There are so many emotions swirling around in my body that I do not know what to do. My mom was against me when I was a child. She was very abusive. As a teen I found a place down the street called Youth For Christ. One of the counselors there decided I should move in with them and I did. For the most part they kept me from having any relationship with her. Meanwhile my mom went to AA and never drank again but her personality remained the same. When she met someone and married she was fine and did not try to contact me. I basically did not see her for 30 years. Growing up my mom adored my brother and they kept in touch. She took him and his family on trips etc.
Four years ago I left the community that kept me from my mom which was probably good but I did not get to deal with her on my own. Coincidentally my mom contacted me. I responded and after many phone conversations went to meet her at her home in another town. I visited several times and she was as controlling and narcissistic as always. We were not in the same town so it was manageable.
Then two years ago I received a call that she had a stroke. I went to the hospital and she was in bad shape. My brother drove up to see her for a day and left her there and she was unable to speak. I could not find it human to leave her there alone. She basically has no friends and no family except my brother and I.
I had no idea what I was doing when I asked the doctor if I could drive her across state with her attached to a catheter. He said sure so I did. And in the last two years of this ordeal my brother is not involved. He assumes she has no more money since she was sending him money when he would ask. I can text him that my mom has lost 50 lbs. & explain her health issues & always get no response so I have stopped. I believe he is narcissistic like my mom and has no feelings about not being involved.
The journey over the last 2 years has been having to move my mom from one assisted living place to the next. I am dealing with the guilt of not having had any contact with her because I could have learned how to have my space with her. She depended on me as a child and she is depending in an extremely needy way on me now. She is unkind to the people who take care of her by being very demanding with her needs and big time OCD issues.
I discovered 2 weeks ago the caregivers were burnt out from all the work they have to do and I understand it is a lot. So they were physically hurting my mom and refusing to go to her room when she used her call button. Next the Director resigned and the emotional atmosphere worsened.
Four years ago I left the religious group I had been apart of because I was being so controlled by them. Therefore I have no family or friends for now. I think I am clinging onto my mom for a place to belong but it is unhealthy too.
I have my mom back living with me for the third time due to her being injured by the aids. Now I hear the caregivers I have hired going through the same thing. The second agency I used also calls and tells me how another caregiver has left crying and saying they can never come back.
This past week I had to call 911 for me. I have developed high blood pressure and it finally made me hit a wall.
My concern is I know the same thing is going to happen no matter where I have her live. Am I supposed to be able to accept this? I have so many mixed messages in my head from Of course you have to place her somewhere to the guilt of, aren't you supposed to take care of the elderly especially your parent.
I know I tried to get from her what I missed during those 30 years and want a sense of connection and family. She seems incapable of any concern for my well being yet surprised me when I reached my limit with understanding why she can not live with me.
It is all very confusing and isolating. I know I am placing my life on hold but I have no sense of a direction to go towards.
I am in the process and remaining open. However it is difficult to watch someone age. I never saw my grandparents on either side so I have no perspective of what old age looks like before this. It is sad to watch some one loose their ability to be independent. The independence is what I think kept my mom functioning all these years.
Last month I went to her home to pack it up so she could sell it. This is how I got to know my mom by going through her stuff. And she had a lot of stuff. I noticed all the activities she participated in. All the art projects she made.The trips to Europe she routinely went on. I was getting to know her and I think missed what I think we could have had. I know it would not have really happened but I was grieving this person I never knew.
Only after the fact do I recognize that I had no idea what I was getting into.

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Marie, I'm so sorry you're going through all this. I would highly recommend getting some therapy for yourself, to help you deal with your issues with your mom, and also your issues in recovering your own life after leaving your religious group.

As far as a placement for your mom, I agree that her meds probably need adjusting, but there might be other things to do. You say that your mom is demanding and abusive, and so the staff at the places she's been can't deal with her. You should look into a specialized unit for dementia, since the staff there will have experience with patients that are hostile and abusive. You also might consider (if there's money) hiring an aide from an outside agency just for the busiest times of the day for your mom, even at an assisted living or nursing home. When my mom was in rehab after brain surgery, I had flashbacks to when she was in rehab after breaking her back, and realized I had to hire extra help. I know she's difficult, and it didn't seem fair to the staff that they should spend so much extra time and energy on just my mom, so I hired an aide for mornings and nights, which were the worst for my mom, so the aides at the rehab center wouldn't be overwhelmed with her care. The rehab actually recommended an agency that they work with and were not surprised that I wanted to do that, so you may be able to get recommendations that way.

Please get her out of your house. You deserve a life of your own.

Marie, why has she been moved numerous times? Was it actually at the request of the facility? Or did mom provide some of the information? Did her docs ever evaluate her meds for efficacy and change them? You feel a sense of obligation to her? Why? Have you sought therapy for yourself to have someone help you work through issues with your mom? There are therapists that specialize in caregiving issues. See if you can find one in your community. Do not bring her to live with you. That would be disasterous for both of you and anybody else living with you. Find a suitable placement for your mom and leave it to docs and staff to determine what meds would be appropriate to help her becom acclimated. How long was she in each place before moving? It often take many months for an adjustment and sometimes it will not happen at all.

The important thing for you to do is to establish boundaries and stick by them. A therapist can help you with that.

Your mother made no effort to contact you for 30 years during your long absence, and yet you feel she "depended on you?" I'm sorry to be cruel and blunt, but she lived her life perfectly well w/o you. It's a brutal fact to accept, but doing so can help break the obligations you feel towards her now.

You're overwhelmed with emotions for what was lost during your childhood, teenage and early adult years, but it can't be made up, or resurrected in any way. It's an unfortunate fact of life that that time is gone, and your mother was a major player in your isolation. She apparently didn't sacrifice any life of hers, did she? But that doesn't mean that you need to live with those feelings haunting you now, or for the foreseeable future or the rest of your life.

Others have more experience with this than I, and I suspect they'll post and raise the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) factors that I think are hanging like a looming thunderstorm over your thoughts.

You can only look forward now; recognize what you've written in the first part of your post are the facts - how can you learn from them, and AVOID being caught in the trap that you're facing now?

Think about what you want to do with your life, and start making plans...for both of you. If you have to leave her in AL, then do it.

What were your goals as a woman? As a career person? Do you have a husband, family? How do you want to segue into older age? What projects or skills have you wanted to learn? What were your hobbies? Let these guide you in developing your next steps.

If the guilt still bothers you, do volunteer work, perhaps working at a food pantry, volunteering to deliver meals on wheels, something that provides that "feel good" feeling for you but doesn't involve you in deep emotional attachments (such as working with terminal patients).

You can't change your mother, she's playing on your guilt, so you need to recognize this and break those bonds to move forward. Start today by doing something you've always wanted to do - even if it's just sitting and reading a good book, going to a library, going shopping, or just sitting outside in the nice spring weather.

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