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Instead I was drawn deeper & deeper into her negative energy vortex! After 2yrs of sharing my "mama drama" with friends & a talk therapist I got mother moved into an assisted living facility. It's been 2 weeks. This past weekend there was some issues at the facility following a snow storm. I went over to assess the situation & was again sucked into her drama. Her issues DO have some warrant but I am DONE being my mother's rescuer. She insists on paying her own bills, managing her own meds & demands (to me) that she should be treated like the adult she is. I told her that she needs to speak up & express her feelings & her needs to the staff & even the director. If she didn't get a satisfactory response that she should file a grievance with the owners of the company & possibly call the department of aging. When I spoke to the director she told me that my mother was one of the most congenial & humorous residents during the upheaval the power outage caused. I shared some of my mother's concerns with her. She said my mother never mentioned anything of what I told her. That it sounds like she "saved it all for me." All this happened the day AFTER I went to my therapy appt. I was very optimistic & shared with my talk therapist that I felt at peace & less burdened. I also shared with her that I was reading a book about adult children of borderline personality parents. Don't know if mother really has that diagnosis (as with all her business, she keeps her business to herself) but it sure reads like she does. Anyway, my goal is to try to understand ultimately what makes me tick so I can be a better & happy person. My therapist said to stop trying to put labels on mother or myself & "be happy & live in the moment." All that sense of peace & contentment went straight out the window when I realized that I'd allowed myself to get sucked back into the "mama drama." I want to resign as my mother's daughter/rescuer/caregiver/confidant. I need to add that I am an only child. All our family (my mother's brother & his family) live 600 miles away. How do I disentangle myself from all this? We have never been that close. There has been alot of emotional neglect on her part, alot of dirty water has run under the bridge of our relationship. Her brother & his wife (my aunt) took me in numerous times during my childhood when my mother would be going thru her issues. HELP!!!

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My mom, in Independent Living and Assisted Living, was as pleasant as the day is long. She'd call us and say "there are ants in my kitchen"; "my lightbulb is out", and host of other complaints.

We said "mom, you have staff to do that. We come to visit, not to do the chores". When she balked, at told her that at $5000 a month, the staff d@mn well better do the simple things that needed doing.

You have a relationship with your mom that is based on drama. Changing your habits and hers is not going to be easy. The only one who you can change is YOU.

Have a script handy for phone calls. "No mom, I couldn't possibly do that". "No mom, I have other plans". "No mom, you call the staff for that". Practice in front of the mirror.

In person, if your mother starts in, get up and say, "I see that you're not feeling happy right now. I'll come back another time". And leave.

If she doesn't have dementia, she might actually learn from this; if she DOES have dementia, at least you won't be subjected to the negative vortex. It takes two to swirl.
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Having been through a similar situation with my mother, I can tell you that you are on the right path, and need to give it time and keep working on what you allow of your mother's drama into your life. It takes a lot of resolve and practice to "tune out" of your mother's issues. You have your own life to live, and you know she's safe and well taken care of. Visit her and enjoy your time as best you can, and then live your life to the fullest. You deserve it!
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It sounds like you have a very clear view of the situation, even if you don't have a diagnosis for your mother.

Continue with the therapist. Listen to her! Think it over and decide whether what she says makes sense to you.

It is VERY encouraging that she isn't a troublemaker or noncooperative in the ALF. It is terrible, of course, that she saves that for you. Detaching more from her might help. She has only been there 2 weeks. It can take a few months to really settle in. You've told her that she can handle these kinds of complaints herself. Now let her.
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Owlshart, your therapist doesn't sound like a very good one. Most aren't, in my experience.

It is very useful to try to figure out what 's wrong with someone whose behavior has deeply affected you. Reading books, articles and websites has helped me vastly more than counseling to understand my personality-disordered parents, that what they did wasn't my fault and how to protect myself from them. Self-study provide access to the best counselors and knowledge for free and while sitting in your comfortable chair.

Your mother was so messed up that you had to go live with relatives, so something is definitely the matter with her. You are justified in backing away from her. She won't care a whit anyways.

Please protect yourself as you would your child or pet from now on.
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The only thing I can add is this: You can pick your friends but you cannot pick your family.

For better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer - family is still family.

Be true to yourself but there is only so much distance you can put between yourself and your mother, regardless of what your therapist says.
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owl, as the others said you’ve already done the best and right thing, give it some time to not only settle in for her but for you. After 6 years it’ll take a while to dawn on your physiology that you have far less responsibility on the front lines now. I’m an only child of a borderline mother, too. It’s quite hard. Far as I know, no one with that personality disorder has ever diagnosed themselves - as part of the package, they can’t and will not see it! I have told my mom before, I’m not here to do all the stuff I’m here to oversee the various people who are doing the stuff - which is an ideal and lucky thing to have.

Some days, you just want to spit over having to deal with them. Let yourself vent, and move on. Do more things for yourself now. Love is a ‘many splendored thing’ indeed! We show caring where we don’t really feel affection, it’s a proud thing to do. You are in control, don’t forget that. And you will always decide to protect her. Me, I’d rather she were rude to me vs. the people in the home so they don’t kick her out. ;) Good luck, and a big hug to you!
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Another book to suggest is Loving Hard to Love Parents by Paul Chavetz. He has strategies to help you deal with her demands, etc. it will save your sanity when you realize you don’t have to problem solve but can use the therapeutic fib. Also repeat the phrase "I’m responsible to but not FOR my mother". Glad to know you got her into AL. Although I don’t understand how she could be managing her own meds as that is the job of AL. In our state the resident can not even have an aspirin bottle or Tylenol in their apartment as staff needs to dose out anything the resident requires and chart exactly what they’re taking. Regardless..your mom is playing you like a fiddle as she’s been able to do it her whole life. You no longer need to enable her. Take back your life and repeat the mantra above. Good luck!!
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Sounds like you've done a huge amount, kudos to you, you took her in tried, and as she needed more help, you found it. I have a couple of thoughts though - 1. drop the word "drama". I know it's pervasive, but I find it insulting and prejudicial. Issues come up in life, sometimes people get anxious until they are solved. Saying "drama" invites others to scorn the issues in a way, but I think it's just better to name things differently, and specifically, even when you stay on the right track and tell her to notice where to complain. I find it not so easy in a nursing related residence - ever changing staff, always busy - complaints get lost, cling to their routines, so it sounds as if your mother has talents in complaining and needs to be pushed to use them, and to study where to put them. I've found that if staff write them down it can help!

And I like the suggestions, of dealing with support, friendly but not getting sucked into being the "fixer". Answer, "good idea, Mom, write that on your list for them." And change the subject. Decide for YOU how often you want to visit, and make that a schedule, like twice during the week for 1 hour plus, and a longer weekend one? Making a schedule can help you work on your own life, and also get her used to not expecting you all the time. If she calls you often, let phone stay on answser.

I took care of disabled brother for his adult life, I was the fix it person. I didn't mind, in that I found it all valuable and interesting, and AlAnon taught me the value of detachment, that I can help but not be responsible for results, and it's important to detach. Fact is, I did not know how to have meaning and plan my time and even career focus. I'm learning now, thru Underearners Anonymous! It's not easy or instant to be good at building one's own life. I'm glad I worked in elder care for other seniors, gave me perspective and support. My brother has been in nursing home 10 years now, but on the Res Care (independent) end until two weeks ago with a crisis. There were up and down periods, but mostly up, as he needed the extra care and got used to it. Hang in there, go easy on yourself!
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Try to understand your mother and what made her the way she is. It’s the only pathway to compassion. Having said that, whether or not she has a personality disorder, there should be boundaries. If she is still paying her own bills, etc., she can handle her own customer complaints. Don’t fall into this trap —she is triangulating to make the staff see YOU as the problem while maintaining that she is the sweetest person ever. Don’t let her take you down that road. Once it starts, the process is repeated over and over again, but only if it is successful.
The right thing to do is to be her daughter —do the things she cannot, but get some good gel on setting boundaries because she is going to need more and more legitimate help and her demands will suck the life out of you and absorb your life into hers. If this sounds daunting—it is. Get professional advice —learn to set your own boundaries and stick to them, kindly but firmly. If it doesn’t work and you’re at your wits end, take some time off. She has a whole staff looking out for her needs you do not.
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You are absolutely and positively not alone. My own mother was paranoid, dramatic, self-centered and a martyr. She started out at the home as one of their most pleasant patients, even though suffice it to be said she was not that way to me. In addition, my husband’s health was declining and I am also his caregiver. In reference to my mother, I had confidence that it was a good facility. I visited often and came to know and like the staff and visa versa. I’ve said before here that when I left after a visit listening to Mom’s dramatic complaints, I actually physically waded up an imaginary paper and threw it in the trash can outside the front door. Those were her “complaints”, the imaginary ones. That way, I was the “good daughter”and listened to and sympathized with her but didn't let it control my life.
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