Feeling very trapped

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jennsc85

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Feeling very trapped
« on: June 20, 2017, 04:28:17 PM »
I went over a little of this in my previous thread but to give a short summary-

My uBPD M is having surgery three months from now. She told me she would need aftercare at home and that she would need overnight care for at least two full days. I told her last weekend that I would not be available to stay at her house with her overnight or for several days. She sent me various text messages saying that family is inconvenient and I need to get over I and help her because that's what families to, and it's only going to get worse as she gets older.

I didn't respond and she put the subject to rest for a couple days.

Today she's back at it. I texted her and told her that I would not be available to be her caregiver for days after the fact. She said I was being "silly" and told me that they didn't offer any home health care. She asked whether I wanted to fork over several thousand dollars for an at home nurse. She prodded me to call her doctor since I "don't believe" her.

I repeated that I was telling her well in advance so she could plan something. I told her that I understood she was stressed out over the surgery but I would not be available to stay with her for days afterwards. I suggested that she talk to her doctor because I'm sure they could arrange something.

Cue the hysterics (via text). She tells me that the way I'm treating her is unhealthy. My mental health is concerning her. She asked if I'd go to a counselor with her to discuss why I hate her. She says that I am all she has and that families help each other. She says that I need to get over myself because she needs help. She's saying she won't be able to work if she's this stressed. She's asking what's wrong with me.

Worst, she's not really believing that I won't help her after the surgery. She keeps restating that she'll have to have someone there with her because she could fall or bleed to death. And that the only someone there is, is me. She's saying it so matter of factly that I don't think she really believes that I won't help her.

I know it's not really my responsibility but I called her doctors office and asked them what the protocol was for patients after surgery who did not have a family member at home with them. The nurse told me that they had home health aides who came by to check the wound, etc and make sure the patient was eating and all around OK. She didn't make it sound like a big deal. Why does it not make me feel better to know that this is an option? My mother would probably not even inquire about it because she would be "embarrassed" that her daughter won't help her.

I don't know what the point to this is- I just feel super trapped and anxious right now and needed to vent I guess. How do I keep from going back on this? Do I keep repeating myself? Do I ignore her tantrums?

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VividImagination

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 05:19:05 PM »
"Mom, I did as you suggested and called your doctor. They do have nurses that provide follow up care. You'll need to arrange that with them. I'm not responsible for your care...you are an adult. I'm not going to care for you in the future, either, as I have small children that are my priority. You need to make arrangements for that now. And before you mention it again, no, I'm not paying for anything. That's not my responsibility either. Your lack of planning is not my problem. I don't hate you, but I will put my family first and I will treat you like an adult. If you don't like that, I can't do anything about it...it's not going to change."

That would be the last I said about it. She will just circular argument this to death for the next three months, trying to wear you down. When she brings up the topic again, block her until she understands that you aren't discussing it.

You're right..she doesn't believe you. This is your proving ground. If it were me, I'd do a three months time out until after the surgery so that it's obvious to everyone that she CAN make it herself.

She can't hire a nurse and tell them to bill you. Your mother's insistence on treating you as if you are a stupid little child bugs the heck out of me...my NM did the same, threatening me with things no logical adult would believe, like having to pay for a nurse.

If she is at risk of falling or bleeding to death, they won't release her. This is overdramatization on her part to try to force you to do her bidding.

I'm not trying to minimize whatever procedure she's having, but I've had three c-sections and was home within 48 hours each time, caring for a newborn round the clock as well as my other kids. I'm no young momma, either.

My sister's MIL is much like your M. She has floated from person to person her entire life, always looking for someone to care for her. Life just doesn't work that way. Would you consider telling your daughter when she's a young mom that she has to give up everything to care for you because you don't want to be bothered to care for yourself?
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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SmartyCat

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2017, 06:02:43 PM »
IMO, any response you choose to send can disregard the literal words she uses and address her intent: getting exactly what she wants, when she wants it.

“Regardless” and “Nevertheless” are good broken-record words. As in, “nevertheless, I will not be available” or “regardless, you will need to make other arrangements”.

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Amadahy

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 10:34:20 PM »
I am SO sorry, Jenn! I know that trapped feeling.  When N mom went to psych hospital, she insisted she was coming back to my house.  (She had lived with us until paranoia, calls to APS, gaslighting my kids, etc.)  I told her numerous times "NO!"  It took a conference phone call with the psych hospital social worker, me and mom to have her make alternate arrangements.  It was hard!!  I had a friend holding my hand the whole time, but it worked.  Maybe your mom's doctor or office representative could do a three-way phone call like this.  In any case, you must remain firm!  You are not a bad daughter, nor are you mentally ill.   Best wishes and big hugs.
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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 01:34:30 AM »
I like Vivid's response, but I'd take it a bit further:

"Mom - they do have nurses to provide follow-up care.  You'll need to speak to your doctor about arranging it.  I've already told you I'm not going to be available to take care of you, so DROP IT.  This topic is no longer open for discussion.  I said no - and that is FINAL."

If she starts wheedling and pleading - even via text - I'd be even more frank:

"Mom - stop whining.  It's not dignified and doesn't change anything."

I'd then give her a 10-day time out from returning *any* call or text. 

If she's going to behave like a child, that's exactly how you're going to have to treat her.

Think of the things you do with your LOs when they misbehave.  Those are the tactics you have to use and even though I don't have kids myself, I have heard of them and understand sometimes parents have to put their foot down.

You don't put your foot down with your kids to be mean, but to restore order and remind them *you* are the parent and really the one in charge. 

What your mom is doing is the adult version of a toddler begging and pleading for ice cream - and it should be treated accordingly.

You can do this.  You've already handled her beautifully - and you're going to have to keep doing it until the day you decide you really don't want ANY relationship with her and block her number.

Unfortunately, that's the way it works - boundaries galore until you decide to drop the rope.

This is only one of the many battles to come that you HAVE to win - because you're battling for who controls your life.

 :hug:

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lightworld

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 07:30:10 AM »
Jenn I'm so sorry and I do recognise this being treated like a naughty child and having your own responsibilities for your FOC ignored, it's all too familiar. But- I so agree with the others on this, you've been so strong with her up to now and I know from your posts that it's been hard.

Don t cave now. You have some really good responses from Vivid and WI that you can use and Smartycat's advice is brilliant, I'm going to use that myself!  As it says in the medium chill section, don't worry  about how it sounds. If it's text, just write it, if it's a phone call, I find writing down the words and then simply reading them helps. A silence at the other end frightens the bejesus out of me but I make myself endure it and not backtrack.


Keep it up and you will get there, you have been so strong and now need  to keep at it to protect yourself and your precious FOC. You are not a bad person, it's perfectly natural in the non-PD world to put your own partner and kids first. We're with you here.   :hug:  LW
An empathic, highly sensitive, caring, loving, naďve, emotional and vulnerable child is a prime target for a narcissistic parent
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junklady

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 10:26:16 AM »
jenn ~ I know exactly how you feel. My NF and I are all the only 2 left in our family. My 2 brothers & Mom have passed. I think the stress from NF played a part in all of that.

He does the exact same thing to me. I have sat through 6 surgeries and weeks at his house, only to be continually verbally abused. He says I owe him, and if I don't want to do it, I'm not getting anything.
I don't want anything, leave me alone. All I want is peace. I finally went NC almost 3 months ago. It's so true, until you drop the rope, you will have no peace in your life.  :stars:

He needs a hip replacement. It's not my job, he can figure it out. His doctor told me to walk away & let him figure it out. The verbal abuse has taken a toll on my health.

At some point, you will have to drop the rope & take care of yourself & your family. I can't even describe the feeling of NC. No more dreaded calls and verbal abuse. My family can't believe how different I am.
 :bighug:

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daughter

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2017, 11:34:41 AM »
Good that you recognize that your mother's attempting to "shame you into compliance".  Good that you recognize that she wants your free labor, regardless of your ability, suitability, or willingness to do so.  Good that you called her bluff, by speaking directly to doctor's office.  I'd follow-up with a short written note to same doctor's office, confirming that you're unable to assist her post-surgery, so nursing-aid should be scheduled.  Plenty of adult-children are unable to "drop everything and come running".  It's only the "dutiful daughters" who get that dog-whistle summons, along with "you owe me" admonishments, to become de-facto eldercare provider for their parents.

I dealt with this issue for years before NC, me the SG "dutiful daughter", the designated future eldercare provider.  My NBM constantly (and weirdly) harped on this topic, even in her early 40s, but only to me, and not to my GC "princess" nsis, NBM's BFF mini-me.  My needs were unimportant.  My full-time professional job, my children, my nanny-less housekeeper-less home, and DH were unimportant.  I'd get dog-whistles to "drive my parents to airport", a 15 minute cab-ride from their home, but a minimum 3-hour commitment from me, expecting me to leave work  to do so.  When NBM was in her 50s, she constantly peppered me with "come with me to doctor appointment, I don't want to take your (retired) dad".  When hypochondriac NBM took to her bed in winter-time, whether for "sciatica" or common flu, I'd be peppered with calls to leave work or leave home to "take care of your mother".  Nsis never got that dog-whistle.  And at-home NF didn't think it was his "job" to tend to his difficult wife.  No that was my role, until I finally and firmly declined to do so.  You're at that same watershed-moment of time to decline to do so.  And time to establish a new strong boundary: you're not your mother's primary caregiver, and you won't be in future.  You can agree to eventually provide household management oversight, but certainly not that person doing the nursing, doing the cleaning, doing the chauffeuring, doing "the doing".  Be firm.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 11:37:22 AM by daughter »

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jennsc85

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2017, 09:02:20 PM »

She can't hire a nurse and tell them to bill you. Your mother's insistence on treating you as if you are a stupid little child bugs the heck out of me...my NM did the same, threatening me with things no logical adult would believe, like having to pay for a nurse.


See, when she does that (insists that I'll have to do xyz) I feel like a child and feel like I have to obey her "or else." She's always thought that she could bulldoze me into doing whatever she wants. If she lets up on something, it's because SHE wanted to and she always makes that clear. Lately, this is one of the first times of my life that I'm telling her "no." I still feel like I HAVE to do things for her but I have to keep telling myself that I'm an adult and no one can make me do anything. It's crazy that I have to do that in order to feel some sense of control over my life.


I am SO sorry, Jenn! I know that trapped feeling.  When N mom went to psych hospital, she insisted she was coming back to my house.  (She had lived with us until paranoia, calls to APS, gaslighting my kids, etc.)  I told her numerous times "NO!"  It took a conference phone call with the psych hospital social worker, me and mom to have her make alternate arrangements.  It was hard!!  I had a friend holding my hand the whole time, but it worked.  Maybe your mom's doctor or office representative could do a three-way phone call like this.  In any case, you must remain firm!  You are not a bad daughter, nor are you mentally ill.   Best wishes and big hugs.

That sounds incredibly stressful for you! When a PD parent wants to be in your house or vice versa for an extended period of time, there's something very unnerving about it! The thought of being in my mother's house for two days straight is enough to send me into a panic. I have a feeling that my mother has told her doctor that I'll be taking care of her after the fact. In fact, I know she has. She sometimes likes to pretend like she has this great relationship with me... but then sometimes she acts all waify and says that she has no one and her daughter hates her because she's (I'm) mentally ill etc etc etc. There's many different masks in place there! Anyways... I really like the idea of calling the doctor's office with her on the line because then an outsider has actually heard me say that NO I won't be able to be her caregiver.


I like Vivid's response, but I'd take it a bit further:

"Mom - they do have nurses to provide follow-up care.  You'll need to speak to your doctor about arranging it.  I've already told you I'm not going to be available to take care of you, so DROP IT.  This topic is no longer open for discussion.  I said no - and that is FINAL."

If she starts wheedling and pleading - even via text - I'd be even more frank:

"Mom - stop whining.  It's not dignified and doesn't change anything."

I'd then give her a 10-day time out from returning *any* call or text. 

If she's going to behave like a child, that's exactly how you're going to have to treat her.


I like these suggestions of what to say. Surprisingly, she has not texted/called today. I guess I'm getting the ST for a day at least. It is so foreign to me to have to treat her like she's one of my children, even though that's exactly how she acts (only worse!) Demanding, tantruming... but I still feel like I'm at her mercy because I'm the child and she's the adult.

This is only one of the many battles to come that you HAVE to win - because you're battling for who controls your life.
Oh my gosh I needed to hear that so badly. Thank you so much for that.

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raindrop

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 10:05:37 PM »
You got this Jenn! You're wise to what she's doing, you've called her bluff.
I totally understand the feeling of being a powerless little kid. I get that feeling too. But you're not a kid any more. You're a grown woman and it is your right to say no if you can't do  something.
I really admire the courage you've been showing this whole time with your mom. She really is something else and you're doing brilliantly. You've got some great strategies going forward, I really like the conference call idea. Good luck!
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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VividImagination

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2017, 10:59:40 PM »
but I still feel like I'm at her mercy because I'm the child and she's the adult.


But you're NOT - you're an adult, and she is acting more and more like a child. You do not have to do anything you don't want to do. Repeat that to yourself over and over like a mantra, sticky note it to every surface you come in contact with - hell, put it as a scrolling screensaver on your phone!! - and repeat it until you BELIEVE it.

You don't have to. If you don't, she will find another way, just like when she found her way home from the doctor's office. She CAN - she just doesn't want to. And that's too damn bad, because it's her problem...NOT YOURS, no matter how desperately she tries to make it yours.
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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Blueskies

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Re: Feeling very trapped
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2017, 06:23:01 AM »
The doctors/hospital are medically responsible for her after surgery...they would not let her out if there was a chance she could fall and bleed to death. She is exaggerating this to control you. Sounds like she made it up about having to have someone there overnight for 2 days. If they were concerned about her they would keep her in.