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Setting Boundaries in Toxic Relationships

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Setting Boundaries in Toxic Relationships

By Carol Bradley Bursack, AgingCare.com

When the family member we are trying to care for is impossible to please, it’s often because of long-standing family dynamics. I’m not talking about someone in intolerable pain, or someone who has little control over their brain because of dementia or Alzheimer’s. In those cases, we often need to get the help of professionals, whether it’s hospice care for end-of-life pain or a memory unit for Alzheimer’s patients who may not be safe at home.

However, many caregivers on this forum talk about caring for parents who have abused them for a lifetime. Aging, and the problems that come with it, has only made this abuse more intense. No, your parents may not be able to hit you anymore, but that loss of physical control for them sometimes can make their tongues an even stronger weapon.

Yet, it’s natural for adult children to love their parents and even want to care for them as they age. If your parents abused you when you were a child, how do you care for them without harming yourself by being subjected to ongoing criticism and abuse?

Many counselors would suggest “detaching with love.” Detaching is a method of setting boundaries to protect yourself. It can also mean that you give up the notion that you can control their behavior, and you stop allowing them to control yours. It’s hard. It takes practice. But for many, detaching works.

“I Love My Mother, But I Don’t Like Her”
Caring for Parents Who Didn’t Care for You
Why Do Elders Abuse The Relatives Who Are Taking Care of Them?

Detaching With Love: Setting Boundaries in Toxic Relationships originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

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AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

45 comments

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11:55PM PST on Nov 21, 2013

Thanks for Sharing.

12:45AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

thanks for sharing

12:25PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

yes

10:51AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

TY.

11:56PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Good article, thanks!

11:17PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

That is what I am doing--detaching with love,

7:51PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

thanks

3:31PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Good article and comments. We all need to learn about setting boundaries of all kinds.

1:53PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

So true, without boundaries we are setting ourself up for complete draining of our energy.

3:15AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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