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Lonelyheart807's avatar

Is this emotional blackmail?

Asked by Lonelyheart807 (1504points) 2 months ago

So my mom is not very steady on her feet at all. She does decently around the house, but walking in the grass is a whole other issue. She takes her cane with her, but she is very unsteady.
I have heart issues and am not supposed to be out in the heat of the day. She waits until today when the heat index is supposed to be over 100 degrees and there’s an air quality alert to say she is going to go out and weed her gardens (in the heat of the day no less).
The last time she went out back, she ended up falling. No major injuries thank goodness, but it could have been a lot worse.
Now I’ve told her I am not going out with her in the middle of the day, due to my own health issues, and that she should wait, but she insists she is fine to go out. She’s 81, by the way.
How would you handle?

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11 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

You are no use to her if you are dead or in the hospital. Somehow she needs to understand that.

zenvelo's avatar

I wouldn’t call it “blackmail”. It is just plain old self-centeredness, insensitivity, selfishness.

If I were in your position, I would tell her, “don’t forget to hydrate! Takes some water, because I can’t bring you any outside!”

Lonelyheart807's avatar

The reason it “tastes” like blackmail is because I think she thinks she will guilt me into going outside if I’m worried about her.

chyna's avatar

Do you have a whistle around the house? If so, give it to her and tell her to blow it if she gets into trouble and you will call 911.
I bet once she gets out there, she won’t be able to stand it and will come back in.

canidmajor's avatar

@chyna’s suggestion is excellent. Can you see the garden area from any window? It’s inconvenient, but safer for you. Is there a cel phone she can carry outside? You can call it from time to time from inside, if she doesn’t answer, you can either check on her and/or call 911.

And yes, I believe it is a form of emotional blackmail. My old mother is a master of this.
Don’t give in, and make sure you make it clear to her that you won’t. This is a lose-lose situation all around, there will likely be no appreciation for any path you choose, but you need to preserve your own health.

I’m sorry you have to go through this.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Put the water sprinkler on or around her to hydrate her with the moisture.
Does she have a death wish? Does she WANT to be sent to Hospital? ( If so call an ambulance next time she falls..too many of these and a Guardian will be appointed or
she will be placed in a Seniors facility ( apartments). Maybe best to look into that soon.
Not emotional blackmail but manipulation.

Zaku's avatar

It’s not emotional blackmail but it does sound like subconscious misbehavior with dangerous possibilities for both of you. I’d say you need to have a direct conversation with her about it, requiring her to be responsible for it, and if she isn’t capable of that, someone other than you should look after her in cases like that.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There is also the possibility that your mother just refuses to accept the fact that she is frail. From your description it sounds as though she would be in that garden whether you were there to rescue her or not. Rather than emotional blackmail, I would think the problem one of stubbornness and bad judgement. Who weeds the garden for spite?

kritiper's avatar

Only if you let it control you. Let her go outside. But keep an eye on her, and your phone handy to call 911.
(Don’t let her see you peeking out the windows at her and if she happens to catch you, stick your tongue out at her!!)

josie's avatar

It’s not blackmail
She may be stubborn in her old age but it’s no blackmail

raum's avatar

I’m thinking the same as @stanleybmanly and @josie.

I would guess she’s being stubborn and purposefully planned to go out when you couldn’t so that she could go on her own.

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