Help caring for father and "challenging mother"?

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Hi, I am in my forties and both of my parents are in their seventies. My father has been ill since the beginning of October with MRSA, perforated bowel, hernias , and blood clots. I have lived at home with them for many years and have been there to help them with these recent health problems since October. They have always had a pretty rocky marriage but stuck together and my mother can be quite difficult at times, behavior wise-ask any family member or relative. She does help take good care for my father, though it does come laced with emotional outbursts. She gets the job done but she just drains you with all of her emotional baggage. I feel pressure mounting on me with trying to hold down a demanding teaching job . A nice townhouse, 2.5 miles away has opened up for the end of the winter time frame and I am considering taking it but I am feeling some guilt about leaving while he is ill. My mother is a pretty good manipulator and will make me feel terrible about leaving. I have a minor health issue myself. Two siblings are farther away. Any advice?

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Take the townhouse.

You will feel guilty. Push that feeling to the background and go on with doing what you need to do.

Mom will push every guilt button she has invested decades in installing. She will be mad. Stay strong. Be polite, kind, and very firm. You are doing your thing for your reasons. You are entitled to do that.
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As they say, she won't like it. Do it anyway. Do it kindly. When she says mean things, express sympathy for her, but don't back down. She is old and pitiful now.

You are a TEACHER! You can get an entire class of individual egos to shut up and listen to you, however briefly. You can do this.

Suggested dialogue: I know you're upset about this. I will still be here, but I need to be able to go to my own space to sleep at night. You know how badly dad snores! (Insert jokes whenever possible.)

Maybe I am selfish. How sad for you to see that you have raised a selfish child.

We can hire someone to come in and clean and/or grocery shop and/or sit with Dad while you go out. If you don't like the person they send, we can get someone else. You don't want a stranger in the house? I understand, but I just can't do it all any more. I'm getting older too, you know!

She has an absolute right to hate your moving out, and to express her feelings. You have an absolute right to do what's best for you anyway. Be kind and gentle, and YOU can feel good about how you are behaving, no matter what she says. It won't be easy, but you can do it, and you'll be glad you did.
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The townhouse sounds like just the thing. Go for it, Gummy!
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Move out and don't look back. Your don't owe your parents your entire life. You and your siblings need to discuss how your parents will be taken care of in their old age. That should NOT include you sacrificing your life in order to take care of them. Hopefully your parents have some longterm care insurance or enough money to pay for their own care. If not, there is always medicaid. Remember your parents knew they would get old and if they didn't plan for that, it is their own fault and they will have to live with the results. You, on the other hand, have not had the opportunity to have a life of your own and you are some 22 years past due for you to move out and begin your life. So move out now, no matter what your parents say. You are doing the right thing.
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Don't let the guilt stop you from looking after yourself. You have a "heavy" job, and need time to yourself and space from the emotional baggage. My experience with a manipulative mother is that that is hard enough to get living separately, but virtually impossible to get living under the same roof. The demands from your parents will only increase. Your mum sounds like she may have a personality disorder - manipulation and emotional outbursts - and that she is narcissistic. Google the phrase daughtersofnarcissisiticmothers and you will find lots of helpful information, Drawing and maintaining boundaries is essential when in relationship with someone like your mum. Build your own life outside of your parents. You deserve and need that.

She will likely oppose it strongly, as you will be moving out of her sphere of control. Do it anyway. What countrymouse has said is true. People use FOG - fear, obligation and guilt to manipulate others. Don't let them.

Come back and let us know how you are doing. ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))
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2.5 miles is nothing; it won't stop you being able to provide your parents with plenty of support when they really need it. If you like the house and would want to move there anyway, if circumstances were different, then go ahead and take it. You need that small-but-important separation - and, ironically enough, the more complaints you hear from your mother about it, the more confirmation you'll have that it's the right thing to do.
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It's time for you to have your own life. You're in your 40s and you'll be close enough that you can help out when needed, but you can have your own place to retreat to when it gets too rocky between mom and dad. You can be a loving child and not live with them. That's my 2 cents anyway.
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