the level of support she wanted, and she said "well between you and Jennifer.... (my sister, who does nothing for my mother and hasn't been to see her for years").

I was so angry that she was just comparing me to my sister, after all that I and my family have done for her (my husband, son and daughter have been amazing and helpful with moving furniture, decorating to sell her original apartment, taking her to hospital, doctor, dentist, optician visits when I can't do it)

This was a bit of a wake-up call for me. It showed me how little she appreciated what I'd been doing and I was devastated that she could just ignore the fact that my own health was suffering.

I took a few days to think about it and decided that I wasn't going to carry on as before. I think that the best place for my mother is in a nursing home, but if she insisted on going home, I would help her to a certain extent if she went home, but no further.

I told her what I could do and that she'd have to manage her doctor and hospital appointments and everything else that I wasn't going to be doing.

So we moved her back home. My brother was over from Australia at that time and visited mum- he got the prodigal son welcome, even though he did NOTHING to help with the practical elements of this (my husband did everything)- not even helping me unpack the bags mum had brought home from the nursing home - he sat in the chair and watched the World Cup on the TV.

So I now do her weekly food shopping, I pay all her bills as before and I phone her every other day (not every day or twice a day as before). I don't take her calls at work (which I was doing, and then running out of work to go and see what the problem was - maybe even just she couldn't get the TV to work).

When I told her that I wouldn't be able to take her calls at work (she has a neck pendant for emergency BTW), she said "is it really that difficult to answer the phone at work?" I just kept calm and said - when you were working did you have to answer phone calls from your parents? She said - "of course not, I wouldn't have been able to do that". So I said - "well I work, I have a proper job that I'm paid to do and I can't just run off all the time doing other things".

The message has got through to the extent that she is doing her own stuff more. She's very cool towards me - she says thank you when I get her shopping etc but we don't have the same interaction as before. But then when my son went over yesterday she started with her old tricks, asking him to move around all of her bedroom furniture because she doesn't like it how it is.

Not only had my husband and I been over there months ago re this and showed her that it wasn't possible to move the furniture how she wanted it, but my son couldn't possibly move the furniture on his own, it's too heavy. So it seems she's expecting my husband/me to come round with my son to do it. But the more you do, the more she expects you to do.

I've absolutely had it with her. The more I think about it, the more angry I get. I now look back at my childhood and think - actually, I'd submerged all of this, but she wasn't a very good mother to me. She left me on my own a lot - quite often overnight, when she had divorced and was seeing her new man (when I was 14+ and my brother and sister were away in College). She's always expected me to put my needs or wishes last and is still expecting this. I really wish she was dead.

As so many other people have said - she didn't have this with her own parents. She's had her life - I am going to have to make sure I have mine.

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I CAN RELATE
by: Anonymous

I was reading your experience and wondered where you were going with all of this, and I was really proud of you for setting boundaries for yourself, I thought "you go girl"; as I read on I felt that your mother was uncomfortable with this.

I read further and saw how your mother was "sucking" you back in to her control and I thought to myself this is all too familiar.

I believe it is important for your mother that you send her clear signals and be consistent with the boundaries. It sounds like you slipped with the boundaries a bit, but learn from it and move forward.

It may be too late to say, but you may want to hire someone to do the things she needs done to let her know that you are standing your ground - not meant to be mean spirited, it is just to keep the boundaries.

Others, even our parents, who do not know of or have boundaries, will walk all over ours if we allow it. When you feel you have a handle on things... every now and again invite her to lunch or make a special dinner for her at her house to change the dynamic of your relationship. Have a great day!

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Accentuate the Positive
by: Kaypasa

I've come to realize, after caring for my mom full time for 3 years, that people do become more selfish as they age. I don't think they realize it's even happening.

For me, it's like a child who constantly whines for your undivided attention. It's just that we don't see it as acceptable in adults. My mom has certainly changed with age. She's so pessimistic.

I try to get books and movies for her that are lighthearted, but she thinks they're silly. We tell her jokes or funny stories and she doesn't (or I think doesn't want to) get the point of them.

People come to visit, but she's so centered on the negative that I see them struggling for something else on which to turn the conversation. Oh, well. I guess that's part of aging.

I'm going to try to remember for myself that it's better to look at the good things in your life (a family that loves and takes care of you) than what's making you miserable at the moment. I just hope all this negativity isn't contagious! ;)

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