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Old 08-24-2009, 05:28 PM   #1
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How do you set boundaries with a Mother whom you love but b___ches incessantly ?!

My mother is 80 years old and there are many wonderful things about her. And i truly love her very much. But the only thing that truly is difficult for me regardless of how hard i try, is her continuous whining and b___ching about virtually anything. Its gotton so bad at times on the phone that I just need to distance myself asap . Ive tried alot of patience, trying to understand , agreeing with her , trying to calm her down, trying to change the subject, reinforcing my love toward her, etc.. and im really at my wits end.

Ive heard on radio talk shows with Counsellors, that you need to set boundaries with people you love at times. Does anyone have experience doing this and if so, can you please explain some of the dynamics with this so it can be implemented ?

Thanks much.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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Has your Mom always been this way or is it something new?
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:22 PM   #3
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AT 80 years of age - or 30, attitudes and habits die hard, if at all. You're not going to change her - or yourself, so need to find other ways to maintain your own sanity and keep channels open. One way, is a frank and open discussion of the issue with her, and the straight statement that her behavior bothers you a great deal - and you feel you will have to contact her less often and/or cut conversations short when you feel things getting unbearable - a little straight talk honesty goes a long way - you were able to tell US - have you tried telling HER?
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:38 AM   #4
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Jim and Gary, Thanks. My mother has always had a tendency to complain , but in the last 10 years it has intensified greatly ...to the point that my now deceased Father told my sister that he is 'looking forward to checking out because of it' ! Yes, i have had a range of talks from nicely telling her it is bothersome when its all the time, to just count your many blessings ; I even made up a full page list of blessings in her life to study . Im afraid she has turned into an unhappy person and a difficult one to be around for any length of time. Im sure at her age she is highly unlikely to change, and probably doesnt wish to. So, Im going to have to endure and establish some kind of boundary so im not affected by all the negativity . Well, thanks for listening .
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:22 AM   #5
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We own a Private Duty Senior Homecare Business and have a fair amount of experience with Seniors. A very large percentage suffer from depression and it can manifest itself in many ways. One of the ways is the constant complaining and whining. When things like this happen with Seniors and it is a behavior change, it is time to seek professional help.

Many people start with their Primary Care Physician, however, our choice would be a Psychiatrist that specializes in Seniors. Many of these problems or conditions can be improved or controlled with proper medication. If she did not act this way until her seventies and now is way out there, it is indicative of a problem.

Getting them to go to the appointment is another issue and often must be made a requirement by the children to continue contact, that usually gets them going.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:49 AM   #6
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What if the therapy doesn't help? And if they're walking a very self destructive path? My Mother has me at my wits end. She's 61, financially ruined herself, my Sister has helped her financially, I have also, now my Sister won't even speak to my Mother because of this behavior. She's become such a pain to be around that her friends that worked very hard to help her have distanced themselves, family just rolls their eyes and tries not to talk to her, now she's wanting to attend my Dad's family reunions. He doesn't attend so she feels like she should and they've been divorced for 20 years!

I really don't know what to do. Therapy and her "Nerve pills" don't help, and she refuses to even reveal what her nerve pills actually are.

Sorry, I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I'm kind of at my wits end with her.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:56 AM   #7
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As my mother has aged, now 91, her habits and personality have gradually changed. Openly suggesting that she do things differently tends to make her upset. I have decided to grin and bear it, since her behavior isnt going to change, and medication isnt the answer either. In one ear, and out the other seems the best way to handle the issue.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:00 AM   #8
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No doubt my mom is depressed , clinically im sure. Ive suggested she see her Doctor for depression but she doesnt want to do that . I think my only recourse is to grin and bear it like the one Poster said. Shes told me a few times shes not happy with life . Is she suicidal ? I dont think she would because she thinks too much of us two kids and she knows it would hurt us. So thats good.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:14 AM   #9
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My mom was difficult to get along with at times, even for family members.

My dad passed in 1982, and my mom died in 1992. I wasn't there...my mom died alone.

Today, I cannot even begin to remember the hard times...her cranky ways...I just know that I miss her and that I didn't tell her enough times how much I loved her.

Love 'em while ya got 'em.

Steve
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevePav View Post
My mom was difficult to get along with at times, even for family members.

My dad passed in 1982, and my mom died in 1992. I wasn't there...my mom died alone.

Today, I cannot even begin to remember the hard times...her cranky ways...I just know that I miss her and that I didn't tell her enough times how much I loved her.

Love 'em while ya got 'em.

Steve
Yes indeed.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:45 PM   #11
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You can pick your friends, you can't pick your relatives. If we could, in many cases, we would choose differently. That being said, if they are not a danger to themselves or anyone else and they will not seek or agree to help, go on with your life and let them wallow in their own self pity. If you can't handle that, grin and bear it!

Many people have the delusion of the sweet little old man or woman. As people age, they generally become a personification of themselves. If they were a Bit-h or Basta-d in their younger days, they only become worse.

The only thing we have seen that change people like this, is the fear of, or impending death. It's funning how people try to make up for a lifetime of meanness in a few final days. I guess, that's life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:11 PM   #12
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My Mom is 82 and a few years ago starting to get into a complaining rut. Thank God (no pun intended) that she is very religious. After reinforcing that she should live her faith and not just practice it, I reminded her that:

- she was very blessed with good kids and great grandchildren
- she was blessed with relatively good health
- it was easy to see the bad but you have to LOOK for the good
- her Mom (my grandmother) ALWAYS managed to see the good in every situation

Since then she may still complain, but at least not to me!
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:13 PM   #13
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RVLOVER:
The above posts are really what I think this forum is all about. Somewhere there are people who care and respond to help others. Each of us have experienced much of what you are now going thru. Time and an awfully of faith is needed to see the next morning. My mother died at 80 and was a problem also. I can't tell you how we made it thru but we did.
My prayers are with you and yours...
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:59 PM   #14
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You can only control yourself so start there. Be less available to be abused by controling the days and times you are available to listen. She won't get the message but neither will you have to deal with the unsatisfactory behavior. I once had to tell my mother in law to leave my house and never return. I advised her that my wife would call her when she wanted and we would visit her. My DW was not able to enjoy a loving relationship with her mother because it had always been abusive. The sad part about all of this was the MIL went to her grave not knowing that the DW and I were the only ones at her funeral. God give you the strength to change the things you cannot accept and accept the things you cannot change.
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