Excessively picked on.

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My mom has been declining steadily for 3 years now. She is at a point where she has retired. She is on a gob of opiates, and overabundance in my opinion as a substance abuse counselor. She has regained mobility for the most part, however due to her other health conditions, lack of physical conditioning and self imposed poor diet has bound herself to a walker. I used to be very close to my mother in that we only had each other after my father passed away when I turned two, however since the rapid decrease in her health...she is a stranger. She has begun to recall memories of how horrible her parents were to her and her siblings, constantly speaks poorly of them, shares these memories with my young child, and cannot acknowledge and consider information that is presented to her when it is fact. I can cope with all this. What I find myself becoming enraged about is how she constantly picks and picks and picks about anything. She will dig at me in front of family and friends, she accuses me of always wanting to be right. She finds it inconvenient that she's been referred for mental health services by her clinic...when inside I rejoice because she needs it. She certainly doesn't listen to me when I suggest ideas to improve her health and well being. She scoffs at positivity and hope for a better tomorrow. She constantly says she's cursed and that I will be too. She looks at me with this over exaggerated look of concern when we are in the midst of a completely different conversation and tells me that I shouldn't take on too much stress because I don't want to end up like her. I express to her that I'm confident that I am fine and making good choices for my health...but she's like a broken record. She picks excessively with the same topics...she says the same things and doesn't seem to listen or process any information that leaves my mouth. I feel so angry inside. I stay away because she gives me a headache. I feel shame for this , however I have to protect my happiness too. I have begun to realize these personality in my mother that I find horrible and I feel so disconnected from someone I used to admire. Its like my mom from years ago is gone and in her place is this emotionally abusive stranger that at times acts like the mother I miss. I bottle all this up usually. My partner sees it...my daughter is to young to know..and besides sharing more details then she should...my mom is an indulgent grandmother.....tonight she kept repeating the same criticism over and over...she had my daughter mimicking her. I called her attention to it and she laughed at my obvious irritation and my reasoning for being irritated. She acted as if she was just kidding...I left swiftly filled with anger and sadness. I can't fathom cutting ties with her..I'm the only one...perhaps I should buy ear plugs and nod and smile...practice mutism and find something to keep my mind off of what she is saying while we visit. I appreciate this opportunity to vent. I would appreciate any suggestions.


gingerbeauty, I found myself nodding at the things you wrote. You are not alone in what you are going through. Mine also picks on me if I am in the room for more than a few minutes. It certainly does get irritating. The difference is that my mother has always done this and the behavior is new for your mother. When my mother does it I ignore it unless it really matters. I know with my mother she is just talking in a way that tries to cast me in a lower position -- Why she does this I don't know. If it is too irritating I just leave the room. Sometimes I wonder if getting rid of me may be what she is trying to accomplish. If it is, it works.

I am wondering if your mother may be having some trouble with dementia. Her behavior sounds so much like my mother's in the ways your describe. One of my mother's favorite accusations is that I think I'm always right. As someone who goes out of my way to let her keep as much control as she can handle, I try not to take the criticism to heart. It is important for my mother to be right, so anything that makes her feel less than "right" is a challenge to her.

The bad news is that I've not really found a way to change her behavior. She is going to pick and argue at me if I'm around for more than a few minutes. Taking up for myself just makes her angry, so it's not worth doing in my mother's case. I just try to let things roll off and leave the room when I started getting irritated. If your mother is like mine, you won't be able to ask her to stop doing it, because she thinks she hasn't done anything wrong.

The best advice is probably the old saying that we can't do anything to change the way someone behaves; we can only control our reaction to it. (But let me tell you, it can be hard to follow that advice sometimes!)
Please get yourself to a therapist as soon as possible if possible. You sound so much like me about 2 yrs. ago when my mom moved in with me. Yours sounds as if dementia is rearing its head, this is going to be an emotional journey for you. I would limit contact between your mother and your young child as from what you wrote her negative behavior is influencing your very young impressionable child.Please try if possible to see a therapist for yourself,as see this as important as seeing and MD for a physical ailment. You are going to need emotional support and reassurance and help with seeing what is reasonable behavior and what is not and how to respond.Don't try to be superwoman,you will give yourself a heart attack. I only wish I had immediately started seeing a therapist when I moved my mom in with me,we never had a good relationship, she is a lifelong narcissist,passive aggressive personality and I am an only child.Seeing a therapist for myself was one of the BEST things I did,it's probably why I haven't had a stroke yet and also I believe my mother's health is better now because I took care of myself.
I appreciate your suggestions. I have taken them to heart and knowing others are navigating this particular situation is comforting. We are anticipating home health care to provide more support in the near future. I thank you both.
She's been referred to mental health services ... has she gone? Does she have an appointment? What are their findings?

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