My mom is so cunning and manipulating.

Follow
Share

My 86-year-old mom is not smart, but yet is so cunning and manipulating. I'm painting her house, yet all of sudden I'm taking too long. She is always saying I need to do more. I do as much as I can. I have a younger brother who does nothing and is very secretive; she believes every thing he tells her. If I defend myself I am being argumentive. And she says be quiet. She doesn't want neighbors to know how abused she is by me. My brother just avoids her and then he is the good guy and I'm always the trouble maker. He won't talk to me because I asked him to help out, he won't, so I become who she goes to, then she tells me he never back talks her like I do. It is so twisted.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
25

Comments

Show:
1 2 3
I agree Jessie. It is a continuum. The dementia takes over more and more and they lose more and more control, but in the meanwhile they are quite capable of choosing their tactics and their words. Mother has not essentially changed. She is still critical and negative, as she always was though the meds have improved that somewhat, and with increasing dementia she is less verbal.
(5)
Report

That's right, JessieBelle--they still have their original personality. In the original comment, it sounds like a lifelong pattern in the family for the brother to be the golden child and the commenter the scapegoat/Cinderella who does the heavy lifting but never gets credit. These are the golden children and scapegoats of narcissistic parents. This pattern has probably been going on for decades and now that the parent is elderly and the family is thrown together again the pattern rears its head and is compounded by the mother's dementia.
(2)
Report

Sunny, people don't fall into dementia. They grow into it. Someone in the early and middle stages are capable of doing many things. In fact, they may stick to old ways of doing things because of familiarity. Can people with dementia be narcissistic or manipulative? Of course, they can, particularly before the brain damage becomes extremely severe.
(3)
Report

As Jeannegibbs posted upthread, here's a thread from here about how sometimes behavior in people who have dementia can seem manipulative.

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/dementia-behavior-manipulation-154554.htm

I think that the orignial poster for this thread had in her profile that her mother had dementia. It's important to not ignore that fact as they are not capable of intentional and manipulative behavior that they may have engaged in before the dementia. If we fail to recognize that, it's not really fair to the patient nor productive.
(0)
Report

Gaslighting, stonewalling and treating certain children as "golden" and others as scapegoats are traits of narcissistic personality disorder. About 70% of narcissists were born with the condition-it is often genetic and runs through the family from generation to generation. As the narcissist ages the traits become worse. Sounds like many of the people in this thread are dealing with parents who are narcissists. You can't change or improve it but you can learn about it and how to protect yourself. Two great YouTube channels are Understanding Narcissism and Quinn Holliday at Assc Direct. Don't ask me how I know all this....
(1)
Report

wow...your post is almost identical to mine!
why do they not 'get it' that they should be grateful that we are taking our precious time to help them.
my mom is hateful and mean and nothing is ever good enough...so im going to just quit doin it and then maybe she will appreciate it.
(2)
Report

Regarding manipulation and dementia, please have a look at this AC article: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/dementia-behavior-manipulation-154554.htm

HATEMOOCH007, was your mother manipulative all your life? Did she always favor your brother? Did she always think you couldn't do anything fast enough, correct enough, or good enough? Did you grow up in a fairly dysfunctional family? Do you think that your mother was mentally ill before she developed dementia?

All of these are important considerations for the present situation.
(1)
Report

This is a deep and important discussion and I'm so glad to be reading all of your wise perspectives.

Maturity is about being fully grown, reaching a stage of mental or emotional development that is consistent with adulthood, and being capable of thinking and planning carefully and thoroughly. That last one my mother emphasized when I was growing up: thinking and planning carefully and thoroughly. It was a lesson that made me believe in what was right for me. My mother let me beat to a different drummer.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Conclusion, 1854

If caregiving is right for you, then I believe it's possible to establish healthy boundaries and "pull outside the abuse". However, if you hate caregiving and are forcing yourself to do it then I think you owe it to yourself to pursue the life you want. After all, it's your life and this ain't no dress rehearsal!

Too many caregivers die prematurely from the stress of caregiving. There are social workers at the county and state levels and at area hospitals. Nursing homes exist for a reason as do psychiatric hospitals. I imagine there is relief to be had knowing that the person is getting the care they need. They may not want the care (inertia and denial are so much easier) but if it's what they need then it's the right thing to do.
(2)
Report

I don't think so. I don't think it would be that black or white.
(0)
Report

"Or there's another possibility -- The child who was emotionally abused is mature enough to pull outside the abuse and do what needs to be done without abusing the parent."

Is it maturity, though, to "pull outside the abuse"? Would it be immaturity if someone couldn't do that?
(0)
Report

1 2 3
This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions