Why is my mother always so angry?

My mother is 84. She was a school teacher who raised me as a single parent. So she is use to being in control. I am an only child.(56) and my mother is stressing me out. She lives alone and seems to be doing ok managing her home on the surface. My mother has always been a controlling person. Now all she does is complain. Everything seems to make her unhappy and she blames me for almost everything
I don’t know if it is a health issue because she refuses to go the doctor. Has not had a physical since the late 1980’s. She is losing her vision because of glaucoma (in denial), but was complaining even before that. My mother has caused her few friends and family to avoid her because she complains about everything they do. Now she wants me to be her outlet for everything. I work full time and run a cottage business and have a collage aged daughter.
I truly understand that my mother is lonely. She never developed any interests. So now she really has nothing to do. When I have suggested that she join The Red Hats group so that she can get out of the house more..she will cast that idea aside because she does not see herself as an old lady and really wants nothing to do with people who do.
What is real stressful is when she does get out… she wants to return home right away..but then complains that I don’t take her out enough. When I take her out to the movies she complains that I did not do it sooner.
The worst days for my daughter and me are the days when she gets very little sleep. The telephone becomes her friend and she will call either of us at 6AM to complain about something that we did or did not do, then call later to complain about something else. I am at my wits end. I love her dearly and will do whatever I need to do for her. I just need help learning how to cope.
She is so angry about getting older. Because of her anger we are walking on eggshells. She will then flip and be very pleasant...as long as you don’t disagree with her about anything.
I am so afraid that the next few years a going to be a living hell.

 Answers 1 to 9 of 9 

Sounds pretty annoying already. She has formed some negative habits. For all she has accomplished, she has gone into her own head instead of continuing to serve others. She could volunteer at an elementary school to read to kindergartners, do tutoring, any type of mentoring for children at risk. The key is to get her to think of others and how she can use her gifts and talents. Let her know she has much to offer and be positive. That could be her new habit, which is possible to change! She may need a little nudge, or maybe a jolt. Don't be afraid to have the discussion with her as an objective adult.

One thing I would do right away is tell her a trip to the opthamologist only takes a few minutes. The doctor will test her eyes for pressure and vision. If she has glaucoma, most likely he'll prescribe one or two bottles of eye drops to put in her eyes. This will go a long way toward saving her vision. However you can, get her to the opthamologist soon.

asks was, oh my goodness. You are not facing a bright future, I'm sorry to say. I don't know the methods to use to turn around a controlling, headstrong, unrealistic person like your mom because I had one just like her. I couldn't help her no matter how hard I tried. She had always worked, had interests, hobbies but she went into major denial about getting older and turned into a stubborn mule. I thought I was going to lose my mind. She had many physical problems but she didn't have dementia, I was told to my face by her doctor. Can you choose not to answer her calls at times and let her leave a message? That gives you time to collect yourself before you return her call. Get stern with her and tell her you are not her entertainment committee. If she's lonely and board, it is NOT your duty. She should've thought of that before. It's selfish of her to put you and your daughter in this position and its up to you to stop it now. My kids and I had to do that with my mom. Selfish was her middle name. She had had a life but she didn't want any of us to have one just because she was hacked off about getting older. Get rid of the eggshells!!

Good point, JesseBelle. Losing her vision could be causing her to focus on what will happen if she loses her vision completely! Anger is the other side of fear:( Perhaps if you address this with her and take the bull by the horns she will be relieved. I hope you are able to do that. Keep us posted and take care of your own stress, too:) xo

Oh I have an 87 yr. old aunt just like this! Though I am not her daughter (and she is childless) we were always close so now she expects me and my sister to take care of her. She has physical problem but mentally sharp and was a school teacher always in control. When I suggested getting help because I couldn't handle it she called me a coward and she would have done it for her family. Well, she did take care of her mother for the last month of her life, and her husband when he was dying of cancer, but that's different. I live 400 miles away and stay with her 4 times a year for a week or two to give my sister a break. My sister is local. My aunt may go on for years like this and she has plenty of money to hire help, but she refuses to bring in outsiders. It is so frustrating and she is so stubborn. I refuse to call her since the last two calls she laid on very hurtful guilt trips, but she is always on my mind. Damned if I do and damned if I don't. damn!

Sorry my comment really isn't an answer to your question. This is my first time on this site and just realized my mistake. Best of luck!

Aunthelper, you are welcome to write whatever you like. Not everybody has an answer per se but your comments are still allowed. Glad you joined AgingCare!!!

It sound like depresion to me

I can relate to you 100%. My mother always had her way. Did what she wanted to when she wanted to. When I was growing up I was always shoved in the corner. She focused on my brothers. Now, I am 61 years old. She thinks she can boss, talk to me like a dog, and thinks I should never talk back to her. I had it rough. She spent money on the boys like it was going out of style. She never gave me one thin dime to pay for my college or anything else. My youngest brother was in the same boat as me. He has left for good and will never be back to live in this area. The other boy which she so doted on doesn't even care if she is breathing. It is hard to try to take care of someone like that. Being selfish is my mother's main priority. I know one time when she was in the hospital we needed to stop at a store and pickup some things. She told my me my husband did not have time to do any shopping that he should be home sitting with my dad while she was in the hospital. My brother would go visit her and stay a whopping 10 minutes. My youngest brother was with me. He could not believe she would be so selfish. Now that my dad has had a stroke she thinks we shouldn't even go to the grocery store. It is my life. I worked 12 hour shifts as a nurse for many years. I worked when they were in the bed sleeping. I went days when the snow was so bad they closed the local factories. Mom never had to work. I have a very bad back. I live with pain everyday. I am diabetic and have problems keeping my blood sugar under control. I have neuropathy in my hands and feet and digestive problems from a bout with pancreatitis. Yet to hear her talk to other people, I am a big fake. I really don't know how much more I am going to be able to take. I would like to run away and never let anyone know where I am. The biggest joke is she threw her own mother into a nursing home.

 Answers 1 to 9 of 9 
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