I plan on continuing to tell mom, "Do not question my character."


My mother is a worrier and fretter. Tonight she came into my room and I knew it wouldn't be good. Nothing good ever comes from her coming into my room at night. She said the house is falling down around our ears and we need to spend thousands to get it fixed. Then she said she was worried. She wanted to know how much money she had. I told her, as I always do. It is the same amount of money she had when my father died, maybe a bit more. Then she said she knew I had been money like crazy and she was going to have to take away the credit card.

Okay, I know we're told to let these things roll off our backs. But then we're also told to honor our parents when we are being abused as children. I take care of her without pay, take care of my own bills, live in the most modest two rooms, put up with 24/7 craziness, and have never asked for a thing. I had just taken her out to dinner on my dime. Grrr! Anyway, I didn't let it roll off. I said that she had the same amount of money as always and I had not been spending her money like crazy. I told her I wouldn't because I had character. I may have lost everything else when I left Texas, but I still had my character. And I was proud of it. And she would NOT question my character. Period.

I told her she was welcome to have her credit card and all her banking back, but I didn't know how she would get to the store or bank. These are things I do for her, and I do them free of charge. And I keep doing it, despite all the problems, because I am kind of like Horton.

I plan to keep saying Do not question my character. If something feels like abuse, it is, and we don't have to take abuse quietly IMO.

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Hi Jessebelle, I am familiar with your situation. I will say, at least in my mother's case, some of this can be personality. My mom doesn't have dementia, but she is very paranoid about her money. And stingy as can be and always has been. She trusts no one. Left me out of all financial planning meetings with her lawyer, made my brother her financial POA, on her checking accounts, executor of her will. In her case she is just weird.

She did name me alternate on her POA only because my brother refused to let her put my 29 year old nephew on as alternate. My brother told me it is "our" responsibility to care for mom, not her grandson. However, I am privay to nothing.

So, with a history like this, I don't want to be within a hundred miles of her money. And, since she has caused this problem, I will not do half the work either. So blaming everything on dementia may fit for some, but for my mother, she is just plan weird.

When little kids are angry and feeling like they can't control a situation in the way they'd like, they sometimes scream "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!" In this (and many other ways), dementia turns us into children if we're unfortunate enough to outlive our minds. I'm lucky that my dad has not yet gotten accusatory or nasty towards me, but he sure can be self-centered in the extreme. I find that if I think of the analogy of childishness, it's easier to be tolerate of the self-absorbtion that seems to accompany dementia. That's really where the accusations come from - an intense focus of all thoughts on oneself can make everyone else look like an enemy to varying degrees when they don't seem to be obsessing about your concerns to your satisfaction.
This isn't who they were when they were capable of thinking about people other than themselves.

Sometimes as we care for aging loved ones we need to change the way we
perceive being or hiring caregivers

Quality, compassionate loved ones of the family or hired assistance often times are viewed in a negative way

Dementia can be humilating,scary,uncertain for the person who is coming to terms with this condition-but doesnt have to
Routines, medications, kind gentle hands to prevent falls when walking

Grief of the loved one we once knew can take hold of us quickly and become depression

Freind & neighbor lives by this:
look for best in each person and situation
live in the present and let go of the past
forgive without exception including yourself
pray and meditate fifteen minutes daily
work at having a healthy body and harmonious surrondings

Hi JessieBelle, Boy does this sound familiar. I too live with my Mother, do all the shopping, errand running ect. for free. I have a little retirement money so I also buy all the groceries. Since I have been living with my Mother her savings has gone up! Of course it has, I now do all the gardening, pay for the groceries and the gas for the car. She has plenty of money but sometimes goes into her "depression mode" and thinks that she is poor. Truthfully my Mother is a total skinflint and enjoys living her life like she is "poor". She also has dementia, is almost 90 and on the cusp of narcissistic personality disorder which seems to be getting more evident the older and more demented she gets. The hardest part for me is not to get my feelings hurt. When she thinks that I should "pay rent" or says "What do you do anyway"? it hurts because I remember the Mother that she used to be and this new Mother is not exactly my favorite person in the world. I do not know if I would chose to spend anytime with her if she was not my Mom and I did not used to feel that way. So I deal with her good and bad days and try to get away when I can. There is nothing wrong with you telling your Mother not to question your integrity. It is boundary setting. She may not remember but I bet it felt good to say. Hugs all around....

My aunt use to have that behavior too.
We control it trying to calm her with words and giving , only as natural supplements , without scientific foundation ,but only based in empirical observation , the following supplements:
Glucuronolactone powder : it is metabolized in our bodies to glucaric acid , a very powerful antioxidative and detoxifier substance that it is a derivative of glucuronolactone metabolization (we can find articles about GLUCARIC ACID (a substance found in apples , oranges) searching in google.(it is NOT glutaric acid ).
After doses of 200 miligrams to 300 miligrams of GLUCURONOLACTONE (that it is metabolized to glucaric acid ) 3 to 5 times a day , associated to the other supplements that I paste the description bellow , my aunt stops with that "mad' behavior ,and be very calm and with a relaxed expression in her face.
Associated to that doses of glucuronolactone we gives too :
60 miligrams to 80 miligrams of carnosine 3 times a day.
One tea spoon of extra virgin coconut oil 3 times a day.
It is working very well for her and for our and for her relief.
But all in an empirical base.

Then , only the doctor of the patient can gives permission to use any of that supplements above.

Thanks, everyone. I wrote this a while back, but it is still fresh. Nancy, I don't take any money from my mother, though I'm probably being dumb not charging her. The way it is now, I help her for free so she can pass down any money left over to all of us. She does feel that is fair, but she is from the time when men were the main ones in the family.

My mother has dementia, but she seems to have remembered what I said, since she hasn't started in on me spending money again. It was a crazy conversation, since me spending money like crazy was out of the clear blue. We barely spent any money for Christmas even, because she didn't want to spend.

zoomdots, I think the biggest problem is that she can't remember how much money she has. She gets her bank statements and everything, but she has always had trouble with numbers and business. Now they don't register with her at all.

Jessie, maybe you ought to call around and find out just how much it DOES cost to hire live in help that do the things you do. Get a couple quotes, type it up like you would if you were presenting the cost estimation to a client. Then present it to your mother. See what she says about how much money you're taking from her then.

Good for you, Jessie. As walker -above - said. there are some lines that cannot be crossed, and I am glad that you have drawn a line.You have spoken about your past with your family and it wasn't great, and yet you have been very selfless in caring for your mum, and your dad till he died.
On a separate note, I think regular breaks for you would be great. This stuff gets to a person.
re "we're also told to honor our parents when we are being abused as children.". To me that does not include taking more abuse. It may mean forgiveing them, or not gossiping about them, but it does not mean taking more abuse. I know that it is difficult separating the disease and the abuse, but I do think you know the difference. There is a Christian website about the abuse of adults - everything else has gone on a bandwagon, but that. It is called Luke Ministries. I have read a bit from it and it is opening my eyes to scriptural bases for dealing with abuse from my mother,who, incidentally, does not have dementia, and with whom I am drawing some more boundaries these days, as my health is suffering. The reading I have been doing today on being brought up by a narcissistic mother emphasizes the great stress we have been, are under as a result.
((((((hugs)))))) Jessie - you are a valuable contributer here. Joan

Ah, JessieBelle, my heart goes out to you. It is good to vent, it relieves a little of the stress and allows us to remain calm when calm is needed. No matter how much you may love your mother, she will always be your mother and as such, you will always be that same little girl she raised (and she will remember every mistake you made in the past). As children who care for our aging parents, we try to remember all of the wonderful things that they have done for us in our lives...this is how we survive these tantrums.

I agree with "zoomdots" a lot of this is fear she will outlive the money and become a burden...that and fear of losing control of her life. I watch my father (retired military man) deal with this daily. And there are times I wonder to myself "where's my other dad" when he is spinning in a tantrum that is so out of character for him.

I also think that you are doing the right thing by reminding your mother that there are lines (questioning your integrity is one of them) that can not be crossed. This is a hard issue for many to deal with, but it is necessary for the long term relationship to remain in tact.

Stay strong, and try to remember all of the good in your mother (especially during those difficult times), and don't forget to take care of yourself and your future. There's a saying that you might want to incorporate in your mind-set "You can't take care of someone else if you aren't taking care of yourself."

a little more information would be helpful like how old is she and does she have dementia, you sound like you deserve a metal because you take care of her free of charge so do alot of us because we love her, I think maybe you should look into some respite care and take a break so you can have a better attitute. Also do you have poa?

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