What should I do with my lonely aging mother? TL;DR

My mother and I have never had a great relationship. My father died when I was really young and she always had new boyfriends that she met online coming around the house with “this is your new dad”, only for them to disappear within a few months. She did get remarried 3 or 4 times since my father passed away but now, at nearly 60, she always finds something wrong with everyone she meets.

Growing up she would spend most of her time at home on the computer looking for a new boyfriend and never really cared what I did. It probably sounds great to have no parental guidance as a kid but I’m really grateful that I never ended up getting into drugs or anything too ridiculous. I was arrested at a young age but for something dumb (smoking cigarettes at school on summer break), but she never really cared and even drove me to do my community service. For the most part I had everything I ever wanted growing up. She always took me to get new school clothes and we usually had some food in the fridge. She always kept random part time jobs but never managed to have a real “career”.

The closest thing she had to something resembling a career was when she worked in some type of medical office for a few years as a medical transcriptionist. Sadly, as it usually goes, something happened and she was let go. She took it really hard and was really concerned about money. I was working at the time in a call center and was taking all of the overtime I could to bring some money in but had yet to give her what little I had at the time as it was all happening so fast, and at 16 when no one is communicating with you, you don’t really know what to do.

One day in the midst of this I came home from 10 hours at a call center, and popped a $3 frozen dinner into the microwave. She came in and started yelling at me about eating all the groceries. I can’t really remember what all was said, but long story short I ended up “moving out” that night.

All I had was what I was wearing and whatever was in my car, at the time about $2 in change that I used for gas to just drive back to the parking lot at work.

So for the next few weeks I just went to work as long as I could, about 12 hours/day, ate fast food from the neighboring fast food places, slept in my car, then woke up to do the same thing the next morning.

I tried to go back when I knew she wouldn’t be home to grab some clothes and my old stuff and she’d changed the locks on the house. It’s still upsetting that while I couldn’t eat a $3 frozen dinner she somehow found the money to have someone come to the house and change all the locks to keep me out.

So that was it, I didn’t hear from her for months. Eventually she reunited with an old army boyfriend (her last husband) and he went to the pawn shop to buy back most of my stuff that she had sold and got us to talking again. It wasn’t a few weeks before he moved her away to Hawaii and left me in the midwest. She still bad moths this guy as they’re divorced now, but I’m always grateful to him for at least reconnecting us and I hate that she still talks bad about everyone, especially him.

After we were finally somewhat talking again and she was living out of state, her husband at the time told me that when she lost her job she lost her health insurance and access to the pills she’s been taking for years. When this happened she went into some withdrawals and ended up in the hospital for trying to commit suicide. Her sister came over feeling like something was wrong and found her lying on the floor of the living room…

I had to get out of that state so I did was most hopeless poor kids did and joined the military. Things were finally going great. I was on speaking terms with my mother and advancing ridiculously fast in the military. However, at my third year mark I had some medical issues which led to my heart stopping, recurring seizures, and years of anxiety, depression and neurological issues.

Naturally the military kicked me out, and recently sent me a severance check. With the money I was able to pay off my moms medical bils, get her a car, and put her in a house, although she is paying the mortgage, I merely put the down payment down, etc.

Now I’m in my 30’s, and she’s getting close to 60 and alone. I live about 5000 miles away and see her maybe once per year. When I do I can’t stand being there or associating with her or my family, even being in that shitty old town more than a day drives me crazy. As I’m sure is the case with most parents, she drives me crazy with her comments and complaints, but I’m never really sure if it’s this that’s bothering me or if I’m still holding on to hurt and anger from the past.

As I’ve said before she’s nearly 60 now, and all alone with 3 cats. She’s talking about leaving her job for some other temporary thing and I really have no money left to help her out. I feel so sad for her and don’t know what to do. I’m in my 30’s with a girlfriend of 4 years but don’t know where it’s going. I’m always afraid I’m following her same path, but hope that I can one day build a “normal” family. However I can’t do that if I’m always worrying about her, even though I hate it.

What should I do?

TL;DR My mother kicked me out at 16 for eating a tv dinner because we were poor. Now she’s almost 60 and alone, I’ve don't what I can to take care of her but what do I do as she’s soon to be unemployed and is all alone?

/r/Advice Thread