Elderly mother driving me crazy! Sisters not helping.

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Elderly mother driving me crazy! Sisters not helping.

Post by sisu » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:42 pm

My mother has done it again. She gave her landlord notice to leave 6 months ago and then did nothing to find a new place. The last time she did this was 2 years ago and I came in at the last minute and found her an amazing apt in her price range that she hated from day one. She never unpacked and told everyone how much she hated the place (instead of thanking me for getting her out of a bind). She just moved out and is staying in an extended stay motel until she finds a place and has her stuff in storage (which is going to get expensive). She is 76 and lost her job 2 years ago and has never recovered from it (even though she hated her job and wanted to retire for years). She is depressed and did nothing for the past two years but sit in her place and read and complain about her apt. She has no friends and no interests and has gotten more and more negative over the years. I told my sisters I will not help her this time since all she did was resent me for trying to help her the last time. The problem is my two sisters have kids and don't have the time to help her find a place (that she will ultimately wind up hating), and their lives are totally chaotic too.

My issue is that my sisters have a different relationship to my mom than I do and don't see that my mom has a serious mental issue, especially now that she's older and is getting worse with age. My mom has always resented me and has been jealous of me because I'm the black sheep of the family. I didn't drink the Kool Aid. My mother has always been a miserable martyr since she and my dad divorced 30 years ago and I've always been her therapist and have tried to make her happy. My sisters did not play that role in her life but despite my efforts, I'm always the bad guy, because I tried to change her / make her happy. My father was also a narcissist but he played a lesser role in my life. I didn't realize till recently that my mom is also a narcissist and probably has Borderline Personality Disorder too.

My sisters refuse to call my mom out on her craziness and irrationality and get upset with me when I bring up the subject or confront my mom. My mom hates confrontation and is very passive aggressive. When I call her out she gets angry and projects onto me. My mom needs to see a therapist and get on some anti depressants and probably needs to see a doctor about possible dementia, but she doesn't think she has a problem. She also has a bum knee that's been hurting since 2013 but has not seen a doctor about it. I think she just likes to complain and make excuses rather than be happy. She always says she'll make the appointment but never does. She will listen to my sisters but they just say that mom is an adult and can make her own decisions (even though those decisions are totally irrational and are going to cost her a lot of money). My husband and friends and therapist all think I am making the right decision to go greyrock on her but I just feel guilty that now my sisters have to deal with her by themselves and they don't really have the time to. I'm also angry that I'm always the bad guy and no one in my family understands the magnitude of this problem. I am the only one in my family who has ever gone to counseling and who realizes the major dysfunction in my family.

I guess I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening. :(

Beth McHugh
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

Re: Elderly mother driving me crazy! Sisters not helping.

Post by Beth McHugh » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:45 am

Hi Sisu,
It's great that you have been seeing a therapist and you have support in this situation. Although you are prepared to go greyrock, you seem to be unwittingly transferring many of your mother's thoughts and beliefs about you onto your sisters. You recognise you are the black sheep, and that your mother won't change. So have a trial of stepping back from "fixing" you mother and just watch from the sidelines. Either your mother will approach you to help her, or she will approach your sisters. You feel guilty about putting your sisters in this situation but maybe this will be a learning experience for them. Since they won't listen to you, maybe they will listen to your mother when she becomes stubborn. Or perhaps they will walk away, knowing you will step in. This where you need to be strong. Keep in touch with your therapist if you need assistance in getting through this situation. It won't be easy as you've spent your life trying to please your mother but you can do it! If you need additional help you can contact me by clicking on the main website link above.
I wish you the best of luck, you are on the right path for a better life. Look after yourself and step back -- you'll receive no thanks for bending over backward and you have reached a point in therapy where you realise that.

Best wishes,
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

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