uBPDm waifing hardcore

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proudblacksheep

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uBPDm waifing hardcore
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:32:19 PM »
I'm the 1st born  male of 3 (2 younger sisters, I'm the fixer). 

Youngest sister (who is step, but the only one I consider family) is (justifiably) VLC with Mom, and middle (GC) sister is NC as of about 3 years ago (and was vLC for the 15 years before that, also justifiably).  The background of "damage done" is way to extensive to even go into here, but I'll just say generally the that boundaries are all over the place, the bullshit is never ending, and , when under stress, mom will act out.

I'm 47, happily married and am lucky enough to have 2 teenage kids (boy and girl).  We're reasonably well off, and are now focused on being lucky enough to put our kids through college, as we transition to empty nest.  I'm a "mid-career" professional , the main provider for my family, and typically work 60 hours/week or so, as well as being heavily involved with youth organizations my son is involved with, and then all the other good stuff, like trying to be a good husband. Summary: I'm busy ;)

My mother has nothing.. literally nothing (aside from Social Security).  This was not always so - she had significant assets via divorce/inheritance, but blew it it all.  I have tried MANY times over the years to intervene in money matters,  drinking, leaving my awesome step father, etc. (admittedly at least partially in self interest, because I knew she would someday be "mine").  I told her MANY times over the years that she would not be living with me.

3 years ago (when aforementioned GC sister went NC), we gave mom an ultimatum to basically save herself financially, or we would stop talking to her.  I made it about 18 months, and then finally gave in , and resumed contact.  She moved to a low income senior apartment relatively close by, and I was immediately sucked into a series of doctor's appointments for all types of ailments (she was too weak to take cab , even with me paying for it, she had to go to the bathroom too much to take the bus, etc), so I let myself be hoovered.  I began helping her out with groceries, prescriptions, misc. stuff.  She was diagnosed with mild Parkinson's late last Summer.   I also  "herded" her to better healthcare, where she had access to more/cheaper drugs, and more comprehensive care.

She is not (that I know of , at least), actually diagnosed with BPD, but with a little reflection, it seems pretty obvious to me.  She's always had a different relationship with the truth, and has been COMPLETELY incapable of accepting responsibility/accountability for anything , as far back as I can remember, and hits several other of the DSM bullet points as well

Fast forward to present day:  About 5 or so weeks ago, she started to complain about hallucinations (implicating Parkinson's or perhaps the drug she is taking for it, either of which could be valid reasons for the hallucinations).  This prompted a series of 911 calls/emergency room visits that were, as far as I can tell, triggered by "anxiety".  After the 1st call (and after talking with the Dr. , nurse and EMTs, all of which said that there was basically nothing wrong with her), I opted to stop answering the phone when the hospital called (a VERY painful decision, I might add).  After her last trip, she opted to move into a Board+Care home.   I facilitated the  Board+Care home movein "from afar", interacting only with home owner.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed.  The guilt is pretty strong, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of her poor , lonely waify self crying because she is all alone.

I'm sure that if re-establish contact, she will go into SUPER hoover mode, as she is completely on her own, and in her view, I should save her because I'm her son and I have the means to do so. I don't know if I the strength to Medium Chill it, especially in the Board and Care setting (there's no way I'm taking her out of there, even for a trip to Starbuck's or something)

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Thru the Rain

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 02:25:52 AM »
You are describing the future I can already see coming with my own waify M.

My Dad is still alive, but has told our FOO that if he dies first, M won't have enough money to stay in their house. And they are taking no steps to fix the problem - such as moving to a more affordable home.

I've tried mapping out retirement and active adult communities for them to at least LOOK at. Waif M transforms into nasty b**ch M when I suggest she take an active role in managing her own life, so I've dropped the rope on that conversation. And I expect that at some point soon, I'm going to remind her that I've tried for years (and it has already been years) to help her avert this potential crisis.

Like you, I'm mid-career and make a very nice salary. I'm certain M believes I'll rescue her. And financially speaking, I probably could.

But emotionally, that well ran dry decades ago.

So I realize I've drifted off into my own story. Back to your current dilemma. It sounds to me like you've done really well so far, but  obligation and guilt (the O and the G in FOG) are making you second guess your choices and actions.

A few things come to mind that may help. Keep or discard whatever you think will help you:

- Remember that we ALL get to enjoy either the fruits of our labor or the consequences of our actions. That includes your M. She doesn't get a special exemption. It also includes you. You also get to enjoy the fruits of your labor without guilt.

- It sounds like your M has a safe place to live and has food and medical care. These are good things. Kudos to you for arranging this from afar.

- You mention medical problems, including Parkinson's and hallucinations. Remember that you aren't a doctor (I'm assuming), and your home is not a healthcare or assisted living facility. If your M needs more care than she can get in her current location, she will need to move to assisted living or a nursing home - not to your house where you aren't equipped to take care of her medical needs.

- You mention calls from the emergency room. Good decision to stop taking those calls. What exactly are they expecting you to do? If they don't know what's wrong with her, do they think you have a magic pill to help her? I'm sure they are hoping that **you** will take responsibility for her and keep her from coming back to waste their time. Well good luck to them! Not your job.

- If your M has run through previous money without a thought to the future, she'll gladly run through your money too, without a care. But you have a responsibility to your FOC, to yourself, to your future empty-nest and retirement. You've planned well to take care of your children - why should they give up college? Why should you and your spouse give up a comfortable retirement?

I'll state again, you're doing well. Your M is in a safe place and is being taken care of. You've managed to achieve this without moving her into your home which is great.



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lkdrymom

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 08:46:03 AM »
Thru the Rain is right.   You have every right to enjoy the fruits of your labors and she needs to deal with the consequences of her actions.  Your first responsibility now is to your wife and kids....and YOUR future.  We see so many people on this site who have sacrificed their own future to help out a black hole of neediness parent.  Save yourself.

Your obligation to her was to make sure she is safe and you have done that.  Coming to her rescue all the time only teaches her that  she does not have to make good decisions because you will fix everything. Stop it.

Figure out what you are willing to do and do only that. Firm boundaries.  I have to do that with my father.   I know there are times when I would be willing to do more for him but I have to stop myself because he will expect it all the time and I just can't keep  up with his WANTS.   Sometimes I feel like a real witch for being this way then he does something to piss me off and I remind myself why we are at this point.  I visit only once a month.   The following day there is always a phone call saying he wants/needs to see me.  I was JUST there.   This past Friday I visited him and it was a good visit.  Saturday he calls and says he is dying and "needs to see me one last time".   I was in the area Sunday so I stopped by...and he was completely fine.  I pointed out he was dying the day before and he just flippantly tells me...that was yesterday.  Little things like this remind me why I am at low contact.

The never ending calls from the hospital. Good call on not taking them.  They will leave a message if it is important.  And if you do answer they will try and guilt you into taking over. Been there done that.  When my father when living on his own would run to the ER on a weekly basis. I would get calls to come and pick him up.  I work full time and I cannot be a taxi service.  I learned to stop answering.  One Sunday morning that phone started to ring at 6am every 15 minutes.  They were looking for me to give him a ride home. It finally stopped at 8.  Another time I got a call on a dark rainy night and  made the mistake of answering.  I ad just taken a sleeping pill.  They wanted me to come and pick him up (I'm 20 miles away).  They would not take no for an answer.  Never again would I answer the phone.

If you want to get rid of the guilt. Learn to get MAD and what she is expecting of you. It help.

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daughter

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 11:29:46 AM »
You describe a situation where your mother has always relied on someone else to "take care of her", meaning to assure her a nice comfortable life-situation, her absent from all responsibility, where it's just "given to her" as life's largesse.  So she sabotaged her own good fortune, thinks her adult-children are obligated to make her life "nice" again.  But our parents are responsible for their life-choices, and ultimately their life-outcomes as senior citizens.  We aren't responsible for "making them happy", or "providing for them to our best abilities", and yet often feel that constant parentification hammering-away, pushing that "happiness expectation", sometimes biggest FOG element that we ACONs contend with.  So step back, maintain your already-established boundaries, and remember:  "good enough" is fundamentally GOOD ENOUGH.  Your mother's ruined finances are her life-outcome, but she's in a safe housing situation, roof over her head, food on the table, good enough.  You aren't obligated to entertain her, to involve her with your kids or install her in your home,   

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proudblacksheep

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 01:18:41 PM »
You are describing the future I can already see coming with my own waify M.

My Dad is still alive, but has told our FOO that if he dies first, M won't have enough money to stay in their house. And they are taking no steps to fix the problem - such as moving to a more affordable home.

I've tried mapping out retirement and active adult communities for them to at least LOOK at. Waif M transforms into nasty b**ch M when I suggest she take an active role in managing her own life, so I've dropped the rope on that conversation. And I expect that at some point soon, I'm going to remind her that I've tried for years (and it has already been years) to help her avert this potential crisis.

Like you, I'm mid-career and make a very nice salary. I'm certain M believes I'll rescue her. And financially speaking, I probably could.

But emotionally, that well ran dry decades ago.

So I realize I've drifted off into my own story. Back to your current dilemma. It sounds to me like you've done really well so far, but  obligation and guilt (the O and the G in FOG) are making you second guess your choices and actions.

A few things come to mind that may help. Keep or discard whatever you think will help you:

- Remember that we ALL get to enjoy either the fruits of our labor or the consequences of our actions. That includes your M. She doesn't get a special exemption. It also includes you. You also get to enjoy the fruits of your labor without guilt.

- It sounds like your M has a safe place to live and has food and medical care. These are good things. Kudos to you for arranging this from afar.

- You mention medical problems, including Parkinson's and hallucinations. Remember that you aren't a doctor (I'm assuming), and your home is not a healthcare or assisted living facility. If your M needs more care than she can get in her current location, she will need to move to assisted living or a nursing home - not to your house where you aren't equipped to take care of her medical needs.

- You mention calls from the emergency room. Good decision to stop taking those calls. What exactly are they expecting you to do? If they don't know what's wrong with her, do they think you have a magic pill to help her? I'm sure they are hoping that **you** will take responsibility for her and keep her from coming back to waste their time. Well good luck to them! Not your job.

- If your M has run through previous money without a thought to the future, she'll gladly run through your money too, without a care. But you have a responsibility to your FOC, to yourself, to your future empty-nest and retirement. You've planned well to take care of your children - why should they give up college? Why should you and your spouse give up a comfortable retirement?

I'll state again, you're doing well. Your M is in a safe place and is being taken care of. You've managed to achieve this without moving her into your home which is great.
You broach an interesting sidebar in this whole thing.  I have, up until this point, zero interaction with social welfare system.  She has just moved to a large managed healthcare plan (hint: we are in Northern California - it's the one that used to be a steel company in WWII ;) ).  Both Social Welfare AND the HMO seem to be biased towards 1) Assuming families  WANT to be supportive (i.e they assume that you will do whatever it takes to support family, which seems reasonable under "normal" circumstances)  and  2) In the case of the HMO, getting the patient out of the faciility AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, regardless of how they do it (in the name of lower costs, I assume).   Case in point: on the 2nd visit (which  I was not involved with , in any way,  I received 6 calls to pick her up - I answered one from the attending physician, who proceeded to accuse me of "elder dumping" because I would not come and pick her up)

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Thru the Rain

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 05:02:47 PM »
"Elder dumping". What a loaded phrase!

You may want to investigate your actual responsibilities under California law so YOU have independent knowledge of what you are and are not responsible for.

I've read so many stories here on the message boards of people running into threats regarding elder care laws. And the laws vary from state to state, so there's no one-size-fits-all approach.

Also per the experiences related by many others, don't go to an elder law specialist - they are trained to represent aggrieved elders. You may want to consider consulting a regular family lawyer. An hour's worth of their time won't cost much and could really help you protect yourself, your family and your peace of mind.

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proudblacksheep

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2018, 11:25:36 AM »
"Elder dumping". What a loaded phrase!

You may want to investigate your actual responsibilities under California law so YOU have independent knowledge of what you are and are not responsible for.

I've read so many stories here on the message boards of people running into threats regarding elder care laws. And the laws vary from state to state, so there's no one-size-fits-all approach.

Also per the experiences related by many others, don't go to an elder law specialist - they are trained to represent aggrieved elders. You may want to consider consulting a regular family lawyer. An hour's worth of their time won't cost much and could really help you protect yourself, your family and your peace of mind.

Interesting... I actually consulted a filial lawyer a couple of weeks ago about this - he seemed pretty legit, and basically told me that , in California (where there are technically filial laws on the books) at least, there is pretty much nothing that will be done in terms of responsibility , especially in the absence of of POA or Guardianship (I don't have either, on purpose).   He also mentioned that just because the the involved institutions won't compel me  , it doesn't mean that they won't try REALLY hard to guilt in the name of moving the responsibility off whatever institution they work for.   AFAIK, the only state that has had any fillial enforcement in the recent past is PA.

FWIW, I'm also a little surprised about that elder lawyers would not faithfully represent their client (in cases like these, where the client is not the elder).  They are paid to represent who is paying them, even if it's not their "normal" schtick - if they don't like the case, they should not take it (I'm not a lawyer, BTW ;)

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LightOrb

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2018, 12:02:19 PM »
FWIW, I'm also a little surprised about that elder lawyers would not faithfully represent their client (in cases like these, where the client is not the elder).  They are paid to represent who is paying them, even if it's not their "normal" schtick - if they don't like the case, they should not take it (I'm not a lawyer, BTW ;) )

At the risk of sounding bitter, my lawyers, the 5 I met, 4 family lawyers and one tax lawyer, they do not fight or try to do what's best for who is paying them. They do whatever is easier and faster. Probably also what's more interesting. They do not give advice either, I had to know in each case what I wanted to do.

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proudblacksheep

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 03:15:23 PM »
FWIW, I'm also a little surprised about that elder lawyers would not faithfully represent their client (in cases like these, where the client is not the elder).  They are paid to represent who is paying them, even if it's not their "normal" schtick - if they don't like the case, they should not take it (I'm not a lawyer, BTW ;) )

At the risk of sounding bitter, my lawyers, the 5 I met, 4 family lawyers and one tax lawyer, they do not fight or try to do what's best for who is paying them. They do whatever is easier and faster. Probably also what's more interesting. They do not give advice either, I had to know in each case what I wanted to do.
Not bitter at all, I'll take that as "wise from actual experience". Thanks for the real world data point

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Lillith65

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Re: uBPDm waifing hardcore
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 07:14:23 PM »
Quote
The guilt is pretty strong, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of her poor, lonely waify self crying because she is all alone.

I hope that it helps to know that you are not on your own. It helps me, although it is also very sad that so many of us go through this.

My uAPDM (but behaving like a BPD right now) has a similar story to yours. My parents spent every penny they got hold of, got into huge debt despite my uNPDF having a very good income and then he died leaving her with nothing but a small amount of capital in a house that was still mortgaged and a lot of debt. She is now waifing about how little she has and how terrible things are after decades of extravagance. She plans to move close to me - the only member of the family with a job and a car - but as the SG who has been fighting the FOG I have now drawn the line. I could handle a once a week phone call when she lived away, but I am not getting involved in this self created car crash. My enmeshed, GC uBPDS and my mother can sort the mess out themselves.

The posts in this thread and the advice and support on this forum are a major part of what is keeping me going.