Recognition: Grams is miserable no matter what.

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I have been taking personal responsibility for her mood. NO matter what I tell myself, I feel responsible for the way she feels. As if it was me. When logic tells me no matter what she is going to find fault, problems, etc. She was doing it with my uncle long before I moved in here. Now I am the source of her anger and misery. She cannot help herself.

She has the early stages of a form of dementia. She has difficult sleeping, moving around due to painful joints. Goes from her chair to her bed and back again. Won't go anywhere. Would rather complain and find fault.

It is really difficult not to take it personal. I leave the room she picks up where she left off. Yet when I question or repeat what she says she swears she did not say that. She is argumentative no matter what.

I do not know how much more I can take. I know it is not me, it is her state of mind and she cannot help it. So how do I change my reaction? I feel responsible, like I have to fix it or I will get into trouble with my uncles and dad.

It has brought me to recognize the problems and pain in my life. That if I do not actively heal now, stay in recovery, that will be me. I do not want to put anyone else through this. And I have my dad to look out for next. Oh, yeah.

Thank you for listening. :)

Bless you all.

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Connie, that is a profound realization you've come to. But if you have spent a lifetime thinking you were or could be responsible for someone else's happiness or moods, it is hard to put that realization into action. This sounds silly but MAYBE it would help if you had a few slogans you repeated to yourself when you start feeling responsible for her mood. Something like ... "the only person whose attitude I can control is looking back at me from the mirror" (Shortened to "she's not in my mirror." Or one I like "Not my circus, not my monkey.) or "My superpowers don't work on days ending in Y" Come up with something that will remind you of your significant insight, in only a few short words. Make it your caregiving mantra.

Overcoming a lifetime of false belief ("I am responsible for other people's happiness") can be very hard work. It might help to have a few sessions with a counselor to help reinforce your resolve.

Grams has dementia. You did not cause it. You cannot cure it. You can try to keep her comfortable in spite of the dementia, but you cannot force her to be happy. And if this has been her personality all her life, it is futile to think you can reform her now that she has dementia.
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Take a page from the book of Al-Anon. You cannot fix her, you can only fix you. You cannot argue with or bargain with dementia. You can only live within your own reality and let them live in theirs.
As for her pain, ask the MD to assign PT to her at home. Gentle range of motion may help her. While PT is there, YOU get some FRESH AIR. Learn not to hover, not to smother. BREATHE.
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