I’ve made the decision to leave my mother a care giver. It seems that everything I do and I’m literally with her 24/7 nothing is good enough. I only take a 2-3 hour break in the afternoon to myself everyday and she is still furious with me! Mind you during that break I take about 30 min to myself and the rest is getting her groceries or whatever else she needs. I would rather be broke living on friends couches now than in the current situation I’m in with her. I love her I would give up my own life for her still but this current situation is just toxic and I’m at the end of my rope on what more I can do. I don’t want to yell at her and trying to talk reasonably is impossible so I’m just done and out of answers!! If anyone on here has experienced this same feeing PLEASE let me know what you did. Because I don’t want to leave her but I don’t see any other way!

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That's a good question, Suszy. The last part is easiest - I don't think in most cases my mother understood that I was setting a boundary with her - she probably just thought I was being difficult. That was her way of thinking.

I stopped doing certain things that made me particularly resentful. Like cooking for her every night. I resented my local siblings not sharing that responsibility and I resented my mother sitting on her tuffet expecting to be served. I hated waiting on her hand and foot. Eventually I did tell her that right out. I also told her that if she reached the point where she couldn't feed herself we'd be looking at a nursing home. (In her last few weeks she did need to be hand-fed, and I did it gladly, grateful to be able to do anything to make her feel a little better).

The boundaries have to be internal, at least at first. Then when you encounter an unreasonable demand, your internal workings will say "Hell, no" instead of just "Grrrr, what a pain." For example, when she was in home hospice at the end, she wanted me to move her living room furniture so that her hospice workers would have to sit across the room from her instead of up close. I just flat out refused, and told her it was a dumb idea. It's their job to be up close to her, after all, and I didn't want to have to shout across the room when I was there, either (her hearing was very bad).

She was so pissed, she threw me out of her house (verbally, that is). But then, when I came by in the next few days to take her shopping, she'd forgotten all about it. Or she pretended to, because she needed me to take her shopping. That's how it went. I grew a spine the last few years, and it saved my sanity. And the sky did not fall down, and my relationship with my mother was not destroyed. It worked for me.
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My mother went through a phase where I and my BF could do nothing right. I am talking about even the smallest thing like locking the doors correctly or washing a pan. Didn't matter what it was we (BF and I) were wrong in her eyes.

So, how did I handle it? I did a few different things.
1) I talked and cried to God all the time. I listen to sermons and went to Bible study.
2) I put myself in time-out even if it was 5 mins and sometimes an hour.
3) Self-talk, told myself that God loves me. This is not my real mother (have no idea if this was true or not). Told myself that my life will get better and this will pass. Basically, I told myself whatever I needed at the time.
4) Lost myself in reading books, movies and most importantly music. Did you know you can change your mood just by listening to music?
5) I like to write, so I also did that.
6) Went into therapy.
7) Most importantly, I detach myself from her emotionally. I reminded myself "this is her problem not mind." Just because she feels the way she (my mother) does doesn't make it true!

You don't have to do all of these things, but I would learn to detach. This might be easier said than done. For me, I have always worked with the public so putting up emotional walls around myself has become second nature.
And find a therapist to help you. You need to learn that you are worth more than what you think/feel.

At the time, I had not come across this forum, I wish that I had it would have helped a lot. So, come here to vent, rant or whatever it is you need. There are some very knowledgeable and caring people here and for some reason it really helps just knowing you are not alone.

Remember sometimes we have to walk away from people that we love because we have to save ourselves! You know you matter and your life counts too?!

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Ask her doctor to medicate her. Record her if you must.

I just don't know what you can do, but remove yourself from this toxic environment. I support your plan to leave. Before you don't love her anymore.
Caregivers who have had burnout, then success with a difficult parent have returned the relationship to daughter, and gave up the caregiver role.

I realize this does not address all the issues, sorry. It ill take a huge, big heart to do the right thing-for yourself.
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She is lucky to have you. Earplugs? Respite care? You need your own life too. Burnout is real. Hire part time care giver or move her to a care facility. We all have limitations. Doubt you can make her behave herself.
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What worked for me when my mother was being unreasonable was to walk away and give both of us a chance to cool off. I don't know if my situation was like yours, though. My mother realized that she needed me, and was always very happy to see me when I returned.

One thing about caring for an elder - the landscape is constantly changing. There's always something new popping up. So it was easy to leave the argument behind and move on to the next thing.

It sounds like you live with your mother. I did not. She would have driven me crazy. I needed to have my own space. That gave me some power, too. I could always just go back home if things were too turbulent.

Another thing I did was I spent my first several years of caregiving in therapy learning how to set boundaries with my mother. It really helped me a lot. I recommend it to you as a resource for figuring all this out.

I feel for you. Nobody deserves to be upset and agitated all the time, especially when you're only there to help.
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Suszy666 Jul 2019
You said you set boundaries. What boundaries did you set and did your Mum know what lease boundaries were or was it something you set in your mind?
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