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It is so hard to live like this. Anytime I sit down with my mother she tries to start a battle. Mostly I don't argue with her. I just let her talk. But it is hard to sit there and listen to someone saying stuff that makes me feel bad and have to suck it up. This morning I had a customer write about some things she wanted to order. I made a mistake of mentioning it to my mother, who went into a conversation that the customer was always right. It wasn't relevant to anything to do with the transaction, but that didn't matter. She went into a spiel about how I just couldn't seem to get it in my head that the customer was always right and that is why I didn't get business. What? Who? Where did that come from? It was all inside my mother's head and she just had to say something to fight at me. I didn't say anything, but just said to myself not to even try to take up for myself.

Then I realized what a terrible position this is to listen to such things all day and not be able to defend oneself. It is like being a human punching bag for all the negative emotions of someone who holds the age and dementia cards. She always speaks with anger at me, like she is mad at me for never being good enough.

A particularly bad problem has shown up. I went out with a man 2-3 weeks ago. He was not my type. Last time I talked to him I told him I wasn't interested in a relationship -- that I only wanted to be friends -- but he keeps calling on my cell phone and my mother's phone. My mother thinks that he is only doing it because he really likes me, and that I should grab him up. I told her I didn't like him. She said that didn't matter, and she started laying out all his good traits. I barely know the man and she doesn't know him at all. She keeps on at me to go after this man that I don't like because he has some money. I want to ask her if she could for once be on my side about something.

My mother has moderate dementia, but I am also realizing more that she has a core of evil in her. My parents had what looked like a loveless marriage, and I often wondered if my mother married him as a meal ticket. (Actually, I know that she did, though she would never admit it.)

Respite is not a good answer. I spend a good bit of time away from her, but it is the same when I come home. She thinks I am lowly and not worth much. She has this idea she is paying my bills, though I tell her repeatedly that she is paying me nothing and that I pay my own bills. She thinks I should have my rabbits put to sleep so she and I can go places -- yeah, like I would do that.

I feel bad even writing this, but it is hard to find someone to talk to. How do you tell anyone that your mother acts like an evil person. Of course, they'll just say that she's old or that she has dementia, but the truth is that she has always acted that way. Only now she is worse. It can be like a battle where evil is trying to chip away at good, who is not allowed to defend herself.

I know there is no solution other than to leave. I just needed to vent some of these bad feelings.

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A sad thing about it is that I would really love to sit down with her and enjoy company while she is here. I try to do that sometimes. It goes along fine for a few minutes, but I really can't say anything, because it triggers anger in her when I talk. Sometimes she just thinks of something that makes her mad. I never know what is going to trigger her. I can say that I need to go to the grocery store tomorrow and she'll get angry thinking that I didn't buy something last time. It is like she has the hidden seed of anger in her just looking for some reason to sprout. The best way to keep it from happening is not to talk. I've read that anger and anxiety are flip sides to the same type stimuli. Maybe I just get on her nerves when I talk. My father never talked, so it may be what she was used to. They were married 65 years.
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I swear to God, I feel as if you are telling my story. My Mom is abusive, angry, hostile (and that's the good behavior). My Angel of a father passed away almost 2 years ago, and then she started showing signs. I guess that is normal-when the spouse passes away, it kicks the Alzheimer's into overdrive. I'm looking into placing my Mom into care. I can't take the anger, abuse and constant drama much longer. Sad. If she were somewhat pleasant, I wouldn't be forced to do it now. But she's never been the nicest person, and now it's 100x worse. .
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Jinx4740, you are soooo wise. Mirroring or reflecting back someone's statement is a great way to help them have insight. Sensing and sympathizing with the themes within the negativity rather than just hearing the negative statements is hard to do but can bring new understanding. Another strategy is to agree with them, they can't continue to argue with you if you agree. Sometimes saying "You know, you are right." ends the tirade (for the moment). If you disagree, the battle will continue. THIS IS NOT a strategy for EVERY battle but some battles aren't worth the fight. Jessebelle, the negativity is not about you, it is about their unhappiness and disappointment with life and was probably there to some degree earlier in life before their filters failed.
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Jessie,
My husband isn't really evil, but he is pretty unhappy and spills it out all over me. I know how it feels to sit there with my mouth shut and let the bile flow out of his mouth.

I have two thoughts, sort of related. When she says how useless you are, tell her you're sorry she got stuck with such a disappointing daughter. It gives you a chance to respond, and by mirroring her words to her, it's possible she might hear herself, or just want to contradict you, and say you're not THAT bad. Comments like that surprise my husband, and make him laugh.

The other possibility is to sympathize with her over how disappointing HER life is to her. Ignore the specifics she complains about, and respond to the dissatisfaction inside her. Theoretically, love and compassion should burst forth on both sides.

I think you are very wise and good. I hope you can find some ways to help yourself. It's a constant struggle. Hugs.
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If you could see a CT scan of a very old brain, you would notice how badly it withered and the neurologist could tell you from the picture what is not working, whether it is the vision area, reading/math, social control, etc. He could also tell you what drugs are likely to provide relief, and what won't work, and what to expect down the line. This a lot more helpful than the family MD who says "try some of these" and hands you a script for something.
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OMG, I have the same problem. I refuse to take her to anywhere other than the doctor because her behavior is so rude, nasty & she always instigates fights. So the caregiver takes her out on errands. It pisses my Mom off, but I need to remin sane!
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I am so sorry you are going through this. I think you are so right about without the filter the true personality comes out. I wish everyone had a caring, nurturing mother. Would make it so much better.
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To answer Skinonna, my mother technically has dementia AND she always was a classic verbally/emotionally abusive, narcissistic personality. She hallucinates, flips out, forgets things...the whole 9 yards. Her original diagnosis was a stroke, but I noticed her mental health has seriously declined too.

After the stroke, her "true" personality has come out. Before the stroke, she could manipulate (etc) like the best of the them AND hide her personality. Now, it has come out full force. My husband likes to say that the stroke "revealed" her true self to everyone.

I think that these "harder to deal with" folks have these issues BEFORE getting old/strokes/etc. They just hide them really well. For example: No one really knew my mother was a raving lunatic until after the stroke. It was almost like the flood gates opened up, letting everyone see the REAL her.

As per the battles with your mother? Every time I visit her she is wanting to fight about something. I had to actually put her in a nursing home (5 minutes away) just to keep some of my own sanity. That doesn't stop the calls from her or staff, nor does it stop the battles. But, now, I am not getting the full brunt of it every time I visit. My kids aren't allowed to visit with me anymore because of her attitude. She has also been known to throw things at me.
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It sounds like dementia-"severe impairment or loss of intellectual capacity and personality integration, due to the loss of or damage to neurons in the brain. "
But it's harder when they were that way before. I wonder how many of these hard to deal with folks actually sufferred from diagnosable mental conditions before the dementia. This definition helps explain the multiple personalities I've seen my MIL switch to. They literally fall apart I guess. Heartbreaking and soul sucking for those who try to take care. I think your Mom is deperately trying to be relevant.
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KiKi, you have had it rough. I have to admit that my situation doesn't sound nearly so bad. I was toodlin' around the yard tonight when I realized that it isn't really me, but just that my mother was complaining. Her life is becoming harder for her to live and she is looking for something or someone to blame. I am the only one around, so I am catching it at the moment. Tonight I asked her to stop when she was doing it, but she got mad and started to cry. I am actually thinking my mother needs respite from me. If I could find someone to take her on a trip, that would be wonderful. Kiki, I think you and I need to pack up our mothers and send them on a trip to sunny Florida. Maybe a single kind-hearted caregiver can handle the both of them.
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This is the first time in my 52 years someone else is treated exactly as I am. It's never enough i could win the nobel peace prize and she would still tell me i am stupid. It's my cats 4 of them I am sure your rabbits are you whole reason for caring on. we even get criticized for the love we have for animals. This is nothing new she has always hated me. I was adopted first but she hates girls and got stuck with me. she even told me if they got my brother first they wouldn't have bothered getting me. It goes on and on. i have no chance of even a slight glimmer of happiness. Can't even speak of anything positive it is shot down. i left me home in Big Bear where I loved and was working at the zoo when I had heart failure, came down to try and get better myself and got stuck with her. She has cancer. I'll be dead before she will. Sorry to vent myself but I totally understand. The torment and the time I said something she said she would call the police and get out of her life. Problem is I was raised not to speak up, I f I said anything I was punished. The name calling daily, the physical abuse by sibling and being convinced that you were meant to be alone is so sad Maybe we can be strong by e-mail every now
and then. I know i am worth so much more than given credit for. So are you
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BTW, on the way home when she was talking about how bad the store was, I interrupted her to say, "You're welcome." She said huh?, so I repeated it. That concept of "thank you" was totally alien to her now.
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Went shopping with my mother this afternoon. Shopping with my mother is always an experience. When it is time to go, she has to use the bathroom, then do this and that until it's an hour later and I'm melted to a puddle on the floor. Finally we make it out the door. I ask her if she wants to go to Belk's or Macy's. She said she wants to go to Kohl's, but then she describes what is Belk's. I tell her it is Belk's, but she doesn't really accept it until we get there. Then she said it used to be Kohl's and it is where she and I bought some things before. I tell her it doesn't matter, but she is very concerned.

On the inside, she is shopping, but is telling everyone that would listen about how the store used to be Kohl's. The people were all very nice. I don't know if it was ever Kohl's in the past, but it really didn't matter. It did to her, though.

She picked out some things that were too small, so I ran back and forth getting things that fit. Finally we were finished and she was tired. On the way back home she told me how cheap and disgusting things were in the store, and how much better it used to be when it was Kohl's. And I wondered why dementia didn't take the "mean" away with the memory. I mean wouldn't it be better if the person just accepted they forgot stuff, rather than fighting about it? I don't know what it is about the brain tangles that brings out such combativeness. I wish it would bring out sweetness.

The clothes are sitting back on her bed now. Maybe she'll think they are from Kohl's, so harbor no ill will against them. I treated myself to some butter pecan ice cream and coffee. I earned them.
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My mother does this to my sister every time she comes by.I could scream!! I told my sister to just come visit me.and I would tell mom if she cannot be nice to stay in her room.Its maddening isn't it?
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If she has any control over her actions when she starts look her in the eye and quietly say "That is not appropriate" or add in don't you dare speak to me like that. Don't like my cooking feel free to do it yourself. If your quarters are cramped put in your ear plugs and listen to soothing music and read watch TV or come here and vent. Is there a day care program she can go to. The most important thing is to tune her out. She may get tired of it if she does not get a reaction. However she may turn to less desirable actions to punish you/get your attention.
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JB, glad to hear that mom isn't really ill...and that she's being nice and pleasant! Thank the One! Enjoy your me day! :D
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My mother woke up feeling sick this morning. We were going shopping for her some new clothes, but I guess we'll put that off now. Good -- I can claim this as a me day. :) Don't worry, she isn't really sick. She just doesn't like to shop. She likes the new clothes, but shopping is hard for her. Picking out clothes is a daunting task for someone who has a hard time walking and can't see well. I know the racks of clothes have to be confusing. She prefers to not try the clothes on, but I insist. I've had to return things too often if she doesn't try them.

The good thing is she is still pleasant this morning. Someone must have heard my pleas for help. :)
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I hope you enjoyed dinner. It won't last long but atleast you enjoyed the few hours of respite. And I'm definitely glad that your financially independent.
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I think my mother realized she crossed the line today. She has been extra nice tonight. I wish it could be like this all the time. Thanks, everyone. Jeanne is right. I really needed to vent. The last few days I have been looking, trying to find some answers to ease this growing tension inside of me. I had considered buying a house in another city and just leaving, but knew it wasn't the right thing to do. Fortunately, I am not financially dependent on my mother. That would be a terrible trap to be in if I do need to leave. I think I need to start writing a book about the other side of caregiving. We hear the sweet side of things so often, but what so many of us go through is anything but sweet. It can be emotionally exhausting.
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A few more hugs, JessieBelle. You and I go back a ways on this forum. I know how hard you work at not letting your mother get to you, setting boundaries, not taking her crap personally, etc. I assume this post is a venting. I admire your strength, and acknowledge that nobody can be strong every minute. Vent away!

You probably know that I think that I would not live with a person like your mother. I would find another way to care for her in another place. But I respect the decision you have made, and wish you well.

Hang in there!
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There really is no defense against someone like this. You have to L E A V E. Not permanently, but if you feel you must see her, say 'hi, good to see you.' the second she becomes nasty, just say, 'sorry, have to go now mom, you are being horrible. see you (x) whenever." and GO.
I can vouch for that. 1977 I walked out on mom (for almost 30 years) because she was getting so nasty, crazy, or whatever was going on with her. It did teach the lesson forcibly that I had had enough of her crap and I was out.
So, now I['m back home, she seems to know enough not to pull the garbage she did before. I have to watch though: if she starts getting antzy, I just leave the room.
Hang in there.. set limits, boundaries, whatever will work for you and do it. Leave her to talk to an empty room.
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JB, you just wrote the absolute truth. There is no reasoning with these types of people. They don't, and won't, hear you. It doesn't matter how pleasant YOU try to be, they're still who they are. As I've said before, would you be nice to a rabid dog that was slavering and trying to rip you to shreds? Would you want to give it a hug? lol Yeah. Same concept with abusive people. It's impossible, literally impossible, to be the best you can be around them, to be the person, the good, kind, loving person, that you would be in normal circumstances. There isn't a soul alive that's good enough to smile forever in the face of never ending verbal battering. Vent away! You need to, on a regular basis if you're living with a nasty customer day in and day out. And who has room for pleasant thoughts when you're being ripped to shreds on a daily basis? 'Pleasant' to me when my mom was still young enough and capable of spewing ugliness consisted of fantasies centered on her early demise... That's sad isn't it? Who wants to think that way? Unfortunately, if someone pokes a tiger in a cage with a stick long enough, that tiger is going to see them as the enemy after awhile, and it will be anything but 'pleasant' if it gets hold of that person. It's not YOU, the person, that's 'bad' for unpleasant thoughts....it's the person that does nothing but inspire such thoughts in you through cruelty, disrespect, inconsideration, and the like.

And yeah, if you're waiting for respect from such people, you are doomed to disappointment. And that flip switching from shitty to nice.... There is no nice in these types of people, JB. Just a strategy to keep you right there. And what's scary about that, it works because you want to believe it. And then Hyde is back, full force, until next time you threaten to walk. Then it's Jekyll again... and on and on and on and on...as long as people allow it to go on.... forever, if people don't make different decisions on how to handle it, and decide for themselves that they simply won't deal with that kind of negativity in their world anymore. You don't have to be a gladiator to cut someone off, thereby changing the rules. Make these types play by YOUR rules...

Your goodness is there and always will be. Nobody can take that away from you no matter what they do. And right now, no, you're not the best person you can be, nobody dealing with an abuser is, because you're in a life where someone else's negativity and verbal abuse make that absolutely impossible.
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JesseBelle, are you financially bound to your mom? That's the only reason I can figure out to stay in such a horrible circumstance. But is that worth your sanity and your health? Your mom probably feeds off of getting a rise out of you in some perverse way. So she's getting stronger and you 're going down the emotional tubes. Find a place for her to live and put her there, if there's any way to make that happen. Save yourself. She's lived her life, don't let her take yours!
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JessieBelle, I know what you mean. When father had his stroke, the nurse told us that they usually come out of it 2 ways: better personality than before or Worse than before. We were soooo hoping it was better. Not!!! He is so full of advice, and he's always right and he criticizes everything. He believes I'm touching his money (which I am where it comes to HIS expenses). He doesn't understand spending within your monthly income. If he goes over his monthly retirement, he thinks I'm touching it or the bank is stealing it. I've reached the point that I can no longer keep quiet. I've been losing my temper and "answering back" to him. And of course, he accuses me of being disrespectful. When I can no longer handle his mouth, I make the TV or the radio's volume sooo loud to drown him. I pick and choose my own battles. Because this is something that he keeps bringing up over and over. So, we usually end up with a big yelling match when he has pushed me too far that I can no longer ignore him. I know it's not an ideal solution but for me, that's the best that I can do.

I cannot really give him ultimatums because I'm living in his house/land. My rent is caregiving him and we share half of the bills. Yes, I can pack up and leave. But, I don't want to do that - due to some family dynamics going on. So, I stay and put up with his treatment to a certain extent.

I understand about going out for respite and when you go back home, all the stresses just comes crashing back down on your head/shoulders. It may seem worse than before you left....but JessieBelle, ANY respite is better than none. If you stay 24/7 with your Very Negative mother, she will beat you down until when she tells you jump, instead of resisting, you will say, "How high?" or even worse, you just automatically jump. She has now beaten your spirit to a slave that she would disrespect even Worse than before. How do I know this? I compare myself with my oldest sis living with us. Father has beaten her spirit. She is more afraid of him than me. She would give him whatever herbal pills he wants and doesn't care if the bottle says once a day. If father says he wants to take it 3 x day, she gives it to him. When he tries that BS with me, I fight him. I take the damn bottle (which sis later gives back to him), and only limit One. She obeys him. I listen, decide if it's good or not and fight him if it's not. ..even if it means we're yelling at each other. Of the 2 of us, father treats sis like dirt. I mean he really treats her like dirt. When he tried that with me several times, I threw all his herbal into the trashcan or refuse whatever he Ordered Me to do. So, he treats me better than he does with sis. He's still abusive but not as bad as he is to sis. I hope you take advantage of the respite to regroup your spirit so that you can continue to fight against your mom's negativity. You really really don't want to be like my oldest sis...no backbone and jumps to Whatever Father Wants. {{{HUGS}}}
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SA, all those things have been done, but it can be like shaking your fist against the wind. I spend so much time walking away and leaving that it doesn't really feel that I live here. Her personality type is that she is always right, so saying something is not right just means that something is wrong with me. For example, she told me that I should marry the man that I do not like, because he has money. The thought was totally wicked to me, but she said that we can learn to love someone, and that I just didn't realize how important money was. And yes, I walked away again.

I do get a good bit of respite, so that is not a big problem. My biggest problem is my own insanity, thinking each morning that I am going to wipe out any bad thoughts I've been having and try to be pleasant. When you live with someone you have to get along or you have to move. I am getting near the point of moving and really needed to vent some of these bad feelings. I think Debralee said it best when she used the word disrespect. In the case of my mother, it is impossible to gain respect. If I say I'm leaving, she will get nice for a while, but then it goes back to being hateful.

One thing that is very important to me is that I keep my goodness. In dealing with evil, I don't want to become evil myself. It is important to me to stay the person that I am. I like me, even if others may not.
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Yes, and the stress of it can kill you. Another sound reason to make some changes.
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Thank you, everyone. I've always felt my mother felt lowly about women other than herself. I don't know if it is because how she was raised or if she has jealousy. Maybe both.

Debralee, I do try to be strong, but all this weighs heavily on me. There is so much that I could write pages and only cover a little. I am just worn to the point that I am trying to figure out what I am going to do. It's not so simple, but I'm feeling battered. It is making my life very unhappy.
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JB, you said:

But it is hard to sit there and listen to someone saying stuff that makes me feel bad and have to suck it up.

Why do you suck it up? Why do you even listen? Get up and walk. Let her talk that smack to the walls. Is something forcing you to sit in that chair right there next to her? No? Then you're making the choice to listen. And you can choose otherwise.

You said:

Then I realized what a terrible position this is to listen to such things all day and not be able to defend oneself

Why not? Why can't you defend yourself? If your mom is coherent enough to batter you with a 'spiel' of words, she's coherent enough to understand when you say ENOUGH. Again, are you tied to that chair when she's going off with rope? Is she holding a gun to your head making you sit there and take it? No? Then don't take it.

As far as the man goes, next time she starts, write down his phone number in front of her, hand it to her, and tell her to give him a call and go out with him herself if she thinks he's so wonderful. You're not interested, and you don't want to hear anymore. If she starts, you walk. Over and over and over again. Why is that hard? And if this joker doesn't get the hint, ask him what part of 'Piss off' he doesn't understand.

Why isn't respite a good answer? Sounds like a plan to me.

You said:

How do you tell anyone that your mother acts like an evil person.

Like you just did right now. And tell it to HER, too, if that's how she makes you feel.

You said:

who is not allowed to defend herself.

Not allowed? Says who? Who told you that lie?

If your mom is well enough to dish the bullshit and know what she's doing and saying, and can carry on long lucid conversations, and knows what her words mean, she's well enough to understand that YOU'RE not going to ALLOW HER bad behavior in your world anymore, and that if she continues, she'll be without you as her caretaker because you'll be gone, and she'll be sitting in a facility somewhere.

If you don't empower yourself, nobody will. You choose to listen, or you choose not to. To me, it's simple.
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Oh I'm so sorry she's so mean to you. I would definitely mention this behavior to her doctor. Just walk away when she starts in on you.
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What a shame your mother cannot respect you better. If this is a lifelong behavior of hers, I am not sure why you are having her live with you. I myself could never tolerate such disrespect from anyone especially from someone I am taking care of. You are a very strong person.
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