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My mother was a decent parent and my childhood wasn't bad but she has always tended to interfere with my relationships and criticize under the guise of advice. This has gotten so much worse as her health has declined and her mobility has decreased. I'm struggling to maintain some life of my own while helping her but often feel punished for going and doing anything. Today was a prime example of that and I'm now sitting in my bathroom crying. All I was going to do was grab a bite to eat with my daughter and she went off. I'm feeling resentful that she is so demanding; expects me to be at her beck and call and twists everything into being my fault. I'm sorry but having to go to the grocery every single day is just ridiculous. I was informed that is because I don't sit down to discuss things with her; she never knows what's going on etc. I have dinner with her nearly every night; if I'm going somewhere I tell her and keep her updated like I did when I was a teenager - is there something I'm missing that I should be doing. I know I'm rambling but I'm so tired and so stressed... I just want to give up.

Does she live with you or are you going into her house to care for her? Perhaps the time has come to make a list of what you are willing to do and more importantly what you can do without it making your life impossible and harming you health. Then sit down with her and TELL her that that is what you will be doing and is she going to get care in for other activities or would she prefer to be in a suitable facility. I don't know if I am reading this right but it sounds as though this behaviour has been going on throughout your life, which borders on emotional abuse. I don't hear you saying she has dementia of any sort - if she has then obviously one needs to make decisions in a different way to if she is mentally capable. But for your own health somehow you need to get away from being abused in this way. You won't be able to assist her at all if you have a breakdown from her behaviour. Look after you more, and seek some support from Dr or a local group if you can find one.
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Reply to TaylorUK
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Thank you for reaching out. Crying is good! It's cathartic. Feeling those feelings is not fun but it indicates that you are in touch with your inner workings. Good for you.

The kind of mom she was is one part of your relationship; you are now in a new part. Of course they are related.

From her point of view, it sounds like perhaps she is just fearful of losing control of her life, her mind, and you. People get self-centered when they are fearful.

Best thing you can do is find a therapist, and pronto. You're going to need an advocate on an ongoing basis, someone you know you can go and talk to, vent to, and know that they will be objective and hopefully, helpful. My best and most recent therapist really helped me through a lot of family issues and she was also a great problem solver. I got very lucky. I hope you can find someone who can help you just as much.

In the meantime, stick to your guns. Don't explain everything, don't ask for permission, and imagine that you are wearing some sort of teflon or bullet proof suit. Let that criticism bounce off of your armor. Ignore it, don't respond to it. Tend to yourself, tend to your daughter. I'm sure you are a loving, caring, competent daughter to your mother.

Start using services that don't require you to go to the grocery every day. If she can afford it, let her get it delivered. Do you live with her? Do you have to eat dinner with her every single day? Are there are other family members who can take turns and take some of the pressure off of you? What about her granddaughter? Can she have dinner with her grandmother once a week? Every two weeks?

Take care of yourself. None of this is easy. Find a good therapist.
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Reply to Rabanette
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"I raised that it was respectful to let family you shared space with know what was going on - perhaps that has set a bad precedent."

This is understandable and acceptable.... to a point. It's always nice to be civil and share information and ideas, but not when it is turned around and used as a weapon against you.

It won't be easy and will take time, but as others said, stand your ground. You don't have to be nasty about it (leading to guilt), but you also don't owe her any explanation for what you do. If she is going to do this with everything you say and do, then she shouldn't be privy to your plans - just go. So long as she can be left alone safely and has her REAL needs met, then make your own plans and just DO IT!

I see your comment about realizing thing could go on and on and on for many years. NOW is the time to nip it in the bud. My mother lived alone, doing for herself, into her early 90s. When dementia crept in, changes needed to be made. She wouldn't allow aides in (after about 2 months, 1 hr/day to get her used to them/sanity check as I live about 1.5 hours from where she was, unable to check every day), so she had to move (not very willingly, but that's a different story!) to a memory care AL. As lealonnie1 notes, there are those on this site who live to bash ANY facility. Don't listen to them. If it comes down to moving your mother, it is up to you to vet the places first, not just read reviews, etc. My mother's place was great (IL/AL/MC.) I've told my kids that if I end up on the dementia train, make sure it stops at the MC place - if not that one, then one like it.

BTW, I'm only a few years younger than your mother. Granted she can have pain and mobility issues, but that is NO excuse to run roughshod over your life, NO excuse to be verbally (includes emotionally, mentally or physically) abusive, NO excuse to blame you for anything you haven't done wrong. NONE. Do I have pain? Sometimes - it fluctuates. Do I live with my kids? Nope. Do I expect them to bow to my every whim and wish? Nope.

If you do share info and she starts her tirade, walk away. You don't even need to respond. Just go. What's she going to do, chase you back home? If she tries the guilt tripping, it's best to work on ignoring her and/or walking away. If she has no cognitive issues, she'll either figure it out, or be spending a lot more time alone while you do your thing. Don't be a schmuck. Don't be a doormat. You can still help and do things for her, but on YOUR terms, not hers. Grocery every day? Lose that! I get to a point where I'm hard pressed to scrabble something together to make do - it is at least 2 weeks between grocery runs, sometimes longer!

Yes, you will find yourself backsliding now and again (aka kowtowing to her whims), but don't let that discourage you!! Hang tight. Regroup and stand your ground.

Always remember, NO is a complete sentence.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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When you live with a parent, you get treated like a child. Even though you have basically reversed roles. Try to make light of it and continue to work out the kinks.

For groceries, give her the note pad. Tell her each time you think of something you need to put on the list, but tell HER. Don't write it. If she thinks of something, she can add it. Gradually get back to a weekly shopping trip or order online for delivery.

Continue to tell her you will be going somewhere with someone else, BUT don't tell her too soon. Maybe that same day. Don't give her a lot of time to dwell on it.

My neighbor and I have a little private joke - We see each other in our yards. She says can you come over and I say - Nope, not allowed to get off my sidewalk/porch today. We have just learned to laugh about whatever we can.
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Reply to my2cents
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My mother is 88 and I am 57 and male. I constantly get the raw end of my mother's tongue and get the full brunt of her constant criticism. Sometimes older adults have no filter and say things just to make you feel like dirt. If she did this to you when you were living in her house growing up she will do it to you now, only worse. If she did this to your father she will do it you. Sometimes they just say what they want because they have nothing else to do except make everyone miserable. I still work and I had to run an errand out to my mom's in the middle of the day so I had on professional work clothes. She greeted me. "Well don't you look nice". "Mother these are my work clothes" "Well since you never go to church with me I hardly ever get to see you looking nice" This was mild. My advice "Gray Rock" her. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUmycvTfH5Q
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Reply to Jhalldenton
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JY1019,

You DO NOT have to allow this servant/master relationship to continue for one more second. Your mother is the one who is needy and can't get by without you. Not the other way around.

Right now and today is the time for you to lay it all on the table with her. Either she stops the manipulating and disrespectful behavior or she will no longer be allowed to live with you. Tell her very plainly that you are an adult and DO NOT owe her an explanation for where you go, who you see, and what you do. There are parts of your life that do not include her and don't offer any explanations for them.
You will not be her nanny-slave that is at her beck and call 24 hours a day, Nor will you be her scratching post when she's not having a great day and wants to berate someone. Also, you will be bringing in paid help to assist her a few days a week. They will be doing her grocery shopping and other errands whether she likes it or not.
Then let her know that she's on probation. Give her 90 days to reduce the demands, the manipulation, the interference, and the unsolicited 'advice'. If she refuses to improve then what happens next is she moves out and let that be the end of it.
No arguing about it. No drama, guilt, or tears. You must establish these boundaries with her and she must learn to respect them.
If she can't or won't , then find her another place to live and move her out.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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So these quotes stood out to me.

"It would be easier if we didn't all live together I think. Today I just hit a breaking point."

How long has she lived with you? And how did that come to happen? Do you have siblings?

"And yes we're under one roof. It was mutually supportive once upon a time."

How was it mutually supportive at one time?

"My mother needs more help but adamantly refuses it unfortunately."

What kind of help? Did you bring it up? Why did she say no?

"It may indeed be time for placement. I'm not sure we can keep up anymore."

What are your mother's finances? Can she afford assisted living (sounds like she might need this). Are you her POA/HCPOA?
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Reply to CTTN55
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Read the book Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud.

Is your mom's pain being addressed medically?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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JY, my heart hurts for you. Your mom should be thankful you are caring for her and she's being a %itch about it.

If your mom was an acquaintance who acted like your mom is, would you accept that treatment? I don't think so. So when mom starts on her tirades, walk away. The first time she does it, tell he you aren't going to listen to her when she's acting like that. The second time, and every subsequent time, just walk away without saying a word. Let her stew in her own juice for a while.
As far as feeling guilty, did you cause her ill health and lack of mobility? If you did, then you rightfully should feel guilty. If not, throw that emotion out the door.
You DO NOT have to accept verbal abuse from ANYONE, and "mommy dearest" is being verbally abusive.Sending you a giant hug!
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Reply to Maple3044
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JY1019 Oct 18, 2021
Thanks for the support- feeling better today. You're right I shouldn't feel guilty - her health issues had nothing to do with me.
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Hi JY, I’m 74 like your mother, and my daughters would also probably say that I was a decent parent but was sometimes critical of boyfriends. Neither they nor I would ever choose to live together because we do live our own lives. However if I thought they were sitting in the bathroom crying because of me, I would be thoroughly ashamed. I certainly would not want that to continue until I died in 10 to 20 years’ time. And I sincerely hope that neither of them would put up with it.

If your mother can’t see that something is wrong, you need to tell her, very firmly. If she won’t change, you shouldn’t be living together. This situation will kill your love and respect for each other. Your mother has let hers wither, and yours will die too.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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JY1019 Oct 18, 2021
Hadn't thought in terms of 10 or more years like this... it would not do anyone of us any good
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You needed that cry. Maybe hormones kicking in? Maybe time to discuss with your doctor.
I can not abide someone keeping tabs on me. Instead of learning to cope with criticism why not learn to exercise your independence?
Your daughter is in her 20s. Does she plan to stay living at home with you and mom? For her sake, I hope not.

“changing things is going to be very painful”. Not changing things sounds pretty painful too.

If she says no, then hear that as go.
Stop asking. Leave a note if you want to be polite. Set up a regular time to go out on your own even if it’s around the corner to sit in your car and listen to the radio. Do not apologize for living your life.
If your mother needs medical care, she should get it and stop picking on you.
Don’t ask. Tell. That’s letting someone know what’s going on. I hope you feel better soon.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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JY1019 Oct 18, 2021
"changing things is going to be very painful”. Not changing things sounds pretty painful too."
You're so right about that
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Your mother is 74, living under your roof, and dictating the rules, which you are abiding by, for some odd reason. You are looking at possibly another 20 years, or two decades, of this behavior which will only worsen as she ages. If I were you, I'd give your mother a choice: either cut the crap out immediately or go live in senior housing of some kind. I wouldn't put up with this behavior for one more minute because your mother doesn't seem to understand that it's a privilege to be living with you, and that you are doing her a favor by allowing her to live with you and your daughter. Sit down and write out a list of new rules and boundaries for her to follow starting tomorrow, and if she cannot comply with them, then you can help her relocate to some place where she can make her own rules and have total autonomy. Then you and your daughter can live life as YOU see fit without being told what to do and without having to give a detailed account of where you're going, what you're doing, and when you'll be back. Playing the guilt card on you is just a manipulation tool that obviously works; you're in the bathroom crying so she's won another round of Mother Gets Her Way.

By the way, due to some posters coming in here to tear down the 'horrible' managed care facilities, I will tell you that my parents have been living in Independent senior Living since 2011, and Assisted Living since 2014, and now Memory Care AL since 2019 (for my mother) and NONE of them have been 'horrible' or even close to horrible. More like nice hotels with entertainment and on site caregivers. We should all be so fortunate to be able to afford managed care in our old age! #Truth

Please realize what's happening and put your foot down in your own home! You deserve to have your own life, and so does your daughter. Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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lkdrymom Oct 17, 2021
I agree with this. If she is living under YOUR roof set some boundaries. Who cares if she doesn't like it. What are her feelings more important than yours? If you are living with her, move out.

You seem to be of the mindset that she somehow has the right to approve or disapprove of your actions. Again, walking on eggshells to make sure she doesn't get upset is ridiculous. Crank a few of those shells and let her know how it is going to be going forward. The more you bow down to her, the more she will demand.
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Laugh, then you can realize has declining health and mobility so she is taking out her frustrations on you. As horrible as some of these places can be, maybe it is time for placement.

As some members here frequently mention, maybe being around people her own age with activities could change her outlook on things.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
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Reply to Cover99
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JY1019 Oct 18, 2021
It may indeed be time for placement. I'm not sure we can keep up anymore. I wish she would be more social - it would help so much with her mental state I think.
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My former MIL (I am divorced, but still come to family events with MIL); she was a good mom to her 4 boys, if somewhat hyper-critical. At 92, that habit of mind is on steroids:

When will we get there?
What will we eat?
Why is grandchild behaving that way?
Why is DIL eating/not eating that?
Will there be anything to drink? I didn't see you buy anything.
Will there be anything to eat (food was ordered ahead).
Why are you wasting money going to a restaurant?

And most memorably "what are you, a garbage pail?" --to my 16 year old daughter, who offered to eat the appetizer that elder daughter's new boyfriend had said he didn't care for before it was served, but she gave it to him anyway.

We have learned to ignore her. Woman has a PhD in linguistics and we love her to death but she could drive you off a cliff if you actually paid attention to her.

Just turn a deaf ear.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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JY1019 Oct 17, 2021
Boy it sounds like you understand what I'm dealing with these days. Very hard for me to ignore as I usually end up feeling guilty somehow, especially when there are tears. Guess I need to learn how to ignore and let it go.
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I found after I moved in to take care of my mom that it is best if I can find , ( which is rare) a cousin to visit while I do go out. It is okay to ask for help, but be prepared way in advance. Depending on your finances, it might be better to hire a person who can visit. My mom is on just her Social Security, and since I have to be with her all the time. I am pretty much stuck. I think it all depends how much your mom's health is failing as to what actions you should take. My mother who actually shouldn't even be alive anymore ( that's what her doctor said). Has her moments of just spewing out nasty things for no reason whatsoever, and still sees me as her *child*. It is hard to set ground rules. I have found that when she starts acting up, I kiss her on the forehead, wish her a good night, and go away. Sometimes you just have to let go and let God. God bless you and your daughter honey.
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Reply to Raskasha
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JY1019 Oct 17, 2021
It's helpful to know other people understand what I'm going thru. My family is really small and I just have my daughter that I can count but I don't want her 20's spoiled dealing with too much. She works full time and goes to school as well. She will stay home when I want to go somewhere and it helps. My mother needs more help but adamantly refuses it unfortunately.
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Mm.

Looking at your profile, your mother is only 74. This suggests two things:

1. You're in it for a long haul so the sooner you get the ground rules straight the better.
2. Your mother is too young for the dynamic between you two to be explained by the increasing anxieties of old age.

You *were* going to go [out?] to grab a bite to eat with your daughter [who also lives in the same household as you and your mother?] and your mother, being told about or hearing of this plan, "went off." In what way did your mother "go off"? And did you in fact go out to share some down time and a meal with your daughter?

I have to guess, because you don't say: was it the case that you feared that your mother would object to your going out ("perfectly good food here, why don't you stay in") or would want to come too (but three's a crowd), so you didn't tell her about it, then when you sprang it on her she was annoyed and offended and it all kicked off from there?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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JY1019 Oct 17, 2021
My daughter ended up going without me. Going off means that she was angry I was leaving and it was a good 10 minute tirade about me not being home to take her for a ride. And of course my not helping with anything even though I had finished her laundry and vacuumed already. I never said I wouldn't be back or wouldn't take her out. She wasn't even up for the day yet and it would have been hours before she was ready. I offered to bring her something. Her lack of mobility is a big issue and it is hard for her to do much and she is in constant pain. I know all this and I understand it's a lot of why she is the way she is. Am I wrong for wanting to get food quickly? Should I have to feel bad?
And yes we're under one roof. It was mutually supportive once upon a time. I'm struggling me because I guess no matter what choice I make it feels like I did something wrong.
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You have to implement and enforce boundaries.

You are not a child yet you are behaving like one and allowing her to treat you like one. By telling her your every move and action.

You don't have to explain your actions, you don't have to answer to her.

If she throws a fit, walk away, hanger up, whatever, but stop catering to her tantrums. It works right now for her and that just reinforces the unwanted behavior.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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JY1019 Oct 17, 2021
I fear that we have all placated her so long that changing things is going to be very painful. I raised that it was respectful to let family you shared space with know what was going on - perhaps that has set a bad precedent. I'm we'll into middle and my daughter is on her 20s. We are adults. It would be easier if we didn't all live together I think. Today I just hit a breaking point. I'm not much of crier and I can't quit now
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