I feel like I am not what my mother needs due to my inablity to step away from her when arguing.

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I feel like I am becomming verbally abusive to my mother because she is that way with me. I feel guilty and awful because of what I said to her. I am so frustrated but I know that she is more so.


Lavender, you and I have the same mother. Same age, same problems, same personality. It is a crazy-making roller coaster. I also end up feeling angry and guilty a lot.The only thing I found that helps is to walk away when she gets into her arguing mode, which she does quite often. She tends to do it more often when she is bored or stressed, so I have the feeling that it is her way of alleviating anxiety. (She also did this when I was a child, so I learned to walk away early in life.)
Maybe it's easier said then done, but if there's no fuel there can't be a fire. Don't give the argumentative person that fuel to keep them going. When my mother-in-law gets in one of her 'loops' as I call them, where she can't seem to get off the subject of whatever it is that's driving her crazy, I stop talking to her. Now granted she's not mean to me, but she gets all agitated about some dumb thing and keeps repeating the same thing over and over again. With her dementia she can't help it, but my correcting and/or arguing about it just adds the fuel that she needs to keep the fire going. Forget that nonsense. :)
(((((((lavender))))))))) are there other options for your mother's care? It is no good for you to be abusive to one another. Has she always been this way?
Thank you all for the suggestions. I am trying through her primary doctor to see what can be done. Yes, she has always been this way. We were always walking on egg shells around her growing up. We would say or do one thing and the whole day was ruined.
lavender123, if it were only dementia you were dealing with (ONLY dementia?? -- lordy that would be enough) I would have several suggestions for you. But this has been going on all of your life. Dementia is just the frosting on this particular cake.

There are definitely other options for her care. What if she had no children? So now it is a matter of finding the best option and figuring out the financial end of things. This is a big responsibility and a big job. But I think it is the correct job for you to be undertaking. Full-time hands-on care of your mother just doesn't sound suitable. As emjo says, mutual abuse isn't good for anyone.

Sincere best wishes on this difficult responsibility.
Maybe you can't step away while the argument is going on, but perhaps you can think it over and come back in a calm manner some other time to address the topic kindly.

When you are calm and bringing something up, one good tactic is to tell yourself you will ONLY ask questions, repeat what you hear, and ask more questions, but don't comment. Save that for another time.

That way your mother will feel like you really heard her, because you dedicated a whole conversation to ONLY listening to her without comment. It is really, really hard to do, but they say if you try it several times, you will get better at it.

Best wishes to you.

Questions can be miracles. Listening is a gift you can give to anyone.

After you do that several times for you mother, perhaps she will be willing to do the same for you. I think you have to give more than you get ... at first and all of a sudden you may find you get the most of all.
Sooozi, have you ever lived with someone with dementia? Or with a serious personality disorder? Your advice sounds very good for dealing with cognitively "normal" folks. I don't think that is Lavender's situation. I just point this out because I think that Lavender feels bad even about not being able to cope with the situation. When there is dementia and/or mental illness in the picture, all bets are off.
I have re-read the question several times and still do not see any reference to dementia. Perhaps you know something from other posts, or perhaps I have overlooked something, but no mention of dementia in this post, so I answered based on what I read.

As with everything else here, I hope people offer me all the advice they have and I do the same, hoping that we can take whatever advice works ...

I was attempting to be encouraging and offer advice that I have found helpful to me in the very same situation that was described here and my most frustrating situation with my own mother.

After thinking personally it would never work and I would never be able to do it, it did work for me an my mother.
Sooozi, I know about the dementia because I clicked on lavender123's name and read her profile. Again, I did not make my comment to criticize you. In fact, I think you gave very good advice. But having lived with someone who had dementia, I know that what works in "normal" situations just isn't applicable. If you come back later in a calm manner, the person may not even remember there was a conflict. If you think that modeling good behavior is going to teach them a new way to behave themselves you are destined to be very disappointed. I am very glad that this approach worked with your mother who has chf and is frail, and I suspect it will work well with many other people. No criticism intended. Really.
I know it sounded really bad yesterday and it was. However, we talked a lot and have both calmed down. I admit that I do not know how to handle the situation but I am trying. Which is more than I can say about my sibling. She told me that she was scared that she was dying and that is why she was not eating or taking her meds. Her not eating and not taking her meds really got me worried and scared and I told her this. I went walking today and spent time by myself and I feel better. I have not heard from her doctor yet but we are doing the best that we can. I love my mother very much and I would not harm her in any way. Things do get hard now and then and I thank God that we had a nice christmas. Although, she is getting tired of turkey, dressing and sweet potatoes. LOL I just thank my higher power that she ate a good dinner last night. She is REALLY enjoying the Dove dark chocolate that was under the tree for her. Thank you all for lending me your ear and support.

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