Eek, that was a really dramatic title, but it's pretty much true.

So my mother is still pretty young (63) but she keeps having ever more frequent episodes of forgetfulness, personal negligence and other really scary aging warning signs. She's ALWAYS done stupid, dangerous things (bringing random people to my house for sex/drinking, dealing drugs in broad daylight, driving like an insane person), she's ALWAYS acted like a rebellious 14 year old, but now she's acting like a rebellious 14 year old in the body of an 80 year old. She needs help. Badly.

As an example, she crashed the car a few weeks ago. She was unhurt, thankfully, but her story as to how it happened changed multiple times (first she claimed someone was about to crash into her, then she said she went temporarily blind in one eye, then she said neither of those happened, now she's back at "I went blind").

She forgets conversations we have, and then later she blames me for lying about the conversation ever having taken place. But then when SHE remembers something that me or my dad forget, we're idiots.

She has left cigarettes unattended in her bedroom so many times that she literally doesn't own a bedspread that isn't full of burn holes. A month or so ago, I came up to find the whole bed on fire and her in the bathroom without a clue. And then she yelled at me for overreacting when I poured water on the bed. Literally, if I had not been there, she would have burned down the house.

She had a long habit of taking too many of her meds and falling down. Now she falls down and is dizzy even when she hasn't taken too many, basically because she refuses to eat. She was at about 90 pounds, now she's at about 110 and declared today she's not going to "play our game" to "make her fat" anymore. She has even said she'll be damned if she'll end up looking like me (I'm about 300 pounds, she couldn't get to my weight if she tried!)

Alright, so all these things are happening... but rarely in front of doctors. Or when they do happen in front of doctors, they don't care, and send her back home anyway. My dad and I pleaded with the social worker at two hospitals to not just brush her off, not to just send her home the way she is, and they totally gave us the runaround.

I emailed my aunt (her older sister), in tears, telling her about how myt mother had bashed up my car. Said aunt had a conversation with my mother that gave my aunt chills; she was positive she was talking to their mother (who had severe dementia). My aunt KNOWS all of these things are happening all the time, but all she would tell me was to stop enabling my mother or stop complaining about it.

I couldn't believe she would be so dismissive. My mother is turning into my grandmother before my very eyes, and everyone who could do anything is turning a blind eye. I am only 28 and I'm already dealing with horrible depression from all of this. I never know whether the person I meet is going to be an enraged, screaming demon, or my mother.

I realize I am enabling her in some ways, but she is legitimately frail. My mother literally cannot live without adult supervision. She WILL NOT EAT unless I bring her food. She can not consistently take care of herself, or clean her room, or do her own laundry. She never goes out of the house. Most of my money goes for her needs. I went in the hospital last year and for the week I was gone, nothing got done. She won't even get the mail.

I really need help.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Hi, Cali, thanks for the reply! :)

I agree with you 100% that she is having trouble dealing with her condition. She also doesn't think of me as anything but her nagging daughter who worries too much and is always in her business. I feel like I have to be in her business because you never know when something will happen. I hear every cough, I always know when she's opening a can of pop, when she's opening her pill drawer... Sometimes those sounds just drive me insane because I don't know how *not* to hear them.

Basically, my parents have a horrible relationship. She hates him and thinks he's out to get her. She will absolutely not listen to him. He could tell her the sky is blue and she would disagree. And he cooks for her and will drive her places, but he's just as burned out as I am.

A HUGE part of the problem is that she was a nurse for about a year, so she has nurse's training and thinks she is a medical expert. So she won't listen to anyone, always screaming, "WHO WENT TO NURSING SCHOOL?!"

Hmm... as for me being the strong one... I don't think so, lol? I don't know. I'm the only child, and while I spent my childhood and teenage years basically being lazy and useless, when my mother started falling apart, I was the only one who could take care of her because my dad had to work.

I am cerainly no expert, but it sounds to me like your mother has had some mental difficulties from an early age by the way you described some of her irresponsible actions, and then by her acting clueless and denying their seriousness. As you say, she has always demonstrated poor judgement from an early age. Then for your aunt to describe your mother's replay of their mother's dementia! I read online that dementia can strike younger people as well as old. Perhaps you should do some online research about that to see what you can learn to steer you in the right direction for seeking help for her. It's terrible that you have to deal with this. I think you have to find the right kind of doctor to deal with her symptoms, as there may be an underlying neurological/pschological disorder that is causing her behavior. When you do get to talk to another professional (try to get a consultation without her first), you need to be
very descriptive of what you are dealing with, then very assertive that you want the situation dealt with seriously and don't back down until you find the right practitioner.

Yes, you DO need help, and a lot of it....sounds like. I would suggest contacting your local "department on aging", usually run by the county, and ask them for suggestions to help you cope with the challenges you are facing with your mom. 63 is pretty young for her to have so many "dementia" symptoms. Also, I'm sure some of her behavior is due to her own difficulty in accepting her debilitating state. I would guess your mom is fully aware that she's making mistakes, bad choices, and risky driving. Bringing these issues to her attention is probably not helping the situation. What does your dad say about all of this? It's his wife. Is he able to talk to her, and will she listen to him. I was always the "strong" one in my family. My dad told me this constantly, and I grew to resent that comment as I was expected to take on many adult responsibilities at the age of 13. If you face a similar expectation from family members when it comes to your parents, it's BS, and don't own that. You have a right to live your own life first. Good luck, and I feel for you.

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter