as an R.n elderly specialist I thought it would be easy, mother bosses, is irrational, wants to go every place I go, no privacy,argues, refuses to let me make any decisions, very combative, never had a patient like her in 25 yrs

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Ah ha! So many times I have read suggestions from "elder pros" on what to do with mama and I can't make their ideas work. At first I felt like a failure at caregiving. Then I turned into a cynic about professional advice.

Frazzled, you are antecdotal evidence that there is a huge difference between what professionals can do and what daughters can do for an elderly parent. As Caring4 points out most of us on this site are trying to cope with difficult parents.

I am learning that while my mother is a nag and a bore, my difficulties have a lot to do with what's inside me. There are oh so many triggers from my childhood established when my relationship with my mother was young and tender and she had all the power.

Now I spend a lot of time finding and avoiding those triggers. But they are like hidden landmines and sometimes I trip one and it disables me for a while. It's hard to be psychologically disabled and responsible for an old person at the same time.
My mother "feels" my lack of control and acts out. She senses that I'm failing in my duties to protect her and she panics and tries to take charge.

Dealing with someone who raised you and for the majority of your life played an authoritative role makes your situation very difficult - every person caring for a senior parent faces this difficulty. That is why we landed on this site and keep coming back. Sometimes just typing your feelings, concerns, and thoughts helps. Sometimes reading about another person facing the same challenges give us comfort that we're not doing it wrong. Some suggestions: (1) Try to turn off history and treat mom as a patient so you can draw on your training and skills, not emotion. Easier said then done, but worth a try. (2) Remember that you HAVE TO make time for yourself and you SHOULD NOT feel guilty about doing so. Keep yourself healthy - physically and mentally - so that you can continue to provide the great level of care that you are.

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