How do you handle their negativity? The glass is always half empty.

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I am so tired of hearing about my mom's bowel movements, or lack thereof. She's also extremely negative, always has been and it's worse since she moved in with me and my husband and son.

I have a huge heap of understanding for her. She lost her husband, my dad, at Christmas, and has been uprooted to another state. Sure, she is grieving, but nothing here is as good as it was at home. ***Nothing**** She even told me her philosophy is not to expect anything out of life and that change is always for the worse.

I happen to embrace change because that is the nature of life. Grab the bull by the horns. and see what you can discover. That was my dad's attitude as well. He was a great man with a true love of life. For his 60th birthday he rode his bike across the state of South Dakota by himself, "just to do it." He made it in three days.

Everything in life was good, even the challenges, to him. To my mother, everything in life stinks and she just muddles through it, surviving I guess. There is no joy for her at all. She uses a walker and refuses to EVER leave the house.

So yes, the negativity does wear me down. My only solution is to walk away. Don't let them drag you into their negative mindset. It's extremely easy for me to fall into that if I let it. I guess I just tell myself I'm in control of my own emotions. She did something that really ticked me off when my dad was dying in hospice. She promised him she would visit him to say goodbye. Her pride (fear, rejection of using a wheelchair, transport, etc.) She refused to go out of her comfort zone to visit him. We had a knockdown verbal fight. I got her there and they had some time together, but in retrospect, she's pretty ticked off he died first.

Lovely.

I am not happy with this situation. I have strong faith in Jesus, though I'm not a church-going person. I'm not big on organized religion.

So, no, I have no answers for you. I just know that this too will pass. Everything in this life has an "end date".

I'm struggling with the very same issues. It's a pain in the rear end some days, (well, most days)

Suzie - Hang in there!

They're all negative. If nothing was ever good enough then its gonna be 3x as not good enough now. My ingrateful prick asked my mom for a divorce on her deathbed cuz "he cudnt go on living like this". Thats after he made her take her can of oxygen on the NYC bus to the supermarket to shlep 10# of his favorite potatoes - IDAHO - cuz they were on sale - then go to the other store - again on the city bus - to get the sale items at that store. Oxygen, a gallon of milk, 5 cans of soup, 10# of potatoes (she got in trouble for buying Idaho RUSSET instead of plain Idaho - J.C. they're ALL IDAHO potatoes - all on 3 bus rides and then got yelled at for being "wrong". He said "they couldn't afford a car". After she signed the do not resuccitate because of the request for the divorce on the hospital deathbed, she died at 60. Six months later, he bought a fully loaded Camry, and bought garage space because his new girlfriend (probably was seeing her when mom was still alive ) wanted a new car.
And now I'm his caretaker, why??? Because it's the right thing to do, and MY son is watching. So hang in there, negativity abounds, you cant do anything right, get used to it. Just know you're doing the right thing and you can go to your final resing place knowing you were better than they were
Hi guys, I feel your pain. All I can say is be strong for you and for them. I think we should still give our best when taking care of our parents. If it still bothers you, why not talk with them and exhaust them how you feel. (not too harsh of course).
Ohh don't I know this story! Funny but not so funny, my mom is so pre-occupied with her bowel movements that it is a running joke in the family...and some friends. But like meanmancare wrote if they were negative before, they becomes 3x's (or more) negative now. My Massage Therapist told me this and it's the truth for me.

Do what you can, when you can and sleep knowing that no matter what, even if your mom gets happy for a day, the next day ole negativity will likey be leading her around.

I've had no-non sence talks with my mom about her constant gripping, barking, and negativity, although she has a few relapses into her old ways, I must say our talks helped us a lot. But GESH!!! how do people live like that? That's not living to me, that's exsiting.
Thank you for your posts. Wow not the only one - not realizing that there are more of us than ever. Well I can say that things are getting better. I decided to get a home healthcare nurse to take care of mom while I go away. I had to go to a funeral unexpectedly and was unsure to leave my mom but it really worked out well. She even like the CNA. If you have never done this, please do it for yourself. A big weight has been lifted and she has someone that she can speak to. Good luck to all and than you for your posts and uplifting!
Negative people are like human black holes that suck the life out of you. After a visit with my Mom I feel exhausted and completely drained.

Be strong and try to remain positive. I just tune it out most of the time. But the I get accused of not paying attention!

On my things to read list is a book called "Positive Energy"

Until then a glass of wine and a good talk with my husband seems to help.
keepontryin - great answer - the negativity is toxic at times and I totally agree with how they suck the life out of you and can leave you exhausted and completely drained. The only alternative is to tune them out. There are lot of elderly out there like this; but, there are also some extremely wonderful people too who take each day as a gift and never complain. My father was one of them as an aunt who is 98 - she is such a positive role model and she has had her share of bad health including going blind with macular degeneration. My poor father had bad health problems too, but never complained. The constant complaining about old age, etc. is a choice for many elderly; and even if they live with us, we can turn a deaf ear or simply leave the room.

Positive energy is palpable and negative energy is destructive. If the elderly choose to be negative because they don't like the changes or feel sorry for themselves - that is their choice. My mother can be so negative most of the time that my children do not even want to visit her anymore. I've always tried to emulate my father's way of living - deal with what comes your way and don't drag others down with you just because you don't like how it has turned out either healthwise or other. I'm going to look into that book called "Positive Energy" as I love anything on that topic. Take care.
It's by Judy Orloff. since I haven't read it yet, I can't recommend it. But it did get 5 stars on Amazon.
Thanks, a 5 star recommendation is good enough for me.
There is another book for those dealing with a love one that has Alzheimer's Disease or Dementa. It has helped me alot on several topics n a few issues that I have been dealing with my negative, agressive n denial mnl. The book, The 36-Hour Day by Nancy Mace & Peter Rabins n you may be able to get a copy free from your local Alzheimer's organization. www. alz.org

I sometimes will try to figure out why she being negative n offer solution n I will try second time n after that, well the third time strike-out nothing going work for that day so, I find something to release me from the negativity n give mnl time to settle down somewhat. For instance, try using headphones n listen to music, take a time-out n go into your bedroom for about 15 mints, try yoga if possible or games or vent away on this board. Try to find something that will work for you n hang in there n breathe.

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