It’s been a while since my last post and losing my beloved Dad. At the time this forum was a massive support, especially dealing with an abusive Mum who made all our lives a living hell and was difficult beyond belief whilst Dad was ill. She was abusive to carers, one of which was her lifelong childhood friend (needless to say they are no longer friends). I won’t go into detail now but basically Dad died without being shown the love, compassion and empathy who so deserved from a wife of 54 years - I simply can’t forgive her.

Since Dad’s death Mum has placed more and more demands on my family. She has spent a life time of over medicating and last November ended up in hospital. Despite my concerns the hospital refused to do a toxicology on her bloods and refused to accept she was addicted to medication. Family and friends refused to believe me. Her cupboards are full with medication and it was apparent a box of codeine prescribed two weeks earlier had all gone. When I challenged her she denied taking or being on a medication.

Roll on months on numerous calls of I’m unwell and me knowing exactly what’s she’s doing and noone helping. Two weeks ago after another call from her whilst I’m in work it happens again. This time she ended up in hospital with me kicking and screaming at the hospital to say she’s overdosed, with the staff looking at this elderly sick lady shaking their heads and saying no! They agreed to test her bloods and loan behold she had life threatening amounts of paracetamol in her blood, a mixture of co dydramol and paracetamol. Finally someone is listening however no help available as she has capacity and is denying taking medication. I don’t know which way to turn. I can’t cope anymore , a have a family who need me and this is making me so unwell. She has just come back from a few days away with my sister and within 30 mins of arriving home the phone calls of I’m not well has begun. She is refusing sheltered accommodation and expects me who is the only child local to be at her beck and call. She is simply not managing and has refused carers and expects me and my husband to run around day and night. Dad when alive and well did everything cooked, cleaned, washing, ironing you name it he did it whilst she would take to her bed for days with a cold. She is now wanting and expecting me to replace what Dad did, I can’t and if I’m honest I don’t want to, why would I when she showed no love or compassion for my Dad and was horrendous to me throughout his illness despite all I did.

I’ve asked her to be honest about the medication and she’s lied again and is happy to let people think it’s me causing problems despite the hospital evidence. The calls are incessant and I am at breaking point as is my husband.

I gave her the option to be honest and advised I will help as much as I can however, she has lied and lied. I have now made the decision that I cannot do anymore and have told her to not call me again and to simply leave me alone (why do I hate myself for this). My children need me, my husband needs me. I wish I could run away and simply keep running. I cannot do this anymore. I am now waiting the numerous calls from family members some abroad, all who have done little to nothing to help with the comments of disgusts and me saying enough is enough.

So, either someone force-fed her the Paracetamol (it’s in the Co-dydramol as well) or she doesn’t really have capacity. I do understand that she’s almost certainly lying about it - but the essence is as I’ve suggested.

I think your first step should be to stop answering the phone when she calls: second, contact Social Services and tell them you no longer want to be responsible for her, (you don’t have to be her Carer, no-one can be forced to care for any other person.

The issue we have is this behaviour of over medicating is a behaviour she’s had all her adult life - she will take four paracetamol because in her words 2 don’t have any effect, it’s simply what she does and always has. I agree with your point in capacity as that was my point with her mental health team at the hospital during her latest stay however, they were adamant she passed all their tests and has capacity. I do however, think that will change if and when she ends up back in hospital.

Social services is as you say the next course of action.

Block all calls. Write to her GP, the hospital, and Social Services, explaining that you are NOT responsible for your mother, that from now on they must meet all her needs without your involvement.

I have had a very long conversation with her doctor who have simply handed out strong prescription drugs without question. They have now put a marker on her records.
I will email them to explain I have withdrawn all carer support- I can’t tell you what I relief this feels. It won’t be easy as I say I have family abroad who are very opinionated as to what I should be doing and Mum has handed my number to more people than BT, I do however intend to stand my ground.

Next step social services.

I am hoping rather naively that family understand and simply leave me alone.

I cared for mum for 30 years, just little jobs to start with, then they grew and grew. I had two brothers, who mum saw less and less. In the last few years of her life it would be less than one visit a year, they never rang me or sent me a get well card when I was having major surgery to save my life.
This didn’t stop them telling me what MORE I should be doing, even when I was newly widowed and newly disabled!

Whenever they get in touch, think to yourself, here comes a helicopter again. Drops in, then flies off the return who knows when.
If they don’t or won’t help, then they have no right whatsoever to tell you what to do.
Put you answerphone on 24/7, and take control.
Tell them you have done your share, now it’s time for them to do theirs.

Bowlingbun, you have hit the nail on the head with helicopter family members. My husband and I have done more than anyone, everyone else sat back and maybe made a phonecall that ticked their box as job done. Despite reaching out many times for help from siblings , non came, just comments on how heavy my halo must be. I no longer have contact with my sister who made that comment.

Isn’t the advice of these helicopters wonderful. The truth is they are simply relieved it’s you not them doing it all. I now realise that my siblings simply don’t care about me or my family, they certainly don’t care about my children and how this all impacts on them. I can imagine the conversations between them " oh don’t worry, give me some time and it will blow over". Well not this time, we have suffered enough at the hands of my thoughtless selfish Mother and my selfish siblings. Let them get on with it. It will be interesting to see how long they put up with it. I wish them all the luck in the world, they will need it.

Expect some “toddler tantrums” from all concerned. Ignore them!

You have all my sympathy. At the end of the day, you have to put YOU first and you really have gone far beyond what most would have done. I had to threaten my late father’s GP Surgery with a legal letter when I said I was NOT going to care for him and he was a vulnerable adult, and the NHS had a Duty of Care’. I was at breaking point trying to care for my much older husband, who hated my father.

Sometimes the bravest thing of all is to walk away to save ones own sanity. I think all on here will understand and have empathy for what you are going through. It is easy for others who are not subjected to the day to day abuse and challenges to ‘judge’ but they have no experience of the reality.

Hi Helena,

My emotions are all over the place. I have so much anger regarding my mum’s behaviour both towards her treatment of Dad and I. I realise I need to get over this as it’s not healthy, I just simply don’t know how to.

I tried speaking with my Mum last November when her attention seeking behaviour started to get out of control. I actually sat there sobbing saying I can’t take anymore, it’s all about her, everything even when Dad was so Ill it was about her - what she wanted, expected and exactly what she wouldn’t have. Instead of spending my time enjoying the time I had left with Dad it was spent fighting with her and being subject to her torrent of abuse if things didn’t go her way (behaviour she’s used all her life). I explained how I have found myself pushed into the carer role for her by stealth ( how that happened is beyond me), I couldn’t even begin to grieve for Dad because again it was all about her.

I’m flabbergasted just how selfish one person could be. No thought for anyone but herself. After her treatment of Dad I can’t believe how she would expect me to pick up the pieces for her, she is very aware I know every last detail of her uncaring, cold and emtionless treatment, as I was the one having to deal with social services and the many many referals they received.

I could go on and as I say I’m angry and feel absolutely devastated over all of this, I miss my kind, caring and loving Dad. One of the carers told me in my Dad’s last week of his life he said if he had his life again he would divorce my Mum. God, this cut like a knife, what a waste of a life - I know he stayed for his children and his grandchildren who he was devoted to.

I feel very judged, I mean what kind of person walks away from their Mum!! What do I say when people say “how’s your Mum”. My husband having been at my side for many years understands, as he has seen and been on the receiving end of Mum many times. But I can’t help how I feel. Maybe counselling is the way to go.

I found counselling a HUGE help. I had a male counsellor to start with, he was very helpful once I started to open up, but like you I had lots of emotions bottled up so tightly for years I was afraid to unbottle them. Funnily enough, this happened when I arrived early one day, and saw him arrive on a beautiful powerful motorbike, and I told him about mine and our life in Australia. He then left, and I had to pay for another one, Helen. She supported me as first my brother died and mother died. Two houses full of stuff to empty and sell. Both encouraged me to care for myself more, when I’d always put the needs of others first. Learning how to do that was difficult, and way too late in life. I would definitely recommend a female counsellor if possible from my experience. Mine was £30 a session, I could only afford it as I’d been left some money. Worth every penny.

I forgot to say that after asking for years,
Social Services finally agreed to fund my counselling as “part of the support I need in my caring role”, after years of asking.

Wow! Well done on getting counselling through Social Services; I was told they couldn’t fund counselling because I can get that through the NHS. When I explained that I had tried, but couldn’t, they simply repeated that they couldn’t fund counselling because I can get that through the NHS.

Can you change your phone number? I think I would, in your position

I would make a formal complaint about their refusal to provide counselling.
Incidentally, I spent years trying to squeeze it out of Hampshire!

Oh gosh,

Reading your posts is very similar situation that I am in at the moment although it’s my dad who is the controller and I hate even having to write that word but it’s true. Unfortunately I am single and have no children and only a handful of friends that truly understand. How are you coping now?

Hi Susan,

I’ve been pulled straight back in.

Changing phone numbers isn’t an option, ignoring phonecalls has only meant my children get called, which I can’t allow to happen.

Mum got taken back into hospital due to her heart racing. After years of abusing medication she is now officially Ill and requires numerous tablets.

The overdose has now gone by the wayside, she refuses to discuss it and here I am pulled straight back into it. I feel like I am in one big dark hole with no hope, no escape only despair, anger and frustration and I only have myself to blame for allowing this to happen again.

I have found it so much harder and stressful trying to escape this situation when if I’m honest I knew there was no way out for me. I am simply now just going through the motions dealing with a mum who has treated my Dad with such lack of empathy and compassion as he was dying and treated me appallingly. If I walk away I fear I simply become her, and that’s not me. All this anger I have is simply destroying me, but I see noway out.

I feel for you Susan as I know only too well how dealing with a controlling manipulative parent can be. It’s not easy, it’s not nice, in fact it’s absolutely awful. I hope you find a way to deal with it I really do. As for me, well I have simply given up.