Having her move in with us would be a nightmare

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Cassandra T

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Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« on: July 05, 2020, 06:31:06 AM »
This is my first time posting here (except for some replies). I'm 56, happily married and have a mother who is a covert narcissist. She is in her mid-70s with an immune disorder. Eventually, she will probably be unable to live alone, either due to health issues or for her safety. (I'm expecting a huge increase in crime in the next few years according to what some sources with insider knowledge have told me. Let's assume it's correct just for the purpose of this discussion.) So if it starts looking like she needs to stay somewhere, I'm not sure what to do. She can't go to a nursing home if her health fails, because if she catches covid it will be unlikely for her to overcome it due to her immune disorder. Let's also assume for the sake of discussion that covid or some other disease will still be an issue. We may be able to hire someone to stay with her, but if that doesn't work out, the only other alternative is for her to stay with me or my brother. She gets along much better with him and he has a basement, while we have a small house and really don't have room. I can't really ask him to take her in because that's a lot to ask of someone, and he may say why not me instead of him. I'm pretty sure he believes the narrative that I don't get along with her because of "my attitude" or that I'm argumentive or hateful, which she has projected onto me. So I would have to explain everything to him, and we all know how that generally goes. The golden child generally doesn't want to believe the parent has a personality disorder. And really, if she can't take care of herself, she would need a female to help her dress, etc. and that's a lot to ask of my brother's wife and seems like something I should do instead.

My husband and I both work from home and our house is a peaceful haven. My husband's job is very demanding and stressful. Having her there would be very disruptive even if she was normal. It takes 3 days for me to get over a phone conversation with her. So I have compiled a list of household rules that "anyone" who lives with us would need to adhere to, in order to maintain a peaceful working atmosphere. It probably sounds really obnoxious of me to give my own mom a list of rules if it ever became necessary for her to live with us, but I can't help it. The list would include things like: No arguing, no accusations, no anger, no bitterness, no rage, no getting offended, no pouting, no criticizing us, our lifestyle or the way we do things, no telling us what to do in our own house, no being judgmental, no judgmental sounds (like tsk, tsk, etc.) no hostility, and no tension. Of course, she would take offense, and I would say "See, the very fact that you're balking at the rules already tells me that you are not likely to follow them, and you feel like you have a "right" to do these things. Most people would just say 'Sure, I can do that, no problem.'"

She wouldn't last five minutes with those rules. She would have three chances and after the third one we would have to take her back to her house, and the rules are set in stone with no wiggle room. I can't imagine that would go well. I would feel very guilty kicking her out, especially if she was unable to take care of herself.

You guys give great advice from what I've seen. Does anyone have any comment or advice to give? Is it wrong of me to give her these rules and strictly enforce them? If I didn't, it would end up being a nightmare. Frankly, this is one reason we've always kept our small house, so we don't have room for anyone to live with us. That might be terrible of me, I don't know. We do have a guest room but it is used for storage.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 08:28:08 AM by Starboard Song »

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PeanutButter

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2020, 11:31:14 AM »
I think ruling out all other options except for her to live with you or brother is kind of black and white thinking. Your brother is not more obligated to take her in because he has an empty basement imo. You are not obligated to take her in if he doesnt! What if neither of you existed? Adult children's existence is NOT for the purpose of taking care of abusive elderly parents when they become ill and need care.  But there are many professionals who are for that purpose!

About your rules : YOU have a right to do anything you want its YOUR house!
However anger is a normal emotion (not 'negative') that literally everyone experiences. There is no way a human being can sincerely promise to never get angry and carry that out. Our emotions are not equal to our actions. Maybe you could specify certian ways she reacts to anger that you wont allow in your house. But imo you cannot forbid a human to have emotions it just wont work.

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The list would include things like: No arguing, no accusations, no anger, no bitterness, no rage, no getting offended, no pouting, no criticizing us, our lifestyle or the way we do things, no telling us what to do in our own house, no being judgmental, no judgmental sounds (like tsk, tsk, etc.) no hostility, and no tension.[ /quote]
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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xredshoesx

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2020, 12:57:12 PM »
what if i told you neither you or your brother are responsible for your mother?

my uPD MIL tried to pull this on us shortly after she burned through our dear FIL's life insurance and quit her job didn't work as well for her as she wanted it to- her master plan was to rotate between us and my DH's siblings, moving every three months......i told her that she didn;t get to make decisions like that before involving the rest of us and she didn't speak to me for like 18 months.  which was fine because she also didn't get to move into anyone's home either. 

i know that having autoimmune issues makes the situation with your mother more difficult but it's really her responsibility to sit down and talk to someone who is either in financial planning , eldercare experts or both.  because quality of life for seniors is more important today than say 20 years ago, it is entirely possible her insurance or careful planning on her behalf could make it possible for her to have the home care to stay in her home for as long as possible to avoid being in a skilled care facility- but she has to be the one willing to look into the planning.  you and your brother can of course be a part of this, but she needs to be the one to get the ball rolling.

for contrast my biological mother just lost her parent's house at 75 and if she shows up looking for a place to stay we are calling the police because she is not welcome in my home.  her poor planning and financial problems are not mine to solve. it's still a worry in the back of my mind but again, not my problem to solve.  i haven't actually seen or spoken with her since i was like 21/22 either so there's that as well.

you are not responsible no matter how much the FOG and or your brother tells you that you *should be* the one.  you're not.

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Amadahy

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2020, 04:16:58 PM »
Do not do it! Biggest mistake of my life - 4 years after I evicted Nmom and I'm still in therapy.

My Nmom is now in a beautiful nursing home where every precaution is taken against covid. She has great care and I am thankful.

Please don't ruin your haven of a home. I've burned enough sage to cleanse the Earth and it's still not enough.



Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

~~ Leonard Cohen

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Thru the Rain

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2020, 08:18:18 PM »
I too was in the same mental place, thinking I *HAD* to take in my uPDM when the time comes. So I say these things understanding it can feel impossible. But try these thoughts on for size and just sit with the discomfort for a little while. Just you and your thoughts are hurting no one, so see how these feel for a few weeks or months:

- Unless you M is mentally incompetent, she is responsible for her living situation. Not you. Not your brother. And if she is mentally incompetent, then you need to ask yourself if you have the resources to take the best care of her? Wouldn't she be better served in a place with actual medical professionals who can take appropriate care of her?

- Same with medical health - neither you or your brother are likely the best resouces to take care of her if her health is failing. Wouldn't she be better served in a place with actual medical professionals?

- By assuming she needs you or your brother to step in, are you filling a need she actually has? Or are you taking away her option to live her own life and resolve her own problems? Are you in reality filling an unhealthy need you have?

I picked up all these points here on this site by people who've lived through it. And the third point is something I found surprising, and it felt really awful to think about. But as I stepped away from solving my own uPDM's problems, it turned out she had thoughts and ideas and deeper emotional resources than I suspected. I genuinely think she has a disordered life, but she's happy with it and she's not looking for me to fix it for her.

Based on the experiences reported by so many people on these message boards ***Don't move your M into your home***. This doesn't you make bad or neglectful. It makes you a thoughtful human being who's allowed to live your own life, and in the end may save whatever relationship you still have with your M.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 08:21:20 PM by Thru the Rain »

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Cassandra T

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2020, 05:22:17 AM »
Thanks everyone, for the great advice. I don't think my brother is obligated due to having a basement, at all. I was saying that he would be able to deal with her better than I could, he has room, and she would be happier there with her grandkids - but none of that obligates him, and it isn't something I could ask him to do because it's asking too much.

I'm just thinking ahead, because she has already indirectly hinted around about it, praising her nephew for inviting his father-in-law to live with them. I have heard from medical professionals that it's mostly people living in nursing homes who have died of covid, at least locally. So while they may be taking precautions there, it isn't working very well. It feels like sending her to one would be tantamount to killing her. I doubt if she would go willingly anytime in the near future at least because she won't even leave her house. I've told her that she won't encounter any more germs by going in her car to pick something up than she would if it were delivered, but she refuses. I have to get her groceries for her now because she doesn't know how to order them online. Frankly, that's fine with me because I actually have to deal with her less that way. When I drop the groceries off, it seems like I'm visiting but I don't have to stay because I have to take my groceries home immediately before they ruin in the heat. When I call, we have something to talk about - groceries - and she seems satisfied with that. My golden child brother goes up there almost every weekend and works around the house, so me doing this small thing for her makes it almost balance out in her eyes, mine, and anyone who otherwise might see me as a bad daughter, kind of insurance against that in case she does have to go into a nursing home. It would be like, at least I got her groceries for her. The only thing is, almost every time I call to tell her I'm about to drop her groceries off, she starts sputtering and gasping and coming up with excuses as to why now isn't a good time to drop them off. She's always about to get in the shower, or still has her pajamas on, or was about to do something and needs a few more minutes. I think it's her way of trying to take control of the situation. She already knew I was coming sometime that day. I just tell her I have a busy day and am going to go ahead and drop them off while I'm out.

There's also the issue of if it becomes unsafe for her to be there alone due to civil unrest and crime. Many credible govt insider sources are saying there's going to be serious violence this fall, even in the suburbs and rural areas, for several reasons. Assuming for a moment that it may be true, she can't go to a nursing home for that. I'm just trying to think of all possibilities so I'll be ready for them if they occur. No one would expect an old lady to stay by herself in that situation when her daughter is living nearby.

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PeanutButter

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2020, 06:44:36 AM »
No one would expect an old lady to stay by herself in that situation when her daughter is living nearby.

Speaking for myself only, I would fully expect an adult woman even if elderly to continue to live by herself and would not expect her adult daughter who lives close to take her in because crime has increased significantly in her neighborhood. There are many precautions with security systems and alarms that can be directly connected and immediately contact emergency departments.

But this decision is each adult person's responsibility to plan for and make arrangements for themselves. IME emotionally healthy persons do not believe that grown children are responsible for their parents once the child becomes adult. Adult children are not obligated to become a 'parent/caregiver' to their parents. Once a child becomes an adult they do NOT by any stretch then become obligated to take care of their parent.

So Im at least one person who would expect every adult to be responsible for themselves in the scenario you describe.
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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Andeza

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2020, 01:27:54 PM »
Hi Cassandra! It's quite the position you find yourself in. By what you're writing, I think it would be of great, tremendous benefit to pop into the toolbox, read through the traits if you haven't and take note of where these feelings you're feeling are coming from.

What I'm hearing from your post is that you are afraid. It's okay to be afraid for the people we love. But that doesn't mean we need to take any steps to fix their situation at the expense of our own lives. It is possible all the things you fear will come to pass. It is possible no place will be safe for anyone. We consider these possibilities and as normal, future-minded people we prepare. We do not rely on others to get us through. Take my stash of three months worth of food and sundries in the basement as proof. :bigwink: However, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that my own, uBPDm made no such efforts. I'm currently NC with my mom. She will never, ever live with us. Come hell or high water, she's on her own. Come crime, violence, pandemics, whatever! Doesn't matter what it is, I'm not biting. I'm that daughter. I'll tell you a secret though, nobody has said a word to me about it. No one has said "why didn't you take your mother in during the pandemic?" Not a peep.

This may be hard to read at this point... You have been programmed, as I was, and as so many of us "dutiful daughters" on the board have been, to take your mother in in her old age and care for her. Maybe it's been subtle. Like my own mother. "Gosh, nursing homes always make me so sad. All those old people abandoned by their families, with nowhere else to go!" Maybe it's been more obvious. "You'd NEVER let me end up in one of THOSE places, would you?!" But regardless it has happened and it is kicking into high gear right now. You feel pressed for time, you feel urgency, you feel like you've got to make a choice between now and... I'm guessing the end of October. But you don't. I will tell you when we humans feel rushed into making a decision that society impresses upon us is the right choice, event though it is the wrong choice in our situation, we end up making the wrong choice. Generally.

I want to encourage you to stop thinking things like "She could get delivery but she can't figure it out" It's not that she can't, unless she's already cognitively impaired. It's that she doesn't want to. The more incapable she makes herself look, the more guilty you feel.

Society tells us taking in our elderly parents is the right thing to do because we care about them. Society doesn't have a clue about the abuse they've handed out to us our entire lives, or the irreparable damage that they can inflict. It operates under the assumption that our parents are "normal" loving parents that would do anything for their kids and be grateful for the roof over their heads. Not so with personality disordered individuals. It's never enough. You could bring her into your home, serve her all day every day, cater to her every whim, and she would still find fault and demand MORE! Do MORE! Help MORE! Give up MORE of your hard-won adult freedom! You see, in their eyes, we never became adults and they get to go right back to treating us the way they did when we were children. And when she looks at you she says "what can my daughter DO for me." Pwpds are centered upon themselves. Everything is about what others can DO FOR them. Not about what they can do for their own grown, independent, adult butts.

You can lay down house rules, but she WILL  break them. It is only a matter of time, and she probably won't make it longer than a month. They can't change who they are without a lot of hard work and help they'll never willingly seek.

Don't let your Fear control you. Don't allow it to make you feel Obligated. Don't let yourself be Guilted into doing something you will probably intensely regret. Leaver the Fog behind and enjoy your freedom. Take care of yourself. She's an adult and she can take care of her own self too.

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freedom77

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2020, 06:12:23 PM »
SHORT answer: DON'T do it.

LONGER version: I disagree with a lot of what you say, don't take offense. First off, as others have mentioned, it is neither yours nor your brother's responsibility to care for your mother. Many cultures hold this belief, but it still is not your obligation, especially if your mother is abusive and will turn your peaceful haven of a home into a living hell of a nightmare each and every day.

As for gender roles: as a nurse, I can 110% assure you that males are just as, if not more so (think physical strength) capable of caring for other adults. I have known LOTS of devoted sons, gay and straight alike, who cared for their mums to the final end. These, of course, were usually in the course of mutual, loving parent-child relationships, and their mums were not abusive. Point being, a son can bathe and dress his mother just as assuredly as a daughter can.

Your house rules:  She will laugh at them, if not outright, then silently. And she will break EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.OF.THEM. Mark my words. She will go out of her way to do so, just for the sake of it because YOU have such nerve imposing them upon HER.

I know this, because I made the very same dreadful mistake. A YEAR OF SHEER HELL. NEVER AGAIN.

Andeza is correct, IT'S NEVER ENOUGH for pwPD. You can do, and do, and do...and she will demand more. You can attempt reverse psychology, and do LESS, and she will demand more.

Us adult children of PDs do not know each other's parents, but we do. They share so many characteristics behaviorally, and follow very similar scripts...that I can state with confidence....you and your husband will intensely regret moving her in.

And understand it can be very difficult to move them out. I had to live in hell for a year until the lease ran out because my PD/BPD/N mother refused to move when I tiptoed around egg shells and gently broached the topic of how things were not working out the way we thought, and I tried to sell her on how much better off she was when she had her own place, blah, blah-blah, blahhh...she simply said, "So you think you're gonna get rid of me, HUH?" Then the rage, meltdowns, and diatribe of what an awful daughter I am, etc etc...

Finally I was forced to tell her I wasn't renewing the lease and would be moving out and going my own way. There was no way she could afford to say there, so she had no choice but to also move out on her own. And boy did she get nasty about it. Very vindictive.

We are now NC.

The law will be on her side if you live here in the States. Tenants, and that is legally what the law will see your mother as, have loads of rights. And if she wanted to dig her heels in, she has a lot of standing ground in which to do it. She could even fight you in court over it, if she were so inclined, or get a legal aid person for the ailing and elderly to do so on her behalf. Oh the sympathy she could garner, a narc's delight!

At any rate, again as a nurse, there are many care homes that are perfectly capable of providing quality care. As for COVID a person can catch it anywhere at any time. Nursing homes are taking the best precautions they can, and are being monitored by the Feds.


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freedom77

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2020, 06:22:18 PM »
Too funny...Andeza we BOTH said intensely regret!!  :yes:

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Psuedonym

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2020, 06:48:26 PM »
To add on to what freedom77 said, my uPDM lived in an AL facility in the states. Her facility has been on massive lockdown since Covid became a thing. Every employee is tested for Covid at the beginning of EVERY SHIFT and the very few people who are allowed in for good reason have to do a temperature check first. They have had zero cases thus far. It's probably one of the safest places you can be at the moment.

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nanotech

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2020, 08:58:12 AM »
Please donít move her in. Just draw that line now. 
Sheís using the programming sheís put into you since you were a tiny child.
I see a lot of explaining and reasoning.
You donít need to do any of that.
AL will be fine for your mum, probably better, because she wonít be able to push their buttons.
Just tell yourself that youíll be able to deal with any disapproval etc.
I went through this a few years ago when my NBRO decided my dad should come and live with us.
In response, I didnít JADE.
I just told him no, and that I didnít think it ever worked out.
Thatís all Iíve ever said on it.
Once you start giving them lots of reasons, however valid they are, itís kind of like giving them fresh meat to devour.  They just see it as a possible and usable path to victory.
 A means to an end. They just start attacking or negating those very reasons, in ways which will attack the very root of our being.

They start to make us feel that if we donít agree, then we are not worth anything.
This is how they operate, how they get what they want.
BREAK THAT PATTERN, because itís fake news.
 In my case, NBRO and my dad threw every guilt bomb they had. Nope.
Not happening!
I just suddenly realised ( see the films Labrynth and The Wizard Of Oz);

THEY HAVE NO POWER OVER ME.

All you have to do is say no, and then stick to it. Itís hard, but itís NOT complicated. Once youíve done it, you start to feel itís protection.
Itís a great feeling.

We are not on this planet to prove our worth. We are loved just for being us, and we are worthy of happy lives without breaking every bone and sinew prostrating ourselves for our previously abusive parents.
 
We donít have to be useful to or approved by  ANY others, in order to feel validated.

No one else is entitled to judge us. And we  ourselves mustnít judge ourselves by other peopleís  skewed and totally self- serving  criteria.

And there are some lovely, emotionally healthy people out there. You have the support of your husband. Thatís all you need. But be assured, there are others.
Our FOO want us to think we are normal, tgat their demands are normal and Ď naturalí.
Nope. This is gaslighting on a humongous scale.

She is just one person in the world. Thatís it. Please donít allow her (any more) to control your world. If you do, it just continues the abuse.
Closeness will breed even more contempt. The fewer phone calls my dad receives from me, the less  abuse I receive. If I feel the abuse emerging ( passive aggression is his favourite weapon of choice) I then donít ring him for many days. Even in a pandemic, I do this. I no longer worry about what he or others may think.
In contrast we ring up almost daily to check if hubbyís dad is okay. Hubbyís dad is emotionally healthy, total opposite of a narcissist, and he didnít abuse hubby- he was a good, unselfish parent and he gave my husband the tools for life.
Weíve had to discover/ fashion those tools for ourselves.
Whatever you do, donít hand them over to her. Youíll never see them again.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 09:22:54 AM by nanotech »

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2020, 11:01:47 AM »
I learn something new everyday on this forum, useful and beneficial things.

I really do take a bit of wisdom from people who post their thoughts and experiences. So here is a big  :like: to all who have shared!

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DaisyGirl77

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2020, 09:24:29 AM »
I lived with my dad's mother for nearly 4 years & it left me with PTSD, a side of the family I don't speak to anymore (my dad excepted), & a vow to NEVER EVER EVER be in the position of caretaker for an elderly person EVER again.  Even the very idea of having someone else in my space is enough to make me feel extremely panicky & trapped.  After I got out of there, I told my parents to never expect me to care for them if they need it because I never will.  I may help from afar, but I'll never put myself in that situation ever again.  I'm that heavily burned by what I went through, & I urge you to read my story (linked in my signature).  If you're in the US, the elderly have even more rights thanks to the AARP & the laws they lobbied for & helped pass.

My father blamed me for everything.  APS (Adult Protective Services) blamed me for the woman's insanity, even when I was the one who wound up calling police.  My dad's brother believed every word his mother spouted against me & joined in making my life a living hell.  My father only realized I was telling him the truth once HE started bearing the brunt of her uN/uBPD behavior & he called to apologize 2 years after I got out.  It's been 7 years since I left & I'm still dealing with the legacy of pure white hot rage, betrayal, & hurt they left me with in T.

Don't.  Just don't.  She can live just fine in an ALF.  They will be better able to handle her because they have the training & experience to do so.  AND they can go home at the end of the day to decompress.  You won't, because she'll be in YOUR home.  Where would you ever go to decompress?  You can't.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 09:26:13 AM by DaisyGirl77 »
I lived with my dad's uPD mom for 3.5 years.  This is my story:  http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=59780.0  (TW for abuse descriptions.)

"You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm." - Anonymous

NC with uNM since December 2016.  VLC with uPDF.

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PeanutButter

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2020, 03:47:34 PM »
Don't.  Just don't.  She can live just fine in an ALF. They will be better able to handle her because they have the training & experience to do so   AND they can go home at the end of the day to decompress. You won't, because she'll be in YOUR home.  Where would you ever go to decompress?  You can't.
:yeahthat:
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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Cassandra T

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Re: Having her move in with us would be a nightmare
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2020, 04:07:47 AM »
Thanks, you guys have convinced me. One reason we kept our small house and never got a better house as we got older is so we would have an excuse if anyone ever wants to live with us: "We just don't have room." My father-in-law suggested using our house as "home base" right after we bought it. He thought we "had all that room" and he was going to buy a travel trailer and roam the country in it, get his mail at our address and stay there when he was not on the road. I told my husband "no, absolutely not." I could see the future: He sells his house, gets tired of traveling or gets a health issue, and spends more and more time at our house and ends up living there full time, when it isn't even necessary. I said, if there was no other option for him it would be different, but he has a house and needs to keep it.