My 90 yr old mother is bipolar + paranoia + who knows what else. She lived alone for 6 years but due to a fall....she now lives in my house. Mom is on medication which helps a little bit. I have chosen to keep her here (she would go wild in a nursing home and never ever forgive me).
For as long as I can remember.............mom wrapped her tentacles tightly around each of us (My brother, my dad, me). She manipulated us emotionally. It was real. It was bad. I met and married a wonderful man and we had a wonderful life. My brother did too. We were able to do this because of my father's incredible sacrifice .............taking care of her and keeping her from ruining our lives. My dad was my hero and he was sane!! Dad died in 2008, then my husband died, then my brother died. Mom moved in with me and she is slowly pulling me into her web with her complicated set of manipulative behaviors. (Guilt, hysteria, feeblemindedness, neediness, backhanded compliments,....). Don't think I'm being overly dramatic. This is only a simple description of her mental illness. These days I struggle to get any significant time away from her as she follows me everywhere - even to the bathroom. She will stand outside the door calling for me. I believe she knows she is upsetting me but anytime I try to communicate this, she responds all sugar sweet and says something like "I forgive you." She scares me...........always did. Because her manic depressive episodes are absolutely awful. BTW, the outside world sees only her sweet side.............but watch out when she gets home. Even with all this going on, she's still my mother and I love her. She could be a good mother at times. After an episode I am left reeling.....and I end up being the bad person.
How do I set boundaries without being perceived as an ungrateful, nasty, rotten daughter. I hate feeling like the bad person..........It wears on me emotionally.
Any practical ideas for implementing strong boundaries?