Mom has always had an ugly, cruel side to her when she's angry or upset. She's a classic victim personality & I was her sounding board all my life. She's 91 yrs old & had been living with us until recently when she tried to flee the house and then physically attacked me twice in 3 days. The second time it happened, I dialed 911. She was transported to the ER, declared Section 12, & admitted to a geriatric psych ward. They're in the process of stabilizing her medications. In 5 days if all goes well she'll be transported to one of the best memory care facilities in the state where she'll be safe and secure in a proper environment. I knew that things would be rough at the start. I've been prepared for her anger as her medications brought her back into some semblance of lucidity. But today's visit with her at the psych ward was bad. Really bad. She was so happy before she spotted me in the recreation room - and I know that patients display different emotions for their loved ones than their healthcare team. But this shift was dark. Very dark. Name calling was the least of it. Mom was so cruel. The horrible things she said about me & about my husband. She called his family white trash. She told me I was a fat f*&k and it was only a matter of time before he cheated on me. She told me she hated me over & over and that she forbid me from attending her funeral. Her words escalated until I honestly couldn't take it anymore. 25 minutes into our visit I had to leave. I know she has dementia. I know she's sick. But her composure, the expression on her face, the way she glared & me, clenching her fists, the way she came up with the darkest most horrible things to tell me about what she thought of me as a daughter...it hit too close to home - too close to the things she's said to me in moments of anger throughout my life. I couldn't take it. So I stood up, told her I loved her and that I'd see her the day after tomorrow, and I walked out. I could hear her screaming for me as I walked down the hallway. Two nurses had to rush in to calm her. I can still hear her screeching my name in my head these hours later.
Honestly, this is all new to me. I've never had another relative with dementia and so I wonder, what do you do when you've reached your limit with the verbal abuse? How do you cope with this? Is there such a thing as boundaries when you're the caregiver of a dementia patient?