My Mother lies about me, but she doesn't do this to my brother. Is this a symptom of early dementia?

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She has no empathy for my feelings and tries to leave me out. She tries to leave me out of POAs, bank accounts, etc. I have read that this can be the first signs of dementia. I also, have read she could be a narcissist (this I feel to be true). I have not talked to her in two months because of a lie she told that just crossed the line. Now she is telling my neighbor I want control of her money and financial stuff. She is 80 and has all the signs of narcissism and always has. But I do wonder if she is now getting dementia, lying is the only symptom she has.

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Top Answer
It has been my experience with my own mother and now my sister that lying is often the easiest thing to do. I cannot impress those around me enough that my mother simply has no imagination. Zip. Zero. She cannot imagine anything outside of her own reality. Look up the word 'Solipsist' or 'Solipsism'. I am not sure whether this classifies as narcissism or not, but my entire family has been disfunctional since I can remember, it is just masked in very subtile ways. Also, my mother tends to "shut out" anyone who disagrees with or disappoints her in any way. Speaking the truth can do it, if you are being truthful with her it is probably that you do not agree with her unconditionally. Fortunately for me, I really am the more stable one of the family and have at least treated her fairly, so I have faired better than some, though this by no means living wilth her is comfortable. In reality, it is like living with a not-too-bright seven year old. As for my sister, lying has just been the easiest thing to do.
Parents do have favorites and as age advances the favortism seems to increase. Early onset dementia can make the propensity to have favorites increase. A comfort level can exist and if any thing, arguably increases. But, your mother may be vulnerable. The dynamics between your brother and your mother may be of interest. You may want to analyze a bit. While it is not abnormal for one sibling to manipulate a parent, doing so to a vulnerable parent for personal benefit is abusive. Try staying closer and more involved without being viewed in any manner confrontational. I would urge you to not discuss thoughts you may or may not have about your brother with your mother. A diagnosis requires a doctor. It sounds like you may not be able to pull that off. Be strong, endure and love your mother may be the best means to reduce the lying. Casually, watch your brother..............
Madge1,
It is a shame that you are going through this. My only advise is from experience. Sometimes it is best to take the high road. Truth will out. If the lies are not true, they will be found out. Who has POA? I don't know about the Narcissism but lying and playing siblings against siblings can be a sign of dementia or just meanness. I would recommend keeping some contact, on a limited basis, just so she can't add "I have been abandoned." Medical POA & Durable POA are very important to get for someone, while they can still sign. It doesn't have to be you, but getting them once they can't sign is almost impossible. Then you have to take it to Guardianship and that requires legal proceedings with a judge and a declaration of incompetence. This is not an 'easy' time in your life and with your relationship with your mother. Take the high road and sooner or later others will see the unfairness of her aspersions and realize she's going down that slippery slope.
This is very typical of Dementia, sometimes the favorite can also become the one who is now resented by the parent and they now have issues and take it personal, this is the nature of the beast and like someone already commented, just take the highroad and let it go because it is not personal. Things are not going to get better so you need to prepare yourself for a tough road ahead and if you take everything personal you are not going to survive.
Madge, I feel for you. I have noticed that a relationship with a parent with any kind of dementia can go south in a hurry. If we (the caregiver) make a mis-step or displease/ anger the parent, the parent can suddenly view us in a very negative light----and it is irrational, not true at all. This is very difficult. Like others have said, do not take it personally. Try to learn to brush it off and ignore it. Just do the best you can, given the situation, and GOOD LUCK.
That was the first sign that we saw with my mother-in-law with her dementia. Because her son (my husband) is her caregiver, I think she felt that she had to hide the signs of dementia from him. With her other son, he is not a presence in her life, so she could pretend with him that everything was fine. When signs became apparent that she was ill, she started resenting my husband because he was seeing them. She started making him (or myself) the "bad guy". If she misplaced an item and we found it, she would accuse us of moving the item to make her "think she was crazy".

Your first priority is taking care of yourself, but understanding that it may be an illness that may be causing your mother to act this way. My mother in law has always been self-absorbed, but adding dementia to that has been very painful for us to deal with.

I wish you the best of luck.
Thank you all for your answers. Mom has always been self centered. My brother always the favorite. But the problem is I live in another state and he lives 5 miles from her. He is so self absorbed in his own life he won't see the symptoms until they really get bad. She just sent me a very sentimental birthday card, all gush and love. Then she will turn around and tell a lie to her neighbor about me, who immediately tells me (we were best buds growing up). She sent a check with the card, but I don't want to cash it. You see, she will tell everyone I don't talk to her but I sure can cash her checks. Get the picture. I have talked to my brother about her behavior and he is worthless. He was 100% on my side at first but now it is just too much trouble for him to be bothered with. When my Dad was very ill, she would procrastinate about taking him to the doctor, I ask my brother to intervene. He said no it was Mom's job to take Dad to the doctor, well Dad died. Mom is a fool to trust his judgement. Time will tell.
Hi Madge, I really feel for you! I am primary care taker of my Mother In Law and she lies about the silliest things... I am 99 0/0 sure that she has AD and we are having a real hard time getting a diagnosis. She can make things up so well that the Dr thinks she is just fine! It's really hard to explain how she does it.... When he questions her about specific information, she takes control of the conversation by diverting the focus on some phony scenario that sounds perfectly truthful to the Dr. (the big meal she cooked yesterday, showering on her own, excercises every day, picking out her clothes, dressing herself, driving her car etc...) Makes me crazy that he believes her! I am just the Daughter In Law who cares for her 24/7 and I know that she is incapable of doing any of these things... I am careful to gently express the real truth with the Dr and this infuriates her!
I have to work very hard on my attitude and mindset in order to remain calm and caring! I constantly remind myself that she is sick and in her mind, the things she says are her truth. It's a hard situation to deal with........ My heart & prayers go out to you!
Madge, Madge, Madge...
Take a long look at what you have written. You are going through something 'crazy' and don't have to torture yourself. The best thing is to let it go. Family issues always fall into the category of "Me". It is not about you. You have issues with your brother, your mother and your own self worth. Separate these and know you are a good person, doing the best & wanting the best for all concerned. Get off line and find a psychologist who specializes in geriatrics. This has been invaluable for me. It's a hard time and everything is at 6s & 7s.
I am a hairdresser and the shop has been in business for over 50 years. I been working there for 20. We have 4 generations in same families as long time customers. So in a way I have seen alot of this, and without realizing it, I was gaining knowledge about the elderly and what happens as they age. Then I put this all to use when It came to my Mom, who has dementia(age 73 at present) . My Mom also was always quite odd and my family disfunctional, luckily my Dad kept us secure and divorced her probably to keep his sanity. Anyway I was always her favorite I am the youngest my sister the middle and my brother the oldest with a learning disabilty. Well sister helped her until she got to hard to deal with so she was then the favorite because she didn't do anything that ment disturbing Mom's independance. Then I became the bad guy because I did what was needed, took her to Drs, made her eat right, gave her horrable pills, cleaned her house etc. I disrupted Mom's world. When I saved Mom from herself, I was doing the right thing but I became to her the one that stole her stuff was poisoning locked her up etc. I had to do what it took to keep her safe and healthy and functional. I ignored her comments and my sisters unwillingness to help and just did it. She is now in a NH and I have no guilt because other wise she'd be in harms way. I visit and stay ontop of all nessasary in her care and I know Mom knows I am the one who cares eventhough she tells me to leave her alone when I visit. I know this because she trys to get my sister and my aunt to take her out of there, but wont ask me. That I take as a compliment because she may not understand or remember clearly but she knows" I" will not give up on her, I see right thru her and deep down she trusts that, but it dosen't stop her from testing me. Like a 2 year old needs to be protected and acts up when his Mom won't let him do something harmful. It is for their own good and even if he hates you or screams for sympathy you don't give in for Love's sake! It is all a test for security and Love!

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