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My Mom was a happy, kind, supportive person all her life. Now is the total opposite. She criticizes everything I do, throws to my face everything she has ever done for me, nothing pleases her; God help me if she is not the center of my universe, anything that is not as she wants and she loses it. She keeps reminding me of all the bad decisions I have ever made, gets upset if I do not pick up her phone calls, its insane.

My Mother also complains about everything and everyone. She has become intolerant, mean, critical and extremely possessive. I am not sure how to handle certain situations like it is always "our fault", she is always the victim, she does things we have not asked her to do for us and then she shames us into "how she is sacrificing herself" for us. Now, she has gotten as far as telling me what to wear or if we are out and about she wants to pick the clothes for me.

At my child's graduation party, she went so far as to have us remove the food we had placed on the table because she had not said "its ready, now you can eat", stayed up until every single guest had left because she did not trust them, was incredibly angry at my son for the "inappropriate" friends he had and their unruly behavior, told them to shut up and my son felt so terrible that rather than being out enjoying his graduation party he was cleaning the dishes, counters, sweeping the floor, etc. just to make his grandmother happy. When my son told her he felt bad because his grandmother appeared upset and angry, she told him, she was not upset at him but at his friends for being so inconsiderate as the party should have ended earlier. When the party finally ended, she stormed into the living room and told me "don't worry about me coming back because I have no intention of ever doing so" - The following morning, she even refused to say good morning to my son.

I am at my wits end. I have suggested to her that it might be a good idea to see a psychologist but she tells me that the one that is crazy is me, not her, that my inability to solve problems is due to my weak character, that she does not trust me, that I am unreliable and when she looks at me there is hatred in her eyes and I am not exaggerating. When I try to open up conversation she refuses to talk ("I don't want to talk about it") when I tell her that things have changed she tells me that "decency has not changed" implying we are indecent people and addresses me as if I am the aggressor or the perpetrator. Sometimes I snap the pressure is too much and then is a whole different kettle of fish.... She gets sullen, like a child having a temper tantrum, resentful, that she is not loved, then goes on doing things huffing and puffing and sighing... when I ask her to please stop, that I will do it myself another litany comes my way....

I am currently a full time student and have to spend a significant amount of time studying and she accuses me of being too much on the computer BS'ing rather than do something with her. I just do not know how much more of this I can take.

My grandmother was very possessive of her, very controlling and extremely demanding. I finally convinced my Mom to put her in a retirement home as I feared my Mom would die from stress and exhaustion. Now my Mom, has become like my grandmother plus some. My brothers are great but they maintain their distance so the weight falls on me and I just do not know what else to do to protect my sanity. How could my beautiful, loving, kind and supportive Mom become almost overnight such a mean, resentful, nasty person?

Is this behavior normal?

Thank you for your help,

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I am a Peacemaker. Join the queue, right? I can give advise to others because I am there myself, yet find it hard at times to take a leaf out of my own book. But....and its a big 'but....there have been times where I've had to step up to the plate and cross that invisible line and say my piece. Mum's don't handle it too well, but hey, neither do we when we're copping her wrath of ages.
Yes, its very strange that she's switched personalities just like that and that definitely needs medical investigation. As for putting up with it....regardless of the reasons for her behaviour, its not acceptable and need not be tolerated by you all.
You'll feel like crap afterwards and walk away with silent rage, but you will have to step up and dig deep to tell her you will not tolerate her behaviour any longer. When its all said and done and there'll be that cooling off period that follows, you will find that amongst your silent rage, you'll feel somewhat liberated.
Either mum will take it onboard and change her ways, or she'll withdraw. Either way, you will gain some space from laying down the rules.
Good luck with that.
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Only, it is not normal but it is somewhat common. My mother is just about the same way. She was a very sweet mother until she had a series of strokes. I agree with the others that your mother should see a doctor. Getting her there may the trick of the season. If I were you, I would enlist the brothers to help get her to the doctor. You might give her an ultimatum, go to the doc or live somewhere else or something like that. When she gets to the doctor, believe me, she will completely snap out of it for the time she is in the doc's office. My mother does that. Tell the doctor ahead of time what the problem is. But whatever you do, please protect your children. They have to come first. Also protect your health. Perhaps you can get a doctor or nurse practioner to come to the house and visit with her. But a psychologist would not be the one, a geriatric doctor, a PA, a neurologist would be better. I know the problem you are having, your mother must be my mothers twin.
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Thank you for your advice. I will see what I can do to get her to receive the help she needs although she has gotten quite stubborn and does not appreciate any helpful comment no matter how well intended it is. I will have a chat with my kids hopefully they will understand that their loving grandmother's behavior has more to do with "whatever it is she is dealing with" rather than them as individuals. Thank you for your advice, I will keep you posted.
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No, this behavior is not normal. It sounds like something medical has happened to your mom. How old is your mom and how long has this been going on. Do you live in her home or does she live in your home.

It could be a Urinary Tract Infection, which can really change a persons personality. Often there is some confusion, but they can get very angry. Maybe you mom is starting to experience some dementia. Again, it can cause a change in personality.

Whatever the case, someone who has been kind, loving and supportive does not change overnight for no reason. Something is medically wrong and you need to get her into her MD for some tests and a full discussion of her behavior changes.

I would suggest that you call her MD and explain what has been happening. If you are not listed as someone who the doc can share info with, then he/she won't be able to tell you anything, but he can listen and be apprised of the situation.

Getting your mom to go to the doc may be difficult, but you must do it. Something is definately wrong. Please keep us posted. Cattails.
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No, this behavior is not a normal part of the aging process.

Yes, it is insane. That is, she is definitely experiencing some kind of mental impairment.

What you can/should do about it is the hard question. I'm not sure a psychologist is the right starting place. A physician who specializes in geriatric medicine would be my fist choice, and then perhaps referrals to other specialists. The geriatrician could be urged on her for a "general physical now that you are older" rather than because of her behavior. It might be an easier sell. Whatever doctor you can convince her to see, be sure he or she has your view that she has undergone a complete personality change. This is not something Mom is apt to volunteer.

Meanwhile, you need to protect yourself and your family from her abusive behavior. There are many, many posts and also at least one article on this site about dealing with narcissistic parents. Very fortunately for you, it sounds like you did not grow up under these conditions, but perhaps some of the strategies would be applicable to you. Set boundaries, distance yourself, get counselling.

I really feel sorry for your son. I assume that he knew her before the personality change? Please reassure him that Grandma's displeasure and her poor behavior is NOT HIS FAULT. You, too, need to firmly hang on to the truth that this is NOT YOUR FAULT. We don't know exactly what is wrong with Grandma that she has changed so drastically, but whatever it is is NOT YOUR FAULT.

If you can help her by convincing her to see a doctor and her to follow up with the outcome, that would be great. You need to also help yourself and protect your family from her abuse.

Let us know how this plays out.
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