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Hello and thank you for providing a place for this dilemma.

I had been married from the age of 19 to 56 when my husband and I divorced. At that time I moved to another city with our 15 year old daughter (yes, a late one!), leased a house next door to an old and good friend, painted, planted, got a job, and set out upon my life, independent for the first time. It was exciting, stressful, fulfilling...ultimately, though, it was great. Daughter was happy, I was happy...all was going well. Ex-husband and I remain friends. Then my mother, from another state came to visit me for the first time ever. She stayed 2 weeks. Several months later I got a call from her saying she wanted to come and live with me! She is 84 but very independent, lived alone the last 10 years, and was very involved in all sorts of activites...played cards, art club, etc. My brother, who lives in her home state, thought this was a wonderful idea and every night I came home to excited phone calls, and even realtors calling to "help" me find a house. (My house was only 2 bedrooms.) So, 6 months after I had moved, I moved again, got another job with more stable hours and here she came...with her entire house of furniture and boxes, dog and 2 cats. Now I haven't lived with my mother since I was 17 but we have been in much contact by phone and visits. But this living together is just so hard. She has pretty much taken over to the point where I feel like she has moved her entire house and everything to my state and now I am living with her. She has a bedroom and bathroom near the kitchen and is now in control of everything but the front rooms which she refers to as "your house". She has been here almost 6 months and I jeither feel like I'm a 10 or 12 year old child or her husband! For awhile I came home to supper every night, my laundry taken from my room and now folded in a little stack, a honey-do list for the weekend and constant company. She wants to go everywhere I may go...but we have to go in her car...she replaced everything in the kitchen with her things because they were "better", etc etc. I could go on and on. I feel like an ingrateful, unloving, witch. But she's just so invasive... . I am the "good" daughter...the quiet one...and my life is gone, now. Sometimes I'm not even sure she likes me that much! My dear friend and I don't see each other very much anymore but when we do, my mother goes. It's usually just for coffee...but if for some reason my friend can't go on the old "coffee night" my mum says, "Oh, if she can't go, I don't really want to." I don't know...I'm miserable but love her...don't know what to do. Someone either yell at me if I'm being selfish and horrid or...........help!
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Hello Charlee

welcome.. Firstly, is there anything wrong with your mother's health? You mentioned nothing about it, so I am a bit confused as to why you would be at a caregiver's site...

I would need to learn more about her health before giving you total feedback.. but the truth is I don't think things will get better and you need to have your independency for your daughter and yourelf. It is a shame you didn't realize she'd move everything. However, since she is independent, does she have an income? Can she contribute with social security, a pension, retirement savings?

It might be best if you either got your own place and let her live there... or put her into a smaller place near to you... You may also need to begin setting strong.. and I mean strong boundaries since she is able to drive...

You must separate your life from hers, especially if she is able to get around and drive for herself.. she isn't your responsibility and probably shouldn't have made you it.. I wonder if she was hanging on to your brother and he never told you...

please tell us more so we can support you further... I think you have a right to feel as you do and you will need to take charge.. even if you need professional counseling to help you move through it all... take care

gail
Thank you so much for responding. I should have stated at the outset that I did know that this was a caregiver's site...and she is healthy. Four years ago she had major heart surgery with many complications requiring extended ICU and hospital time and a long recovery at home. I took my daughter with me, homeschooled her, and took care of my mother for 7 months. She recovered completely...it was actually quite miraculous. So she is incredibly healthy for all of that...takes only a few meds, drives well. I apologize for asking this at a caregivers' site. I have made many forays into the internet and can find absolutely nothing that is similar at all...but many places about mother/daughter relationships that make me feel guilty as all get out. I think you're so right about boundaries and separation. I just don't know where to start or how to put them in place. Believe me, my husband was a snap compared to this! I feel like I'm treading on thin ice with her! As to her things...ohmigosh...it all came about very insidiously. In retrospect I should have discouraged the whole thing strongly...at least for awhile longer. But I did talk to her and my brother about my getting a house with an apartment, or finding her a little house near me. None of my suggestions were acceptable. I need to respect that this is a "caregiver's site" though...do you know of any resources to research? And thank you, Gail.

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