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Question
Posted by: Sheena | 2011/03/07

Mom''s medical digs at me

Hi Cybershrink
My mom lives with me (I am currentlys single, no kids &  I support her). She can be very difficult and we argue about the ways things are done in the house. She does not load the dishwasher properly and then wonders why it breaks down and costs money. Everytime we have an argument she kind of brushes off what I say with a " don''t start"  or she relates it right back to a menopausal mood. Yes I am struggling with this but I said to her to separate the two issues i.e. your doing this aggravates me because I have asked you not to do it &  that puts me in a mood. Yesterday she says all innocently " do you feel these moods coming on" ? I said you are not getting away with it this time you do things I loathe &  you know it &  but you still do them. Change your ways. She is 69. I am 45. I have just seen her through 7 ops and I said to her shall I bring that up and the impact on my life. No I cannot afford an old age home. How you do respond when someone glosses over the issue and relates it back to some kind of physical " illness"  you may have?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

This is often a difficult situation. Mothers often actually do know best, but even those who rarely know best, are often convinced that they do. Can't you simply agree that as it causes break-doqwns, she will not use the dishwasher ? Maybe she has the time to actually wash dishes herself, the old-fashioned way ?
Can you find OTHER things which she can do, which would actually be useful ? She presumably actually does want to both BE useful and to FEEL useful - find more productive ways in which she can achieve that. Is it possible to get her involved in some forms of charitable / volunteer work in which she could be useful without bothering others ? Maybe something involving stuffing envelopes rather than washing dishes ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Toffee | 2011/03/08

Hi Sheena,

I have a similar problem. My father is 72 and I pay for the house he lives in, bought him a car, pay for the alarm and maintenance. He regularly tells me to eff off, that I am a bad mother, reminds me that he carries a gun and that I will never amount to anything in life. I personally think he has lost his marbles but will not go for help or medication for it.

My sister has finally agreed, after 10 years of me paying, to help contribute towards his expenses. He refuses to work, but actually cannot afford not to.

I agree with CS, your mother should try to keep herself busy with a practical job, not a mental/thinking job as she also seems to be losing her marbles, sorry to say.

It is unfair that your siblings do not contribute. Perhaps you should issue an ultimatum, you better help out or I am putting her on a bus to you, for example.

Unfortunately, we are all gonna get old someday, the wheel turns. So try to stick it out, your other family will note what you are doing and one day you will be commended for it.

Reply to Toffee
Posted by: Why so touchy? | 2011/03/07

l never intended you to take such offence. All l was saying is sometimes you do not realize what you have until its gone.I was trying to give you another perspective.My mother drove me crazy but l miss even that.

On a practical note see a lawyer re the laws of maintenance, all ssiblings have a legal resposibility to support an aged parent. They can turn their backs but are still financially liable - this l know from experience.

After you have seen a lawyer please feel free to apologise for your curt response and thank me for this valuable advice..........

Reply to Why so touchy?
Posted by: Sheena | 2011/03/07

Hi Cybershrink

I tried all this, and no go...

Something2 think about. It may be of interest to you to know that the entire family including my two siblings turned their back on our mother. She is very difficult and difficult to live with. You don''t live with her so don''t compare her to your mother. I never said I hated her and wished her dead which is something for you to think about. But she is unfuriating day by day and you may have forgotten that I too am living (and not dead) so how I feel about things also matters. I also support her 100% without a groan in the world which is something most kids never do. I also treat her very well. If I didn''t care I wouldn''t have asked Cybershrink for some solutions. Sorry about your loss but please see it in perspective.

Reply to Sheena
Posted by: Something 2 think about.......... | 2011/03/07

My mother has passed on. l would do anything to have her back even if only for a 5 minute argument!
Be grateful for what you have.............

Reply to Something 2 think about..........
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/03/07

This is often a difficult situation. Mothers often actually do know best, but even those who rarely know best, are often convinced that they do. Can't you simply agree that as it causes break-doqwns, she will not use the dishwasher ? Maybe she has the time to actually wash dishes herself, the old-fashioned way ?
Can you find OTHER things which she can do, which would actually be useful ? She presumably actually does want to both BE useful and to FEEL useful - find more productive ways in which she can achieve that. Is it possible to get her involved in some forms of charitable / volunteer work in which she could be useful without bothering others ? Maybe something involving stuffing envelopes rather than washing dishes ?

Reply to cybershrink

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