My mom refuses to draw social security and has no insurance.

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Her health is declining; she's had glaucoma and lost sight in one eye. She suffers from breathing problems, poor circulation, and dizziness. She won't see a doctor. I managed to convince her to deal with dental problems (she had ten teeth, all in bad condition) but she insisted on going to a cut-rate place and we are still trying to get her lower denture to fit correctly. She shouldn't live alone, but my house is very small and her house is much too far away for me to live with her and keep my job. I also don't want to move away from my kids and grandkids. Her place is paid off and we are considering pulling some equity out of it to buy a bigger place here then selling her place. I can't sell mine because I'm upsidedown in the mortgage. I'm at my wit's end and would like advice on any or all of this. My mom is also a difficult person - to the point that my brother and sister have nothing to do with her.

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Thank you, Sir. Grace. Thank you for adding that. God bless you, brother! Praying you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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Yes, SecretSister, I forgive you.

Grace and Peace.
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I wish to apologize, and did not wish to debate, but encourage, as there are people in my family dealing with mental illness, too. The cause? I don't know. I didn't mean to make faith a stumblingblock for you or anyone else. Will you forgive me for that?

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalms 119:165.

Praying for that peace that passes all understanding. Thank you.
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Please don't take my analogies and parallelisms so concretely. Yes, all healing comes from God, Much of God's healing comes to us and to our loved ones through various means like eye doctors, dentists, etc. There are many fine Christians of the church triumphant like Martin Luther and Charles Spugeon who were both great men of faith and yet greatly distressed with deep depression along with many in the church militant who struggle as well. God uses counseling and medicines to treat biological brain disorders, just as he provides people with medical insights to treat other physical problems, but all healing comes from God for a doctor does not really heal anyone. I'd really rather not get into a debate over faith and mental illness on this thread, but will discuss it with anyone on my wall. I just ask that we not make us who deal with a mental illness daily that somehow we have no faith and thus are somehow outside of the faith for seeking medical treatment and help for our problems which drives many away from the church door and thus overlooked and made to feel forgotten.
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Okie dokie, let's all do the hokie pokie. Tapping our heels together now.

The more we look inward, the sicker we become, don't you think?

The more we criticize others, (and self) the more angry and frustrated we become.

Freedom comes from faith, and healing comes from God alone. We can't make ourselves well. Without God, we're all lost and on our way to hell. Some of us live there already. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me. And, Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. What Psychiatrist or medication can equal that???

Look up, repent, and believe, for your redemption draweth nigh.
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In a bit calmer mode now, I will comment more broadly about gaining emotional freedom from control freaks. Often, we act out our desire for freedom, but in reality all we have done is just cut off that part of our emotional life. Thus, years later and even miles away, what we have cut off comes up from the rear and bites us in the behind and all the progress we thought we gained is suddenly gone. Instead of cutting off, we can with the help of a therapist untangle what we cut ourselves off from really dealing with. Then we can be either near or far, but the control freak's mental tanticals are not exploding land mines in our heads; people find us living more fully present with them as well as more naturally; along with being more spontaneous to really respond to life instead of react to those who push our buttons.

Short version. The goal of adult emotional maturity is not so much to ice out people who push out buttons but to build boundaries in our lives so that we are free to be in touch with our own emotions and ideas with the freedom to say them as well as being in touch with others, but not absorbed into their feelings and ideas.
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Azamma,

Your story sounds like you've lived in the land of Oz for way too long and it's time for you and Toto to go back home. The thing of it is that like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you have had to power to leave the F.O.G. (fear, obligation, and guilt) of your control freak for your whole life, however, they did not want to see that you were in fact stronger than them for actually they are so unadmittedly dependent on you. The abuser, the control freak, the mommy-dearest never wants you to recognize your own strength and really see how weak they truly are. Sad to say this is something that a close relative never saw, but I got blamed for having a bad influence on him when he would refuse to walk on eggshells. I took that criticism as a complement.

I've had plenty of times of feeling stupid myself. However, if you read my poem on path through tragic pain, you'll read that such what ifs just don't get us anywhere positive.

When I went on disability 7 years ago, I was told my therapists and others that I'd been just too good, worn my pastor hat too tight, and apparently was trying to reach sainthood with such self-denial as a pastor. I often have felt like an idiot because some important things I'd learned in class totally left my brain and much later on I wish it had stuck.

I do think that we all are too difficult on ourselves by thinking we are an idiot for not handling something better than we are. Well, I think we need to let ourselves off of our own hooks for how can you be guilty or really be an idiot in a situation in which you didn't have the tools or knowledge to deal with or were very inexperienced in their use. This is so true in life in general and in the specifics which draw us hear to both learn and support each others.

Azamma, No guess it's time. Now, today is the time to in a sense "KA" tell the little fearful, obligated goody, goody cub inside you she'll be safe because you have discovered your adult voice and are ready to roar! You no longer will need to comfort your inner self by being the obligated "good one." You must do this for yourself, for your grown children and for their children. The danger is loosing contact with them because their parents get fed up your mom controlling their grandmother and thus, another group of family members going into another journey through OZ. Who can stop this?

I can't believe how raw and rare some of my statements are. Quite blunt indeed, but not quite as cutting as a few statements from Paul's Epistle to the Galatians which is the only one which is so brash. However, when I read or learn of someone's story who has been abused and living in some sort of bondage like the legalistic mess Paul rebukes in Galatians, I can get a bit more like a RamboCrowe in feeling angry for them.

BTW, for more about getting come from Oz, I suggest, Tinman, Ozzie. One Way Ticket to Kansas as well as Brown, Nina W. Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grownup's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publishers, Inc., 2001.
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AllAboutFamily, that was an absolutely fabulous post!!! Thank you for your words of wisdom. I cannot begin to tell you how they have touched my heart, and resonated to the depth of my being. And got me thinking...

Will comment more about that at another time. The most important thing I caught from your post was this (especially when they don't like it, or don't understand): "...that it would be negligence on your part not to watch out for her." Thank you for the grace in that comment.

Mom has beat me up for "being bossy," when in fact, I was looking out for her best interests. I was told to set boundaries where she could not. And it doesn't make mamma happy.

Love your fresh attitude, and wish I could "catch" it from you. Praying I'm not immune. Thanks! :) You are someone who truly found joy in the journey. Happy Thanksgiving.
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Dear azamma, so glad you have found a safe place to vent. I do not think you are an idiot, but understand why you would say that and feel that way. Look at the insanity you have been raised with, then dove back into. Your children are correct in their assessment, and so is Crowemagnum. I can say this, because I am doing the same thing, but plan to change that forthwith!

Maybe I am a lot like you, because I thrice escaped, then dove back in myself. Perhaps it's time to cut my losses, and move on to higher ground again. There is much freedom in walking away. My situation seemed better with distance. But, the emotional ties are strong. Caring for a person with mental illness and cognitive decline, who clearly does NOT want my help verges on insanity, if I don't heed the request to "honour" my mother's wishes. Knowing she does not have the mental capacity to know what's best for herself has kept me in bondage to try to "help" her. But it's not helping me. So...

How about you? What is in your best interest? Do you continue to sacrifice yourself for her? Your choice. It's up to you. Our parent's needs can be met in a variety of ways, and don't necessarily depend totally on us. (We can only do so much anyway, and receiving help from others is often an advantage.) Think about your own life as being just as important as your mother's is to her. Who gets the care they need? Her's can be provided for by others, correct? Can yours?

I'm speaking to myself, as well.
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Crowemagnum, may you always be blessed because you have touched me also with your words, I can almost feel your compassion and honesty, two things that make the world go 'round in my opinion! My mother lived with me and my family for over 8 years until she passed away, and my primary recommendation in this discussion is that if you want your parent to live with you, then invite them to try it for three months. My mom moved in for three months, then went back for about four months, then moved in for another three months and went back for about five months, ... finally one early morning she called and said, I need you again. I said, okay, we'll come move you back, but if you come, this time it is permanent and you and I will be buddies, but I have to do what it is necessary to keep you safe. She moved in, and the first couple of years she'd tell her "girlfriends" on the phone I basically kidnapped her, but then, with my listening and agreeing with her when she wanted to complain, she began to find peace and happiness! I let her do, say, eat, whatever she could do, say, eat, etc. because a geriatrician said that the aging are so depressed because they feel they are nothing and nobody and have no reason for being on this earth anymore. This wise geriatrician said remember, your mother has free will and is not impaired neurologically, so simply remain quiet, calm and just don't argue/disagree with her because that only makes their depression worse, they feel no one understands their feelings ... and in turn, tell her stories or talk about things that are not controversial or that will upset her. It was not always easy but I have a wonderful spouse who actually charmed my mother and in the end, she lived the last seven years of her life quite happily with us. But taking on this role is not for everyone. You have got to want to do it, you have to be healthy yourself (emotionally,physically, mentally, spiritually) and you have to be able to do what is necessary to make your mother safe and protect her and surround her with things she knows and loves from her own house. I spent years trying to make mymother happy (before she moved in with us) and one day I said, I am just going to be myself and she said near the end of her days that she always felt safe with me and that she drew on my strength and optimism. So, it doesn't matter if you have a big house or small house, if you want your mom with you, because it is the only way you can look out for her, then do it ... but every single day, get up before the rest of the house, keep a journal, enjoy alone time, and never ever forget your own dreams and goals .... if you have interests and hobbies, now more than ever, keep them up, you have to! Your mom can watch you doing them and share in them, and if she resents the time you spend not focusing on her, then just smile and say, Mom, it's because I do these fun things for me that allows me to be able to be your buddy and be strong for you! One just has to have what my own family called "The Attitude" .... the attitude that this is no big deal, Mom needs to be with me, and who knows what tomorrow will bring, but for now, she's here with me, and all is well. Best to all of you caregivers out there .... I know how hard it is and have driven to many a doctor appointment and had many a difficult/trying moment ... but now that she is gone, I would give anything to hear her call my name one more time and I would do it all over again ... so I say, be optimistic, be a good listener, ignore the crankiness and focus on the fact that you are honoring your parent and doing what you want to do! And siblings (I have a lot of siblings) should be treated respectfully but from a distance if they have issues with anything you do as it relates to caring for the parent ... keep music on, keep funny sitcoms on the television, read books outloud, .... one day the parent will no longer be around, and you will have be at peace for all you did ... (it's like having a baby, you don't remember any of the pain, only the joys)..lastly, you do need legal guidance unfortunately today more than ever ... durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, living will, etc. As someone above wrote, just be yourself, be honest with your mom, and quietly tell her that it would be negligence on your part not to watch out for her. I learned alot, but mostly I learned that my mom wanted me to stay calm, objective, compassionate and understanding, and not take her moods personally .... once I learned that, it was a lot easier .... so do what you feel is right and you'll know what direction to go in! I made a lot of mistakes, but I tell all of you, nothing gave me greater joy (or greater stress :) ...) than those years when my mom was a member of my family! Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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