Living a crazy life.

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This morning I stripped the sheets from my mother's bed. I am always in for a new surprise when I do her bed. Over time she has built a fortress around her bed. She has covered the floor with quilts. She has suitcases and a hamper at the foot of the bed. She has 3 blankets on the bed, along with the sheets. This morning I found blankets stuffed under the bed, like she is trying to keep anything from getting under there or getting out. She has a little wall of rolled up blankets around the upper part of the bed, leaving her a place in the middle to lay. She only stays in her bed half the night. She sleeps on the sofa the second half of the night. I've asked her why she is doing these things and always get the answer that she is trying to keep the cold air out that is coming in. I get this answer in summer, too, even when she might complain that it is too warm.

This disturbs me, because it isn't easy to live with craziness. It also makes cleaning her room impossible. It is also dangerous. I take things up. She puts them down. This happens repeatedly.

I don't know what to do. The medical people don't seem to care much. We've tried two antidepressants with bad results. I don't really know if this is dementia. If she has dementia, it isn't a normal type dementia. It is almost like she is fighting internal demons or demons that hide under her bed and in the floor. But she won't talk about them. She keeps anything that means anything buried inside her. I guess so she doesn't seem crazy.

I don't know why I'm writing this. I want to get her to a geri psych again, but she doesn't want to go. Nothing is wrong with her. Sometimes I feel more like we need to get a Catholic priest in to perform an exorcism of the room. I try to just keep living life, knowing that all is not well. But when I wash sheets it hits me all again about how bad it really is. It feels like I'm keeping an asylum... or that maybe I'm one of the inmates.


Jessie, my problems are nothing like yours but today I can relate to trying to control someone elses craziness. I have spent the morning on line reading about passive aggressive narcissistic behavior because my sister once again called me near tears about something my BIL had done. I have spent years trying to help, to understand, to help her understand, but bottom line is you can't fix crazy, only manage how you deal with it. It doesn't mean we won't get sucked in sometimes though.
Jessie, my son's a high-functioning autistic. We have gone through "crazies" so I know what you mean. Have you tried setting her bed on the floor? that would reduce stuff she could put underneath. We went through a brief period of my son sleeping in a popup tent in his room with a mattress inside because he had night terrors. It worked, and we moved on. If your mom is moving backwards in her thinking, it may be the same childhood monsters under the bed and all you can do is manage it. If she has a fan in her room, change the pattern of air flow - my son cannot stand direct breeze on him (had to try 3 different ceiling fans to fix the air flow issue with size of blades and how close to ceiling). If she is having hot flashes or cold chills like thyroid or kidney issues, she may have lost some of the language capacity to communicate the discomfort. My heart goes out to you, fellow inmate (ps son is 17 now and has outgrown some of the behaviors, but psych says some will always need to be managed).
You might want to read up on Lewy Body dementia. This really opened our eyes to Mom's condition.
I don't think she has Lewy Body Dementia -- none of the symptoms. Whatever it is is stubborn as a mule and crazy as a donkey. I've given up trying to fix it for the sake of my own sanity. Maybe there is no diagnostics for it. We used to just diagnose folks as crazy as a bessie bug or maybe a loon and everyone knew what we were meaning. Perhaps if we didn't see it as so tragic, it wouldn't be quite so bad.
Jessie it's time to put her into a care residence where she can have care 24/7. You can't do it alone or you will die before she does.
Jessie, I'm curious if y I ur mom was given to odd beliefs when she was younger as well, or if she has always been "moody". If your mom is religiously inclined, it's possible that you are on to something with inviting a priest in, not for an excorcism, but perhaps for some sprinkling of holy water, etc.
My mother on the outside is a very unexciting person. In public she never says anything or does anything that isn't what you would expect of a southern Baptist woman. Inside the home, she has always been irritable, depressed, anxious, and unloving. She probably keeps a lot of stuff inside, because she doesn't want to look crazy or proper. Out of the public eye, she is a mess, really. I don't know if she has ever had strange beliefs. She has had some strange behaviors. If I had to guess, I would say there is a lot of hidden stuff that goes way back.
mmm... I meant improper. She DID want to look proper to the outside world.
Jessie, my mom is sort of the same way. She seemed to think that the TV moms of the 50s like June Cleaver etc were the way things were supposed to be and was unhappy that us kids weren't perfect and that she wasn't dressed in pearls and high heels every day.

As her vascular dementia took hold, some terrible anxiety about being bad in some way emerged. I have no idea if she actually did something wrong or if this is a delusion of some sort. But when stressed and off antianxiety meds, she weeps, wings her hands and talks incoherently about taxes and going to h*ll. It's heart breaking. I think that there is a lot of unwed trauma and mental dysfunction in our parents' generation.

To start, we got mom on antianxiety meds.
Babalou, there was a lot of pressure of our mothers' generation to be a certain way. I think there was something not kosher going on at her childhood home. According to her, though, everything was rainbows and butterflies. For some reason, though, there was a lot of problematical behavior in the girls. My mother was very dependent all her life and was failing to launch. Granddad pretty much pushed her out, with a little money in her pocket from selling a cow. Now my mother was all proper and all. She got married and 8 months later had her first baby. He was premature, y'know -- all 10 lbs of him! Of course, I had no judgment on premarital relations, since hormones have always existed.

Our parents, particularly our mothers, had to hide so much. Maybe there are feelings that were pushed down. I wouldn't be surprised if only the daughters get to see the "unsweet" side. Babalou, when you talked about your mother it did make me wonder if she has some unfiltered guilt and shame from her younger years. When the brain is damaged, we can only speculate about what is then and what is now. Having people expect you to be like June Cleaver had to be tough. (I wonder what June would have been like if the cameras weren't on her.)

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