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Is this normal for 69?

(30 Posts)
Rosequartz39 Mon 17-Aug-20 05:23:47

My mum is 69 and my older half siblings avoid her saying that she is ‘lazy’ and ‘entitled’. They say she won’t do anything for herself. (This is referring to pre lockdown). She wants me to get her shopping and newspapers everyday. Sometimes if I’m ill I don’t want to go out and get them. If I don’t go out early enough and the newspapers have sold out she sulks. If I ever can’t go to her house she rings me saying she wishes she was dead and that her children should be looking after her. She will also say she has no food. I’ve offered to order her shopping and newspapers online but she says that she need fresh food everyday and doesn’t trust newspaper delivery people to really deliver. She wants my older siblings to take her out for rides in their cars ( she’s never driven) but they have privately told me that they find this annoying as they don’t enjoy driving. I am torn, she is 69 and I worry that she may die quite soon as , although 70 is not old nowadays, you often hear of 70 year olds dying, so I feel maybe we should just do as she wants?
She does cook and do gardening but if there is anything ‘official’, like needing a repairman or ringing her doctors, she expects me to do it. She has two corner shops round the corner but refuses to use them ( this was pre covid) as she says they are ‘rough’. She’s always been like this, when I was a child my early teen sister had to do a lot for her, which sister still resents. Mum has no friends as they privately each told me they variously didn’t want to see anymore as she was ‘always moaning’ or ‘bad tempered and sulky’. She does use the ‘silent treatment’ a lot, which was scary when I was very small. She regularly used to threaten suicide and I would worry all day at primary school. I suspect she has some form of mental illlness.
I don’t work myself due to schizophrenia so I do have time to do her shopping etc. My older siblings work full time and sister has 3 kids. She doesn’t have schizophrenia but I am wondering if her behaviour is odd or not for her age. She is very scathing about mental illness and says I am just being ‘soft’ or anxious when I have trouble with voices or seeing things and need to ‘toughen up.’ She despises medication and wants me to come off my antipsychotic medicine as she says I use it as an excuse for being fat and sleeping in and not missing her newspapers. If I ever have a problem, such as an ill cat that had to be put down, she gets very angry and yells ‘well, it’s your fault for getting a cat’. She gets furious if I am ever too ill to do her errands or visit. I’ve learnt never to tell her when I’m having a bad time with symptoms of mental illness or even a migraine as she gets so livid with me. My older half brother won’t have any contact with her and my sister is close to cutting her off too. My dad ran out on her before I was born but they see their dad and stepmom who are in their 70’s and prefer them to my mum. My half siblings dad and stepmom still with and are very youthful and active, going online and using mobile phones, which she refuses to try and do. She gets carers allowance for me having schizophrenia but I don’t feel supported by her and rely on the Samaritans instead. They say I shouldn’t visit everyday. Is it normal for someone aged 69 to be like this? Does she deserve help as she is this age? When she was younger I would have been unsympathetic and backed out of doing some things but maybe at 69 some people do feel they need help? I don’t know how tired a 69 year old feels? Perhaps it depends on the person? Sorry I keep acting as if 69 is some unknowable, ancient age, I’m no spring chicken myself I just don’t know many other people her age ( I don’t know my half siblings dad and stepmom personally). I do know a lady who is 80 who is very active at my voluntary work ( a good bank and lunch club) and won’t let anyone do anything for her. However another lady who is about my age, goes off and sits down before we pack up the lunch club things saying the ‘young ones’ should do the lifting of tables and chairs. I’m only 39! I join in with the young ones! She makes hurtful comments about me not wanting children and being unnatural and about my being fat, so I often feel like staying away. Sorry for the rambling post I’m up at this time as I’ve lowered my meds and have a headache, nausea and insomnia from doing so. I am on a diet but my meds cause ravenous hunger and seem to make weight loss even on a strict diet very slow. I was very slim, a size 8 before I began on these meds 15 years ago. I don’t want to go off them just to be on a low dose. If I go off them I feel terrified all the time. (They are basically like strong tranquillisers.) thanks for reading x

Grannycat Mon 17-Aug-20 06:04:04

I am very sad to read your post. Your mother is abusive and rude and has no claim on you - it is very kind of you to be as involved as you are with her in the circumstances. When you needed love and support over the death of a loved pet, she provided yet more abuse. Unless she has some medical condition that makes normal activity difficult, she is, at 69, completely capable of running her own life, making appointments, attending them, shopping etc.

You need to draw some boundaries or this will not only never stop, it will get worse. You are clearly a lovely, kind and concientious person, and it is a sad fact that people like you will be taken advantage of. I would write down what you feel you must say to her - how hurtful she is and has been etc, and then find an opportunity to say it - firmly and calmly (difficult, I know, so this is why you need to plan ahead and "rehearse" it.). Tell her you are cutting down the visits to once or twice a week. Perhaps say you will go shopping with her on one of those visits, for a while at least until she feels able to do it herself.

You do know you only have one life, don't you? Yours is currently deeply unhappy, and nobody else can wave a magic wand and make it better for you - you have to make these changes for yourself. I know from experience of an unkind, narcissitic mother myself that you will be much happier when you have done this. And you will feel much more able to deal with your health issues too (your body shape is nobody's business but yours, btw).

You not only can do this, you have every right to. Your mother is making you ill and that is not what mothers are for.

BlueBelle Mon 17-Aug-20 06:23:22

Are you a new poster Rosequartz welcome to Gransnet

lemongrove Mon 17-Aug-20 07:31:07

What a tale of woe.
Is it normal for a woman of 69 to be: entitled/ lazy/nasty/etc?
It’s as normal as it is to be those things at any age at all.

Esspee Mon 17-Aug-20 07:49:15

Do not stop taking medication on the say so of your mother.

It is important that YOU get help and that you withdraw your help from your mother to a level you are comfortable with.
She is supposed to be caring for you, not the other way round.

It doesn’t matter what age she is. She has treated you like her personal servant and it needs to stop so that you can enjoy your life.

Is it possible for you to get a holiday? Are there any family members or organisations which could help?
Being physically distant from her demands will make it so much easier for you.

I hope you have the strength to start saying no.

Rosequartz39 Mon 17-Aug-20 08:37:58

Hi I am new. Thanks for all your replies I feel clearer now xx

sodapop Mon 17-Aug-20 08:59:00

I agree with Esspee please don't consider stopping your meds just because your mother says you should Rosequartz.
Your mother sounds like a very unkind and controlling woman, you need to distance yourself a little from her. I don't understand why she gets a carers allowance as she doesn't appear to support you at all.
I think you need to talk to your mental health nurse about what is happening. I wish you well.

Susan56 Mon 17-Aug-20 09:07:22

Rosequartz,your mother seems very entitled and abusive.

Please don’t reduce your medication without medical supervision.You could also ask your GP to refer you for counselling to help you deal with the situation with your mother.

Did you say your mother is getting carers allowance for looking after you?It would be better if you had Attendance Allowance so you could arrange help for yourself.If you have a social worker that is something they could help you with.Hopefully another gransnetter can give you more knowledgable advice on this.

You sound a lovely caring person and you deserve a happy life.Its difficult with COVID but maybe start by speaking to your GP.Make a list of the things you need help with - if you should reduce your medication,dealing with your mum and losing weight.

I hope you can get the help you need to live a happier life💐

quizqueen Mon 17-Aug-20 09:13:21

Stop visiting or contacting her for a month. She will either live or starve.

TwiceAsNice Mon 17-Aug-20 09:18:00

Your mother is clearly abusive and has a huge sense of entitlement whilst being excessively selfish . 69 is no age and unless she is physically ill should be able to manage all aspects of her life herself including her own shopping and getting of newspapers!

I do hope you have some friends who can help you. Could you speak to your GP about arranging a medication review for you? If your current drugs have caused a lot of weight gain , and you find this upsetting perhaps there is alternative medication that would suit you better. Do you have support from a psychiatrist or CPN , perhaps talk to them .

You deserve your own life, it is not your fault your mother is as she is.

Coolgran65 Mon 17-Aug-20 10:02:49

Please don't reduce your medication by yourself because you may get very ill and not be aware how poorly you are. I speak from experience of my husband being a sufferer of paranoid schizophrenia.

Your mother is selfish and is using you. She is cruel and uncaring. Just see how her friends and other children have distanced themselves.

I agree that you should draw on the support of your GP, psychiatric nurse, social worker to help you withdraw from this abusive situation. Have them organise counselling to help you manage this and to deal with the guilty feelings that you may (undeservedly) have.

I wish you strength to start to do this.
Once you've made the decision it will be easier.

henetha Mon 17-Aug-20 10:10:32

I regard 69 as very young! She should be standing on her own feet at that age and not using you, to the detriment of your own life.

Anne64 Mon 17-Aug-20 10:29:24

Im 69 and I have a big family and 5 grandchildren, I’m always on the go helping them all as much as I can, they all come to mine for get together, there all working hard, so I feel I should help them, and I love doing it that’s what family’s do HELP each other, your mother is one selfish narcissistic person she will get worse when she is old, so you take yourself out of this unhealthy situation, she will find someone else soon enough or maybe stand on her own two feet , your not helping her running around after her, you deserve a happy life and you won’t have it with her, sorry but it true

TheFrugalPiggy Mon 17-Aug-20 10:46:17

To put it bluntly your mother is playing you for a fool. She is a narcissistic woman who doesn't care about your health or well being. If you don't distance yourself from her it will destroy you. I wish you all the very best.

LadyGracie Mon 17-Aug-20 11:03:15

I’m 69 and I can’t imagine treating my children like this, she sounds totally selfish.

You need to take some time for yourself, let your mother fend for herself.

Dinahmo Mon 17-Aug-20 11:04:38

Rosequartz39 You should not put up with this kind of treatment, never, ever. I've met a few people with mothers like yours and it is always the children who suffer from the stress.

At 39 you should have years ahead of you. Please continue taking your meds. Perhaps you could talk to your doctor and get them changed since they have caused your weight gain.

Writing as someone who doesn't have children, through choice, please try to ignore the hurtful comments from that woman at your lunch club. You are certainly not unnatural.

Keep up with the voluntary work. Apparently it's one of the things that makes us feel better.

Finally, if she telephones you a lot, I'd think seriously about changing my telephone number and going ex-directory.

I wish you well.

Jane10 Mon 17-Aug-20 11:09:35

Withdraw. Inform her GP and Social services if necessary. Don't answer the phone to her.
I suspect you've been told all this before though. On no account stop your medication. Discuss the situation with your CPN.

annodomini Mon 17-Aug-20 11:17:28

Normal? not at 69 or at any age unless she is seriously disabled which she clearly is not. I'm 79 and live 150 miles away from family but even if they were close by, I'd assert my independence and never presume on their generosity, I see that she gets your carer's allowance. I wonder if there is any possibility of your receiving PIP as it seems that you are capable of looking after yourself.

ExD Mon 17-Aug-20 11:26:24

I cannot understand anyone behaving in this was unless she's so very unhappy she needs to lash out at her dearest and dearest like this. Jane has given sensible advice although I don't know how you will manage to withdraw from her as that is not an easy thing to do.
But you do need to invent some reasons as to why you're not available, and you do need to ignore her phone calls. You have backed yourself into a bit of a corner and its going to take a huge amount of courage to get yourself out of this and onto a more reasonable footing with her.
Her GP might be your first call for assistance, also Age Concern can arrange 'friends' to visit her or phone for chats, give them a call.
I am 81 and know that 69 is NOT old, she is quite capable of looking after her own shopping for goodness sake!

Witzend Mon 17-Aug-20 11:32:57

I would say it’s probably normal for an extremely selfish, self-centred any-age person with bullying/control-freak tendencies.

For your average nice person, certainly not.

You need to pull back, OP, gradually if that’s the only way - just tell her you can’t do it any more and refuse to discuss it - and for heaven’s sake don’t feel guilty about it.

luluaugust Mon 17-Aug-20 11:34:23

Your mum may not have the same problems as you but clearly she does have some problems but you need to take care of yourself. See your Dr, if you can at present or speak to them on the phone and try to sort out your medication, mention your weight and if you want to your mum. I think the lady at your lunch club may have some problems so just do your thing and ignore her certainly don't stop going. It is not your job to get her newspapers and she could organise to have her shopping delivered.

Scribbles Mon 17-Aug-20 12:10:47

Your mother is selfish and unpleasant and will continue this way as long as you allow her to use you as her personal slave.

I can only add that I'm 69, too, and filled with horror at the thought of being dependent on others for everyday activities. If she wants/needs to get out, remind her that legs, bicycles, buses, trains and taxis exist for this purpose. Or perhaps she could learn to drive?

As quizqueen said above, just tell her you're taking some time out for yourself and she'll either survive or starve.

B9exchange Mon 17-Aug-20 12:24:32

You are having a terrible time, sounds as though you have for years, and none of it is your fault. I do think you will need someone's help to get through withdrawing from her constant demands, is there no member of the family or a friend that would go with you and give you moral support when you talk to her? Be prepared for her to be angry, dismissive, and ignoring what you have said, this is where the courage comes to stick to your guns.

I wonder whether your CPN might get you some counselling into how to be a little more assertive?

Good luck, as others have said, you have only one life, and you deserve much better than this. Go for it, we are all behind you, come back and let us know how you get on?

Rosequartz39 Mon 17-Aug-20 12:53:11

Thankyou very much for all your messages, it actually makes me feel better to know I am not the one in the wrong. I am ‘discharged’ from the community mental health team so I am very much alone and find it hard to judge whether I was being lazy myself for wanting to stay home if I get a headache or cold. I used to have a psychiatric nurse but she said cuts meant her team can only see the most ‘disturbed’ patients. Not the one’s who are aware they have a mental illness and I hadn’t had a suicide attempt for ten years, so I’m seen as ‘stable’. It has been confusing for me is thar I moaned to my nurse all the things I put in my first post but she then had a meeting with my mum. After meeting my mum my nurse said ‘Your mum is lovely, I think your paranoia has made you see her falsely’. The thing is my mum does seem nice when meeting someone ‘official’ she only does all the anger and silent treatment on people she knows really well, like her ex friends. My nurse said I ought to make allowances for my mum as she is ‘elderly’ ( nurse was young-prob thinks over 25 elderly.
I once cried at high school and confided in a teacher at and once again she met my mum for one meeting and accused me of being an ungrateful liar and attention seeker ( actually I was painfully shy and didn’t want attention) . I actually would have got into trouble but my half sister wrote a letter from university, signed by her dad and stepmum, saying I had not lied. (I’m pretty sure that teacher still thinks I lied! She said ‘you paint such a sad picture’ which I think meant- ‘you’re making this up’. ) lol. There were other kids whose parents didn’t feed them, took drugs, and hit them so my sort of complaints must have seemed pretty minor to her. Mum always fed me, and clothed me and spent money on me. I never went without of birthday presents even though she was on benefits.
Anyway, I now feel I am justified in trying to really reduce my visits to my mums. I’m wondering about inventing extra voluntary work ( it’s actually shut at the moment due to covid). Thanks for helping me see clearly that it is not wrong of me to do this.
Ps I wrote it so it sounds like it’s the woman from the food bank who says I’m a unnatural for not wanting kids, but it’s my mum. My sister also says she cannot relate to or be friends with women who don’t want kids, by which I feel maybe she means this as including me? I’m really nice to my niece and nephews. I don’t dislike kids I’m just very immature and quite selfish. I like reading, travel, creative writing and quiet stuff. I also spend a lot of time ‘in a state’ , crying or hiding in my flat in my own world as I have trouble with my voices (which I still have on really high doses of meds, ) so i almost ‘don’t have space for a child’ which would be horrible for them. Although my mum constantly goes on about babies and what a maternal woman she is she actually once admitted shaking me a few time’s as a baby. I was about to have one of those brain scans where they stick rubber thingys to your head, to check incase I had frontal lobe epilepsy, rather than schizophrenia.
I wonder if despite her saying how much she wants babies in her life and is mad at me for not providing one, that she, like me ought not to have had them? It’s also out of my hands as I have never had a boyfriend sadly for me. ( men I fancy never fancy me back- another moan!) thanks for letting me complain so much, I feel lighter and better about myself. I don’t moan much in real life, people usually say I am ‘cheery’ and bubbly’ which sounds rather obnoxious! They even put it on my ‘care plan’ which I still have off the community mental health team. X

EllanVannin Mon 17-Aug-20 13:30:42

Unfortunately it does sound as though your mother's behaviour has rubbed off on you from an early age.
Has there been a trauma in your mum's life to cause her to be like she is ?