I am taking care of my mother who has extreme chronic pain from bone on bone shoulder arthritis...nothing is helping and i find myself constantly obsessing about relieving her pain while I'm there...periodically asking her 'do you need some icy hot? I think I'm enmeshed with her and need to identify my boundaries. I live on my own and she has other PCAs who come in. Over Christmas, I stayed with her for 4 days and became a *itch and even became verbally abusive and had angry outbursts around her. I know this is evidence that I was there too long. I feel for those of you who live with a loved one!!

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At some point, everyone finally realizes that they cannot do it alone. I added up the years that I spend living with my mother--45 years! (19 years as a child, 1 year after a divorce with 3 children, 25 years after my father died) It was the last five that were the hardest. Talk about being enmeshed! It got so bad, I had to hear the daily "poop" report.

You have taken the first step by realizing you cannot do it. Whatever you do, do not stay with her again for both your safety. It might be time to move her into an assisted living facility. I bless one of Mom's doctors for telling me it was time to place my mother--even with Lexapro I was close to a nervous breakdown.

Mom has started her third year at her facility, and I finally have been able to get off the Lexapro. Her caretakers and I are very close, and they keep me updated about her behavior. She has been trying to plot her escape the last couple of months. At least, I can sit back and laugh at her antics now.

I agree with you about those living with loved ones. When it gets to be too much, find a safe place for your loved one. I served my time, and I do not ever want my daughters to take care of me in their homes.

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