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Please forgive the length of this explosion. I'm mainly venting I guess.


My mother finally divorced my father after 45 years of being treated horribly by my father. She has always been a very positive person and managed to tolerate him by working full time, volunteering and making excuses for his behavior. I despised him as he was so ugly to her, my brother and me behind closed doors. After the divorce Mom moved to a small town not far from us and moved in with a friend. We visited a lot but haven't lived together since I was in my early 20's. I'm 58 now. About 12 years after the divorce my husband and I were both given the opportunity to work from home. We decided to move near my husband's family in another state. Mom was still very active and had made lots of friends. I've always admired her positive "glass is overflowing" outlook on life. When we moved I mentioned her moving with us. I never thought she would say yes but she did. I was excited because I thought we would finally get to be close. My father had been very good at keeping us emotionally apart most of my life.


She is now living with us. Has joined a church, bible study, gym and drives everywhere. We are going insane. I made her get hearing aids after I figured out she was pretending to hear. She doesn't wear them half the time. So we are repeating ourselves three or four times. She frequently interrupts us to show us "amazing" videos and pictures on her phone. She has no idea that you are supposed to knock on a closed door and wait for an answer before you open the door, including the bathroom. Serious lack of impulse control - has to touch or pickup everything that looks interesting to her instead of asking about it first. Not just at our house but everywhere we go Interrupts strangers conversations to tell them she likes what they are wearing or she likes their hair or their children are cute and she'll touch the children.


She has begun "narrating" everything she is doing when making breakfast in a loud whisper or breathes in loud puffs that sound as if she is about to collapse. Every time I ask her if I can help her do anything she refuses assistance and always says she feels just fine. It's obvious she is in pain has she has RA.


I've stopped eating half the food in our refrigerator because she will get a spoonful of something, lick the spoon and then get more. She has also begun picking her nose (I just hand her a tissue), her teeth and ears and doesn't wash her hands before heading to the fridge.


She forces "help" on us. For instance will be watching something and she will decide to put dishes in the dishwasher. I will tell her not to worry about it I will take care of it later after the movie is over. It take me being mean to get her to stop. Then she gets upset and says she was just trying to help. There are other scenarios such as being told by both us both several times that we will put gas in the car and she does it anyway and then hits a concrete post at the gas station. "Just wanted to help". Will not ask or accept help from us at all. Ever. Hides it from us. That's just a few of the issues. I'll stop now.


I know growing old is no fun. I will have RA. May lose my hearing. Already have another medical issue. My husband and I had planned on taking some road trips this year and we talked with her about it before we moved. Now I'm afraid to leave her by herself for any length of time. I also feel like maybe we've been "snookered" I apologize to any caregivers who think of this as childish as I know what you are experiencing is much more difficult. She has never broken anything, had one surgery years ago and always been active. We did not move her in as caregivers. This is not the person she was when we visited with her over the years. I feel like I made a huge mistake. But I can't move her somewhere else. It's straining our marriage and we feel trapped.

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If it is possible for mom to live by herself, how about helping her find a senior apartment? Not sure why you had her move into your home.
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I don't have much to offer but these few little tips:
I notice my mother was picking at the food in the fridge, so, I posted a sign on the fridge that states " Hand must be wash before entering into the fridge," and I put extra food in containers just for her on her side of the fridge. Stop feeling guilty, "tell yourself everyday that you are doing the best you can with the cards you have been dealt with." It doesn't matter what you think-what matters is how you are treating her. If she is safe, has food and the necessary meds and physical/mental care--she is good.

I too don't like my mother either, but we do what we can!!

So many of us deal with unnecessary quilt. Nothing good has ever come out of feeling guilty. That has been my experience! Guilt sucks the energy and life forces out of us, so I made a choice, "I am not going to let quilt dictate my life anymore." And I haven't for a little more than a year! It is Freedom!

As far as the unwanted help, my mother loads the dishwasher, I use to get mad now I just let her do it than I redo it...pick a your battles. I had to learn to do this because I have Lopus so I don't have the strength to fight every battle. I just battle with the bigger issues.

Just my 2 cents!
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I would get her checked by a doctor and start looking for senior housing, she can get an apartment that is all hers, she will have friends right out the door and a daughter that comes visiting and takes her to her favorite food for lunch.

If you have talked to her about boundaries, privacy and respect and she doesn't change she could be getting dementia or she could be hard wired after 47 years to only change when things get ugly. Either way you and your husband need to have your lives and fulfill your dreams.

Don't feel bad, you gave it a good shot, it didn't work. You're not sending her back to your dad, your giving her freedom to live as she chooses.
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Thank you CarlaCB and Ahmijoy for your thoughts.

I should have done a better job of editing before submitting. My grammar mistakes altered the message somewhat.

Mom has a large bedroom and bathroom on the opposite side of our house.

Neither my Mom or I have acted as queen in our homes. My father ruled the house and she was the help. My husband and I have a tidy up as you go mentality. He does most of the cooking. He did most of the household chores for a few years because I had a serious injury. I have no problem sharing.

Mom doesn’t respond to cues or suggestions or statements as she seems to be losing her memory and is oblivious to the results of her actions. She also does seem to be living as if she were here alone.

We are thinking this through and will try to be less negative. We invited her to live with us and don’t want to just kick her out. I feel guilty about the anger I’ve developed because I have always adored my mother and her positive attitude.

Thank you again for your input.
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Before moving Mom I suggest a good check up. Head to foot. As other posters have said, tell her Medicare requires it.

I think there maybe some cognitive problem here. Start writing things down you feel are out of the norm. Make sure doctor sees the list so he knows what type of questions to ask. Then you have a better idea were Mom should be. An apt, Independent living or Assisted living.

I had a problem with my MIL and there was a FIL. She was passive-aggressive. She never took NO for an answer. By the time you said NO for the third time you were losing it. I didn't want a diamond when DH and I got engaged. I chose a Lindestar sapphire with a small diamond. MIL was going to England and said she would bring me back a ring. I said no that was OK I wasn't really into jewelry so my wedding ring and ring DH gave me was enough. She brought me back a ring similar in design of DHs ring. Mine has two Lindestars and one diamond hers has 2 sapphires and a diamond. She asks me my size, 5 I say, she has it cut smaller. Haven't been able to wear it since our daughter was born. I asked her not to buy me clothes, she insisted and gets them a size too small. Then would get bent out of shape when I said they don't fit and need to be returned.

There was a time when she was going to have to live with one of her 3 sons. I am sure her decision would have been us, 16 hours away. I would have voiced my opinion to my DH but the decision would have been his. And, HE would have cared for her except for intimate things. She was in a rehab to get her strength back after a UTI. She was told that none of us could stay and care for her so she needed to go to rehab in GA where son#3 was until she recuperate and choose which son she would live with. She no longer could be on her own. She never got along with #3s wife so she chose to will herself to die. She was almost 92. It was her way or no way.
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I'm wondering why you can't move her somewhere else. It clearly isn't working out.

Your mother is obviously used to being the queen of her own castle and so are you. There are people who have no sensitivity to others' boundaries and sensibilities. They barge into any situation and just do whatever they please. They don't respond to cues or even clear statements or directions. I have a sister like that. I could never live with her.

The friction of living in close quarters is causing you constant stress. You'd probably like your mother a lot more if you weren't sharing a bathroom and a kitchen with her. I think you need to find a kind but firm way of saying that to her. And help her find an apartment nearby that she can afford so you're not constantly in each other's hair.
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It sounds like your mom is living her life as though she were living alone. She isn’t particularly concerned if you see her picking her nose or other body parts. If she feels like loading the dishwasher,she’ll do it and apparently doesn’t feel,she needs to ask permission. I’m sure there’s lots of stuff I do in my house that would horrify my own children.

Understand that you cannot change her behavior. You can either grow a thick skin and not let what she does bother you (but I would put locks on doors to deter her barging in) or move her into Independent or Assisted Living.
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