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Struggling with mom moving in. (Update)


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My mom moved into our house in October. She is in the process of getting divorced and she and my step dad needed to sell the house. There is a very long backstory but it’s way too much. She was physically and verbally abuse to me growing up and is very controlling. Ive had to call her on a few things already since she’s been here, like cleaning up after me and the kids and. doing my laundry. I told her its overstepping and she needs to find her own purpose in life and that I’m certain it’s  not cleaning up after my family. There have been two instances of her saying things about my DS13 that are unacceptable. Sitting down to dinner she told him to “move his fat butt over.” DS is sensitive about his weight. (He is not overweight but is just coming out of the pre-teen stage before he stretches out phase.) After dinner I told her she is sensitive and to please not make comments like that. She got so offended she announced that she was going to “go upstairs and cry now.” Right then I said, someone setting boundaries should not be that upsetting to you.”

A few weeks later, she was trying to get him to pick something up as he was on his way to cook hamburgers for us outside. I said he was doing something and she said something to the effect that I never make my kids pick up after themselves. Then she said he was lazy. I told her that not acceptable and as I was talking, she kept saying, “OKAY, OKAY. OKAY” over me. I said ,”You are not going to disrespect me in my own house.” The she saluted and said, “Okay, Commander.” I told her this is not going to work. She came over to me and I said you will not call my kids lazy. She said, “Well, he is.” At this point, I almost lost it. I calmly told her, “I literally just told you that’s not acceptable to say.” She said I was disrespecting my mother. 

I told her there will be no housekeeping comments and no parenting comments from her. She said, “If you want me to move out, I will!” Kicking myself now for not saying “Yes, please.”

Fast forward about three months. Now she has decided that her “thing” with DS 13 will be mean-spirited teasing, like roasting each other. We are a very roast-y family so it’s not too out of the norm, but she has taken to saying, “I’m going to knock you upside the head” “You want me to beat you?” And things like that. When DS roasts her back, she feigns offense is a laughing way, “See how he talks to me? Hee hee hee.”

I’ve worked through a lot of things from my childhood and broke the cycle of abuse with my kids. Thank God! But the fake threats of violence with DS are triggering. Everything about her being here is triggering. Both of the times I talked to her and she disrespected my boundaries, I made a decision, as I do with anyone who disrespect my boundaries, to not invest in the relationship any more than is necessary to survive the situation.

I know she notices and there will come a time when I need to express why. “I don’t invest in people who don’t respect my boundaries” “You being here is triggering to me and I’m dong what I have to to protect my mental health.” Those seem pretty mean, but she’s an awful person. She is theoretically here until the divorce is final and she knows how much money she has. I think she has other ideas. DH has said that he told her before she moved in that it was temporary. 

As to the comments to DS, I’m thinking of saying something like, “I’m putting a stop to the threats of violence.” It’s pretty appalling to me she is so casual about something that seriously damaged me as a kid. If I say it’s triggering to me, I’m telling her she has some power over me. 

If you made it this far, thank you. I just want this to be over. It is causing problem between Dh and I who are in a precarious situation already with our marriage. We felt we had  no choice but to let her move in her even though we both agree we should have told her it wasn’t a good time for our marriage right from the beginning and helped her find another situation. 

 

Edited by AbcdeDooDah
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Update I brought up the dynamic with my son to her and such a big surprise! She reacted badly. She kept trying to argue why they should be able to talk to each other like that and said I was bein

I don't think you "need to do / say" all of the things you think you "need" to do/say here. Clarifying and truth-telling belong in relationships you are investing in. What you need instead are va

Hopefully last update.  She just told us that she will be out by June 15th, and sniffed, “which will make everyone happy.” 🙄

Many (hugs)

It isn't too late for her to find another situation.  You helped her out for six months!  During a pandemic!  During a personally trying time!

Give her a deadline and help her find something (if you want to help).  She can live somewhere cheap and temporary.  Sounds like waiting to know how much money she has is about choosing her permanent location.  She can do a month to month somewhere.

Edited by happi duck
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8 minutes ago, Katy said:

I'm sorry you're going through this.  It's probably time to help her find an apartment.

I agree. I do not think it's a good idea for her to stay with you until the divorce is final (though I certainly do not know all the details and you do not have to share them). I am not knowledgeable about divorce law, but I question if having her housing and other needs met will actually hurt her in a final divorce settlement. Either way, this is not a good situation. It would be easier on you to help pay for her housing than to have her interfering with your parenting and the peace of your home.

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Give her a deadline, agree to pay the first month's rent plus security deposit. It's good of you to help her. You don't have to help her by having her actually live in your home.

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I am with the others who are saying she needs to go find somewhere else to live. 

I am sorry that you are going through this.  It shouldn't be happening.  You are a saint for letting her be there this long.  But you and your DS do not deserve that kind of treatment.  And you shouldn't be putting this stress on your marriage.  

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5 minutes ago, Harriet Vane said:

I agree. I do not think it's a good idea for her to stay with you until the divorce is final (though I certainly do not know all the details and you do not have to share them). I am not knowledgeable about divorce law, but I question if having her housing and other needs met will actually hurt her in a final divorce settlement. Either way, this is not a good situation. It would be easier on you to help pay for her housing than to have her interfering with your parenting and the peace of your home.

It already has hurt her for temporary support. She didn’t have the expenses to show she needed what she asked for. I told her at that time she should have moved into an apartment from the start. I think her attorney should have prepared her for this. She is not hurting for money and will have plenty of money to live on after it is final. Let’s just say its never enough for her and she is very spoiled. She’s trying to play poor. We do charge her something to live her.

Edited by AbcdeDooDah
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You are not charging her enough to have to deal with that!!!

I agree with others to set a deadline, help her look for apartments, and don't back down.  Especially if she can afford it.  It sounds like you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.  Since that is the case, I would go with damned if you do and protect your family!

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Guys. I am shaking inside and feeling anxious about saying something when the time comes. I really hate myself for being afraid of her reaction. It makes me feel like all the work I’ve done is nothing. Toxic people suck.

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1 minute ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Guys. I am shaking inside and feeling anxious about saying something when the time comes. I really hate myself for being afraid of her reaction. It makes me feel like all the work I’ve done is nothing. Toxic people suck.

Can you and your dh sit down with her?  Maybe have him just do the talking.

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1 minute ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Guys. I am shaking inside and feeling anxious about saying something when the time comes. I really hate myself for being afraid of her reaction. It makes me feel like all the work I’ve done is nothing. Toxic people suck.

They do suck!!!  But...this isn't good for anyone in your home and ESPECIALLY your DS 13.  If you can't do it for you, do it for him.  You don't want him to be carrying the stuff she is saying to him and about him around forever!

 

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1 minute ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Guys. I am shaking inside and feeling anxious about saying something when the time comes. I really hate myself for being afraid of her reaction. It makes me feel like all the work I’ve done is nothing. Toxic people suck.

Please don't hate yourself. This is a totally normal, human response. Literally no one can entwine themselves with someone toxic and maintain equilibrium. 

What she pays is not worth it. 

You can see the reality. You know it will only get worse. You also know your ability to stand up to her will erode as you grow more fatigued. Change needs to happen.

You know that once a line is drawn the poison will amp up significantly. Can your husband help with the transition to a new living setting? Is there someone who can help you stand strong?

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15 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

It already has hurt her for temporary support. She didn’t have the expenses to show she needed what she asked for. I told her at that time she should have moved into an apartment from the start. I think her attorney should have prepared her for this. She is not hurting for money and will have plenty of money to live on after it is final. Let’s just say its never enough for her and she is very spoiled. She’s trying to play poor. We do charge her something to live her.

Yup. 

I'm glad you are charging her. Ironically, the fact that she pays something might be enabling her thinking that she has a "right" to speak or act as she pleases. Does she think she is an equal partner in the household, equal to you and dh or possibly even ranked higher? 

If she can actually afford to live somewhere, then the next place needs to be secured immediately. You do not have to live with this to serve the chess game she thinks she's playing.

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Regarding the jokes about violence, I would respond to her next such comment:  "I don't find violence funny.  I don't want jokes about violence to be said in my house."  Keep saying it until it is respected.

If getting her an apartment is an option, I'd really start focusing on that.  I understand it may not be an option right now though.

I live with someone who sounds too much like your mom.  We won't be changing the living situation, but I work with my kids to try to make sure they understand the other adult's personality, role, and limitations, and to find the balance between respect [of other adults] and self-respect.  (Sometimes my kids are in the wrong, to be fair.  It's my job to be the adult/parent and sort out whether or not my kids need to change a certain behavior.  But it's also necessary for my kids to trust me to be rational and fair to them.)  This is a work in progress, as evidenced by my own complaints about things that happen here.  I hope it's a character building exercise for all of us.

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13 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Guys. I am shaking inside and feeling anxious about saying something when the time comes. I really hate myself for being afraid of her reaction. It makes me feel like all the work I’ve done is nothing. Toxic people suck.

 

11 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Can you and your dh sit down with her?  Maybe have him just do the talking.

Yup, I agree it needs to be both of you. Be firm. 

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Can you think of the strongest person you know, the one with the best communication skills who is never ruffled, and pretend to be them during the conversation?  If you set yourself aside and "act" like someone who you perceive as stronger than you feel, you don't have to worry about her response.  That person wouldn't be upset if she throws a temper tantrum or lashes out...  they'd be dispassionate.  This technique is much like stutterers who lose their stutter when they're acting, so that you can set aside your own fears and reactions for the conversation and just be more matter of fact.  Like parenting an emotionally volatile toddler. 

Just a thought to get you through that moment.

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21 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Can you and your dh sit down with her?  Maybe have him just do the talking.

During the “Commander” episode, he  walked out of the room. 🙄 He avoids conflict. He doesn’t want her here, either, and is very stressed about it. He gets really anxious when he sees how it is affecting me. Not saying he won’t help but he’s not exactly volunteering. Lol

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7 minutes ago, Amy in NH said:

Can you think of the strongest person you know, the one with the best communication skills who is never ruffled, and pretend to be them during the conversation?  If you set yourself aside and "act" like someone who you perceive as stronger than you feel, you don't have to worry about her response.  That person wouldn't be upset if she throws a temper tantrum or lashes out...  they'd be dispassionate.  This technique is much like stutterers who lose their stutter when they're acting, so that you can set aside your own fears and reactions for the conversation and just be more matter of fact.  Like parenting an emotionally volatile toddler. 

Just a thought to get you through that moment.

Good thought and I think that is what happens when I actually do say something. I am very matter of fact when I say it.  I guess it’s the fear of it happening that gets me so upset? 

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I was going to say have him tell her it’s time to go too, but if he’s that conflict avoidant, it’s probably best for you to do it.  I’d probably say something like, “So you’ve been here for 6 months... how long until you find your own place and move out?”

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She has a decades long history of being abusive physically and verbally. When you and your husband discussed her moving in with you, what were your and his expectations about her history, behavior, and respect for boundaries? What plan did you have for the high likelihood she would behave the way she has been behaving since moving in?  What did you two agree to about how to handle her crossing boundaries?  What boundaries did you establish with her about moving in in terms of time frame and behavior?

If any of that happened then simply do what you two decided you would do in this situation, and have him be your voice as you sit alongside him if that's what you need. Hold her to what she agreed to.

If you and your husband didn't explicitly discuss her typical behaviors, a time frame, and boundaries in any way with each other and/or her, then don't decide that means you have to put up with it.  It was left open ended and you're not obligated to continue because you didn't make any agreement on the specifics. You've let her live with you like you said and now she needs to find an apartment ASAP because you've decided it isn't working out. 

If you told her she could stay with you for a certain amount of time and didn't explicitly state any boundaries for her to agree too, remember that we don't expect children to be abused by their parents or any other relative.  When abuse happens we have courts that override the societal agreement about parent child relationships: natural law (parental autonomy.) Those courts also override the legal contractual agreement of marriage (divorce) for various reasons, including abuse. She's abusing people again, as usual. That negates any agreements you made about her living in your house.

It's time to stop talking about being respected (she doesn't take words seriously and never has) and time to start taking action.  You can do the talking or your husband can if you need him to.  Be together in a united front and give her a deadline.  Make sure you know how to legally have her removed for trespassing and be fully, completely, entirely prepared to do it the millisecond that deadline hits and she doesn't leave.  If she has to sleep outside because she didn't take it seriously, rest assured she can buy her own tent and sleeping bag, go to a shelter, sleep in her car, get a hotel room, whatever.  She's a functional enough adult to solve this.  It's not on you to make sure she has shelter. 

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I don't think you "need to do / say" all of the things you think you "need" to do/say here.

Clarifying and truth-telling belong in relationships you are investing in. What you need instead are vagaries and platitudes: polite nothings -- things that keep her at the distance she belongs at.

I also think that it's time for her to begin finding a new situation now. Just say something polite and vague like, "It's been nice having you, but I think the time has come. What else can we help you with? What ideas do you have for moving out of here?" -- no reasons, no big talk, no honesty about your marriage, no satisfying her curiosity, no taking the bait. Just, "It's just time. Things are feeling crowded. It was always temporary."

Once she's gone, you won't have to worry about her verbal sparring with your son or anything else. For now, just say, "Enough with the verbal sparring please. It's getting on my nerves."

I hear that you really like effective, clear, honest communication. It's best to save that for your real relationships. This one is not worth the headache of putting yourself out there.

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50 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

They do suck!!!  But...this isn't good for anyone in your home and ESPECIALLY your DS 13.  If you can't do it for you, do it for him.  You don't want him to be carrying the stuff she is saying to him and about him around forever!

 

She has already gaslighted him when he said she called him fat. “No, I didn’t. You’re so full of it. Tee hee hee.”  He is also very conflict avoidant and when I have said something  to her, he gets mad at me for causing conflict. Sigh.

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20 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

She has a decades long history of being abusive physically and verbally. When you and your husband discussed her moving in with you, what were your and his expectations about her history, behavior, and respect for boundaries? What plan did you have for the high likelihood she would behave the way she has been behaving since moving in?  What did you two agree to about how to handle her crossing boundaries?  What boundaries did you establish with her about moving in in terms of time frame and behavior?

If any of that happened then simply do what you two decided you would do in this situation, and have him be your voice as you sit alongside him if that's what you need. Hold her to what she agreed to.

If you and your husband didn't explicitly discuss her typical behaviors, a time frame, and boundaries in any way with each other and/or her, then don't decide that means you have to put up with it.  It was left open ended and you're not obligated to continue because you didn't make any agreement on the specifics. You've let her live with you like you said and now she needs to find an apartment ASAP because you've decided it isn't working out. 

If you told her she could stay with you for a certain amount of time and didn't explicitly state any boundaries for her to agree too, remember that we don't expect children to be abused by their parents or any other relative.  When abuse happens we have courts that override the societal agreement about parent child relationships: natural law (parental autonomy.) Those courts also override the legal contractual agreement of marriage (divorce) for various reasons, including abuse. She's abusing people again, as usual. That negates any agreements you made about her living in your house.

It's time to stop talking about being respected (she doesn't take words seriously and never has) and time to start taking action.  You can do the talking or your husband can if you need him to.  Be together in a united front and give her a deadline.  Make sure you know how to legally have her removed for trespassing and be fully, completely, entirely prepared to do it the millisecond that deadline hits and she doesn't leave.  If she has to sleep outside because she didn't take it seriously, rest assured she can buy her own tent and sleeping bag, go to a shelter, sleep in her car, get a hotel room, whatever.  She's a functional enough adult to solve this.  It's not on you to make sure she has shelter. 

We kind of knew she would be turd but I guess underestimated the severity and our ability to cope(not that we should have to). We did not discuss specifics about timeframe but thought it was understood it was until the divorce was final. Before she moved in my sister and I talked to her about possibly having to share responsibilities with housing her. She balked and said she didn’t want to move back and forth. We said it wasn’t up to her and it would depend on what’s best for our families. She didn’t like that. And yes, I’m a little resentful that my sister doesn’t have to deal with her. My sister is glad she doesn’t have to deal with her drama, either.  And no, she won’t live with my sister because of cleanliness issues.

You’re right, just because we didn’t settings up beforehand does not mean we have to continue. I have already thought about evicting her if it came to that because I can totally see her saying, “I’m not leaving.”

 

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Yikes.  It’s time for her to find an apartment.  A few years ago, my mother moved in with us and we only made it 6 months.  She’s was unmedicated bipolar with an alphabet soup of other psych diagnoses.  Crossed every boundary.  DH and I went out looking at various senior apartments, found a few we liked, brought home the brochures and talked them up.  Peers!  Activities!  Social time with people!  Then we just told her, flat out, that it was time, we love her and can’t wait to visit and hang out often, when we aren’t all on top of each other.

If your mom is vaccinated, I’d encourage you to find a nice active adult community for her.  
 

My mom had to move back in with us in Oct, ‘19.  I have made firm boundaries, and she’s medicated now.  It’s not easy, but no longer as bad.  Your post really took me back though!

I’ve been really open about my mom on the board, so I’ll just say this again, not to be a downer, but to help others be aware:  my mom did move into her apartment, got medicated (yay!), and after about a year someone came into her apartment and assaulted her.  The security cameras in her hallway just happened to have been removed that night for charging, so no footage.  The DNA evidence didn’t lead to a match, and there had been a party in the lobby so many people in and out.  So, on that note, I’d like to encourage you to look at each faculty to make sure the cameras in each hallway are hardwired, and that there are multiple views.  Find out how people enter the facility.  Is there a code that people freely share or do they have to be buzzed in? Talk to residents. Doors that automatically lock when shut might be a better option, too.

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1 minute ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

We kind of knew she would be turd but I guess underestimated the severity and our ability to cope(not that we should have to). We did not discuss specifics about timeframe but thought it was understood it was until the divorce was final. Before she moved in my sister and I talked to her about possibly having to share responsibilities with housing her. She balked and said she didn’t want to move back and forth. We said it wasn’t up to her and it would depend on what’s best for our families. She didn’t like that. And yes, I’m a little resentful that my sister doesn’t have to deal with her. My sister is glad she doesn’t have to deal with her drama, either.  And no, she won’t live with my sister because of cleanliness issues.

You’re right, just because we didn’t settings up beforehand does not mean we have to continue. I have already thought about evicting her if it came to that because I can totally see her saying, “I’m not leaving.”

 

It sounds to me like the conflict avoidance runs deep in your family.  You seem to have been unwilling to look realistically at the situation from the beginning, your husband sounds like he isn't willing to step in and address it, and your son seems to have either been born with or learned that avoidant behavior too.  

No one should ever be in a roommate situation without explicit discussions and agreements, and I think that's something that adults in general know and understand, so again, I think it's probably part of conflict avoidance on your part.  I suspect the very thought of the obvious issues creates internal conflict you want to avoid. It's a pay up front or pay later with interest situation. You and your husband opted not to pay up front by either saying no and dealing with the fall out or hammering our realistic expectations, explicitly stating an agreement, setting boundaries, creating a plan to enforce boundaries,  and presenting them to her. Instead you allowed it telling yourself it would be easier to make a vague agreement.  It isn't easier, is it?  It would've much easier to say no up front. 

Now you've paid with interest by inviting and known abuser into your house and granted her daily access to your minor son.  Your husband agreed to this too for some reason. Get her out now and seek some counseling because this is going to come back around again when she needs elder care and you're not prepared to say no when it will be even harder and she'll likely be more difficult, combative and irrational to deal with.

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9 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

It sounds to me like the conflict avoidance runs deep in your family.  You seem to have been unwilling to look realistically at the situation from the beginning, your husband sounds like he isn't willing to step in and address it, and your son seems to have either been born with or learned that avoidant behavior too.  

No one should ever be in a roommate situation without explicit discussions and agreements, and I think that's something that adults in general know and understand, so again, I think it's probably part of conflict avoidance on your part.  I suspect the very thought of the obvious issues creates internal conflict you want to avoid. It's a pay up front or pay later with interest situation. You and your husband opted not to pay up front by either saying no and dealing with the fall out or hammering our realistic expectations, explicitly stating an agreement, setting boundaries, creating a plan to enforce boundaries,  and presenting them to her. Instead you allowed it telling yourself it would be easier to make a vague agreement.  It isn't easier, is it?  It would've much easier to say no up front. 

Now you've paid with interest by inviting and known abuser into your house and granted her daily access to your minor son.  Your husband agreed to this too for some reason. Get her out now and seek some counseling because this is going to come back around again when she needs elder care and you're not prepared to say no when it will be even harder and she'll likely be more difficult, combative and irrational to deal with.

Stop. Being. Right. 

 

 

 

😆

 

Edited by AbcdeDooDah
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I am currently setting some boundaries with some people.... it does feel so mean!  It is also so worth it.  Especially for my kids not to have to be around some things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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59 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

During the “Commander” episode, he  walked out of the room. 🙄 He avoids conflict. He doesn’t want her here, either, and is very stressed about it. He gets really anxious when he sees how it is affecting me. Not saying he won’t help but he’s not exactly volunteering. Lol

I'm so sorry about all that's going on -- we had my sister with us for three months and it was.....difficult. 

RE: the quoted part above, is there any possibility at all that your DH feels he doesn't have your permission to say what he'd really *like* to say to your mom, and so he walked out of the room rather than speak up? 

In our situation with my sister, that was our agreement -- that I had to give DH permission to "be a jerk" when the time came. So when she started verbally attacking me, that was that, he gave her a deadline (and it was quick) and out she went. 

If your DH really doesn't want/won't be the one to step up and talk to her (and I'm so sorry if that's the case), then you really do need to step in and tell her what y'all have decided. Sit down with your DH ahead of time and talk through what he thinks -- that part will help with the stress between the two of y'all, getting you both on the same page -- make an agreement, and then present it to her. 

Mom, you need to call x number of apartment complexes per day, until you find one with a vacancy, and be moved out no later than xyz date. If you don't find an apartment with a vacancy by then, you need to move into sister's house, and keep looking. Remember, you can move again once you find a better place, but for now, this is how it needs to be. 

And then, stick to that. And in the meantime, every time she says something mean-spirited (even joking), shut it down. "Mom, that's crossing a line that is not okay."  Don't explain, just keep repeating that. 

You aren't a bad person for feeling like this, and needing her to be moved out. You aren't. Big, big, big hugs. 

 

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I for sure agree it is time for her to go. 

I did want to point out that sometimes what is triggering to us by our parents does not affect our kids at all negatively.  I am not saying you shouldn't take up for your kids with her but if you recognize that we aren't all affected by the same things it might help you cope with her short term. 

I used to say 'Do you want me to beat you with a stick?' to my kids and neighbor kids all of the time.  My neighbor thought it was so funny she had her dad make me a 'beating stick' which I have to this day in my kitchen.  Every time I would say that to the kids they would roll in the floor laughing.  So they clearly felt it was NOT a threat at all and it became our little joke.  But if that same sort of thing triggers you I get it.  And I am sorry.

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9 minutes ago, TheReader said:

I'm so sorry about all that's going on -- we had my sister with us for three months and it was.....difficult. 

RE: the quoted part above, is there any possibility at all that your DH feels he doesn't have your permission to say what he'd really *like* to say to your mom, and so he walked out of the room rather than speak up? 

In our situation with my sister, that was our agreement -- that I had to give DH permission to "be a jerk" when the time came. So when she started verbally attacking me, that was that, he gave her a deadline (and it was quick) and out she went. 

If your DH really doesn't want/won't be the one to step up and talk to her (and I'm so sorry if that's the case), then you really do need to step in and tell her what y'all have decided. Sit down with your DH ahead of time and talk through what he thinks -- that part will help with the stress between the two of y'all, getting you both on the same page -- make an agreement, and then present it to her. 

Mom, you need to call x number of apartment complexes per day, until you find one with a vacancy, and be moved out no later than xyz date. If you don't find an apartment with a vacancy by then, you need to move into sister's house, and keep looking. Remember, you can move again once you find a better place, but for now, this is how it needs to be. 

And then, stick to that. And in the meantime, every time she says something mean-spirited (even joking), shut it down. "Mom, that's crossing a line that is not okay."  Don't explain, just keep repeating that. 

You aren't a bad person for feeling like this, and needing her to be moved out. You aren't. Big, big, big hugs. 

 

Before he left the room he did say, “Come on _____. That’s not okay.” 

My sister wants to sit down with our husbands and her and talk about next steps when the time comes, We talked about that as being when the divorce is final. The time between that and her leaving is going to be pure hell. 

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

I was going to say have him tell her it’s time to go too, but if he’s that conflict avoidant, it’s probably best for you to do it.  I’d probably say something like, “So you’ve been here for 6 months... how long until you find your own place and move out?”

Except...I wouldn't put it as a question. I think it's the place for a statement. "So you've been here for 6 months...it's time for you to find your own place and move out. You have ______ (one month/two weeks/period of time)."

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How long before her divorce is final?

Is there someone else you can have help with the sit down & tell your mom to move out in the next two weeks or whatever? A trusted friend? Her lawyer? Basically someone outside the situation to physically (or over zoom) be there to help you stay firm in laying the boundary line to be out by xyz date?

I don't think you need to sell the idea of the fun of a senior home. Just list options that she has:
hotel (short- or long-term)
sister or other relative
friend
air b&b or other type rental
short-term apartment lease
senior housing

So, there are plenty of options, even if she needs to move to a temporary one while she figures out her longer-term plan. It would be hard to find a place in two weeks, but give her two weeks. She can start looking now & then move to a hotel or air b&b while she continues her search for an actual place to live.

Change your locks after she leaves so she can't surprise you by just showing up again.

Hugs.

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2 minutes ago, Stacia said:

How long before her divorce is final?

Is there someone else you can have help with the sit down & tell your mom to move out in the next two weeks or whatever? A trusted friend? Her lawyer? Basically someone outside the situation to physically (or over zoom) be there to help you stay firm in laying the boundary line to be out by xyz date?

I don't think you need to sell the idea of the fun of a senior home. Just list options that she has:
hotel (short- or long-term)
sister or other relative
friend
air b&b or other type rental
short-term apartment lease
senior housing

So, there are plenty of options, even if she needs to move to a temporary one while she figures out her longer-term plan. It would be hard to find a place in two weeks, but give her two weeks. She can start looking now & then move to a hotel or air b&b while she continues her search for an actual place to live.

Change your locks after she leaves so she can't surprise you by just showing up again.

Hugs.

YES. This. 

Really two weeks is plenty, even if it means she does hotel first, or your sister's, or whatever, while she's looking for an apartment, and then has to do a 6 month lease at an apartment she may not LOVE while she's waiting on the divorce to be finalized (and honestly, her lawyer should be telling her -- look you need to establish expenses or the final judgement won't be great either....). 

how annoyed she gets over all of that *is not your fault and not your problem* even though it will seem like it.  (really, truly)

A friend said something to me when I was doing this with my sister, and it helped so much:  Love like crazy, but have boundaries like a .....(insert trendy bad word here, that means "person who doesn't take crap from anyone" and starts with MF)  (won't type it in case maybe you are not a bad-language type person....)

Set the boundaries, stick to them, and get your house back. You Are Worth That. 

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2 hours ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

She is not hurting for money and will have plenty of money to live on after it is final. Let’s just say its never enough for her and she is very spoiled. She’s trying to play poor. We do charge her something to live her.

Then it's time for her to go. You are being too nice to someone that is mean to your children. 

Time for mean grandma to move out. 

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OP, I have lived for upto 6 months of a year with my in-laws and parents for almost all my married life. I chose to have that because I grew up with my grandparents living with us. I have good memories of that and wanted to have that for my kids.

But what I did not realize as a parent was how much juggling it takes because an adult  involved in a family wants to parent a child, especially grandparents. So I had to draw hard boundaries for how I wanted my kid to be parented. I took all the good from my parents and inlaws experiences as parents, but drew hard boundaries at who will address something with our child. From the beginning, only DH and I were allowed to discipline. We had standards over what our goals for our child were and while we got input from our parents, we were the ones who actively parented.

Those boundaries helped tremendously when there was a period in time when our second child died that DH and I could not actively parent like we used to. But still both sets of parents deferred to us for parenting though they took over cooking, cleaning and household tasks and allowed us to grieve. 

I believe there is tremendous value in input of grandparents who care. The caveat is care because what you are describing is toxic. I will not let my child be treated thus by anyone. 

If adults are sharing a space, compromises have to be made and over the years it can create very close bonds. DH and I are close to our respective inlaws like we are close to our parents because we have lived together for years. All parties chose to do so. No one felt an obligation, we have happy memories of times, we have helped each other during difficult times. But all of it took time, communication, boundaries and respect on both sides. 

Please speak up. You are not only the child, but also a parent. Your child only has you to defend them. Being a grandparent does not allow someone to treat a child the way we would not let anyone else. So gather all your courage and speak up OP.  You are speaking for the child in you too in addition to your own child. You and your child are worth it. 

Edited by Dreamergal
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Sit down with Mom and DH. Take a deep breath. “I don’t want to make this a long conversation, but all of us living together isn’t working out for me. Mom, you need to find a new place to live within 2 weeks.”

Wait for response.

Deflect any “but whys??” with, “I don’t want to make this a long conversation. It’s simply time. I can help you look for places, but within 2 weeks, you need to be in a new place.”

Or 3 weeks if you think that’s more reasonable if it’s hard to find places where you are. I live in a small town and businesses move at the speed of snails sometimes, so sometimes you call about an apartment and they don’t call you back for 5 days to say, “Oh, sure, you can come and look at it. How is next Friday?” Slower pace of life.

Pick a time frame for your area (preferably less than a month), simply refuse to give reasons other than “it’s time”, and start apartment hunting.

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She has money to move out? You're not turfing her out on the street? She needs to go. Not when her divorce is final. Sooner. 

It's not fair or kind to yourself to retraumatize yourself in this way.

Ask your sister and dh to look for something suitable for her to rent while your Mom is waiting to buy. Use bolt's suggestions up thread for telling Mom it's time. 

You deserve better 

 

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Ok...thinking about it, my advice in my above post is if you’re conflict avoidant.  If you actually want to tell her the reasons, you can. You could say, “You were abusive to me as a child and I have discovered that I simply cannot live with my childhood abuser any longer.” 

She’ll probably scoff and dismiss you and try to make you feel small. But if you want to pull out the absolute truth, you can. However, I wouldn’t give examples or explain what triggers you. Just simply, “I have discovered I cannot live with my childhood abuser.”  If she doesn’t realize she abused you, then the relationship might very well end once you accuse her.  

But if she realizes she abused you and has tried to fix it over the years, that’s ok. But just because she has made amends still doesn’t mean you can live with her. You can have a relationship with her outside of your home, but not live with her.

But if you don’t want to go there, say, “It’s simply time,” and leave it at that.

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My mother is your mother’s twin. 
 

25 years ago we let her move in when she had no place to go because she “divorced” her mother with whom she had been living. It really isn’t surprising that she continued her toxic behavior and tried to come between me and Dh and tried to cause drama with the kids. 
 

We sat down with her to talk. We laid out the ground rules for the meeting. She could go first and talk as long as she liked without being interrupted, but after that, she would need to listen to us without interrupting. When it was our turn, my Dh couldn’t get out 2 words before she was yelling. I said, “This meeting is over. You have 90 days to find another place to live.”

That was a hard 90 days. I tried to ignore her and only be home when I knew she wasn’t, but she wanted to have confrontations in front of my young kids. I actually ended up moving with them into a hotel to keep them safe from her drama. When the time was up, my aunt called and said that my mom was gone. 
 

I brought the kids home to find trash everywhere. She had taken their beds, their clothes, my photo albums, and anything else she thought might hurt us. Even that was fine, so long as she was out of my life. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. She was just waiting around the corner and came back when she saw we were home and refused to leave. I had to call the police. 
 

The police had to make her leave because we owned the house, but they made sure to let me know what a piece of trash I was for treating my own mother that way. She continued to stalk us for a few years. 
 

There is actually a funny story about this. Around this time, a new neighbor moved in next door. She came over to introduce herself after work. Through the leaded glass, I just saw blond hair and assumed my mom was trying to start trouble. I walked away from the door and closed the entry way door too. A week later, I was at a neighborhood party, and she said, “Hey, I stopped by your house and you slammed the door on me .” I said, “Oh, I thought you were my mom.” That made complete sense to her because she has our mom’s triplet. Everyone else at the party thought I was crazy. 
 

Many people who were close to me sided with my mom and cut contact with me. Eventually, they have all apologized and told me how much they regret that choice, which is nice, but doesn’t really replace the years that were lost. 
 

For myself and my family, we have had 25 years free from disfunction and sabotage. I’ve never regretted going through the drama of setting my family free. 
 

I’m certainly not assuming you need to go this far. Hopefully your mother is much more reasonable.
 

For me, once I crossed her, there was no going back. I could either be the “good child” and put her desires before those of my husband and children or I was the enemy. Those were the only options she gave me. 
 

Since all of this happened, I’ve been a magnet for girls and women with toxic mothers. I become the surrogate mother who tells them all of the affirming things their own mothers never said. 
 

I went through a period of one miscarriage after another and my heart was broken. I prayed that God would send me the people who needed my mothering whether I gave birth to them or not. Recently I was at a gathering with all of my people, and I was introducing  “daughter” number 7 to “daughter” number 8. I realized that my heart and my life and my family felt so complete. I instantly thought of the Psalm 30:11 “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; Thou hast put off my sack cloth, and girded me with gladness.” 
 

I’m wishing you the best of luck with her. You are not alone. 

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"I think you need to finalize your moving plans in the next two weeks. I'm concerned about how living here is affecting your divorce proceedings and this dynamic isn't working well for me anymore.  I did a bit of checking and here are three options with immediate move in opportunities:  x,y,z.  You of course are welcome to look on your own, but we need you out by April 10th."

"This isn't up for discussion. April 10th."

 

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2 hours ago, Spryte said:

Yikes.  It’s time for her to find an apartment.  A few years ago, my mother moved in with us and we only made it 6 months.  She’s was unmedicated bipolar with an alphabet soup of other psych diagnoses.  Crossed every boundary.  DH and I went out looking at various senior apartments, found a few we liked, brought home the brochures and talked them up.  Peers!  Activities!  Social time with people!  Then we just told her, flat out, that it was time, we love her and can’t wait to visit and hang out often, when we aren’t all on top of each other.

If your mom is vaccinated, I’d encourage you to find a nice active adult community for her.  
 

My mom had to move back in with us in Oct, ‘19.  I have made firm boundaries, and she’s medicated now.  It’s not easy, but no longer as bad.  Your post really took me back though!

I’ve been really open about my mom on the board, so I’ll just say this again, not to be a downer, but to help others be aware:  my mom did move into her apartment, got medicated (yay!), and after about a year someone came into her apartment and assaulted her.  The security cameras in her hallway just happened to have been removed that night for charging, so no footage.  The DNA evidence didn’t lead to a match, and there had been a party in the lobby so many people in and out.  So, on that note, I’d like to encourage you to look at each faculty to make sure the cameras in each hallway are hardwired, and that there are multiple views.  Find out how people enter the facility.  Is there a code that people freely share or do they have to be buzzed in? Talk to residents. Doors that automatically lock when shut might be a better option, too.

I’m sorry you had to go through this, as well. I have already determined that I will not be the devoted daughter who gives up everything to take care of her abusive mom. That’s not going to be my story. I’m in school and plan to have a career. My sister still has a baby at home and will be raising kids for another 20 years or more, but no way would I push my mom off her, either., to abuse her and her kids.

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36 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

My mother is your mother’s twin. 
 

25 years ago we let her move in when she had no place to go because she “divorced” her mother with whom she had been living. It really isn’t surprising that she continued her toxic behavior and tried to come between me and Dh and tried to cause drama with the kids. 
 

We sat down with her to talk. We laid out the ground rules for the meeting. She could go first and talk as long as she liked without being interrupted, but after that, she would need to listen to us without interrupting. When it was our turn, my Dh couldn’t get out 2 words before she was yelling. I said, “This meeting is over. You have 90 days to find another place to live.”

That was a hard 90 days. I tried to ignore her and only be home when I knew she wasn’t, but she wanted to have confrontations in front of my young kids. I actually ended up moving with them into a hotel to keep them safe from her drama. When the time was up, my aunt called and said that my mom was gone. 
 

I brought the kids home to find trash everywhere. She had taken their beds, their clothes, my photo albums, and anything else she thought might hurt us. Even that was fine, so long as she was out of my life. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. She was just waiting around the corner and came back when she saw we were home and refused to leave. I had to call the police. 
 

The police had to make her leave because we owned the house, but they made sure to let me know what a piece of trash I was for treating my own mother that way. She continued to stalk us for a few years. 
 

There is actually a funny story about this. Around this time, a new neighbor moved in next door. She came over to introduce herself after work. Through the leaded glass, I just saw blond hair and assumed my mom was trying to start trouble. I walked away from the door and closed the entry way door too. A week later, I was at a neighborhood party, and she said, “Hey, I stopped by your house and you slammed the door on me .” I said, “Oh, I thought you were my mom.” That made complete sense to her because she has our mom’s triplet. Everyone else at the party thought I was crazy. 
 

Many people who were close to me sided with my mom and cut contact with me. Eventually, they have all apologized and told me how much they regret that choice, which is nice, but doesn’t really replace the years that were lost. 
 

For myself and my family, we have had 25 years free from disfunction and sabotage. I’ve never regretted going through the drama of setting my family free. 
 

I’m certainly not assuming you need to go this far. Hopefully your mother is much more reasonable.
 

For me, once I crossed her, there was no going back. I could either be the “good child” and put her desires before those of my husband and children or I was the enemy. Those were the only options she gave me. 
 

Since all of this happened, I’ve been a magnet for girls and women with toxic mothers. I become the surrogate mother who tells them all of the affirming things their own mothers never said. 
 

I went through a period of one miscarriage after another and my heart was broken. I prayed that God would send me the people who needed my mothering whether I gave birth to them or not. Recently I was at a gathering with all of my people, and I was introducing  “daughter” number 7 to “daughter” number 8. I realized that my heart and my life and my family felt so complete. I instantly thought of the Psalm 30:11 “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; Thou hast put off my sack cloth, and girded me with gladness.” 
 

I’m wishing you the best of luck with her. You are not alone. 

Oh, my gosh! They are twins. And I have seriously thought leaving to a hotel or air bnb if I need to! 

I am really sorry you lost so much but I’m happy you have peace now. Thank you for sharing. 

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3 hours ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Guys. I am shaking inside and feeling anxious about saying something when the time comes. I really hate myself for being afraid of her reaction. It makes me feel like all the work I’ve done is nothing. Toxic people suck.

If you are having this reaction to just the thought of talking with her, it’s a sign your ptsd is already triggered. The only reason you feel you’ve done nothing is because she makes you feel that way. Move her along. You deserve better, and so do your kids and dh. 

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3 hours ago, bolt. said:

I don't think you "need to do / say" all of the things you think you "need" to do/say here.

Clarifying and truth-telling belong in relationships you are investing in. What you need instead are vagaries and platitudes: polite nothings -- things that keep her at the distance she belongs at.

I also think that it's time for her to begin finding a new situation now. Just say something polite and vague like, "It's been nice having you, but I think the time has come. What else can we help you with? What ideas do you have for moving out of here?" -- no reasons, no big talk, no honesty about your marriage, no satisfying her curiosity, no taking the bait. Just, "It's just time. Things are feeling crowded. It was always temporary."

Once she's gone, you won't have to worry about her verbal sparring with your son or anything else. For now, just say, "Enough with the verbal sparring please. It's getting on my nerves."

I hear that you really like effective, clear, honest communication. It's best to save that for your real relationships. This one is not worth the headache of putting yourself out there.

I agree that you don’t need to provide reasons. You just need to tell her it’s time to go. “DH and I have discussed it and it is time for you to find your own place.” Repeat this no matter how many times she asks why. 

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21 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

I’m sorry you had to go through this, as well. I have already determined that I will not be the devoted daughter who gives up everything to take care of her abusive mom. That’s not going to be my story. I’m in school and plan to have a career. My sister still has a baby at home and will be raising kids for another 20 years or more, but no way would I push my mom off her, either., to abuse her and her kids.

Stay firm.  Get her out now, so when she’s older or her health tanks you are not automatically considered the caregiver.  Then stay firm.

My mom is probably close to being ready for nursing care (long term), but until then we are doing our best.  She can’t live alone now, and can’t afford assisted living. I’ve actually been grateful that her incident happened when it did, so she could be with us for the pandemic.  But that year of therapy and meds on her own really helped!

It’s no big deal now that she’s been diagnosed and is medicated - she’s like a different person, and is again the fun to be around, sweet, enjoyable, eccentric grandma for kids.  We don’t have a history of abuse like yours, just an eccentric artist upbringing, that was on the odd side, now that I look back (she was a well known sculptor, traveled constantly).  We have our moments, sometimes I find she pushes my buttons, and I have to have rock solid boundaries, but she’s pretty mellow these days, even with me.  I’m looking forward to vaccination so we can have aides come help again!
 

For you, I’d say just get her out.  Protect your kids, yourself, and your marriage.  Those are the priority.  

 

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You have described my parent exactly, word for word. I could have written this when my parent lived with my family. It ended with my son in therapy and my parent moving out. My parent would claim it was done at my insistence but the truth is there were foreclosure/moving issues that needed to be addressed in another state. My parent and my sister have a codependent relationship and I have elected to leave them to it. We do not currently have a relationship. I hope you can achieve better results but I suspect sharing a home isn’t sustainable.

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

I for sure agree it is time for her to go. 

I did want to point out that sometimes what is triggering to us by our parents does not affect our kids at all negatively.  I am not saying you shouldn't take up for your kids with her but if you recognize that we aren't all affected by the same things it might help you cope with her short term. 

I used to say 'Do you want me to beat you with a stick?' to my kids and neighbor kids all of the time.  My neighbor thought it was so funny she had her dad make me a 'beating stick' which I have to this day in my kitchen.  Every time I would say that to the kids they would roll in the floor laughing.  So they clearly felt it was NOT a threat at all and it became our little joke.  But if that same sort of thing triggers you I get it.  And I am sorry.

And the counterpoint is that sometimes your kids end up in therapy because of it. 🙋🏻‍♀️

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2 hours ago, Seasider too said:

And the counterpoint is that sometimes your kids end up in therapy because of it. 🙋🏻‍♀️

I am sure it happens. My point is that we can’t always gauge our children’s reaction based upon our own. 

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