My mum is definitely declining this time

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KitLily
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14 Apr 2023, 6:51 am

I require support please, no 'funny' or critical comments.

I've always had a rocky relationship with my mum so I've kept out of her way a lot because I always seem to annoy/ upset/ irritate/ embarrass her, so our relationship is better if we're far apart. She has always been forgetful, unpredictable, deceitful. She will say one thing and do another, manipulate other people to get her own way etc.

She chose to move away from us a few years ago, into a retirement complex 2 hours drive away. I had my reservations but nothing ever stops her doing what she wants. I thought it was a bit of a swindle- charging people over 55 for luxury apartments with little in the way of support and assistance.

So this week we went to see her, we always stay in a B&B and meet her for lunch. I phoned the night before to remind her because she's always been forgetful. The phone just rang and rang so I left it and phoned the next morning. Still no answer.

Fortunately I had the number of the HQ of this chain of retirement complexes, I phoned and got put through to the right department.

They said my mum had been out walking and had a fall outdoors so she was now in hospital. That was a shock so we went straight to the hospital and saw her. Of course she was enjoying herself, bossing everyone around and socialising in the ward. I knew she would be, she is always alright because she has a very strong survival instinct.

Then we went to see the manager of mum's retirement complex. Let's call her Jane. She said they'd been so worried about my mum for the last year, they'd been trying and trying to contact me for that last year but hadn't been able to.

That is a load of b0ll0cks! I gave them my landline and mobile number when mum moved in there! Jane said they'd tried my landline lots of times but not been able to get through!

1. I work from home, I'm here 24/7.
2. If you can't reach someone, leave a message! We have an answerphone.
3. If you can't reach someone via phone, send a letter in the post! Really simple to do.

Jane tried to tell me that my mum had told them not to contact me so I wouldn't get worried, but I'm not sure whether to believe that. They should have decided what the best way forward was and contacted me. I'm in my 50s, I'm not a child. I think the company thought they'd found a great business opportunity selling luxury flats to elderly people, but now they are finding they need to provide social care and health support! Duh!

It also turned out that they had my mum's own mobile number as the contact, not mine! How that happened, I'll never know.

What a bunch of numpties!

Anyway, now they've found me (?) they are going ahead sorting out a social care package so she can move back into her own flat.

The good thing was: the manager said my mum has lots and lots of friends at the complex, even though mum tells me she never sees anyone and no one talks to her. So she isn't lonely there.

And also, the place we are planning to move to next is near my mum's home so this proves we are doing the right thing to move there.

But it was still a shock to see my big strong mum in a hospital gown, looking small and old.


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Misslizard
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14 Apr 2023, 10:08 am

That’s a lot to deal with.It is hard to see a parent get old ,even if you aren’t close.
My bio-mom and I were estranged for years.She wasn’t a very nice person then.At one point I never wanted to see her again.
She has a rare blood cancer and other health problems now.What’s sad is that we are actually getting along ,I suppose better late than never.
I was able to forgive her because she didn’t have a very happy childhood and now I’m sure that had so much to do with her problems.
Her mom died when she was a toddler, her father brought her home to Arkansas to live with elderly grandparents, then they died and she was taken in by Aunt and Uncle.The same ones that later adopted me.
She lives several hours away so I don’t see her often but we do talk almost daily now.
It’s hard to see her frail.She was an MP in Army, a CO at men’s max unit and played Rugby.Now she can’t hardly walk.
I’m glad that I forgave her.
I hope things work out with your mom.
Hugs.


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KitLily
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14 Apr 2023, 11:34 am

Thanks Miss Lizard :heart:

The thing is, my dad died when I was 13 years old, so I went through that when I was young- seeing him getting weaker and weaker and dying. I've had experience in that but here we go again.

I think when parents get old and weak they realise they need their children and start being nice to them, I've seen it happen a lot. My mum is always nicer to me when she's ill, then when she feels better she gets nasty again. She is a classic 'nice in public, horrible in private' type of person. She had a personality assessment for a job once and they refused to employ her because she has very divergent thinking and is a very high risk taker- the classic profile of a criminal. She thought that was hilarious. I didn't.

So long ago I stopped letting her push my buttons because she's hurt me so often that my buttons don't work anymore. I have a polite, distant relationship with her.

But as you say, whatever your relationship with your mum, they are always your mum and it's hard to see them decline. Most of my life, my mum has been like a cross between a steamroller and an elephant: charging through life at 100 MPH so it's not like her to decline.

I am so grateful for my beloved husband and daughter's support though. They carried me through the last few days and took great care of me :heart: My daughter is only 17 but she is so wise. I don't treat her the way my mum treated me.


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Misslizard
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14 Apr 2023, 11:48 am

I’m glad you have them, a real blessing.
I also lost my adopted dad when I was seven.He didn’t linger, it was sudden.
His aorta ruptured.He was there and then he wasn’t.It still hurts.He was a sweet and gentle man.
It’s what has helped me to forgive my mom, she had so many multiple early losses when she was a child.Children didn’t get grief counseling then ,so no telling what it did to her.I also think she has ADHD or possibly on the spectrum.
I still set boundaries.She did take advantage of my good nature when we first reconnected and I dropped her again.
I think some of it is her getting old and worried about dying alone.


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KitLily
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14 Apr 2023, 12:00 pm

They are indeed a blessing. When covid happened, we realised what a good team we make, all helping each other. And we still do.

I'm sorry you lost your dad so suddenly, it's a terrible loss we never get over. I never know whether a sudden death is worse than a lingering death. With a sudden death you don't get months of dread but you don't have time to tell them you love them. With a lingering death, you get time to say goodbye but have to watch them die. That was my dad- he got leukaemia and I think it lasted a year before he died. I saw things that 13 year olds shouldn't have to see, I will never forget saying goodbye in hospital as he lay there full of tubes, unable to recognise me.

My mum was nice to me after my dad died, it was when I reached 18 or so she started turning against me. As you say, there was no counselling available in previous decades, although I think we were offered it because it was the 1980s. I vaguely remember my mum saying 'we could have counselling, but we don't want to tell strangers our problems do we. We'll sort them out ourselves.' So we never sorted them out, I was never allowed to talk about my feelings. So as a result I had a massive nervous breakdown in my 20s.

I've no idea what made my mum like she is. She didn't have lots of bereavements when young. She grew up in WW2 but so did everyone of that generation. She was nice to me up until I was 18 or so, but has been nasty ever since (that's 35-ish years) so I assume that is her real personality, not the nice one.

I don't really feel anything for her tbh. I want the best for her and will deal with social services etc on her behalf. But we'll never be close. Every time I think we're getting over our difficulties and becoming closer, she barks at me or does something cruel to me or my daughter, so I don't trust her, if I ever did. When she started being cruel to my daughter, that was the final straw. I am a protective mum.


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Misslizard
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14 Apr 2023, 12:21 pm

Some people are just nasty and I suppose it is their nature.She had no right to be cruel to your daughter.Most grans spoil them.
I never thought of bio mom as “ mom”, we never bonded.Maybe because she had twilight sleep during the birth?Women were so drugged they didn’t bond well and the baby was drugged also.They also were discouraged to breast feed.
She was more like a mean older sister.
I don’t call her mom, I use her first name.My mother is my adopted mom.She loved and cared for me till she died , I was fixing to turn fourteen.
Congestive heart failure.She was in the hospital around a week.Begging to come home.I’m glad I walked to see her ever day before she died.
They were both older folks and wouldn’t have been awarded custody except they were family.
Bio mom got custody then, it was awful so I wound up in foster care and group homes.
It’s been a long strange trip.


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KitLily
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14 Apr 2023, 12:53 pm

Misslizard wrote:
Some people are just nasty and I suppose it is their nature.She had no right to be cruel to your daughter.Most grans spoil them.

She was more like a mean older sister.

I don’t call her mom, I use her first name.My mother is my adopted mom.She loved and cared for me till she died , I was fixing to turn fourteen.
Congestive heart failure.She was in the hospital around a week.Begging to come home.I’m glad I walked to see her ever day before she died.
They were both older folks and wouldn’t have been awarded custody except they were family.
Bio mom got custody then, it was awful so I wound up in foster care and group homes.
It’s been a long strange trip.


My mum was usually nice to my daughter but I could never trust her as she often just turned cruel for no reason I could see e.g. when daughter was 8, she stayed overnight with my mum. But instead of putting her in her usual cosy room, mum put her in a big, strange, dark room full of junk. My daughter was terrified and didn't sleep a wink all night. I confronted my mum who said 'I didn't hear a wink from her all night.' If you have an 8 year old staying with you, you don't just leave them! You check up on them throughout the night!

Mum also refused to buy or use the non dairy products that my daughter needs (she is severely intolerant to dairy products) and tried to feed her dairy food and drink. That is dangerous and I had to be very careful.

Gosh that is a coincidence you say that about the mean older sister. I've thought of my mum as 'my competitive older sister' for decades. Anything I had, she had to have better. Anything I did, she put down and had a tantrum to distract people from my achievement. e.g. my wedding day, my daughter's Christening, my graduation.

I was lucky I had lots of parental figures around me- my friends' parents etc. Although when I set out for university I was lost and adrift, that's when I had a breakdown.

I'm sorry you lost your adopted mum so young, and went through all the foster care system. So many people just aren't suited to be parents, I wish there was a system to somehow vet them before they have kids.


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Misslizard
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14 Apr 2023, 1:53 pm

Thanks, she was young and naive and seduced by an older married man.At that time it was shameful to be an unwed mom so she temporarily married a man so I would have a name on the birth certificate.In some Southern states if you didn’t know they would put Bastard.She divorced him right after I was born.
For years I thought that man was my father but didn’t learn the truth till I was around thirty.I’ve never met my real dad and don’t want to.He was a jerk.
At that time people didn’t talk to their daughters about birth control and they didn’t have many options.Lots of unwed pregnant teenagers girls wound up in Florence Crittenton homes.
So sad they were shamed but the man wasn’t.
I’m glad we can do better for our daughters.


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KitLily
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15 Apr 2023, 4:02 am

I'm sorry your mum went through that, it is not fair that women get criticised and men get away Scot free. Yes, not talking about sex or birth control is almost fatal for girls and women. I see that the Republicans in the US are trying to make that happen again and suppress women's rights in general. I'm sure that will be coming over to the UK soon!

So I feel better about my mum today. She is always okay, she makes sure of that so I don't worry about her. Hopefully the social services will contact me with a care plan next week.

But who knows with the current state of British health care!


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15 Apr 2023, 9:03 am

Glad you feel better about it all.
Mothers, they can be a handful!

It’s like they are turning the clock back here and now there is no safety net for women.
I hope your country doesn't go the same way, nothing is certain certain anymore.


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KitLily
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15 Apr 2023, 9:08 am

Yes, as we said, I have thought of my mother as my competitive older sister for decades. She always told me she yearned to have her own baby. (but she forgot that babies grow up and you have to be their mother forever. She lost interest in me once I became an adult.) I don't do that, I think my daughter is more interesting now she's an adult!

I see that. They are indeed turning the clock back for women. I hope Americans can stop this happening.

It may happen here too. However, the only thing that might save us in Britain is our lack of religious belief. The church holds almost no power over Brits, Christianity is viewed as something for old, boring people to do, most Brits are non-religious. Fingers crossed that can save us.


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KitLily
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18 Apr 2023, 10:38 am

So the update is, no update! I haven't heard from social services, unsurprisingly.

Since I was about 20, I've known that I aggravate my mother. She gets angry/ embarrassed/ irritated/ insulted by me, whatever I do. No matter how quiet and polite I am, no matter how much I join in with her crazy plans, no matter what I do, she gets angry/ embarrassed/ irritated/ insulted.

So obviously I don't want my mother feeling badly! So I worked out long ago that the best thing for me to do is keep out of her way so she feels good, I assume she is happier when I'm not there, anyway.

It's hard to break this habit and be constantly phoning to talk to her, because I am CERTAIN that would annoy the hell out of her and she'd rather I kept away.

It's a dilemma. Hopefully when we move next year so we are closer to her it will be easier to deal with her.

We are looking into getting a Power of Attorney for her finances and health, I'm kind of hoping that she is found to be mentally incapable so we can do this without asking her permission. Because she would never give it, but if we can get POA easily, we can sort out her financial affairs and she won't get into trouble there.

I wish this had happened next year when we are nearer to moving but such is life.


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KitLily
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20 Apr 2023, 9:45 am

Luckily the doctors and social workers are keeping me in touch about my mum's condition and how they are helping her, thank goodness. That's a first! No one has done so before :roll:

I hope we can get everything sorted out for her, I've had sooooo much to deal with for the last few years, it's hard being the only one supporting everyone else with no support for me. But that is what you get as a mum/ wife/ daughter/ employee. We are expected to be super women :roll:


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20 Apr 2023, 10:23 am

Hi Kitlily,
I am so sorry to hear that about your Mum and can't what you are currently going through. How are things going since she had a nasty fall?

As for your relationship with your mom, I know where you are coming from because my parents would always cut me down, bully me, and make fun of me. It's always hard when you try to get along with someone in your family who refuses to appreciate you. However, I am proud of you for checking in on her because that means that are a caring person who is warm and loving.



KitLily
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22 Apr 2023, 6:42 am

Summer_Twilight wrote:
Hi Kitlily,
I am so sorry to hear that about your Mum and can't what you are currently going through. How are things going since she had a nasty fall?

As for your relationship with your mom, I know where you are coming from because my parents would always cut me down, bully me, and make fun of me. It's always hard when you try to get along with someone in your family who refuses to appreciate you. However, I am proud of you for checking in on her because that means that are a caring person who is warm and loving.


Thanks Summer Twilight. It's hard because she moved house 2 hours' drive away before the pandemic so it's been hard to keep track of her as I've had so much else to cope with here at home.

I heard from the social worker and doctor and they seem to be on top of the situation so hopefully my mum will get a care package to help her live in her own home, she doesn't need residential care yet. We are hoping to move nearer to her next year so hopefully that'll work out.

Yes, imagine if I hadn't phoned them last week? Would they have let me know? I work from home, I'm here 24/7 so I wouldn't miss their calls. They haven't been constantly trying to phone me, they're lying. Really annoyed about that :x

My other friend who knows how my mum has treated me in the past, said she was lucky to have such a kind daughter as me who doesn't hold things against her.

I'm sorry you have that relationship with your parents. I wonder why some people even have children if they're going to treat them like that.


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KitLily
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25 Apr 2023, 9:01 am

Well that is good news!

The social worker said that my mum is going home tomorrow with a care package of helpers and going to attend a daycentre for old folk. So that is really good and she will be taken care of. Then next year we will move house closer to her, back to my home area!

Hooray!


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