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  Old  September 14th, 2011, 11:22pm     #1
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My mother is making me nuts
Ok my mom hasn't been the same since my dad passed and I do not blame her a bit because I would be insane if my husband passed but my dad passed 8 years ago and I can't help but think that after that length of time I would be a little bit more "ok" maybe not.
My mom has moved no less than 7 times during that time and has gone through 5 different vehicles.
This last move she decided to "move to Arizona" to get away and get perspective.....that lasted three weeks, now she is in our little guest house out back and I am going insane. She is in the main house with us all the time. I have set limits but she keeps breaking them.
This woman and I have never gotten along BUT I made a promise to my father on his death bed that I would "take care of her. Brother and sister have completely bailed and will only
come over if she isn't here.
Going crazy here.
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  Old  September 14th, 2011, 11:38pm     #2
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I only wish my mother were around to drive me crazy...she passed in 2002 (RIP)

I say let her drive you crazy and enjoy it ...while ya can!

NOT ONE PERSON IS PERFECT...WE ARE ALL FLAWED IN SOME WAY
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 12:03am     #3
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Originally Posted by mamafairal View Post
I only wish my mother were around to drive me crazy...she passed in 2002 (RIP)

I say let her drive you crazy and enjoy it ...while ya can!
Yep, I agree with that.
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 3:28am     #4
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Ouch! Sorry to hear that ..... as to other responders ... I know I'll miss my mom when she is gone but she is a VERY difficult person to get along with. (Not just to me, but to everybody). It would be very hard to have her in a situation like that, though I also would do it if required.

I hope things get better and she either respects the bounderies you have set or finds a new situation .... good luck!
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 4:46am     #5
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Not sure this will help, but it sounds like your dm needs something to keep her mind busy. If she is old enough, you might try to see if there is a Senior Citizen Center she might can go to during the day. My dm goes to one and she has lots of fun. You also might see if she is interested in doing any volunteer work like at the hospital, or maybe a food bank somewhere. I know it has been 8 years, but it sounds like she is having a very hard time finding something to do with her life, and is lonely, and has not found the thing she needs to cope with this. I hope you find a solution quick. Sometimes depression can cause people to act in strange ways. Like you said, you yourself might be insane if you were in her shoes. Just sit her down and have a heart to heart talk with her if you can. Maybe she can tell you what she is feeling. The last thing you need to do is give up on her like her other children have. I know, mothers can be a pain sometimes, but I would go to the moon and back for mine if I could, and sometimes I feel like I have these last few years.
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 4:46am     #6
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I kinda like the changing locks idea. If nothing else, it will allow her to see that you are REALLY serious about those boundaries! We often let our loved ones slide on issues like that and they get used to that status quo. When my parents got divorced (late in life), mom got her own place, but thought the transition to living alone would be easier if she came to stay with me for a couple of weeks. Even though I lived in a one bedroom apartment, I was glad for the chance to give back. FOUR MONTHS LATER...ArrrrrrGH plus!

Since she didn't work, she spent a lot of time rearranging, or just plain replacing my furniture (since I was sleeping on the pullout, getting a queen-sized couch was cool, I just wished I'd had a chance to help choose it), pictures, "updating" my wardrobe - from minis to maxi's, etc. etc. And things besides clothes went to Goodwill, too. Things I treasured. She always cooked...never her long suit and while she said it was fine if I stayed overnight at my BF's place, the next day I'd be greeted with a tragic face, long sighs -- she did everything, but wear black!

It took about a year before I could bring all of that up with her, but once I did we laughed for hours. And I'd go though those four months again for even an hour of sharing laughter with her now.
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 8:33am     #7
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I feel for her. You know,if you change the locks,she will probably just stand at your door and knock,or ring the bell...If you dont answer,she may call you until you do...either aloud or by phone...Maybe several times a day.

She probably already feels locked out of her other 2 childrens lives,and the loss of her husband,even so long ago,has obviously shaken her to her core.

Maybe some sort of counseling for her,or both of you,would be in order...I think your Mother feels lost and is adrift...Grieving is a hard thing,and there is no time limit to it...No right or wrong...Be patient.Have compassion...This is your Mom...G-d Bless you for not abandoning her....You won't have her forever.
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 8:36am     #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamafairal View Post
I only wish my mother were around to drive me crazy...she passed in 2002 (RIP)

I say let her drive you crazy and enjoy it ...while ya can!
I know this isn't the answer you were looking for but I agree with Mamafairal 100%. And before you think I don't understand -my MIL lived with us for 25 years. And yes she did drive me bonkers sometimes-but there hasn't been a day since she passed that I haven't thought about her and missed her.
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 8:59am     #9
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No don't change the locks..she is lonely and needs some hobbies and a group of friends to go and do stuff with. I lost my mother also and wish she was knocking on my door. Help her find some friends, maybe even a man friend and she will be occupied



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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 9:28am     #10
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i have to agree with others lost my Mom in 2003 -still miss her every day enjoy here while she is still with ya

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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 10:03am     #11
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No solutions for you, just hugs.

My mom's husband died in 2005 and since then she is flakier and more unreliable than ever before and has become a hoarder and an alcoholic. I dread the day she loses her house and her job and thinks she's moving in here.
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 10:41am     #12
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brightstarr and pookiekake have given you excellent advice.

Your mother is clearly lonely and living without purpose or direction. Your father's death set her adrift, and she hasn't yet figured out how to create a new life for herself. She doesn't have a partner or children who need her, and everyone wants to feel useful and needed.

IMHO, the worst thing you could do would be to change the locks. You might as well slap her in the face; I can only imagine how painful it would be for an already depressed, lonely women to find that her own daughter has literally slammed the door and shut her out of your life.

I think the best thing for both of you would be:
  1. - Get your mom to a doctor for a complete physical. Tell the doctor beforehand that you believe she is suffering from depression. There very well may be an underlying physical or chemical cause for all the behavioral changes you've seen.
  2. - Get your mom involved in activities where she can connect to others, make new friends and feel needed. Don't expect her to do the research or find the groups on her own; if she could, she would have done so by now. Just do it for her, and give her all the information about a bunch of local organizations. If you can, just sign her up for a bunch of stuff and let the groups follow up with her.
  3. - Volunteer work is a great idea for your mother. Again, do the research for her -- in every community there are opportunities to help in many ways. I'd stay away from things such as hospitals and nursing homes right now; while they surely need help, I think your mom would benefit more from being around people who are full of vitality and curiosity. And those opportunities do exist, everything from leading tours at the local museum to reading to kids in schools and libraries.
  4. - If she has any religious or political affiliation, get her involved in local groups. If you tell her to call, she probably won't, but you can give her name & number to leaders at the local organizations and tell them to call her.
  5. - A lot of people now join groups to participate in what were once solo hobbies. There are knitting circles, quilting groups, book reading groups, etc. springing up all over the country. See what's available near you that matches up with your mom's interests.
  6. - Even if she isn't one for "exercise," she might benefit from involvement in a walking group. They are everywhere, and provide both movement and social connections.
  7. - Look into some hobby and craft related classes for her. If she doesn't already have a hobby she loves, she could find one via a class in painting, photography, jewelry making, memoir writing, scrapbooking etc.

I realize that it is a lot of work for you to do all of this research and arranging on behalf of your mother. But face it, at this point, there's no way she's suddenly going to turn around and say, "Hey, remember that choral group you told me about six years ago? I think I'm ready to call them now!"

You need to do it for her right now, to get her started, but once she starts making new friends and connections, she'll be busy, involved, and out of your hair.

But please -- start with a trip to a good doctor who knows how to listen. And don't change those locks.

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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 11:12am     #13
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I love my mom with all of my heart, and yes she and I can drive each other nuts at times, but I think that the op's situation must go beyond that normal back and forth crazy making that most of us experience, as she stated that her brother and sister have already bailed on the situation.

Op, I'm really sorry that you're in the situation. But honestly if mom is financially able to take care of herself and you aren't worried about her being a danger to herself, there is absolutely no reason that she needs to live in your guest house. And I would say the same thing if it were an adult child returning home. If they are physically and mentally healthy and financially stable there is no reason for them to be coming back to live. That kind of situation, unless it's short term and to try and help them get over a temporary set back of some sort, never seems to work out well.
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 12:32pm     #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arouet View Post
I love my mom with all of my heart, and yes she and I can drive each other nuts at times, but I think that the op's situation must go beyond that normal back and forth crazy making that most of us experience, as she stated that her brother and sister have already bailed on the situation.

Op, I'm really sorry that you're in the situation. But honestly if mom is financially able to take care of herself and you aren't worried about her being a danger to herself, there is absolutely no reason that she needs to live in your guest house. And I would say the same thing if it were an adult child returning home. If they are physically and mentally healthy and financially stable there is no reason for them to be coming back to live. That kind of situation, unless it's short term and to try and help them get over a temporary set back of some sort, never seems to work out well.
I agree. If it truly is a toxic relationship and not just an annoyance, you may need to decide if the relationship is worth keeping like you siblings have. You can keep the toxic person at arms lengths (contact only by phone/email) or cut them out of your life for good depending on just how toxic it is. Just because someone is your parent/sibling/relative, it should not require you to keep them in your life if it makes your life miserable or emotionally/physically spent etc or if it is damaging your own relationship with your spouse or children.


ETA: Annulla has some good suggestions to start with but only you know what the real situation is and if the relationship is worth attempting those things or not.
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  Old  September 15th, 2011, 12:39pm     #15
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I would sit down with her and be very direct. She needs a "job" of some kind meaning working at the Senior Center, volunteering with charity or something to occupy her time. She has way too much free time if she is driving all of you crazy. I agree that she needs counseling.

I don't know your situation but I do know about difficult (and abusive) relatives. If you feel you can say it bluntly then something along the lines of she is focusing inward too much and needs to focus outwards and how she can make the world a better place (ie helping less fortunate, tutoring or something that makes her feel her life is productive). If you feel you can, approach the reason why your siblings don't talk to her and how it is disrupting your family and how she can fix these relationships. Of course do this kindly. I am just posting what is popping in my head. Sometimes when you make a plan with someone they feel you are a team and helping them. If she is unwilling then tell her she needs to get help because it is getting to the point that she cannot stay with you guys. Tell her you love her but can't live with her anymore. Maybe the jolt will get her attention and get her out of the negative spiral she is in. Eight years is a very long time for her to be in this negative loop.

As for the comments about appreciate her as she is alive. I agree that we should appreciate family but not family that takes advantage of us. I was "guilted" into tolerating very abusive family members because they were family and I got to the point were I said no more. My life became immensely more positive once I stopped talking to the negative ones. Don't ever let anyone make you feel guilty because someone is "family". There are all kinds of abuse and family members frequently take advantage of/abuse other members and figure you have to take it because they are family. You don't have to put up with that and for those that make you feel guilty they need to see how horrible the abuse/negativity can be.

None of us know your situation in detail and we can only make observations based on our experience. Those that had positive experiences with their moms will post one way others may post another. Only you know how much she can take/hear from you and if/when a counselor is needed. It just seems to me she has way too much free time and needs to have something positive and productive to do in life.

Hope that didn't sound harsh just trying to give you ideas. I will also send a big because I know how hard it is to deal with family members and the guilt thrown on you to work things out.

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