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I'm not the typical "New Year's Resolutions" kind of person. I kind of go through life trying to roll with the punches and trying (unsuccessfully) to make other people's lives better.


A long year with too much giving, both emotional and monetary—to too many people, and a blowout with my MIL have left me reeling this holiday season.


Lost a good friend over my being blind to her ability to use people and then discard them when they no longer serve a purpose. Lost $4000 on trying to help her, financially, b/c she needed help paying for storage/moving pods. For 3 months, I was there EVERY SINGLE day for 6-10 hrs, cleaning and packing.....and in the end, I come home from a short trip to the PNW and find out she's not moving. She unpacks the pods and of course, she's still CHARGED for them...and no sale of her home with which to pay me back.


And she's mad at ME.


MIL thing is simply 43 years of ongoing hatred on her part. DH has begged me on his knees to PLEASE go with him to visit her, he hates going to see her alone--last visit she was so unbelievably mean to me--right in front of DH (who is quite deaf, and clueless)..when she realized he wasn't going to say a word in my defense, she doubled down and dragged some garbage up from 30-35 years ago--finally I just stood up and asked DH to please unlock the car. I went out and sat in it and waited for him.


About 10 minutes he comes out and says "I hate taking you to visit mom, it's like sitting on a powderkeg". Well, I didn't WANT to go, I was stuck in the middle of errand running.


All I did was look at him and say "Listen to me: I am NEVER and I mean NEVER make and attempt to see your mother again in my life. If you had been listening you would UNDERSTAND". Oh he had been listening and just was so glad she wasn't ragging on him, he just let her go.


My therapist said that my going to MIL's with hubby is like being cannon fodder--or the first line of defense. She shoots me b/c she can.


And oh yes, my gosh, it IS VERY personal.


I don't have time or energy for people who suck the life out of me.


And I will continue to be kind and loving to everyone--but there's a limit. I cannot handle the anger that comes from the toxic folk--we all have them i our lives. I'm just not going to be so all encompassingly "nice" anymore.


It will be a challenge, but I know I can do it. And do it w/o making myself feel guilty.


Anybody else out there feeling they've given about 10xs too much this year--and years' previous??


Putting this in "burnout" b/c I think this is what it is.

Fifty Eight must be the magic year when we say "No more!" I have also thinned out the list of people in my life. Family seems to be where I am cutting ties. Siblings who are blood think they have the right to use me as a doormat. I have found that they aren't people that I would seek out to be in my life on a normal basis, and just because they are blood I have kept them there anyway. No more. Because you are blood does not give you the right to step over the boundaries of kindness, concern. and compassion.

I have also been cutting out daughter in law's that can't seem to be bothered to say "thank you" for boxes, envelopes, money, and gifts. Also grandchildren that are old enough to text, phone, or facebook to simply say "hello", but only do so when they need something. I have found that when I have nothing to give, they move on to the next person on the list. It is not my responsibility to care for those people. Actually I do them a disservice to continue to fund their every whim.

My circle of friends and family is much smaller than it has been in years. However, I enjoy this circle much more. It is filled with family and friends that are supportive, kind, understanding, and who help me be a better version of myself. Cutting out the excess, I seem to have more time to start a company, to do the things that make me happy, to have a life filled with joy. What took me so long?? :)
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Sad but true, many people who you think are your friends, really aren't.
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Midkid58,
Your answers always make me smile. Have a Happy New Year girl. May we all have a fresh start!
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As I've gotten older, removing "toxic" people from my life has become easier because, quite frankly, I don't have the energy to deal with their crap any more. Whenever I start to feel angry or frustrated with someone or a situation, I just walk away and ignore it/them. If they are a worthwhile person, eventually they will come around and things will work out. If not, I'm better off without them. Sometimes it takes a few rounds to figure out whether they are worth keeping around or not, but after a few "bad" rounds it's just easier to let the relationship die. I've done that recently with some relatives.....cousins....who talk a good talk when you see them, but then never follow through on their promises. So I just quit being the one to make the calls, send the cards, etc. with no positive responses. I figured it wasn't worth my energy when I have other friends who ARE worth the effort and I get positive results from them. What I've learned is that it is not the NUMBER of relationships/friendships you have, but the QUALITY of them. I'd rather have one or two good friends, than a dozen "aquaintences" with whom the relationship is a dead end. I've also always found that belonging to a club of people with similar interests is more satisfying than relying on my friends or family. I can choose to attend or not attend events as I like, without offending anyone or owing anyone an explanation. I don't have to get close with anyone if I don't want to, but I always am welcome and feel at home at club events. I consider these people my "friends" but without the closeness and expectations that come with being "best friends" so to speak. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it sure has taken the pressure off of me because I don't feel I have to "please" these folks by giving more of myself than I am able to. And it sure is easy to walk away from people you see might be "toxic". Anyway, good luck with the resolution and I hope you can keep on track. You will feel much better and over time you will find it easier to take care of yourself.
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Ann Landers used to say no one can take advantage of you without your permission.
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This is a true resolution! Stand firm and take back your power! I am woman, hear me roar!
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My goodness you are an awesome friend! But I hear you - I used to be the most generous, giving person and I guess somewhat naive. But I'm tired of being used by men, friends, and even my own mother. I've made my inner circle very small with people who only want to SHARE not TAKE, TAKE, TAKE will be allowed! It even extended to work. I HAD a co-worker who is always out. But still seems to party on a regular basis. She always wanted me to step in and assist her area - which is on a totally different floor. The last time I declined to assist due to being swamped by my own work - well she acted like it made her MAD! So tired of these users. I will still remain a goodhearted person but people will have to earn it. I think mine does stem from having a very critical, narcissistic mother. I mean if you can't please your own mother and she does not deem you "worthy" who else is going to love you? Well I'm 58 and I FINALLY got it! She is the one who is feeling unworthy, and insecure so she took that out on me - all those years she baffled me. I literally stumbled across an article regarding narcissistic mothers - and she fit every category. Always seemingly in competition with her own daughter! Acting mad if my life was going well - or if anyone complimented me! She is now under my roof and it's already been another 2 years tacked on to 13 years she lived with me off/on. I am so mad at myself for allowing myself to be bullied by her - but it's a new year and I plan to do my own thing. She was supposed to get her own apartment but she hasn't. I have almost cut-off ties with my family too. I have 2 brothers that do the bare minimum. I work full-time, am a single homeowner and now I have a 92 year old to deal with. I don't know what the plan is because she has all her faculties and even drives. But I'm not sure how much longer that will be. I do resent all this responsibility dumped on me and I have spoken up to no avail. Next step is she is going to have to PAY for care - a driver, etc. when it gets to that point. She thinks nothing of running me around all over for her errands. Yep it's a new year and I plan to make some changes. Peace and love to all the caretakers!
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Oh i feel you sister!! Only it was 30 years of FIL...and he was pastor of a large church and everyone bent bowed and scraped bcause they thought he was this almighty “man of god”!! When he died in 2004 the real truth came out and it was not good....and his son who i was married to was just as bad! yes i am a trusting, loving, giving person...,.still am...to a point. Now, ppl have to earn my trust and respect. .and yes i have cut a LOT of toxic ppl from my life in the last few yrs, including some family members. My circle is very small. And i feel no guilt about it either!! You deserve to be treated with respect by others!! And please do NOT feel guilty for putting your self first!!! My life has changed tremendously the last 10 yrs, not all of it good, but i try to see the positive in things and dont dwell on the negative. You cant change ppl,only how you react, or not. I read this blog every day bcause my mom who is 85 just lost her sister to dementia so shes the only one left in her generation and i am noticing changes. I moved in same apt bldg to b close by to help her, and i deal with her negativity on a daily basis..., it gets worse as she gets older, but i deal with it by pointing out the positives and some days have to distance myself.....you hang in there and take care of yourself!!! Oh...and i have chosen to remain single because i WILL never b in the situation again of being physically or mentally abused...,this is my choice, and im much happier!!! You will certainly be in my thoughts daily, to heal and be happy!!
in love and light.....
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Hi, Midkid is 58, I feel your frustration. I have also reached a place in my life where I refuse to let toxic people affect my life. I have always been the friend that overlooks the negativity they inject into my life. It is unhealthy for me to accept this behavior. I have seen these toxic people become very uncomfortable with the change I have made to not allow them to share their toxic behavior with me.
I took care of my dad who has dementia for five years and after severe burn out he is now living with my brother. I had a one year break during which I helped care for a terminally ill cousin with cancer. I have now moved my mother who has dementia in to my home two months ago and I find myself in a worse situation than I was in when I cared for my dad. I do not have time or the patience to deal with family members or friends who do not help to relieve the pressure I am under but want to lay there issues with me about how I do not conform to their standards.
Keep looking out for yourself and do your best to take care of yourself. I want to let you know you are not alone in your feelings.
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Dear Midkid58,

Thank you for your post. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened with your friend and mother-in-law.  

I've had that terrible disease to please since I was a child. I don't know why. Is it just my personality? My DNA? Lack of love from my own mother? Always desperate to help and please and be useful. They say that women tend to need to seen, acknowledged and validated.

Since my father passed two years ago. I have tried so hard to set better boundaries. Even at work I tried to be helpful with the kitchen duties only have the cleaner be upset when I didn't run the dishwasher.  So tired of being taken for granted and feeling like nothing I do matters to anyone.

I sincerely hope 2019, I will be better at taking care of myself. I don't know what that looks like, but I'm going to try.

Sending you hugs, my friend.
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They call this kind narcissists , my mom lives with one right now. Be done everything in my power to get her to get rid of him he’s 45 she is 84 ya alls he wants is to control her and steal everything she has. APS finally removed my mother from her home because of him. I also loved with that kind for 16 years of my life. They aren’t happy until they make the one they picks life unhappy. They thrive or seek out the good and giving kind that is how they can control people that are to giving, they are toxic to you. They will drain your very sole. They play the game of the one that is being abused and make everyone believe its you that is the mean one this is how they gain people into their game. They can’t be happy unless they have someone to control. Don’t do it. Stay away from narcissistic people. They are users and will use you and your money up. Watch UTube videos they have good videos on narcissism also amazon sells some good books you can read on narcissism. Once they figure out that you will no longer play their game is when you really need to watch out for yourself. They for one get angry if they can’t control you anymore or that you have figured out their game. It can get down right dangerous in some cases. I could go in and in about this but your better of reading about it then you will understand people like this and know how to deal with them if you have to see them , if I were you I would just tell your DH that you would rather not go stand your ground. Start saying no instead of yes to people like that and do not feel guilty for not going to see her she well aware of what she has done to you. I remember reading co dependent no more it’s a wonderful book the teachs you hoe to stand up to users and dependent people that pry upon you. It changed my life I was finally able to leave a very toxic abusive relationship after reading it. I people couldn’t believe that that was me telling them no . It really changed me. And it can help you or at least help you understand why these people pray on the weak, not calling you weak by all means you just need to learn to stand up for yourself and take care of yourself first. You won’t believe how many toxic people are in your life as we speak after learning about Co dependent and narcissism. I was amazed on how many others that were using me up. Good luck out with the old in with the new they say.
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I started that 5 months ago. Even sum of my own children are like this. I just can't do the toxic/narcissistic behaviors anymore. I'm tired of being used . It sux & not to mention the hurt. 2019 has got to be better !!!
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Midkid, I can relate to your situation. My own mother has been verbally and emotionally abusive to me for years. After having what I thought was an anxiety attack or a heart attack after a visit where she was extremely nasty and mean to me, I decided to stop subjecting myself to her abuse. It was hard at first because I believed I should be helping her because she is my mother. I finally realized that she resents everything I do for her. She is only abusive to me when we are alone together or on the phone. When anyone else is present, she is the sweet little old lady (87 years old). It is certainly OK to let go of toxic people. Move on with your life and enjoy it. I let go of a toxic friend many years ago - it was such a relief not to hear her negativity and sarcasm any longer. Now, when my mother says anything abusive to me, I hang up the phone. I told her in advance that if she starts being abusive I would hang up. I just say "You're being abusive. I'm hanging up now." She's usually still screaming as I hand up. I decided not to call her any more. She never calls me. BUT, two weeks ago, she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer which has spread to the point that there is nothing to be done medically. Her oncologist recommend hospice service immediately. Of course, she won't do that voluntarily. My brother, the golden-haired boy, is re-arranging his small home so that my mother can move in and he will take care of her. I have been calling her once a day to ask how she is doing and she's begun talking about the past, from before I was born and her childhood. I have had cancer treatments the past six months and am now in remission, but my mother never called to ask how I was doing. I didn't expect her to. Even during that hard time for me, she would be mean, nasty and abusive to me whenever I called her (which was not often). So, yes, removing toxic people from your life is the sane thing to do. I wish you the best.
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I do not understand all the shortcuts people are using in their conversations on here....is there a glossary or something available so I can understand what all the capped initials represent? Thank you.
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Here is an excellent article on just *how* to do this:

www.bottomlineinc.com/life/relationships/how-to-gracefully-end-a-bad-relationship-with-a-friend-loved-one-or-business-associate
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You kind of have to cut the toxic waste out of your life.That includes your husband if he wants to act that way. Don't feel bad about it either. Good luck
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Yes! OMG Yes. Cut the toxic people from your life, and don't look back. For the past 16 years, I have taken care of my declining parents - literally giving up everything else in my life (full-time employment, friends, romantic relationships) that would have given me financial & personal friendships and security in my own later years). My mother passed in April of 2018 of complications from Alzheimer's, and my father is currently struggling with dementia and a myriad of health problems. I have literally begged my two sisters for help over the years and no one ever had the time, and always added, "but you're so good with mom and dad". Yes I was, but it came at a cost I couldn't calculate until now. My older sister is now handicapped and is depending on me to give her the care in her/our elder years, just like I did with mom and dad. Too many times I feel hopeless and alone.

I wish you the very best.
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Sounds like the tail end of a really disfunctional family. I ended up NOT being too nice by being angry and have alienated a lot off family and friends over the years. But that was just another coping mechanism. What I did and lots of others besides me was go to CoDependants Anonymous, a 12-Step program. It's way cheaper than therapy (free), I've made a lot of friends who don't use me, taught me how to make boundaries and keep them. I spent 11 years taking care of my folks and when it was time to put Mummy in AS, I did and moved away (and let other sibs take over.) Most therapists are very supportive of CoDA. Ask yours. Now I can be "nice" (polite) without being angry and maintain my own boundaries without letting friends or family walk all over me.
Hoping 2019 is your breakthru year!
Betsey P.
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Keep seeing your therapist. Learn to set healthy boundaries. Be kind to yourself and your husband. Sue the "friend" who owes you $$ if she refuses to pay you back. Sierra Judgement Recovery helps people legally seize assets after a civil judgement is put in place in their favor. This way you can seize your friends assets and sell them if she "cannot" pay the judgement. ;-) I know how to set boundaries and believe me it helps. If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything. Hope this helps you find yourself again.
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I'm sitting here with the cold that has been knocking people out, right and left. Just a cold, with the accompanying hacking cough. DH really did want to do something for NY's which I always plan--and I was in bed all day, and probably will spend most of today there too.


Also--was up this am at 12:45 to "mark" the anniversary of the passing of my sweet dad. 15 years. Seems like yesterday. Miss him all the time, but I feel his presence a lot--it isn't a 'sad hurt'.

This time of year--well we DO feel inclined to think we need to revamp our lives from a-z...and really, nothing changes except my medical co-pays start up again and it's really cold here. I do get organized every year, start fresh with notebooks, etc where I keep track of finances, investments, health information and now a new folder that is ideas for the 'retirement' home we'll be remodeling/planning on for next year.

I'm probably looking down the barrel of a fairly complex foot surgery, but this is necessary as I broke my foot 15 months ago and didn't deal with it. Yup, been walking on a busted foot for 15 months b/c I wouldn't take the time to really find out what was wrong with it.

That--my friends--was part of the tipping scale for me. Along with the leeching friend, the holidays in general, MIL's blowout and my kids lack of "gratitude" for the Christmas I gave them--sheesh, I gave up. (In fairness to the kids, they are all well off and needed nothing and I gave them all something they didn't like nor need--I also decided that this year (2019) they will get an honor card from my favorite charity. This year the grands will get ONE gift and their usual stocking stuffers.) I'm already planning Christmas and it's 51 weeks away :)

I have NEVER EVER EVER put myself first. NEVER. I am working on this in therapy and I tell you, it's slooooooow going. It's like I am changing my core being.

Of course I will still step in and step up when needed. But at MY choice and decision and NEVER again in the manner I used to.

I am sad/glad that I let my hair down for a minute and wrote this post. I think a lot of us need the "permission" to not be perfect.

Truth is, we are still doing a heck of a lot for others, right? And that's OK as long as we're not expecting any reward or thanks-that's it's truly and simply service--and not enabling.

Good luck to all of us!
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Just one note on that. When others feel that financial assistance has always come from someone and then they get cut off be aware of them “need for Money” makes people do “CRAZY” things.
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I’m afraid you are not alone. When doing what we think is the right and kind action causes us to have the life sucked out of us, we need to stand back, reaccess, heal ourselves (no one else will heal us), and yet not lose the part of us that make us the kind generous persons we are.

Hubby and I discovered we had put ourselves into a similar situation. We were out of town and away from the folks we were helping when we realized how depleted we were. The hard part is not wanting to become mean, needy, uncaring, etc. while drawing the necessary lines dealing with folks in need of our support.

take care of yourself
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This one strikes a chord with me -- there's an adult (age 62) stepson who's been taking advantage of his father and me financially throughout our 32-year marriage. His father has always told me he loves his on, but doesn't like him -- so he's compensated by throwing money at him. I, personally, neither love nor like him; and having reached the age where conservation of our resources is imminently prudent, we've "closed the bank." My husband, age 82, suffers from dementia, which makes me the "enforcer," something his son doesn't want to acknowledge or accept. Wish I could get this "toxic" person outta my life, but gotta face the fact that it ain't gonna happen, so just trying my best to stay civil and keep contact to a bare minimum. Being stuck in the middle is a tough situation, especially since I cannot voice my distaste to my husband.

So I empathize and sympathize with what you're facing.
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Yes I understand what you mean because I have people in my life who say untrue things about me and they are the people that Ive always made welcome and cared for them in any bad times. Its best to cut these folk out of our lives because we are sensative. It can make us ill getting involved with them. Dont feel guilty about it.
They will be the loosers!
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I am so sorry you've had to deal with this! Unbelievable. I have a friend who felt taken for granted by others to the extent that she wont help anyone else either. I haven't had it that bad myself but I have had times where I need to strengthen my external Bell jar andjust detach myself from toxic people like that. It's hard when they are colleagues or family but it can be done. Getting a bit older helps me detach from them and be more selfish. I'm not making resolutions so much as working on 'intentions' trying to stay away form toxicity of any kind. I hope that 2019 is much kinder to you!
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You're life sounds a bit like mine! I spend most of it helping others, bending backwards to make sure everyone was happy. Working two jobs to pay for the things that was suppose to be handled by the man of the house, but he was too busy drinking and partying. I loved my father but he was a wreck and he died in a wreck. I still miss him.

Now everyone has moved on, my husband broke my heart and moved in with his rich mother, and his just happy go lucky man living in the mountains and acts as if nothing ever happened, and we were married for 10 years. I'm heart broken and disappointed in people!

Now, I'm left to raise my 8 year old gran-daughter, because my daughter decided it was ok to have a baby out of wedlock and the father is no where to be found and she hasn't grown up yet. hmmmm?? And my 86 year old mother, who was dropped off at my house because none of my brother's wanted to take responsibility and help out even though my plate was already full. They rather party, travel and spend, spend and spend money like there's no tomorrow.

My mother's health has declined just in the last few days due to dementia. She now poops in trash cans and urinates on the floor even with a diaper on. I went to bed last night at 4 am and it wasn't a new years eve party, but cleaning poop and urine off the floor. I'm starting to feel burned out and depressed. I have no one to talk to.

And to top it off, right at this very moment, I'm couphing my brains out with an upper respiratory infection and flu like symptoms from the heavy chem trails spraying we got 2 weeks ago. No sun, all rain and no fun here in GA.
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Midkid, Yes. I feel I have been giving more than reasonable. I got through my Mom's long, difficult demise with some PTS but did not bother anyone for anything. During that time I has a toxic relationship with MIL and SIL. I also lost sight in one eye from a spontaneous retinal detachment while I was alone caring for my completely bedridden mom with multiple health issues. No one offered to even bring me a bag of McDonald's. After my mom died, I had 2 friends that I need to lose. Friend #1 is a perpetual sad sack loser who constantly asks for favors, but can't help anyone else because she is always whining about some problems which she usually brings on herself. Her siblings had to take her mom out of her own house because she failed at taking care of her though living there free. The house is full of junk and never gets cleaned because of this or that excuse. She is even snarky and jealous with comments.
The other Friend #2 cared for her mom by hiring help to come into her mom's house 24/7 round the clock while she built her dream house across the country. Once in that dream house I got looks of disgust at my home when she visited. My home was spotless and well decorated, but needed updating. The bragging from this "friend" about her "living in the best place on Earth and everyone else's home and town is cr*% has created anger issues in me. What have I worked for my whole life if all is bad?! So yes, I understand where you are coming from and need to try myself to cut the cords! I wish you strength in the New Year!
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Timely post, as I needed reminding as to why I removed quite a few toxic people from my life last year. Unfortunately for my spineless husband, doing so left him to deal with his NPD mother & sisters by himself. Midkid, my DH is the same — he won’t defend me until I have already made such a huge stink about how I have been mistreated. Too little too late. I set my boundaries, and they appear to be the same as your boundaries. By doing so, it helps our DHs to set their own as well. I feel so liberated and you will, too.
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Mid, There’s a big difference between being “nice” and being a doormat...you have allowed people like your “friend “ and MIL to not only take advantage of you, but abuse you, too. You have every right to take this so-called “friend “ to small claims court. Judge Judy HATES squatters & she will side with you. MIL does not deserve another visit from you. She lost the privilege of your visits. Tell husband to put his big boy pants on. It’s his mother...you don’t have to be abused anymore.

I take a lot of abuse from my mother, but she has dementia & don’t remember what she said 5 minutes later. She is 91 1/2 & I take care of her at home along with paid private caregiver. I do the best I can. She was a very good mother & always did for everyone else. I miss my “real” mother terribly. It’s an insidious disease. This morning I came over to her & asked her to take a drink...& she said that it’s poison.

Its a a new year. Only we can make changes if we want to.
Hugs🤗
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Yes..and just for a little laugh...one day I got a fortune cookie, and inside it said "You are an Angel, beware of those who collect feathers". I knew exactly what it meant, and had to laugh...thinking about the people in my life that "collect feathers". there have been some "Toxic" people in our life...namely my dear father's brother....we are very happy to have gotten rid of him...whatever you need to do to get rid of the Toxic...you go for it, girl. :)
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