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My husband and I live with my mother, arrangement made ten yrs ago as she needed help and I was trying to work,raise 3kids and take care of her and run my house. Biggest mistake ever!!!!! Too late to change now. Need help on stopping or dealing with emotional abuse. I never do anything right, never do enough, run too much,work too much, etc. I am to the point that I really don't even like her. Then I feel overwhelming guilt. I'm not gonna change her, how do I deal with this.

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Why is it too late for a change now? My mom was sweet, but with her dementia and long list of other problems it took over my life and she drove me crazy. I started checking out assisted living places and was pleasantly surprised. It was so much better care and it gave me my happy life back. You're only stuck in this situation if you don't take action. If you must, write her a list of the new house rules. No nagging, stay out of the kitchen the hours you are home, all complaints written and put in a jar, no opinions on how you live your life, etc... If she can't control it, it's nursing home time! She's knows how to manipulate you with guilt and apparently she's good at it. Can you arrange her room so she has her own sitting area, away from the rest of you?
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Walk away the moment it starts. She will get the picture as long as you're consistent. If it is at the table, pick up your plate and go to another room to finish.
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As I am sure you can tell, each person must find the answer that is right for them. In my situation-(which is very similar to yours), I decided to literally walk away. It made it easier, I believe, that is was my mother-in-law. Establishing boundaries are hard to do when you are in THEIR home, as we were. So, one day I put down a deposit on a small apartment and told my husband that he was welcome to come with me. We moved out, not without drama, but it was the best thing for us. We had an entire year of wonderful, blissful peace; we sent birthday cards/gifts, as well as other holidays, but had no direct contact with her. She then fell and broke a hip and while in rehab, it was discovered she had end stage breast cancer with metastasis in the bone, brain, and lungs. At that point, we resumed our duties as caregivers, but from our own home. She entered hospice care, in her home, and passed in February of 2013. I honestly don't think I could have given her true loving care in her final months if I'd not taken that year off.
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Obnurse62, that is a fear we children of abusive parents all live with. How did this affect me, what can I do differently, how not to become like her. For starters you recognize the situation and your role in it. You have to be willing to leave because she will not change. And you do need help learning how her abuse has affected your life and how to make changes.

My dad was verbally abusive, argumentative and just nasty. He would sit and glare at me and pick at me when I would try to have dinner with the family. I recognized what he was and what he was doing. I swore I would never marry a little bully like him. What I didn't recognize was my mother was the second side of the same coin. She never protected me, it was always about her and her pocket book. So without the proper help, I married my mother. Nicer than her but still very similar. :/
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Obnurse, it sounds like you have a good plan for the future. I hope that it all flows smoothly. I know much of how you're feeling, because I live with my mother who seems so sweet to everyone but me. I am a strong person, who doesn't have to worry about the effect on children or husband, but still it has had a huge impact on me. I have come to realize that she feels she has the right to criticize me or say unkind things. And she feels I have the responsibility to listen to her and obey her. She is a borderline and dependent type hermit personality, now mixed with moderate dementia. She is probably very frightened as she depends on me absolutely but needs to feel she is in control.

It's rather sad, but I can't keep company with her for very long. After about 5 minutes things start heading south. She starts with a list of things she wants to do. She can't understand that I'm not a young person anymore. I don't dig ditches, nor did I ever. If I don't say I'll comply, I'm a lazy person who never has done anything. Then she pulls up my teenage years like they were yesterday. I want to say that if she and my dad weren't such horrible parents, maybe they wouldn't have had such trouble with their kids. But I can't say that. Dealing with abusive elders is like going into battle with no weapons. The only thing we can do is walk away.

I like that you are getting out of the situation, because I know it is not healthy. Even if you're handling the day-to-day, it takes a toll long-term. No one owes this to a parent. That you are here talking about it, obnurse, says it is taking a toll on you. If your mother is like mine, there is no way to change her. Taking care of her from a distance sounds like a much better idea.
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Laura, I had a mom who would follow you whenever you tried to walk away - even to the toilet. If you closed the door she would stand, sit or lurk on the other side of it and continue to yell, cry or harangue on the other side. And would still be there whenever you came out. Sometimes she just quietly lurked on the other side of a door just to try to hear what people were saying and it would scare the heck out of you when you came out of the room. Creepy. And anytime I tried to set down boundaries of any sort, verbally or in writing, it brought on a huge fit of crying, nobody loves me, guess I need to go live in the woods by myself, yadda yadda yadda. Hope you have better luck setting boundaries than I did.
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Great answers posted here. I decided counseling would never change my mom. She is far too set in her ways. But it helped me change my reaction. I no longer feel reduced to the 5 year old little girl who used to cower when my mom yelled. I walk away. I leave the house, go to a different room, etc. The only time it is bad now is when we are in the car and I can't get away. I have tried pulling over, but that doesn't stop her. So I just imagine a wall rising between us and I completely ignore her. She runs out of steam quicker if I don't engage AT ALL, I just stare at the road and imagine her words bouncing off that wall.
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Moving will be the next step, I've been looking for apartments. Just haven't found decent one that will take my dog. I only have three yrs until daughter done with college, then we can go anywhere. My other fear is, I don't want to become her!!!
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Your living and raising children in the basement of your mean mother's house? What a terrible geographical position of dependency!

She literally sees you as beneath her, plus being in her house makes it easier for her to relate to you as if you were still her little girl and for you to return to the role of living like you are still her little girl.

With your having to walk on eggshells and her being different with different people, I can guess that she has a personality disorder. Do you tolerate her badmouthing your husband? Does she badmouth your children also. Has she ever verbally abused your children or your husband?

I don't think you need to quit your job so that she can have you visit her worshipfulness more! Not at all! I think you should quit living in your mother's basement literally and figuratively as well as find some other way for your mom to be cared for.

I was once too wiling to be too patient like your husband, but that changed years ago. I've been in therapy, learned about boundaries, set some with concrete consequences, got my boys in therapy and saw much progress gained for my family from that point forward.

It's time to start living above ground! Your in an emotionally abusive relationship. Get therapy for yourself and your husband and move forward, not downward with your lives.

Good luck and let us know how things work out.
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I have this - I say cheerfully Sorry (and dont mean it and she - if she were of sound mind would have known that) and then walk away. I NEVER engage now - I used to . In this instance you have to take charge and not allow her to bully or abuse you.
I never do anything right - oh sorry! (cheerful one not a meant one) and walk away
never do enough - just going to make tea what do you fancy? (walk away - never ever engage on this one you will lose and getting angry is of no long run benefit to you)
run too much (yes I do, I love running AND insert husbands name loves how it keeps me firm and fit for him - they dont usually want to engage on that front let me tell you)then walk away
work too much- yes I agree.... cuppa mum? and walk away
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