Anyone Dealing With Elderly Parent Who Is Difficult ?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TxSongBird, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. TxSongBird

    TxSongBird New Member

    I am the sole adult child of a elderly Mother who is almost 78 years old and is not considered incompetent or senile, but very difficult to say the least. She is in perfect health and has a home that has been paid for, medical insurance and even long term care insurance, but is so negative and bitter about everything and everyone. I am so stressed out by this daily barage of phone calls from her ranting and raving about everything from her water bill to the neighbor next door that I could scream. I have tried to sit her down and talk to her about her negativity in a nice way, but she screams at me and then plays the fat card on me all the time. Any advice from those who might be dealing with the same issues as me.

  2. RENA0909

    RENA0909 New Member

    Hi TX
    I can understand exactly how you feel.My father is 86 and in a nursing home.He was an awful father to me and my 7 siblings(who will not visit him).
    I am the only one to go and see him and it out of duty not love but he is such a cantankerous old bugger that I feel as though I want to cry and scream sometimes.

    He is nasty to the staff in the home and goes on as if he is paying a million pounds to stay there and he says is keeping them in employment!!Especially if they do not rush to his room right away!!

    I thank god the staff are ssooo understanding because he is such hard work that I dread going in to see him.My hubby is very good coming with me at weekends and also going in to see him during the week if I am not well.

    I wish you luck for the future in your plight.I can offer no advice because I have tried ignoring his moods or tried changing the subject and nothing works.
    My family connot understand how I can visit but I could not stop now he is to old.

    Red Wine helps me a lot!!! lol

    Best wishes Rena

  3. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    You need to insist on some boundaries with your Mom.

    I would simply tell her, if you are going to compain now, I want you to call me back when you are in a better mood (do stay calm when you say this), say 'goodby' and hang up the phone.

    If you do this a few times, she will get the message.

    My daughter just lately told me I have been using bad language and I have been very negative. Well actually I was shocked at her telling me this.

    I did not realize what I was saying or that I was being so negative. I have had what the doctor called; 'situational depression' for some months now, and it seems to have caused this change in my attitude/personality normally I do not do this. I was not aware that I was doing it actually untill she told me. I have been having mega problems lately, and was simply saying too much to her in the wrong way.

    Since then, I do pay attention to what I am saying before I speak!

    As for too many phone calls, limit her to as many as you feel confortable with, BUT be sure to tell her you will hang up if she insist on being so negative.

    No, I do not call my daughter all day long, in fact she calls me when she has time to talk, not the other way around.

    Good luck to you, and your Mom. No doubt her complaining got to be a bad habit, and you will have to set the boundaries to stop her from doing this with you anyway.


  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    There is a book called, "Boundaries," and it is really good. I had a very sweet and loving Mother and I miss her so much now that she is gone. Older people often don't realize the stress they put on their kids. Calling their children a lot, being negative, expecting their children to do what they are capable of doing may all just be cries for attention. Like children, if they can't get attention from positive behavior, they will get it any way they can.

    My Mom knew how to push my buttons and one day in the car, when I was feeling particularly sick, I broke down and cried. She then knew she had gone too far. I've talked to others with older parents and most said their parents will "needle" them and try to push their buttons too. I think it just breaks up their boredom. I don't think they would do it if they knew what it does to us and the relationship.

    I am also an only child and my Mom smothered me instead of making a life of her own. I was so happy when she remarried later in life but my stepdad didn't live long.

    Now, I try to help my Mom's best friend down here and she is difficult for her own kids and me too sometimes. Again, she is so sweet and I love her but she is stubborn. I went to the doc with her as the doc wanted her med schedule to change and she changed one med. I spent a long time typing up the new schedule for her daughter up North and putting the pills in four daily boxes so she could take them when they were due. I thought it was foolproof. Well, I was wrong. She is hell bent on sticking to the old schedule and took pills out of her bottles, which I told her not to open, and put some in the boxes. That would have meant overdosing. Good thing I checked. I took her to the airport to go up North for the summer on Thurs. She exhausts me. She truly should not be living by herself but her kids don't seem particularly worried that she isn't even capable of managing her own meds. I want to shake them, but I digress...

    Older people, and your Mom really isn't that old, often get more difficult as time goes on. Set some boundaries but do it in the most loving way you can. Reward your Mom for her good behavior so she sees how her behavior determines how you react to her. Best of luck.

    Love, Mikie
  5. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Gee I wonder if I used to live next door to your mom? She sounds exactly like a neighbor I had last year. On the one hand full of life yet so darn critical of everyone and everything, running everyone's lives etc. She had no idea how she came across. She even complained that her MIL had been exactly like the mom on Raymond, yet she could not see she was exactly like the mom on Raymond herself.

    She was just dandy while she got her own way.

    We have a dad with Alzheimers/dementia??? not sure which and this can be hard to watch him decline and he can be stubborn. My mom went the same way, but neither of them are mean spirited.

    Despite her age, I would treat her as you would anyone else verbally abusing you. Just say "I refuse to be treated this way mom. When you can treat me with respect, we can maintain a relationship, but otherwise you are going to cut yourself off from your only child. The choice is with you. You may need medical help to deal with this, see how you are, and I am willing to get this for you, but I cannot be abused this way."

    I bet your mom has always been controlling now she has an ace card to play with age. My MIL is nearly 80 and she just came by to collect our son to take him swimming with her, she is a poet and so nice, never plays the age card although she has RA. So uyour mom is just abusing you because she knows she can.

    Love Anne Cromwell and big hugz for putting up wiht this tyrant.
  6. rmc20021

    rmc20021 New Member

    my mother and I aren't even talking right now and we are actually in a legal battle. I bought a house 3 years ago and when I found out my husband was cheating on me, before I started a divorce, I put my house over into her name (the home is paid for). Now she won't give it back without me paying her 30,000.00!!! There is no talking to her...gotta be her way or no way. She has been so mean to me, told me she wasn't my mother any more, made nasty comments about a friends grandkids who are part african american, calling them half breeds....just a whole lot of nasty, negative comments. I've even considered getting a restraining order against her because the last time we went to court she told me she was going to 'get me'. It's been awful and out of my control to do anything about it. I can't just let her take my home away from me cause it's all I have to support me in the future. It kills me that I've lost my mother, but I don't know what else to do....and I have no suggestions for you. Just wanted to let you know there's others dealing with the same issues.
    Good luck.
  7. designingwoman

    designingwoman New Member

    I live with my mom, but that may change quite soon. My mother's father was impossible and now my mom is exactly like him. She's only 64 but acts like she's 80. Not a good word about ANYTHING. I do think she is depressed and that is a lot of the problem. And now, so am I. She's mad at the whole world right now and not speaking--it's been so nice! If you need anyone to talk to, feel free to contact me.
  8. lana33

    lana33 New Member

    My mom died in 2002. But from the time I was about 14 she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She took me on a roller coaster ride from that time until she died. This may sound harsh to say about my mom but it is true.

    I went away when I was 18. But constantly got reports about her condition. She had about 10 good years when she did not have to be hospitalized and she stayed stable for long periods of time.

    When I got married, my husband always said I should be more compassionate because my mom had a mental illness. He really thought she did not know what she was doing. But she was aware of her behavior even if she couldn't always control it.

    The biggest problem with me and my mom was that she was always criticizing me or nagging me. I was not a bad kid and whatever she would tell me to do when I was a teenager, I would do it.

    But she decided to let me do or go places she really did not approve of and then later nag me about why I chose to do or go to these places. As an adult she just mostly tried to make me feel inadequate. Even when I went in to labor with my only child, she was in the room with me and began saying how bad she had it when I was born and how good I had it.

    I really believe that my medical problems are half her fault looking back on it. I was never able to keep her out of my life. I would have had it just as hard anyways because the rest of the family would have kept me on a guilt trip. My mom was not that old when she died. She was 66.

    I understand totally what you are going through.


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