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    Borderline mother

    I am a quadriplegic woman, 54, living for 2 years now with my 82 year old mother, who - I think - has the borderline personality disorder. It went o.k. till I left for 2 days for a little trip. Ever since she requires extra night shifts. I am now working on a live-in help.
    Everytime we get to the point that she does well at night and we consider just having somebody come in the mornings, she starts falling and playing super helpless. Everytime I do something for myself, she goes plays her drama for the neighbors or makes chaos in the kitchen. It's like anytime she is not getting enough attention, she plays her dramas.
    These stupid night- "babysitters" eat up all her money. But she will play any drama to keep them. One woman said last week, mom needed no help at night, and this morning the same said, she absolutely cannot be left alone. And when I tell them, it's all manipulation, they disagree and look at me as if I was evil.
    I don't wanna put mom in a nursing home., but she is making me sick with her blackmailing and manipulation.
    Have any of you an idea where I could find help? I have asked all "professionals", but all seem to put it on dementia, but mom has been like this her whole life. She seems to NEED the attention, without overthinking the consequences.
    I have no more strength, I feel so horrible, that she has all this power to distroy what I had built so lovingly.

    #2
    My sympathies regarding your situation. You have to see to the welfare of a toxic person who long ago poisoned her relationship with you. If in fact there is a diagnosis of dementia there is no hope things will get better. I would seriously start visiting area nursing homes looking for the best one.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ancientgimp View Post
      My sympathies regarding your situation. You have to see to the welfare of a toxic person who long ago poisoned her relationship with you. If in fact there is a diagnosis of dementia there is no hope things will get better. I would seriously start visiting area nursing homes looking for the best one.
      I agree with this.

      Some of this may be part of her normal personality, and it is possible that some dementia and/or depression are also now making it worse. I agree that the chances of this improving seem slim to me, and may only get worse.

      I definitely would start involving other doctors/caregivers - and recommend a geriatric psychiatrist. And if doctors say she has "dementia", you should be followed regularly by someone helping to give you advice (neurologist or social worker or geriatric doc). I also strongly recommend you find a caregiver support group near you. Many dementia/memory disorders clinics know where to find one.

      So sorry you are struggling with this, when you have enough issues to deal with just taking care of yourself.

      Comment


        #4
        Dementia or not, I don't think anyone would disagree that asking a quad to care for an 84 year old woman who needs "babysitters" is neither good for the quad of the elderly person. You should bite the bullet and put her in a nursing home for your sake and hers.

        Comment


          #5
          Has she been "disagreeable" all your life, or is this something new? My wife's mother tried to control everyone around her for the 35 years I knew her, and when she finally fell and broke her hip, there was just no way my wife could help her. We finally had to put her a nursing home, and every time we'd visit (which got farther and farther apart) even the nurses would tell us how difficult she was to deal with. We had to eventually stop going to see her because my wife would come away an emotional wreck from her tirades.

          You might also see if there is a www.APlaceForMom.com associate in your area. They were a great help to us...in finding a place for me.

          Comment


            #6
            Set her up with someone if she won't go to the nursing home and move back out. For your sanity. You have enough on your plate.
            Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

            T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

            Comment


              #7
              There comes a time when nursing homes are necessary. If you can do it, it sounds like that time has come for your mother.
              I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

              Comment


                #8
                what about an adult daycare, and a companion aid?

                this is what my sister in law does. she is paid to stay two nights a week, take her to and from daycare, and to dr's appointments, ect.

                she may just need a social life. I used to volunteer a music/art program before I moved, and was paid to give small concerts, where the clients usually participated voluntarily.

                Has your mom been evaluated to see if she has a mental illness, dementia? or if she just needs some counseling for being old and in the way?

                maybe you two could use a companion/service dog.

                there are places that are more like assisted apartments, than nursing homes, and they may or may not use an adult daycare, or a companion to take them to appointments, or just shopping. it helps with not relying on you for everything. maybe being old and in the way has made her afraid to rely on her own company.

                anyway, I think there may be options, but Im not sure what would be available in Germany. that is what we are trying in some places in the U.S.

                I worked as a cleaning lady for a woman with MS, and eventually she was granted funding for companion care. I did that until my accident. she is still a close friend that I call regularly.

                I also was a weekend night companion for a lady who had a stroke, when I was in college. she was fine with just company, but I had to take cpr, and safety classes which counted as educational credits. I was happy to be there and I learned a lot from the lady. I was 19, and glad to have the job.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I really feel for you. My cousin who is a few years younger than me, is formally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. My uncle, her father, most definitely has it too, he just isn't diagnosed. I am lucky enough not to live with these people, but I have seen the damage they can inflict. BPD is one of the most difficult illnesses, because many people who have it don't believe there is anything wrong with them, and won't get treatment. They habitually rage at and manipulate the people closest to them. One of the best books written on the subject, is called, "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me," and that is exactly how it is. People with BPD are constantly attacking their loved ones, but also manipulating them into staying close. They are typically very good at hiding their illness from non-relatives, so when you complain to neighbors, friends, and others who know the person, a common reaction can be that your relative could not possibly be up to such terrible behavior! It must be all in your head. It is probably even worse when the person doing this is elderly, because people have a perception that the elderly are fragile and sweet. Well, there are a lot of elderly people that just don't fit that bill.

                  You know your mother and you know how she has treated you during your lifetime. You don't need other people to second-guess you. If you are finding this situation to be overwhelming and counterproductive for you and for her, then I believe that it is. You need to take care of you first. It is like when you are on an airplane and the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

                  You have some important decisions to make about end of life care for your mother. Regardless of her mental health, she is going to continue to age and decline. Choices will have to be made. You need a plan. The question is, do you act now or wait, and if you act now what move do you make? I don't think you should ever feel bad for placing a premium on your own health and wellbeing. You may never hear from the professionals that your mother has a problem with her mental health, but the most important thing is that you know this to be true, and you know that you do not deserve to be treated badly.

                  Wishing you the best of luck moving forward.
                  In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special education...to become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by NikkiMaya View Post
                    I really feel for you. My cousin who is a few years younger than me, is formally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. My uncle, her father, most definitely has it too, he just isn't diagnosed. I am lucky enough not to live with these people, but I have seen the damage they can inflict. BPD is one of the most difficult illnesses, because many people who have it don't believe there is anything wrong with them, and won't get treatment. They habitually rage at and manipulate the people closest to them. One of the best books written on the subject, is called, "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me," and that is exactly how it is. People with BPD are constantly attacking their loved ones, but also manipulating them into staying close. They are typically very good at hiding their illness from non-relatives, so when you complain to neighbors, friends, and others who know the person, a common reaction can be that your relative could not possibly be up to such terrible behavior! It must be all in your head. It is probably even worse when the person doing this is elderly, because people have a perception that the elderly are fragile and sweet. Well, there are a lot of elderly people that just don't fit that bill.

                    You know your mother and you know how she has treated you during your lifetime. You don't need other people to second-guess you. If you are finding this situation to be overwhelming and counterproductive for you and for her, then I believe that it is. You need to take care of you first. It is like when you are on an airplane and the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

                    You have some important decisions to make about end of life care for your mother. Regardless of her mental health, she is going to continue to age and decline. Choices will have to be made. You need a plan. The question is, do you act now or wait, and if you act now what move do you make? I don't think you should ever feel bad for placing a premium on your own health and wellbeing. You may never hear from the professionals that your mother has a problem with her mental health, but the most important thing is that you know this to be true, and you know that you do not deserve to be treated badly.

                    Wishing you the best of luck moving forward.
                    Practicing an admirable economy of words, you have provided great insight into understanding and coping with a complex and difficult illness.
                    Foolish

                    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

                    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

                    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks Foolish. That was really kind
                      In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special education...to become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by NikkiMaya View Post
                        I really feel for you. My cousin who is a few years younger than me, is formally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. My uncle, her father, most definitely has it too, he just isn't diagnosed. I am lucky enough not to live with these people, but I have seen the damage they can inflict. BPD is one of the most difficult illnesses, because many people who have it don't believe there is anything wrong with them, and won't get treatment. They habitually rage at and manipulate the people closest to them. One of the best books written on the subject, is called, "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me," and that is exactly how it is. People with BPD are constantly attacking their loved ones, but also manipulating them into staying close. They are typically very good at hiding their illness from non-relatives, so when you complain to neighbors, friends, and others who know the person, a common reaction can be that your relative could not possibly be up to such terrible behavior! It must be all in your head. It is probably even worse when the person doing this is elderly, because people have a perception that the elderly are fragile and sweet. Well, there are a lot of elderly people that just don't fit that bill.

                        You know your mother and you know how she has treated you during your lifetime. You don't need other people to second-guess you. If you are finding this situation to be overwhelming and counterproductive for you and for her, then I believe that it is. You need to take care of you first. It is like when you are on an airplane and the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

                        You have some important decisions to make about end of life care for your mother. Regardless of her mental health, she is going to continue to age and decline. Choices will have to be made. You need a plan. The question is, do you act now or wait, and if you act now what move do you make? I don't think you should ever feel bad for placing a premium on your own health and wellbeing. You may never hear from the professionals that your mother has a problem with her mental health, but the most important thing is that you know this to be true, and you know that you do not deserve to be treated badly.

                        Wishing you the best of luck moving forward.
                        Great post. I'm too tired to add anything lengthy... But I have a close friend who is borderline. It can be really tough, and sometimes trying to help can actually feed into the disorder and make things worse. And sometimes you just have to put your own health first. There are many times I read a text from her or see her phone number on my caller ID and have to just ignore it for my own mental health. I'll talk to her about what happened after the crisis is over, but I can't put myself at risk for her.

                        And you can't put yourself at risk for your mother. It sounds like the babysitters and such are rewarding her and making things escalate. I agree that a nursing home may be the best option, you need to put yourself first not her.
                        Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                        I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I've got one trick that might be helpful. Yes, it is deceptive, and you definitely need to monitor usage, but sometimes it is the only way to get someone to take mood, depression, or personality stabilizing drugs.

                          Disguise them as painkillers.

                          Someone who is sure that there is nothing wrong will frequently not take meds for a problem that they don't believe exists. But they will take something that they believe helps with pain or aches.

                          The most important thing is preventing the person from taking too much. People in general will often take more pain meds than are prescribed. If you limit the availability by only letting the person take the pills "for sleep" or "in the morning to help with the day's aches", it is possible to control use while having the person still want to stay on the med.
                          Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.

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