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My dad passed in 2005. We took a second mortgage out and put an addition on my home for her with the agreement she would pay her share. At the time she was in her 50's. We had an awesome relationship and I foolishly thought this was going to be a cake walk. She's very dependent and our relationship has turned from her being the mom to me being more of the mom. I'm 48 now and she needs help with everything. From her bills, to figuring out her phone. She won't try. She just gives up and it drives me nuts. I've had to refi my house now twice because she couldn't afford the payments. Now we have a bigger house, which means a larger property tax, higher heat (which she now can't afford to help with) etc. If I could go back in time I NEVER would have put the addition on. We were all set to pay our house off when my husband retires in four years and now I'm struggling to pay more towards our mortgage so that we can do that. It looks like we'll probably have to pull from retirement to pay off the addition. She's blissfully unaware of all of this. I'm angry because of what this has done to us financially. I'm angry because of the loss of privacy. She'll just stroll through the house and come look out my windows while I'm trying to work. Or sit on my couch and watch tv while I'm working. While that doesn't sound bad....I miss privacy. I want my own house where I don't have to worry about someone just strolling through whenever. She's never lived alone. After my dad died she didn't create her own life. She just kind of latched on to mine. She has no hobbies or friends. She's incredibly introverted, but can't really amuse herself. I feel so bad writing this, but it feels so good to get it out. I feel guilty if I want to go on vacation with my husband and son. I can't afford to pay for her to go and sometimes I just want it to be the three of us. Or if we wanted to go out to dinner I feel like I have to ask her to go too. It feels like she is my second kid and its overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning. She would just rather me do everything and when I call her on it she just says she can't help it. She raised me and her mom didn't live with her. She had the freedom to go and do stuff with her own family that I feel like I didn't get. I feel horrendously guilty if I want to go somewhere alone with my son and just hang out him and I. I end up making an excuse why she can't go because I know if I say that I just want to hang out him and I it will hurt her feelings and I don't want to do that. She's very sweet natured and goes with the flow. I feel like I've made her sound awful, but she really isn't. She's just incredibly dependent on me and suffocating. I've got a huge lump in my throat just typing this all out. I feel like the worst daughter ever.

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You guys are awesome. Thank you all so much. I can't believe how much better I feel just being able to get it out somewhere. I'm an only child. My mom is 70 and has the beginning stages of vascular dementia plus some decline physically. She does have sisters that she is close to and that have helped in the past. With Covid its been just us. Hopefully in the future she will be able to go hang out with her sister at her camp. My sweet aunt knows my struggle as she had my grandmother and grandfather living with her as well. She's offered to help as much as she can which is a relief. Just writing this out and having people who understand helps more than I ever thought it could. Thank you all so much for being here. I found myself much more patient and peaceful today after posting. I'm working on boundaries which I think are going to help quite a bit. We have an appt with a new neurologist at the end of the month so we can get a better picture of her capabilities etc. Thank you all again. ♥
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You guys are awesome. Thank you so much. I can't believe how much better I feel just being able to get it out somewhere. I'm an only child. My mom is 70 and has the beginning stages of vascular dementia plus some decline physically. She does have sisters that she is close to and that have helped in the past. With Covid its been just us. Hopefully in the future she will be able to go hang out with her sister at her camp. My sweet aunt knows my struggle as she had my grandmother and grandfather living with her as well. She's offered to help as much as she can which is a relief. Just writing this out and having people who understand helps more than I ever thought it could. Thank you all so much for being here. I found myself much more patient and peaceful today after posting. I'm working on boundaries which I think are going to help quite a bit. We have an appt with a new neurologist at the end of the month so we can get a better picture of her capabilities etc. Thank you all again. ♥
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Dear "everyonesmom,"

I so understand your resentment and anger. I also know that putting words to it for people to read makes you fee like in a sense you're betraying your relationship with her because she's as you put it "very sweet natured and goes with the flow" and you don't want to make her out to sound like an awful person.

I'm sorry that your mom wasn't able to create her own life after your dad died and in essence really has become enmeshed with you - in a sense you've not only lost your freedom and privacy but, your identity as a wife, mom and friend. You can't breathe and feel smothered (always thought it was funny that within that word is "mother").

I feel bad that you're regretting adding on an addition to have her with you and how it's affected you and your husband financially especially being so close to retirement. I know how much time it takes to go through the refinancing process too as my husband and I did it three times for our previous house.

Do you have any siblings? I'm an only child so I'm it and there are no other extended family members that live in our state. My mom is almost 96, the oldest of eight, five which are remaining and range in age 75-90. I know what it's like to suffocate, to feel smothered and to feel the guilt for even having those feelings. My dad died in 2004 and my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when she was 89 and didn't do too well in her ALF which I placed her in back in 2015. It was tough, she only made one friend and wouldn't go to the happy hours unless I went. When I had emergency surgery, instead of resting I went to visit her the next day and made sure I was dressed up, make up on and hair done so she wouldn't worry (I had been there 8 days in a row already during that time.)

In April 2020 she nearly died from severe dehydration/UTI and COVID and we moved her to a new facility in their MC unit. The pandemic made it terrible so I made sure to get her an apartment on the first floor with windows. I felt sad that her one longtime friend never went to visit and my ex-BIL couldn't because of his own health problems as he didn't drive. Thankfully, in MC she has more interaction because they check on her often and they've managed to get her involved in some of the activities. I think for her the fact that there's fewer people at any given activity helps.

I wish I had answers for you - I don't but, I wanted you to know that I relate to everything you said.

May God grant you wisdom in how to handle your situation moving forward so you can enjoy your family and hopefully, go on vacation sometime - (((hugs)))!
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everyonesmom Feb 5, 2021
I'm an only child too. Fortunately my mom has siblings that she is very close to that live close by. I think once Covid eases some and its safer, she can visit and hang with them. Thank you so much for the empathy and kind words.
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You’re absolutely not the worst daughter. You’re awesome!

Many of us have been in your shoes. No one is prepared for what lies ahead.

It isn’t easy at all. In fact, it’s completely exhausting!

Vent anytime. We are here to listen and help where we can.

When I joined this forum, it helped me just having my feelings validated.

Wishing you all the best and hoping things will improve for you soon.
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everyonesmom Feb 5, 2021
Thank you so much ♥
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It's not unreasonable to want to have your own privacy and family time with your son. When a parent lives with you, it's sometimes difficult to set boundaries. This is especially true during covid. Social activities are limited now. Perhaps, after covid is more under control there will be more options. In the meantime, I'd suggest:

Find out what your mother is capable of doing. Is she not handling things due to boredom, depression, cognitive decline, etc.? I'd get her a checkup to see how she's really doing. Can they do mini evaluation in the office to check memory and functioning. Based on my experience, if a senior says they can't do do something, there's usually a good reason. Maybe, she can't . Why is she so dependent on you?

I'd consult with an attorney who focuses on Medicaid/estate planning to see where you stand with the house situation, mother's income, etc. I'd learn what you and she need to know in case she needs independent living, assisted living, nursing home, etc. Knowing things upfront is vital.

I hope you get some ideas on ways to help with your privacy. I can relate. It's tough when you live with parents. I do and I am able to take time away a few days a week now. It's good for all of us, imo. Sometimes, just sharing with others and knowing that you aren't alone helps a great deal. I FT with friends who are also caring for senior parents and it's ironic how our issues are similar.

I'd try to be gentle with yourself. You did many things out of love and compassion for your mother. That's a huge deal. Don't beat yourself up for wanting what is fair and reasonable.
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everyonesmom Feb 5, 2021
Thank you so much ♥ It's tough with Covid as my husband and I would take little getaways that we haven't been able to do. Venting helps so much more than I thought it would. Thank you for being here.
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Hugs to you. You are the best daughter ever.

[Just possibly not the hardest-nosed or clearest-eyed?! :)]

Um. "She's blissfully unaware of all of this." Thoughtfully, now... how does she come to be unaware of the financial impact her dependence on you has had? Would that be perhaps because you have never made her aware of it?

Well, but here you *are.* If wishes were horses and all that.

But your mother is not a second kid. If she were your kid, you would never allow her to maintain her helpless ignorance, would you?

And she's still not yet seventy, is that right?
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everyonesmom Feb 5, 2021
She turned 70 in April. Thank you so much for your post♥
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You’re not the worst daughter, you’re just burned out of a living arrangement that hasn’t turned out to be good for anyone. What health conditions does your mother have? What finances does she have? Asking because more info will help in understanding what her limitations truly are versus what she thinks they are. Your money should not be going toward her care or support. And boundaries are definitely needed. The book Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend has been a big help to many of us here
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everyonesmom Feb 5, 2021
She's got vascular dementia, COPD, tardive dyskinesia and lives solely on social security. We've got an appt. set up at the end of the month to meet with a new neurologist to figure out the limitations/expectations which I think will be very helpful. Thank you so much for your post.
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