Well I talked to a lawyer, went to the nursing home, everything is getting finalized, the legal stuff, the paperwork... I decided that it would be best for the nursing home to do her laundry, and her hair.

This week, the nursing home is going to have a meeting with mom, telling her that she won't be going home. They understand the situation between her and me, and think it would be best if I don't tell her, and that I won't be in the meeting. To stay away for a while.

I told them I don't want to talk to my mom right now. That I've been staying away, not answering the phone, not talking to mom, so she can calm down, but also because I know that if I talk to her, she will manipulate me into taking her out of the nursing home and back home. I can't keep moving her. I'm sick of it, honestly. I'm trying to process everything, all that's happened the last 7-10 years with my mom, us fighting, yelling, screaming at each other, bickering over everything, her addicted to narcotics, to pills, her getting sicker and sicker, her getting back surgery .... the mental, emotional abuse I endured all these years. The good times we had when I was a child, middle school, up to high school...

Now finding out she has dementia, depression, and anxiety... add onto the pills, I have no idea why she's acted out the way she has with me.

Realizing that she's actually happy in the nursing home, making friends, gets along with the patients, and the staff. That it's only when she see's me that she gets upset, or really freaking happy... because she thinks she's going home.

I love my mom. dearly... But I think us being separated completely for a while will do us both some good. I need to stick to my decision to have her in the nursing home. And anyone that disagrees with me, family, family friends... I won't bother telling my reasons to them anymore. It's still a process.

I also realized, that the sooner I learn to live on my own, without mom the better. Because if she was still living at home with me, until she died... it may not be for another 5-10 years till she passes. I know I tried my very best to care for mom, I did everything I possibly could to care for mom all on my own, for 7-10 years. I'm 27... I need to learn to live on my own, to learn to navigate the world on my own, to move around, get back into being used to going to school and work. To be around people my age. It still feels strange to me, but I need to keep trying to keep reaching out to old friends, to make new friends, to keep in touch with people that are trying to help me, to not shut people out, out of fear.

The word isn't even sheltered. All I knew was me and mom my whole life, then me taking care of her, for 7-10 years. Now that's it's ending and people telling me to do what I want, to live life, etc, I'm kinda still in shock, it's a lot to take in. I'm still taking baby steps with everything.

I envy my friends that are my age. They won't have to go through putting their parents in a nursing home for another 20-30 years, if not more. So when I told them all what happened, now I get why they all backed away. They had no idea how to relate to me, because they aren't even going through it yet. Family and family friends just didn't want to hear, because some didn't do caregiving at all, or got past the nursing home phase by now. I'm still trying to acknowledge my feelings. I love my mom, I just don't trust her right now. I need time, space away from her in order for me to heal. Now that I know she's safe, and happy, my guilt isn't as strong. I just don't want to see her right now, because it hurts so much, I want to pull her out when I see her. I guess I don't trust myself either. It's only been a month, it will take months to years to adapt to all this with mom in the nursing home, and me living on my own. I can only pray that it all works out, how it's supposed to. I love mom, now, and always.

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You are doing it right. Only a few things worry me. One is that you say you don't understand what she is doing. Then mention she has anxiety and depression as well as dementia. Just that latter is enough to let you know that she doesn't understand what she is doing either. Depression to me is a proper response, because at the end of life it is all about loss, loss and loss. Nothing but loss. You have done all you can. She is adjusting now. And it is best she does it just the way you are doing it. Keep coordinating with the facility.
This is not going to be an easy fix transition.
The one thing you must not consider after ALL THIS is taking her back home. You can trust me here, no mattter how long you wait she will always want to come home. You will need to make it clear, gently, to her that that will never again be an option. You can say the Doctor doesn't want that, you can say whatever you like, but it is not an option. And you need most of all to make that clear to yourself. Keep on keeping on. You are doing good.

Dear Miku:

I like your avatar!

I totally understand what you are going through with the disconnect with friends/other people your age. People my age aren't yet going through what my husband and I have gone through with my MIL and FIL, who had my hubs at an older age. No one I knew could relate, so we started going to some local caregiver support groups. Perhaps you could find some? We went to several and tried them out, then picked the one that we liked the most to go to steadily.

Also, yes, you sound so wise to start back with your own interests and reacquainting yourself with yourself! Perhaps also look at the Meetup site for things in your area that interest you. There are physical activities like hiking and biking and running clubs, and also intellectual pursuits like book meetups and language meetups, and fun things like anime and movie meetups. Starting over is so difficult, but you can build a full and happy life.

You sound like you know and feel you did the right thing. I want to tell you it also sounds that way to us, too. Giving up 10 years of your life is a supreme sacrifice, and one that your mother would thank you for with all her heart--if she could. Now it's your turn to focus on yourself and building the life you want.

Please rest in the knowledge that you’ve done well in looking out for your mom. She’s blessed to have you. You’re very much still caregiving for her, the role is just different now. You’ll oversee her care in the nursing home, and see that she gets the care she needs there. And you’ll build a positive and healthy life for yourself, the one your mom would want for you if she could be healthy and whole.

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