Does the negativity and emotional abuse ever get easier to live with?

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Does accepting the negative emotional abuse from caring for my parents, ever get easier to take???? I'm so thankful for this site to offer the support & relief that we sooooo need , usually on a daily basis, I find it hard to just let some of the comments and attitudes from dad roll right on off of me...as my older sister says that she has learned to do.You guys are a great help/relief site. Thank you for your help.

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The old adage: You Always Hurt The One You Love is very true. Your mother is most likely making you the target of her seeming abuse because she is suffering. Her many reasons for suffering are legion; old age, a sense of loss and losing her sense of self worth. She has to vent to someone and unfortunately because you are there with her all the time "You are it." Shortly after my wife passed and I was virtually bed-ridden I took out my frustrations on my one daughter that took my abuse until she sought counseling for herself and it turned out I was taken to a Palliative care Psychologist and he opened my eyes to the fact that I was taking out all of my anger issues on the one person who loved me the most simply because she was the only person in this world who loved me enough to take the abuse. Your mother needs to learn self awareness if her dementia is not so severe that she cannot learn. If it is you either have to come to grips that mother is using you for her punching bag and really loves you more than the others and learn to laugh it off or she must go in a home. You need to understand why you are taking the abuse. If you didn't have your mother what would you have? Sometimes we stay with an abusive spouse or other significant person in our lives because outside of that we would not have a life. I have dementia and I hope I am making myself clear. I would have been placed in a home several years ago were it not for my Palliative Care Counselor. I forget things. Right now I cannot tell you what I did yesterday without my daughter helping me but I have learned thru therapy how to stay in the now and not let the reality that my muscles are going and I can't do the things I used to do make me angry but I can get on line and try to show caregivers the view from a demented mind-LOL. You put yourself in the role as caregiver so start being one. When your siblings come over and she loves on them be happy for her the same as a good care giver is happy to see her patient being visited by someone who your patient is happy to see. Remember-you took the job and you can quit-anytime you want. The issue should be between you and your siblings. They need to know how you are being abused. Make recordings of this abuse and show them to the others. No one should be abused-period. You say no one can see her dementia but you? How can this be? Is she crafty enough to be sweet as a lamb while the others are around and then turn on you when they are gone? Then maybe she is not as demented as you think. Maybe her condition has simply made her mean spirited or maybe she resents your presence. Outside of caring for her do you work? Have a home of your own? Maybe she sees you as an intruder or a meddler instead of a necessity? A caring loving daughter. Has her doctors said she needs 24 hr assistance? Are you being compensated? If you did not have her to care for what would you be doing with your life? These last sentences were meant for MarciWriter. I asked these questions because you said: I am the only one who can see her Dementia, too. This raises my suspicions. Why are you the only one who recognizes her dementia? I am not trying to imply that you are not needed but Dementia can be manifested in many ways. When you said your brother and sister are useless I sensed a great deal of hostility on your part toward them. In what way are they useless? Evidently your mother does not find them useless. Newtothis, you must approach the abuse from your dad as your sister has. If your dad were vomiting you would not see that as abuse. If he were bedwetting or crying you would not see that as abuse. He is emotionally discharging his anger at getting old and losing his independence. If you cannot learn to let this roll off your back like water off a ducks back and not take it personal the job is not for you! I get so angry and frustrated sometimes I want to just scream. One time my daughter noticed my anger and said dad, whats wrong. I said I can't go on like this! I want to scream, holler, jump up and down and she said-so do I, lets begin and she started yelling and screaming and jumping up and down and after a few seconds of this we both started laughing. Find your dad something to do that he enjoys. If he likes to fish get him a wii. Keep a journal and remember: dad will not be with you forever-keep this in your mind and above all realize he is not trying to hurt you emotionally. He doesn't know how to say I am angry and frustrated and afraid and lonely. What he may call you he is really calling himself so please don't take it personal. He loves you. Thank the Lord he can speak at all. One day you will not hear his voice again-ever. Remember this.
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I know how you feel. My mother's emotional abuse of me is escalating every day.
It is beginning to destroy my self-esteem. My mother does not abuse anyone but me, so I get no support from my brother and sister. I am the only one who lives with her and takes care of her and she seems to hate and adore my useless brother and sister.
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openheart2-thank you for your acute observation of my odd form of Dementia. A bit off thread but deserves a response. I am diagnosed with Subcortical Dementia and progressive nuclear palsy. Only 63 yrs of age. I cannot remember from one day to the next and in the beginning I was diagnosed with Parkinsons simply because of gait. My dementia is progressive and in weeks or months I will not be able to communicate in any way. Currently my condition is poor calculation of the
motor responses needed to walk so I shuffle and I have a perpetual smile that is extremely un-attractive and causes anyone who doesn't know me to think of me as an idiot. So since this is a caregiver question and answer forum let me explain for any caregivers who do not understand my affliction for your own knowledge-imagine waking up each day and not remembering yesterday and each day you are frightened when you look in the mirror and see yourself smiling for no reason and before getting to the bathroom you forget where you are going. My daughter sets me in front of this computer and as long as I do not look away I can hold my thought and see perhaps with more insight than most humans can imagine. My drs said that it is the characteristics of some Savants who paint or play musical instruments or can do mathematical calculations at the speed of a computer.
But for the disease that gave me these insights I will Nova soon and be lost inside of my own mind. If you are caring for someone who has dementia you think they are unaware of what is going on around them but you cannot understand that they do. They hear every word and see every sight but they are unable to connect the dots in order to form human response and communication in the manner you believe is normal. Imagine if you will our frustration at your not understanding us. The word Dementia is in itself a slap in our faces. Imagine being called demented.
You go to your physician and you listen to the litany of complaints your caregiver gives your doctor who has already labeled you an idiot. Does openheart2 understand the different stages of Subcortical Dementia? I doubt very much many caregivers recognize the number of forms Dementia presents. My daughter is telling me to tell you she takes me shopping and it makes her cry to hear people call me an idiot because I walk with a shuffle and cannot stop smiling. I do not remember this now but I may later I can only do this or answer openheart2s statement as I perceived a hint of wonder between the lines. Wondering how someone labeled as demented can think and converse in the abstract. Now you know. My daughter found this site and she sits behind me as I type to keep me on topic. I type sister and she corrects me-I type dented and she corrects me. She said I might be able to help caregivers understand that no one is demented except maybe a criminal or a caregiver who would abuse a person because of their affliction(s). Most elderly are very old and their hearing is bad and their eyesight poor and their hands hurt and their boby aches and they are fixated on their deaths and no one understands them. They are taken places they do not want to go or put in a corner and sit for endless boring hours because you are too lazy or too busy to take them for a ride or to the beach or to a movie because you think they are too much trouble. I can read and I can write and I can think so why,you wonder am I demented? And why should my daughter take credit? I give my daughter credit for alot of things but not for my ability to try to enlighten caregivers on the world of dementia. Physicians can only guess and make suppositions. They lie to you and say momma does not know what is going on so don't take it so hard. That is not so. They only say that to ease your suffering. You are the patient, not the mother or father you are caring for-YOU! I do not know how I know this. I just do. Where do thoughts come from? Do you understand dementia?
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Dear MarciWriter,

I can relate! My sister and I have been the ones to help and care for my mom since our father died over 20 years ago. She's in assisted living now and we each visit her twice weekly; take her clothes home to wash (as she doesn't like them washed with the other people's clothes;) keep her supplied with personal needs and new clothes; arrange for hair cuts, manicures, pedicures; take her out to eat and to our homes; coordinate all her medical care; etc.

Our brothers visit occasionally and do small things for her when they go. My mom makes excuses for them all the time and it just kills us. According to her, they are so busy she really appreciates when they come visit. It's as if my sister and I sit on our duffs all day and have loads of free time. The simple truth is we have made her one of our priorities and they haven't. I know my brothers love her dearly and it hurts them to see her in someone else's care. It hurts me, too, but as an adult you have to put your own feelings aside and do the difficult thing - VISIT her; she needs ALL of us now not just some.

I've been told the same thing about "letting things roll off my back" or "just ignore her." These are bold statements from uninformed people who don't understand the aging process and what people with dementia need. Would they appreciate being ignored? I think not.

Finally, when things get rough I try to remember the lyrics to that old song, "You always hurt the one you love. The one you shouldn't hurt at all." Consider youself loved and deflect the stinging remarks by diverting your parents attention onto another topic. I also remind myself that getting old and depending on others for everything is something the greatest generation never wanted to burden their children with; much of their backlash comes out of frustration.
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I can soooo relate to all of you above, after being sole caregiver to my 85 year old mother for two years. It is so wierd that us, the ones that are there all the time, get treated the worst. My brother has no contact with her, and my sister now comes once a month from out of state to visit. I think what happens is they get so used to us being there, they take us for granted. The one they see the least they are "nice" to for fear they won't come again--at least that's what I've come up with to explain my mother's behavior towards me!
My mother (with dimentia) went in the hospital for a total hip replacement in April and has been rehabilitating at a nursing home. She is more confused than ever, is mean and is giving everyone in the nursing home hard time.
I visit every day because I'm local, and when I try and tell her to listen to the therapist, she says she's going to kill me!
I have signed her up for long term care, she needs 24 hour care now,and I cannot provide that anymore. My sister said I guess it's up to you because you are the one taking care of her, (I think it was supposed to make me feel quilty) as she wanted me to get 24 hour in home care. But I know that my mother is beyond that. I'm going to do what I have to with no guilt, because I know that I took care of her as long as I possibly could at home. I told my sister if she wants to move her to MA and take care of her that would be fine with me. You guessed it she does not want to do that.
Good luck to all you caregivers, do what you have to do, knowing you did all you possibly could for your parent, and when it is time for them to have nursing home care---it's time---don't beat yourself up over it.
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Oldcodger2: I wanted to put a post on your wall, but went to your profile and it is not set up for posts. So I'll just say it here. You put your MIL in that lovely facility. You are a precious angel and you have done all you can for her. It's like the doc said, "It's no ones fault." And please don't waste your time talking about the sibs who have let you down and how it is more their fault than yours. YES, they let you, your husband and your MIL down. Maybe you could have continued longer if they had been there to lend a hand. But, here's the thing, you have guilt and you are looking for someone else to put it on. It's their failing instead of your failing. What I want to say is YOU DID NOT FAIL. And you are right, you're not done yet. You will still be caring for her, just in a different setting.

Now, you have to start thinking about your life and how you will regain it. It's a process and you have to take it one step at a time. Don't get ahead of yourself. Just take it day by day. Please know that we all admire and understand what you have done for your MIL for many years. You will continue to care about her, from your heart, but not from your home. That's ok. You are so wise to know that you have reached your limit and that steps must be taken to change the lives of all of you. DON'T beat yourself up. Just take deep breaths, breath, breath, breath. It will get better. She will adjust. She can adjust.

You must adjust too and I think you might have a harder time than her. You have a lot of grieving to do. So give your self time and permission to do it. I am beside you all the way and sending you buckets of love and support.

Take care of yourself and be patient with yourself. You are a good person, a good wife and an amazing DIL. It will get better. Hugs, Cattails
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I know how you feel. My mother's emotional abuse of me is escalating every day.
It is beginning to destroy my self-esteem. My mother does not abuse anyone but me, so I get no support from my brother and sister. I am the only one who lives with her and takes care of her, yet she seems to hate me and adore my useless brother and sister. I am the only one who can see my mother's dementia, too.
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I would cry sometimes because my dad was being so mean. He would constantly say that he wanted to go back home (different city) or get his own place. He would tell me to get out of his room and spend time with my family (husband and kids). He would always get mad at me, give me the silent treatment, and resent me for helping him, because he was in denial and said he did not need help. I had to deal with this for 3 years (he lives with me). About 9 months ago, I could not take it any more and COULD NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE, so i took him to a psychologist at the hospital that specializes in therapy with cancer patients. I pretty much explained to her, in front of him, how he treats me and how he made me feel. He responded positively and knew that he had to be better. He did better but it only lasted a month or so, and started to being mean again, not as bad but still.
Then one day about 6 months ago, he threw up blood, was hospitalized for a couple of days, and it scared him. He finally came to that realization that he is not this person that is immune to sickness or death, he became more humble and a loving dad. He says thank you, please, and appreciates me and my family now. He calls our home his home. I have to tell you that this has made all those years of tears and anger worth it. Even if it does not happen for you, please remember that it is honorable what you and I are doing, and it is the sickness and sometimes pride that make them treat us that way. Try not to respond with anger and try to say, I don't appreciate you talking to me that way, and walk away for a short while. This might backfire, because then he called me sensitive and making a big deal out of nothing, but at least you are trying to communicate yoiur feelings. You can't make them change, but what this is really doing is making us stronger people. And I have been told (don't know yet) that when my dad dies, I will feel good that I did everything I could to make his last days as comfortable as possible. And he will feel loved, whether he wants it or not! Even if they did not realize or appreciate it.
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thank you all for your kindness-I will be back as I intend to be a full time caregiver-I have alot of people to thank but right now without mentioning names-let me just give you al a hug and say thank you. I will answer to those who posted to Menos and my psts in person when I can stop crying-thaks-God Bless
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ladee-my daughter told me you apologized for calling me a lady and I did not or was not able to understand the difference because I am focused on the rest-or the content and now I am confused-but I will try to work thru it as I address casey 1234. I asked how to start a new thread and my daughter wants me to learn so someone will help me. Your father must learn he needs help and who but to teach him but you. You have taken the time to ask how. I have taken the time to ask how. my answer to you is how can you hep someone who needs help but does not want it? You see what the needs are and provide them. You call an elder law attorney. If he was your child and needed help you wouold do it. Yes? Does he have dementia? Does he need care? Then you will find a way and not let him tell you no. If he is mentally competent and wants to drink himself to death then you cannot help him whether he is 21 or 110. You must prove mental incompetence.
Just because someone is 70 or 80 or 100 does not mean they cannot decide they need or want help. If you feel he needs help then you must state why and prove it.
My grandchild needs her diaper changed and I am not demented enough not to know so I told my daughter to stop watching me and change her diaper because I can smell better than I can spell. If your daddy truly needs help what are you waiting for? Help him! We are our brothers keeper. We help our loved ones no matrer what. Sometimes that help is too much for us so we have to call in the professionals. Even if the professional says your father must go in a Hospice or a nursing home you still must visit them or him if you care. An old person is angry for many reasons. They hurt. They are angry that life is so cruel to them. They want to say I love you but cannot make the words come out right so you hear them moaning or making odd noises that drive you nutts because you do not understand their pain and their loneliness. You take them to the dr and the dr says it's all in her head-well I ask you -is not their head a part of their body? or if their dr says it is just in their mind-is not their mind a part of their body? so does it matter where the pain is? In their toe or in their brain-to the patient it is pain just the same so listen to them!
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