I am burning out and having outburst of rage and abuse directed toward my mom.


I am temporarily living with mom due to a chain smoker who moved in next to me...I have stepped up my caregiving to 30 hrs a week. I am in menopause and am bipolar and my doc is adjusting my meds. Not sure what is to blame for all this rage...probably a combo of all of the above, including burnout!

Today was the day from hell....I let everything she said push my buttons and I felt like a volcano...I couldn't control my anger...i have a bad habit of swearing when I'm angry.. and name calling...this is a pattern that goes back to age 10.

Most of the time we get along fine and she is really sweet and caring but at times, she says things that I react to unreasonably...Se is a narcissist and when she talks about herself endlessly and I am her audience, it gets tiring...

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I used to feel the same way...I went to a therapist (best money I ever spent) for a few weeks. It's nice to have someone to vent to, that won't pass judgement. You need to take care of YOU, before you can take care of THEM. It's tough to be in our position. Humor with yourself works well, (I just look at her and think about the stupid look on her face at the time) and when she starts "pushing your buttons" try remembering that you are important, you do have the power to walk out of the room, and mostly, that you are kind and above her rantings. Then without adding fuel to her fire, simply smile and walk away. After 15 or so minutes you can walk back in, happy and collected..like nothing ever happened.

It is really hard when even the tiniest, most harmless things they say or do so get on your nerves that you want to scream or smash things.

Blannie is right - end the activity, conversation or whatever it is as fast as you can and leave as soon as you safely can: either the house, or at least the room, at least for long enough to get your breath back.

Teepa's breathing exercise is useful. Five deep breaths up through your nose into the bottom of your chest, purse your lips and blow steadily out. It calms you down and provides you with a distraction.

I've also got better at shutting myself up by repeating (in my head) "listen to yourself."

This evening - no, tonight, it was gone eleven p.m. for heaven's sake - mother didn't want to go to bed. She didn't want to do anything else, either, but she was sitting in her armchair dredging up random questions to put off getting up and coming with me to the bathroom. A while ago I would have confronted her about the delaying tactic, got heated and frustrated, and complained or told her off. I'm now doing a lot better: answer the questions fully but finally, keep it light, realise she does know she needs to get ready for bed now so there's no need to say so, be patient just for a few minutes and she'll make the effort when she's good and ready. That worked, that was fine. Said night-night at about ten to midnight. Slumped on the sofa, phew! Then bugger me if five minutes later her alarm didn't go off! - I'm back in her room and she's peeping out from under the quilt looking guilty. Is everything all right? Why did you need to get up? Claims she didn't, she may have just rolled over. Again, before I'd have called her on that one; now, just check that the alarm pad is in the right place under her sheets (it is, it's fine), say oh dearie me wonder how that happened, tuck her in again and say goodnight. I have no idea what she was up to - probably planning to head out of her bedroom to check on the cat or something, then realised the alarm had gone off and dived back into bed - but I really don't need to know. When her dementia gets worse and she's a-wanderin' all night long it'll be another story, of course… Heaven guide and preserve me when we get to that.

Thanks Blannie!...maybe it's the years of repeating the same pattern with our mothers...it's hard to break but a choice of how to respond instead of react...I will take your advice...Thank you! She is a narcissist, so it's doubly hard but I realize I have a choice not to let her get under my skin!

Can you try leaving the room when she's getting on your nerves? Go punch a pillow or go to your car and scream/cry at the top of your lungs (I've done that one MANY times) or go in the next room or outside and do jumping jacks. Anything to break the pattern of her comment and your blow-up. And some kind of action to get rid of the built up anger/energy those situations create.

My mom tripped my trigger tonight when I was at her place helping her, so I just quit what I was doing (trying to help her organize her mess of newspaper clippings), finished the rest of my stuff and left. Otherwise, my temper would have gotten the best of me. It's tough, I know.

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