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I'm new here, but not to gardenweb

Posted by ilene-84 (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 5, 14 at 8:58

Soory this is so long.....Five years ago my parents were fighting, mom was becoming frustrated as dad became more physically disabled. She did her own thing 3-4 days a week, he used able ride to take him to senior centers, she had to do the driving when they were together, she would yell at him and he yelled back. She complained to him al, the time about her life with him, and how it changed. They were fighting. She helped him in and out of tub for shower, he made a mess of her immaculate home, he has no balance, so made her walls dirty when he leaned on them. She was/is bothered he is HOH. After a fall that landed dad in the hospital, a fight in the room, mom decided he couldn't come home. It was horrible for him and me....she said he was cray, and she couldn't live with him anymore, she now claims he was abusing her. He went to rehab, and I moved him into an ASL near me, mom lived an hour a way. She visited him 1 or 2 times a week, they talk daily. Two years ago when new management took over the ASL I moved dad closer to mom, 40 min from me (I realize it was- big mistake moving him so far from me), she was complaining about her drive to him then. Dad is 92, dresses himself, takes his OTC meds, has shower help, reads NY times daily and never complains, in fact thru all he wanted mom to be happy. L Dad now has a supa pubic catheter, uses a walker for neurologically impaired. Mom is 88 complains to me non stop, every ache,pain, and everything else bad I hear. This winter she had vertigo, she is jealous of all with "well" husbands. Every week I spend 1day with dad and his doctors, another doing errands for mom, and the third is lunch either or both. I've had 2 spinal surgeries, some permanent nerve damage to arm and foot, and I have a great deal of pain, I use a cane some of the time. DH found out Tuesday that he's going into the hospital on Monday for angiogram and stent. I was talking to doctors on his behalf when mom called. When I called back she said how he could have done this and not pushed it on to me, I said he's my husband, I want to do it, she said that I have enough on my plate he should have made his own calls. Yesterday I took her to a doctor, I take dad and make all his appointments. My DH had 1 heart attack, has one stent, is a diabetic, and has renal issufiency, moms attitude is that's it's horrible, but feels his unhealthy eating, did it, so he did all to himself. DH is very good to my parents, his parents are deceased, but I was very good to them too. As a child I looked for her approval, but never got it, never had that " look", I was and am over weight, and couldn't wear cloths like a model, or like she does. Last summer mom decided to move...I was busy most of the summer, first apartments, them independent living. Now again she wants to look. I don't want another summer ruined, we have a pool, I want to enjoy it. Mom will not move where dad is, which is better for dad. Her closest friend moved to ASL last year with her husband. Mom found out thru a different friend that her friend is happy there, her friend never tells mom she's happy. When they go to lunch, her friend rushes home, mom thiught she was depressed. I think her friend is afraid for mom to move where she is, they have been friends for 65 yrs, use to spend 3 days a week together, they were like sisters. I just started on an antidepressant, I'm depressed, but also feel very frightened of my future, I never want my daughters to go through what I'm doing for my parents. I feel as though I have nothing but being dependent in my future, I'm 59, and do have some serious medical problems. My daughters are 29, they help me with my parents, but for sure I don't want this to be their responsibility. I feel as though my parents are ruining my life, mom will not move to same facility as dada, she refuses to sleep over, she makes us drive her and pick her up, in traffic it can be 2 hours and bring her home, sometimes my SIL takes her. The holidays are coming I wrong to say if you don't stay here, you won't be at dinner? Dad I have to pick up, but mom won't drive to him because she is scared to drive at dark so two would have to go on return trip. Oh when mon looks at independent, or assisted living for herself she plans on getting a 1 bedroom apartment, and wants to buy all new furniture, because hers is old. Dad has a tiny room, I bought him bookshelves at ikea, a bench at homegoods, the rest is from the place, he shares a bathroom and kitchenette. When mom looked at places last year I was embarresed by her expressions of disgust when she didn't like something, like the old looking disabled residents. I told her to judge a book not by it's cover, but what's inside. I then told her that I always knew she didn't approve of me, that she never would have wanted me as a friend....she agreed! She later said she wasn't prepared for me to say this, I told her as a child I felt she was embarresed by me, she told me how sorry she was, that it was her problem how she use to hate heavy people. Of course later on she said it was my fault, and that I caught her off guard.. But said she's different now...unfortunately she isn't, only difference is she wants me around for my help. I told her how she use to go out to lunch 5days a week, but never invited me to join her until I was married, before it was only on my birthday. I told her she has to place less importance on looks...she has not changed! Mean while I'm busy with her and my dad, when she gave me dad she said he was ruining the few good years she had left....I feel as they are ruining my life. I have one brother, he came in for a day October 2012 the last time, he lives 41/2 hours by car, retired in dec, has been to Europe 2 times, is now in Florida looking for a new home. ( as a child, and adult, he had the look she wanted), my husband and I don't have the look, neither do my daughters who she accepts and loves, she was/ is a good grandmother. I don't know how I can do less, but the are ruining my life, and giving me nothing but the horrors of old age to look forward to.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb

Deleted by author...with apology.

This post was edited by Gwarstong on Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 13:21

RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb

Well, that's a pretty mean response, gwarstrong. A kinder person would have satisfied him/herself with just the last three sentences.

Ilene: frankly, in your shoes I would gladly help mother move. To another state. She sounds like a classic narcissist and will never change. It doesn't sound like you get anything good from your relationship with her; I would minimise contact with her. She may bad-mouth you, but she does anyway, so what's the difference?

RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb

I apologize, retract, and retreat.

RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb

Hi, Ilene.

You have certainly been a glutton for punishment.

You are also good at owning other peoples' problems. If you have decided to become more self protective now and enjoy your pool and give more necessary attention to your husband, good for you.

You are the one that will suffer if you don't slow down a bit and take better care of yourself and DH.

There are social workers that can come to the assistance of your Mom if you are unable. You can make a referral to the Office of Aging in the county your mother lives in if you are no longer able to meet her needs.

Definitely, you have the right to be the the one to decide how much and what you are able and willing to do for anyone. If your Dad is nicer to you, it is understandable that you would more easily be able to help him out--and your DH is the person you will need to lean on when you need help, so you certainly want to care for him!

If you are still willing to have your Mom visit for the holidays, of course you have the right to set the terms-overnight or whatever. She's probably not going to have the good grace to appreciate anything you do in any case.

You could be in for a surprise, though. As you begin to set firm limits and boundaries with her, she may beghin to show you more respect. Justy don't hold your breath on that.

By the way, imo you express yourself very well. Some of us have just been so mangled by misguided English teachers that we can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to composition.

If you still have problems with any of the above, give a copy of what you have written to a counselor and he or she will see very clearly how to support your move toward greater assertiveness. With the new health insurance we all now have, there will be more access to counseling for this sort of thing. It's easy to let one's family pull one down, especially in stressful times and by invoking undesired guilt.

RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb


Been there. You must set boundaries with your mother. If she wants to move, she must find a new place by herself. If she wants to come to dinner, she must follow your guidelines. You MUST stop allowing yourself to be a doormat. If she wants you to do something, you name your conditions.

Your mother may or may not come around. There is nothing you can do about her decisions. They are hers, not yours. Removing yourself from the situation is extremely difficult but it must be done. Take care of yourself, your DH and your family.
Enjoy your summer and your family.

Again, it sounds as though this is a life long pattern and it will be difficult to break. You must do it, though, for your health and happiness. Again-been there.

Check back and let us know how you are doing.



People under stress frequently talk and write in long, run-on sentences. It is a sign of how stressful Ilene's situation is. Some compassion would have been a kinder response.

RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb

DH is out of the hospital, he now has two stents in an artery (LAD), also known as widow maker. First stent had to be reinserted, new one was placed in another area. I have to talk to doctor to understand things better.

As for mom, I try to set boundaries, but the guilt I feel is horrible. Having DH home is a plus! I will "make"mom sleep over this holiday season,,,,regardless of her wishes.

Thanks for responding...,

RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb


Your mother knows you feel guilty and she is exploiting that to manipulate you. Do not give in. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

Just remember-if your mother stays for the holidays, you will have her with you 24/7. Make sure to plan an outing or two for yourself. Without her.

And she will get worse as she sees her tactics are no longer working. Just wait it out.

My best to your DH.


RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb

Most communities have Family Services or Senior Services. Make an attempt to get someone (professionally trained) to help you with your overall situation. No fee, they get their money from government grants, etc.

Also, see if there is a caregiver's support group. It might be through a local hospital. Or check with a local Adult Day Care center and see if they have any referrals.

Don't do it all on your own.


RE: I'm new here, but not to gardenweb

Hope you are doing better.

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