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Approx. 3 years ago I had my mother move from another state to reside with me as she is getting older. She is 77 and takes care of herself, but again, lives with me. The reason I asked her to come live with me is she lost everything financially and wouldn't get help form the state where she previously lived.. She stated many times that she was going to commit suicide. It was just a plea for attention.
At that point I called my older sister and brother for help in what we can do for mom. There was not much help or talking with them because they cant handle her.

I am dealing with a woman who has been given everything. Never really had a job and has been doing photography for 20 + years. This is what makes her happy. And good for her!
I recently purchased a house and told her it was going to be our home. In the interim a boyfriend moved in. Yes, the 3 of us. We all respect each others space and quiet time.


She is driving me insane though. She knows how to push my buttons. I am calm and at times and I get very angry when she is continuously snide. She doesn't want me doing any renovations, such as counter tops in the kitchen because one day she would be cold and I told her to put on a fur coat to keep warm on the one day the toxicity would be strong in the home from the sealer, since I would have the windows open in the home because it gets her off focus from her work(photography) and doesn't want to get sick in the beginning of October.


I painted the house a "white" on the inside and didin't ask her opinion on the color prior to doing it and she was not happy. She didn't want her room painted, so I didn't. Then she would make snide remarks such as the white color is so sterile. Now she wants her room all white!
If I want to redo the counter tops in the kitchen, I have to wait until Spring or summer.


She continuously is unhappy that we are home when we are not at work because we interrupt her doing her photography because it is just to distracting for us to be in the kitchen cooking (although she has her own studio to work in) or gets distracted because the washing machine and dryer are continuously going because we work and wear our clothing and wash it.


These are just a few examples. How can I not allow her to get to me emotionally?


Signed,
Distressed Daughter

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It's your house. And you have every right to tell your mother that her photography space is not your kitchen, that your kitchen is for cooking and eating, and that you want her to be happy wherever she lives. Perhaps it's time to find her an apartment. The only way to not let her get to you emotionally is to put some distance between you. Whether that distance means that she spends more time in her bedroom and photography studio or gets a place of her own is the question.

You say she's not well off financially. There are many old people with big homes and empty nests who rent out rooms to people like your mother. It's like a real life Golden Girls. That may be a good place to start because it's much more affordable and she will be around other women her own age.
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DistrsdDaughter, when I read just the title of this thread I answered in my head, "From a distance." Even though she lives with you there may be some merit in distancing yourself, especially when she is snide and disrespectful. "You don't seem to be in a good mood, Mother. I think we can talk later." And leave the room. "I'm sorry that the washing machine disturbs you. Perhaps you would be happier in your own apartment. I could help you apply for subsidized housing. Now I've got to run another load of laundry, but we could talk about this later."

I also think you deserve some therapy. You've lived with a mother who threatens suicide to get her way. That is very, very hard to cope with. An objective, trained outsider could help you cope.
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My mother is snide too. She's snide even when I'm helping her and she's relying on my help. I almost think that's why she's snide. Your mother is in the position of having been bailed out of a serious fix by her very generous daughter, being provided her own room and studio in a home you bought for her and you to share. It sounds like she doesn't want to acknowledge the position she's in. She wants to call the shots as though this were her house and hers alone, like she's doing you a favor letting you live there. My mother acts the same way, and at the most inappropriate times. Like, she picked a fight with me on Christmas Day last year when I drove to her house to cook Christmas dinner for her. She'd have been sitting home by herself with no dinner on Christmas Day if I hadn't done that, and I think she just didn't want to accept that I was doing her a huge kindness. Some people just don't want to acknowledge that they are in need of help and kindness, because it would puncture their narcissistic beliefs about themselves. I don't know what to tell you, except that I personally would not choose to live with someone like that. It bites, though. I feel for you.
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I have found that you cannot change how another chooses to act. You can only change how you let it impact you and your reaction. If you want to continue to live together, you could try reacting in a different way... Sometimes by doing this, the other person will change... Acknowledge her preference, share yours and smile and move on. Don't let it frustrate you (yes I know easier said than done). Keep working at it... Always turn it back to a positive attitude..."white makes me feel happy and clean... What color would you like for your room and studio?"
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Did she contribute anything to the down payment of the house? Does she pay anything like the electric bill? If she hasn't or doesn't, you have some options. Lay it on the table for her. Her choices are if she doesn't how things are done, she can move out, pay something towards the up keep of the house but the fact remains that her bad attitude stops no matter what. If she starts with the attitude when you lay it out, tell her that snide remarks are only done by those who are pathetic, the high school behavior is not wanted in the house.
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