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A couple years ago my mother invited herself to move in with me. She left Assisted Living because they wanted to take her to the doctor. After a year she was diagnosed with cancer and had a mastectomy. She was to go to an oncologist but never did. I did not force her to go. At the time she was alert and was able to decide for herself. Something developed near her surgical wound and wouldn't heal. I told her that she needed to go to the doctor because it had taken too long for the wound to heal. Meanwhile living with this woman is not an easy thing to do. She really made a mess of my home. I'd clean up and then she'd have to do something to really make the place dirty. She insulted me for cleaning. She was also verbally abusive. When I had therapy back in 2006 my therapist made that comment and I really found in to be a relief that maybe I wasn't so terrible. Anyway I was not allowed to disagree with my mother on anything or she'd hit the ceiling. This was even before she got old. If I mentioned I wanted to do something (like take a trip to somewhere someday or leave the state I currently live in because I don't care for it) she tells me why I can't do it. She also criticized me, the music I listen to, that I'm fat that my cooking isn't any good that I don't sent up the kitchen, etc. Meanwhile she put on a very cheerful phasod for people outside. People tell me what a postive cheerful person my mother is and yet I've never known anyone to be as pessimistic (except me). I'd cook dinner and as I was taking it out of the oven at 5:46 p.m. she'd go to bed because it was too late to eat. Her slob of a daughter wouldn't feed her. One night she fell when I was away so the EMTs got her and took her to the hospital where it was discovered she has metastatic cancer. She is now receiving hospice care at a nursing home. Anyway here I'm making her sound like a monster when she's been very generous at times. I imagining meeting God and He says to me, "What do you mean your mother was verbally abusive when she did all this stuff for you? She is such a wonderful person and she will be with Me in Heaven while you are going directly to Hell.

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Earthquake: It's not just selfishness. It is a real loss and you are being very honest about the things that scare you. Having said that, you are going to have to live with being alone and without the security net that your mom provided. Are there assets that will be left to you when she passes? You are a saver, so that's good. It's not something that you have to learn to do, because you already know how. It may feel very scary to find yourself alone in the world, but that is the reality. I think my son, an only child, will feel the same when his dad and I are gone. He will miss knowing that if all else fails, we are there for him. As much as I love him, I can't live forever.
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Thank you cattails. At this time in my life I am able to support myself financially but not have the income I used to enjoy. This is all selfishness. I am a compulsive saver and want to build up my savings accounts while my mother doesn't even know what a savings account is. While she paid me a large amount of money she encouraged me to spend, which I did. I had no idea how much I spent that I normally would not have spent. For example she bought me some planters to grow food but I had to pay $80 to fill them with soil and I already had a garden in my back yard. She'd tell me my cats wanted this or that.

While I was away from home for 30 years and even married at one point and later divorced and lived in another state I knew if I had to I could always go home. I can never go home again. If I lose my job I would be totally on my own.
Anyway she is in hospice care and I understand that hospice provides counseling for survivors.
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Earthquake: I am sorry for the many emotions you feel. All of them are justified and you are entitled to your grief. If you don't feel confident that you can take care of yourself financially, then that is no doubt frightening. On the other hand, your moms financial support came with emotional strings which were also hard for you to live with. You will, at some point, be on your own, so start thinking about what you can do to reduce your expenses. I think you might feel a sense of accomplishment if you meet this task head on and find your own way.

I can understand how helpless you feel seeing your mom's medical condition deteriorate. So many different feelings and trying to navigate your way through them will take time and maybe some professional help.

Just be with your feelings and accept them. One day at a time. Hugs to you.
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I love my mother but I don't really like her. It is very difficult to see her laying in bed in a nursing home and not really able to do anything and being very confused. She has gone downhill very quickly. My grief is pretty much selfish. I am grieving because I will be alone when she dies--I am alone. Also she helped me with expenses when she lived with me. I have lost a lot of financial help. As I say, I am now alone with no one to fall back on. I am the last of my family and at 55 I'm too young to have all my family gone.
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Well, I'll tell you what. If being impatient with the quirks and irritating habits of someone you live with is enough to qualify you for hell, hell is going to be way overcrowded! The vast majority of married people and caregivers and even roommates will be there! You might not have OCD but you do seem to have pretty unreallstic expectations of yourself. Maybe that is from your upbringing. I'm not criticizing you for it, but I think you'd be happier if you could learn to lighten up a little on yourself. So you got impatient. You didn't like the way that made you feel. Learn from it and move on.

You and your mother appear to have different standards of cleanliness and neatness. That can certainly be a source of conflict and irritation. But I don't see where guilt fits in. Why should you feel guilty for wanting your home to kept to your standards? Frustrated, yes. Guilty? I don't see it.

You can't disagree with your mother or she hits the ceiling? She'd be spending a lot of time on the ceiling if she treated me that way. :) What is the worst that can happen if you dare to disagree? She won't talk to you for days? Sounds peaceful. She'll move out? Hey, that would be a success, right? I think the worst she could do is punch all your guilt buttons. I think you would be happier if you could disconnect those guilt buttons.

Maybe this would be a good time to go back for a few counselling sessions. Not because there is something wrong with you that needs to be fixed, but because you are in a very difficult situation and it might help to talk about it to a trained listener. You deserve all the help you can get!
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OK I will tell you what I feel guilt over. Generally it's my lack of patience over my mother. My mother wanted to buy up a lot of food and store it under the kitchen table. I did not want to go that far because I didn't want a lot of clutter. She would dump her stuff in the corner of the living room and when I asked her to clean it up she'd complain that I was obsessive. Also I'd do some cooking and clean the kitchen and the next day she'd decide to cook and the kitchen would be a mess and I'd have to clean it up. I definitely don't have OCD. It would be frustrating when I'd some home and the kitchen or some other room would be a disaster. Also just the fact that I really didn't want to live with her. I didn't like being told to "look it up in the dictionary" when I was in my 50s. Also I'd talk about some policy at work that I didn't like and she'd say, "Well they don't just do it to you--you always talk as if they just do it to you." Then she would talk about how nobody liked her. Well this is enough for now.
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Earthquake: You did mention that you were the only person as pessimistic as your mom. Jennegibbs is asking you to consider that she can understand your sadness, but not that you are guilty of anything beyond doing your best and being a mere mortal. I think her suggestion to make a list of your failings is a good one. Let me also suggest that when you make the list you examine it closely and ask yourself if this is a pessimist speaking or your heart. I think you know there is another person inside you, separate from the pessimist, that wants to live too. Look at your list the next day and makes some notes next to the items you list. Let your heart and the pessimist answer, maybe in two different columns. Then decide who is telling the truth. Maybe a bit of both, but I'm hoping you will follow the heart of you that wants a happier life. Good luck and stay in touch.
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EarthQuake64, those with experience with borderline personalities or with Narcissists seem to understand, but I'm an outsider and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around this. What, specifically, do you feel guilty for? Can you make a list? And not only guilty, but so terrible that God would send you to hell. Oh my. I really can't grasp this. What did you ever do to your mother that would earn you this much pain?

I hope you are not taking on blame for things over which you have no control. You did not cause your mother to have the personality she does. You did not give her cancer. You did not make her choices about how to deal with her diagnosis. You did not cause her to be in end stage and needing hospice. These were all things totally outside of your control.

So, you haven't earned your way to hell over the big things. What else are you feeling guilty about? That your taste in music didn't match your mother's taste? That you wanted a clean home? That you sometimes served dinner later than your mother wanted it? That you are overweight? Maybe there are things you haven't wanted to tell us, but from what you have said, I just don't get it.

Sadness that you never had the kind of mother-daughter relationship that would have been satisfying and nurturing? Sure. Sadness that your mother is dying? I get that. So sadness I can understand. But Guilt, Guilt, Guilt? I'm lost on that one.
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Naheaton and cattails I do understand that in her 80s she wouldn't want to be going through chemotherapy.She was really uncomfortable with an apparent infection that turned out to be cancer. The EMTs were really surprised that an oncology nurse wouldn't see the doctor.
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Earthquake: I agree with naheaton. Most people, especially an oncology nurse, would know the consequences of not following up with the oncologist. My guess was that your mom knew what was coming and didn't want to do all the chemo and ongoing treatment. That was her choice. Again, you did your best to help her. It's hard to understand why a parent says and does what they do, but it comes from them, not you. Take care.
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Earthquake, it could be that your mother knew her cancer had spread, or was likely to spread and didn't want to chase it around her body with radiation or chemo. She could've known that it was a lost cause, so why bother. Like you said, she's educated in that arena. As far as the rest, since God is omniscient, omnipresent and knows our puny thoughts, I'm pretty sure He's had your mother figured out long ago. Don't sweat the stuff you can't change. And lose the useless guilt.
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Thank you for your comments. You might be interested that my mother was once a psych nurse and then later became an oncology nurse. I remember that night when the EMTs came and got her and they couldn't believe that a retired oncology nurse didn't have the sense to see the oncologist.
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Your mother sounds like my sister. My therapist told me she has a borderline personality disorder. They hate to be criticized or disagreed with. My sister is vicious & has created havoc in my life. I have POA & my husband & I are caring for my dad in our home. She has threatened to sue me. You can't win. You are a loving & caring daughter. Therapy can be very helpful. Take care.
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Hi earthy,
There are many blogs and sites for offspring of the Narcissist-- here and elsewhere. You are her scapegoat. Guilt is manmade by manipulators forcing you to believe their BS, (if I may say that to a complete stranger.)
I was happy for you when I got to the end of your question and you stated she is now in a nursing home. Whew. Now it can be more about You, Babe!
Yes, it will be interesting to see how God deals with abusers. It can't be all about how the abused bounce back and work their entire life to try to achieve normalcy and peace. Think about that. Go have a massage and a pedicure; enjoy yourself, earthquake. You are a Good Daughter:)
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Earthquake: You put a roof over your mom's head and you tried to help her. Your mom did not want to face her cancer or take the necessary steps to keep it in remission. That was her choice, not yours. I'm glad that there were times she was generous to you, but don't let that become a weapon you use against yourself. You did what you could for her. I suggest you go back to therapy and get some help with your sadness and guilt. You are a very good person. You don't need to be perfect. None of us are.
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Ha! I sympathize totally. Sounds like your mother has narcissistic personality disorder like mine. And of course it worsens with age. I go through the same things- her acting like an angel with others but once they're gone, reverting back to her miserable self, constant criticism (and like you, she has said I have a mental "problem" because I want the house we live in to be clean- she was hinting that I have OCD, which I might have, but I have to clean up after myself and her in a big house). She has always been a narcissist, but now that she depends on me for care it's harder to ignore. Google narcissistic personality disorder when you have time.
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