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I want to go to a support group. I can't think of an excuse. If it's a fun thing, it's called selfish and proof I don't love my mother; if it is for a doctor's apt. and I don't let her drive me, I'm rejecting her (proof I don't love her), and if I tell her the truth, it means that I don't love her or I wouldn't need support. In addition to her, I care for a handicapped teen daughter and a 20 year old mental ill daughter. If I say it's for them, she'll find a way to take it out on them that I can't prove is connected.

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I think u have too much on your plate. Your Mom has the mental problem not you. See if you can find a Psychiatric facility that helps on scale. You and Mom should go together. Mom is needy and you need to set boundries. If she won't go along with anything, then maybe finding her a place of her own would be better.
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It's not your mother's business whether you join a support group or not. Go and don't tell her about it.
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I don't know that I have answers, but I do want to offer encouragement and support.

Take care of yourself first, because if you get sick or become unable to function, you're no good to yourself or anyone else. And think about this: If your mother doesn't realize that she's a helluvalot better off with you than with just about anyone else, anywhere else, then you should not worry about what she thinks, because she is not thinking clearly.
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P.S. You are doing your daughters and yourself an injustice to not get YOU correct.
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Wow, is your name on the lease? splitting the rent indicates you are 50/50. If your daughters are on Medicaid, check to see if there is a Medicaid Waiver in your state. It pays you to take care of the family member that qualifies to be in a nursing home but it's cheaper for Medicaid to pay you a fraction of what they would pay the facility. Check in the County to see what type of mental health facilities for the eldest daughter for daily attendance. My neighbor went to one and a bus picked her up. She worked and earned pennies, but felt good
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Oh, no. I just took it as helpful information. I am very sorry to hear about your mother: it's a very hard loss, and never really goes away, no matter what our relationship. It leaves a void.
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Mea; Not a problem! I was feeling pretty low that day too; I'm really sorry if my post came across as passive aggressive or not kind in any way. My mom taught me better than that!
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I am sorry about that post. I was feeling very, very low that day.
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About that claim of a 10 minute response time ... that was added when the site was redesigned. Many of us objected to that, because it just isn't true. Sometimes a response is almost immediate, but depending on time of day, how many other posts are new, and who happens to be on the site, it can take quite a bit (or a lot) longer!
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Oh good for you, meallen. Every journey begins with one step. Keep going!
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I went. It was helpful. Thanks.
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P.S. It would be very bad for either of my daughters to share a room, though for different reasons. We can afford a 3 bedroom. I don't mind sharing. It's not as if I had a sex life (g). ( Bet you didn't know I had a sense of humor.)
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Yes, we share a room.

I have a job, it's not 24 hours a day, thank goodness. My mother's mother turned mothering over to her sister who lived with them, yet resented any kindness or affection she and her brother showed to their aunt. When she was 15, her aunt died suddenly, and any show of grief was a betrayal. I get my mother. There is nothing I can do or say to help her suffering. I just need to survive long enough.
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Well----
My mother is furious with me b/c I have been in therapy on and off (very much ON now) for the last 20 years. Her guilt over how she allowed me to be treated and her lack as a competent, caring parent did affect me, very deeply. She feels guilty and thinks my therapy is a "look at me" situation. Few people know (nor care) that I see a therapist.

I do not see why it is ANY of mother's business. Yours or mine. Your lives are so intertwined and convoluted--I bet your kids don't even know to whom to turn. You are in a pretty unhealthy dynamic--but if you chose it, who am I to judge.

From your first post, where you say "10 minutes and no answer--guess I am not worthy of this" was telling. People rarely really answer within 10 minutes!!

You DO need help, and you DO need to step up to mom whatever her age or situation.

People who constantly need reassurance that they are loved--and I mean CONSTANT often have some deep seated emotional needs. You need to learn how to readapt your thinking.

I could NOT live for 24 hours with my mother, I don't know how you do it.

Good luck with the therapy, the changing meds (been there, still doing that--yuck!) and hang in there. You have some tough choices to make.
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What you do with your time is your business. Stop explaining yourself to your mother. Learn to set healthy boundaries with your mother. Go to the library and read some books about caregiving and talk to your therapist about how to assert yourself without being abrasive. It takes three weeks to form a new habit if you practice every day.
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How could you be happy being away from your mother for a week unless it's true that you don't really love her?

I do wonder what you would think if someone you liked asked you that question about herself. Anyway.

What made you happy was the relief from stress and intrusion. Supposing your mother maintained this grip on you physically, rather than emotionally, say by means of a tight strap on your wrist? Take it off for a week and you would be happy to be pain free because the grip is too tight, not because you don't love her.

Clearly, from your second post, there are a good many issues that you're having to handle all at once. I won't start up on my usual thousand-and-one supplementary questions; but please know that we are listening and we do care.
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So you share a bedroom with your mother?
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Mea, is the doctor who is adjusting your meds aware of how deeply depressed you are right now? In your shoes, i would call the doc and tell her/him how hopeless and helpless you are feeling.

I'm so glad that you realize that your mom is mentally ill. It doesn't make living with her any less wearing though.

I would stop trying to prove that you love her and develop a neutral response.
" you're entitled to your opinion, mom"
" hmmmm, i guess"
" whatever you say, mom"
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It seems as though your mother has needed reassurance for years of being loved, especially if she thought that having children would "make her happy." That reveals a lot about her long time needs, and infers that there are long term issues which may have arisen from her childhood.

W/o therapy, which I doubt she would get, I don't know how you can address these underlying needs, but there is a way you can turn the situation around.

Whenever she asks why you need to do something, respond that it's to help make you a better caregiver, so that you can provide more love, companionship and care to her.

We aren't born naturally to the challenges of caring for older people, and I think we can all learn something at one level or another. That's probably why many of us are here.

So it seems natural to me that we engage in activities that help us in this new challenging position. That's what you're trying to do with your respite activities.
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Thank you all for you answers. I shouldn't have given up so soon, but I am very depressed and in the middle of a medication adjustment. My mother believed that having children would make her happy, and has believe from the moment I was born (and she wasn't instantly ecstatically happy, that it was because chose not to love her. We live together (with my children, whom I love dearly, but realize that had I not adopted them, they would have a much happier life with another family) but its in an apartment we move into recently and we split the rent, so I don't know who lives with whom. It has taken we several weeks to arrange outings for my daughters that my mother finds acceptable at the time when the meeting is, but I can't think how to explain my absence to her. Even when I had my own house, she kept very close tabs on us, and constantly examined my motives for proof of my lack of love. Honestly, at this point, I have no idea if I love her or not. She may well be right. It's a good day if she doesn't tear me apart several times. If I don't wait until we are along in our bedroom, she will do it in front of my daughters, and I know this would be good for them. I do work, which is a blessing as I am out of the house for several hours and have internet access, and know that my children are safe in school and adult day care until I get home. I feel so guilty that I can't do the one thing (though it's something she can't articulate) that would make her happy. I realize she is mentally ill, and I can't force her to get help, so must learn to live with this situation. You would think that at the age of 56 I would have made my peace with it. This summer my younger daughter had a trip from make a wish, and we spent a week away, without my mother--who,by the way, was thrilled for my daughter, and didn't want to come because she said that at 82 she would just slow us down and make it less enjoyable for my daughter. You see, she's not not a bad person; she just lives in a world that isn't real. However, I was so happy with a week where I didn't have to weigh every word or action, I see it as proof that I don't love her. Why would a person be happy to be away from someone who doesn't love them? I am deeply conflicted, and just want to be able to go numb and accept my life as it is. She will live to be in her late 90s if she is like the rest of her female line. I will be in my later 70s when she dies. At that point, I just want to have have arrangements for my daughters' future care about 10 years before that so that they will have places they consider home and longer term and stable support for the trauma of losing me and then just go to sleep and never wake up.
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This is none of her business. Just go. Why does she even know about this ? I have learned to ignore these kinds of manipulations and move on to another subject.
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meallen - I'll add something to my reply out of personal experience. My older sister, the one who died last year, was similar to your mother in terms of black and white thinking. Among other things, she demanded extreme amounts of loyalty - if she was angry at another person, she considered it the height of disloyalty for me to speak to that person, even if her anger had no reasonable basis. She demanded that everyone take her side and defend her in any disagreement, even if she was dead wrong. So I know from experience, there's no pleasing such a person other than giving in to the most ridiculous demands. She had a vendetta against my mother's live-in caretaker because she believed the caretaker had talked about her (my sister) behind her back. If she had lived, my mother's home care arrangement would have been impossible due to my sister's vehement objections. I don't even know if my sister was extremely insecure or just being manipulative - maybe both. I did know that I could not organize my life (or my mother's care) around my sister's beliefs and wishes. And I don't think you can or should do that with your mother, either.
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You very much deserve to go to a support group. There must be some reason that you feel the need for your mom to know where you are going and why. Otherwise, I would tell you to just go and not tell her. What she doesn't know can't hurt her. That being said, you going to a support group is not, in my opinion, one of those things that should hurt her. When you say that she thinks you wouldn't need support if you loved her reminds me of my mother. She had borderline personality disorder and would never have understood that taking care of her when she had advanced dementia was a difficult thing for me. She would have said something along the lines of "you sure are selfish. . .you're just thinking about yourself. . .you don't care anything about me. . .this wouldn't be hard for you if you cared about me, it would be a blessing for you if you weren't so selfish.. .. blah, blah, blah." Yeah, I'm starting counseling to try to overcome a lifetime of her talking to me that way. At any rate, in answer to your question, find a way to go to your support group. . .you very much need things like that when you become a caregiver. Explain to mom that the group helps charge your batteries after a long day of caregiving. If she's the kind of person who won't understand that (like my mother was), then you may need to get some counseling to learn tools to deal with her unreasonable expectations on you. I know how soul-killing living with someone like that can be. Best wishes to you.
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I'm sorry, I wish you had had a prompt response, but I for one didn't see the title to your thread until just now.

To an outsider, I agree, this does look a really straightforward case of emotional blackmail. But your mother has overdone it, by relating every single thing she wants you to do or not do to how much you "love" her; and when it comes to it it's not like you need her permission to leave the house and go wherever you please.

So don't pay the ransom. You know you love her - that's how come you're still with her! :) - and you can prove it. In sensible ways, like looking after her nicely and being her caring daughter. Not in crazy ways that make no sense, like pretending you don't need any friends or any help or any contact with your peers.
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meallen - I can't tell from your post whether your mother is extremely insecure or extremely manipulative. The bottom line is, you need to do what you need to do for yourself, regardless of whether your mother feels loved or not. It can't be your life purpose to make her feel loved. If she thinks it is, she's wrong. You can repeat yourself until you're blue in the face but if everything you do means she's unloved then that's what she's going to think regardless of what you do.

I didn't see your post before this because the threads I have already participated in occupy the top lines in my newsfeed, and I often don't get past those to view new threads unless I really have time on my hands. I suspect it's the same for many posters here.
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Meallen; I know the site says that you'll get an answer in 10 minutes, but we're all just normal people on this site. Most of us are caregivers. I buried my mom yesterday, so I'm guilty for laziness I guess, lol! (that REALLY WAS a joke).

So, tell us why, as an adult, you are needing to tell your mom where you are going? Do you live with your mom, or she with you? Do you tell her everything about everything? (that was a real question)
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Well, I guess after three hours, I have my answer. I don't deserve to go to one.
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