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My mom got sick with a viral brain injury 2 years ago. She went from being 100 percent healthy and supportive, loving of everyone to not knowing who we were in a matter of HOURS. All of her memory was wiped clean, people, places, she had to learn how to use a phone, remote control, washing machine all over again. Her memory slowly has returned to where she knows us but it's so spotty and she has little to no short term memory. It all happened so quickly, there was no time to adjust it felt like having my heart pulled out through my chest. The neurological injury affected the temporal lobe most of all and it has affected her moods, some days it's so hard being around my mom because she says mean insulting things, out of the blue and unprovoked. I feel like it's sucking the life out of me because I miss my mom, I miss her friendship.I should be use to it but when I'm in need of cheering up or good advice there is a part of my heart and head that so wants to lean on her but I can't and a lot of times I get the opposite of support, I get told off. We do have good days and I try to give thanks for them and hold onto that feeling. Our situation is made worse by the fact that I also have a severely mentally ill father, my mother cared for him all the time and saw him through his multiple breakdowns, now they both have diseases that have affected their minds, they sort of move along at their house, independent but fragile, I check in every other day with groceries, meds and just to see how things are. I get calls most often when things are going bad, mom had seizures, dad began having an episode of psychosis, I feel shell shocked and disoriented some days, who wants to put out fires on a nonstop basis? I miss getting calls with a cheery voice saying "Hey, How are you?" I have siblings and they don't help and all have their excuses. How do you cope? I feel lost and sad. Any advice would be appreciated.

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I partly disagree with pstegman. If your mom has a brain injury from an accident or illness, it is an injury. I don't believe your mom wakes up and thinks of ways she can manipulate you and be mean to you. My heart breaks for you in having to cope with 2 parents with mental health problems. I do agree, however, that if as you indicated there are seizures, etc, you should call 911. Let them handle the emergency part of the situation. Meet them at the hospital where you can stay in the room or leave when it becomes too difficult for you. Ask the doctors for their help.

As with any brain injury, whether it be a stroke, when a person has memory problems, anger seems to be part of it. They can no longer remember. They have to relearn everyday life. Just trying to get the right word out. It is even more difficult for them when they know they are unable to think straight.

I agree with vegaslady, that you need a support group. Is there something close by that you could check out. A church would be a good place to start. A place where you can ask others for advice or to pour out your heartbreak to. A place where you can become involved in something that is good for you.

Is it possible to talk to your mom more by phone than in person? If it becomes insulting and mean, you can either change the subject or tell your mom you have to go. Then go for a brisk walk. You may ultimately have to remove yourself from the situation for your own mental health, but I know the bottom line is they are your parents and you love them.
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You cannot change your mother, but you can change yourself. Some of the best advice I got about how to deal with my mother's dementia was to change my point of view. A friend said I had to look at my mother as a patient now, not just as my mother. That perspective helped me to depersonalize her hurtful remarks. It empowered me to try to make the best decisions for her well being. Yes, before going to sleep I cry a little and pray because she I've lost the childhood dream of ever achieving an ideal mother/daughter relationship. You feel like an orphan. But you had a loving relationship with your mother. Be grateful. She gave you what you needed when you needed it. Now use all that she gave you and other resources available to you to help your family. BUT SAVE YOURSELF TOO. Remember that she loved you and wanted you to have a good life. Whether she can express it verbally or not, know in your heart that a mother's love never dies.
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Perhaps you should consider some type of support group or grief counseling for yourself. If you can, substitute friends for siblings for support and some positivity in your life. Consider what you would have done if your mom had died. How would you have filled the happy place that you had with mom? How will you do that now? It's hard to be sad and lonely and that makes it tough to deal with the problems that have no good solutions to make it all better. Just make it better for you.
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My mom with moderate dementia/alzheimers has also changed in her personality. I struggle with her alternating personality alot and my reaction to it. Sometimes I don't know how to feel. Many times she is insulting and criticizing me under her breath (which is actually loud enough for me to hear) and the next time she is praising me and trying to express affection and love. She does this especially in front of other people and I feel cold to it. I find it hard to feel affection back towards her. My struggle, I know. I want to feel forgiving and say it's her illness but I don't.
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Stop taking the calls, you are being manipulated. It is very bad for your own mental health. Send 911 to their house, they are trained to deal with seizures and psychoses. If they need the ER, they will be transported. Preserve your own sanity first.
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I would just add that some good couciling is essential. find someone you can trust and feel comfortable with. If you don't like the first person you see don't be afraid to say so and move on. This is a good place to come and vent especially as you see your feelings on paper which is always helpful.
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KJ1971-Calling 911 is important - they deal with such situations often, Mom will be taken to the hospital where there is a social worker who will help you sort things out for the safety and care of your folks. Use them, and if warranted, call on a home health agency for in-home help or perhaps they are Hospice candidates. Don't continue to do this on your own - you're no good to anyone, especially yourself, if you are not healthy. Needing a Valium before you go for a visit is desperate. Hugs and blessings - take care of yourself first, please.
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Adjust to her and your life as it is RIGHT NOW. Nothing will ever be the same. Get used to the way your mother responds now, and know the injury did that, she is not doing anything to hurt you on purpose. Be patient. It is difficult for her too as she knows she is not the same person. Put yourself in her brain, and do not judge. This situation is not about you and your feelings, and you will have to learn to live with it until she passes. Best wishes.
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I know this is the hardest thing you will ever have to go through,but remember this most important thing this is your mom no matter what she says or does she is still the lady you know and love. Put on your smiley face and know that God has you in His heart he will help. I have not been my moms daughter for a long time now I am her older sister .she lives in her own little world. Just love her where she is at this time of her life. Prayers for
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My mom has had a brain injury since she was a teenager. It causes seizures which has been well controlled most of her life. NOrmally my mom is very loving and caring but she has sundowners and dementia and you never know what you will get at night. Daytime she is pretty much normal and able to do things for herself when she wants too. In the last year I have started caregiver group and individual therapy. I have friends to talk to but this counselor seems to help me understand a lot better. I have been coming here for a while to and for a long time this is all I did. I have tried to get my siblings to understand but only my sister is finally listening and brothers will remain in denial. It feels great to have these other people understand me and what i'm going through.
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