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Struggling with mom moving in. (Update)


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You're responsible for her mental health if she has been legally declared incompetent and IF you have, for some reason, agreed to have medical power of attorney, in which case you would be responsible to send her to a licensed mental health professional and have her put in the appropriate institution because she has a history of abusing people.  

Until that happens, you're not responsible for anyone but yourself and your minor child(ren.)

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Yesterday was the day this happened. This morning she left the house about 8:30 and texted me a little while ago to say  she was spending the night at her friend's house. 

We will be meeting with my sister and her husband so we can work out a move out date.

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4 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Yesterday was the day this happened. This morning she left the house about 8:30 and texted me a little while ago to say  she was spending the night at her friend's house. 

We will be meeting with my sister and her husband so we can work out a move out date.

The irony is she probably thinks she's punishing you by not coming home.

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So three times I have set boundaries with her regarding my son and three times she has reacted badly. She did stop doing the first thing, did stop doing the second and I'm sure will stop doing the third after our conversation on Thursday. Am I right in assuming that she will just find another thing to abuse him with? I am NOT waffling on letting her stay. Just processing. She will find something else and it would be a non stop cycle of abuse- boundary-bad reaction.

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22 minutes ago, katilac said:

Yes. 

It will be an endless cycle. 

And seriously, how much emotional energy are you willing to invest to be in a continuous state of hyper vigilance? 
 

It is not like you are abandoning your mother (no matter how she may try to frame it). She sounds quite capable and has the financial resources needed to live independently- at least for the time your ds will still live with you. You will still live in the same town. 
 

It just seems like you are thinking of taking a wait-and-see stance. IME, the next step she might take would not be something outright that you would observe and be able to object to, but a quiet campaign of undermining you. You - and your dh and ds - don’t need that going on in your own house. 

Edited by Seasider too
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11 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

And seriously, how much emotional energy are you willing to invest to be in a continuous state of hyper vigilance? 
 

It is not like you are abandoning your mother (no matter how she may try to frame it). She sounds quite capable and has the financial resources needed to live independently- at least for the time your ds will still live with you. You will still live in the same town. 
 

It just seems like you are thinking of taking a wait-and-see stance. IME, the next step she might take would not be something outright that you would observe and be able to object to, but a quiet campaign of undermining you. You - and your dh and ds - don’t need that going on in your own house. 

Hyper-vigilance is the exact state I have been in. I can feel the toll it is taking on me physically. 

I am not taking a wait-and-see stance. We have a date to talk with me and my husband and my sister and her husband with my mom. I am their total support. We have a date and will stick to that. 

Your last paragraph- Yes! I was wondering what else she could possibly com up with and it would be stealthy. 

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19 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

I am not taking a wait-and-see stance. We have a date to talk with me and my husband and my sister and her husband with my mom. I am their total support. We have a date and will stick to that. 

I'm a bit unclear here. I thought you already asked her to leave. What is the planned future family meeting supposed to be about? Is she near to being declared incompetent? Why does it take 5 people and a formal sit-down for her to begin the process of securing housing for herself? Why are her housing needs regarded as teamwork?

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2 minutes ago, bolt. said:

I'm a bit unclear here. I thought you already asked her to leave. What is the planned future family meeting supposed to be about? Is she near to being declared incompetent? Why does it take 5 people and a formal sit-down for her to begin the process of securing housing for herself? Why are her housing needs regarded as teamwork?

I just told her Thursday. We are willing to help her find something, at this point anyway. She will procrastinate and do nothing. I can pretty much guarantee that this week will find her unable to get out of bed. 

I’m open to advice on how much help, or not to give her.

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1 hour ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

So three times I have set boundaries with her regarding my son and three times she has reacted badly. She did stop doing the first thing, did stop doing the second and I'm sure will stop doing the third after our conversation on Thursday. Am I right in assuming that she will just find another thing to abuse him with? I am NOT waffling on letting her stay. Just processing. She will find something else and it would be a non stop cycle of abuse- boundary-bad reaction.

Good for you, you are learning how to do this.  The hypervigilent feeling does calm down a bit after a while, but never, IME, enough to make you look forward to being together.

Whether she finds another thing to abuse him with is not really the point.  The point is you and your family feeling emotionally safe in your own home.  It is a lot easier to manage dealing with her behavior emotionally when you can leave it behind at any time.  That is why I said before that her moving out should actually help your relationship.

She does not know how to be nice, or she is choosing not to do so.  She has plenty of resources to live somewhere else, and you could continue this process of standing up for your children at more of a safe distance.  

You should not be dreading being in your own house.  And especially you should not be letting your children dread being in their own home.  Move her out now.  This is dragging on far too long.

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1 minute ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

I just told her Thursday. We are willing to help her find something, at this point anyway. She will procrastinate and do nothing. I can pretty much guarantee that this week will find her unable to get out of bed. 

I’m open to advice on how much help, or not to give her.

I’d look on Craigslist today and go visit three places with her tomorrow and ask her which one she wants.  If she wouldn’t go with me I would say, well, we both know that we will get along much better once we each have our own homes.  Let’s check you into a hotel in the meantime while you continue to look for a different apartment that is more to your liking.  I really liked (Option A) a lot, but you seemed to like (Option C) more.  Maybe it would be smart to snap that one up while it is still available.  I hear that the housing market is moving pretty fast right now.

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Yes, to either of the above two suggestions -- or however a normal person usually finds housing in your area. (Does it seem likely that she could stay at her friend's place for more than one night?) As a third scenario, you could also consider a motel room for her, then do the physical work of moving her stuff to a storage unit so that it's nobody's responsibility during the time she spends looking for a place. (Pay the first few months, and give her the key.)

Honestly, if you think it will be this week that she begins lying in bed to prevent a move -- the information inherent in that statement is that you *have* about a week *before* she does that. Very seriously: it *needs* to be a bed that's not in your house. If that doesn't light a fire under you I don't know what will. How many business hours do you have left today to begin contacting places to set up visits for her?

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We don’t know what area she is going to move to. She left her suburban home to come here, over an hour away, to a very rural area with no stop lights. We also have 4 seasons and she cannot deal with the snow. 

Finding out what city will be the first step. 

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7 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

We don’t know what area she is going to move to. She left her suburban home to come here, over an hour away, to a very rural area with no stop lights. We also have 4 seasons and she cannot deal with the snow. 

Finding out what city will be the first step. 

That can't be your first step. She needs to move somewhere in the interim: a nearby apartment or a motel are the only options for now, if the eventual destination is in another city. This whole process really needs to be handed back to her. You can't hold her hand or coordinate an inter-city move on her behalf.

With her in the driver's seat, and her paying a bill (motel or rent) in the meantime, you can be of some help thinking through options. Until then, you are basically both useless and powerless.

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Do you want any kind of relationship with her going forward? If she was willing to even try to change her behavior when you asked, she may respond to therapy.  It's possible her own mother did a number on her and she's never been given the chance or the tools to work on stuff.  It could be beneficial to the whole family.

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1 hour ago, bolt. said:

That can't be your first step. She needs to move somewhere in the interim: a nearby apartment or a motel are the only options for now, if the eventual destination is in another city. This whole process really needs to be handed back to her. You can't hold her hand or coordinate an inter-city move on her behalf.

In other words, stop letting her make her problems your problems 

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

Do you want any kind of relationship with her going forward? If she was willing to even try to change her behavior when you asked, she may respond to therapy.  It's possible her own mother did a number on her and she's never been given the chance or the tools to work on stuff.  It could be beneficial to the whole family.

I don’t know if OP’s mother is open to therapy. She may not be. And OP may need space and time to get to the point of knowing what she wants from that relationship.  
 

But for the purpose of hope ... change is not impossible. At 78, after our fiasco living together, my mom was incredibly relieved to get diagnoses and understand why she had felt different from everyone else all her life.  And she is the most highly motivated med-taker I’ve ever met.  But it took work.  Two hospitalizations, therapy, and visits to a psychiatrist every three months. She is on a serious med cocktail. She can’t drive, and I am her MPOA, so this was all really on me.  I found her a senior apartment and did med management from afar. I’m fortunate that she was open to making changes.  She’s 80 now. Things are not perfect but better. Good enough that she can live here again, since she needs care.  We absolutely had to have that year to sort out meds and therapy and boundaries though.

 

Offering hope only, OP, no pressure to pursue any path in particular. 

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Even if she is not full on abusive to your son again, she's certainly not a good role model or example of reasonable adult behavior, not someone you want in your home for your kids to be looking at day after day. 

I mean, a grown woman giving the silent treatment and walking around the table to get the salad dressing? You do NOT want that kind of crazy behavior normalized for your kids. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 4/20/2021 at 7:23 AM, Slache said:

How are you holding up?

Sorry I missed this. Thank you. I am ok. Just tired. She is not going to change. Thank God it's not my job to change her.

We had "the talk" this weekend about where she wants to move, budget, etc so we can move forward. Apparently, it's my fault she has to move out because I don't like my husband helping her with things. 🙃 I was waiting for someone else to speak up and quash that but I had to do it myself. 

She sat the whole time with a kleenex over her eyes, crying. Of course I felt guilty about giving her the boot but after she blamed me, that feeling disappeared. 

My husband told me after he didn't realize the depth of her immaturity or whatever it is.

We found out that she has looked at a few places already and my sister and BIL have gone with her. We did not know. I tried to figure out her motive in not telling us, but she's not worth the mental energy. 

Edited by AbcdeDooDah
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7 minutes ago, Starr said:

I'm sorry this has been so difficult.

Thank you. I have been feeling guilty off and on, even though I have no need. 

I'm glad I did it for my family and myself. No one's ever told her "no" before. 48 years old and I finally set boundaries with her.

 

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I'm happy for you, but be prepared for all sorts of things to happen that make it impossible for her to keep that deadline. It's not really over until the door shuts behind her and the locks are changed (and even then the battlefield often just shifts to different ground.)

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Yay, congratulations!  Hold your ground, make sure she is making moves toward leaving, I'd get her boxes  and start throwing her stuff in them if necessary!  Does she know where she is going?  If not, I'd be asking her daily if she found a place.   

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Yay, congratulations!  Hold your ground, make sure she is making moves toward leaving, I'd get her boxes  and start throwing her stuff in them if necessary!  Does she know where she is going?  If not, I'd be asking her daily if she found a place.   

I agree with the sentiment but...Nnnnooooooo!!! Don’t ask! You’ll just open yourself up to guilt tripping and efforts to shift this from being *her* to *your* problem. It’s tempting but RESIST!! If you’re so inclined tho, you could always offer to help her pack.

Edited by Sneezyone
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8 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I agree with the sentiment but...Nnnnooooooo!!! Don’t ask! You’ll just open yourself up to guilt tripping and efforts to shift this from being *her* to *your* problem. It’s tempting but RESIST!! If your so inclined tho, you could always offer to help her pack.

Agree! But if you really need reassurance she’s actually going to go, could you ask your sister, since apparently they went apartment hunting together?

Just be nice. Have your husband be careful about being asked for help once the move is made. 
 

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Yeeeeessssss! That's great!

As stated upthread, be prepared for to invent/engineer something to derail her ability to move out.  Be firm and tell her she can get a hotel because she can't stay at your house.  And seriously, if she has a key, change the locks first thing on the 16th. 

If she's going to slander you to friends and family and manipulate them to guilt you on her behalf, be ready to deal with it. Have a canned answer that you've practiced so you don't feel flustered in the moment. Something that says that isn't any of their business and that your mother is perfectly capable of self-supporting, then never repeat it again with them.  Do not engage further, instead end the interaction. Leave if you're in person or ask them to leave. If you need to block calls/texts do it. Don't respond to messaging and or emails.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, livetoread said:

I'm happy for you, but be prepared for all sorts of things to happen that make it impossible for her to keep that deadline. It's not really over until the door shuts behind her and the locks are changed (and even then the battlefield often just shifts to different ground.)

 

11 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Yay, congratulations!  Hold your ground, make sure she is making moves toward leaving, I'd get her boxes  and start throwing her stuff in them if necessary!  Does she know where she is going?  If not, I'd be asking her daily if she found a place.   

 

10 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I agree with the sentiment but...Nnnnooooooo!!! Don’t ask! You’ll just open yourself up to guilt tripping and efforts to shift this from being *her* to *your* problem. It’s tempting but RESIST!! If you’re so inclined tho, you could always offer to help her pack.

 

10 hours ago, Seasider too said:

Agree! But if you really need reassurance she’s actually going to go, could you ask your sister, since apparently they went apartment hunting together?

Just be nice. Have your husband be careful about being asked for help once the move is made. 
 

 

10 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Yeeeeessssss! That's great!

As stated upthread, be prepared for to invent/engineer something to derail her ability to move out.  Be firm and tell her she can get a hotel because she can't stay at your house.  And seriously, if she has a key, change the locks first thing on the 16th. 

If she's going to slander you to friends and family and manipulate them to guilt you on her behalf, be ready to deal with it. Have a canned answer that you've practiced so you don't feel flustered in the moment. Something that says that isn't any of their business and that your mother is perfectly capable of self-supporting, then never repeat it again with them.  Do not engage further, instead end the interaction. Leave if you're in person or ask them to leave. If you need to block calls/texts do it. Don't respond to messaging and or emails.

She rented an apartment and takes possession May 15th. She will be completely out of here by June 15th. She showed me the brochure. It is a 55+ community about 1.5 hours away and about 40 minutes farther than the city she wanted to move back to (where my sister lives)

And yes, I’ve been working out what to say to anyone who tries to guilt me. 

Edited by AbcdeDooDah
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12 hours ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

 

 

 

 

She rented an apartment and takes possession May 15th. She will be completely out of here by June 15th. She showed me the brochure. It is a 55+ community about 1.5 hours away and about 40 minutes farther than the city she wanted to move back to (where my sister lives)

And yes, I’ve been working out what to say to anyone who tries to guilt me. 

First red flag is that it is going to take her an entire month to be out once she has possession of the apartment. 

Otherwise it sounds like a great option for her and great for you that she will be out and 1 1/2 hours away.  

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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

First red flag is that it is going to take her an entire month to be out once she has possession of the apartment.

Yep.  The only reason we're waiting a month to move daughter and son-in-law into the house we bought and have taken possession of is because of the schedules for:

flooring contractor-rip out replace all flooring
handyman schedule-repaint all walls, trim, and doors
lease on the apartment they currently live in-ends at end of the month

OP's mother is living with relatives, so a lease isn't an issue. Unless there are renovations in the works or something else that significant, which seems unlikely, you're right that the delay is a red flag.

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

First red flag is that it is going to take her an entire month to be out once she has possession of the apartment. 

Otherwise it sounds like a great option for her and great for you that she will be out and 1 1/2 hours away.  

I get that. I don’t believe its a problem for several reasons. She loves her money too much. She wouldn’t put money on an apartment and not move.

She has her belongings stored in two locations which is costing quite a bit of money. She needs the time to go through it so she can stop paying for storage and have it all in her apartment. 

I have no doubt things will get dicier wrt her behavior the closer it gets to moving but I am not worried about her leaving at this point.

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