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I helped my mom move closer, because she had no family close. She was 65. I about killed myself doing everything with her... Shopping...I included her in all my activities, shopping, errands and time spent with friends. I offered to go with her to activities that may be of interest to her, to help her make friends of her own, but she refuses. She makes comments guilting me about visiting her....like.... Telling me she has been a shut in?! I have distanced myself from her because I no longer enjoy being around her. I feel guilted in to spending time with her. I call everyday... I try to get her out once a week. I can tell she would love for me to come over all the time and she would be happy tagging along with me and my friends, but that is not fun for me. I have always volunteered for different charities.... I feel like she wants me to give up everything and just take care of her. I also have a family of my own... A twelve year old daughter....my husband works out of the country. I am responsible for all the parenting, bills, home, yard...... And my now 70 year old mother. Yes in 5 years she has sat in her home doing nothing. It drives me crazy.... I have friends her age, who act so young??! I mentally drained... I tell myself it is her choice to sit by herself and I should not feel guilty.... Still she makes me feel that way. I am a good daughter.... I can't be responsible for her happiness..... I feel bad when I think of her now... I can't even talk to her Or be honest with her. Feels good just to write about my situation...... Any advice

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I think you are right on :-) thanks
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You gotta understand your mom made a deal - she would sacrifice and caregive and have no life of her own to speak of, and then someday it would be her turn to have someone take care of her. She is not joking about it when she say that! The idea of being waited on hand and foot is appealing, and now she feels entitled. What people do not realize is that just sitting around being taken care of is actually confining and depressing as h3ll.

So, sing this out loud, to your mom, without her there of course:

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need!

Most of us do not get what we think we want, thank God. And talk to the other family preemptively about the whole thing. Just think - a whole conspiracy to deny mom what she thinks she needs, and get her back into living a little while she still can.
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You are right.. She is nervous about driving in a bigger city and I know that.... Both quilt places, I tried to get her to socialize at are SO unbelievably close! One is a quilt shop. They have a sit and sew every week. She can drive there to buy something.... She doesn't want the social part. My alcoholic father was her life, before my Grandmother... Now she wants it to be me. I can't be that for her. I really do appreciate the feedback and advice.
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Goingnuts, another thought, I wonder if your Mom isn't comfortable driving in a new city. That can be scary to someone who always depended upon others, and being a caregiver for her own Mother took away a lot of free time for her so she just gave up trying to have a life of her own.

That has happened to me in a way, except for my volunteer work, and my office is less than a mile from my home. I don't want to bother with new things. I hate driving now because my parents were so dependent upon me to drive them everywhere for 7 years. My friends gave up on me because I didn't have time for them. It's hard to put one's big toe back into the water.
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Thanks to everyone who wrote to me.... All your words have meant so much! Blannie... I took your advice and I signed up for meetup myself. I found a perfect group of seniors that like to occasionally done out right in our area. They just formed the group. This would be so great for my Mom... If she joins??? Which is doubtful....fingers crossed. I did find an art group that meets once a month for myself! I am really excited about being a part of it! Art is one of my passions..., thanks again to you all!
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going - I wonder if you mum is developing some dementia or depression. It sounds like a worsening of behaviour and an evaluation may pick up something that can be treated. You must maintain your boundaries and your life. You cannot be everything to someone else and -definitely you are not responsible for her happiness. You have a big responsibility with your home and daughter and they have to come first. Please work on letting go of the guilt. I know it isn't easy but honestly you have done nothing to feel guilty about. My mother bad mouthed me to others too, I finally learned to let it roll off my back and trust that they could figure out what was happening and if not then they had a problem too. You can't change her - you can only change yourself. Decide what you can and can't do, let her know, offer to help find alternatives, and stick to your guns. f she chooses to sit alone and feel lonely and ignored it is her choice and her problem -not yours and truly I would not listen to a lot of whining about it either. Take care of you and your family first. She is not entitled to your life.
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I have to say, just getting this off my chest feels really good....
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Thank you, I am not perfect, but I really try to consider my Moms feelings.... At the same time I am trying to protect my own. My Dad was abusive to my Mom and my sister and myself. She always put him first and enabled him to drink excessively. The abuse we suffered as kids, she blamed on us, for setting my dad off. I left home as soon as I was able, only to later find myself in the same sort of relationship. On my own away from everyone that I knew.... Family and friends. I read a lot about children of alcoholics.... I really took to heart all the information. I built my own life... A beautiful one. I have the best husband and a really strong, smart little girl. I have everything I could have veered wanted, and I am able to give back. I feel like I have it together. I know my Mom was codependent on my dad.... Maybe my grandmother and now she is trying latch on to me.... I know that it feels bad to me. My Mom comes across as the sweetest, kindest person ever..... And she can be... I just know she is telling other family members how terrible I am, that I don't come to visit her more, she is always the victim. Which certainly doesn't make this any easier...what do you do? I wish my Mom were more like you
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She worked at a quilt shop. She belonged to a quilt guild. I found a guild here that is easy for her to drive to. I also found a group of quilters that get together once a week just to sew. I offered to go with her to both until she felt comfortable. She says she doesn't want to do it. She has even got a little angry when I bring it up. She would go.... If I went all time as well... I know that. She wants to volunteer when it is my volunteer work. Nothing on her own. She refuses to do anything but go to a movie by herself. My mom took great care of my grandmother...until she passed. I feel like my Mom has given up... She wants to be the old lady and she is happy to have me take care of her.... She is always joking about how my family has to take care of her.... Which just frustrates me because, I feel it's what she really wants. I have encouraged and offered to help her get out and make friends her own age. She doesn't want any part of it. Thanks for the advice or any more you have to offer.
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I'll be 66 this fall and today I was out with the Sierra Club for Earth Day, cutting out buckthorn from one of our forest preserves. I started a MeetUp group to meet more single women over 50 who are liberal like me. Today I was with four other women from my group working hard and doing something for the environment. I have made some good friends from my group. I play pickleball several times a week and have made friends through that activity. I volunteer once a week with a non-profit and have met some wonderful people through that.

I am single without children, so I've had to make my own friends and find my own social circle. Your mom can do the same if she makes an effort. It does take work.

Your mom needs to make her own life and not depend on you for entertainment. It will only get worse if you let her be an emotional vampire. Encourage her, but don't get enmeshed with her and her emotional needs. Maybe she needs counseling? Has she always been like this? Have her check out meetupdotcom for groups in your area that she might be interested in. Join a library book club. Volunteer. But you already know all of that from your post. Let your mom find her own way. You sound like a loving daughter and she's lucky to have you!
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Goingnuts, the best advice I got from a therapist was that any decisions that my parents made, my parents had to take full responsibility for those decisions. The more I kept rolling that around in my head the easier it got.... but it wasn't easy at first. Yes, guilt big time.

What did your Mom do prior to moving closer to you? Did she work outside of the home? Do volunteer work? Does she wish she could have stayed in her previous location? Did she leave behind good friends, etc? It's not easy to make new friends in a new location unless she can be around others of her own generation.

Does Mom drive? Get her interested in doing volunteer work. I am your Mom's age, I do volunteer work every Saturday morning at the local regional hospital. Love it :)
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