How do you get past your childhood emotional baggage with your elder mom moves in with you?

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childhood baggage is right. In the beginning it's like being 12 years old again. But, with dementia, the caregiver has to take the reins and be the "parent" now. The person with dementia has an illness of the brain and needs your help to make the appropriate decisions for her (even though she thinks she knows everything) I think it is a process that has to happen slowly so that the dementia person can let go and trust that she/he is in good hands. And , it's easier said than done! good luck to you and keep trying.
Oh boy is this hard. I have a very controlling, bossy mom, who was always that way and got much worse when mild dementia set in . In my case, the arguing intensified. It got so bad that my sister finally had to take over my mom's care last summer. I hope that it works out much better for you. Unlike my mom, your mom may be more social - it that is the case, keeping her busy with outside groups and activities would take her mind off of you and how you run your household. The busier the better! Even on the days I took my mom to the mall, she was nicer over all. Best of luck to you.
The only way I know of to keep breathing and handle this is to frame is like this: everything we experience is an environment in which we can be: looking for new ways to handle old baggage -- chipping away at old patterns -- developing and practicing emotional skills. It's slow and goes in tiny steps but our own growth is the payback for living through difficult things. Your mom's dementia actually gives you a new way of dealing with her.
Can you possibly find a way to start regular sessions with a counselor? During stressful times, we instinctively revert back into those old, hurtful, behavior patterns. If you can get some support that is JUST FOR YOU, you will be better able to keep your balance and boundaries intact. There is no shame in getting you the support you need. Caregivers are like a pitcher of lemonade (or maragarita's)... if you constantly give out your lemonade, without refilling (self-care) you will run dry and then you are no good to anyone... least of all yourself. Take care and God bless... keep us posted... we care.
Top Answer

I'll spare you the "forgiveness" speech, as it never worked for me and therefore I don't recommend it to people used and abused by their parents throughout their childhood and beyond. Try, however, to find some compassion by convincing yourself she did the best she could with what she had.

It's your home, so set boundaries and enforce them consistently to keep from being disrespected and revisiting old wounds that you've had to live with.

Wish you the best my friend, and let us know how it goes.

-- ED
I agree with Ed... she did the best could with what she had.

All of us can look back at situations and NOW we realize we could have done better but WE did the best WE could with the knowledge and resources WE had at that time in OUR life.

It's the "woulda... coulda... shoulda... syndrome".

Little known facts surrounding your mothers behavior when she was young and why bother going back to those bad times, unless you want to keep feeling bad and sad.

Write a letter about how you feel, read it, place in can, burn it and bury it. You will feel better.

The poor me syndrome gets old, we've all had bad times, some worse than others, it is your choice and you can not do anything about it now.

We can't move forward while looking back.

I would keep your visits short maybe 10-15 min., don't talk about things of the past or get into victim conversations.

Take a puzzle or game that can be completed easily and talk about it.

Maybe some day you may become her friend... she needs a friend not a judge.

I feel for you. Having a similiar situation I have had to seek help to deal with the way I respond to my parent. Get help for you,now-during and beyond. Also,prayer is significant. Learn about dementia and what you should expect .
I agree with 'edvierajr'-ED. Own your adulthood,don't respond to what you know are old ways your parent has treated you or how you have responded. Sometimes it's easy to fall for the parlor tricks and get sucked in by a controlling person. You control you. Ghandi once said "No one can hurt me without my permission". You're in my prayers. --new
Find someone to vent with after every conflictual event. That person should be able to remind you that your mother's cognitive abilities are diminished and that your reaction may be compromised due to your past history with her. You should also have a plan for how to react to her every time she infuriates you. That plan should be specific, you should write it down and begin thinking of it every time you and your mother are together.
I have to agree with Ed. Otherwise you will constanly be driven crazy with guild trips by the parent. I know because I struggle everyday with my 89 year old Mom with dementia. Marie
If she is ruining YOUR life and you cannot afford counseling - move her out. I know this type DOES NOT NEED THE COUNSELING?! You've paid your dues. My 50+ friend is going through the same thing -criticizing, belittiling and confrontations over nothing by her mom and she does not even have to live with her.-- but, it's gone on all her life-she has no esteem left. God Bless and good luck.

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