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My Mother wants to keep me on a short leash just in case she needs something, which is constant. I have a business that I am trying to build to help me become financially independent from her. I get very little privacy, just countless questions. Where am I going, when am i coming back. Make sure I have my cell phone, on and on. I AM LOOSING IT!

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I feel your pain. My mother could have given Geraldo a run for his money with her inquisitions. It cost her many relationships. On visits to our house she obsesses over where our cats are and what they're doing at all times. They're house cats. They're in the house. Doing cat things. If they break into song & dance let me know. We'd have these repetitive cycles of who/what/where all day long unless *I* came up with a distraction. It's exhausting. Now I realize this is OCD perseveration behavior. I am so sorry nobody recognized what that behavior was or helped her with that decades ago.
I was over 40 before I realized that I’m not responsible for managing her anxiety for her. I don’t have to provide detail until she feels OK. I’m not responsible for her OKness.

The elder with the fixation needs a distraction. I can't say what would be appropriate not knowing the situation, but it might an idea to pursue. Just like how we take the scissors away from a kid and give them something else to fidget with that's safe. Sorting things, folding things, polishing things with a soft rag (with nothing on it), putting things together or taking them apart, etc. Busy work so they feel like they’re doing something useful to help out. Handicrafts if the ability is there. Something to pass the time & keep the hands busy. Puzzles with big pieces, stringing things & so forth.
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Bookworm, you do leave him your # if he needs you so it not like he cannot reach you. I understand your situation n you have been a caregiver for a very long time, taking care of two parents n at such a starting young age. That is a lot of responsivitlities for being so young. I really don't understand why the other relatives would allow you to have to take care of the whole responsibilities of both parents. Personally, I let those relatives know what they can do to help pitch in to help give you some breathing-life break. Especially when dear dad calls them to complain n they call you. If they have not been helping in the past all the more reason to get their asses involved n You take a break or a mini-vacation.
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Lildeb, I could never tell my father where I go Other than work/shopping. If I went to a party or sis' house, etc...and he finds out, he would get soooo angry. He will rant on and on and on - all day, every day for days/weeks. Then he will tell everyone how a bad daughter I am. He will say that I was too busy having fun and not home taking care of them. Especially how critical their health is. I've had relatives lecture ME to do more. Me - out of 8 kids - have to do more! Sorry, but I learned from early on - not to tell him anything. I will be out and if he needs me- to call my cell phone. I now give that instruction to who ever is caregiving them.

So, basically, 99% of the time, do tell where you will be. But if they will use your free time to use against you and make you feel like you're not a good daughter/son, then - don't say anything that will bring added stress to you.
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sunrises, You r right that you r the one who decides when and how much info to give.At least you are leaving some information n you don't have to give them every single detail of your daily routine. Just a quick note on a white-board that shows you have gone to n be back around ish. That way it will help ease their mind from worring about you plus, the whiteboard will help them remember, that way that will help reduce some calls to you from them that if they r calling you all time when you r out.
"Plus,this does not require any cell-phones." Back in the days when cell-phones were not on the market, we had someone that knew our situation in case of an ER n wrote a note on paper.

My personal opinion of living with a parent in their home whether taking care of them or just living with them is just being respectful to your parents by letting them know something but not your whole day routine.
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Scatterflake: First of all you are not a flake, as your name suggests. I agree they should respect you, but remember that your have moved into their home an disrupted their way of life. It is their incontinent dog, who has probably been with them for years, that will get top billing.

Your parents do not see the world the same way that you do. They have not experienced your losses, the efforts you make to raise a child, the effort you make to get an education; the loss you feel from being widowed an divorced. They never will and maybe it was also this way when you were a child.

I so appreciate your honest comments. You moved in with them because you had lost your job and your home. You didn't move in with them because they needed your care and, oh by the way, I had lost my job and home, but that had nothing to do with my decision.

Do the best you can to find a way out of this situation. If your parents need help, get in contact with your local Area on Aging to find out what they might qualify for in terms of help.

Find out what you might qualify for also. Maybe some work, inexpensive housing. You need a place to regroup and find your way. Sending you love and best wishes for a better future. Cattails
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I live with my 83 yr old parents due to having lost my job, then my home. I am greatful they allowed me to move home after 40 yrs on my own, but having been widowed, then divorced, working two jobs while getting a college degree while raising my child, I think they should respect me as an adult! I am treated like a stupid child every single day. My cats, who I brought with me, are the source of daily range by my father, while their ancient, incontinent dog can do no wrong. I cannot converse with them, cannot reason with them, and am being driven insane. My mother seems confused & frail. She's becoming mentally feeble. My father is, and has always been, a pathological liar who becomes very angry if you question him. I cry all the time. My mom cries all the time. God what a mess I've fallen into. Just talking to other people who may he in similar situations would help me so much.
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Depending on the nature of where I'm going, I do sometimes voluntarily leave details for my mom, kinda like when a boater is setting sail and always wants someone on land to know the trip route, estimated return time, etc. for safety purposes. If it's just a routine presentation for work, I don't usually bother. But I'm the one who decides when and how much info to give. Have to admit, though, if something happened to my cell phone and mom couldn't reach me, or I couldn't reach her due to being in an accident, then what???
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If she is forgetting after you tell her then, that is all the more reason to just write it down on a whiteboard n put it where she will see it. This will keep you from having to repeat yourself. Plus, she will have the other family members #'s on the board n she can call them or not when u r gone.
You can get them at a Dollar Store n they come with the markers. Have you tried putting a big sign on your door stating, 'Keep Out,' when you r trying to do your work at home? It may work for its worth a shot.
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I have no qualms about telling my mother where I am going. I'm never doing anything that I feel I need to hide, and usually her question is more conversational than prying. Chances are she won't remember where I said I was going after about five minutes.

The thing that my mother has the most problem with is realizing that I am not an extension of her. There are family issues she has neglected during her life and she uses obligation, guilt, then anger trying to force me to play the family "mother" that she was not. I know I cannot pull the family together that was neglected for so long, because we are like polite strangers with each other. She gets angry when I tell her that SHE can call the family members. She doesn't want to do that. She wants me to do things and go visit them, etc. I tell her no, but she soon forgets and it starts all over.

beachbaby, I know exactly what you mean. I am also a small businesswoman who works from home. My mother is a hypochondriac who schedules doctor visits all week (three this week). She wants so much from me. When I tell her that I have to get some work done, she just says that I don't have a real job. Though I tell her repeatedly that she doesn't pay my bills, she thinks she does. It is very belittling, particularly when I have to work so hard to make money in this economic climate.
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Opps, I am bad, thanks. Yes, you do have to have your own life what little we can get from being a caregiver. Anyone constantly being needed would be a pain in the butt.
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i had no idea we were speaking of any mother other than beachesbaby's mother, and she never mentioned dementia.
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Pam: I think Lildeb has a good point. She is dealing with a MIL who has dementia. I don't know if beachbaby's mom has dementia or possibly the beginning signs of it, but it might not be wrong to err on the side on kindness and just leave a note to reinforce your verbal conversation and the fact that you will be returning. It could lessen anxiety if dementia is a problem.

Cattails
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i think lildeb, that you must have missed portions of what beachesbaby said. the mother in question has crossed the line, look again.

...in case she needs something, which is constant.
I get very little privacy, just countless questions.
...on and on. I AM LOOSING IT!

taking care of a parent does not mean that one needs to succumb to emotional or mental use or abuse. a caregiver still has a right to a life of their own. boundaries must be set.
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I think if you are living under their roof then it shouldn't be too hard to write it down on something to let the elder person know where u are going and about what time you should be back. This will help keep the elder person to feel more at ease knowing that you will be coming back and especially if they have mild dementia.
On the otherhand, you can have those parents that wants to know every step u took n where n etc. Still again, your living under their roof n their rules no matter how old you n just give them the basic. For example: I am going to work n I will be back roughly around 6ish. If their is an emergency you can reach me by this # but it has to be for an emergency only. That way both of you will be giving each other mutual respect while living under the same roof. That is just my personal opinion.
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"have to know" ends the day you reach 18, age of legal adulthood. you can tell them i said that.

you "want to know"? sucks for you. something a counselor taught me.
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Sometimes it is just not when you are their caregiver. My Mom was like that our entire life. She thought it was her right to know where her children were every minute of every day..no matter their age. Funny but my two sisters are the same with each other. They get very upset when we vacation and don't understand why I don't call in everyday. Like others, I tell them you have my cellphone nbr in case of emergency. I was hiding behind the door when that "have to know" trait was handed out.
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You said it in your question: Boundaries...this is normal for the elderly when a child is living with them - whether you are helping them out or vice versa. It doesn't really matter and this is all about how you go about setting your personal boundaries. We are always treated based on the strength or weakness of our boundaries. A good exercise is to write down all the things about your living situation that are driving you crazy and then put a check mark next to the things that are due to not having clear boundaries in place. Once you've done that, you can go about changing what isn't working for you. It might take some time, but stick with your boundaries and usually others will follow suit.
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I didn't want to lie to dad. He always believed and still does that it is MY DUTY (Note - only ME not my other 6 siblings) to care as much as I can for them. He doesn't expect 100% because I do have to go to work. Other than that, my life should be totally dedicated to him and mom.

So, when I'm going to spend my Saturday morning (the mornings when I'm off from work), I don't want to lie to him. So, I can't really say shopping unless I come home with stuff that's worth 6 hrs of being gone. So, I just don't answer him.

But if I am going shopping, then I say so. We just recently had a big yelling argument. He had the nerve to look me in the eye and say, "You HAVE to take care of us." I just lost my temper. (I've always had problems contolling my temper but was able to control it in my late teens.) I have to fight back with him because if I don't his verbal abuse will wear me down and I will end up like my oldest sis. She will do ANYTHING for him just to keep his mouth shut. I've already learned the hard way, if I don't set boundaries physically and VERBALLY, it can spiral me back down to my depression. I really am not strong enough to handle that constant depression. Just yesterday, we argued. I looked into me and asked myself "suicide?" Yeah! Absolutely No Desire to Suicide!!! I'm slowly but surely pushing those thoughts away from my forethoughts.

So, it is very important to set boundaries. I'm beginning to learn to appreciate ME by doing things (my Wall Post reminders, same note on my bathroom mirror, fight back for ME when dad tries to control me, etc...)
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MOM: Where are you going?
YOU: Out and about, errands to run.
MOM: When will you be back?
YOU: When I get home. Bye! *cue to leave*
do not answer anymore questions, do not look back, just walk away.

that's a boundary. i had to set boundaries for my mother. she was not allowed to speak of certain issues with me, if she did so, i gave her THE LOOK, and said, "you are not allowed to speak to me of this".
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This is an observation about elderly folks and their need to know where we are going. I attribute this to anxiety with my 90 year old mother. I think sometimes we can take it to serious and in my situation I try to think about how she feels when she's alone. It is scary for her and she gets anxious. So I don't have an expectation of not telling her where I am going and when I'll be back. You don't have to tell all details and if they insist just make something up that will satisfy them.
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Beachbaby, the same situation with me and my dad. I stay with the parents to help them. Before his stroke, it just drove me crazy when he wanted to know where I was going -other than work. I never answer him on where I was going since it was none of his business. I told him my cell phone is on the wall, near the phone and other places. Call me if it's an emergency. Then I walk out.

He also has lists for me to get. We still argue over that today. Reasoning doesn't work. He expects me to go buy it even if I'm stuck at home in the weekend because nobody to babysit him and mom - both now bedridden. Even when I explain we don't have the money for his list, he still gets so angry. So, I just shrug it off and get it when I can.

But, it's hard to decide with your situation since we don't know the family situation. I'm at home to help care for them. He says that I'm home because I have nowhere to go. But, I do. I've had family members offer me their place to stay but I refused it. Parents need help - nobody to help them - so, here I am (reluctantly, mind you.) Don't know if that helps with you....
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Beachbaby, why are you living with your mother? Does she have impairments that require some caregiving? Do you have financial needs that are being met by moving in with her? What is the basic situation here?

You mother "likes" to keep you on a short lease. I hope you realize it is not your job to give your mother everything she likes. If you went grocery shopping for your mother every day at the height of rush hour, then I think you have some serious work to do on setting boundaries.

You: "I'm going to be out this evening. I don't know when I'll be back. Don't wait up for me."
Mother: "Where are you going?"
You: "I'll have my cell phone with me. Please don't call unless it is an emergency."
Mother: "But where will you be? I might need you!"
You: "My cell phone will work no matter where I am. If you can't reach me and it is an emergency, dial 911."
Mother: "I insist on knowing where you will be and when you are coming home."
You: "Sorry Mother. My social life is my private business."
Mother: "You are so selfish. If you loved me you'd tell me!"
You: "In case you are in bed when I get home, I'll say good night now."

Mother can want and insist and expect whatever she dreams up. That doesn't mean you have to fulfill her expectations. It has been a very long time since you were 9 years old and she was in charge of where you went and how long you stayed there!

Speaking of being nine, what was your relationship with your mother like while you were growing up?

There are some members on this site who are very experienced at setting and enforcing boundaries. Please provide a little more detail so they can offer specific encouragement.
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