Cracked under the pressure! What can I do to protect myself physically and emotionally?

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What can I do to protect myself emotionally? Mom is continually doing things to undermine everything I set up to help her. If I set her bills up on autopay, she closes the account. If I call Adult Protective Services to request that they monitor her well-being, she tells them I attacked her (not true!) ... I've been told that I cannot force her to see a doctor, but I believe her symptoms might actually be slowed if she was treated. Her thyroid should be monitored - she was on thyroid medication before the move. I've also been told that I must wait for a "Crisis-Event" in order to step in - they say it will happen, just a matter of time. I just don't know if I can mentally/emotionally handle the stress. I hate to just give up - walk away and let her go down on her own, but she won't let me help her any other way!
~FyreFly

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It's heartbreaking, but true, that you may have to do that. Unless she's been proven incompetent and a made a ward, there is little you can do.

If it helps at all, you have done everything - and I mean everything - right. There are times when we have to wait until they "fall", literally or figuratively, and will accept help before we can give it. You have an exceptionally hard situation here and my heart breaks for you.

I would suggest some counseling for yourself if the guilt is eating you up. The guilt is totally unearned. You are amazing to be so persistent. Please understand you have done everything you can, and if you have to wait for a crash, it's not for lack of trying.

Do try to take care of yourself by getting any help you need to accept this hard fact. You are a wonderful daughter.
Carol
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Dear Fyrefly. My mother has Alzheimer and she lives with me, now. She lived at her home before. She started showing signs of dementia in 2005, more or less. She started to forget everything and she started to have problems with the management of money and she started to live in her own reality. But she was still rather independent. My brother and I tried to convince her to accept a caregiver, at least for part of the day, but she refused. Then months went by, and she accepted to have one help for some hours a day, but if she did not like the caregiver she just threw her out of the door! I don't know how many of them we have changed, because she did not stand them anymore after a few weeks or months.
I started to ask her to sell her house and come live with me and she always said "no". The worsening of her conditions has been very gradual and the point of no return was one night, when she climbed a ladder in the middle of the night, she fell and she stayed all night on the floor, unable to reach the phone. My brother the following day had to force the door to get in, and after that episode my mother probably was scared to live alone, and she accepted a caregiver all day long. Another year passed and my brother and I realized it was no more enough, (caregivers are not saints and they do not do the same things a daughter can do) and the only solution was practically to force my mother to come live with me...
I am telling this to show you that I have been in the same situation - mother refusing help - and I could not do anything for years! So you are right when you try to convince her to accept help, but she will probably not accept it until she will be forced to, because she will realize she cannot live alone anymore.
I am glad that I have respected the will of my mother for the last few years, but, when the time comes, you have to say stop! I guess the moment has not arrived for you, yet!
I can understand them, because it's not easy to accept the fact that you are no more an independent person. You do not want to have strangers in your house, or change your way of living.
Keep us posted with the evolution of your story, if you wish.,..
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Carol, thank you! {{sniff, sob}}

All I can say is, I must be "hard-wired" on stubborn. My husband says, "Let it go!" ... my doctor says to "just step back, give her space for now, and hope she will come around." Even my prayers brought me to Ecclesiastes (there is a time and purpose for every season under heaven ...). I have tried, I don't know if I can walk away. It doesn't matter how much sense it makes, how much I try to say it doesn't matter, or that I won't let her hurt me again, I keep coming back.

My aunt thinks it is a good idea to let her "come to her senses" on her own - that she's like a drug addict, who cannot be helped until they realize they have a problem, and ask for it. But that's the thing - she will NEVER ask ... that is part of the Alzheimer's/dementia symptoms - her denial that she even has a problem!

I know that I have done all I can, but I can't just ... let go. For now, I'm holding back, waiting - and it's killing me! I wrote to my Mom last week. Thanks to some of the advice I've gotten on this website, I just talked about mundane things, kept it positive and light. I hope that it will remind her of who I really am, rather than what her paranoia tells her. The hardest part is trying not to call, or write, or go over there every time I think about her.
~FyreFly
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It's kinda like when you have a young adult kid, you know the decision they're making is a bad one, but once they're up and out of the house what pull do we really have? Sometimes you have to have the 'wait and see' attitude and let them make the mistakes. Seems to be the human condition where we all have to learn the hard way. No one says that you have to like it though. :)
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You are a patient, strong lady! I am very gald you are on site here. It is a relief to have a venting outlet.
Have you been on the "Grossed Out" thread?

Cheers ~
Rip
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Dad is 86 and started drinking very heavily. It got so bad he would fall off his tricycle in the middle of the street and injure himself or fall at home in the bathroom, shower, etc. A couple of time I received calls from strangers calling to say they found him lying in the middle of the road. After almost a year of this I got together with his doctor who helped me Baker Act him (he had bruises all over his body from all his falls and other injuries. He was placed in the "psychiatric" ward for a week and when he got out I "sort of" convinced him that I was being accused of elder abuse and that if he didn't move to an assisted living facility I might be held liable and could possibly get arrested. He has been living in the Assisted Living home (5 minutes from my own) where he is the only "guy" with 4 females and the staff. He's constantly flirting with the "girls" is helped to bathe, shave, etc. I brought a small fridge which we keep stocked with his "non-alcoholic" beer (of course he thinks is has alcohol and used to hide the cans from the staff). Sometimes you just have to take matters into you own hands. We have never been happier!!!
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