Boundaries when living with my elderly mother.

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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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