Stuck Caring for Mean, 73 year old Mother

by Sophie
(Los Angeles)

I am a 50 year old (divorced, no kids) female and an only child. My dad died decades ago and I'm the only family member willing to care for my mom. My mother and I have had a rocky relationship, have been estranged for years at a time.

My mom has many health problems, both physical and mental and no friends, whatsoever. She hates everyone and her negativity drags me down. When she gets especially angry, I leave the room.

She's a retired business owner and very bored, has no hobbies. She weirdly copies me - my style of dress, the music and tv shows I watch. It's bizarre, like she's trying to assume my identity.

I think she's jealous of me because I've had an adventurous life, have traveled and lived abroad, for example, when she hasn't. She's agoraphobic, afraid to even go to the store. I do most everything around here even though she's mobile. I do most of the cooking, cleaning, errands, household maintenance, along with working from home.

I'm always exhausted.

I called her doctor (before the pandemic) and asked them to test her for dementia. That's when they told me she's been avoiding them for several years! I said, "wait, what?" My mom had been telling me all along that she's been going to her doctor appointments (he's based in a shopping center literally across the street) just lying to my face all this time.

So they called her and told her they made an appointment for her to come in but she, of course, blew them off.

So I feel like I have no help whatsoever and I'm trapped in a little house with a monster. Is this how I'm supposed to spend the rest of my life?

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Talk to me
by: Me also

Hi feel all your frustration. I'm in such a place. With all things in life like missing time to enjoy my time cause of major worries 24 7.

living forever
by: Anonymous

It looks like you are just starting. My mother is
95 and still going very strong. Imagine taking care of her for 20 or maybe 30 more years. Everyday seems like an eternity.

absolutely NOT!
by: Anonymous

you're mom definitely has a mental disorder (or several). Call her doctor again and see if there's any way he/she will do a house call.
And figure out if you can move out of that house.
My mom is a little mean (not near like what you describe) and I'm the last one of three that stayed around (sometimes I wonder why, but my sweet siblings are selfish and mean like my mom so I know where they get it) but mom refused to move in with me and dear husband years ago, thankfully. Now she says *I* don't want her with us (ha - yeah - NOW I don't - she's right!).
You need a life of your own and not be criticized/scrutinized/bullied (because that's exactly what it is).
And of course this is all my opinion.
Read Dr. Karyl McBride's work on Narcissistic Parents - it's very eye-opening and might help you some.
Hugs and hang in there. And take care of you!

Here's the thing....
by: Anonymous

So, here's the thing.. you don't have any way to support yourself, do you? Because if you did, you would move out. But the truth is you are living off your crabby mother, and whining about it, too. If you are living off of someone else since you always lived an adventurous life before, maybe you aren't owning up to your craziness... And, hey.. we are all crazy somehow.

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