My 82 year old mother lives with my family. She has no major health problems, but has some arthritis and anxiety (has been on and off of several anti-anxiety and depression meds and nothing ever helps...the meds just make her more paranoid). When I leave for the day, or just to run a few errands, she starts crying and then starts calling me. She will leave multiple rambling voicemails about inconsequential things (because I just can't answer every single phone call). I know that she is lonely and wants to connect with me. But, I have responsibilities and a young daughter to care for. I just physically can't give her every moment of my time. When I tell her that, she starts to become verbally abusive. She either attacks me or plays the victim and starts crying (or calls relatives to complain about me). I know she is hurting and lonely. We are there for her each morning and evening, and many other hours of the day, but she never wants to be alone. She has siblings and friends who offer to spend time with her, but she rarely wants to see them, she just wants me. I've signed her up at the local senior center, but she will only agree to spend maybe an hour and a half there. She lies and says she doesn't feel well, but when I pick her up, she feels a surge of energy and wants to go out to lunch. I love my mom, but I just can't be the center of her universe. How do I set healthy boundaries in love? How can I get her to take charge of her own social calendar? I'm not her cruise director and I'm not responsible for her happiness. I do find time to take her on fun outings, but then she just expects more. But, she will complain to others that I don't do enough for her because my life doesn't revolve around her. I know she is always safe and loved, but that just isn't good enough. This is harsh, but I feel like she is a zombie sometimes...following me around the house, talking to me through the bathroom door, questioning my every move (literally). When I'm in another room, she starts pacing around looking for me, and then asks when I can come back and sit in the living room with her. She doesn't like any of us to be in another room. It sounds so harsh to say, but she literally paces around and spies on us. If we are in the other room "too long", she comes in and says she was just worried that we weren't okay. We have NO privacy. It's like I'm her TV program and she feels "put out" when she can't watch her favorite show: me! I'll sit in the living room checking my email and she just stares at me. Her behavior has made my 8 year old daughter uncomfortable too. It is dehumanizing. I hate having to avoid making eye contact with my own mother. She was always so kind and loving. Now, she has no verbal filters and seems to want to say things just to push our buttons and get some kind of reaction out of us. I need room to breathe, but I would never leave her in her time of need. It's like a prison. I feel so guilty for feeling this way. She has been to two therapists, but always quits saying that they weren't very good and can't help her. She has been screened for Alzheimer's but always passes the tests. She is kind and loving to others, and they can't imagine her being abusive. I'm sorry to ramble on here, I hate to complain. We've thought about putting her in a retirement home, but know that she would just want to be with me. I feel desperate and yet guilty for feeling that way. Sorry for complaining, but thank you for listening.