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Care for elderly mother - Page 2 -Carers UK Forum

Care for elderly mother

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Amanda, it is important to realise that no one can be forced to care for anyone else.

As a stranger reading your message, I can identify with some of what you have written.

My own mum was hugely demanding. I know she had health issues, but she seemed to think that gave her the right to demand things from others. One day, she found out her cousin was coming to visit. Her kitchen flooring was worn, she had some new that she wanted laying before the cousin visited. She wanted me to empty out all her kitchen units, remove the kitchen units from the room, lay the flooring, put the kitchen units back, and refill them, in just four days!!!

I left the house crying, saying I couldn't do it. Mum's response "Well that's the way I want it done!"

Finally, some time later, I had counselling, wish I'd had it years ago. The counsellor changed my life, by pointing out that I wasn't a little girl any more, didn't have to be "good" by never saying no to mum. I could do as much, or as little, as I wanted. It was up to me to decide what I would, or would not do; to decide my priorities in my own life. My disabled son came first, as he couldn't speak up for himself, mum didn't like me telling her this, but she understood why. Most important of all was my right to some "Me Time".
Amanda, what DID you come here for then? If you just want people to say 'oh gosh, I don't know how you put up with it!' then fine - if you, as I say, deliberately and consciously CHOOSE to spend time on your mother, then it IS your choice, but then you really, as I say, have no grounds to 'moan' about her, have you?

Each of us has our own moral code - and you are perfectly free to have yours. Mine happens to be that if we do not stand up to 'bad people' then 'bad people' win. If we 'indulge' selfish, narcissistic people - indulge them not because we are too cowed and browbeaten to dare to stand up to them, but because we CHOOSE to do so - then we are simply colluding with their 'badness' (ie, in the case of NP, their ruthless selfishness and exploitativeness).

I found it interesting that you regarded 'standing up' to your mother as being 'narcissistic' yourself. That is not so. You would simply be rejecting her selfishness and refusing to collude with it.

In the end, we get the behaviour we put up with. As I've said, my sympathy is for those who do not DARE to stand up to a bullying parent, and those people will continue to have my sympathy and support to help them, I would very much hope, find the courage and resolve to walk away from the exploitation and bullying.

This doesn't mean that a parent becomes 'uncared for' - because in this country we have the option on paying people to do the caring, or, if there is insufficient funds, then the state will provide the funds for that professional care.

If your own personal moral code is that you should 'return evil with good' (or however the phrase goes!) (ie, that however appallingly your mother behaves to you, you will still continue to look after her), then that is entirely your choice, and you are entitled to it. I think, personally, it's the wrong choice, for the reasons I mentioned above - that it becomes collusion - but it is your choice to make. And to take the consequences thereof.
I'm sure, however ,your strength is your saving grace and putting your feelings into words on forum helps. I rant sometimes, and have woe is me times. By telling your feelings of the day you help others, what ever the circumstances. My take on the forum! It's certainly been my saving grace.
Interesting concept that I find it impossible to say no to my mother. I'm sure all my family would be amused to think she 'browbeats' me!
Quite frankly I obviously have no place in a forum that thinks the only way to be a carer of a narcissistic mother is to be a timid little soul with no ability to stand up for themselves.
Caring isn't a "one size fits all" situation. No two situations are alike, and I find it interesting to see how many different views and solutions are given for any one problem. It's a bit like bringing up baby, read all the books and choose the one that seems to fit your views the best.

However, you were the one that wrote, about yourself that...."I have lost count of the number of times I have come home either literally screaming in my car to try and get rid of the frustration, or the inevitable crying!"

Neither screaming in the car or crying are signs that you are coping well with caring. They are signs that you are NOT coping. Isn't this why you came to the forum in the first place?
Amanda, when you wrote your riposte to what you called my 'rant' (I get angry FOR the carers being so badly treated by ungrateful, demanding, abusive, selfish mothers - and that was not just yours, but Jennifers as well, remember), I initially thought that maybe your mother had written it!

If you read your original posts, and then that one, you will see a complete difference - it's very, very marked. It's like two different people have posted.....

With your latest post you say:

"Interesting concept that I find it impossible to say no to my mother. I'm sure all my family would be amused to think she 'browbeats' me!
Quite frankly I obviously have no place in a forum that thinks the only way to be a carer of a narcissistic mother is to be a timid little soul with no ability to stand up for themselves."

OK - she isn't 'browbeating' you - I never said she was. I said my sympathy was for those sons and daughters who ARE browbeaten and don't DARE to stand up to your mum.

You CHOOSE NOT TO stand up to her and CHOOSE NOT TO insist on being treated with proper human consideration and respect that we owe ANY other human being, let alone deploring her lack of maternal affection for you! What would it cost her to be polite, to be appreciative of what you do, to say 'Amanda, darling daughter, thank you SO much for all you do - you're a wonderful daughter and I am so grateful for your care of me!'??? It would cost her NOTHING to say that to you.

I say again, what DID you come here for? I completely agree you have every right not to come here for 'advice' on how to manage the situation 'better', as you don't think, as you have every right not to think!, that you wish it to be different. You are simply, as Pet indicated, 'stating the case'. That's fine, and if that brings satisfaction to you, great. If you don't want the situation to change, then you don't want it to change.

Most people who join the forum DO want the situation to change - including changing THEMSELVES and how they manage the care situation, when there is a 'hostile dynamic' so to speak in the relationship between carer and caree. But if you are not one of them, then so be it.

But, as BB points out, you don't sound like a very happy bunny to me, and that is sad. But, yes, if it's your choice to be like that, then it's your choice, and you have every right to continue in it.
This forum, like most forums, has a wide variety of members from all walks of life - each has a different story to tell and it is all too easy to make assumptions without knowing their full back story. We should also remember that the written word can come over very differently to a face-to-face conversation; there are no 'body language' clues to go by, no verbal intonations to give a guide as to what is intended and, therefore easy to misconstrue what is said.

Like all Forums, we at Carers UK, have our Community Guidelines - they deal mainly with respect. We ask that members respect each other's views - we don't expect everyone to be in agreement with everybody's viewpoints, but we do hope you will respect viewpoints which may be different to your own. We ask that you be sensitive to how others maybe feeling when you reply to a post - they maybe going through a very difficult time and need your support; and we ask that you don't make assumptions about another's circumstances when you don't have the full picture.

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... ules-21290

There really isn't a perfect solution to the problem of caring. I come from a different angle as I am caring for an adult daughter with MS. Through anxiety and depression etc she has become a very different person. Self centred manipulative and appearing to be uncaring. I have been to a counsellor a few times and it really helped me open my eyes. Firstly whether through age or illness I believe people do become more blinkered, their focus is on themselves only. Secondly the advice you were given ( and it is only advice) is quite sound in many ways particularly if you can accept that you cant change your mother - but you can change yourself and the way you react to your mother's difficult ways. It is not easy especially after so many years so it takes some dedication and work allowing for bumps along the way. We all learn patterns of behaviour from birth so it takes time to alter them.

What helped me immensely was to build up some emotional detachment - I certainly have not stopped loving her and I am heartbroken to see her like this, but her behaviour is her choice. That probably applies to your mother unless she is on the dementia journey in which behaviour does change as the illness develops.

Another thing I do is Meditation once or twice a day and it has really helped. By zoning out for 20 minutes or so I emerge relaxed and calmer therefore I see things more clearly.

All I can say is try and get some counselling to support yourself and if that gives you strength then you will cope much better.

good luck

Susie, I don't disagree with you (as if I would!!!), and I do agree about the 'full picture' issue - however, in the end, anyone on the forum replying to a post really only has the information that the poster has placed there, and all replies, by definition, are based on that information, however limited that might turn out to be.

All that said, I suspect that my own position has already been stated (!) and if it isn't one that is shared or helpful then there is no point me just repeating it! So I won't!

Both BB and Maxwell recommend counselling as to how best to manage a difficult care situation, and I add my voice to that recommendation. I think it could be invaluable.

Caring is emotional, and all too often stressful, and very often the emotions come from a lifetime of a relationship and can be complex and often hard to disentangle - that's why I think counselling can be so useful. And, too, getting the reaction from other people, whether that's folk on the forum, or from other members of the family.

Wishing you all well, Jenny
I agree maxwell .i have now emotionally detached myself from grandparents.its far to hard coping with their practical needs then their emitions come in demanding and expecting too much of you without considering YOUR life. I also go for reflexolgy once a week.i got this free for 6 weeks complimentary. And trying to seek out some conselling in self esteem and saying no without feeling guilty which i am now doing. The forum helped me by pointing out to me i cant be forced to care when there is alot of help care packages out there when my grandparents refused it was left to muggings me but im finally after 5 years finding my voice .thank you