My mother has always been abusive not just during my childhood but as an adult as well. She has what I consider a personality disorder (to know about PD's google it). Then in late 2009 mom was diagnosed by her PCP as having dementia. I was not unfamiliar with this disease as my father also passed away in 2003 with dementia. Everything regarding our relationship continued the same with me keeping a distance because of her abusive personality. In 2012 things changed as mom progressed. While she continued to be abusive to me and my sister, she was declining. She started a kitchen fire by heating up Vicks Vapor Rub in a pan on the stove. She cancelled her phone service twice because she didn't want to the monthly payment they offered. Since I live locally in the same city as mom, I was primarily the one who fixed these issues for her only to be abused and accused of starting the problem in the first place. Then she started accusing me and sis of stealing her financial and medical files, telling the bank we were trying to steal her money and put her away. She told former co-workers the same thing.Sis and I continued to keep a distance because we could not make decision for our mom until she was diagnosed as mentally incapacitated, that is how the DPOA was written. In September of 2012 we reported mom as an unsafe driver to DMV. They sent mom a letter with a form for her PCP to fill out and return to them. Based on what the dr. sent them, they revoked her drivers license. This caused mom to spiral downwards rapidly and she was diagnosed as mentally incapacitated March of 2013. The reason I am sharing this information is because I want to say that a last year, I really felt and believed I hated my mom. There were many times I wanted to write a letter to her elder law attorney to tell him I did not want my name on her DPOA. The abuse and stress was not worth it....Then I changed my approach. I decided that yes mom has personality disorder that includes paranoia, distrust and all the abuse. but I started treating my mother as though everything she was do in regards to abuse, distrust, etc was Alzheimer's related not a personality disorder. Now please understand, my mom still had a personality disorder (mental illness), but the Alzheimer's was taking over and I needed to recognized that. It changed our relationship and soon I realized I LOVE my mom!! Since the summer of 2012, I have been very hands on in my mom's care, I gained her trust, which was a huge undertaking. I now protect my mom, advocate for her in a very different way than I did before. I am married and have to work, so mom is now living in a memory care unit that is excellent. They go above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate her and us. I am still very hands on with mom's care...while I can't say I am her daughter again, I can say I am extremely happy with her care, she is safe, gaining weight, making friends and I spend time with her 2-3 times a week by having lunch, talking, taking walks together..our time is more quality time, she calls me on the phone...I guess my whole point is that even though you have an abusive parent...you can change the relationship and love them...I love my mom...I hope this helps others in similar situations!!
I'm so happy for you that you were able to overcome the dysfunctionality; how I wish I could reach that point with my parents! I HATE my father because he HATES me (always has), and I have very little tolerance for my mother's lifetime manipulative/controlling attitudes! I know that hating is not the way to go, but how do we find love within our hearts after so much abuse? There are also PDs in both my parents, but their meanness is too unbearable; I guess it's all about not letting the inner child be HURT! Not an easy attitude to undertake. Thanks for your story. Hope
Thanks again for sharing!!
I'm so glad you wrote this, sharyn. I think it's inspirational. Thank you.