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Lovely, warm Arizona! Not so lovely "mama-drama"

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Just back from a quick trip to Arizona to see my mom and sister, where it was so lovely and warm there, compared to snowy Michigan. Had a fabulous time with my sister and brother-in-law. All was not fun and games though, since I was there for some serious intervention with my mom. Mom has reached the age where she is having multiple psychological problems. It has been evident through the years, and getting worse as she ages. We call it "mama-drama."

About 14 years ago, she started therapy. First 2 sessions went fine---she got to complain about all her problems and everybody else. In the third session, the therapist said "let's start working on some goals for you---things you need to change." Mom got up and walked out and never went back.

She has just been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, paranoia, separation from reality (lying), poor judgment, possible early dementia, and an addiction to television shopping---particularly QVC. So we've hired a lawyer to protect her hugely diminished bank account. She's going to outlive her money if she lives even 2 more years. Of course she lies to us (as any addict will do.) It's so sad. I remember my mother in her younger years as a wonderful mother. I'm grieving the loss of the mother I once knew---even though she is alive.

The 5 of us siblings are together on the same page (which always helps!!) She is NOT appreciating our intervention, and when she gets served with papers sometime next week (stating she needs to get a lawyer and prepare to tell the judge why she should still be in control of her money), she's going to have a full-blown conniption. Maybe the state of Arizona will explode.

The 5 of us have realized that she has been lying to us for the last few years about her QVC addiction, but once we got the subpoenaed records of her account, it's evident she's been lying for about 15 years. She always says that she only buys "necessities, like sheets and towels." from QVC. If so, then a sheet set must come one thread per box, and that's why there are about 30 boxes/bags per week. ha. And as addicts will do, she has poisoned the well of our family dynamic---anything to keep control of her money so that she can keep her "habit" alive.

Now that things are set in motion, we know we did the right thing. My sister is an elder lawyer, so she sees this kind of stuff a lot. A few days ago I told her that I wished we had done this several years ago before it became such a crisis (but we didn't know how bad off Mom was.) My sister replied that it takes a crisis before a judge is willing to grant a conservatorship. Ten years ago, she was just spending too much money, which shows poor judgement. Now we can prove it's an addiction, which is grounds for removing her as trustee. (Similar to somebody who gambles away a large amount of money.)

None of the 5 of us want to chip in for her future in an assisted living center, after she's frittered away her parent's money. She was an only child of wealthy parents, and we probably won't see a dime. But the loss of the money doesn't matter as much as the loss of the mother we thought we had. Every time she buys something on QVC she is choosing herself over her 5 kids, 10 grandkids, and 6 great-grandkids. She has poisoned her family relationships, and I need to work on forgiving her and moving forward in love---while also learning to be teflon-coated with all her manipulations, lies, and vicious remarks.

Anyway, glad to be back home with my (oh so sane) husband. No melodrama here! Looking forward to watching Olympics today and getting in lots of time on the elliptical.
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  • no profile photo CD14126107
    Oh gosh wow.

    Just wondering if you try calling her at least every day for five minutes? I wonder if a little bit of a talk every day would kinda get her mind off of herself.

    Wow! What a story.

    Hope all goes well!

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    2416 days ago
    It's nice that you got a break from our winter but I'm sorry that you had to endure such difficulties along the way. You're fortunate that you and all your siblings are working together on this; I've seen what happens when one person takes matters into their own hands without regard for the rest of the family.

    Enjoy the Olympics and know that winter's losing its grip on us!!

    2416 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13970786
    So sorry, Beth, that you have to deal with such a difficult situation and for the loss of your mother, how you used to know her. It is awesome that you have great support from your siblings and are working as a team. Praying for continued strength for all of you and hoping that you get some type of resolution soon. So nice you could enjoy some sunshine and warmer weather. Yes, can't wait to watch the Olympics, so fun and inspirational. Take good care!!! Big hugs!! emoticon emoticon
    2417 days ago
    I am so sorry; I am glad that least all your siblings are on your side with this. emoticon

    I am enjoying the Olympics also.
    2417 days ago
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