Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?

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LostWithoutFamily

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2017, 07:57:17 PM »
I'm an only child, and I've been NC with nParents for 10 years.  I was threatened with elder abuse during the first year of NC.

I always thought that I would meet them once before they die. I would say something like, 'Hey, I know we didn't get along in life, but you were my parents. I wish you well on your next journey, wherever that may be. Goodbye.'

At the time, I didn't really process the elder abuse threat. I now realize that I have to protect myself legally. That means that I can never see them again, even if they are on their death bed.

It's a terrible situation, but I see no choice.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2017, 10:40:19 PM »
I'm not sure if I agree with letting her know you're documenting her behavior with one-word texts.

For some, it might work, but with somebody like your mom, it might only serve to antagonize her - you know her best, so the decision is ultimately yours.

But I *would* start documenting everything - including whipping out the cell phone and filming her when she gets nasty in your presence, refuses to get out of your car,  threatens to report you for elder abuse when she doesn't get her way, threatens to call the police on you,  starts screaming at you, or hits you.

Please - gather as much evidence as you can - including saving all her nasty texts and voice mails to a file on your desktop or tablet.  Note the date and times, too.

When you have enough evidence, take it all to an attorney and hire him or her to write a Cease and Desist letter to your mom.   :yes:

This letter won't be legally binding - but she may not know that and just seeing a lawyer's letterhead might scare her into complying.   :ninja:

If she ignores it and continues her campaign of hideous behavior, document that, too - and take it, plus your original folder of abusive words/deeds *and* your copy of the Cease and Desist letter - and show it to the police when you apply for an order of protection.

I'm completely serious about that - this woman is a menace and worse than that, she's proven herself *dangerous.* 

If she violates a restraining order, you can call the police and NO amount of twisting the truth is going to save her - she WILL be arrested.  (Don't post bail!)   :police:

Do whatever you can to NEVER be alone with her - if at all possible, figure out some kind of Buddy System with your DH - or just REFUSE to do a single thing for her ever again.

Believe me - she WILL figure it out.  She doesn't live in a vacuum and she's got a phone.

You said in an earlier post she doesn't like Medium Chill.

You know what?  That's too freaking bad.  She doesn't get a say in how you talk to her.  She's the one who has made this situation so unbearable for you, so *what she wants doesn't really matter at all.*

You *can* do this - and believe it or not, the law is on *your side.*  She doesn't get to harass, menace, threaten or HIT other people with impunity - especially YOU.

 :hug:

PS - LostWithoutFamily - I just saw your post and wanted to let you know you did the *right thing* in protecting yourself. 

I can tell you from personal experience, disordered parents only keep getting worse as they age.   :hug:

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MLR

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2017, 09:33:10 AM »
It sounds like she communicates mostly by text messages.  That is great!  Lots of evidence of her nasty nasty behavior.

If she calls you try as much as possible to let all her calls go to voicemail and SAVE all of them.   Back them up to a file and make copies.  Maybe save them to a thumb drive?

Does she have anyone to talk to except you?  I am asking because some people's method if they are mad at you is to call all their friends and relations and "tattle" on how "mean" you were to them.  Has she ever done that?

Your mother's go to seems to be to threaten to call the police or authorities.  That gives me the impression she has burned out every friend, neighbor, relative she has ever had.  It's pretty bad when no one wants to talk to you and the only person you have left, your child, you can only hold onto by threats of charging them with a false crime.  That is emotional  blackmail.   

What exactly does she need from you?  She has her own home, works off and on, doesn't need help cooking or cleaning or personal care.  The hook seems to be her "fear of driving more than a quarter of a mile from her home".  What happens?  Has she ever been able to drive further than that for something very important to her?   

You have said she has various diagnosed conditions,  but I wonder if her anxiety is how she keeps you hostage.  She is in her 60s, she could live decades more, and she can't use you as a slave for all that time or even right now.  If she has to go out if her comfort zone she will be anxious but she won't DIE.

You said you the police were called when you were a teenager, has she done it since that time?

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jennsc85

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2017, 12:38:13 PM »
It sounds like she communicates mostly by text messages.  That is great!  Lots of evidence of her nasty nasty behavior.

If she calls you try as much as possible to let all her calls go to voicemail and SAVE all of them.   Back them up to a file and make copies.  Maybe save them to a thumb drive?

Does she have anyone to talk to except you?  I am asking because some people's method if they are mad at you is to call all their friends and relations and "tattle" on how "mean" you were to them.  Has she ever done that?

Your mother's go to seems to be to threaten to call the police or authorities.  That gives me the impression she has burned out every friend, neighbor, relative she has ever had.  It's pretty bad when no one wants to talk to you and the only person you have left, your child, you can only hold onto by threats of charging them with a false crime.  That is emotional  blackmail.   

What exactly does she need from you?  She has her own home, works off and on, doesn't need help cooking or cleaning or personal care.  The hook seems to be her "fear of driving more than a quarter of a mile from her home".  What happens?  Has she ever been able to drive further than that for something very important to her?   

You have said she has various diagnosed conditions,  but I wonder if her anxiety is how she keeps you hostage.  She is in her 60s, she could live decades more, and she can't use you as a slave for all that time or even right now.  If she has to go out if her comfort zone she will be anxious but she won't DIE.

You said you the police were called when you were a teenager, has she done it since that time?

I am thankful that her primary means of communication is through texting, although that can be tiresome too. One days that she's not working she'll send non stop texts and expect replies. If I don't reply instantly then she gets offended. I have "screen shot" various texts where she's said off the wall things. I'm not sure how to save voicemails indefinitely but I will figure out how to because that's a great idea. When I don't answer texts, she inevitably calls over...and over and over again. Then the voicemails start.

She really does not have anyone to talk to except me. She talks to people at work, but it's on a superficial level, and she's known for being pretty bombastic there are no actual friendships, I don't think. She's never talked to other people about me except in a sort of demeaning way. She likes to present herself as being this mother/grandmother of the year. She tells people that she bought me my car (really, I took over the lease for her...) if she's late for work she'll say "Oh my daughter needed me to take [my grandson] to the doctor!" Like, total outright lies. But nothing about my abusive behavior. Maybe she thinks they wouldn't believe her? I don't know. Usually she talks to ME about how horrible everyone in her life is. She engaged in a political debate with a customer at her work and was talked to about it and she COULDN'T BELIEVE they'd have the nerve to talk to her about that. Eyeroll....

You are absolutely right that she has burned out every single person in her life. She has alienated everyone. She's an only child so there are no siblings to help her, her very distant family is also very old and they don't want much to do with her. She has no friends. She says that her elderly dog is her only friend which makes me sad sometimes, but then I think about how she's treated people and it makes sense.

She needs my "emotional support" She saw a therapist in the past who wanted to talk to me. This therapist told me that it was imperative to my mother that she have an "emotional support person" and that person would be me. I was horrified at this and tried to give her some background but seemed unfazed and repeated that my mother needed an emotional caregiver.

Basically, she needs a soundboard who always agrees with her and is always cheerful and ready for never ending conversation, and she needs someone to take her and pick her up from various doctor's appointments or far away errands. Her extreme anxiety that induces panic attacks over driving any reasonable distance started when she was very young. Her mother and father catered to her. I mean, her father was 89 years old and driving her to work every single day (before she moved closer to her work when he went into a nursing home). Her parents absolutely indulged her at every turn because they thought that they had created this incredibly difficult human being and they didn't want anyone else to have to be bothered. They felt it was their responsibility.

She simply WON'T drive farther than 1/4 from her home. She won't drive on main roads. If I stop at a stop light to CROSS a main road she gets panicky. She thinks that if I follow her in my car to different areas of town, like follow her 50+ times, that she'd then be able to drive it. I don't have the time or the desire to do that. My father did this with her when they were married and she claims that it helps. It just annoys the crap out of me because she's driving but because I'm behind her somehow it's ok? I know anxiety doesn't make sense but it makes so angry sometimes.

She definitely is holding me hostage with her anxiety. Sometimes when she's angry over something I've said she says "Do you think if I didn't NEED you to drive me place I would put up with your disgusting attitude for one second? I'd never speak to you again!" She's said things like that before... she's said she wishes she had another child, etc etc etc. But then 5 hours later she'll text me like nothing is wrong. I think the thought of being totally and utterly alone(without me, even) really scares her and that sets off more anxiety and panic. It's just an absolute mess when I really think about it.

She actually has never called the police on me BUT I usually answer her awhile after she threatens that. A month or so ago I had turned my phone to silent at 8PM as I've started doing... and she called and texted over 50 times combined during the evening. She was having a complete flip out. But... the police weren't called. That opened my eyes a little bit ,but I guess the fear is still there, you know? She's whipped out her phone when I've yelled at her in the past (after I just couldn't take it anymore) so what if she showed them those files? What if she's been keeping false records? I know I'm going to start keeping records and keeping them more organized so I can get to them easily... but I just worry so much about her manipulation of others. People who don't know her well, really really like her. She charms them somehow and they do whatever she wants.


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stasia

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2017, 01:08:18 PM »
jenn, my M is the same way, except substitute "she needs me to handle things that can only be done online as she doesn't have Internet" for "she needs me to drive her everywhere." She needs so much emotional support that I am now completely drained from trying (and failing, as it's never enough!) to provide it to her. I have said before that I'm like walking, talking Xanax to her. She uses me to cope with her severe anxiety.

She does the whole "you think I LIKE having to ask for your help?!" thing too, though my M isn't nearly as nasty as yours. I always want to respond, "yes, actually, I think you love having me at your beck and call whenever some adulting task comes up that you don't feel like dealing with!" Because, they do. They enjoy the attention even if they think we are horrible people.

That therapist was so, so WRONG to tell you that you were required to be emotional support to your M! And I am so sorry that you were told that (and angry at that T on your behalf!) Either that T failed to realize that your M has PD, or she is not experienced in how people with PD operate. Because if she's BPD, then no emotional support will ever be enough.

My T told me this week that no matter how much I listen to M, no matter how much I try to soothe her and support her, it will never ever be enough to fill up the black hole inside her. Because she likely has BPD, and that is just how BPD works, it's part of the illness. She said my M was a garden hose on full blast and that I was a tiny little sponge trying to absorb all of her anxiety and negativity. Sooner or later the sponge can't hold any more, and that's not the sponge's fault - it's because sponges weren't meant to absorb gallons and gallons of water. I don't know why but that analogy really helped me.

I agree with the folks here who are encouraging you to save evidence of her awful texts and voicemails.

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MLR

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2017, 01:17:58 PM »
If she is so charming perhaps her "friends" can drive her around.

She is in her 60s, this can go on for DECADES. 

 The scariest obit I ever read was for a 95yo man who was survived by his 112yo mother!  Imagine being outlived by your own mother, never having a life free from her demands.

Has she ever seen a doctor about her anxiety?   

About her whipping out a phone to "tell" on you- what are the top 5 things she threatens to report?  She must have her favorite cruelties she insists you do to her. 

It's important to know the scope of her complaints so you can spike her guns.  If she complains you never take her food shopping and her kitchen is empty.  You have to be able to provide a grocery  receipt, maybe the receipt where you took her out to lunch before food shopping, a picture you took with your phone of her full fridge and kitchen cabinets, time stamped, or showing the front page of that days newspaper.  This is extreme evidence gathering,  but when someone is willing to threaten you with elder abuse, this level of detail may be necessary to protect yourself.

If she says you never check on her, print out all your phone bills and highlight a the calls and texts between you and your mother.

Are there any financial ties between the two of you?  Anything she can hold over you?  Are you supporting her or paying any of her bills or utilities?

I hope I'm not intruding with all these questions.   I'm in the middle of Extreme Eldercare myself, so I know all about it.

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jennsc85

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2017, 04:21:50 PM »
I hope I'm not intruding with all these questions.   I'm in the middle of Extreme Eldercare myself, so I know all about it.

You are not intruding in the slightest! It actually feels good to answer these questions and get all this off my chest.

I've said before "If I'm so awful, have one of your coworkers drive you" Then she says "That was cruel. That was emotionally abusive. You sound just like your father and your grandfather. Would you like to apologize?" Then that escalates to APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW!

Her family lives to be very, very old. Her dad is 92 and still in great shape. His mother lived to be 103! It keeps me awake at night sometimes thinking that I could be an "elder" myself with grandchildren (or great grandchildren!) and still dealing with this crap from my mother. I imagine it'll only get worse as she ages and maybe eventually physically CAN'T drive. Oh God.

Her favorite things to threaten me with are-- my mental health. Granted, I do have mental health issues but I recognize it. She says that she'll report me to CPS and have my children taken away. She hasn't said that in over a year probably but it used to be one of her favorites. Once, and this was 4 years ago, I thought I was coming to her house for a visit. Turns out she wanted a ride somewhere. I told her I'd be leaving. She grabbed my purse and locked herself in her bedroom with it. Eventually she opened the door and was holding my purse in the corner and crying. I went to take it from her and she wouldn't let go. I grabbed her by the wrist and took my purse. My daughter who was very little at the time was there to see all of this. My mother said that I had probably broken her wrist blah blah blah and traumatized my child and she was going to be calling CPS. I don't think she ever did. She liked to remind me of that for awhile as an example of how mentally unstable I am. She uses my "mental health" against me if I don't answer the phone. She says "I'm worried about your mental health. I'll have to call the police and children's services because I don't trust that you're okay." Yeah, sure. OR you just want the control of knowing you can reach me every second of the day.

She also likes to threaten that being her only child and only family, I am her designated caregiver. She's told me that no one would ever allow me to leave the state or anything like that because she is alone and dependent on me. She says that because of that I am required to care for her for the rest of her life and no one would ever take me seriously if I tried to break away from my fragile mother in poor health.

These threats seem so silly when I type them out, but they really do instill a fear in me.

Another threat is tied into your other question. Yes, we do have financial ties. And I want to kick myself for it.

The car that I drive is leased in her name and cosigned by me. Once she realized she couldn't make the payments she offered to let me drive that car if I'd give her my older car (which actually made sense because she drives so little). So the car she drives is in my name. Refuses to put it in her name. I've actually not pursued that any farther because I'm afraid that if I do then she'll take the car that I drive away being that it's in her name. She loved to use that car against me but hasn't in a long time after one time when I said, "Sure, take it and make the payments." Of course then she said "I won't make the payments and I'll ruin your credit."

I'm very nervous about when the lease is up this fall. I'm trying to practice already telling her "You can either put it in your name entirely or I'll put it in just my name. No cosigning." I know she'll want to cosign to build her credit because she recently went bankrupt. Ugh. I'm going to ask my DH to be there for that conversation.

I'm also the primary name on her apartment. Again, she couldn't get it without someone else because her credit wasn't good at the time. She told me she would have a moving van pack up all of her belongings and dump them on my front lawn and wait on my porch for me. She told me that no police officer in the world would believe that I wouldn't allow my mother and her belongings in my house. Then she told me that my daughter could sleep on the couch and she would take my daughter's bed. WTF. She had this whole scenario planned out of living with me and it felt very real and very scary. I had just had a baby and I couldn't deal with her emotions then. She reasoned that if I paid for her moving truck and signed for her apartment, then she'd call of the living with me thing. To me at the time that sounded better than a knockdown drag out fight OR her belongings on my yard. She's said before, like, really subtly "Well I could just stop paying my rent..."

I'm afraid to even broach the financial things with her. She's talked before about us jointly buying a house together. UH never. Ever ever ever ever.

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MLR

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2017, 05:31:59 PM »
Why is her credit so bad?  What was the tipping point that made her declare bankruptcy?

A background question-  what are her bad habits?  Drinking, smoking (tobacco or weed), drugs (street or prescription ), gamblng, shopping,  eating too much, hoarding, TV watching, etc?

Has she ever stolen your identity?   Or almost stolen, like wanting to "share" a credit card, phone plan, Netflix account,  where you do all the paying and she gets all the benefits.

With her instantaneous comeback on how to ruin you by not paying for things in your name she is using, she sounds like a professional grifter.

Has she ever conned people or institutions  out if items,  getting things by playing fast and loose with the truth, or stretching the rules to the breaking point to obtain something by almost but not quite fraud?

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jennsc85

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2017, 05:42:43 PM »
Why is her credit so bad?  What was the tipping point that made her declare bankruptcy?

A background question-  what are her bad habits?  Drinking, smoking (tobacco or weed), drugs (street or prescription ), gamblng, shopping,  eating too much, hoarding, TV watching, etc?

Has she ever stolen your identity?   Or almost stolen, like wanting to "share" a credit card, phone plan, Netflix account,  where you do all the paying and she gets all the benefits.

With her instantaneous comeback on how to ruin you by not paying for things in your name she is using, she sounds like a professional grifter.

Has she ever conned people or institutions  out if items,  getting things by playing fast and loose with the truth, or stretching the rules to the breaking point to obtain something by almost but not quite fraud?

Well, when my grandpa went into a nursing home she lost her primary source of income with him.  So she could no longer pay her credit cards or medical bills (and there were A LOT of those) So she decided to declare bankruptcy.

Bad habits definitely include semi-hoarding. She won't throw anything out. Her home isn't dirty but she saves things like used plastic bags and cracker containers and has an entire bursting storage unit full of crap that she deems extremely valuable and "I COULD SELL THAT AND MAKE A LOT OF MONEY!" She did have a spending problem when she was married, but now she doesn't have much income so she can't do it on the same level. Back then I remember her buying two entire sets of kitchen cabinets because they were a great deal and putting them in the garage. At one point we had 3 refrigerators. She bought me hundreds of dollars worth of clothes when I was younger. She doesn't have any addiction problems and is actually fairly health conscious because she says her health is so fragile.

There was one point when my grandfather told me (they used to live together) that she was trying to get money out of my bank account. She never succeeded at that. When I got a job at age 16 the money went into her bank account and she used it. That's the closest thing to stealing that I can think of. Otherwise she just whines about how I have it so much better than her and it's not fair to be 64 and poor and struggling. She's asked me to pay for things before and I've done it, but not on a regular basis.

I don't know if I would call it "conning" people, maybe it is, but she's very persuasive and able to talk people into things so like if she was trying to return something that shouldn't be returned she was always able to do that. In a car accident that wasn't super serious she of course wanted to be carted to the doctor and was happy when the police acted concerned about her. And made a very generous claim. But nothing outrageous, I don't think.

It is very hard for me to even wrap my mind around what I'm trying to say or accomplish because she has a comeback for EVERYTHING. I try to think them over but then she'll come out of left field with something else.

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MLR

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2017, 05:57:58 PM »
If she has the skills of a world class prosecution lawyer, you gave to slow down the communication to give you time to think.   Avoid all phone calls, DON'T BE ALONE WITH HER, use text messages and don't answer immediately,  delay delay delay.   If you usually reply within 5 minutes,  wait 6 minutes.  In a month or two wait 7 minutes.

Did you know you have some new projects at work that entail a lot of meetings, being off site, face to face customer time, being in the basement of the building, or a secure lab or a lead lined room that has no cell signal, or you are not allowed to bring your phone?  Or people have been abusing using their personal phones so there has been a ban on personal phone use at work.
Get creative.   I know how hard it is to say no to your mother, so lying is perfectly acceptable while you are working on yourself. 

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jennsc85

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2017, 06:16:54 PM »
MLR- I really like your suggestions.

When I was kid my mother turned me into a world class liar. She didn't mean to, but I was so afraid of the backlash I'd get about tiny little things that I'd lie about totally inconsequential things. I don't like to lie, but sometimes I feel like it's the only way to get around things with her.

She texted me just a few moments ago declaring "I sent you two texts over the course of the last few hours and you haven't replied!" (Uh, I know I haven't) "Do you know how rude that is?"

I was going to wait 5 minutes to respond but then she says "I had an appointment for [graphic health issue] today and you didn't even ask about it. Do you realize how cruel you're being? A normal human being would be concerned." Then "ANSWER ME!" Then "Answer me please." Then "On second thought, go to hell."

So... on that note I feel like there's not much to say? I was shaking at the thought of delaying my texts to her, but I'm going to try to not respond to this tonight.

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2017, 06:32:16 PM »
"On second thought, go to hell."

I would interpret this as "I am mad, and don't want to talk to you now."

And I would take her at her word, and not respond.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2017, 12:39:55 AM »
Hi Jenn,

I'd definitely sit down with a lawyer, sooner than later, to figure out how to disentangle your finances from hers.

I'd make that my number one priority.   :yes:

If you are free of those things, it makes it much easier to block her number - she'll have nothing to hold over your head except threats of police or CPS, which I suspect she uses as *empty threats* to keep you in line.

I just want to address this because it is SO freaking out there that it needs to be said:

Your "mother" threatens you with police because of your prior mental health issues (which you're addressing and managing) - or any time she thinks you're being mean, abandoning her or treating her unfairly.  She bars you from leaving, steals your belongings - and she's the victim.   :stars: :blink: :no_shake:

She threatens you with CPS.  She threatens to report you for elder abuse.

Her thought processes don't line up with reality, which is why they are just WORDS a PD or somebody who has an agenda (or both) says to a child to keep them compliant and to make them feel as unbalanced and shitty as they feel.

Those words level the playing field and keep you paralyzed with fear - which is just what she wants;  adult you still feeling like a helpless child.

But - unless her PD escalates or she starts losing her grip on reality - she won't do it.

I think I can pretty much promise you that. 

Why?

Well, think about it a moment - if you have mental health issues, you shouldn't be caring for her.  If you are suspected of child abuse, what's to stop you from abusing her?  And if you're suspected of elder abuse, you have NO business being anywhere near her.

Any complaint will be unfounded, of course - but now you'll have professionals -  police, CPS or APS - telling you to *stay the hell away from her and have absolutely nothing to do with her if she's making false charges, because it's only going to continue.*

If she makes up lie after lie and you wind up with a criminal record - you'll probably be *legally prohibited from caring for her.*

That's only if her lies aren't so outrageous that you wind up in prison - *physically barred from caring for her.*

A condition of your probation would probably *prohibit or severely curtail any caregiving duties* she expects you to provide.

If she pulls the trigger, so to speak - she loses you for good.

Please realize that - she can't have it both ways. 

If she calls anybody about you - she'll lose her MEAL TICKET and full-time slave!
 

That's why it is SO important to make sure you don't have time to recover, breathe, think, decompress, take time away, think about yourself, FOC and future - and insult you regularly - she wants you to be that scared little girl who lived to make mommy happy.  Don't think - REACT!  React in a way she can turn around and make herself the victim of your ABUSE.   :roll: :sadno:

She can't be made happy.  Ever.  She's a black hole of need - endless and all-consuming.

Your mom's actions, behavior and words, IMO - are nothing less than pure evil.

I could be wrong - but like unBPD Didi - I'm pretty sure she's fully aware of what she's doing - and doesn't think you'll ever find a way to stop her from winding up with her living under your roof and catering to her every need while she spews nothing but a litany of complaints and nonstop venom and bile.

Well, you've found it.   :uhhuh: :sunny: :righton:

The land where we think and discuss and urge each other to BREATHE.   :)

 :hug:

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MLR

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2017, 06:23:42 AM »
Jenn, You are doing great!  You are probably feeling a lot of anxiety and fear, but you are growing and learning and, most important,  you SEE.  Once you see, you have insight into her motives and her absolutely ridiculous behavior,  you can't unsee it.  You know, and there is no going back once you know.

Please Google "extinction burst".   When you back away and are not instantly available to her, that is what she's going to do. 

To her, you are not a person, you are a vending machine that delivers transportation,  a listening ear, words that agree that her emotions are correct, etc. And, she has deliberately vandalized  the machine so she NEVER has to put in a nickel to get anything, all she has to do is pull the know to get a FREE never ending supply of  whatever she has selected.

Do one day, your mother pulls the knob, and NOTHING HAPPENS.  She is alarmed,  and yanks the knob a couple more times before she gets her treat.  The machine starts acting oddly, she can't be 100% sure she will get her treat.  She has to do more and more actions before she gets ehat she wamts.  That is an extinction burst.  Now most people in that situation would do various things.  They would use another machine, they would go without a treat,  they might eat something from the fridge, they might call a repairman, they might even fix the machine so they would have to pay to get a treat.

Your mother doesn't do that.  She has a machine that gives her free treats and she will do whatever it takes to continue that practice.

You gave to be prepared that she will escalate her behavior and actions when you don't obey instantly.     It is vital when you have set a boundary that you don't give in.   Your mother will have to deal with her emotions when she doesn't get what she wants.  It is ok to hang up the phone or end the visit when she gets mad.

Try to think of it this way-  she can feel however she wants, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE THERE TO WITNESS IT.  You can leave!

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jennsc85

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2017, 01:22:48 PM »
Woman Interrupted- WOW, your train of thought makes so much sense, yet I had never even thought of it in those terms before. I've honestly thought that being in prison would be easier than being at her beck and call. When I was a teenager and she went on unemployment for several years, I honestly thought that if I didn't have my 18th birthday to look forward to that I would probably kill myself. It's a horrible position to be in to think that way. But I have to remember... I'm not that 15 year old being forced to be around my mother 24/7. I'm not legally bound to her by my age anymore. I feel like I'm a child around her, but I'm not. I have to keep telling myself that- and reminding myself of what you posted- if I'm so mentally ill that she's worried about my well being, then why am I her designated caregiver in her mind? Maybe that can be a potential comeback next time she says something like that to me.

MLR- The vending machine example is absolutely perfect and spot on. That is exactly how I feel. Extinction burst sounds like exactly what is going to happen. I don't see her just ignoring it. Yesterday I didn't text her back at all. I was practically hyperventilating from how nervous I felt about not writing her back. DH said, "So, she hasn't called or texted me. If she was really concerned that you or the kids were in the ER or in a ditch somewhere don't you think she'd text me to see?" Then I thought... if she did send the police our way, I mean, knowing that there's another adult in my life that she could have contacted and didn't? That would be odd, wouldn't it?

She texted me today and said something about my "callous" attitude towards her. "Poor Jenn" she said. Then...THEN! She texts me a couple hours later about something totally fluffy and normal, something relating to my line of work and then added her own funny little commentary to it. I mean, like nothing had happened and like she hadn't texted me last night or this morning. She does this a lot and I seriously don't understand it.

I'll occasionally blow up or something on DH and then an hour later I'm good and normal, but I don't attack his character and attitude in a malicious way. If I did, I'd feel like I had to address that before I moved on to something normal. I truly don't understand that part of my mother.

Then I thought... she has an appointment later in the week that she needs picked up from. THAT'S why she acted nice. I have never refused to take her/pick her up from somewhere. I've had her change the date/time to be more convenient for me but I've never outright told her no. The thought of that really strikes fear into me. I've already told her yes about this one(she asked several weeks ago... DH is coming too so it shouldn't be too bad)

I feel like reneging on the picking her up would be too much for me right now, but I'm making it my next goal that when she has another appointment, that I'll tell her I can't do it. She'll offer to reschedule, and that's what gets me. I don't know to say "NO I won't pick you up from the appointment at 2PM on Thursday OR 5PM on Monday OR midnight on Thanksgiving! You know? I don't know how to get that point across without just outright saying it. Is that how I have to do it?

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MLR

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2017, 01:53:51 PM »
Jenn, I'm glad you are doing a thing or two regarding your mother, and taking care of yourself.  A lot of it is in your head, thinking and getting used to ideas that seemed impossible a little while ago.  It's going to take some trial and error before you find what works for you, but you WILL get there.

I wanted to point out that your mother, at this time, IS self sufficient and independent.   She has conned you into thinking she MUST have help for ABC, and if you don't help her the world will come to an end. 

Your mother CAN take care of herself, she
Simply refuses to do so.

There are things called ADLs.  Activities of Daily Living.  When someone needs help a visiting nurse or social worker would come to the house and do an evaluation.   I don't have the list in my head, but from what I remember if it your mother does NOT need help.  Look up the list and see how it relates to your mother. Do not show the list to your mother or discuss it with your mother, she will seize upon it and start reworking her life so she can say she needs help.

She doesn't need help getting out of bed, dressing, cooking, feeding herself, using the toilet, bathing, grooming, cleaning the house, laundry, shopping, etc.

Yes she does have a few limitations.   Self imposed limitations.  Transportation and having no one to talk to.  If she needs to get somewhere she could call a cab, get an Uber driver, arrange with someone to carpool and she would chip in for gas, order stuff from amazon, have things delivered,etc.  Having no one to talk to, she could get therapy, work on LISTENING, instead of lecturing and being intolerant.   Go to church, join something,  even walk out the door and talk to someone in her apartment building.

From what you have said, other than the emotional / PD issues, your mother does not need help.

There are LOTS of things she could do, many many alternatives,  she just does not want to do them.  If you broke your leg and were homebound for a couple months,  she would be forced  to do something.  It's much easier to torture you. 

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bopper

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2017, 01:29:34 PM »
This is so typical of these PD abusers...

They have absolutely NO power over you, but they have trained you to think they do.

I mean really, what can she do? text you to death?

You are at the point that you need to say: "I need to be able to live my life.  My life cannot be living hers with her. Yes she may need help, but that help doesn't have to be me.  I can make sure she has food, shelter and warmth and I have done my duty. I will contact my county's Office on Aging/Elderly and see what services they have to help her. But I don't have to be her personal slave."



I think before you didn't even know you were attached to a rope.  They pulled and you followed.

Now you realize you are holding on.  You notice that when they pull, you seem to follow.

And you ask yourself...do I want to go that way? Is that the best way for me?

Then you started pulling back on your end...and they pulled back harder.

Then the rope got smaller and smaller..merely a thread.

Then you let go.
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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jennsc85

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2017, 06:48:02 PM »
So, gosh I feel stupid...

My mother wanted us to come over so that she could give my daughter some late birthday presents and a cake. DH was going to meet us over there but he got tied up at work.

My mom is fine at first. No big problems. I feel silly for even worrying about some big debacle. My daughter took a shower before we left to go to mom's house because I knew with the traffic and whatnot we wouldn't get back home til late (I promise this is relevant!) My daughter's hair gets all crazy tangled if I don't put it in a braid while it's still a little damp and sometimes she gets a little whiny over me messing with her hair. It's not a big deal. She whines and then it's over. So at mom's house I'm putting my daughter's hair into a braid and she's whining.

My mom comes in from outside and goes "OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HER? STOP MESSING WITH HER HAIR! YOU'RE SICK AND TWISTED AND OBSESSIVE AND YOU'RE UPSETTING HER!!"

I didn't take the bait. My mom is wailing about how I've "RUINED!!!!!!" her granddaughter's birthday at her house. Everything is "RUINED!!!!" because of me. I told her that my kids and I would go for a little walk in the hallway of the apartment while she calmed down. She screams my name out the door and then shouts that she can't BELIEVE I would suggest that SHE needs to calm down. Apparently I'M the one who needs to calm down because I'm "ruining" my daughter's life over messing with her hair.

So after like 5 minutes of walking around in the hall I go back in my mom's apartment where she's kicking things around. She demands that I apologize RIGHT NOW!!! I went into another room where my kids wouldn't hear and I told her "You can't demand for someone to apologize to you. I'm not a child." She sputters at me to "QUIT ACTING LIKE ONE!!!!!!"

I tried so so so hard to do medium chill. I didn't yell. I told her I wasn't going to respond to her. I wasn't going to answer her questions that weren't really questions. I told her I did not have to listen to her. She told me she'd be calmed down in 5 minutes and after 5 minutes of her yelling and questioning me (and me trying really hard to hold strong to the medium chill/gray rock) I told her "OK, I guess today isn't a good day. We will come back when we have the time." Then she blocks the door. God, this sent so much panic through me. All my life she blocks the door or block the car... I feel trapped instantly when she does that. I told her that she still wasn't calm and that we wouldn't be sitting here listening to her ranting.

I guess since she saw that I was serious about leaving she decided to stop? She made little comments like "Sorry that MOMMY ruined your birthday honey" and stuff like that but then she acted like nothing had ever happened.

My kids were kind of silent and looked worried while she was yelling but afterwards it was like nothing had happened. They were happy and laughing and talking to my mom and it made me wonder... am I the abnormal one that I was so affected by that? Was that a normal scenario? Was it not a big deal? Was my panicked response totally out of line?

I feel like writing her an email saying that I can't help her with appointments or whatever for the next two weeks and explain what was so wrong with how she acted. From now on I'm waiting til DH is there. She doesn't do this crap in front of him. And here I am sitting here with tears running down my face because I feel so confused. It was like a tornado just passed through and ruined everything and wreaked havoc on me, and then it's gone and I'm expected to just sit down on the flipped over couch with no walls in my house or something. I don't even know what I'm saying.

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VividImagination

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2017, 07:40:18 PM »
:bighug:  I would do this in person if I could.

No. You are NOT crazy. Your mother is. My mother used to actively seek out excuses such as that to rage at me and cause scenes. It's possible your mother does the same. Blocking you, kicking things, and making inappropriate remarks to your daughter (which were completely stupid, by the way...it was neither her birthday nor ruined, hence her confusion) are completely are intolerable. I would hazard a guess that your children had no reaction because you handled yourself so well...you remained calm (at least outwardly) and didn't allow your mother to bait you with her behavior, which was exactly what she was doing. She got angrier and angrier because she was trying to get a reaction out of you and could not.

New boundaries - one of which you already mentioned...

1. Don't be around her without your DH present. Period. This will not only keep her tantrums and mouth in check, it will also severely limit your interactions with her. She has to go here, here, and here? Nope. She gets one hour between 10 AM and 11 AM Saturday morning to accomplish everything she needs with DH accompanying you. Since you have an obligation to get to at 11, she will be dropped back off at her house then. That is her timetable, and if she doesn't like it she will need to order her groceries (Walmart does this in most places). Doctor and vet appointments? That's really too bad...your work situation has changed and you can no longer take off to play taxi. She can't afford a real taxi? There are many options for senior transportation. She can Google 'senior non emergency medical transportation" plus the name of your town or county and get quite a lot of names.

The fact that she controls herself in front of your DH means one thing: she CAN do so...she just chooses to unleash her venom on you because she knows you will accept it. Stop accepting it. You're already doing wonderfully and made huge strides tonight, which apparently drove your mother up the wall. Her behavior will get worse before it gets better, by the way...I believe someone upthread already mentioned extinction burst.

On a side note...if it were me, any human on the planet who spoke to my young child and told them that their birthday was ruined (true or not) would not be seeing my child again. Her tongue is poison to your child. Do you remember how her words emotionally paralyzed you as a child? Don't allow her to do that to your baby.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Is anyone else an only child of an elderly PD parent?
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2017, 10:49:57 PM »
You did WONDERFULLY!   :bighug: :cheer: :cheer: :drinks:

You handled a really tough situation with grace and finesse.  Well done!   8-)

I second everything Vivid said - never, EVER be alone with her.  Always have DH present.

From now on, she'll have to arrange her schedule to what's convenient for you and your DH - and she's got nobody to blame but herself, for being herself.

No, you are NOT crazy.  Your mom is acting like a spoiled child, having a tantrum over *nothing.*

You're doing your DD's hair and she gets a bit whiny.  *That's what kids do.*  They fidget.  They fuss.  They don't want to sit still while you fix their hair.  And in the end, the hair gets done and the child is free to go about her business.   :)

*Your mom* is the one who escalated *nothing* to a great, big unnecessary something.

Your DD probably didn't react and let it go quickly because - well, she knows grandma "gets like that" and she's probably scared shitless of her, but she *saw you handle the situation without getting upset.*

Since you're never going to be alone with her again, this probably isn't an issue, but for the record - if she ever blocks you or you and DD from leaving again, calmly tell her, "Please move or I'm calling the police.  What you're doing is called unlawful imprisonment."

If she laughs or doesn't move, back up so she can't grab your phone, *start filming her and dial 911.*

I don't have a cell phone, so I don't know if you can film and call at the same time, but if you can, GO FOR IT!

If you can't, just call the cops THEN start filming her.

If she makes a move for your phone, calmly remind her, "Do NOT touch me or attempt to take my phone.  That's also illegal."

Keep filming until the cops arrive - even if you're forced into a bathroom to protect yourself from her.

I'm just throwing it out there because PDs like to orchestrate strange situations to get us alone - and we all have moments of forgetfulness or weakness.

I also agree your DD shouldn't be exposed to her - she's already seen and experienced enough, and doesn't need to be put through it any longer.

 :hug: