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Dear all
I have recently moved back to the USA, Florida, after 16 years living and working abroad as an Art teacher in an International School in London. I am a 56 year old independent woman who has lived away for many years. Before London I was in Caracas Venezuela for 15 years. I always visited my mother during the summer and winter school holidays. Having said that I am aware that our mother daughter relationship has not been the easiest. My mother is 85 and has always been a very strong, outgoing, practical woman. Very kind with the rest of the world but since I remember in my teenage years quite dominant with me. She is indeed a good woman just very strong. I think she wears very strong batteries. She is in good health but I have noticed she is a bit slower which is natural considering her age. I have grown trying to protect myself and have an independent personality. One phrase vivid in my mind until today is my mother saying, that I should not discuss what she thinks and that I should always say "Yes mother" because she is a parent. I couldn't disagree more. Her very old fashioned ways come from a father who was strong and the very dominant figure in the family. When I try to engage into a conversation with my mother about finding ways to help our relationship grow in a positive direction despite having lived independently from each other for many years, and that as adults we both have a mind of our own, she gets into her parent role play not allowing for these conversation to flow and evolve. She is parent, I am daughter. She wants to constantly instruct me. I have read many of your articles and suggestions and know I need to establish boundaries, and will try the 'detached with love' technique to see if it works. Many of your articles say that becoming a caregiver for a parent it is not quite easy. I need to stay mentally and physically healthy as well. I have made a choice to move back to the USA, to be with mother and help her as much as I can. I hope our relationship can improve and become more relaxed. She tells me she is happy that I am back and when I mention that perhaps it will be better I get my own flat she starts saying that I am threatening her. I will continue to read your articles as they have helped. I write today as I wanted to vent out my frustration especially after an early encounter today with my mother once again as usual imposing and telling how I should say things. As an educator I now recognise that at times I was bullied by my mother. Making a huge change in my life to be closer to my mother was my choice (currently living with mum) and I am happy I did, yet I have been quite stressed.

Living together under any circumstances is never going to be easy.

Some moms will always want to be in charge, even if they are living in assisted living or a nursing home.

My godmother wanted to be in charge of the entire staff at her nursing home! She despised her oldest son’s second wife so she cut off her relationship with that son. She loved her youngest son but he lived in another state and barely saw her. So she went after the staff.

You don’t have to convince your mom or anyone else that she isn’t in charge of things.

The most important person to convince is yourself.

Remind yourself of the independent life that you lived before moving into your mom’s house. Remember how much you cherished it. Do everything possible to move forward to achieve independence again.

Your mom will have no other choice but to adapt. She most likely will complain. If your suffering is the only thing that makes her happy, because in the end she gets what she desires, something is seriously out of whack.

You can care about your mom and monitor her care without sharing a home with her.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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When you moved in with your mother into her home, you resumed your status as daughter. It's her house and you aren't going to change the way she treats you as long as you live under her roof. Your mother sounds like a domineering woman, and I can understand why a woman such as herself would take your talking about getting your own place as a threat.

You are an adult and as such you need to make decisions for yourself and then tell your mother that you have found your own place to live. The only way for your dynamic to change is by you living your own life. You don't need to live with her in order to care for her.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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Hello- I understand your situation completely. My own mother was extremely abusive to me my entire life. It never stopped. She never changed. She never loved me. I took care of her the past 2 years changing her diapers, cleaning her up, giving her a shower, giving her insulin shots. She never appreciated me. Her last insult to me was screaming at me that I was a prostitute. She passed away in the nursing home from covid19 alone. I'll never get over it. I know I'm strong, smart, loving, kind, and caring. I'm better than her because of my teachers and coaches. If you intend to ride out the storm until your mother passes, remember that you have your angels and God will see the good you bring to the world. Don't stop teaching and mentoring children as you may be all they have to help them make sense of the world. Keep God in your life. Keep your head on straight. It will get worse before it gets better. Remember you have your angel with you all the time and they will hear you if you need strength. God bless your journey.
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Reply to Deborahlyn
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For the love of God, please move out. You have to get into the mindset that you are an adult, independent of your mother and her parenting over you. You may not ever be able to get her to see it, but you must.

It doesn't matter what her upbringing was, this is the here and now. You can still help her without sacrificing your independence. She may not like the situation but she really doesn't have a choice, but you do.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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You deal with this kind of mother by not moving in with her.
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Reply to CTTN55
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Another word for strong independent is stubborn pigheaded. Move out and get your own place right away. You can still help your mom and maintain your own separate place along with your privacy and sanity. Two stubborn women sharing one living space is a recipe for disaster.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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You are never going to be at peace living with your mom.

You have clearly stated that you are an independent woman.

Independent thinkers do not wish to be told what to do by others.

Accept who you are and NEVER settle. Life if too short.

Your mom has lived her life. You have been blessed to live life the way you chose to. Why on earth would you want to change that now?

You are ahead of the game knowing your own feelings.

Many of of struggled for years trying to sort through our emotions.

“Yes, Mother.” Are you kidding me? Did you allow those words to prevent you from living your life before? Absolutely not. Good for you! Don’t let her attitude stop you from being yourself now.

Be true to yourself. She will adapt.

Her position as your mother in life was to raise you to become an independent woman. Tell her that she undoubtedly succeeded, because you are an independent woman and the living situation as it stands is only temporary until you find a your own place.

Then on your own or with the aid of others, make a plan for others to care for your mom. She will either accept or reject your suggestions.

You cannot force her to do anything, any more than she can force you to stay.

Best wishes to you and your mom.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I'm sure it is quite a difference from the life you are used to. There are now two very strong and independent women living under the same roof. That for sure will have it's own set of issues, as you are discovering. You are probably more like your mom than you might care to admit. Boundaries for sure must be made, for both your sakes, if you are to continue living with her. She has 29 years on you, so the chance of her changing is probably slim to none, which might mean that you have to do more of the changing necessary to live with her in a more peaceful environment.
My daughter and I too have very similar personalities, and after my husband died, she asked if I wanted to move in with her and her family. While I love my daughter very much, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we could never live together(even if I had my own space)as we would be at each other all the time. They say that a mother/daughter relationship is more complicated than a mother and sons. Since I have one of each, I would have to say that I agree with that statement 100%.
I wish you the very best as you try and get things figured out with your mom.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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The “Yes Mother” thing gives me more chills than Covid.

PLEASE DO NOT CONSIDER LIVING PERMANENTLY WITH YOUR MOTHER.

Don’t tell her you’re leaving, if you really can’t, but plan your departure and LEAVE, AS SOON AS YOU CAN ARRANGE TO DO SO.

Will she pout, threaten, cry, complain, belittle you? No doubt about it! But you will STILL have yourself, and if you decide to move in, you WILL have LOST yourself.

You may CHOOSE to be helpful and kind to her, while living independently from her, but YOU CANNOT CHOOSE TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF IF YOU GIVE YOURSELF TO HER.

You KNOW that you appreciate the gesture of loving kindness you have decided to extend to her, but you ALSO KNOW that you are ALREADY STRESSED BY LIVING WITH HER.

Give yourself permission to make a decision that benefits you both. Your self care will be the most important tool in giving HER the best of the time you SHARE with her.
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Reply to AnnReid
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You already know all the answers here; I couldn't have given them as well. You need your own flat, and your own boundaries. You have lived an independent and happy life; you know how to do that. Will Mom be happy necessarily about your choices? No, probably not. When was she ever happy about them.
Good luck. You've got this. You already told us exactly what you need to do.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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