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04/18/2012 12:26 PM

Abusive Elderly Mother...

Kelti
Kelti  
Posts: 4183
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Hello one and all. My name is Kelti and I have been on MDJ for a couple of years now on different forums and have even been group leader for 3 of them. Because of my anxiety disorder, severe, I have had to give up being a leader, as I was becoming quite ill again. I was very sick all of 2011. Doing a little better this year, but not out of the woods yet.

I have a VERY ABUSIVE mother. I chose 2 years ago to just let her go and stay completely away from her because she can make my illness so much worse and she is probably one of the reasons I am mentally ill. My diagnosis is Bipolar I disorder, mixed episodes with Anxiety/Panic disorder. I am disabled because of this and don't work any more. I am in my 60's and my mother is 80 years old.

My older sister and I have to go grocery shopping and go to the pharmacy for mother plus go to the liquor store and take mom to doctor's appts. That is, when she doesn't cancel them on us. She no longer is able to drive because of her bad health. But, there is nothing wrong with her awful abusive mouth and she is giving my sister hell, and has driven sis into therapy. Been there myself for a lot of my years too. My sister takes me with her to run these errands as her therapist has told her not to be alone with mother ever again. When I can't go sis takes her husband with her. It helps to cut down on the abuse if I am there some what but it isn't much of a buffer when sis's hubby goes.

I don't want this to get too long because I want everybody to read this. I will post on the threads when I am up to it. This is all I can write for now. Thanks for reading. See you on the boards,

Kelti.......Sick

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04/18/2012 05:17 PM
Schefflera
Schefflera  
Posts: 4960
Group Leader

Welcome to our group! I'm sorry to hear that your mother is mistreating you.

I think victims of abuse often develop "mental disorders" that are basically symptoms of the abuse. Goodness knows I've been diagnosed with all sorts of things! After I was able to distance myself from my abusive family however, I noticed a lot of my issues melted away. I'm still recovering, but I'm starting to see that basically all of my issues stem from the abuse I suffered as a child and as an adult.

Have you looked into any community programs to help get your mother to appointments/run errands? I know around here we have a special bus that runs around to pick up elderly folks that are unable to drive. I've also heard of groups that have volunteers for this purpose.

It can be difficult to set boundaries with a parent for sure, especially as they get older. However, for your own health, it is important to learn how to set healthy boundaries for sure.

Have you read much about emotional abuse? A lot of the literature out there is geared more towards abusive spouses, but honestly abusive people are motivated by the exact same things.

Check out Healing Your Emotional Self by Engel if you can: http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Your-Emotional-Self-Self- Esteem/dp/0471725676 It is a bit of a workbook-style read but it can really open your eyes as to how from the very beginning your parents can affect your personality with what they do (or don't do).

Another book I always suggest is Divorcing A Parent by Engel. Even if you have no intention of cutting contact with your mother, you should try to read this one. If nothing else, it can give you tips on how to distance yourself emotionally while still caring for her and perhaps understand a bit more about why she does what she does. This book seriously changed my life and is worth every penny.

If money is an issue, don't forget to check your local library (and ask about inter-library loans!). Make sure to actually DO the exercises (write them down! I found that when I read them the first time I didn't get as much out of it when I just "did them in my head" as when I was forced to put it into words). Sometimes I could only read a page or two a day without getting emotional, so don't worry if you find them difficult to read at times. That just means you're hitting on something important Smile


04/19/2012 02:41 AM
cherubc
cherubc  
Posts: 201
Member

Hi Kelti,

You are in the right place. The folks on here are so encouraging and knowledgeable, it is amazing. And it is comforting to have others who understand what we are going through. I hope you have a happy day today. Here's a giant hug for you. OX

CherubC


04/19/2012 05:34 AM
Kelti
Kelti  
Posts: 4183
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Schefflera, thank you for answering my post so quickly. We are calling in Adult Protective Services b/c of Mom's refusal of such serious medical care. We need to find out what all services mom qualifies for and according to the social worker we talked to Mom should qualify for quite a bit.We are also calling the Dept. of Human Services and ask them for help too. If she refuses help we will quit helping her pay her rent and she will just have to go to a nursing home. Now she is screaming at my sister and is calling sis a bit**. Sis told Mom,, yes I M THE QUEEN OF BIT**ES and you better not forget it!! Ha!!. Yesterday on the way to her apt my brother in law finally blew his stack and told her off, drew some boundaries with her and said there would no longer be any rides to the doctor ever again and that they are going to rid themselves of all this evil in their lives and that she was the evil he meant.

Yesterday they found clots in her legs and Mom threw a fit and went off on everybody, drs. included and refused to stay in the hospital to be admitted. This seems so complicated now that I am writing this all out and reading it back to myself. I hope it makes some since. This is hard to write and keep things in the order that they happened. Oh well I bet you are all used to that.

Thank you for the heads up on the books. I will check them out.

cherubc, thank you too for responding. I appreciate all my wonderful supportive people here on MDJ. Check my profile to see what forums I go to.

We are doing groceries for mom today and maybe my presence there will help keep mom off of sis's back. I will not tolerate it one bit and I have kept away from mom for 2 years now when she called the police on me and told them there was an intruder in her house.Honestly, all we are trying to do for mom is the very things she can no longer do for herself and this is how she repays us all? My sister is in therapy beacuse of this. I spent a number of years in therapy myself when I was in my 20 and 30's. I have attended AA since 1991 and some alanon too. My sis needs to get into alanon too. She has never been a support group person, I always have been. I haven't slept all night because of all the stuf that has happened this week with mom. Being bipolar with anxiety does NOT mix well with no sleep. It will be a hard day for me emotionally and psycially too. After we drop off mom's groceries we are going to Marshall's to look at shoes and hand bags and satchels as we call them where I am from (Ireland). Wish me luck and I will check the thread to see if there are any responses and will let you know how the day went. Thanks for taking the time to read all this, Kelti.......


04/19/2012 06:38 AM
Schefflera
Schefflera  
Posts: 4960
Group Leader

Kelti,

I'm very happy to hear that you are talking to social services/adult protective services! This is a great step! It can be pretty daunting to stand up to a parent and tell them you won't "help" them in that state, but think of it this way: By continuing to give in to her demands and subjecting yourself to abuse (and this goes for your sister too), you are only perpetuating the cycle and not doing yourself any good. Your job as an adult is to take care of yourself first. Abuse is like a poison that leaches in to all aspects of your life.

Given how resistant she is to everything, a nursing home probably would be the best thing for her to be quite honest. It could also be the healthiest thing for you to get some space. There is a lot of societal stigma against "not caring for your parents", but if s/he is abusive? That's a totally different ballgame. Try not to be worried about others will "think" because with an abuser, it's completely different. Others may not understand, but what they think isn't important right now. YOU are important. Your sister is important.

Definitely get a hold of Divorcing A Parent first though if you can... Healing Your Emotional Self is a great workbook but I think it helps to read that one later once things are under control. The Emotionally Abused Woman is also a good one to look into (also by Engel).


04/24/2012 04:08 PM
Kelti
Kelti  
Posts: 4183
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Thank you for all of your kind and loving support. I will take it to heart and be even more firm in holding my own boundaries with my mother. Last week when we took her groceries to Mom she started in on how mean my sister was to her last week when sis took her to the doctor and then mom ended up refusing medical help for the clots in her legs. I told her quite firmly I did not buy her story about sis being mean to her, I also told her she better be real nice to sis b/c she is killing herself to take care of her and I told her she was a very ungrateful woman who is going to run her daughters off and then she would be all alone in her self care. She said she didn't give a damn and my sister has me wrapped around her little finger. Not so!!!! I know my mother too well for all that back talk over every little thing. My sister and I will stick together and in time mom is on her way to the nursing home as soon as time will allow it. Mom asked me if I would 'do that to her' and I said in a heartbeat b/c she is so cruel and non compliant to her doctors we have no other choice. She shut up pretty much after that, Tomorrow is Wed. We go for her groceries again and take them to her. I plan to be very businesslike with her. If that doesn't handle her than I will tell her again that things will be on our terms and not her mean abusive way and that is the end of the conversation about it. Nothing works with this woman but I will continue to take up for my sister even if it all falls on deaf ears and darkened heart. if she has one at all.

04/24/2012 05:15 PM
Schefflera
Schefflera  
Posts: 4960
Group Leader

Kelti, how brave you are! Great job establishing some boundaries with her and not buying into her crap about your sister... you know better! Sadly abusers often try to turn us against our allies (or turn our allies against us) in order to make us feel more alone, isolated, or just to shift blame and garner some sympathy for themselves.

Also, you said: "Mom asked me if I would 'do that to her' and I said in a heartbeat..." I just want to clarify that YOU are not "doing that to her" at all. I'm sure if it was up to you, you would have a healthy relationship and help your mother however you could with mutual love and respect between the two of you. However, she was the one who decided to make that arrangement impossible, not you. She made a choice not to make it work, meanwhile you and your sisters bent over backwards to the point of even enduring abuse for who knows how long in attempt to make it work. Her going into a nursing home is a result of HER actions, and you did nothing to make that happen. If a rape victim identifies her attacker in a police line up, is she the one that made him a criminal that has to go to jail? Nope... it's just cause and effect.

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