I can't say anything, without it turning confrontational with my mom. I basically don't speak to her anymore. I can just respond to whatever situation may be at the time, and immediately, she has opposite opinion, explains herself, makes excuses for something that excuses don't need to be made, or becomes verbally aggressive. Yesterday, she found a piece of broken glass way in the back yard. I responded with, oh, I'm not surprised, over the years we used to burn trash, and stuff was covered up with dirt. She immediately went on about finding it on the ground, not under. I didn't even begin to explain that over time, it could come up through dirt, not to mention, maybe someone just broke something and missed the piece of glass. Today, similar situation. I asked if she ate the last hot dog bun. I just wanted to know if I should bother continuing to look for it. I wasn't mad that she ate the bun. She turned around with a deep breath and said she ate it, as if I had been giving her the third degree. She immediately started asking what I did with yesterday's left over chicken. She wanted to make sure I didn't thrown itaaway. Oh my god! I can't stand wasting food. I wouldn't think 3rd owner away yesterday's food. I would freeze it if I ddidnt think it would be eaten. She knows that I am frugal. I can't stand wasted food. I really think she is just trying to drive me so far that I can't stand having her here.

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My mom is in the early stages of dementia, or she was two years ago. She won't see the neurologist, because she is afraid of her license being taken away. This may seem small compared to what other people are going through, but it is something I have to deal with. It does not minimize my concerns or frustrations because my situation isn't as bad as others. It was just what was going on that day. It is something every single day, and my mom lives with me full time. She lies to my siblings and to her siblings, about what is going on here. It is so darn frustrating.

Before I knew my cousin had dementia, I realized that she was very disagreeable. She would argue about the time of day. She would also argue with the tv. She would yell at the newscasters if they said something she didn't like. She also LOVED certain people on the news. It was maddening.

She claimed that she loved to see me and that I made her day, but as soon as I would walk in the door, she would start to criticize. One day she was furious that I had left grease on her kitchen counter. (There was none there. Only in her mind.) Later we found out this was the dementia at work.

Now she doesn't complain, argue or disagree. She smiles pleasantly and answers yes or no questions. She doesn't remember much and has little to say. It's difficult to imagine how verbally combative she was in just over a year ago.

Today was going to be a peaceful day. It didn't turn out that way. Our yardman came and cut some off a tree that had fallen. Then we moved the swings my mother wanted moved. I went to get some money to pay the yardman and she said she wanted to give him $10 more. No, he didn't earn or ask for it. It was all about needing to be in charge and having the last word. Brother! She would rather pay more than let me decide how much to pay. Where's my helmet?

GardenArtist, have you been cavorting with my mother! Your skits sounded just like her.

gabriel, I know what you're going through. They can turn a simple sentence into a battle and all you can do is sit there and say huh. I personally get so weary of it all that I don't talk very much anymore. Of course, then she asks me why I'm being "that way."

Sometimes I do say something to start an argument. Like today I found an open bag of Cheetohs on the floor under her table. She said she had eaten some last night. I told her to remember to close the bag so they didn't get stale. She screwed her face up and said, "You're fussing at me again." People can say it's the disease, etc., but I'm still having to go through it every day all day long. Today I've had the lyrics of Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" going through my mind. I need a really long respite to get my attitude back up.

This sounds very familiar. :(

Gabriel, was your mother either (a) a controller, or (b) wife to a controller? Her behavior could also be reflective of someone who was domineering and needed to be right all the time, or someone who was subdued by a domineering husband.

Does this sound familiar:

Situation: Weather forecasters predict rain; dark ominous clouds begin appearing.
Comment: Looks like we're in for some heavy rain.
Retort: Those aren't rain clouds. It's not going to rain.

Situation: Old car, sitting in yard for years, tires going flat, battery hasn't been
charged; gas line probably shellaced.
Comment: We need to donate the car and get rid of it; I'll call Purple Heart and
have someone pick it up with a flatbed.
Retort: It can still be driven; tires are still good, battery still works...

Get the idea? Sometimes this is a lifelong approach but becomes worse during old age.

Gabriel, I see from your profile that your Mom has Alzheimer's/Dementia, so it could be just routine snipping and snapping that some people always do, or it could be the Alzheimer's/Dementia doing the talking.

It could also be that your Mom is angry that she is getting older. Curious, how old is she? Does she live with you or does she live elsewhere?

Believe it or not, those arguments you described are very very minor compared to what some people deal with helping someone with memory problems. If what Mom is doing to you now is rattling your cage, you might need to think ahead as to her care when the memory loss gets really bad. Or she might outlive you.

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