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I'm at the end of my rope. I've actually been there but have managed to hold on somehow. I've taken care of my mother in her house for almost 7 years as her dementia has worsened and worsened. I've not had any help at all and haven't been anywhere without her for over 4 years. I never leave the house because I'm working 4-5 jobs at a time because I took on all of her expenses except rent.


She started becoming very mean years ago and now is simply an awful person. She denies everything she does and calls me names, every day with every single thing she does that is nonsensical or dangerous, or both, the weight in my shoulders gets heavier and heavier. I'm so exhausted and so miserable and so stressed out I can't even think straight enough to do my work without making huge, often expensive, mistakes. I feel utterly hopeless and I am utterly alone, both literally and metaphorically.


I've applied for my state's assistance in placing her four times and they've denied her every time, saying she's not "progressed" enough to qualify. This is a woman who talks to her dead parents, saves food for them, hoards newspapers to give to them, who insists she's just had a conversation with my (useless) younger brother (the one who completely disappeared 4 years ago when I finally told him I needed help with her), who leaves with her clothes crammed in grocery bags to go "home" - her childhood home that's 2700 miles away. I've had to lock up everything and now have to buy 3 different locks for 3 different doors because she's decided my dog is hers and she can do what she wants, which means letting him out near the street with no collar and no leash, something I've never done with him because he's a runner. Once she does one weird thing I know it'll never stop, she will continue doing it over and over. I have no way of protecting him from her other than keeping him locked up in the same bedroom I'm closed up in 24/7.


I've literally sacrificed my whole life in order to take care of her and in return I'm called stupid, a liar, an idiot, a bitch, and more often than not I feel so much pressure inside of me it makes me shake. I've become desperate to get out of here before it kills me. It's already ruined me, being around my mother constantly long-term made my older sister move out when she was 15, my older brother leave the moment he graduated, and made me leave Kentucky in 1989 to move all the way to Arizona. My dad drank to deal with her. I've spent my entire adult life getting as far away from my childhood as possible - I kept house differently, I married differently, I raised my kids differently, I strived to be nothing like my mother, I just wanted to escape all the dysfunction and hoarding and depression and manipulation I grew up surrounded by. And I had succeeded.


The moment I knew I had to be her caregiver, in her house, I felt as if God had picked me up and dropped me right back into that awful childhood. Different state, different house, different age, same dysfunction. I've been deeply unhappy the whole time I've been here but as she gets worse I get worse. I have so much anger towards her for things that happened years ago but I'm also fed up with everything here. She's never thanked me, not once, unless in sarcasm. She's never appreciated anything I've done or taken care of or paid for it solved. Angry landlords, pissed off doctors, bill collectors - they've all become my problem. I was prepared to reapply for state assistance but today as I stood in the backyard, after rescuing my dog again after she let him out without a leash, hearing her spit at me that he's her dog and she'll do whatever she wants with him, I felt something break in me. I don't yet know if it was a good break or another bad one but immediately afterward my first thought was getting her placed. I don't know where/how to begin. I know her check will pay for only the most run down of places, I've tried to avoid that, but I'm desperate. I have to get away from here.

This is a solutions focused post:

You will need to protect yourself and your pets from her, as your attorney advised:
when she does something insane, call an ambulance 911 to:
1. Baker Act her, which exists in every U.S. state;
the Baker Act allows for involuntary evaluation, (what some call emergency or involuntary commitment), which can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, emergency medical technicians.
Since she's a completely different person when her audience changes:
1(a). Record her, minimally record sound of her being crazy mean.
1(b). get nanny cams to grab hidden footage, to support your case (Amazon or lots of sites sell hidden cameras.

2. ER dump, You'll need to call an ambulance when she falls ...

3. Please place your dog into a veterinarian Kennel, to keep him safe from her abuse, or with a friend... your pup is an innocent target, that needs to be somewhere away from your mother.

4. For you-->In the meantime, please search online for Narcissistic Mother's abuse. You'll find many websites that will provide insight by those who have experienced similar lifelong abuse.
5. You're not alone, so many on this site have written about similar, if not equally as horrible experiences.
6. STAY SILENT ABOUT EVERYTHING; she will use what you say against you.
Be careful about everything, she is capable of doing things you cannot imagine, killing your dog, etc.
7. Understand that your ongoing C-PTSD mind isn't thinking logically, which psychologically shrinks your options, as you unknowingly resist escaping the situation. Her psychological ABUSE is truly NOT your fault. You're caught within an abuse cycle, that your mother has orchestrated for your entire life,

A psychologically abusive individual (your mother) knows exactly what she is doing, she has created and orchestrated an abuse cycle of hot cold moments;nice, mean, nice, mean.... which has trapped you within its grasp, by making its prisoner crave those intermittently bestowed few tiny kind glimpses of who the abusive person could might maybe be... if only you were different, but, it's NOT you who is the problem, it's 100% her.
9. With your new insight, you CAN escape.
10.Please stay in touch, we will be here, to provide your brain support.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to Screennamed
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Dear "alpr323,"

You are having trouble making decisions which is completely understandable because you are under severe stress, overwhelmed, depressed and exhausted. If you are not getting the proper rest and sleep, you cannot think clearly.

Also, please realize that so many of us even if our situations are varied have been in that same place so you are not alone in those feelings - not by a long shot. Sometimes knowing that others are experiencing the same type of feeling is helpful in and of itself. Thinking you're the only one feeling the way you do is very self isolating and it becomes a vicious cycle.

My suggestion is to write things down that need to be done in priority order and try to tackle them in small bites. Even if you could do just one thing tomorrow, that would be an accomplishment. When it comes to being motivated, we often think the motivation comes first and then act on it when actually, we need to do something first and then the motivation follows. Experts will say to set a time limit - maybe 1/2 an hour to an hour and do what you can within that time and many times you may feel like you can do another 1/2 an hour or more. It's the getting started that's the hard part.

The majority if not all of us are doing a juggling or balancing act and dropping the ball here and there. It happens and will continue to happen as we can't do everything at all times.

Try not to be so hard on yourself as you've become your own worst enemy - something you don't need to pile on yourself. Recognize your worth as a human being - there's only one "you."

Do take care -
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Reply to NobodyGetsIt
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It seems that everyone has left but you. My suggestion would be that you leave as well after 7 years. You say that your mother doesn't qualify for care yet, and it seems there is no diagnosis of dementia. Your mother is paying the rental, so I am assuming that you are living with her. The fact that you have so many jobs means you cannot now be home with her all that much. I think you should get your own place to live and pay your own rental, and allow your mother to pay her own.
You say your mother doesn't qualify for any care because she is "not progressed enough." Let APS services know that, but tell them you suspect she will be unable to care for herself and may be an "elder at risk" now in your absence. If your mother is deemed to be unsafe then the State can deal with making her a ward of the state and place her to the best of her ability.
I would say there is no way out of this that is pretty. You must save yourself.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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alpr323 Oct 29, 2020
Ive been told that contacting APS, at least here in Arizona, will trigger an investigation of ME since I live with her. While I have nothing to hide I'm really trying my best to lessen my stress and that would increase it. A lawyer I contacted told me the only way to get her placed quickly is to call 911, tell them she's threatening me, have her taken and admitted to the hospital, move out while she's there then let the hospital know there's no longer anyone in her home to care for her. I've not been able to bring myself to do that.
(7)
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Dear "alpr323,"

I'm so sorry for EVERYTHING you've been through. You are most likely suffering from C-PTSD (due to multiple traumatic events in your life) as opposed to PTSD (a singular traumatic event). You are way in over your head with your emotional and psychological well being.

When I needed help knowing where to get started with my mom back in 2015, I was desperate as I had no other family to help me other than my husband. I started with a social worker at the Area of Aging Agency in downtown Phoenix. Once you get started with something, usually one resource leads to another .

You may also want to try contacting (or at least go to their website and check out their Programs - it has it's own tab to click on) Foundation for Senior Living 602-285-1800.

I sure hope you can get some help real soon as you can't continue to go on in this unhealthy manner.

You will be in my prayers - that God will lead you in the right direction!

P.S. You need your dog but, our Arizona Humane Society is wonderful and they may be able to help you. See if they can have a temporary foster home until you get this straightened out.
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Reply to NobodyGetsIt
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alpr323 Oct 30, 2020
Thank you - I'll look into that. I just feel lost with all of this, it's hard to know which way to go, who to talk to. It's very difficult fir me to make decisions on anything right now, I think it's because I'm depressed and exhausted. Just thinking I have to get up and feed the pets makes me want to curl up and cry instead.
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You're obviously a tough cookie. I would have folded after 6 months of this. I hope you're able to find a good therapist that can help you process all the junk. They can really do wonders to help us rebuild after being torn down by other people. I hope you will find a good placement for her soon enough!
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alpr323 Oct 29, 2020
I am very certain I will need therapy after all if this is over with. I have come to hate myself so deeply I've often taken benadryls just to be able to sleep instead of hating myself so much. My mother has had this effect on people for years. I understand now why my dad was an alcoholic. I truly do. Everytime I react to her with the anger I feel I just hate myself so much afterwards. It feels like I've been abandoned by everyone, family and friends alike, because while everyone sympathizes with you when bad things happen no one really wants to stick around when your life just never gets better. I'm alone all the time. I know I need therapy right now even, nothing about me feels right or ok anymore. I just know I have to get myself thru this first THEN I can have my breakdown.
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When you're working the 4 to 5 jobs who stays with your mother who has dementia? Also, why are you paying her bills? Does she not have income of her own?
You are not obliged to be her caregiver. From what you're saying about how she treated you your entire life, why did you even consider moving back in with her to be her caregiver?
Questions aside, if you really want to get out of this situation which sounds like a horrendous misery, this is how.
Go to your town's probate court and petition the court to appoint a conservator over your mother. Explain to them that you refuse to continue as her caregiver because you're no longer able meet her needs and care for her properly. The court will then consider your petition and will appoint her a lawyer (which she will be billed for) that will represent her. If there are no family members available for them to appoint her conservator, it will fall to either a lawyer or social worker that the court chooses. What will happen next is the court-appointed conservator will take control of her finances (paying of bills and managing bank accounts), her assets (house, cars, etc...), and her health care decisions. She will very likely get removed from her home and put into a nursing facility. Whatever money or assets she has will go towards that expense and the conservator will also draw a salary from it. Then you will have to move out of the house (the court will appropriate an amount of time for you to do this. It will likely be 30 to 90 days), and it will be listed for sale.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Since you really love your dog, who is helpless in that house, please take the advice of seeing if someone can keep him awhile. If he gets killed, it will hurt you so badly..... A lot of stress will leave when you feel he's safe.
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Reply to mally1
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You are wonderful to attempt to care for your Mom and your sweet dog in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Try to find a friend or an agency to take care of your dog while you extricate yourself from this difficult situation; you will joyfully need him when this is over. I will try to do some research to see if I can locate any agencies in AZ.
For yourself .... get the heck out of your mother's space as soon as possible.... she is toxic and your owe it to yourself, your children and yes, your dog to survive to live your life and care and love them!

Pack your stuff and move out. Don't give Mom a number where you can be reached. You can call APS after you leave to tell them you had to move for your own health reasons but it's likely that Mom is a danger to herself if alone.
Or
Next time she falls and goes to ER... don't take her home (to her home or yours!!), pack and leave immediately (if you haven't already). Go to a friend's home or your kids or rent a weekly hotel room until you find your own place. If the hospital gets your number and calls you tell them you don't live with your Mom anymore and have no suggestions as to where they should discharge her. Believe me .... they will find a place for her to be discharged.

I know you want the best for your Mom because you are a dutiful daughter regardless of her treatment but you have done your best for years. If you are spiritual, it is time to let go and let God take over. He will put her where he thinks she belongs at this time of her life. God Bless you. Sending hugs and prayers your way.
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Reply to geddyupgo
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Dear "alpr323,"

You've been through h*** - can you work with a Placement Agent?
That's how we found the current facility for my 95 year old mother with Alzheimer's after she was released from being hospitalized and went to rehab for three weeks after surviving COVID and severe dehydration.

They know the facilities, they have connections and most of all they have a rapport with these places. Also with the pandemic, they will know who is able to take someone/who has availability. It would take a lot longer if you were to do it all on your own and you already are depleted putting it mildly.

Best wishes!
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Reply to NobodyGetsIt
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alpr323 Oct 29, 2020
Ive not looked into placement assistance. I only really came to this point today after she endangered my dog again by letting him out without a leash. I realized I cannot keep him safe and will probably have to find a home for him and everything inside of me rebels at that thought. I love my dog. He's been here with me from the start and is really the only good, positive, loving, sane thing in this house. But I cannot let him be endangered. I don't know where to even start the process of placing her without any financial assistance.
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One of the respondents put it the best when they wrote, "You are not obliged to be her caregiver. From what you're saying about how she treated you your entire life, why did you even consider moving back in with her to be her caregiver?"

You need to get OUT of the role of her caregiver immediately for your own mental health.

Many people have provided excellent advice below. So, why not follow it?
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