My husband and I moved in to caregive for my mom. She's depressed, and treats others better than me. She gets so angry at me.

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Everyone tells me don't take it personally, but she calls my siblings and complains about me. I get depressed because she treats me so meanly. I feel over-stressed, and don't know what to do except cry. She was diagnosed with mild memory loss (Dementia. I do get respite from a CNA. Mom calls her when I'm right here and seems happier with her.

4 Comments

That's the way it goes. It sucks, doesn't it?

Remember that she's angry at her condition and afraid about the future. She shouldn't take it out on you, but you're right there. Try to realize that what she says is 98% emotional and only 2% factual. She's no longer the powerful person she was when you depended on her for everything, but you still think of her that way sometimes. So her words can really hurt. If you can see her as a child, who cannot control her own behavior, that might help.

You can also set limits for her, since she can't do it herself. "Mother, today I made your breakfast, lunch and dinner. I did two loads of wash and remade your bed. I got your pills for you, and turned the TV on for your favorite show. All because I love you. I know you don't feel well. But do you think you could say thank you to me?"

Or "Mother, I don't insult and criticize you. Please don't insult and criticize me."

Or the one I use on my husband: "If you ask nicely, I'd love to get you a cup of coffee."

Of course she's happier with the CNA. She's on her good behavior! She trusts you to love her even when she feels unlovable. Remember to love and praise yourself, and it MIGHT get easier.
I know how you feel, tikebird, because I'm my mother's verbal punching bag. She is very sweet to other people. I don't really think that she believes that I will be the one to not leave if she makes me mad enough. I do believe that I am the one she is comfortable enough with to show her horns and pointy tail. The thing I dislike most is the belittling remarks. I don't have any advice for you, except to let it slide if it doesn't matter and put your foot down if it does.

This morning I was busy doing the housework and laundry. I sat down for a minute and she told me the problem with me was I didn't have any interests and I was bored. I needed to get a job and get out more. Now, that would be good advice for someone who was young, not self employed or taking care of someone with dementia. The way she said it was like pointing out a character flaw. I simply told her that she didn't know how much work she was. That made her mad, but it was the truth. Foot put down on that one.
tikobird, I read your profile. Nothing worse than passive aggressive behavior:( One of my pet peeves and causes much rancor within. I have the same problem with what's left of my family of origin; I'm the exact opposite--too direct.
Are you able to go to counseling with her? If not, you need to vent more and refuse to become her VICTIM! You are feeling put upon, which is understandable, but you will start feeling more angry with YOURSELF if you take this crap on.
Are your siblings honest and loyal to you? Ask them to come over and do an intervention with mom. They need to let her know that they know about her abuse. If everyone is on the same page, she has no one to go to. Passive aggressives love to build armies because they are so WEAK. Do not doubt yourself and do something nice for you every day, or every week, whatever.
Create your very own BATTLE CRY! I stole mine from King Arthur's speech in First Knight: "I command you now to FIGHT! FIGHT! NEVER SURRENDER!"
It's a good one. Write one that suits you and repeat it often. Tell yourself how awesome you are, how strong you are, and that you will only grow in strength and wisdom from this caregiving experience. I have faith in YOU! xo
I understand how you feel. I have so,etching similar. My father passed recently and left my 82 y/o mother behind. She doesn't drive or hear. She is probably healthier than I am but she is out of touch with reality. Not dementia or anything but she just has never been in the world, never worked etc. I too get the nasty side of her. The threats she is going to get on a bus and disappear, take a walk to the beach (over 5miles) , drink a beer, she wants a man,,etc the list goes on.. She lives alone and I get her out or go over almost everyday until recently when I finally put down so,e guidelines. But then she gets on the phone and co,plains about me.. I told my siblings they need to back me up. One of them does but the other two feel if they can be the hero for a little while great. But to step up and take over? Oh no they have lives... But my one brother gave me good advise..when she starts, get up and walk away.. And when she asks why I do that then tell her I'm not going to sit and listen to this I have better things to do..maybe that will work for you.. I'm giving it a try this week. When she starts talking to me again. Right now she has disowned me..she told my daughter she doesn't want me to e ER come over again..but I don't see my siblings rushing up to to take her nowhere so in the house she sits all alone. I realize and you need to do, not to let this job we were chosen to do take over us and define us. There is more to us than just this role.

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