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Am I a horrible daughter because I don't care anymore what happens to my mother, who had mental issues and was so abusive and controlling that both my sister and I are still over 50 years later so broken and barely emotionally functional? She had what seems to be rapid onset dimentia over the last two months and all of us have dropped everything in our lives to care for her...taking shifts staying at her house. All three of our parents have dimentia. My stepdad was diagnosed over a year ago and is currently in a care facility receiving rehab for a brain bleed. My mom was having issues with memory a few weeks before my dad went to the hospital and then it seemed like a rapid decline happened. She immediately began getting manic, aggressive and verbally abusive. I was a caregiver at the facility where our Dad lives for three years. I never experienced anyone with dimentia as agressive as my mom. All of us have done everything in ourpower to support her and make her feel safe and cared for but the last several weeks have been unbearable and all of us decided today that we are done. She is violent, agressive and so verbally abusive that it is damaging all of us so much that we are shutting down physically, emotionally and mentally. She repeatedly tries to pick fights and if you dont engage, or walk away when nothing defuses her, she will follow you, screaming and cursing. If you ignore her she will fly at you and get within an inch of your face and start swinging her arms around like shes gonna smack you across the face. It's terrifying. She looks insane. She came after my brother the other day during one of those episodes and he finally had to pick her up, set her outside the door ,close it and leaned against to keep her from coming after him.. She screamed and pounded on it until she got tired and went upstairs. She got so violent the other day and was hitting herself in the face and threatening to take off in the car and kill herself. We called the police and the minute they showed up, instantly she became this sweet old lady who was having problems with her memory. When the police came out they said she didn't seem like she was a danger to herself or anyone else so until something happened there is nothing they could do. The minute they left she came downstairs smiling, and said 'well I took care of that didn't I'? and screamed at us to 'get the hell out of her g d house'! My sister (Who has spent the last two years fighting breast cancer )started bawling and my mom looked at her and smiled.dimentia. My sister raised me and I would do anything for her. She is the kindest, gentlest person I know. In that moment I hated my mother and I dont care if she's old or sick because the truth isshe is just plain evil. I remember seeing her behave like this when I was little. The dimentia just seems to have made her more vicous and proficient in her abilities to manipulate people. So all of us are walking away to save ourselves. The only problem with that is that they are sending my stepdad home in two weeks. My mom refuses to let us set up in home care and says she will take care of him.They have a history of vicious fights.because my mom loke I said loves to pick fights and will keep at him until he looses his temper. Although he probably won't be able to do any damage to her in his condition. We have told the rehab that it is not a safe environment for him. But they don' t seem to be too concerned because my mom behaves herself when she goes to see him. My brother who lived with them is moving out. We have tried to get accross to the police, her doctor, and anyone else involved how severe her issues are, but she is too good at controlling herself in public. No one can intervene until something bad enough happens that requires emergency intervention. I suppose all four of us are going to hell for not taking care of our mom. But our lives have been hell so I suppose we will feel right at home. I guess what I want to know is.. is there ever a point when nothing you do is enough and its okay to abandon your mother?

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I've read through many posts, and live through this with my husband. I agree that doctors see them for short moments, and behavior with others can be completely different. Night and Day. I recommend we start to use our cell phones to video (which will include sound) these episodes. If no one is in our house, we'll have to show them what is going on. The cell phone can be held low and will not be all that obvious. We need to record these things to show. Katie from Iowa
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Maria you are not a bad person. You are a very good person. We can not control our feelings, only our actions.
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and try and make sure it is a hidden camera so mommie dearest doesn't know
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My 90 yr old mom has been bipolar her whole life. I completely understand everything you wrote as my dad and brother and I have experienced it with her. You can't begin to describe it all .....and people who don't understand will give lots of advice that just doesn't work. It's grueling and takes endurance. The hardest part for me was watching my dad be abused by mom and her illness. He cared for her until his death - and that allowed my brother and I to move on and have good marriages and families. But my sweet dad died, then my brother, then my husband. Now mom lives with me. I feel guilty because it's a struggle to really care about her. I also still love her.
I remember many incidents similar to those you describe. Especially how she would turn "on a dime" into a sweet little lady and completely "snow" the doctors or "experts." Mental illness is awful. Now I am left with guilt for struggling to really "care" even though she has calmed down with medication.
I feel like the bad person.
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I had a very similar situation with an elderly friend who eventually became toxic. It's not that you don't care about the person when you must detach and step back. However, there's a difference and not caring about the person and not caring about the situation. There comes a time when you know that you can no longer help when your help is not received as well as expected. My elderly friend started showing signs that he was becoming toxic, and yes, hindsight is a very good teacher. There comes a time when you must step back to save your own sanity. There was just so much going on in a year that I found myself also burning out, which was making me very tired. The problems that I faced happened when I was alone with him. When anyone else was around, things seemed much better to a point. It's just when I was alone with him that I really wished the aid would hurry up and come in. I recall a time when it got so bad that I secretly planned on leaving at the same time the aid left. When he started questioning me, I said that I had some things to do that really need to get done. All I did was just play it off by acting cool, calm, and collected. At some point, I reached a point where I really didn't care anymore about the situation, but I still cared about my friend as a person. I discovered that I had reached a point where I knew that the only way that anyone was going to get him the care he needed was to get someone who could get him into a nursing home where he belongs. Sadly, that just wasn't going to happen without some kind of outside intervention from the APS. Though I don't like being bothered with stuff like this, there came a time when I knew I was very key to getting this man to help he needed. There comes a time when you know that you're the only key to getting things done, and doesn't it seem funny that very responsibility tends to fall on those really don't like being bothered with this sort of thing? I'm not sure why this happens, but it's already happened to me twice within a very short time.
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While my mother is not this bad yet, I am at my wits end on how to care for her. Verbally abusive my whole life and now I am all she has. Housebound an hour away from me, my life is consumed with how to help her, but I have no answers. Praying for you.
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You are not a bad person. Parents reap what they sow. Get away before you are burned out!
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All the advise here is spot on. Dont wait until something happens to one of you get out. But so you dont feel like you have abandon her follow the above suggestions then you can leave with a clean conscience. Be safe my dear.
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Running a three ring circus would even be impossible for a saint. Save your sanity and let someone else take over.
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You care too much, your feelings are normal after being held an emotional hostage for years. You are numb. Frozen to take action. Break free.
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Wait a minute! We missed an opportunity, legal and otherwise: You stated she was threatening to take the car and kill herself. At that very moment you call 911, because even if she denies it or 'grandstands' when police arrive, she is 5150 holdable by law, the police cannot fail to act and are not qualified to make a psych assessment. Can you get it on tape? (Not admissable in court), but they should believe you and brother. BTW, what were neighbors doing during the time she was outside, wearing herself out? They could call 911.
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Yes, abandon your mother and save yourself. Be sure to write a very brief letter telling her what you are doing, because if she is that mean and volatile, but then can control it, it may take her years to figure it all out. She is very ill and it is a shame that the system is set up to protect her rights over her welfare. It is not abandonment when you are an adult with your own lives, S e p a r a t e L i v e s.
Follow the advice above, reporting to APS, do what you can, then change your phone number, get yours and the siblings names off of emergency contacts with her doctors, otherwise you will be sucked back into the vortex again.
Before you leave, could you please have her home checked for carbon monoxide
or gas leaks? Is there an issue with drugs? Then go, feel free, don't look back with any guilt. Even though she is ill, no one would want to have that many lives invested and destroyed into what appears to be a lost battle. It would make a huge difference if she were willing to get help, and she will never do that if you all stay. One thought, is that she may respond better to stranger's offers of help, maybe family history and unhealthy attachments upset her too much. This is not your fault. It is called detach with love, ask your therapist.
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Jessie belle makes a good point. Have her checked for a uti. Utis make dementia patients impossible and foul mouthed and insane. When my mom had one she was cursing, hallucinatory, paranoid and angry. Get her tested.
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Were you a bad daughter before Mom got like this, No well you and your siblings are not bad either. Mon has been nasty to you your whole lives and now with the dementia taking over she is becoming worse. The behavior you see with outsiders is called "grandstanding" when she can appear perfectly normal. you are all actually in danger because she is likely to hurt any of you physically. make sure there are two of you in the house all the time and lock or block your bedroom door at night.
Jessie's suggestion of having her tested for a UTI is excellent but right now it sounds as though she needs to be in a locked facility and be properly assessed and medicated. As far as your stepdad is concerned it sounds as though he should either say in the rehab NH or some other form of assisted living unless you are all prepared to care for him at home and you don't have to.
When Mom gets into a temper outburst take a video of it so you can show authorities how dangerous she really it. Remove the car keys and hide all sharp knives or any thing else that can be used as a weapon especially guns. i can not express enough how much danger you may be in. You are not a bad person you are just in a bad situation.
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I agree with Maggie regarding the letter. I think it's a great idea. And as Maggie also suggested, make it brief. Don't go into specific situations and anecdotes. Don't tell stories. Just explain why you and your siblings can't care for your mom and stepdad anymore.

You are not a bad daughter. You've been worn down by years of verbal and emotional abuse and you've had enough. There's nothing wrong in walking away from a toxic, abusive relationship even if it's with our parent.
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Have you had her checked for a UTI? The rapid decline in her mental state made me wonder if that could be contributing to it.
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You bet. Yes. I know an only son who did just that. His relationship with his mom was soo toxic, like yours, that he refused to interact with his mom even one more day. Adult protective services stepped in. His mom was living in squalor. They moved on mom, and took over her care.

My suggestion, what I personally think you all owe your mom and stepdad, is an organized effort to get Adult Protective Services involved. Think of it as your going-away gift.

A concise letter, CONCISE, addressing the fact that your stepdad absolutely will NOT be safe in his own home...that mom is physically acting out, she is incapable of normal interaction with those who have attempted to help her...and, that, further, her children have stepped away for their own safety and mental health.

Copy to APS and mom's local police department.

Do this only after your brother moves out. I say that because my instinct tells me he won't.

Try not to feel guilty. Some family relationships are so totally toxic that the ONLY way to survive them is to write them completely out of our lives.
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