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My 85 year old mom


Family Parents too demanding? Sibling driving you mad? Tell us!

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Old 3rd February 2019, 1:01 PM   #1
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My 85 year old mom

Seems like lately, every time I go and visit my parents, my mother also has to spoil the visit by being disrespectful and acting like she knows it all, because she reads alot.

Every topic we talk about always revolves around what she read about it and what she saw about it on tv. Opinions of others don't seem to matter to her, and as a matter of fact she thinks nobody else knows anything but her.

And she is very quick to boast her opinion about others, no matter how hurtful it is to the person she is talking to or about. Yesterday, again, I was her candidate of choice to blast.

She does not go out much anymore so her thoughts are consumed with tv and book, not real time life activities or experiences.

I am getting to where I hate going over there, I mainly go to see my dad, and he is usually asleep or doing something other that wanting to visit.

I am harboring a lot of anger towards her and I know it wrong.. But it is hard to overlook.
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Old 3rd February 2019, 2:08 PM   #2
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I get where your coming from. My mom is only in her seventies but because she has been disabled and shut in for so many years her world has become very small. She doesn't really relate to anyone anymore and she doesn't know anything about me outside of the context of me visiting her.

I used to argue with her but now I try to stay calm so that our visits don't end on a sour note. She has medical issues that could kill her at anytime and as irritating as she is sometimes I just know I'm going to be devastated when she passes away and it will be worse if our last interactions with each other were negative and angry. I'm not perfect though, there are still times I walk off in huffing feeling righteously indignant. After my anger subsides then I feel bad for not being more patient and more understanding. It's a constant struggle within me.

I don't really have any good advice other than try to focus more on your mom's good qualities and less on the bad. You may have to reach back into your memory to find those qualities. My mom and I have a rocky history, she was a drug user and I was neglected in many ways. Won't bore you with my life story here but my mom wasn't very good at being a mom and I used to carry so much resentment for her while I replayed her wrongs over and over again in my head. However as we have both gotten older I have started to remember more good things about her. The times when she really came through for me. The times when she would hug me and let me cry on her. Times when we laughed together and helped each other. There weren't a lot of those times but they were there and that's how I choose to think of her now. It helps to soften my feelings and makes me more forgiving.
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Old 3rd February 2019, 2:33 PM   #3
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Your mother is 85. My mother died at 86 & my father was 84 when he passed. It's not like you are going to have her around for a lot longer. Just listen to what she is saying & then ignore her as in don't implement her advice into your life. When she dies you will miss the sound of her voice, no matter how much you didn't care for what she had been saying. No matter how much you hate what she is pontificating, just reply with "that is an interesting perspective." Such a response will deescalate the situation. It's not you agreeing but it is validating her that she has been heard.
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Old 3rd February 2019, 3:09 PM   #4
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I totally agree with Donnivain...

It happens to most old people too, they get looser with their lips.. it's just something we as their kids have to learn to live with and eventually we will be living without them..
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Old 3rd February 2019, 3:21 PM   #5
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My father does something similar, but I'm convinced he is trying to prove to me that his mind is still sharp and dementia is not setting in. Being able to recall facts from reading materials is his way of showing proof of a normal & active brain, I think.

He will also bring up events from 20-25 years ago, where I did this or that. Stupid little events that mean nothing, but he wants to show me his memory is still intact and he is fine. Maybe he is trying to convince himself, as well as me??

Just a thought...
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Old 4th February 2019, 6:15 AM   #6
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she is well read. she is sharing what she reads, convinced its the gospel.

hard.

bring her some books. sign her up for netflix. try to get her to watch something you watch. around here it's shameless, parenthood, toddlers and tiaras, when calls the heart and gilmore girls.

that way you can both binge and discuss.

my youngest brings up events in our lives where i was not at my best. my younger sister did the same. hell i raised them both. i made mistakes and acted mean. i apologized and let them know, in my sisters case that at 12 years old looking after a 8 year old and a 3 year old 18 hours a day was not my ambition. not my fault.

i apologize and put it to rest. i admit my fault. and i request they "let it go". if they bring up again i simply say, enough already.

bring it up, talk about it, resolve it and move on. it's not like you're gonna have her around forever.
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Old 4th February 2019, 7:11 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the replies. I appreciate it a lot.
My husband and I had a conversation a day or so ago about this. He tells me to don't let it bother me and If I need to take it out on someone, I could come home after a visit with mom and scream at him.
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Old 5th February 2019, 4:01 PM   #8
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He sounds like a great husband. Don't scream at him but if you have to storm around the house muttering & ranting to get mom's toxicity out of your system.
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Old 5th February 2019, 4:45 PM   #9
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Look, old people have it hard. You have to give them some credit. Many have lost their "politeness" filters, and that is a legit thing. Mine sure did. Turns out she had a brain tumor they found too late.

Speaking of them reading stuff and knowing it all, well, I'm already guilty of that myself , but back in the late sixties when I was becoming a teenage hippie, my mother read Reader's Digest and it had all this alarming stuff in it about hippies and drugs and just general BS. Drove me crazy.

But hey, my mom always did read and that was a good thing overall. In elementary school, my reading comprehension was through the roof, so job well done, Mom.

Your mom is really old. Just indulge her and change the subject. She may be struggling to stay "on top of it" or just trying to show that her mind still works so you won't toss her in a nursing home. Just comment something to acknowledge you heard what she was saying, like repeating back part of it, "So they're saying the world is going to end in 12 years, huh? Wow." but then take the conversation another direction. I don't know if you've noticed, but you can't change the subject with someone until you acknowledge you heard what they said. You don't have to endorse it, but just validate you heard them.

If you really want to be nice, talk about something nice she used to do for you. Like, I bragged in front of Mom's siblings over dinner about the cool clothes my mom used to sew for me, and she was just beaming. It didn't stop her from later calling me fat, but whatever.....
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Old 7th February 2019, 3:51 PM   #10
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My parents are around that age and I am already pre-grieving as I know they won't be around long You will miss her when she's gone. Older people lose their filters and get grumpy easily. Take these last few years to enjoy her no matter what.

I try to talk with my parents about family stories and history, ancestors, a subject I enjoy due to being the family's genealogist, which doesn't bring much grief to anyone. Their memory is still good for that kind of thing. Find subjects you can discuss with your mom that can bring joy to both of you. I am sure you can find something.
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Old 11th February 2019, 7:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogloverof2 View Post
Thank you all for the replies. I appreciate it a lot.
My husband and I had a conversation a day or so ago about this. He tells me to don't let it bother me and If I need to take it out on someone, I could come home after a visit with mom and scream at him.
ah... that's so sweet of your husband... but just come here and vent via this thread instead and then you can tell him all about the venting you did here on LS. Sort of defuse it a bit.

Toward the end of my own parents life when I looked at them I saw helpless seniors (shut-ins) and my heart melted. I'll never forget that feeling after not seeing them for over 10 years. I'm so glad that I was able to forgive them and spend time with them those last few years. My mind is at peace.
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Old 16th February 2019, 3:20 PM   #12
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I hear you because my mother was something like that. Always knew more than anyone about almost everything. It is very illogical and you probably cannot and should not argue about it because the situation will get worse. It may be a power issue in which she needs to have more control and show she is smarter. You could have a Ph.D and it would not matter to her.

I have no sympathy for know it alls. Old age is not an excuse for bad rude behavior. We should respect the elderly, in general, but not everything they say and do. You can point out exceptions to what she says, that may help.
Everyone has their nut siness--this is hers.
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Old 18th February 2019, 3:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by LuckyM View Post
I hear you because my mother was something like that. Always knew more than anyone about almost everything. It is very illogical and you probably cannot and should not argue about it because the situation will get worse. It may be a power issue in which she needs to have more control and show she is smarter. You could have a Ph.D and it would not matter to her.

I have no sympathy for know it alls. Old age is not an excuse for bad rude behavior. We should respect the elderly, in general, but not everything they say and do. You can point out exceptions to what she says, that may help.
Everyone has their nut siness--this is hers.
We called it "the World According to Mother" and "Modern Medicine According to Mother."
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Old 19th February 2019, 2:18 AM   #14
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Your mom is 85! That's awesome!! I was 31 when I lost my mom. She was only 59. When people complain about their elderly parents, I cannot help but get a little jealous. I did, however, have my mother-in-law until she was 92. Man, could she ever be a PITA. She also read a lot and was a bit of a know-it-all. I think it was her way of trying to stay relevant. It must be hard to get to that age and watch life evolving around you when you are maybe no longer able to participate as energetically as you once did. Next time you visit, take a Scrabble game, or play cards with her. My mother-in-law used to like to play Rummy. She used to cheat. I used to get SO angry, especially when she cheated against her grandchildren!! Now I look back and have to laugh. I miss her. I miss my mom even more and it has been almost 18 years.
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Old 19th February 2019, 8:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogloverof2 View Post
Thank you all for the replies. I appreciate it a lot.
My husband and I had a conversation a day or so ago about this. He tells me to don't let it bother me and If I need to take it out on someone, I could come home after a visit with mom and scream at him.
further up in the tread someone mentioned that they get the OG's to talk about the family history.

i wanted to mention that you can record these convos.

we bought a hallmark book of some kind, similar to a diary/journal you would give a new mother. in it it had pages and pages of questions for parents and grandparents.

get one and have you're mom fill it out (if she's still capable). the possibles are endless. go over with special teas and coffees, give her the gift and bring along pretty pencils and pens for her to use. set her up to talk to someone else, if you catch my drift.

you will want all the stories, trust me.

i shared the journal our mother had handwritten. all about her childhood, siblings, parents, education, and first love, our dad, with my sister.

i let her keep it for awhile cuz i knew, just like me, she'd press her face into the book and inhale our mommy, and cry. which she did.

i did however, make her give it back, after a few years.

good luck
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