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Sorry - just ranting now... This is what I got from my mother today. A few friends came over to drop things off and to pick up stuff. Went to drop off the jury duty papers at the doctors so that they could sign off on it. Took a side trip to get some special food for her that she likes (I should say liked now). Got home and I was yelled at -- she said, "I don't eat this kind of stuff..." and then she said - "Are you trying to sell me off? You think you can talk to the neighbors and tell them what's going on in here and they will be on your side?" Yep.. and then it came... "What kind of daughter did I raise?" 1. She is so hard of hearing that she could not possibly hear anything that was being said. 2. They aren't neighbors. They are my friends and the nearest one is 7-10 blocks away. 3. Why would I try to sell her? LOL.. ok. I just gotta laugh at that one...


So here's my answer to her - A damned good daughter that has put herself and her own family after you. One that took care of dad, when he had cancer -- changing his catheter, changing his diaper, cleaning his feeding tube and taking him to Reno on my dime to get treatment... and who got burnt out at that time. It wasn't me. I preservered. Then I had to take care of your son. And now you... All of this over an 18 year span, never really having time off for my family or myself. And all of this while taking your criticism and judgement of me.


Is this dementia talking? I hope so because how dare you say something like that to me after all that I have done.


Love, your daughter...

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Well said, Scared Taker!
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scared taker I just read your post. I'm so sorry you feel responsible for your dads passing. I hope you find a way to give yourself a break. I have no knowledge of your previous posts. Re: your dad but I can't imagine you did anything harmful on purpose. Hugs
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Dear earbud,

Thank you for the update. Glad you have a supportive husband. It is hard to find that balance again, but I'm glad you did.

Dear Scaredtaker,

I have to agree with Erin, you could write a book for caregivers. You presented both sides so well. It is so tricky. I have been a doormat my whole life so doing all my parents bidding was my default setting. Never realizing how much anger and resentment I had about my role in the family all these years. My father passed last year and the pain is still fresh. Because all the decision making was on my shoulder, I feel terrible pain for my bad judgement leading to his death. And yet, I never thought about walking away. I feel sad I couldn't find a better balance before he passed. And now I have to live with the pain. Trying to turn it around with counselling but its a slow process for me.
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She cannot appreciate what u did or are doing. So yes its the Dementia. My Mom was a sweet lady but would say just kill her. I give u credit for taking care of two men. I wouldn't have been able to.
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Scaredtaker, what I really like about what you wrote is it shows the two sides of things. Or should I say the many sides. I hope the job comes through for you.
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Scared taker. You are a genius. You nailed it. You could write a book to help future caregivers.
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Thanks so much for sharing the update!
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Ok. So here's my update. I am hoping that this helps someone out there. At the time I wrote the post I was going through a very very difficult time and I was going off on everyone and everything. I was totally out of control. Then, after going off on a couple of friends and finally realizing that my actions were irrational and hurting everyone else I called a psychologist and made an appointment because one of the things that my husband said when I was on one of my out of control tirades he said - you know - we need to get help. The other thing he said is this - you need to get away. The boys and I can watch and take care of her when you're gone. Bingo! That was my turning point. After that I dug my heels in and said, no more and I consciously pulled back my energy and the thought of taking back my life came to mind again. A few days after I did this my mother told me that her pulse was weak and that's when I had my "aha moment." I was giving her my life force and I was allowing her to take it. She was a little hard to deal with and difficult for a few days after I dug my heels in and I think that she felt the energy shift... But now she seems to be better. She has not had any unreasonable requests lately. Things are a lot more peaceful at home.

I'm going to be taking an Raindrop Therapy class next month and also going to a retreat in 3 months. So, these are the things that I have done to "get better" and take care of myself.

Oh... I did see the psychologist but it didn't do anything for me. I'll be seeing her again but I suspect that I won't need her services any longer... I feel like "I'm Baaaaccccckkkk!"
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CTTN55, I feel like I could have written your response too! I love that last line.

earbud, yup, my mother was the same way when she was living with me. Very hard to just ignore or block it out.
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I feel elderly parents often go on attack if things do not work their way is due to the loss of their autonomy: driving, bathrooming, work...all those things that shaped who they spent a lifetime developing and living as...the person they lived longest being.

Faced with medical and mental issues it is easy to see confusion enter as logic takes it's leave. It's like a hose that kinks/unkinks: sometimes it flows...sometimes not so much.

Life becomes a foreigner to them in their own living room. People they loved and relied on for comfort (their own family & parents) pass on and they turn somewhat inward as they cannot easily seek new resources without a lot of help.

Its insidious really. Age is somewhat of a sneak attack that quietly slips in, thieving little momentos at first....one by one until it steals the last breath.

Kept well past the expiry date, medicine & doctors keep the living alive in body. Missing the other parts because frankly, the window of life expanded in keeping with science, but not as much with resources to help the various & emerging "side effects" of prolonging life.

Not hard to see why caretakers become frustrated as they have not completely walked this path themselves - always wondering if this will happen to them in their later years. Not too much fun for either side. Both seem to experiences depression, anxiety & worry...frustration and so forth...but different perspectives from where they experience life.

Add to it the outsiders as I call em - those who cannot believe your parent actually says or does the very things you experience as a caregiver. Invalidation at its finest. The elderly parent may forget what they did or said - or perhaps remember and are embarrassed - so they have the perpetual halo atop their head when others visit.

This situation is so hard. So hard that I don't want to live to be old - and in fact may not due to the toll this has taken out of my a$$ as sole caregiver to both elderly parents.

I wonder if my parents said the same when their parents were elderly - neither were their caregivers but helped out to some degree. I wonder if they worried that they would become like their parents...I don't know.

I like to say YMMV (your mileage may vary) and it is up to each person to be respected as to what their truth is. Even those in dementia. As they experience it. I try practicing extreme compassion most days - and some days the dragon wins...ok most days.

I am hoping a new job prospect will come through and I can work my rear off in it for as long as I can. It means moving on from my parents. I am scared to stay here with them and I am afraid to leave. But I have to believe I have made a positive difference for as long as I could. And that I can have a few yrs before I become elderly (not sure what age that is? I am 52) to recover my life post divorce and caregiving.

My sister did not seem to believe my mother can really hurt people as she ages - but she is only here and gone in a few days. She does not live this. Yet complains (vents?) that both parents are pissing her off in emails shaming and guilting family for not visiting (ha - I live w them and get this guilt tripping daily!).

Thing is - it's easy to not believe the caregiver in favor of parents due to habit of roles. IE outside looking in...But the roles reverse with time. And that does not seem to apply in favor of caregiver kids. We lose honor that should be awarded via supported listening...if nothing else. Not the insinuation that we make up our parents bad behavior or that we should be assigned blame as the catalyst for it.

I feel both sides experience similar emotions and health issues related to the stress of it all. Its weird because it often sounds like parents V caregiver...yet here we are experiencing similar states of frustration and sadness. Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to connect both sides effectively? Easier said than done.

Extreme compassion for both perspectives has taught me a lot. I like to think that should this job come through, I have not been a bad kid for leaving after 5 yrs of caregiving. That I need to know when I can't do more for them - that I have to try and do the next best thing despite sibling anger at me and guilt trips from my parents -

HUGS
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I think my mother would say this about me (but not to any outsiders; she's also told me she doesn't want to embarrass me by telling my brothers). Short-term memory issues aside, she will not forget that I pointed out to her how much my 24/7 presence for 8 days when she strained her back and neck and became almost totally helpless would have cost if she'd had paid caregivers there. She thinks that it's what "anyone" would have done. (Next time something similar happens, it will be "anyone" ELSE that becomes her slave.) Of course she forgets that I was there for 8 days -- she says I am lying and that it was only a "day or two" and that she could have been left alone. Nope -- the dr. told me she needed someone with her because of the pain meds she'd prescribed. 

(There is a silver lining to that experience, though, which is that I will not do it again. I will not be responsible for her care, even for a few days. If she is in the hospital and awaiting discharge, I know what I have to say so that I am not held responsible. And if she is in the hospital and refusing to go to rehab, I also know what to say. I won't be bullied by any hospital social workers or discharge planners, thanks again to this site!) 

My mother thinks daughters should help their mothers. Her darling golden-boy sons are out of state, of course.

My mother now knows that I don't like taking her places. I don't want to do any caregiving at all. But because she gave me her car, I am responsible for driving her to medical appointments, Mass and one shopping trip/week. (She would have had me doing more driving, but thanks to this site I set firm boundaries in place from the very beginning of my chauffering job.)

It's very obvious that I'm not the daughter she wanted. She's not the mother I wanted, either.
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Midkid used the perfect response. They want you to beg them not to say such a thing. My grandmother's famous line was "Well I'll just take poison!". I always responded with OK. They certainly can't argue with you for agreeing with them.
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My mother (all my life...until I called her on it, on my 30th birthday!!) "well, I guess I'll just kill myself and then you selfish brats will feel sorry for me". My reply "Ok Mom, please don't leave a mess." Shocked silence.

What kind of daughter(s) did she raise? Ones who did complete 180's as mothers. That's who. If you're not setting a good example, you might be serving as a horrible warning. And FYI, keeping kids in line with "terror" is tantamount to child abuse. No, mother never hit me, not where it shows. 25 years and counting of therapy and I will likely never be "well".
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My Mom's favorite is "Why don't you just shoot me"? Lol!
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Thanks for all of your kind words! LOL.. Countrymouse... You don't want to know what my answer to her was on that question... Of course she couldn't hear me...
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The real question must be, what would you get for her at the market rate? Now there's a thought... ;)

What kind of daughter did she raise? Oh, mother darling, what kind of question is that. Yes it's the dementia, making her angry and afraid. Hugs to both of you.
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You are too good of a good person. I know that sounds like a contradiction. Take care of yourself.
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Dear earbud,

You are an amazing woman. An extremely loving and dutiful daughter. No one could ask for a better daughter than you. It's so hard. We, women just give and give and its almost unbearable when there is no validation and acknowledgment.

I'm sure most people would have lost patience and given up at this point. I know the anger and resentment was choking me.

You are good person. Hang in there. Thinking of you.
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I don't know why they go on the attack when something doesn't go their way. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "You want to see me dead?" I would be a rich woman. It is her way of throwing a tantrum if I don't do what she wants right away. There is never any danger to her life. It is just an unsuccessful way to try to control.
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Thanks Sue888... I'm ok. Yes, I do... If my mom were capable of understand and be in her right mind - this is what I believe she would tell me - the words to Cher's song - If I could turn back time... not exactly all the same words but you get the gist of it...

If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I'd take back those words that hurt you
And you'd stay
I don't know why I did the things I did
I don't know why I said the things I said
Love's like a knife it can cut deep inside
Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes
I didn't really mean to hurt you
I didn't want to see you go
I know I made you cry, but baby
If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I'd take back those words that hurt you
And you'd stay
If I could reach the stars
I'd give 'em all to you
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I feel for you! Wish I could say something that would help but at this point I'm assuming
you know how amazing you are and how fortunate your family is to have you in their lives.
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