I love my mother but she makes me so angry....

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This is really long and scattered so I am so sorry. I just had a big fight with my mom and need to get help/vent at the same time.

My mother is 61 years old. She has many health problems, mostly physical problems, but over the past year she has had slowly increasing mental problems too. Her personality has always been rough, though. As far back as I can remember she always was not the nicest person to be around in public. She is the person who always has a comment, like muttering loudly about how slow the grocery line is, or saying 'come on people, any time today'. Lately she claims that she is 'inappropriate' because she cannot help it anymore. She doesn't have health insurance until February so she can't get tests done but she says that some time a year ago she found out she had something in her brain and claims it is a tumor and that the tumor affects the part of her brain that allows her to be a decent human being. So whenever we go out in public she is rude as hell and god forbid I seem any bit embarrassed or apologize for her behavior she acts as if I'm the worst daughter on the planet. She tells everyone she has a brain tumor and she is sorry that her daughter doesn't understand that. The thing is...I give her the benefit of the doubt and I believe that she does have something that is causing her behavior to get worse. However, I do not believe that to just be a 'get out of decency' free card and I do expect her to at least try and not say or do inappropriate things, especially in front of my young children. And it's just so weird how all of her 'inappropriate' behavior is only things that benefit her. She never gets lost in a store, or forgets why she is in a certain aisle, or anything like that. It is more like skipping people in line, saying WHATEVER she wants no matter how rude, and pushing through other people without an 'excuse me' or anything.

The worst is that she makes me feel like the worst daughter all the time. She thinks because I don't condone this behavior that means I don't care. I DO care. And if someone were to say or do something to my mother I would give them hell to pay. But all of these people, except for one instance, do nothing wrong and just suffer her wrath for no reason. And because I don't let her get away with it that makes me a horrible daughter. If the situation were more like she was being rude to someone and I said 'mom please calm down it's alright' and she at least tried to stop for a second and calm down then I would be way more understanding of these episodes. But she doesn't. Instead she flips out and scolds me for not backing her up for letting her say or do whatever she wants.

Today she made a huge scene at Toys R Us today because she freaked out and yanked my son backward into the shopping cart a bit too hard and made him cry. He was reaching for the gum at the checkout line over the conveyor belt but she claims his finger was this close to being torn from the belt that wasn't even moving.He had told her he didn't like what she did and she got all snappy with him. I told her at that moment that my son is upset and he is allowed to express himself. I also said next time to please don't pull so hard and just tell him to sit back down or you will sit him down yourself, or just say 'Hey daughter stop loading the bags and get your kid', or anything but what you actually did because what you did was too rough. She flipped the hell out on me! This caused a huge fight at home that ended in her telling me to consider her dead. She told me that if I don't want to be around her when she behaves that way in public then don't be around her at all. I just couldn't believe she would give up seeing her grandchildren just so she can be a bitch - and I'm sorry to say that but that is what she is when we go out. She won't even try to work on our outings and find solutions to the problem. Nope. It's either let her be that way and let my children see that kind of behavior or just don't see her at all.

And the FREAKING kicker is when I started to cry in the front yard and screamed at her because I was so frustrated she flipped out on me for being embarrassing to her neighbors.

She even tells random strangers, cashiers, anyone, person stories about me or my brothers when we are out if she is mad at us or if she wants to make someone laugh. Like telling some random women comments about my parenting like 'yeah because sugar will just KILL your 10 month old, god Jenny lighten up it's just a sip of an icee'. Or tell people about my current divorce and say how much of a scumbag my ex is RIGHT in front of their father!!

I don't know what to do. She used to be slightly inappropriate but now I can't be around her at all. Every moment with her is a guilt trip and she makes me feel bad mixed with embarrassing trips anywhere because she is so rude. I can't do it anymore. I love my mother and she is my best friend in this world. But I can't let my children be around her anymore.

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My thoughts are a little different than other people's. I wouldn't doubt that your mother has something going on that is changing her personality, and she may not be able to help what she is doing. And I know you still want to be with her, because she's your mother and you love her. If there is something wrong, you won't be able to change her behavior, so you'll need to adapt your own to smooth the waters. Sometimes it can be saying something calming and positive. Other times humor goes a long way. You can also go places when there aren't so many people and keep your children out of her reach.

My mother can say some things about strangers that are embarrassing. My only response to her is that she must sit around and think of unkind things to say. That works with her to make her stop, but I doubt that it will work with yours. Sometimes we just have to accept their behavior and work around it, maybe thinking of them as a Martian fresh to Earth that doesn't know better.

This made me think about what I would do if mine said something that put us in a dangerous position. I think truth would go a long way if this ever happened. When people have a disease in their brain, sometimes there is just no telling what will come out of their mouth. Since you love her, I would say hang in their with her and try not to let what she does embarrass you so much or make you angry.
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What you said about how sad it is to lose your mother as the person she was - it's heartbreaking. My father was the one whose behavior was borderline acceptable. There were only a few times near the end where the dark side came out, but then it went away. If I had to abandon him for my own protection - how sad that would be. Please keep believing that this is a disease causing her behavior, so you can still love her.

OH!
What if it's a medication problem? That can cause weird behavior.

Good luck.
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It seems odd that she is collecting disability, but is not on Medicaid for medical insurance? It also seems odd that she can pay half of her housemate's expenses with her disability check - DI is rarely much to brag about. She could be getting Medicaid for medical insurance, and TANF living expense subsidy and food stamps as well, if her personal circumstances are as she claims.

On top of that is her totally unacceptable behavior with you and your child - as if she has a screw loose! She is only 61 years old and should not be behaving this way. It sounds to me like some kind of a progressive personality disorder if not actually being caused by a tumor as she would have everyone believe. If she won't get help for herself then how much can you do? It sounds like a no-win situation for you, and If I were in your position, I would probably distance myself from her as much as possible, and also keep her away from my child.
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Debralee what happened today is the kick in the butt I needed to realize I can't just go out with my mom anymore. Her behavior has been getting slowly worse for a year now. I know a year seems like a long time to realize a person is not who they are anymore but when it is a slow progression and you have an idea of who a person is in your head from being with them your whole life....well you don't seem to notice right away and you don't want to believe that it's true either.

I used to go out with my mom all the time and she would be a little rude but just so where it would make me sigh and shake my head. Like muttering under her breath how long a line is. But for the most part it was still fun going out.

So yes I have now realized and accepted that I can't go out with her and I can't have my children around her anymore. She is not the same person she used to be and that makes me sad.
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Thank you all for the responses. I first want to clarify that she does not actually live with me. She lives with a friend in his house and pays half of his bills from receiving disability. She legitimately has a crap load of health problems, especially with her back, that prevent her from working anymore. I don't know if what is going on in her brain is true or not but I will believe it to be true until proven otherwise because she is my mother, she was a nurse for most of her life, and I would rather believe it and be proven wrong then not believe it just to find out she actually does have a tumor. I just don't see how having a brain tumor can affect your personality only in the ways that she lets out. Because all I see is something she has always done (being slightly embarrassing in public) magnify times 1000 to being unbearable to be seen in public with her and on top of that have her get mad at me about it.

I don't 'have' to take her with me anywhere. We just meet up or go out places together sometimes, like today was shopping for my son's birthday. This was the straw that broke the camels back though and the swift kick in the ass I needed to realize that this is just how she is now and that I cannot go out with her like I used to anymore. We used to have so much fun going out together but now the entire time is one big feeling of 'i want to crawl in a hole and die' because she is so rude to almost every person we come across. And she gets so mad at me for apologizing for her behavior and then says I don't care about her. Yet the one time that a woman actually WAS deserving of her rudeness I gave that lady hell because of it. I always tell her that if someone deserves it then I will back her up but rarely does that ever happen..

And Captain I do not appreciate how you assume that I was 'daydreaming' and not paying attention to my child. I was putting bags into the shopping cart and I saw the whole thing go down. He wasn't acting out. He had his hands on the conveyor belt while standing up inside the basket part of the cart.. She overreacted and said he was 'this close' getting his finger chopped off even though the belt wasn't even moving. So she pulled him backwards a little too rough. And instead of saying 'my bad, next time I will be a little gentler' she decided to go the other way and scream that he was in danger and close to losing a finger so she did what she did to save his life and how dare I get mad at her for preventing him from hurting himself. All because I asked her to be a little gentler next time. I didn't yell at her, I didn't scream. I just said do not yell at my son, he is allowed to be upset about what just happened because it scared him and from now on don't be so rough with him unless it is something actually dangerous like running into the street.
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Sounds like you are codependent on a very toxic mother. If she is an embarrassment in public why go out with her? Why would you expose your child to this person and her behavior? You claim she is your best friend in the world, but a friend would never treat you in such a disgraceful manner. Maybe counseling would help you to handle better this disfunctional relationship you have with your mother.
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I agree, but LMB probably can't stand to kick her out. The old broad is certainly a B****, but what are her resources? She can't get a BRAIN TUMOR treated because she has no insurance?

It would be helpful to know if she can be put into public housing, and if there is some program to provide care for those without insurance. LMB, If you could do that, then you could kick her ass to the curb knowing she would get her minimum needs met. Try the local area council on aging, and even call to ask about TANF benefits - for her. Even if she's not eligible, they would know of resources she could get.

In the meantime, can you stop taking her to the store with you? Can you try behavior modification by turning away or walking away when she is "Inappropriate?" She has a problem, whether it's a brain tumor or mental illness or just being evil. Please try to stop taking it personally. Think long and hard. Do you have any power over her? Can you take away something she wants? Tell her that if she is nice, she will get it. If she is not nice, forget about it.

Good luck with a horrible problem.
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I agree with StandingAlone and BoniChak. Get away from your mom and take your children with you! If her behavior was suddenly different, then maybe I'd cut her some slack - like the brain tumor idea she has. But you say she's always been this way. As people age, they usually just get more like they've always been. Your mom's always been self-centered and narcissistic and now she's just showing you more of that behavior. Let her get on Medicaid to get her medical needs met. I bet she won't because she doesn't really have anything going on and she knows it.

Your first priority now is your kids, NOT your mom! If she can't be courteous to others, then let her sit alone or go out by herself. You owe your children good examples and your mom isn't able to behave that way. So ditch the guilt and get on with your own life - without your mom or with very, very strong limits set around your mom's behavior.
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BoniChak... Hell to the YES. Best advice ever. lmao
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PS. She gave you the best advise herself. Consider her dead.
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