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I sit here and read posts in the discussion threads with a ball of emotion welling up in my throat and tears running down my face. I can relate to sooo much of what I read here. I am new to this site - just found it today and I am sooo very thankful!! My mother lives with us. She is 69 yrs. old. She has been with us for 6 years. I have never had much more than a phone relationship with my mom and then we got along GREAT! I always told her that she would always have a place to live. She lived in Washington at the time - 6 years ago, she called and said she was selling her house and moving to Calif. We welcomed her in although we did not expect her to take us up on it at age 63!!. She is now on Social Security - it pays her health ins., car insurance, cell phone bill etc. She does not contribute to our household at all. After she pays her bills and is out of money, we supplement her for the rest of the month. She has a LOT of health problems and I am sure that is taxing on her but lately she is getting agressive with me - verbally mostly. She looks at me like she hates me and says some pretty hurtful things. Last night I was wrapping Xmas presents and she thought I had an attitude (???) I did not (I was just in another room not paying attention to her), as I tried to explain that I did not have an attitude she went on and on about how "its always about you isnt it" ... "you are always right arent you" .... YIKES!!! where did that even come from??? After I started crying, she told me "you disgust me". I know she suffers from depression - I dont know what all else. I try to talk to my brother and he tells me "Please, just try to keep things peaceful through the holidays" - like it is all my fault. So far this year she has ruined Mothers Day, Halloween, My wedding anniversary and my husbands birthday. These holidays will never be the same as I will always remember the hateful things she has said to me (although I try very hard not to dwell on them). I "love" my mother BECAUSE she IS my mother ... I do not "love" my mother. I hope that makes sense. I am feeling very defeated today!! I dont feel comfortable in my own home and dont even want to be there. My husband works long hours and so it is usually Mom and I alone in the evenings when I get home from work. I never know what I am going to walk in to when I open the door. Happy, Cheerful Mom or hateful mean mom. I walk on eggshells trying to keep her happy. I do everything in my power to keep peace at my home. I have turned everything over to her so she feels comfortable and feels like it is her home - now she has taken over. I have one brother that lives approx 2 hours away and doesnt want to "hear about it" and another brother that lives a mile away but doesnt want to "be in the middle". Neither of them help us financially or offer us any time alone as far as inviting Mom for dinner or anything. She is ALWAYS there. I stuff a lot inside as my husband works hard and doesnt need me crying on his shoulder every night when he gets home from work. I really dont have anyone else to talk to ... as you can tell by my rambling on and on here :-) I just dont want to live like this anymore and dont EVER see it changing .... How do I cope on a day to day basis ...

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Since you are new - you may not know about the Area Agency on Aging - they are folks with lots of answers to our questions. Check them out - there may be options you don't know exist. I hope you get help soon.

Even when we understand WHY they do the hurtful things they do and say the hateful things they say - we may not be able to deal with it well. I couldn't/can't. That's why we had to set 'boundaries' - her space/our space. The only way I could deal with it was NOT to deal with it. Sometimes it has to be that way.

Remember YOU and YOUR health and welbeing are just as important as your mother's and YOU may be the only one who will help you. A favorite saying of mine is 'If it is to be - it is up to me.'
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Dear Wanttolovemymom: After reading your post - it made me look back a year or so when I felt the same way. So down. So hurt. So miserable. I don't want to ever be there again and I hope you can find your way out of this.

First: Put you mother ON THE LIST TODAY for Senior housing. Believe me - two years will go by whether she is on the list or not and at least you would have a light at the end of the tunnel - so do it ASAP.

If she has no assets - look into ALF (assisted living facilities) that do Medicaid. Put her on the list (s) there as well. They will help you fill out the paperwork. It is not impossible. Time will go by whether she is on their list or not and she may as well be on the list. Nothing will happen unless she is.

You mentioned that she sold her home. Did she realize any profit? Where did it go? Start combing the newspapers and internet for an efficiency apt. for her - maybe something will turn up.

You have received some excellent tips here - and if she has a regular physician - DO have her evaluated. I write a letter and give it to the doctor ahead of time - especially if she will not allow you to go to the appointment with her and be in the room with her while she see the doctor.

This forum saved my sanity. I know I am not alone. Make 2014 the year she gets her name on those lists :0)
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Whatever you guys do, DO NOT, donotdonotdonot, give up your jobs, your income and your future security to care for your elderly parents. Put them in a NH before you EVER give up your own security for them. The cost to you if you give up your lives for them can be astronomical and terrifying as hell. If I knew 10+ years ago what I know now I never would have taken my mom with Alz on. The cost to my family was way, way too high.
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To Wanttovemymum and Endofmyrope, I know just what you are going through! My 92 year old father told me 'never come here again' and 'we don't need your help' after he sprang it on my that both my parents had changed their Wills and I no longer get their house, and I didn't rollover and accept it! See my discussion post Horror stories from Hell raged parents! Six months down the line, I am still in shock and still not on speaking terms with them! After a chronic nervous breakdown, in Oct they sent me a birthday card and a cheque, but I was numb by then, so did nothing, and did not respond. I am contemplating writing to tell them to get a doctors health check, as I suspect dementia, but I am so afraid it will give them another opportunity to lash out at me! I fear for them, but they tried to destroy me!!!! Best wishes to you both.
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To all the newcomers,
Look up your local Area Agency on Aging if you haven't already done so. They can answer so many of your questions.

Google it or search for it on this website.

Just remember that the nasty things your mother says don't have anything to do with you. She is old and miserable, and you are the one standing right there, so she dumps all that misery on you. God bless us every one.
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old post dragged up but thats ok.
bipolar is horrific and it largely affects relationships. its hard to keep a stable frame of mind when another household member is up and down like a freaking yo - yo . ive made the claim in the past that my mothers moods would fluctuate so frequently that i was getting carpal tunnel in my wrists from clenching and unclenching my hands to strangle her. so yea, many of us can relate.
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Like yours, my mom ruined many a dinner when she was still living independently and just invited over for dinner. We both knew early on in life we could never live together, she has always been a very difficult person and destroyed most all relationships except for me and my brother. Even my brother who sees her the most said he could not jeopardize his marriage by moving my mother in. Thankfully she purchased long-term care insurance many years ago and never planned to live with us. She is now in an assisted living facility heading soon to skilled nursing. Community social services can recommend options for her care at any income level, and please don't let this ruin you or your marriage. I learned early on my mother would never have taken care of me if I required such care, but we have been able to provide her a very lovely facility to live in and see her often.
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I'm also new here and I'm going thru the exact same thing. My mom lives with me and it's just us…one day she's, ok the next it's all my fault. It's hard to find someone who understand what your going thru but it's good to know that there's a place we can go to and vent for a bit and get our thoughts and feelings out.

Thanks everyone on this site for understanding and for giving words of encouragement
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Yes, you can try to help her with her fear, but some people just don't want to talk about anything. TV and movies give us deathbed scenes that are so meaningful and dramatic, and we can think that's how it's supposed to be. I don't think she will cooperate.

Give her hugs and foot massages and tastes of her favorite foods, and play her favorite music. Remind her of good memories from long ago. When she gets to heaven it will be up to Jesus to try and make her happy! (Sorry if that sounds flippant. I do wonder if our personalities will change in heaven.) Bless you.
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Jinx4740- Thank you for your response :) As far as medication making her happy, thats really the only thing that can calm her or ease her anxiety at this point. She has had substance abuse issues with pain pills and anxiety pills for most of her life right up until this point. And now that she is in hospice, they pretty much give her any kind of medication she wants. I just wish I knew how to make her want to make the most of her time she has left...as of right now all her nurses just tell me to keep giving her pain meds (as much as she wants) and it results in her being confused a lot of the time and there is very little room to discuss any feelings or concerns or pretty much anything :( She has never been one to open up about her feelings, any time I or my sister try to talk to her about her diagnosis she turns it back on us and asks us how we feel about it and then she just rides with whatever we say our thoughts are but we have not been able to reach her on a personal level about how she really feels about all of this. I can not imagine the fear that is in her heart but I can not change a pattern of thinking (keeping everything bottled up) thats been in place for 63 years in a matter of months and as much as it breaks my heart it frustrates me just as much. How can I be there for her if she wont even let me in? Im sorry if this is not making much sense and I am rambling...To answer your question, yes I am trying to figure out how to encourage her the best way I know how, and as far as the chemo, I support her decision to not want to go through with it because we both saw how awful it was for my dad, it made him miserable the whole time he had left with us and it did not even come close to saving him. The chaplain from the hospice agency said that if she believes that God will cure her then I should not try and dissuade her from that, if she is able to draw comfort from it, so I am trying to support that the best way that I can.
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Lostandtrapped - I feel so bad for you. Why isn't it the sweet loving mothers who need caregiving?

This is a good website for you to get lots of support and information. Why don't you start your own question, to get more responses? If I understand what you said, your mother is dying, in denial, and needs to be encouraged to fight, but you can't figure out how to do it. Is that right?

One lesson most caregivers learn is that you can't have as your goal to make your LO (loved one) happy, because some of them just cannot be made happy. You can keep them safe and well cared for, and you can give them love and attention, but you can't make them happy.

On the other hand, sometimes drugs, like antidepressants or pain medication, can make them happy. Can you sneak it into her under another name?

About expecting God to make the cancer go away, does she have a pastor who might convince her to try chemo? There's that story about the man in the flood who kept refusing help because God would rescue him, and how that worked out...
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Hi, I am new to caregiving and dont even know where to begin...except to first express gratitude that I found this site :) My mom is 63 and was diagnosed with leukemia about a month ago. We have not been close for a while but I have been taking care of her since she moved in with me last month. I was working two jobs that I have had to leave and I also have a five year old who is very excited to have nana living with us (silver lining :) ) When my mom first came home, I thought it would be no problem with her insurance to pay for a nursing home (yeah i know, so naive lol) so when the reality set in that she was just going to be home, with me..just...until....my heart just sank. I did not sign up for this. I am not ready for this. How can I even begin to get ready for something like this? I have surprised myself as I am handling the situation a lot better than I imagined I would...my mom however is another story. She has decided not to go through with chemotherapy because she remembers how hard it was on dad (we lost him to cancer in 2010), but whenever I try to talk to her about it and just offer support the best way I know how, she either shuts down completely or goes on and on about how its too early to be talking about chemo and that God is just going to make her cancer go away. She goes back and forth between depression and denial and its exhausting. Her hospice nurses say that she can still have a very good quality of life if she makes an effort to get more mobile(while shes still able), but she does not want to put forth the effort...its very hard for me to deal with because she has always been a very manipulative person...I find myself having getting more easily frustrated with her I just cant help it because I know what her personality is. Her nurse told me once that she may be depressed and may need some encouraging to get her motivated to fully live life to the fullest while she is still with us...its hard for me to find encouraging words for her when she never truly enjoyed life before she was ill. She has been unhappy for years for reasons that I have never really been able to pinpoint so how am I supposed to encourage someone who gave up on life long before she was terminal? I know I have been rambling and I apologize if I am not making much sense...I just wonder if anyone else has dealt with a situation similar to mine and what solution they came up with, if any?
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I found going to a therapist saved my sanity, and gives me valuable insight on how to handle siblings who refuse to help, and the grief from watching my beloved father slowly dwindle from Parkinson's.
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The one thing that this site has taught me is to never be a caregiver in someone's home or my own home to anyone except my husband or children. It was a choice I made when I married and gave birth.
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For all you angels out there who are struggling with the unfathomably difficult labor of love called caregiving. Enjoy, and LOVE to ALL

"The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience – that is the hero’s deed."
~ Joseph Campbell
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That's how we do it . . . day by day. My sisters kiss my dads butt also, and I figured out why. They feel guilty that they're not the ones here doing everything for him daily so they go over the top trying to prove they are interested! Let it slide right off you! My two "Broomhildas" are mean on top of kissing up to him. They treat me like absolute crap, and criticize my every move concerning his care. Ignore, ignore, ignore. Those are their own inner problems, and they will have to deal with them someday. Best of luck sweetie. You are doing a great job, and don't ever doubt it. LOVE
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Thank you so much for your responses. I find it kind of strange that I find comfort in knowing that others are going through the same things I am. My Grandmother had Parkinson's and Dimentia so I wouldnt be a bit surprised if Mom ends up with dimentia as well. I guess one of the most hurtful parts is that my brothers kiss her backside as they want to be on good terms with her so I look like the bad guy all the time. MOST of the time, I can deal with it. I find my Joy in God and I know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. But today I just feel like one of those socker bopper clown thingies that we had when we were kids ... the ones you punch and it would fall over and pop right back up ..... I just dont feel like popping back up knowing I will get punched again. Mom has decided she needs to move out - I wholeheartedly agree. She cannot afford it and I dont imagine it will last very long but I think it would be good for her to see that things are not so bad here. BUT - the waiting list for low income senior housing in our area is 1.5 - 2 years long so no short term relief there. Each one of you made some very valid and very helpful points. I appreciate it so much. I made it through another evening with her and tomorrow is a new day.
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Yes Ladeeda, they usually transfer what they are feeling about themselves onto you. It is actually very sad, and very confusing to deal with because it hurts so badly. Not too long ago my dad and I were having a spat, and he screamed "Get out of here right now, and don't come back ever!". Well, I think you can imagine how I felt. This is my beloved dad, whom I've adored my whole life saying these words to me! I am the only one here out of three siblings of which the other two do nothing except criticize me and exclude me from everything. I have no spouse, and no children. Technically I am completely alone with the exception of my friends. It hurts BAD, but I have to calm down and realize he's DYING and is frustrated. Everyone's feelings, including my selfish sisters are flying all over the place. That's one of the main things that makes caregiving so stressful. There are so many conflicting feelings that one doesn't know how to feel. We don't know right from wrong, hurt from mean, selfish from fear. We're all over the place emotionally, and it is SCARY! Ask the Universe to guide you, and never forget that we are never given more than we can bear. We are not ordinary human beings. If we were we would never have taken on this important task. LOVE and LIGHT
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We are grateful you posted.... as all have said, you are not alone, we do understand.... Jeanne gave some great suggestions, first things first.... if she won't get some help, then YOU are first on the list.... and to be told by someone that you disgust them is a very hurtful thing to hear..... I think she is disgusted with herself and she takes it out on you.... please come back and vent, vent vent vent, and ask questions..... we'll do all we can with our collective experiance to help you get a handle on things and get your life back.... prayers, angels and hugs..
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Join our world sweetie! You are welcome and safe here. I don't know if this will help or not, but my dad has gotten snappy and mean sometimes too. He has no dementia either! The thing is they are losing all control over their lives, and know they are near the end. They are scared, and also are worried about YOU! Because they feel they have no power they vent on you. You cannot let it get to you. Remember, the roles have changed a bit. You are now more like a parent to them through your caregiving, and it is very hard for them to accept. Ignore it, and if you do have little blowups with them do not feel guilty. You are only human, and feel pain like everyone. It is a delicate balance this thing; one we all struggle with. The secret is to always forgive yourself, and always forgive them. If you didn't love each other so much none of this emotion would be happening. Best of luck and love, and know you can always b#!ch here with the rest of us!!!! LOVE, and hang in there.
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Vent away! People here do understand.

It sounds like you need more than venting (although that is an important start.) Something needs to change. I don't think you can handle this another 20 to 30 years, do you?

First of all, what are the huge mood swings about? What compels her to ruin holidays? Why is she biting the hand that feeds her? You need some answers to those questions, in order to come up with the best stratedgy for coping with the behavior? Is your mother bi-polar? Is she starting down the road to dementia? Is her depression getting worse? Is she having sleep problems? You need to have her get a professional evaluation, so you know what you are dealing with. If you need advice on how to get her to do that, post a new question so people with that experience can chime in.

Will it make a difference to know what is behind this hurtful behavior? I think so. I had a very difficult time dealing with my brother when I thought he was being a jerk. Then I found out that he is bipolar, looked it up, and discovered many of his behaviors are typical for that disease. It makes a big difference in how I deal with him and it is much healthier for both of us. (Mind you, I'm not inviting him to come live with us, but at least I can be supportive of him.) If I didn't know that my husband has dementia I would have divorced him years ago.

The other benefit of knowing what you are up against is that sometimes, depending what the causes are, there are treatments that can help.

The other step you can take is to get some counseling for yourself. This is not because there is anything wrong with you, but that you are in an extremely stressful situation, and you deserve some help to deal with it and with all the sad/angry/resentful/guilty feeling you have.

There are other issues that could be discussed here, such as the financial realities involved, and the relationship with your brothers. But first things first. Find out all you can about your mother's state of health. Get some counseling.

(You might want to check out a thread called something like I love my mother but I don't like her.)
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Well sweetie..just ramble and vent away..glad you found this site. It has been my lifeline. I care for both my aging parents although they are 86 and 9. For me is is 24/7. My hubby works hard but I am sure yours understand what you are going through to some extent. Just ask him to hug you tight .. There is a thread on here called the caregiver...How are you doing today... The folks there have really given me some great advice and lots of support. I will check in on you and try to remember you are not alone. There are many of us out here in various situations but we all share common thread..it is hard to cope when others don't understand...come here knowing it is a safe place and we will offer what support we can form the miles.
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I know exactly how you feel. I am so overwhelmed. I have KNOWN I am a caregiver for about a year. We have to hold on to hope, make good things happen in our life, and fight becoming another statistic.
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