My Mother tries to run my life. Any advice?

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Hi, folks...me AGAIN. For thosebod you that dont know, I brought my 84 year old mother to live with me. She's been living with me for the past 5 years. At first, things seemed to go smoothly. The longer she is with me, the more controlling she's been trying to be. For example, she tries to force me into going to bed whenever *she* wants to go...she continually notes that "It's 5 o'clock. Don't you think you should be getting dinner?"....she tries to force me to feed or potty our dogs whenever *she* thinks it needs to be done....she tries to force me to bring my horses in at times that they can be outside....etc. It's not just one subject or event but ALL facets of my life. And when I say she 'tries to force' me, I mean that she just harps & harps & harps on stuff, badgering away endlessly at whichever subject she's trying to manipulate even when I tell her that I'm an adult, I know what I'm doing & I've made my decision on how it should be handled. It just doesn't stop her! She keeps right on hammering away about it until I either get sick of it & get up & do it her way just to get her to shut up or I get ticked enough to yell at her.....and then, of course, I'm a horrible, awful person. She literally treats me like I'm 10 & it's driving me insane. The ironic part in all of this is that my whole life all I ever heard was how her mother wouldn't let her do things her high school & college friends were doing (staying out late for football games, wearing lipstick, etc) & how she always resented her mother for that. I've thrown that back in mom's face & I either get a complete denial that she's like that or I get the horrible, awful thing again. I've tried ignoring the repeated badgering & not responding to her once I've explained my reasons for the decision I've made but then she gets ticked & starts screaming at me & revisits the horrible, awful subject again. I'm SO sick of this behavior that I'm well past resenting her. Anyone encountered this & what did you do about it?

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A suggestion: Your Mom's behavior isn't normal, as you know. Has she been seen by a good psychiatrist? Have you explained the behavior you see to the same Dr? You could make a list of your Mom's behaviors that don't seem normal and that drive you crazy to give to the psych Dr. The point of this is to rule out a mental illness that would explain your Mom's behavior. Preferably an illness that's treatable. This could help tremendously and improve both your Mom's and your lives.
If no illness is found, you need a good counselor to help you set healthy boundaries between you and your Mom. Thinking of healthy boundaries might be tough and require some creative thinking, so having a good counselor will be helpful for that, also. Losing your friends is so hard, I know. I'm sorry that's happened to you. It's happened to me, also, so I can understand that. Sometimes it feels like betrayal, like they were 'fair weather' friends. Where are they now when you really need them? My counselor has become a good friend and maybe you'll get that fortunate also.

Counselors that work for the county usually have fees on a sliding scale according to your income. The same is true with counselors who work at a church. You don't have to belong to the church or go to their services. Have you checked into whether you can draw an income for having to stay at home to care for an invalid mother? I don't know where you'd ask, just making a suggestion.

If there's no medical or psychological problem found & treated to explain your Mom's increasing behavioral changes, it seems you 2 need to live separately from each other. This may sound drastic, but you 2 do not get along well. You can't keep living under the huge stress your Mom puts on you. Caregivers do burn out. You do have limits on what you can handle. Please think about this option. Can your Mom go to a nursing home or something similar? That would give you some times of peace and you have more control over how long your visits are based on how she treats you. It takes a lot of time and work at first, but after awhile the arrangements are finished and things settle down and get quiet. You could work again to bring in income.
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If she is on SSI, she should be qualified for Medicaid. You should start looking into it. Sounds like your Office on Aging is not too sympathetic. Any other avenues, such as county social services. Sounds to me if you could get somebody to observe her, that they would be on your side if you were to petition for guardianship so you could get her somewhere safe.
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I will admit that i told her in no un ertain terms about a week ago that i was going for a ride & there was nothinf she coulddo about it. I told her I'd be gone 1 hour but I ended up coming back at the 45 min mark because it was so terribly hot. My greatest fears in leaving her alone are that something will happen to her or she'll do something like accidentally burn my house down. Honestly, if she fell & broke a hip, it would be an "out" for me & a plausible way to force her into a home BUT I was threatened once by the Office of Aging at my old home that I could be brought up on neglect charges if I left her alone knowing she's unsafe by herself & she got hurt. After everything I've given up for her, I'm NOT about to spend time in jail because of her shenanigans. As it is, all of my friends have abandoned me, I can't go to church because she starts complaining after the firat 15 min, I've had to quit work & now I can go anywhere or do anything without her making my life miserable. I'd hire a sitter for a few hours just to get away but she won't let them in the house & there's no extra money to spare since we're both living off wgat little SSI she gets.
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If you have a doctor willing to try different things, maybe it is time for having the guy try yet another depression anti anxiety drug.

And sounds like you need to give momma a couple benadryl and go outside and ride your pony. I would be riding down the road saying "lalalalala....I cant hear youuuuuu!!!" Maybe she will fall asleep in her chair and cut you a break! Shheessh!
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OMG, glasshalffull, i LOVE you!! The quote of what your mom says when your shower is "too long" is VERBATIM what I hear from my mom!

I have one sibling who lives 1,000 miles away so it's me 24/7/365. Even when I lived closer, he was no help anyway, so it STILL was me, me & all me 24/7/365.

As for Mom moving out...I would MORE than welcome it but she refuses to go into an ALF & when I contacted an elder attorney I was told that I cannot force her into a facility unless she can be deemed incompetent by the court. Yes, she does have mild to moderate dementia & does, occasionally, sundown but her orientation during the day is still too intact for her to get the incompetent label. We had her on Zoloft for anxiety at one point but it caused her to have terrible diarrhea that resulted in "accidents" so she was switched to Seroquel. She's supposed to be on 100mg each night but every time I try to progress her beyond 50mg, she sundowns SO badly that she's kind of aggressive!

I hate to say this because it makes me sound like a horrible human being & an even MORE horrible daughter, but I go to bed every night praying for God to take her home so that I can be released from my living hell.
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Olly, I'm hesitating because maybe you posted this elsewhere already, but I think Mom is getting demented. She used to have enough judgement to keep the constant harassment under control and now is either perseverating or forgetting that she has already gotten an answer. Either that or she has a severe anxiety disorder run amok. She may be trying desperately to "fix" things she thinks are wrong and cannot process or remember the answers or reason why they are not wrong, and has lost all empathy or perspective if she does knot know better than to barge into the bathroom or shower repeatedly. See about getting her a comprehensive geriatric eval - maybe there is something going on that is medically treatable - and sure, in the meantime, try to respond to reasonable requests and non-respond to unreasonable ones as consistently as you can. But if nothing helps this behavior pattern, it really is going to wear you right out in a finite amount of time.
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How can your mother interrupt you if you lock the bathroom door? Why do you let her have the control you give her? It's time one of you moved out. That would appear to be Mom since you don't have a strong enough will to live with her in anything close to a normal way. If you ever expect to have any sort of normal life, Mom needs to go, so you can start looking now.
Start teaching yourself that she will not run your life from wherever you place her by you answering the phone when she calls and taking orders from her or this moving her out will do no good. You do not have to answer every time she calls you. You don't have to take orders from her on how to live your life once she's moved out. Do not let her guilt you into coming to see her and take her places after you've determined how often you will visit. You must determine these things ON YOUR OWN and STICK WITH YOUR DECISIONS. You probably need counseling and someone to be responsible to so you keep to your decisions. You will need to grow a spine that your Mom can't remove.
You may hate me for saying this but you need someone to say it. Your Mom is driving you crazy and you need to claim your sanity back. Get help asap.
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I have to add that I was watching a clip of Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men" tonight. It was the one where he is on the stand yelling at Tom Crews that he can't handle the truth. I thought how much Nicholson was like my mother when I tell her no, I can't do something. I know the torment we can go through with a controlling mother. My only response to mine when she gets like that is I walk away and go to my room. I am in my room most of the time when I'm here. It can be too hard to be around my mother much, since she always is thinking of projects "we" need to do that make no sense. She is also quick to anger. I never know what will set her off. I can say something that is neutral, but it can trip a switch in her mind and she gets mad.
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OzarkOily, you make me feel better. I thought my mother was bossy until I am reading about yours. I don't know how you stand it. I do know the solution is that you are going to have to learn to effectively stave her off. You don't have to answer the telephone when she calls every few minutes. When she says that you need to do something, just let her know you plan to do it later. If she perseveres, just shut her out of your mind. If she starts bullying, just leave the room. If she follows you, lock the door. No one should have to tolerate what you're going through.

It sounds like your mother is fine to stay by herself for a while. Block the home phone number while you are out and unblock it when you get home. If she lets you have hell when you get home, tell her you needed some Me-time and turned off the phone. If she doesn't like it, what is she going to do? Get mad and leave? I can already see you smiling.

Anyway... it can take a few painful weeks to establish some new boundaries in your life. If she won't cooperate after a while, there are other options for her living elsewhere. There is no need for you to ruin your own life to try to make hers better. That is not a fair swap. You are as important as she is. You'll just have to help her to see this.
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Get on that horse and ride, until you can no longer hear her scream.
Have the doctor give her some medication for that, could be anxiety.
Learn what sundowner's is, feed and medicate her for that.
Have some nice ladies come over to find out what is bothering her.
Listen to people here who have experience with dementia, etc.
Take care of yourself, and lock the bathroom door, please.
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