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People are struggling with the decision of placement or home care.


There are valid reasons for both sides. In some cases home care works out well. Other cases facility placement is the better option.


All situations are unique and should never be lumped into one category.


I made the choice to do home care with my mom and while it wasn’t as difficult early on, later on it became quite a challenge.


Mom had Parkinson’s disease which is progressive and has no cure.


I did not realize how difficult it would be to care for my mom in the latter stages of a disease.


Caring for her became more than I could handle.


It is an emotional and physical roller coaster.


I took care of mom for 20 years, with 15 of those years in my home.


I felt obligated to care for mom because my father asked me to care for her after his death. I promised him that I would. I love my mother and truly wanted to do it.


I don’t think a parent even realizes what they are asking of a child when they request the promise to care for loved ones.


I seriously doubt that my dad would have wanted me to continue to suffer as caregiving became harder. He loved me very much.


My parents never cared for their parents so they did not have any first hand knowledge about caregiving.


I didn’t have a clue as to how hard it would become to care for her in my home.


I wish that I had known about this forum years ago so I could have been warned about the difficulties that would lie ahead.


When parents are living in our home the parent/child relationship changes, becoming complicated and stressful.


I regret having mom live with us. Temporarily would have been fine, permanently was very hard.

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Llama,

Were you surprised when your mom decided not to live at the senior apartments? What reason did she give for changing her mind?
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My mother had the option to live in the senior apartments in her town. She refused when her name came up to the top of list and did not put her name back on it.
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"NHWM,"

We all do! There's no special handbook to walk us through step-by-step in this so-called caregiving maze that's going to work perfectly for everyone's situation and circumstance at all times.

The main thing is you "learned" things and unfortunately for a lot of us, it is by the hard way.

As I like to say "we don't know, what we don't know!"
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NGI,

Very true.

I definitely had to learn some things the hard way before surrendering my caregiving responsibilities.

I admit that I was completely blind to certain things which ended up crippling me to some degree.
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"NHWM,"

Even if you have been stuck as we all get at one time or another there will be times it's hard to get the momentum going again. It's simply the fact that you "want" and continue to work towards getting that momentum back - that's the main thing.
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NGI,

I absolutely agree! I have been stuck. It’s hard to gain momentum when we get bogged down.
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"NHWM,"

You're welcome. Anytime there's growth, there's progress. It's when we stay "stuck" and choose to stay "stuck" that's where the possibility of changing for the better is squelched.
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Lea,

That is so bizarre what your mom said about Patty Hearst.

I think the Manson family freaked everyone out more than anything else.

No one could understand or even imagine how that could happen.

It is interesting how criminal psychologists later on referred to Manson’s behavior as passive aggressive.

What I find truly incredible is how he was able to control others. He even had fans after his incarceration.
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Lea,

Sometimes I depress myself! LOL

Very glad you had a good day. The cat sounds precious!

I buy Swarovski crystals to make jewelry. I love them.
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Good for you Lea. I am glad you had a good day!🥳
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Stockholm Syndrome: I remember my mother always talking about how Patty Hearst & all the rest of the girls who were kidnapped by men & held for a long time actually 'loved it' and 'were asking for it', similar to how girls who were raped 'were asking for it' too. Sigh. Funny- not funny how the total inability to have 1 iota of EMPATHY makes an NM blame the VICTIMS for everything, isn't it?

NHWM, who would you be 'depressing' around here? Come on GF!

Chris, a mask with a smiling face, LOVE IT! I've actually seen those & they're hilarious. I don't have to wear a mask during a window visit, however........but a splendid idea in general for anyone visiting an NM!

Speaking of which, the visit today was actually FINE, believe it or not. I was shocked to find her in a good mood and only hurling one insult towards 'midgets' the entire 30 minutes we were there. She was showtiming up a storm, giggling, and making jokes the whole time. She managed to ask me why I didn't bring her what she'd asked me for, and I had to remind her she didn't ask me for anything, that on the phone last night she could not remember what she 'so desperately needed'. Turns out to be mouthwash which is not an urgent need. I'll bring it next week if/when we go. Weather can prevent us from going for a window visit in Colorado.

The ride we took to Loveland with the dog was longer than expected. I won an online auction for a Swarovski cat last night, which I wasn't expecting to win b/c I put in a low bid. I collect the miniature Swarovski animals and have about 2 dozen of them. Well.............this one turned out to be very LARGE at 5" tall and an amazing piece! It's called The Cat and has a green collar; with the original box and tag, sold for $260 (it's vintage). I paid $32 for it! Yay! So it's sitting off to the side of the others b/c it's 10x larger than the rest.........LOL. But it was a very nice ride and good to get OUT of the house. All in all, a good day and for that I'm grateful.
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NGI,

You are absolutely correct in saying that we do need to remind ourselves of how far we’ve come. That does help quite a bit.

I am going to try to remember that next time I get sort of down.

Thanks.
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Chris,

So funny! A smiling face mask is perfect! LOL
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Lea, you just made me laugh out loud about having to "paste" a smile on your face to visit your mum. I immediately thought you could instead wear a face mask with a smiley face on it! You can grimace as much as you like behind it, the fixed smile will never slip, and you will be keeping Covid at bay. Perfect! Keep smiling. Sometimes only humour will do.
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"NHWM,"

Stockholm Syndrome really is a strange phenomenon but, it's the charm, brainwashing and the ability for the perpetrators to draw one in especially, when someone becomes or are extremely vulnerable!

I would never laugh at you or anyone else who is experiencing mental anguish at the hands of another. Sometimes we have to be completely broken before the actual healing can begin. I had that happen to me too. I was at a counselor's office to talk about how to handle being the only caregiver for my mom. The counselor asked me something and I broke down just like you did. She asked me what it was all about - it was about something completely different than what I was there for - pain from a narcissist who had did a 180 on me.

And yes, thank God you had an understanding and compassionate therapist because that can and does make all the difference when you need to seek help. If a therapist is not helpful to someone, they need to remember not to stick with them but, to find one that works well with them and their situation.

You just keep reminding yourself how far you've come!
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Lea,

Thank you. I appreciate your kind words too. Sometimes I wonder if all I do is depress people! LOL

I know what you mean. I did the same thing constantly when mom was living here. I’d wake up and say, ‘Today will be a better day.’ As you say, five minutes later we face reality, right?

It is a beautiful day here too. Hope your visit with your mom isn’t too bad and that you have a good walk with your dog. Dogs are so very sweet, aren’t they? I miss mine.
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NGI,

Oh my gosh! Patty Hearst, completely classic case, right?

It is fascinating to think such a thing can happen, but it does.

It certainly makes a person realize that we can’t be too quick to judge others.

There are back stories in situations.

Plus sometimes a person doesn’t even know how or where to begin in telling their personal story.

Please don’t laugh at me for this, but I remember my first session with my therapist that I broke down and just cried for quite awhile before I could even speak.

I was completely broken after all I had been through.

Thank God I had an understanding and compassionate therapist.
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NHWM, thank you for your kind words. I really feel like YOU help a lot of people here b/c of your honest sharing about your own experiences/trials with your mother and the caregiving you did for her for such a long time.

I read so many posts here from traumatized children of narcissistic mothers. It makes me want to scream. Especially after reading about the Trauma Bonding............it's clear as a BELL what so many go through and WHY they/we can't break free of the bonds these relationships have over us.

I"m feeling particularly irritable today after reading about this. Remembering SO MUCH stuff, it's nauseating. And, of course, on our way now to do the dreaded Window Visit with my mother at the MC. Only God knows what kind of sh*t show that will turn out to be. I paste a smile on my face every week and every week, w/i 5 minutes, it's off. And this week I'm extra irritated at the thought of even 'having to' paste a fake smile on my face. UGH.

God help us all who are survivors and/or now living thru the trauma of such toxic relationships. And God help us to SEE the truth and then to DO something about it to help OURSELVES for a change.

After the Visit, we're picking up the dog and going for a long ride to Loveland. It's a beautiful day here so that's what we are doing for US today!
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"NHWM,"

Yes, no two cases are alike - just similarities. I agree that "all relationships are unique in their own ways" because of personality types, demeanors and how each one of us responds to those. Not only do our reactions become a mixture of those emotions, they can vary from day to day or moment to moment depending on "where we're at (in our minds) IN that moment."

I'm sure the woman you know whom you think has Stockholm Syndrome is quite troubling to see. I imagine those of us who remember Patty Hearst's involvement with the Symbionese Liberation Army after being kidnapped - that is most likely what she dealt with.
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NGI,

I agree with all of those mental health issues along with codependency.

All relationships are unique in their own ways.

Relationships can become complicated. Our reactions can become a mixture of emotions.

It’s never as cut and dry that we sometimes feel like it is. It’s not black and white either, there are many grey areas. Often it takes more time than we would like to sort through it all!

I know a woman that I am convinced has Stockholm syndrome.

Long story and I won’t bore you with the details but she has all the classic signs of it. It’s quite troubling to see.
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"NHWM,"

So very true your statement "It’s sort of like a person who chose to end a toxic relationship. They don’t fully see the stronghold the relationship had on them until they became free from it. They didn’t realize how much damage it had caused in their life until they walked away and saw it from a distance." You cannot see the forest for the trees when you are entangled in what I call a "web" much like a spider's web.

Then once you do that, (which I've done in a couple past experiences) it's like a breath of fresh air and you scratch your head wondering why you didn't "let go sooner!" I always say "better late than never --"
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Lea,

I know that I have thanked you publicly and in private messages but I would like to thank you again for helping me deal with the difficult journey that I had with my mom.

I appreciate the patience that you had with me and how you continued to drill important concepts into my confused mind at the time.

I felt blindsided by my situation.
For many of us, our thoughts became clouded during our stressful days of caregiving and we simply weren’t able to process everything all at once.

Things don’t usually become a mess overnight. It’s a gradual process and they seldom become resolved overnight either. It’s quite a relief when we finally see the light.

I also want to thank you for continuing to reach out to others in such an honest and caring way.

You’re the kind of poster that I value greatly on aging care forum.
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"lealonnie1,"

I'm glad you looked up Trauma Bonding and could relate to it so you too can understand better what has happened during your life with your narcissistic mom.

You and Chriscat can also find Stockholm Syndrome too which is a psychological response to what you've endured.

Anything you can find to help identify with as well as realize there's an actual "name or term" for it will go a long way in knowing that neither one of you are "alone" in what you've experienced.
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NobodyGetsIt: I never heard of that, Trauma Bonding. Interesting. Sad, too, what we go through w/o even realizing it. I looked it up and can relate to so much of it.

Chris: Let's hope your mom loves her new place and if not, it's off to a nursing home for her. Fingers crossed for a smooth transition.
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Chris,

My therapist truly helped me to sort out my confusion and address my concerns.

I am extremely grateful for the posters on this site who encouraged me to surrender my caregiving responsibilities and accept that I had done all that I could do and that it was time for me to move forward without any misguided guilt.

I had been crippled by feeling as if I somehow failed because there wasn’t a ‘fairytale’ relationship with my mother and me.

Many posters told me that I hadn’t failed. Their affirmations of my actions meant so much to be but more importantly opened my eyes to see things more clearly.

My assessment of occurrences weren’t exactly accurate. They were my own confused emotions.

Plus once you do finally get away from your situation you will not only feel relief but a clearer picture of the situation.

It’s sort of like a person who chose to end a toxic relationship.

They don’t fully see the stronghold the relationship had on them until they became free from it.

They didn’t realize how much damage it had caused in their life until they walked away and saw it from a distance.

I do have to warn you though, PTSD is real and takes awhile to work through.

I have dealt with PTSD in therapy. I still deal with certain triggers but not as intense as early on when my mother and I first separated. I have learned to end conversations soon now if it is heading in a destructive direction.

I try very hard to be grateful for the good times and put the rest of it into proper perspective. When I struggle with an issue I reach out for help to get objective feedback.
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Chriscat83,

Yes, "trauma bonding" is a huge factor when dealing with narcissistic relationships of any kind and can be very difficult to extricate oneself from. It produces high levels of anxiety and can break you if you let it go on. But, when you really delve into it, there are ways to stop that "bondage" (which it is) from continuing and break those "chains that bind you." You will be much stronger for it - knowledge is "power" and you need that power to free yourself if you want to enjoy your life in the long term!
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NobodyGetsIt, just seen your post and you may have a point there. I will look into that. I agree that spending time exploring these feelings is a good idea and time well spent. I can do that with my Cognitive Behaviour Therapy course materials, which I've been using over the last few weeks to help me out of severe anxiety mode. Thank you for your good advice.
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NHWM, thank you. I do feel I am on the edge of a new chapter, whilst looking back at (and saying goodbye to) the old one. Lea, I agree there's a risk that mum could say she hates the new place, but the way she's been talking these last few days has been more accepting of the situation. I saw her struggling with the stairs a few days ago, and preparing even simple foods has got more difficult. She will have a ground floor apartment and all meals provided, so she should feel improvements in both these areas, as well as the more sociable environment. I think she has been in denial about her declining capabilities, but may have finally seen her reality. We have had some much better conversations in the last few days, but this could just be that she knows she needs to keep me sweet now as I am all she has left. I have no expectations of what will happen as I have no energy to overthink this right now. I think though that I've made it clear that this is a really good solution for her needs, and that if it doesn't work out it will be because she needs more care - and that can only be a care home. So this week I am focusing on getting her in there for the trial. I have plenty of support from husband, and also son too now, as he's just been told not to return to Oxford for the new term and must study from home for now until the Uni is allowed to reopen fully. It feels like we have plans but that they are constantly having to change. Covid is impacting all of our lives in so many ways.
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Dear "Chriscat83,"

You may want to consider the fact that what you are experiencing as you prepare to move your mom into a facility after taking care of her in your home for ten years is not only codependency but, "trauma bonding." I hope you will look into that aspect as it could help you as you try to regain some sense of "self" again.

Good luck as you head into a new year with all kinds of possibilities as long as you can bring about more "awareness" as to why you feel the way you do!
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Chriscat, you say your mom is going to 'try out' the supported living place later this week. Does this mean she gets to nix it if she doesn't like it? And come back to live with YOU? I hope not, b/c we all know she's not likely TO 'like it' and want to come back 'home' to live with you! :( Hopefully this is not a trial run where she gets to say No Thank You to supported living.

Once she's gone, you get to REINVENT yourself Chris! Not necessarily regain who you once were, b/c those days are gone.......but to recreate the NEW and improved YOU now that you'll no longer be a chief cook & bottlewasher for someone else. That will be FUN!
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