Follow
Share

I've gotten so where I dread Mom going out of the house. If I sit with her, she comes up with lots of tasks I need to do. If I don't sit with her, she gets mad about something she imagines I've done. Tonight was a topper... literally. She came in so mad at me she had fire coming out of her eyes. She was mad at what I had done to her bushes. She said I had cut the tops off of them. Huh??? It turns out she was talking about the big crepe myrtles trees we have. She's convinced that I've cut the tops off of all of them, so that they look like silly men with hats on. I told her that no one has touched them in years, but she knows I'm lying.

Where do they come up with this stuff? The trees look like always. Maybe it's her eyes or her brain remembering them different. No telling. She took the easiest explanation -- that her 64-yo 5'6" daughter whacked the tops off these 20" tall trees.

Why don't they ever imagine we do good things that make them happy? Why does it have to be something that makes them mad? Maybe anger is an easier emotion to feel?? I don't know.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
I've said it more than once - if it's laugh or cry, I'll take the laugh. Good for you, JessieBelle!
(2)
Report

A little follow-up on this. I talked to a couple of friends about my cutting the tops off trees. I got to see it through their eyes. They thought it was so funny because it was so ridiculous. Hearing other people laugh made it funny to me, too. If I have another tree-massacre accusation, I'll know just what to do -- what Jeanne did. I'll just burst out laughing at how ridiculous it is. It can be good to enter their realities, but not if it is an indictment of yourself.
(2)
Report

AMEN to that!
(1)
Report

Rainmom, my mother didn't fit the narcissistic traits, either. I found a great site of halcyon that broadens the traits of the personality. I sent you a link to the site. It doesn't help in any practical way, but helps us pull back from things that are going on if we understand the games. People can tell us that it is just the disease, but when the disease is overlaid on a preexisting disorder, it can be even messier. I think it is important for us to realize that it isn't us. We're just doing the best we can in a difficult situation.
(1)
Report

Just a side comment...rainmom if narcissistic is not quite a match, I urge you to read about borderline personality disorder. This is another personality disorder that can cause people to be self centered, mean and cause damage to those around them. Reading about borderline may be helpful for you to realize that none of what your mom put you through was your fault. She is sick and you are a strong person to have lived through it and kept a kind and compassionate heart.

Angel
(2)
Report

JessieBelle- I know what you mean about trying to forget or forgive the past. My problem is I just get to the point where I feel some sympathy and forgiveness and then she does something new - and all the related things of a lifetime come back. As for mental illness I'm sure there's something with my mom - I see "narcissistic" mentioned all the time here and I think "yep, she did that and that" but when I looked up the clinical definition it didn't quite fit. But I know she purposely does things to set me off - she's not as good at hiding her smile of satisfaction as she use to - and I see her doing it to my brother - she actually enjoys getting him all worked up - how messed up is that? But - on a scientific note I thought I'd tell you - there is something to the time of day while your mother was outside. Twilight is the most difficult time of day vision wise - the rods and cones of the eyes have the most difficult time adjusting during that period. (Sigh). But yea - my mom can't see her hand in front of her face - cataracts- but she can see I put on a few pounds! Unbelievable!
(1)
Report

My mother's sight is very bad. Her opthamologist says that it is as good as it can be. There's no glasses or anything that will help. She has diabetes, glaucoma, and corneal problems. The gray light at sundown may indeed have made her see things. Or knowing her, she could have imagined a scenario that I had done something, then ruminated on it until it became true.

Something that bothers me with these things more than what is being alleged is the follow-up of how bad I am. Sometimes I wonder if she enjoys getting angry and saying bad things. When I get upset, she looks pleased at times. It could be that she really hates me, but needs me, too. She has always been a hermit, so it may be she resents having to have me here.
(1)
Report

Jessie, is she getting some form of sensory deficit? My mother couldn't see the left half of things. So if you put your finger at noon, and then got her to follow the finger and moved it to 11, then she could see the 11. But if she looked at the clock face, just normally, by herself, she couldn't see that there was a left half. She couldn't either see half a clock, it was just that she couldn't perceive the left hand side of things.

This is really hard to describe! But then it is also eerily weird when it happens.
(1)
Report

This morning I checked the crepe myrtles. They are still standing tall -- 20' to 30' -- and starting to bloom. It made me realize that the lopped trees are something she created in her mind. She stayed out until late last evening and maybe the lighting made her eyes play tricks on her mind. Or maybe she just ruminated the tops of the trees off. I don't know, but the lopped trees don't really exist. I'm not mentioning that to her, because it would just set off an argument. I know it is important to her to be right.

Strangely enough, I went out this morning half expecting to see the tops of the trees gone. Crazy me. We can start buying into their reality if we're not careful. Makes me think of folie a deux, where two people are pulled into the same madness or delusion.

I'm feeling depressed today. There's a lunchtime party at the senior center that I thought I'd go to. I have a couple of friends there that are fun to be with. It should help pick my spirits up some.
(1)
Report

Big hug Jessie. Why not really do something and see what her reaction is then.
No don't get out the chainsaw we don't want to hear your next post from your hospital bed with Mom as your room make nursing the arm you broke. The nurses though it would be so nice to keep you together so they moved out your perfectly sane 60 yr old room mate and wheeled Mom in.
I had a demented room mate for a couple of days followed by a 20 something drug addict who had added alcohol to the mix the night before.
(1)
Report

Sigh. I suppose it would make a certain sense for the anxiety people with dementia have to be expressed quite often as paranoia. I imagine they're quite closely related emotions? And then I suppose it's bound to be the nearest person who gets suspected.

My mother was quite convinced that any small bad thing that happened was the result of somebody playing a practical joke on her. So when a high wind blew the gate shut on our driveway, she came storming into the house and flat out accused me of having done it on purpose, knowing that she'd taken her car out for a drive. With 20:20 hindsight I now realise that things like this were clear clinical signs of dementia; but at the time, as with your mother JessieBelle, I just thought it was her natural born pessimism and misanthropy talking.

To cheer you up about being called a bush whacker, what if you really were? My last next door neighbour told me that years before he'd been instructed by his wife to cut down a conifer that was taking up too much space and light in their hedgerow. So he obediently got out his chainsaw, located what he thought was the trunk, near the base, and set to work. Timbeeeeerrrrrr...! In the aftermath, he saw his wife come out of the house on the phone to their daughter, saying "you'll never guess what your father's just done..." Yup. Wrong tree.
(2)
Report

I've wondered the same things, Rainmom. Mostly I think it's just mental illness mixed with dementia. I believe that she thinks that if something is in her mind, then it is right. She has always had trouble with thinking herself into a rage. It is probably the same now, just without any logic. It does trigger memories of things when I was younger and taught me how I ended up like I am. Some of these memories would be better to leave behind. It is hard to forgive old things when the new things are even worse. Maybe we are to learn to forgive ourselves, because it really wasn't all our fault -- that we had just been raised to think it was.

I just thought of it. Bushwhacked is really a word. And it is about how I felt yesterday when she came in the door with her anger. There may not be any reason we're going through this except maybe to learn how to get out of it. I wish I could see the why of things. Maybe I will when I look back one day. Or it could be simply that some people are mean.
(2)
Report

JessieBelle- I have to tell you I feel a kind of affinity to you because of two strong commonalities our moms have. First is that they are generally mean old ladies, bent out seeing how far they can push us. Second - they seem to defy reason, logic and modern medicine in their ability to keep on ticking. I've been wondering if it ever crossed your mind - is there a reason, a plan, something cooked up by the cosmos behind it - why they continue to hang on? Are we suspose to be learning something? Are they suspose to be learning something? Am I being given time to "forgive" my mother - get past my anger? Or do you suspose it's just luck of the draw and/or sheer will/stubbornness? Just wondering if this type of thing crosses your mind as it does mine - when I trying to keep my head from exploding from anger or frustration.
(2)
Report

Oh Jessie! I laughed out loud at your last post! You don't know how to react to being accused of whacking trees? Have you tried googling that? Can you see the funny side to this, or is it just frustrating? I think I'd have a hard time not laughing at some of these accusations!

I know that many, many persons with dementia do have these paranoid thoughts. Just for the record, not all do. My husband did go through a period of accusing me of stealing, etc. but that only lasted a few months early on. For most of the 10 years he trusted me and appreciated me (and argued about what he was capable of, of course.) My mother does not accuse any of us of any acts against her. She is happy that we visit and never makes negative comments about our appearance or behavior.

Your experience is very real. I am not doubting that in the slightest. But (thank heavens!) it is not a universal experience with dementia. I have absolutely no idea why it is happening to you. Once again, hugs.
(2)
Report

Rainmom, wouldn't it be nice if she told you instead how beautiful you are? I don't know about you, but my mother remembers me best from when I was about 30. She's always saying how much weight I've gained. I've been the same weight about 20 years now.

Stacey, I'm lucky that my mother has only accused me of stealing once. I handled that one well. I don't know how to handle being accused of whacking trees. This is the third or fourth time I've been accused of bush abuse. One bush got some disease and died. I was responsible for its demise. This latest tree whacking -- She must think I sneak out late at night with some loppers and a ladder. It's really kind of funny, but hard to live with. Isn't it strange that they need to think of the person helping them as underhanded and evil in some way?
(2)
Report

JessieBelle- it's a mystery. I saw my mom last Friday. For the first time in forever she's fully awake and able to talk in semi-full sentences. What was her topic for the entire visit? The weight I'd put on since my hysterectomy.
(5)
Report

Oh Jessie, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this dreaded disease and your Mom, who doesn't seem to be able to see the truth, no matter what you say. There's no use in arguing about it, just tell her the truth and don't engage any further and walk away, is my suggestion, although that doesn't make it any easier at the time, each and every time.
My Nana came to live with us from Wales, when I was only ten, and she began the slow decline into dementia, and even though I was young, I saw how her actions made my own Mom (her MIL), so very physically ill with stress/anxiety and HBP, just dealing with the day to day insanity of it all. My Nana used to accuse my Mom of stealing her things, silly things, and then we would invariably find them hidden away in her room. She would also kype stupid things from around the house, and wrap them up in tissue, the wrap rubber bands around them, and we would find these too, never knowing if they were important items like expensive jewelry or silly tidbits like gumball machine toys or bottle caps, or even worse, excrement, but we had to unwrap them just to be sure. She would hide all sorts, in drawere, shoe boxes or the suitcases in her closet. These things used to drive my Mom crazy, until one day Nana just snapped, and refused to get out of bed, and just layed there rigid, and fully clothed for 2 straight days, refusing water and food or to even speak.
The ambulance was called to take her to the hospital, where after giving her a big dose of a Vallium type drug, and she relaxed and went into a deep sleep. Later, test results showed that she carried a latent case of Syphilis, which she had carried untreated for many many years, probably since the 40's or 50's. She was then treated with a big dose of antibiotics, but it was thought that this may have contributed to her dementia/Altztiemers or as they then called it, organic brain disease. From that hospitalization, she went to live in a Nursing home, as my Mom just could not take it anymore. It is so difficult to live the day to day, especially when they are nasty to deal with anyways! My heart breaks for you, but I know that you intend to carry on until you no longer can, so take care of you, and know that I am thinking of you! Stacey ☺
(4)
Report

I'm a bit ashamed that I got very angry, then had to apologize to her for yelling. Strange disease makes us apologize for taking up for ourselves.
(3)
Report

Aw Jessie, hugs to you! That is so sad. And I sure don't know why. It is certainly not because you deserve it!!
(4)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.