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I would just like to have a little healing time myself and wondered what feelings other caregivers have to deal with nastiness and vitriol. What tools do they use to stop being constantly hurt? At no time do I retaliate when my mother starts. I just bite my tongue and cry when I get home.

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I tried walking out on my mother. Worked at first; then she used it as fuel to start an argument. "Me dejaste con la palabra en la boca" (You left me with the word in my mouth), blah, blah, blah. If I tried the counselor bit to help her identify what was making her so miserable, she'd snap at me with "I'm not a baby, and I'm not one of your f___ ing clients!"

Since her only condition was age-related decline, I decided to stop being her punching bag. I did, however, keep the lines of communication open in case she wanted to share her grief or just shoot the breeze.

I didn't make any threats I wasn't going to carry out; and she knew it.
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Hugs to everyone. Now one knows how hard till they experience it. Others are quick to say "don't let yourself be treated like that, stand up for yourself" Walk a mile or even a few feet in my shoes.
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Countrymouse my mother has always been like that. When I had my hip replaced very many years ago she didn't even come to see me in the hospital. Once out of hospital on crutches there was no offer to help with anything yet after she fell a couple of months ago and was taken to emerg to get a cut finger stitched (on blood thinners so it wouldn't stop bleeding) she gave me the devil for not rushing to sit and keep her company. I've pretty much been on my own all my life unless she needed a punching bag. She wouldn't lift a finger to help her parents when they were old and unwell because it was "too much trouble". By caring for her for four hellish years I've more than done my duty.

I'm just fine, thanks for asking! Since I changed my phone number and leave it off the hook often so the NH can't bug me with every little thing I don't have the stress of dreading and dealing with the afternoon screaming, fight picking phone calls and I'm feeling so much better. Spring is just around the corner and I'm planning my gardens, along with more renovations. I'm finally free!
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My mother has always had a way with words and now that I'm her caregiver it's gotten harder to deal with. Recently she's called me a martyr a few times. I finally set her straight. I said, "Understand that I will care for you as long as I possibly can. I will help feed you, bathe you, change your daipers, and always love you. However, unless I'm being mean to you I will not be verbally abused. If I'm doing something to upset you talk to me about it. Do not call me names or be nasty to me. I deserve to be given the same respect I give you."

She felt horrible and apologized. Said she will not call me names and will work on talking to me before being so harsh. She has bipolar disorder so it's not easy for her to do all this but I know she'll try.

Talk with your mother. Lay it out to her. Remind her when she gets this way that you understand she is frustrated with getting older but it's not easy for anyone and being verbally abusive doesn't make it any easier.
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My mother was the best mother ever when I was growing up. She treated everyone with respect, was very kind, and was just so sweet. She had my back many a time and was always in my corner. She was the mother everyone would have wanted. Then she was a widow, then she married a man who had bipolar disease. All things changed. Her personality changed. I am most grateful that she was so sweet when I was growing up.
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Um, Ashlynne, the not calling to see if you're ok must be painful, I agree, but that really IS the disease-and-not-the-person (I know, don't hit me! - we all must get sick to the back teeth of hearing that, but it is true sometimes); it sounds like a combination of short-term memory problems and flat affect.

If you've had enough, fair enough, but don't punish her for that one. It must be harder if she was always like that, though, I do understand. Mine was only clueless, never selfish.

And are you ok? Are you getting that check up? Shouldn't you have the - bleah, what's it called, somebody? - you know, the blood flow through the carotid artery check? Somebody will know what I'm wittering about.
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I do remember my paternal grandmother living with us, but she was in her sixties and my mom was in her thirties. People didn't live as long back then. Moms didn't work outside the home then. Now I am in my sixties and expected to care for someone in their eighties. Physically, emotionally it is just not possible to do this. Where's my rocking chair?
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pstegman I've no idea how you resist the urge to strangle her lol and she's not even a blood relative. I told my mother the other day that I'd had a bit of a "turn" while driving last week - sudden hot flash and a few seconds of blurred vision. It really scared me as my mother,has had many strokes, my maternal aunt and grandmother dropped dead from stroke.

It occurred to me today that she's not called to see if I'm feeling, ok, going to get a checkup? Nada, nothing ... she couldn't give a damn in h*ll about me or my well being - it is and has always been about her.. That's the final straw. Apart from the occasional visit, ensuring she has all she needs and attending to her finances I'm kicking her to the curb After over 60 years of misery I'm taking my life back with both hands.
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ashlynne, my MIL goes on the tirade of " I took care of MY mother." and I asked her how is it she did that when she was in Florida 5 months out of the year. Bullsnot. I took every Wednesday off work to care for Nana while she was enjoying her third husband and picking free oranges wherever she could.
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Debralee I'm in much the same position you are. There is a doc that visits the NH regularly and checks out anyone's problems. I don't do taxi - 1) she can't walk 2) she can't get into my truck, I can't lift her and the NH staff aren't allowed to do so. If there's any emergency an ambulance or small wheelchair equipped transit bus takes her to the hospital 4 km away. My mother too made her choices throughout her life and wouldn't lift a manicured finger to help her parents when they were old and sick so I'm afraid I have no sympathy.
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I also should add that I never react to my mom or dad. I just take it and say to myself it is a disease of the mind and go about what I was doing. I go home and cry or a lot of times I've lost the ability to cry. So I sit feeling lost and numb.
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I totally get where you're coming from. In fact I googled that very question and it brought me here. My mom got ill with a viral brain infection and literally a a matter of HOURS it wiped her memory clean, she went from being healthy, happy vibrant and supportive to not recognizing her own children. Her memory had since improved but it's left gaps in recall and very little short term memory, she too suffers from fits of anger and says the most terrible hurtful things, it's like being stabbed in the chest, actually I think I'd prefer that if I had a choice. My problem is compounded because I also have a mentally ill father who suffers grave depression and periods of psychosis, he's always on gaurd thinking people are out to get him so expecting him to help or even make things run smoother is out of the question.In fact he'll say things to my mom to get her to attack me and because she is so easily confused, she will. I go over to bring meds and groceries, visit to make sure their both OK but it get's hard sometime. My mom was this great lady, my best friend and she disappeared overnight, I lost my mom and support system I didn't get a chance to grieve becaause how can you grieve someone that's not gone? Lately I've felt completely enveloped in sadness, the other day I left their house and she was berating me over a glass baking pan," I said I believe that's yours I don't want to take it if I have one, let me go home and check" She began yelling and saying "You think I'm stupid, you think I'm crazy. We helped you when you were young. We gave everything up for you" and before that she had been raising her voice randomly over different things, insulting things I do, my appearance" I went home and cried. I tried to call my brother and talk to him and he said, "I got my own family, they come first I don't have time for their impossible situation" I hope you guys have answers because I need hope, I need to be lifted out of this gigantic hole I'm standing in.
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I have found I have had to distance myself and establish plenty of boundaries. Thank god my mother does not live me and never will. I help occasionally with medical transportation, but I am looking into ways she will have to pay for this service and stop being used as a free taxi service. My mother made her choices throughout her life and now must live with the results, good and bad.
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Mine isn't mean. She's queen of the guilt trips. She is the queen of WOE IS ME. When I try to tell her she has it pretty good, she doesn't see it at all. She's lonely but will not make a friend. She bitches nobody calls her but she doesn't want to call them.... I mostly just soothe her with words and a hug but sometimes I admit I yelled back. It's hard!
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Goodness, Jules, that must have been quite a five hour stretch for you! But, I guess, at least it settled the driving argument for good and all…? Glad nobody got hurt (on that occasion, anyway) x
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Raven7, I can completely relate! My mother, who is 80 this year, can be so vicious. This is a woman who adored me (and I her), so it is shocking and hurtful when something so venomous flows from her mouth.

I wish I could give you ideas for dealing with it, but I have none. I generally hold my tongue, maybe go to the bathroom and cry a bit, then go back out. By that time, she has forgotten whatever flared her up and we start again. I continually remind myself that she does not know what she is saying, that she would never talk to me that way and would be appalled if she knew. I pray for patience (and hurry up!) and go on. Must admit though, it is SO HARD!!

As for the "hat and coat" method, not everyone can do that. I cannot leave my mother alone for any amount of time and there is nobody else to stay with her. About a month ago, while I was in the bathroom in the morning, she got the car keys, took off for 5 hours and ultimately wrecked the car. THANKFULLY she was not hurt, nor did she hurt anyone else or their property.
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PStegman's approach is the right one.

I am 56 and disabled. I never treated my grown children (when they were young, when they were teens!) with sarcasm, negativity or hateful talk. I extended respect to my children. I did not slap or beat my children. Once I was forced to disciplne them when they did not pick up laundry and tidy the kitchen - it was Saturday and I called a Maids Service, paid the $45 and announced nobody was going to the movies for the next 5 weeks! Non-violence is very important to me. Violence can also be verbal.

I guess....I am shocked at the lack of respect the by some of BabyBoomers and their parents' generation shared. Parental respect cannot be "demanded". Nor violence be a part of childrearing. There are ways to show a youngster right from wrong that doesn't rely on beatings and violence. And we cannot change older people, especially if they are toxic. We can only change ourselves. But as responsible adults, we should not have to endure insults and toxic verbal abuse by our aging parent(s). There is never any justification for verbal abuse.

I would never dream of verbally assaulting my youngsters (now grown), just as I would not physically assault them. How I would like to say this to other "older" parents from the depression generation! Or any generation buying into the myth of subjugation and inflicting psychic harm on a child! Respect is a two way street.
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What Pstegman said... Indeed. Over and over and over and over....
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We use the hat & coat method "Mom, I don't know why you are so angry, I'll be back when you are feeling better" and go. If you live with her, leave the house, on foot, by car, on horse, whatever it takes.
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What Blannie said...

My mom was always nasty though from as far back as I can remember. Eventually, if you deal with it enough you'll still hurt, but anger will come to your rescue...better pissed off than pissed on... I'm sorry you guys have to deal... No fun there for sure... :/
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I'm going through the same thing, but added to that is he lives with my fiancée, his son and I. He wont shower or smoke outside, he acts like since im his daughter (im 30) that he can still make the rules and do whatever he wants... im sorry to hear that others deal with the same thing I do on a day to day basis
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Raven I'm so sorry you have to go through any vitriol. I've only had it once from my mom and it's taken me two weeks to recover and I'm still not over it. When my mom was nasty to me, something in me just turned off, after almost 13 years of day-to-day care. My mom has forgotten it, I'm sure, but I surely haven't. I'm still going through the motions but my heart is different. I think you just have to shut off that part of you that reacts and turn it back on when you're "safe" again and out of the line of fire. I got so angry at my mom, which I've never felt before. But over time that's moderated. It's a hard thing to discuss with others, because they only see the little old helpless lady. So I feel for you...and I'll be interested to hear what others say.
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