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mother/daughter nightmare
February 3, 2005
8:51 pm
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kikiturtle
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Hi everyone - brand new here and so glad I found all of you. Need help with severe boundary issues. Reader's Digest version: father died when I was seven, by the time I was 10 I was serving as confidant and dating advice giver to mother. Older brother left for college and never looked back. Mom has always leaned on me and I am starting to realize the dysfunction of that relationship now in the past year or so. I always have felt "responsible" for her...so much so that I feel guilty if she is alone on holidays, I call her every day to make sure she's OK, etc. etc. etc.

TO make matters worse, she now has cancer with a very uncertain future. When she first got sick last year, I had her come live with me and my family (hubby and 4 yr old daughter). 5 months we took care of her - I even quit my job temporarily to be her full-time care giver because of the chemo and how sick she was. This has only served to exacerbate the "responsible/guilt" feelings I have with her, and I am completely overwhelmed right now. She is very manipulative, and will overstate or create problems to attract attention - I know this.

My problem is how do I proceed with setting healthy boundaries with a woman who is likely in her last months/year of her life and differentiate true need vs. manipulated need? I'm not even sure what healthy boundaries are at this point...any advice?

February 3, 2005
9:02 pm
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mamacinnamon
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kiki,

Glad you are here.

Is mom still living w/ you?

First off you definitely need to take some time for you.

My mom took care of her mom in her last months. We each had a time of day that we came over and spent w/ her. We were fortunate that way. Several ladies at church even came over sometimes. This was after gma was bedridden.

I assume your mom is not bedridden at this point? She needs to understand you need your space. If she is butting into your parenting she needs to understand you and your hubby are the parents.

I guess without knowing specifics it's hard to give specific help, but see what I am saying?

I think a nice sit down over tea or some relaxing activity to talk over and you could bring this up to mom w/ "Ya know mom, I have been having a problem w/ ...... when you...... Kinda make it you first and then set the boundary for her.

Hope that helps. I'm sure you'll have more suggestions too. There are great folks here that have been thru lots.

February 3, 2005
9:23 pm
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kikiturtle
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No - mom is not living here - she was well enough to go home, as long as we hired an aide to come and help with chores and transportation, but deteriorating health (physical and emotional) has prompted the "assisted living" discussion (guilt). We cannot have her back - the trauma to our family after her 5 months here was devastating and caused so many problems that we decided it isn't an option any more (more guilt). Since she is alone, I get all of the "dump" phone calls; the sobbing, the depression, etc. She never calls my brother - "he's too busy" to bother with her problems"...(more guilt). I feel like if I assert boundaries, I am letting her down like my brother is (which of course I hear about all the time and have been conditioned to not want to become like). Ugggh...I'm annoyed with myself for even giving up this time typing this about her....it's like I can't get away from this huge cloud hanging over my head! Thanks for the responses though...I appreciate venting anywhere other than my poor, wonderful husband!

February 3, 2005
9:47 pm
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mamacinnamon
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kiki

You can vent here any time.

As for feeling guilty about the assisted living. Maybe if she got around other folks her age she might figure out she enjoys others' company. Maybe not. They are so hard to predict at that age.

I used to bring my grandma to my house for the day almost every day before she got sick coz she's call 15 times on the phone. If she were at my house she could talk all day long and I could tune her out. She was a big help too and so full of wisdom. She didn't like my ex either. Big plus. lol

I don't know what else to tell you. I'm sure you'll have other advise that may help.

Hang in there and you are welcome here anytime.

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