Mom is a bully, what do I do?

Postby turtleswim » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:17 am

I live with my Mom. She is 77. I am 40. She is bi-polar. She has a thyroid condition. She has sciatica. She has kidney disease. It is hard. I am trained so I know how to help her without getting upset. Still it hurts when she tries to hurt me with words. I just got back from a three day camping trip with friends. The first thing she said when I came home was, "you can be replaced." What she means is she wants me to know that she will evict me anytime for any reason and she does not care if I go homeless. How do I stay positive? I think blogging is an answer. Simply reporting this weird situation online helps to let the world know I am doing my best and yes life is crazy off and on so I better deal with it carefully and mindfully. I know she may try to hurt my feelings. A little music and food helps feel better. I know she does not want me to die. She is suffering a lot from old age. She is taking it out on me. I won't take it personally. I will talk to my therapist and keep blogging. Hopefully tomorrow mom won't evict me. Every day could be eviction day. That is my life. Off and on there are no threats for days or weeks. Then threats come often, daily. Does anybody else out there live with an elderly parent? Any thoughts are appreciated. Between blogging and therapy I can make sure that nobody needs to go homeless or made uncomfortable for no reason.
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#1

Postby cynthialeighton » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:00 pm

turtleswim wrote: Every day could be eviction day.


I encourage you to have a plan so that you are ready to move out and into somewhere safe immediately. For example, a savings account specifically for paying for a motel until you can get your own place may help you feel better about helping your mother by being with her.
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#2

Postby laureat » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:52 pm

I live on a different culture that we don't really move away from our parents, instead we care for them so I don't know exactly of what to say about you I am just telling from my point of view

when people get old they are unpredictable my grandfather is 90+ years old now he keeps insulting my 1 year old daughter , because is old and has no idea what he is talking and I never take that serious

I think it is because old people tend to insult more that is what I hear from people that I know and have experience it may be because old people fear more, they feel powerless, lose intelligence and so

so all that may lead to different nonsense talk that I wouldn't take it seriously from an old man, woman however I would make sure if I am not living their expectations

maybe they want more time to be together
maybe they feel you are not helping or whatever
so all that may create frustration and keep insulting, keep talking nonsense

but if you can manage to help her relax
and you just keep letting her talk and she may tell everything through stories

like she may say something like " I REMEMBER I USED TO RESPECT AND LOVE MY PARENTS " which is somehow a message to you that you should love and respect more

or she may say like " I DID THIS MISTAKE , I DID THAT MISTAKE " is almost like a message to you that you shouldn't do the same

so you start to understand what she wants, even though you may have no time to live all her expectations but try to understand some of that so you have a clear idea whats the problem
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#3

Postby 2scents » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:30 pm

Both great replies...from practical to traditional...all valid. Is she on medications that make outbursts more/less.

I am a bit ornary, and in caring for elderly-would be quick witted back...with

"I missed you too, Mom."

Not take her quips too seriously.

She likes the reaction she gets out of you. She wants you to still "need" her too in her world.

Dunno if you called from your 3day trip to check on her, or do anything to make your being gone any "easier"/ special.

Not sure, just ideas...you know her personality best.

All the best to you, you sound like a hero to me...
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#4

Postby johnarkad » Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:16 pm

almost all old person is like that, they become like kids again. They need attention and love.
Even if everyday is like eviction day to her to you everyday can be valentines day.

Don't worry if we do good things to our parents your children will do good things to you when your old.
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#5

Postby turtleswim » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:15 pm

Thanks for the responses. It means a lot to me. I will surely keep blogging. Off and on a blog thread goes a bit sour. This one is full of generosity and compassion. I really thought Mom was evicting me so I called a crisis line. They listened and we agreed that this is a family therapy situation. I went to her door and asked very simple logical analytical questions; are you angry? why? what can i do for you? Then she answered that I should clean my bathroom more. A calm mind can help an upset mind to return to serenity. Thanks. :)
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#6

Postby cynthialeighton » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:37 pm

turtleswim wrote: I really thought Mom was evicting me so I called a crisis line. They listened and we agreed that this is a family therapy situation. I went to her door and asked very simple logical analytical questions; are you angry? why? what can i do for you? Then she answered that I should clean my bathroom more. A calm mind can help an upset mind to return to serenity. Thanks. :)


I'm glad you called for help and that they were able to guide you to find a solution. It did not occur to me that your Mom was upset about something specific that she was unable or unwilling to let you know. Brilliant!
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#7

Postby JuliusFawcett » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:19 pm

You're doing a great job, you know it is not personal, and you are getting great training in patience. You are inspirational :)
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#8

Postby turtleswim » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:26 pm

Thanks for the complement. Power in numbers. When everybody in the house puts out an effort to keep things calm, the overall result is a calm house where no one individual has the sole responsibility of keeping things calm!! Carpe-diem
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#9

Postby JuliusFawcett » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:33 pm

You can't be responsible for other people's happiness, you are only ever responsible for your response to any stimuli.
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#10

Postby turtleswim » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:09 am

Thanks Julius that's a smart point. Mom has a hard time on holidays. Her anxiety goes up. She's been morbid for a couple days. She's afraid her health is going to spiral downward. It's hard to process some things she says. She said tonight, "If you don't take me to the doctor tomorrow, don't come back," meaning if I don't do whatever she wants, I have to move out. I can help her within reason. I will like you say be responsible with myself and my response to Mom's words.
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#11

Postby JuliusFawcett » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:40 pm

The don't come back stuff - It's only power and control
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#12

Postby turtleswim » Wed May 17, 2017 12:41 am

Not take her quips too seriously.

That is a helpful quote. "Quips" feels like "whips" or "daggers of the mind" off and on. She does a lot of shaming. Shame on you for eating food. Shame on you for this. Shame on you for that. Today she said, "I want you to grow up." "You are not a man." Then she complained that I ate her baked potato which she had given to me earlier. I will do my best to not take verbal abuse seriously. I can assess levels of dangerousness. Often her words feel like simple challenges. I glean what I can, filter what needs filtering and keep moving. I guess she thinks I'm still a child. I know I will always be growing so that comment can be seen as frustration over change. I do have a car so I guess I could pack up and leave if I have to. Meanwhile I will do my best to listen to Mom and be proactive. I will also blog a lot when I need to to catch up with how things are going. All I want to do is finish grad school, work on my career and keep a healthy distance from a bi-polar Mom who has a full plate of personal issues like psyatica, bi-polar disorder, kidney disease and hypothyroidism.
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#13

Postby angelal » Tue May 23, 2017 3:14 pm

I would move out. Yes, she is your mother and yes, you love her. But nothing in this world is worth losing your sanity from emotional and mental abuse.
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#14

Postby tashlentine » Wed May 24, 2017 7:05 pm

JuliusFawcett wrote:You're doing a great job, you know it is not personal, and you are getting great training in patience. You are inspirational :)


Agreed! I'm not sure I could handle your situation without having a breakdown - you are doing an amazing job of handling an extremely difficult, unpleasant and painful situation.

cynthialeighton wrote:I encourage you to have a plan so that you are ready to move out and into somewhere safe immediately. For example, a savings account


This is a really good idea. I don't know your financial situation, but having a cushion to fall back on will work wonders for your peace of mind. I went through a phase of listening to a bunch of personal finance podcasts a little while ago when I was working a job I hated and wasn't sure how I could leave, and they reckoned the golden number to save for is three months worth of rent and living expenses. It's a lot of money, I know, but I think the peace of mind you'll get from knowing it's there will help to pull you through some of the really testing times knowing that you aren't totally screwed if everything blows up in your face. Even if you don't use it, just knowing that it's there if you need it will make you feel better

Blogging is a great idea - other people may get some value and comfort from finding out they're not the only one dealing with a situation similar to yours, and I always find that writing things down is incredibly therapeutic for me (hence my absurdly long posts in this place!) so hopefully it has a similar affect on you - just getting your feelings out in the open is much healthier than bottling them up, and having things written on paper/screen for me, anyway, helps me see situations a lot more clearly and stops me from spiralling.

[EDIT: having things written down also serves as a record, so if you encounter a situation you're not sure how to deal with, you can look back over previous times when something similar has happened and remind yourself of what worked, or what didn't, which can really help you get past difficult times more easily, and faster]

Good luck and stay strong! You got this. :D
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