Two years ago we made a big move and are now living in the small town where my mom grew up. She is from a very large family and we have always been very close with her family. My mom and I have been inseparable since I as born.

Since the move my mom has lost it. I bought her a house (she picked out) to lessen the financial burden on her. She decided the house “made her feel dirty,” moved out, and refused to tell me where she was moving (which happened to be only 3 blocks away). I told her I didn’t care if she wasn’t happy there it was fine I’ll just sell the house.

Since she moved out she has continually bashed me to her family saying I bought the house to control her, that I wouldn’t allow her to paint, put up blinds, and that I would be mad if she put in a garden, even though I was encouraging it and willing to help with the expenses. Her furnace went out on Christmas Eve and I immediately brought over space heaters. She had 4 heaters running. I offered for her to stay with us and she said she was comfortable. Because we are in a remote area, it was Christmas Eve, and had a snowstorm I wasn’t able to get the furnace repaired until the 27th. She has been telling everyone in the family I left her without heat for 3 weeks.

She refused to tell me where she was moving but complained to my friends and family that she didn’t get a birthday card in the mail.

So basically for the past year and a half she has told so many lies based on how she “feels” and not factual information. She has turned my entire family against me and makes me look like a monster. I have expressed my concerns to her siblings suggesting maybe she’s having age-related mental issues and they refuse to engage. They say it’s between us.

I have two teenage daughters and my mom says I have turned them against her. I have remained completely neutral in regards to their relationship with her, she simply abandoned them. I have tried to get her to go to a counselor, therapist, I even asked the priest at her church to help, and she refuses to go. I’ve begged her to meet with anyone, family, friends, just someone to mediate so we can resolve this issue. She will only associate with people that listen to her and agree with her even if she’s wrong.

How can this happen after a lifetime of a fantastic mother-daughter-granddaughter relationship? We were all so close now she hates us all but says we are the problem and she has convinced everyone that she’s the victim. She’s ruining my reputation and life.

The bottom line is I’m searching for answers. Maybe someone out there has had a similar experience. It’s so sad and we are all hurting. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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I am so sorry you are going through this.
This could be more evidence that she is definitely suffering with dementia. Any big changes make it way worse. So, the move is definitely a big change.
And... Just an example. I helped my mom clean her pantry that had a family of mice in residence. We worked together and emptied it and I followed her direction. And asked questions, want to toss this, or that, etc.
Later... She was angry with me because I threw away all her food! And told me so, loudly, several times. There was no point in telling her that she is the one that told me to throw it away! They change history.
So, it is very possible that your mom doesn't remember making the decision with you to move. She just knows you drug her along. And put her in a house that she doesn't remember choosing?

My best advice is to back off entirely, let your mom be the one to contact you. And, let the rest of the family think what they want to. (yes, I have done that myself) I often feel that sometimes, if you defend yourself, you look guilty(not that you are, or that I was).
Emerson said... The louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons! Lol.
Yes, it is painful. And I feel intense grief, that the parents I knew are basically gone. I get occasional small glimpses of them.
The rest of the family may be oblivious. Or they may start to see things. As of this point.... My siblings haven't noticed anything about my parents.
I learned a lot from this site, I spent time reading other people's experiences and questions and stories. And learning about dementia. You can do that too, this is a great resource for all of us. Our view of dementia isn't based in reality(what's the big deal? So they repeat a few questions?) until we are dealing with a loved one who has it. Then it is an eye opener.
Keep Hanging In There!
I hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (5)
IkdLkd Aug 2018
Dear Sparkles,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It really puts things into perspective and I can relate to your story. You were clearly trying to help and somehow it was twisted around and completely backfired. That seems to be the case with anything I’ve done over the past two years.

My ex husband commit suicide shortly after our move and it was a traumatizing time for my daughters. I was traveling back and forth dealing with the suicide, memorial, working full time (which required more travel), and trying to be the best support I could for my girls. Amongst all of the chaos I still made time for my mom. One night I took her to dinner after my daughter’s hockey game, My mom went off on me at dinner saying she hadn’t been on a vacation since we moved. Huh?? I told her she’s retired and living in the town we used to spend our vacations. I explained that I didn’t even have any vacation left because of the family crisis I was dealing with and she left mad. This is not rational thought of a mom/grandparent. She was once very supportive and now resentful.

You motioned your siblings haven’t noticed anything, my family takes the same stance. With my mom being retired and social and me working full time and traveling she has all the time in the world to spread rumors while I have very little time to be social with family. I don’t even get invited anymore because she has made it awkward for everyone. It’s heartbreaking. These are people I thought loved me and they just believe her lies.

I’m so glad I found this forum, I’ve already gotten more support here than I have on a local level. Ill
keep reading and educating myself on the disease.

Thanks again for sharing your perspective!!
What a sad story!

If you know mom's doctor, you could certainly write him/her a letter, outlining your mom's sudden change in personality and her sudden turn against you.

Be upfront about the fact that other family members are not seeing a change and that your mother seems to be misinterpreting/misrepresenting your actions to all and sundry, and that for this reason, you need to step away from your previously close relationship.

Due to HIPAA regs, you can't get any info from the doc, but you can and should share your observations.
Helpful Answer (5)
IkdLkd Aug 2018
Hello Barb Brooklyn,

Thanks for your response.

I’m totally on board with writing her doctor a letter but I’m unsure if she even has one. Her family is anti-doctor and even though I’ve encouraged her for years to establish a relationship with a local doctor she refuses to.

The fact that I’m even doing research on dementia would be appalling to her. In the beginning when our relationship started to become strained I begged her to go to counseling or therapy with me. Any amount of money would be worth salvaging the relationship. She refused. I even wrote her a check to pay for it and she ripped it up. I fail at every attempt to find a resolution. I don’t even know why I keep trying, but here I am.

Thanks for your help!!
How often did you see your mother in the previous years, could the "perfect" relationship be based on the fact that you were less aware of what she said and did when you weren't present? Might this kind of thinking always have been present but was directed at someone else and now you are the one in the hot seat? If this is a complete change in her personality then there is probably some kind of cognitive decline going on, unfortunately since she has become paranoid and doesn't trust you it is unlikely you will get to the bottom of it any time soon, unfortunately I think you will just have to distance yourself and wait it out. Instead of defending yourself to extended family perhaps just try to build a good relationship separate from your mother so they can see for themselves that you are not the evil vindictive child your mother paints you to be, when the topic comes up have some kind of stock response handy , something like "it hurts me so much when mom says that and I'd rather not talk about it".
Helpful Answer (2)
IkdLkd Aug 2018
Thank you so much for your input, CWillie. Regarding seeing my mother prior to our move, we lived 1/2 mile from each other for 20+ years, saw each other at least 4 days a week, and talked daily. We often vacationed together with my daughters whether it was a weekend getaway or a longer retreat.

I appreciate your advice and have tried to engage the family on a one-on-one basis and some refuse and are very hostile. I’m shocked they actually believe the allegations and I’m even more surprised that they won’t even consider that there maybe be some age related mental decline. After continually hitting a wall for the past two years I think I need to cut my losses, grieve, and get on with my life.
Ikd, I have not been where you are but one thing I have heard on Agingcare a lot is people who say that their parent turned against them when they were the only one providing care and the unhelpful siblings got most of the inheritance etc.

I can only speculate here but could it be your mom puts on an act with those who don't see her as often and then resents you cause you know all her weaknesses and faults and therefore sees her at her very worst.

It sounds to me like your mother is definitely suffering from some cognitive decline and should definitely get evaluated by a geriatric doctor who will recognize what is wrong.
Helpful Answer (4)
IkdLkd Aug 2018
Gershun, I sincerely thank you for your response. It’s interesting that this seems to be a common theme, and I my case it’s the same. While I don’t consider myself a caretaker, my mom has been very independent, I have definitely been the primary family member in her life and have always been the one to help when she needs anything. My sister has always lived far away and may see her twice a year for a weekend visit. Their relationship has always been rocky, but now my mom suddenly has her on a pedestal.

Your speculation that my mom puts on an act for those that don’t see her as often is right on the money. She hasn’t attended church on a regular basis for 25 years and suddenly she poses as a devout Catholic (because her family is). She has gotten very angry with me for not attending church, but I refuse to be a fake. I live a very moral lifestyle, much more moral than some of her church-going family members, but I seem to be the one getting crucified. I’ve always had her best interest at heart and I can’t understand the motivation behind her lies.

I’ve read that people with dementia believe their lies and she does too. You can show her supporting factual information and she still believes the lie because it’s how she “feels.”

I wish I could get her to a doctor for an evaluation but she refuses to go and I have no family support in the matter.

Thanks again for your input, it’s helping me find a path to resolve this issue. Best regards.
My mom passed away Thursday after sucking most of the life out of me, my ex husband and our two teenage daughters. I really sacrificed my whole life for her, only to find that she gave control of all her medical and financial decisions to my brother and also gave him literally hundreds of thousands of dollars and credit cards to use, while I have struggled to make ends meet and never asked for anything. At the end she told people I wasn't talking to her because I bought her some clothes and was mad she didn't pay me for them. As IF I would ever ask her for money for anything I bought her. I left school to be with her after my dad died, stayed living in her city though my husband wanted to move somewhere more affordable, continued living here though we couldn't afford it, drove her to literally hundreds of doctor appointments, meetings, Mass, shopping and every family party and event for ten years. I lost probably 500 days of work caring for her and am now broke and with no savings, worn out, alcoholic and bitter. My daughters were also dragged through the mud and have these horrible last thoughts of their only grandparent. My mom did not even have dementia. She was just a secretive, controlling woman. I hope your mom comes around. My heart breaks for you and your daughters. It really stinks.
Helpful Answer (7)
IkdLkd Aug 2018
ChiGirk68, I’m sorry for your loss and I appreciate you sharing your experience. It’s sounds like it has been pretty rough.
I find it interesting that you said your mother was controlling. I never thought of my mom as controlling until recently, and I realize she is.

I know very little about dementia and a friend suggested I do more research and I found so many similarir experiences I can’t ignore it. I’m having a hard time deciphering whether my mom’s lies are because she’s having age related mental issues or if the lies are just her way of controlling the situation.
I’ve asked her repeatedly to simply stop talking about us and she just can’t. Playing the victim seems much more important to her.
Thank you for your input, every bit helps. I hope you can find peace within yourself and your family now that your mom has passed.
Let me say that I completely understand what you are going thru. My mom passed away on August 6th and she suffered from Frontotemporal Dementia. Unfortunately I couldn't get her doctor to diagnose her, even after 5 yrs of asking for help. She was finally diagnosed 2 months before she died from pancreatic cancer. Oddly enough, the doctor recognized her dementia right away and had only spoke with her 2 times while she was being diagnosed with cancer.
The previous 5 years are painful for me. My mom ruined my name, accused me of stealing her money, reported me for elderly abuse (which was unfounded when it was investigated), told police and others that she was afraid of me, begged my own children to stay with her so that I wouldn't beat her up, told horrible lies to anyone that would listen and basically made it impossible for me to be around her. After being an only child and being best friends with my mom for 42 yrs, this was the worst thing I had ever went thru.
Now that she is gone, I wish that I had those 5 unbearable years back! I blame the disease and the lack of help and information that I never got, each and every time I asked. Please do not let this happen to you. I know that it is hard to understand, but it sounds like your mom may have the same disease or something similar.
I would suggest talking to her primary physician and maybe he will help you or put you in touch with a neurologist that can. Please be patient and know that it isn't your mom, it is the disease. In the end, my mom had a few clear days and was so sorry for what she had put me thru. She could not accept the things she heard that she had done, but it didn't matter...I had her back for a few days before she passed and it meant the world to me!
I wish you well and I hope I helped in some way. My prayers are with you and yours.
Helpful Answer (3)
IkdLkd Aug 2018
Dear LPconfused,
My sincere condolences to you and your family for the loss of your mom. It sounds like she put you through a terrible experience, I’m glad you have found peace with her.
Sharing your experience definitely helps. I understand I should somehow get her some medical attention. I just hope I can do it since she considers me the enemy.

I originally thought she just traded us in for the rest of her family but I know that’s not normal behavior, especially in regards to her granddaughters after being so close. I just don’t understand why the rest of the family believes her lies and why they don’t seem to be concerned about her mental well being.

Thanks again for sharing your experience. Warm regards.
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