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I set boundaries and the claws come out. I’m tired, very tired. I have to deal with payback from my mother for setting boundaries.


Last night I hear her call my younger brother. Today she calls my older brother, all to trash me! Sickening!


She knows they will take her side and then it’s three against one. I can’t win! She stirs the pot! Doesn’t fight fair.


Involves them in my business that doesn’t concern them. I told her she needs to think about what she did and should feel bad about it and she says, “They are family and I want to speak to them.” Yeah, right! That’s fine but I don’t speak to them about her and she shouldn’t speak to them about me!


They do nothing while I wipe her a**, bathe her from head to toe, change soiled sheets, cook and clean, empty bedside commode, etc. I take her to doctor appointments. I do everything! They get respect and I don’t! I must be the biggest idiot on the face of the earth!


Boundary setting doesn’t work all the time! She has a mean streak when she wants to show it. I sacrifice so much for her and this is how she repays me.


Just need to vent. I think I am losing it. I really do. I can’t have a logical conversation with her anymore. She wants to blame me for everything! I need a break so badly.


This is what scares me. I want her out of my house. I wish she had never moved in. It added an enormous amount of stress in our lives.


If I find a place for her to live I don’t know if I could even visit right now because I am so upset. What the hell is happening to me? I am my mother’s biggest advocate. Why am I feeling this way? I don’t know what to think about her or myself. Too much togetherness for way too long. It just isn’t healthy. I’m so empty that I can’t even cry. Is that bad?


Also, is it bad not to eat? So hard to eat. I get nauseous if I try so why bother, right? I cook for my husband and mom. I get sick to my stomach just smelling the food. Is that normal? I drink coffee and diluted juice, water with a splash of juice. My clothes are baggy. Who cares...Where do I go? My house is a prison. What does it matter if I lose weight and have baggy clothes?

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"I feel awful so I will wait until I feel better."

Actually, a therapist can help you the most when you contact them with your feelings flaming. Please don't wait until you feel better for that could take a while. Go ahead, and make contact soon.
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Thanks Shell and Yoda,

You are both wise.

I feel so crappy today. I have not been sick with a cold in years! I woke up with a headache. It feels like it’s more than my allergies. I hope I can find the energy to deal with mom. My husband ran an errand and I am alone. I hope mom falls asleep in her recliner so I can nap in a bit. When hubby gets home I will ask him to make me some hot tea with honey because my throat feels scratchy.

Yoda,

I see where you responded with me about calling my therapist, not cmagnum. Don’t mind me, I get tired and misread it, thinking it was another poster. I should get in touch with my therapist again soon. I feel awful so I will wait until I feel better. This is so weird. I swear I have not had a cold in years. Grrrrrr.
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Yoda - love your screen name. It serves as a good advice, too, wise Yoda.
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NeedHelpWithMom,

Sounds like you have a goal that is much larger than your situation that can help fuel your progress.

I've decided to change my name to No Try Do Yoda. That is something from Star Wars that Yoda said, No Try, Do.

Take care of yourself and you continue to walk toward your goal in dealing with this situation.
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NHWM,

I so feel your pain. It amazes me how much you and I are alike. I was once accomplish and confident, but over the years I have lost myself. It is scary when you look in the mirror and don't recognize yourself anymore. Its as if time stole pieces of you little by little and by the time you figured it out--your gone! And like you, I felt and still do that I have let my partner of 17 yrs down. When he met me I was working with goals and full of confidence. And very out going...now not so much!

One day,I just couldn't stop crying and when he asked what was wrong I told him that I felt that I let him down and this isn't what he signed up for. You know what he said, "I love you no matter what and life happens. You may never be that woman again, but be transformed into someone better, but no matter what happens he is in it for the long haul. Ride & die together!" I felt better insteadly! Maybe try to talk to your hubby how you feel. Let him help you!

And go back to therapy it does help. I go every two weeks now. Sometimes we just can't see ourselves or our situation clearly and we need someone to guide us out of the black hole that we find ourselves in. I can always help others, but can't seem to do it for myself. Its funny how that works! As my dear dad would say, "this to shall pass, you just need to tie a knot in your rope and hold on." You have a lot of people here who care about you and believe it or not the world would not be the same without you.

Hugs!!!💗
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Cmagnum,

Thanks for the encouragement. You are kind.

You know, I sometimes think back to when I first met my husband. He was very handsome! He still is. He’s Italian and had gorgeous black hair and dark eyes.

He was an engineering student at Tulane University. He was a bartender at one of our local bars while in school.

The first thing I noticed about him was his confidence. I found that so attractive. He was confident but not arrogant.

I ordered a drink and he asked me out for the next weekend. I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I had ended a relationship with someone previously because I wasn’t ready for a commitment.

I was enjoying my time being unattached. I casually dated but hadn’t been seriously involved with anyone for about a year or so.

We dated. I didn’t expect to fall in love so quickly. He taught me to believe in myself. Now I look at myself and wonder what happened to that young woman who gained confidence, went on to fulfill dreams and had this incredible man by her side.

I feel like I have disappointed him and myself. It hurts. My husband brought out the best in me and now I hardly recognize myself. These things happen gradually. How did it get this far though?

My husband has looked at me before and said that he wants the woman he married back in his life. You know what? I don’t blame him. I want to be that woman too.

I knew why I fell in love with him. I wasn’t sure why he fell in love with me. I was carefree. He was serious. I was easily distracted. He was focused. I was comfortable being in a large group of people. He was quiet and only hung out with a couple of people. I suppose in our case, opposites did attract.

After over forty years of marriage I still anticipate seeing him walk through the door after work each day.

I worry that he will tire of coming home to a wife and mother in law. He has been supportive but does not like the changes he has seen in me.
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NeedHelpWithMom,

Yes you can and I hope you will. I think you said it was his cell phone number? It may be too late tonight, but you could call him tomorrow since he did give you such an open invitation to call when you needed help that I would imagine that he would not mind a call on Labor Day Monday. I wish you the best! Please keep coming back.
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Cmagnum,

I have his number because he asked for my phone and put his phone number in himself.

It’s been awhile since our last appointment. He was patient with me. At first I had trouble describing my feelings. He helped me focus. He taught me breathing exercises. I had trouble processing what he was saying at that time though. He is near my age, slightly older, so I felt he understood my personality.

I guess I could call. Maybe I should. He was kind. I hope I could do better this time around.
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I did enjoy time with my daughters this Saturday. I was so glad they were able to visit. I don’t get to have outings with them as much as I would like to.

We went to my favorite coffee house. I got a coffee and even treated myself to a brownie. We sat outside. I really enjoyed that. I get so sick of feeling trapped inside. There is only so much cleaning that can be done, cooking, etc. I guess I use cleaning to take my mind off of things. I can’t watch tv all day. I do read. But I need some physical activity because I used to be extremely active. I was never used to sitting still. That is something I never really adjusted to and it threw me into depression.

I told my daughters I wanted to go for a walk. We did and it was so nice. Just seeing other people out and about. Seeing people walking their dogs, normal life, the life I once had, even looking in store windows, hearing conversations and laughter, I needed that.
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NeedHelpWithMom,

If you somehow still have his number call him. I've had people work with me like that. Please don't lock zone out for you are so close to the goal. .
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Barb,

I haven’t gone back to my therapist. I appreciated his help. I did stay in therapy for a few months. I couldn’t get a handle my anxiety or depression at that time. I didn’t have a handle on the guilt that I was feeling concerning mom. I know my therapist was puzzled by my reactions. He felt I was shortchanging myself. my husband and daughters.

He explained to me that I had to accept that my personality and outlook was very different from my mom and felt it was in my best interest for us to separate. I wasn’t sure how to go about doing that and I left therapy.

I was surprised when he told me that he felt that I wasn’t ready to stop therapy and he gave me his personal cell number to call him at any time I felt I needed help. I didn’t call. I didn’t expect that. I thought it would be a clean break and I never expected him to take that personal of an interest. It took me aback when he made a comment of being concerned that I was headed for trouble. I suppose he was right. He was after all on the outside looking in with objective eyes.

I don’t know. Maybe growing up with a perfectionist mother made it harder for me to accept what I perceive as criticism when it is only someone offering viable solutions to my situation.

I tend to zone out if things get too hard or maybe it could be called giving up. Deep down though I do want change. I am crippled by my fear. I realize that. Frustrated by not being in control. Last week I screamed at mom telling her not to treat me like a child, that I am almost 64 years old and then a second later feeling awful and full of guilt for screaming at an old woman who is my mother. It’s horrible to have conflicting feelings about my mom because in spite of it all I do love her.

Plus she always comes back with she would never have spoken to her mom like I do with her. She got mad when I said grandma didn’t treat her like she does me. Grandma was different. I was very close to my grandma. She believed women should be treated equally to men. I used to love when she played early jazz music and tell me about the ‘roaring 20’s’, women voting, hair bobbed and hemlines shortened. My grandma was adorable! She was loving but wasn’t a pushover by any means.

I guess I couldn’t accept when my therapist asked me to face the fact that my mom was a burden. I couldn’t do it then. I do know he was right. She has been a burden. I am sacrificing my life for her. That is too big of a price to pay. That is unhealthy caregiving.
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NHWM, have you gone back to the therapist who told you that you need to stand up to your (entitled, demeaning, possibly narcissistic) mom?

You need someone with you in real time who can coach you when she pulls her "stuff".

You are a worthy human being. Not an unpaid servant.
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Shane,

Certain things can’t be prepaid for her burial. We have a family plot. There is a couple of thousand dollar fee to open the gravesite for burial. I called the cemetery and they do not allow prepayment for that service.

Mom never wanted cremation. Daddy had the big wake at the funeral home, mass said, escort in limousine to cemetery, all that stuff. I thought mom wanted the same. Maybe she does but decided to be cremated for less money and so forth. Not sure if that can be prepaid or not, not with a crematorium that serves us. I checked but maybe it can be prepaid with a funeral home. I’ll have to look into it.

I have been focusing on getting the vets aid and assistance finished. That is taking awhile because of us not having records because of losing everything In Katrina. I feel like everything is going in slow motion at times. It will get done. Not as fast as I would like but I am getting there.
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You’re right, Barb

I know that would relieve me of a good bit of my frustration, depression and anxiety.

It isn’t free for us to live. We have always paid our own way. Mom never worked. Daddy always provided for her and I think she expected us to pick up where he left off. It has made a difference in our lives emotionally and financially.

Changes are in order and quite frankly are overdue.
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"I did suggest spending her money to her for help. She responded by saying she wants my brothers to have a little help or boost after she dies. Infuriated me. They have never managed their money well. She continues to feel sorry for them."

You "suggested"?

I suggest that you present your mother a bill for rent and caregiving services, starting today, September 1, 2019. Figure out what her share of the rent, utilities, etc., are, for your home. Figure out minimum wage, at least, for the hours that you need to be available to her (meaning that you can no longer work, volunteer or otherwise engage in activities that you LIKE to do).

Your mother should be afforded the dignity of paying her own way. She doesn't want to depend upon your charity, does she?

If she doesn't "prefer" to pay for her room, board and care, then she needs to move in with your brother or go to AL, doesn't she?

This is not you "suggesting". This is your demand.

Tell her that slavery was abolished in 1863. I'm not kidding.

Being infuriated by the misogyny of your mother is not good for your mental or physical health. The fact that she doesn't think that women count is her problem, not yours.
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Gsc,

I hope things get better for you. Sadly, I am not alone. Too many of us in this mess with our parents. It has left me depressed and full of anxiety. Working on getting out of this mess. Going slowly though. Grrrr.

Thanks for encouraging me to eat. I eat enough to survive I guess, just not a lot. Sometimes I don’t eat because I feel like I will throw up. Nerves, I hate it.

I want to be able to relax and enjoy life one day. It’s been too long!
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Shane,

I know you’re right. I am working on getting funds through vets. Daddy did serve during WW11.

You know how that generation is, mom doesn’t like to easily let go of her money, save for a rainy day, due to being part of the depression era. What annoys me so is that she hands out money right and left to my brothers. I was always different. I never asked them for money. I did without or worked two jobs when needed. I also didn’t live above my means.

I did suggest spending her money to her for help. She responded by saying she wants my brothers to have a little help or boost after she dies. Infuriated me. They have never managed their money well. She continues to feel sorry for them.

I was the kid who visited often, weekly, brought my children to see grandparents often. My brothers only went when my served a big meal and so forth. They were always treated the best. I was looked at as the independent one. Just a weird relationship. Hard to explain fully.
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NHWM why won’t mother use her SS $ to fund caregivers for herself?

You’ve said she prefers you to hired CG’ers. That’s not fair to you.

Why do folks think it’s ok not to expect the person needing care to pay? Mother “sits” on her monthly checks while you struggle keeping your sanity?

If she has money saved, make sure you contact a funeral home and pre-pay her funeral if this hasn’t been done already so that will NOT be an unknown.

Otherwise if your mother is sharp as a tack with no dementia as you say then she should understand she is a guest in your home and care enough that her daughter (you) are well physically & emotionally. She can’t take her money with her. Sounds like she already has enough clothes that she pays for and doesn’t need anymore material things, so redirect her $ (with her permission) to hire home aides. She is the Queen of your home and you are her lady in waiting. This needs to be reversed.
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Gsc1964, a threat to kill is not to be taken lightly. That is grounds for calling 911 and having them taken to get a full psychological evaluation. As far as money goes, would he qualify for Medicaid or is he a Veteran who could draw benefits? He could go to a memory care place that takes Medicaid pending residents. His dementia, I'm sure the doctor has told you, is only going to get worse which reaches if it has not already reached where you can't take care of him 24/7. I'm glad you are getting some breaks, but I'd use some of that time looking into Medicaid for him to go to a memory care place as well as any Veteran's benefits.
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You're not alone! Get some help from your doctor, and also get some in home respite care for your mom, so that you can keep your sanity. A little over a year ago, I moved from Arizona to NC with my husband and my 86 y/o dad. My life was turned upside down. He had previously been in an assisted living home for the last 10 years. I would go once a week and visit him and do laundry. Now he lives with me. For the first time in my life, a doctor has put me on antidepressants. His dementia, incontinence, refusing to use his walker, moonlighting, etc. are driving me crazy! On top of that, he tells me to shut up, calls me names, and has threatened to kill me. I have talked to his son and daughter from a former marriage, about sharing the burden. They have said no. My brother's response was "throw him in a home". It's not that easy now.! He needs Memory Care, and it's $5k or more per month. He does not have that kind of income, and neither do we! Sorry, for my rant, but my advice is get help asap! I now have Home Instead come twice a week for 4 hours, and it has changed my outlook on life! Yes, you must eat, or you will get sick!
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Thanks, Mary.

I get to see my grand dog. He’s so cute but he is one of those dogs that doesn’t know he’s a dog! I just love him so much. I swear when he is snuggling in my lap I forget my troubles.

I connected with that pooch immediately, as soon as he entered my house after she adopted him. He’s a senior dog now. She got him when he was five years old.
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Becky,

Good idea to have someone look over everything. I like that. I think I will do that too. Just to make sure.
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Tiger,

I guess I have been overdoing the coffee. Bad habit, I suppose. When I get upset I just don’t feel like eating much. I nibble a little. I ate a few bites of hummus yesterday with carrots and a couple of triscut crackers. I love those.

My mom stresses me out with wanting everything just so. Maybe some of that is a bit contagious at times.
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NY,

Yeah. I am really stressing. I do want to try to relax a bit.
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Polar,

I know I have been stuck in a rut. I know I must confess to procrastinating. I am trying now though. Struggling a bit. Please keep me in your thoughts and send we good thoughts. Thanks.
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Shame,

I realize that I have had difficulty focusing recently. I’m just overwhelmed. Also, please understand this. I think part of this is feeling guilty about wondering how long mom will live. Does that make sense? Then I hate myself for having those thoughts.

I think mom is even sensing I feel like that because she said to me, “Well, it won’t go on forever. It will be soon enough.” She was talking about when she dies.

I didn’t hear a cruel tone when she said it and it kind of jolted me into realizing how I am behaving. It upset me so much that I didn’t know how to respond.

I like your suggestions and God knows I can benefit from what you are telling me to do. Thanks. I will try. I have to.
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Can’t your mother pay for aides to come in for a certain amount of hours weekly? She makes enough to contribute to that. Maybe paying for her own caregivers would help take the amount off her $1700 so her contribution won’t hurt your SS benefits?

I would ask your mother if she would consider hiring CG and truthfully let her know it’s too much on you. Ask your husband and kids to back you up.

14 years is enough. You deserve a life, as does your husband.

NHWM your thoughts are all over the place. I suggest you sit and make a list, set priorities, and proceed. Give yourself a time limit to complete your goal for the list .
Set REALISTIC goals - they don’t have to be lofty. For instance: today I will go online to retrieve ppwk like birth certificates and complete the process.
End of story. A goal you can complete in a timely manner.

Goal #2: everyday NHWM gets “me” time. 1 hour to yourself. Keep that goal. Work to make it happen.

Etcetera. I really don’t know how I would have reacted if I were on the phone on hold waiting to complete something for someone who was at that time squawking about needing wipes. I think I would have lost it.

I don’t think you even know how to look out for yourself after having her there 14 years. You’ve become secondary to everyone in YOUR home. Unacceptable. Enough is enough.

Its time, NHWM. Continue to gather resources but if all else fails have mother apply for Medicaid and find her a SNF. Louisiana or not.

Take baby steps, yes, but work up to speed to achieve the goal of 1. Paying for in home caregivers 2. Apply for Medicaid and then SNF.

I hope you enjoy your Saturday out and about with your daughter. The weather here in MD has been beautiful lately. It’s a lovely time of year.
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NHWM - I am encouraged to read that you're applying for Aid and Attendance, something concrete to help you help your mom. I was concerned that all the venting you do just served to pacify you temporarily and prevented you from taking steps toward change.

Please keep your eyes on the prize: FREE yourself from a life time of servitude.
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NHWM, Everything was mailed to me. I used the Dept of Vital Statistics in West Virginia. Had a Little trouble with her birth certificate. Everything had n official stamped seal. The county courthouse where she was born had flooded and a lot of records lost. But they found a doctor’s records and created her a birth certificate. It was pretty quick - under 10 days. I had dad’s official discharge. And I had an official copy of all his postings during his entire time in service., including WWII. When it was proved after about 2 months she got her first regular direct deposit and a check payable from the date she applied. Before I mailed everything in, I had a man at the local VFW look everything over to make sure I had it all in order.
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"I know I can come through this okay if I see that I can make this happen..."
"I have to make this happen..."

I agree with Tiger - "Your urge to complete every task sounds compulsive" and I think you've lost sight of what's really possible.
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