It's never good enough

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MIB

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It's never good enough
« on: June 20, 2021, 11:19:04 PM »
Hi everyone,

So my dad (who was definitely an enabler of my uPD mom and was quite likely uPD himself) passed away unexpectedly two months ago.

He owned his own business (a door and window installation business where he did literally everything), looked after all the finances, and took care of basically everything for my Mom. 

My mom cleaned the small home they lived in and cooked dinner, the latter usually poorly. She has basically no useful skills, can't send an email,  can't do anything online,  and was clueless about what to do with her personal situation or the business when he died.

I have a young family (that she never bothered with until he died, and only now because she needs help),  live an hour away,  and am an only child.  She has very few (basically no) friends.  So I arranged the funeral,  advised her on her finances,  did all the heavy lifting to sell Dad's business (& took numerous hours and 2 personal days off work to do this). She barraged me by text with numerous questions for basically 2 months straight about what to do with her life.

I picked her and my grandmother up today to visit his plot at the cemetery for Father's day.  She acted like she had a stick up her arse. I ignored it.

Later,  over lunch,  she rips into me that I'm not helping her enough to earn my inheritance.

So I. Let. Her. Have. It.

In a nutshell,  I tell her that she is a bottomless pit of needs and that I could help her from morning to night, 24/7 and it would never be good enough for her.  And that when she previously threatened to cut me out of the Will (because that's the kind of person my mother is),  I decided I didn't give a royal rats arse about it. I do fine financially thank you very much and don't need her money.

She apologized later,  told me she's having a hard time and hopes I visit soon blah blah.  I get it to some extent,  but honestly... what an ingrate. In her eyes,  my only purpose is to do things for her.

So I wanted to ask the forum...What would you do/ how would you proceed in my situation if this were your mom?

Thanks,
MIB



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SunnyMeadow

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Re: It's never good enough
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2021, 11:09:23 AM »
She hopes you'll visit soon?  :blink: Well, that sounds fun.

I'm impressed that you let her have it, she needed that reality check from you. I sincerely hope it does some good but I'm not too optimistic. If this was me, I'd back off from interacting with her. I'd be cool and detached and do the bare minimum. She's shown you what she thinks of you. Now if my husband died and I was upset and grieving, I wouldn't lash out at my daughter that she's not doing enough to earn her inheritance!! I would tell her that I've been struggling and sad but not the inheritance thing. That's pretty low down of her. So from now on she's going to dangle money in front of you? Uh no thanks.

And you know what she forgot in all this upset and drama? You lost your dad. This is not only her losing her husband, you also lost an important person in your life. As much as she can't believe it, you also suffered and yet she has the nerve to be waving inheritance in front of your face and lashing out.

I'm sorry MIB, this all sounds very stressful for you.

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Sneezy

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Re: It's never good enough
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2021, 01:15:39 PM »
In her eyes,  my only purpose is to do things for her.

So I wanted to ask the forum...What would you do/ how would you proceed in my situation if this were your mom?

Yes, your only purpose is to do things for her.  In fact, the very universe revolves around your mother, and the only thing that matters is what she is thinking/feeling/needing right now in this moment.  It's all, and I mean all, about her.  ::)

As SunnyMeadow pointed out, you have lost your father.  Where is her sorrow for your loss?  There is no joint grieving, no understanding that this is difficult for you, too.  Because it's all about her.

What to do?  Boundaries.  Establish them now and understand that she will push back with all her might.  This could get worse as she ages and can do less for herself.  Decide what you will and won't do, and stick to it.  If you think she may end up in some type of senior living arrangement, see if you can get her to move before it becomes an emergency.  Look for ways to lighten the load on you.  If she can afford it, hire help to cook, clean, drive, etc.  Keep it as easy and simple on you as possible.  And realize that no matter how much you plan ahead, and how strong your boundaries are, there will be days when the best-laid plans are a bust and she breaches right through your boundaries.

Elderly parents can take a toll on you in the best of circumstances.  Add a PD into the mix and it can be like you're living in the upside down.  Keep your medium chill set to high and keep your boundaries up as best you can.

Best of luck to you and also my condolences on your loss.

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moglow

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Re: It's never good enough
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2021, 02:24:18 PM »
Quote
In a nutshell,  I tell her that she is a bottomless pit of needs and that I could help her from morning to night, 24/7 and it would never be good enough for her.  And that when she previously threatened to cut me out of the Will (because that's the kind of person my mother is),  I decided I didn't give a royal rats arse about it. I do fine financially thank you very much and don't need her money.

She apologized later,  told me she's having a hard time and hopes I visit soon blah blah.  I get it to some extent,  but honestly... what an ingrate. In her eyes,  my only purpose is to do things for her.
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's hard enough to navigate one's own grieving process without the unlimited and [often] unspoken expectations and demands of others refusing to do for themselves.

You sing the song of my people, MIB, and I'm truly sorry. That sounds painfully similar to my parental unit and that's not intended as a compliment to either. Mother's husb/my stepfather passed away within three months of my Daddy's passing; we'd also lost both grandmothers and an uncle that year. It was a very hard 15 months and by the time my stepfather passed I was reeling, barely functioning, rarely sober and deeply unstable. Mother had expectations - LOTS of expectations! - of how things were to be, disregarding the many years prior where she'd repeated pushed her children aside and walked over us. Yes, mother had lost her mother, brother and then husband - as Sunny mentioned, we had losses too! We also were grieving and trying to find our way, at our individual limits of what we could handle. But no, we were supposed to somehow drop that and take care of her.

Somewhere along the way my stepfather had supposedly told her that she "couldn't count on the kids, that [she'd] be on her own" when he was gone.  Without context I have no idea if it were actually said, much less what he intended. I suspect he'd been watching and listening for years and was well aware that she'd burned down any real relationship she might have had with us many years before. He was no fool! But no, she kept throwing that statement out there whenever she felt overwhelmed or overlooked. Never you mind that we were all working, supporting ourselves, raising families, and living our lives - we were supposed to STOP whenever and for however long she demanded and step up to her imaginary plate.

But after years of abuse and minimizing when not outright ignoring us, we were to somehow read her mind? We were to simply stand and deliver no questions asked? She *thought* things should be thus and so, and that's how it was to be - only she didn't share that with anyone. She just got mad, raging boiling mad, over and over again then she'd calm down and be semi-nice only to repeat the cycle. No one wanted anything to do with her! THEN she complained we didn't call, didn't visit. But why would we want that?? In all honesty and at the end of the day I had to admit I don't like her, not as a person or a human being. I don't like the way she treated me or anyone else, all the gossip and nastiness that went on behind everyone's back, and me *knowing* she was doing the same behind mine. Yes, I had to accept her as she is - and I don't like that person.

Anyhoo, I get it. All you can realistically do is what's best for all concerned - it's not just about her, but all of you. I'm REALLY proud that you gave her an earful, because it was probably way overdue. Yes she's alone and that's sad for any of us, but she never bothered to build a life for herself either. She never reached out or learned and stepped up into her own life. You have responsibilities to yourself and your family - and honestly, what was your relationship with her like before your dad passed? Is she honestly expecting you to step up into his caretaker role [she wouldn't be the first!], and is that reasonable on any possible level? Remind yourself, we're ALL having a hard time right now - but when wasn't that the case for her and why is it your responsibility to fix it for her? What about YOUR hard time, your family and responsibilities?

You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, always. There's [unfortunately] no timeline, no "I have finally arrived on the other side" but a lot of dips and mountains along the way.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 02:29:26 PM by moglow »
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

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waterfalls

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Re: It's never good enough
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2021, 04:19:48 PM »
First let me say that I'm so sorry for the loss of your father. That is difficult for anyone to go through. Please be good to yourself and take good care of yourself.

I'm also so sorry to hear that you're dealing with a PD mother who's so needy and expects everyone to dance around her. Being an only child myself and having an NPD mother who is similarly helpless with a lack of useful skills, I can relate. I give you credit for laying things out with her when she pushed you too far--that takes tremendous courage! Good for you for standing your ground!

The others gave you some good points. Establishing boundaries is definitely important. What would I do if this would be my mother? I would do what I feel I could live with, and that may be different for each person. If you can live with checking in on her once a week, once a month, whatever the case may be, then do that. If you can't, then don't. If you want to help her out when she really needs help, then do it, but also don't overdo things and let her slip into a "learned helplessness." Think about what you can live with, establish those boundaries, and try to stick to them. It's a difficult balance, one that will be shaken from time to time.

It's good you live a hour away from your mother and not down the street or in the same town. Hopefully, you have a supportive who understands. Focus on your own family and do what feels right to you. Wishing you the best.

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MIB

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Re: It's never good enough
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2021, 08:15:40 PM »
Thank you all for your replies and support.

You have reminded me that taking care of myself and my family are top priority,  and I need to do what I feel I want to and can do.

So if I can join a meeting by phone,  I will.  Provide advice by text,  great (though not too quickly!). I can tell you I won't be visiting very often (because that has totally stunk), but can do short video calls with the kids.

She really just wants other people to do all the things that Dad did.  But I/we can't and shouldn't.  It is her life to manage,  as long as she is physically and mentally able to do so. She would run me into the ground as well,  given a chance,  and I simply can't have that.

All this said,  I really wish I had a proper mother.  Because I don't... that is abundantly clear.  I was kind of hoping she'd change for the better with this event but I know PDs (like most people) can't change unless they really want to.  And she doesn't, because there's nothing wrong with her.  :blink:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,  isn't it? :wacko:

Sigh. It's sad.

Again,  thank you for your support.  I really appreciate it.

MIB


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Lovelily32

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Re: It's never good enough
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 06:04:36 AM »
They loooooove to threaten to cut us off, don't they? As if we care about it. Honestly, who would just agree to be their mom's doormat for an inheritance?

I would let her see how lucky she does have it with you as her child. Stop being so available and take care of your emotional needs instead. She's treating you horribly.

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M0009803

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Re: It's never good enough
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2021, 05:24:55 PM »
Thank you all for your replies and support.

You have reminded me that taking care of myself and my family are top priority,  and I need to do what I feel I want to and can do.

So if I can join a meeting by phone,  I will.  Provide advice by text,  great (though not too quickly!). I can tell you I won't be visiting very often (because that has totally stunk), but can do short video calls with the kids.

She really just wants other people to do all the things that Dad did.  But I/we can't and shouldn't.  It is her life to manage,  as long as she is physically and mentally able to do so. She would run me into the ground as well,  given a chance,  and I simply can't have that.

All this said,  I really wish I had a proper mother.  Because I don't... that is abundantly clear.  I was kind of hoping she'd change for the better with this event but I know PDs (like most people) can't change unless they really want to.  And she doesn't, because there's nothing wrong with her.  :blink:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,  isn't it? :wacko:

Sigh. It's sad.

Again,  thank you for your support.  I really appreciate it.

MIB

I have been through something similar and if you are fine financially, I think you should set any inheritance thoughts aside.

Nobody that is healthy upstairs would suggest that you work "harder" for your inheritance.

This means that if you do too little for her, she is likely to hold it against you (thus, no inheritance for you), or if you do too much in your view, it will never be good enough for her (thus, damaging you in terms of how much energy you devote to the relationship).

The logical course of action is therefore boundaries and detachment.  Let her figure out how to solve her own problems.  What she decides as it pertains to the inheritance is not important.