Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Elderly Family Members => Topic started by: spring13 on November 08, 2018, 10:57:58 AM

Title: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: spring13 on November 08, 2018, 10:57:58 AM
I have posted on and off here over the years about my uNPD/BPDm and enDad. My dad passed away a few months ago and I was briefly back in contact with my parents (after about 4 years NC) to see/help my dad as he was dying. After that, I determined to go NC with my mother again. She was supposed to go move to City A to be with golden child bro, but for various reasons (mostly that SIL (wisely) won't let her move in with them, just offered to help her find an apt in same area) she has flipped out that she will be homeless and has gotten back in touch with me. I got this obsequious email about how great it was that I helped them when Dad was dying and it was so out of character that I contacted golden bro/SIL and found out that, sure enough, they had had a fight and she supposedly wasn't going to ever talk to them again. So, back to her Plan B--me.

Here's my issue. I need a strategy. DH and I have been talking about it and we are concerned that because she is running out of money, can't afford to stay in her house, and has systematically destroyed every relationship in her life just about, she will literally show up at our doorstep (we are much closer to her than golden bro) one day. I will be like a deer in headlights because I am not good at confrontation and because I will have my two little ones with me AND because she is 81, in poor health, and in financially bad straits. I don't know what to do if she shows up. I'm hoping that her laziness (she really is just looking for someone to take care of her like my dad did for 50+ years) will prevent this, but I want to be prepared just in case. I don't want to call the cops on an 81-year-old woman who is in poor health and might literally be homeless, but I obviously don't want her in my house with my kids because I know how she is. She'll be nice for about 10 minutes and then she'll become resentful and nasty that everyone isn't giving her all their attention and it will swiftly go downhill from there.

Any advice for what to do? If she were "normal" I would offer to help her find a low-income apartment, but the reality is she only wants to live with gc or me because, again, she wants someone to take care of her. She can't afford assisted living, her credit is shot, etc. 
Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: Iguanagos on November 08, 2018, 11:23:59 AM
Her Plan A (your GC Bro and SIL) didn’t work, so she’s on to Plan B (you), as you said.

That may be HER plan, but that doesn’t make it YOUR plan.  Others here will have very specific advice having dealt with this situation, but mine would be just:

a.)   Don’t let her in your home, even for a short visit, as she may stage a sudden “illness” or “injury”, trying to prevent you from kicking her out.  If you need to see her in person for some reason, do it in a neutral public place.
b.)   Edge back more and more to VVVVVLC or NC.  Don’t answer texts, emails, calls right away.  Think about what response you want to give (if any), and do it in your own time, and as remotely (i.e., email instead of phone calls) as possible
c.)   Have phone numbers/websites/office locations for elder care resources in your area, and redirect her to those.
d.)   Make it clear to GC Bro & SIL that, like them, you are not an elder care option for her

Have you ever heard the saying, “A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”?  It’s unfortunate that after a lifetime of being irresponsible, she finds herself old, ill, and poor, but those are the consequences of her lifetime of choices.  There are agencies to help elders without resources.  She just would rather burden YOU with that job.  The more you can remove yourself and redirect her to those organizations, the better.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: practical on November 08, 2018, 12:45:24 PM
Can you see who is in front of your house door before opening and preferably without the other person seeing you? IF you can and it is her, could you stomach to not open and pretend you aren't home? I know I wouldn't open the door, but that is really hard to do emotionally especially if she makes a scene. Otherwise I would come out, take her to a coffee shop and talk to her. Problem is, however clear you might verbally make it that she will not live with you, and even if she lives around the corner you will not take care of her, she might think she can change you into her servant.

Like Iguanagos said, stick to your NC. If you want to, you can write back to her email (thereby kind of breaking your NC) "I came for Dad, nothing and nobody else." - not sure she would understand and it might be a form of engaging with her.

Really sorry I don't have any great advice, this is such a horrible situation, your hyper vigilance is most likely really bad.
Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: illogical on November 08, 2018, 03:29:02 PM
Hi spring13,

I can relate to your situation, as my NM tried to swoop down on me after my enF died.  I think that your mother is turning to you out of convenience.  My NM was the type that if you gave her an inch, she would take a mile. 

Your mother has had her "inch", as you were there during your dad's illness and death.  It sounds like she interprets your brief contact as a willingness to re-engage with her.  Please tread carefully here.  This is a very volatile situation.

My advice to you is to start proving to her now that you aren't useful.  She sees you as "useful" and presumes you are "willing" to help.  I would go out of my way to ignore her.  I agree with Iguanagos it might be beneficial to make it clear to your GC brother & SIL that you are not willing, under any circumstances, to have her live with you.  This is in case they try to encourage your mother to re-engage with you.  They may, in order to cover their butts here.  This was the situation I found myself in, as my GC brother was quite willing to foist NM off on me while he tended to her bank accounts.  That was, in fact, The Grand Plan.

Do you think your mother would be bold enough to show up at your door, unannounced, with her suitcase in hand?  My NM was passive-aggressive, avoided direct confrontation, and it would never have crossed her mind to do this to me.  She did, though, "hint" around at every opportunity to try to feel me out on on the subject, saying things like "I don't know what I'm going to do", or "Your house is beautiful.  If I lived there, I would never leave."   :aaauuugh:

If you think she is bold enough to show up at your door, I would be bold enough to tell her "I wished you had called first.  This isn't a good time."  And, as practical suggested, come out to greet her, not let her inside. 

In the meantime, ignore any and all overtures or hints to move in.  She may very well schmooze and/or hoover you to try to get you to comply.  Go out of your way to make it clear to her that you are not available.  I wouldn't offer her advice, because that will involve you re-engaging.  I would grey rock here-- "Sounds like a problem.  I'm sure you will figure something out." 

You are in a tough situation, but I would just stay focused on the message-- you aren't available as her caretaker.  Period.  She may "get it" and leave you alone.  Or she may ramp up her efforts to re-engage now that she's got one foot in the door.  Just hold the wheel steady, gently extract that foot and calmly close the door, so to speak. 

Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: openskyblue on November 08, 2018, 05:55:00 PM
This may sound silly, but you may want to invest in one of those front door cameras. At least then you can look on your phone or computer and see who is at the front door and get some time to figure out if you really want to open it--or not. And since you can access the camera remotely, if she shows up you can say that you are talking through the remote system and aren't home. Perhaps you are in Morocco?

Your mother sounds like she is skilled at getting others to take care of her. If so, I'm guessing if you make it too much work for her to secure your caretaking, she will move on to the next potential carer.
Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: WomanInterrupted on November 09, 2018, 02:06:07 AM
I think the doorbell version of the camera that synchs up to you phone is a great idea!  I found one on Amazon for as low as $61, made by a company called Rncyn  (I'm also in the market for a doorbell, so I figure it may as well be a smart one.)   :)

I've heard of people using it to deter burglars (remotely turning on lights, or acting like they're in the house and just can't get to the door, when they're actually at another location), but it will also work if your mom shows up and you want to pretend you're not there.   :ninja: 

Morocco, Mars - doesn't matter.  You can't let her in, because you're not actually there and may not be back for a week or two - at the very minimum.   :bigwink:

I'm sure you can spend more than $61, if you want to (you can probably spend a LOT for basically the same thing, but with more features - like remotely turning on or off lights), but the Rncyn looks like it should do the job for you, and give you  much-needed peace of mind.   :yes:

Always remember - just because she shows up, bag in hand, doesn't mean you HAVE to do anything but *stick to your boundaries.*   8-)

Another thing you might consider is letting her know, in crystal clear terms, that your home is NOT an option for her, just like your SIL did - then go back to NC.

If you were to let her know, I'd do it in writing, and send it via Certified Mail, with a return receipt, so you know she got it.

That takes away all the uncertainty and that anxious feeling of waiting and wondering if today is the day - she'll never tell you she got it, and she won't have to, because the Post Office will.

You've GOT this, Spring13!   :cheer: :cheer:

You are NOT her old age golden parachute plan.  If she's running out of money, she'll have to figure out something on her own.  There *are* options for her, but *she* has to find them and *use them.*

Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: lightworld on November 09, 2018, 03:52:22 PM
 Spring13 I sincerely hope that it doesn't come to this for you but I do understand you wanting to be prepared for the worst.  I think the main thing is not to let her into your house if she does turn up and to make sure she knows you are not willing to take her in.

I realise this is not the same but years ago, my SIL used to turn up unannounced when she was having marital problems and would move in on us for as long as she felt like it, it was a nightmare as she is PD.  In the end I did just what practical suggested and when I saw her at the door I'd  go outside and shut the door behind me. I kept her on the doorstep and stubbornly would not give in to any of her pleas. It was very hard but I finally put a stop to it.

You are not responsible for your M no matter what she thinks but if it makes  you feel better you could prepare yourself by finding out about professionals who could help her so that you can offer her an alternative to you as her support.  You have every right to protect yourself and your FOC and I'm sure  this is your priority. I'm so sorry you're going through this and I wish you strength and peace. :bighug:

Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: spring13 on November 11, 2018, 11:11:02 AM
Thank you all so much for your responses. I was sharing your suggestions with DH last night and we both feel better that we have some good ideas. A camera for the door is a great one!! I never thought of that. WomanInterrupted, I will check out the Rncyn option on Amazon. Thanks for the tip.

Stepping outside with her is a great suggestion, but it isn't an option because I have my little ones with me pretty much all the time and they're not at an age where they can be left inside to their own devices for even a few minutes and it would be too stressful to try to wrangle them outside while dealing with her.

I plan to stick to NC or at least VVVLC as others have suggested. I think it's a great point that Illogical said that I need to prove myself not useful!! I just don't want to be a part of her abuse and drama anymore...a decision I had already made a few years ago. My dad, with all his faults, deserved better and suffered the most (esp. when he was dying and she was so horrible to him) so now that he is gone I want more than ever for her to go away and leave me alone. I realize that is what she wants most of the time too unless she thinks she can use me for some reason.

Thank you all for your support! I feel less anxious about this scenario now.  :)
Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: Kiki81 on November 11, 2018, 07:20:03 PM
I do not open my front door unless I'm expecting someone I invited.

My friends know to text me first for a 'surprise' visit.

If I saw that my parents were at my front door, I would not answer the door. I know my parents would not call or text first because their style is the Ambush Appearance.

The people who taught me as a child not to open the door to strangers or undesired visitors? My parents!
Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: xredshoesx on November 11, 2018, 10:10:50 PM
this is a concern for me too, with both my biological mother (NC 25 years) and my MIL, who already made some plan about how she was gonna take turns living with all her kids during the summers when she didn't want to stay in the hot sun in the state she thought she was retiring in.  her plan to live in an RV in the sw was a bust and we had a big blow out when she sprung the part about staying with us (she told us vs asking) , so she hasn't brought it up since.  she lost her house here and has been staying with her sister for what we know-

one of the things  we did do besides having cameras in case my mother shows up out of nowhere (my greatest nightmare right there) was to make it harder to stay.  we got rid of our extra bed that was upstairs in the spare room and put a bunch of tires up there.  tires.  car tires with the rims.  plus the heat/ AC are sketch up there so it's not super comfortable to begin with.   anyone who visits sleeps on our leaky camping air mattress....in the living room with the two dogs and the 4 cats. the other thing we do is stay BUSY.  BUSY BUSY BUSY involved in our own lives professionally and as a married couple separate from her (MIL).  nowadays she's polite to me (for about a year and a half she wouldn't even look at me much less speak) and hasn't brought up living with any of us again.  we only see her 2-3 times a year on holidays.

we could help her find a nice condo for less than 20K  that could be an investment for all of the kids to finance but she's not interested in taking care of herself- like your mother, she wants someone else to do it for her.

good luck and let us know how it goes.

Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: spring13 on November 26, 2018, 02:47:07 PM
Updating this to say---we have our contingency plan in place as it now looks more likely than ever that she might show up (GC bro out of the picture at this point).

Got a cryptic email (didn't respond) from uNPD/BPD m saying she is moving but not saying where, saying have a nice life (basically), clearly trying to bait me.

I don't know where she is moving but suspect based on info from GC bro/SIL that she still has no plan and will make a spur-of-the-moment decision.

The one piece I am not sure about re: if she shows up at my doorstep and I or DH decide to talk to her is: can I refer her to local senior housing authorities if she isn't a resident of the area (she lives a few hours away)?. I don't want her living locally but a) we are moving next year anyway and b) I am not sure whom I could refer her to. She will rage/refuse, but I want to give the info as I feel that is an appropriate boundary-enforcing response that I am comfortable with.

I am 100% sure that any place around here would have a waitlist or she couldn't afford it. But I feel like if I tell her where to go that's where I can say "I tried to help you" (for my own sake) but what she does with the information (likely nothing) is on her.
Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: practical on November 26, 2018, 04:07:44 PM
I would give her the info if she shows up. It isn't really your problem whether they'll help her because she is out-of-state or not. If they don't, then hearing it directly from them is better than you telling her. If any of this happens without her having any plans beyond crashing on your sofa (and crashing your life  :aaauuugh: ), it is her problem. Your silence, not taking the bait is a clear signal, clearer than you could make it with words, to ignore it is her choice.

Hope she stays away, keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Title: Re: Strategy for if uNPD/BPD m shows up at doorstep?
Post by: spring13 on November 29, 2018, 04:31:39 PM
Thanks so much, practical. I'm overthinking this, probably. But as the deadline for her move approaches, I just keep trying to prepare myself for her showing up. I hope you're right that my going back to NC is sending a clear message.