hurtinginside Asked January 2011

Our mother is mean and hateful. How can we deal with her verbal abusiveness?

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my mother lives alone capable of caring for herself. Since she's lived alone after reitrement, she's become vey hateful. Down right mean! Nothing anyone does for her is good enough. She down grades us 3 girls who helps her out constantly. Today she threw my sister out of her house and told her she didn't have a daugher and to never come back. She did the same thing a year ago. She is totally so negative that no one wants to be around her. I stand my ground and won't let her talk to me the way she does my other 2 sisters. She NEVER has anything good to say about anything or anyone. Her doctor is a quack and doesn't know what he's doing. It gets so old to hear day in and day out. She's always right and NEVER wrong. she has never apologized for anything as long as I can remember. It's like she wants us girls to be puppets on a string. She had a mild stroke in Nov. The nursing home wanted to do a mental test to see if the stroke affected her mind. She refused. She's gotten worse since her stroke so I'm trying to take that into consideration. But I cannot go throught the rest of her days like this!Does anyone know anyone who we can talk to about her verbal abusiveness??

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SooDoo17 Jul 21, 2017
Dear hurtinginside, your post could have been by Me or my sister other than the fact that our father is there with her, but he's got Alzheimer's. We've both been pretty much kicked out of their house. I was there 3 weeks ago & she built herself into a frenzy & told me she never wants to "lay eyes on" me again. My sis not I have ever said anything bad to her, but she's been increasingly abusive to us in the past 3 1/2 months (long story). I'm sorry you're dealing with this. In our experience there is no one in "the system" to help people like us. Try keeping your distance. If she told you and/or your sis to get out, obey her wishes (as I have a feeling you've done all your life--as we have). Maybe both of our difficult mothers will see the irrationality of their behavior & come to their senses to realize they need us & we're here for them, but we deserve respect.
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1234michele Feb 2011
Research is very important before placing someone in a facility. I looked everywhere and talked to facilities to figure out the best place possible for my dad. After looking and touring and finding horrible and wonderful places, I found a home but was refused for dads actions in the first center we placed him. Until we could find a more permanent home. He was sent to the state hospital for a month and it took that long to find somone who would except him. We actually found an assisted living near us. He has been there for 9 months now and is doing great. It not only takes you going into the facilities for tours but them excepting the person. If your parent is a difficult patient like my father don't be disipointed when they are refused. If they refuse them it's best for all involved. The staff who takes care of my father do a better job than I could. They love him but are good with him when he doesn't want to do something. My dad hates taking his meds he thinks thats what's making him "old". The meds make a huge difference, the Dr and the staff at the home. Communication between all is very very important.
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I also have the same problem with my mother. She has always been "sour" about family. life, etc. etc. etc. No matter what happens the glass is always half full ( or not full at all) nothing is EVER good enough and her life is always someone else's fault --. She "always gets the dirty end of the stick". She was a self-centered, abusive and negative parent and grandmother.
I hope I have moved beyond this or at least I'm trying.
In the past year I have moved her into an assisted living in the state where I live( to my sister's glee, another story). She has dementia now and her negativeness and nastiness is getting worse and worse. However, because of the dementia she does also have very occasional "happy moment"....but the other shoe always drops quickly...
I could go on and on forever but I just would like YOU to know that after more than half my lifetime of trying to seek her approval I have realized that I will never never get it and I can never change her abusiveness and attitude. I almost feel sorry for her--what a miserable life she has led of her own doing.
I now take the attitude that I have found a place for her where she is fed three times a day, bathed, given medication at the proper times and has constant entertainment and activities for her to do. Of course, she chooses not to do them but that is her choice(she still complains but now has NEW things to complain about).She lived alone for 40 years and was a recluse so any activity,even if she just observes is better than before when she did absolutely nothing all day and saw no one. Her life has been her choice not mine and I can do nothing about that part. I have given her the opportunity to be happy but I can't be happy for her.
People who know me ask why I take care of her and I always say that I would do it for a stranger.. and I want MY children to see me doing the right thing....(which I have always taught THEM to do) I am trying to practice what I preach .And I do keep that attitude in the back of my mind all the time...... -My suggestion for you is to-move your mom into a senior setting-Maybe being around people and experienced staff would help her behave better and hopefully be a little happier--in any case it might make life a bit easier for you.....I visit my mother once a week -take her out sometimes and stay all day unless she is really nasty then I leave earlier. I bring her to my home only for Holidays. At times if it has to be more than a week I make no excuses other than I will get there when I can.
Now, I always keep in mind that being a miserable and abusive parent and person all her life is her choice and I am doing the best I can. I hope I remember how NOT to be and treat my children when I am at this stage of MY life.
Research senior settings carefully because they can range from wonderful to deplorable. The costs vary and make sure you look for 'hidden" costs.
I would also suggest getting a POA (medical and financial) now for the future to spare you more grief and resentment. She will fight you on this but just assure her that you are only going to help her take care of her and her finances etc and they are still hers. After a period of extreme nastiness she will be glad to not have to deal with it. It's a pain to keep track of another's finances, medical needs etc but it will safeguard her from getting taken advantage of by strangers.
Just remember THIS IS HER PROBLEM AND NOT YOURS --deal with it with compassion but DO NOT let yourself be a VICTIM.......you cannot sacrifice your life for hers just do what YOU feel comfortable with---no-one but you knows what the right answers are for your particular situation
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1234michele Feb 2011
We were told years ago that our father was diagnoses with alz and we watched as it slowly progressed but while mom was alive she covered most of it up. When mom passed it was like a bomb went off and dad was unable to deal with his own issues and would not stay put at the house and created all kinds of problems that he alone could not fix. Until he was unstable enough all we could do was help when we could and watch over him. It's amazing how far family members will let someone suffer before helping or let someone help them. My father kept up a pretty good act. He was pretty use to covering up his forgetfullness and deteriating mind. When it came to him getting lost just going around the corner and dangerous to himself could we do anything to help with his living arrangements. Parents don't want to be told what to do by their children and in saying that treat them with respect and talk to them in a possitive manor. Some times we'll have to deal with the emosion for ourselves along with theirs and it's not easy. You also need a support system to go through this.
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vstefans Feb 2011
oh no, it does sound like it is lifelong and just a little worse now - and you are right it has little to do with her competence mentally. being physically disabled doesn't make you incompetent either. they need to assess whether she has delusions and whether she she is oriented to reality enough that she can manage her own affairs or not.

I am afraid she has earned her loneliness and alienation, and you have, so unfairly, missed out on having a loving and rewarding relationship with a parent that you should have had. You are doing no wrong by making what provisions for her care and well-being that she will allow and keeping a safe distance emotionally.

I know what you mean with the being nice to someone else and making such a good impression, while being so mean to you - it hurts, because that's not the way its supposed to be, and healthy people know that. Healthy people offer gratitude and not just criticism to those who love them enough to try to help.
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crystalmpn Feb 2011
I have had Power of Attorney for 13 years. Not sure it means anything - to declare someone incapable even if they are homebound on oxygen etc isn't easy. One attorney said there might be nothing I could do unless two doctors declare that she is not mentally stable. I do not know if horrible, mean, manipulative and verbally abusive is considered incompetant.
My mother can be so nice when someone else besides her family is around. By the way my brother is also an attorney and he isn't sure what to do in this situation either. I am no longer around her physically but pay her bills . She has created havoc in our family and has no remorse. There are three grown children and all we can figure is that our mother is and has been mentally sick for all of her life. You would think that childhood abuse would have been enough - now we have to deal with it again as adults- somehow it just brings up all again-
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dianecarbo Feb 2011
I would ask the nursing home doctor for a geri psyche consultation. The psychiatrist can evaluate her in an interview and do some testing. She requires a Cat scan and other tests not just the mini mental to see if she has dementia. Ask that the SLUMs test be done. (St Louis University Mental Status test).
Her negative behaviors are most likely exaggerated due to the parts of the brain affected by the stroke. This could be explained to you by finding out what part of the brain was affected by the stroke.
A CAT scan or better yet a PET scan would be able to tell you if there are other parts of her brain that are affected and causing these behaviors.
Medication may be the only thing the may curb her behaviors. A geriatric neuropsychiatrst would be the best to make that determination.
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vstefans Feb 2011
often mean and hateful = untreated depression or OCD

its worse for someone who can't cognitively kind of check themselves and realize they are being unreasonable and need help or need to at least limit their outbursts so as not to drive all their help away, and worse still for a perfectionist who cannot admit they ever do anything poorly or are ever wrong

no easy solution when assessment and care are steadfastly refused - occasionally a thrid party may help, but some people are so isolated there isn't anyone else who knows them and can talk to them, like pastors or neighors, or just anyone who can "objectively" express shock and dismay at really nasty comments or behavior..I had a director at my mom's skilled nursing explain to her that .I was just trying to help by bringing her new shoes and they were nice shoes, and she wears them now. (she callled me an idiot for bringing them to her PT session in front of other people, as if there was something embarrassing about shoes, and I about lost it at that point.) I was also advised to not just keep coming back for more every day regardless of behavior and outbursts, as that triggers some reflection on behavior in some cases as well. apparently.

this is not easy - take care of yoruselves too, give thanks you have each other (I'm an only so I get it ALL), and God bless!
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avergne Feb 2011
how old is she? it appear that there may be a psychiatric component that needs to be explored!!!
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sonyam Feb 2011
I am so sorry you are going thru this. Mothers are not supposed to be mean to their children. I get the sense your mother may be a bit envious of you and your sisters. Be prepared for her to try to put a wedge or cause a problem with the three of you. Stick together and love each other. I agree with limiting your time, dividing tasks, and stand your ground. Make a plan and stick to it and have low expectations of her and then you might not be as hurt.
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