Well, I have had a major decision weighting on my mind for about a week now, and it has me under a lot of stress. At the moment my mother and I are renting to own a house together in West Central Indiana. I love that we are rural, and I love that we have more land than we EVER had when we lived back in the Chicago area. We left where we lived previously because it was just getting too dangerous to live there. We found this house on craigslist, and we knew it needed some work, but we didn't realize til later just HOW MUCH it needed. A few months after we had moved in and finally gotten unpacked, I found a job. Granted it was part time, we were making ends meet and we were basically happy. Then, in December of last year, the car bit the dust. That caused us a lot of problems. First of all, we live about 20 miles from the nearest stores and towns. So, I ended up losing my job, and being that it was winter time, finding people to help us out by taking us to the store was very difficult. A few times I went into a panic wondering how I was going to feed everyone. Through the spring and summer I've gotten some rides to go get food and animal supplies, and that has helped immensely, but here we go again. Winter is coming and we still don't have a car. Add into that the fact that I was in a major car accident in June of this year that has left me with a bulging disc in my spine, more nerve damage than I already have, and now trouble lifting my right leg. I can't feel the pedal beneath my foot and can't move it fast enough from gas to brake. Basically, I can't drive anymore. My mother and I are now at each other's throats constantly. She alternates screaming at me and my kids that she wants to ship my kids off to their father (which I would NEVER let happen), or leaving herself. All the fighting, the tight money, the fact that the house is falling down around us, and various other factors is tearing our family apart. I won't say that I was ever an excellent housekeeper. I worked, I'm in college online, I'm raising two kids, it gets hard, you know? But since the accident the amount that I can do is very limited, and my mother expects my kids to clean up everything while she sits and watches tv, and when they don't, she screams. Now, she DOES clean, but usually only after screaming at the kids and insulting us all, and nearly blowing a blood vessel. The more she screams, the less the kids want to do. They want to escape outside to avoid her and that just makes her yell more. She accuses me of being a bad mother because I don't ride them. I don't want to have a stroke, so why should I scream until my vision blurs and goes white? To me, it's pointless. We have to go to the other end of town in order to throw out garbage because there is only one dumpster in town, and our only way of getting the garbage there-my kids wagon, buckled under the weight of the garbage, so now we don't have an effective way to get the garbage there, and it's piling up. I can't walk to the dumpster, so it's left to my kids to do it because she won't walk to it either. So the really heavy garbage bags don't get taken. Her new method is to toss them down the basement stairs. Out of sight, out of mind. Did I mention the basement has flooded over and over this spring and summer? Well, I've been sinking into a deeper and deeper depression these last few months. The stress is going to kill me soon, and I finally snapped early this week. I vented to a friend of mine that lives just over the border in Illinois, in a little town outside Champaign. She has listened patiently, and she told me that she has a friend that owns a farm, and on the farm is a trailer that she rents out. It has 3 bedrooms, and while it isn't big, it would fit me and my kids. And since the lady that owns the farm already has a yard full of animals, I might be able to keep my chickens and ducks, and my dogs and cats. Granted I can't drive, but my friend said that if I got a scooter or bike I could ride to public transportation, and she would take me grocery shopping. I'm 6 months away from graduating with an Assoc. in Business Administration, and I'm hoping that would help open up more job opportunities for me than I currently have. Currently there are renters in the trailer, but my friend doesn't think they will stay long, and she said that as soon as the trailer opened up, she would let me know. Probably by the end of the year. I feel like this came at a most dark time in my life because I was meant to know that God is watching out for me, and it's now my decision whether I want to accept His help, or continue to live like I am. I sat the entire family down and I discussed it with them, mom included, and I knew before I sat her down that she would be mad. My mother, for a 58 yr old woman, can act quite childish when faced with something she can't control, and naturally, she was mad. She yelled and complained, but I stayed calm and tried to explain the benefits. Her response? She began listing all the things that I wouldn't be allowed to bring with me, including the mini doxie that she bought, but that has bonded with my older DD to the degree that they both sink into a depression when they are away from one another. She really doesn't interact with the dog much. The kids feed and water the dogs, they let them out, they bathe them, etc. Sometimes the dogs will snuggle on the couch with my mom, but that's about it. Well, much as I know it will kill my daughter and the dog, I'm not letting a dog prevent me from making the right decision where my kids are concerned. I don't think she fully understands though that I was talking about moving out without her. I think she's in denial and is deliberately denying what I tell her. She alternates between saying we need to fix the house up before we leave, as though she would be coming with, and saying that I need to give her $25,000 before I can leave (I think she thinks I'd give her half the cost of the house? We're renting to own right now at $55,000 for the house). I'll gladly paint and fix things that broke since we moved in (most was already breaking LONG before we moved in) before I were to leave. But as I sit and try to think through exactly what it will cost me to live without the benefit of her retirement money, I am also wracked with guilt. If I move, I'll be an hour away. She won't have a car, and neither will I. Sure, eventually at some point she will get a car, but who knows when that will be? And who's going to take care of her if I leave? I worry about my mother's health. She already suspects that she has had a couple of mini strokes (with all the yelling she does, it's really no wonder), she's a Type II diabetic, has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and is quite reclusive. She's the epitomy of the Crazy Cat Lady. God knows I love her, and very deeply, but she frustrates me to no end. I'm positive that she suffers from depression (runs in the family) and that her's manifests itself as anger, which she proceeds to take out on me and the kids. My kid are miserable most of the time and my younger DD screams right back at her which hurts me. A child should love their grandparents, and grandparents should be kind, wonderful people that the grandchildren can adore. But my younger DD says frequently that she hates my mother, and there is so much pain and venom in her voice that I know she means what she says. My house is a mess, but the kids will only clean with me when my mother is not in the room. If my mother stays in her room, the kids will bust their butts to clean (so long as I stand there and motivate them, which, isn't that how most kids are? Lol) and together we can get a room spotless in less than an hour, but the moment she comes out of her room, they don't want to do anything. They don't feel appreciated or loved, and neither do I. She loves to threaten me. She wants me to finish my degree, but if I don't clean or make my kids clean, she says she will disconnect the internet. Plus I need to fight her for the computer because we only have one connection, even though we have two computers. It's a race now to see who can wake up first to get on the computer (her or me). If she gets there first, I can't get on until she's good and ready to get off, and that causes problems for me with trying to get my homework done since I need to do a lot of research to get my work done. And if she sees me on ANY website other than my school website, she starts screaming that I'm ruining HER computer time and then wants me to get off the computer. She is retired, only has a few friends, and spends most of her computer time sitting on Facebook playing Three Tower Solitaire. That's time that I could be writing a paper or checking one of my business websites. If we move to the trailer, internet is included in the rent, so that's one less bill, and I could get two computers set up, one for the kids schoolwork, and one for mine. I'm at my wits end, but I was raised in a family where we are close knit and take care of our parents in their old age, but she is making that so terribly difficult. She complains to our extended family and says that I'm a terrible mother, that I am filthy and like living in a dirty house, and now she's accusing me of being a hoarder. I bred my chickens to sell the extra birds, and I'm doing that. Granted it's not as fast as I wanted it to be, but I am selling them. I technically have 4 dogs. The 4th one was a rescue that I took in for a friend, but if I move, all I'll bring with me are my 2 chihuahuas, 2 cats, and my chickens. That's it. She brought home the other 2 dogs. And as for cats? I own 2. One is 15, one is 9. She owns all the other cats. 15 in total. And that's not counting the kittens that were just born to a girl that managed to sneak out of the house. She has agreed to get rid of cats, but we need a ride to a shelter, and she still won't get the number of cats down as low as I would like. Don't get me wrong, I like cats. But I'm allergic to them too, and it looks like so is my older DD because she is always itching and needs to constantly take Claritin. She refuses to get the number down below 7 cats. We were able to comfortably manage 7 cats in the past, and 3 more of those key 7 are elderly, so the number wouldn't stay that high for very long. Oh, and she is trying to tell me that I can't take the ducks either. Ha! Yes, she loves them (likes them better than chickens actually), but I am the one that bought them. I pay for their feed (she has bought feed before, but most all of the feed, I buy). She will go out and fill their pool and hose them down, but my kids and I clean out the coop, and they sleep with MY chickens. I've already decided that if I take this trailer, I'll be doing a serious downsizing in my flocks, and will probably have to get rid of my current standard flock, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I'm sick of her controlling nature, the fighting, the screaming, and the animosity. But again, I am wracked with guilt as I wonder, how will she get food? Animal food? Will she have enough to buy oil for the heater in the winter? What if she really DOES have a stroke? I'd feel like the worst daughter in the world. I dunno. Am I worrying too much? I need some advice, some guidance. Anyone think I'm making a good decision? I'd be closer to jobs, food, activities for my kids, and I'd have a network of people that would help me. I am just so frustrated right now!!!