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My mother and I used to be incredibly close. But since my father died, just a month ago, it seems like I've been the all-around scapegoat. I have no idea why. I've been a "good daughter". I called every day, visited regularly, and so on. I don't know that she has anything to blame me for. I understand that she is grieving, but so am I. Talking to her (I continue to call every day) has become a burden. She's always snapping at me. Our relationship has changed, entirely for the worse. I've tried to talk to her about it, but my addressing her mistreatment of me seems to be more evidence of my awfulness. It's getting difficult for me to deal with. She doesn't have much of a support system (or rather, it's likely that she won't take advantage of it). I'm one of the only people she talks to regularly. She's been much kinder to my sister (oddly, given that my sister was much less helpful / present for my family, in the years before my father died). Should I just stop calling her as much? I just feel very alone.

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I think Jazzy is right - get her evaluated - tell her that now dad is no longer with her the dr should relook at her meds etc - in a semi-off hand way offer to take her if she wants but don't insist then write a letter to dr outlining her personality change etc - a drastic change means something
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If she used to call you, but stopped...it could be dementia creeping in. That was a biggie for my mom's flavor. And personality changes -- oh yes.
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No. She NEVER calls me.
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There are some very good answers here. I agree that if she has or had any latent dementia, this kind of trauma could bring it out and make it worse. Dementias are notorious for causing personality changes. If that's the case, watch for other signs and, if need be, get her to a doctor for evaluation.
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You say YOU CALL HER - does she ever call you?

She may have undiagnosed dementia that the loss of your dad has triggered out in open - one thing many with dement is that many victims of this disease will turn on those closest to them - now that dad is gone you are promoted to #1 - oddly this shows she associates you as most important person in her life

When I started caring for mom she tried this on me - I drew a line in sand & told her that I would not take abuse from her - a few times I left within minutes of arriving - she soon understood that if she wanted visitors then she needed to be at least polite - now her dementia is much deeper [to point she doesn't sometimes know me] that 'training' means she always greats me with a smile plus I bring her a treat every time so that now, it's me=pleasure to her - win/win for us both
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I'm sorry for your loss too. My mother has been verbally and emotionally abusive to me ever since my father died (over 20 years ago). I've had three different counselors tell me to stop talking to her. I started calling her once a week and that helped for as couple of weeks. After that, she became so abusive that our phone calls would end with me hanging up on her. I haven't called her in a week and I feel somewhat guilty about it. However, she doesn't call me or anyone else in the family unless she needs a ride. I don't know the answer, but I can relate to your problem. I would ask do you feel worse when you talk to her or when you don't talk to her? Sometimes I need to stay away from the abuse in order to live my life without crying every day.
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I went through some of this when my father died. My mother became more judgmental and whenever she visited my home, cooking, how I cared for my children just wasn't good enough. I did try to talk with her but there wasn't any resolutions. I did back off for a while to take care of me, especially since I had my own grieving to complete. I think sometimes families believe they can take out their hurt on each other. The suggestion of heatherb67 is one I wished I'd try, it leaves the door open and places the responsibility on mom but with kindness. Try not to let her comments put a negative twist on how you feel about the good you. We are not responsible for the feelings of others, but with our moms I think we feel there must be something we did wrong and we need to fix it. That's a bit of an impossible task. Take care and know you are not alone in this situation. There are too many of us who've been through this form of grief.
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I lost my husband of 57 yrs 2 months ago and it seems to get worse as time goes on. I, too, seem to associate all the wonderful times with our girls and their families and now I am alone, so to speak and it is very hard to get together and not have him by my side. I don't take it out on my daughters , because they too call every day and try to help but sometimes I just want to be alone and cry by myself. I hope this will pass because I know he would not want me to be like this. Give your Mom time because it is very very hard to loose your husband or wife of many years.
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Good Morning,
This is such a personal time for you both. Our Dad died the middle of February. The 4 of us 'kids' were somewhat prepared as we had watched his decline. However, for Mom, who still saw him has he was 30 years ago, could not figure out why he would have to die and leave her behind. Mom has dementia, as did Dad, but she grieves just the same. the above answers are so very good!! It is about HER... I don't know how old your Mom is, but if she depended on your Dad, like mine did, The Loss is Severe. Just give her time and lots of hugs, or whatever is comfy for you both!! And be ever so good to yourself, so that you are able to help her when she is ready!! And for heavens' sake, don't feel guilty. Time is a great healer, let it work!! For both of you!! Prayers and Hugs to you both!
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Maybe end your next call with - "mom, I'm here for you and I love you. Just please call me if you need ANYTHING and/or when you're up to it. Otherwise, I'll just check in next week." That way you're giving her the option to reach out if needed and she's not isolated. I think she's just processing her grief and not everyone in every situation talks these things out. This is all uncharted territory, so let her take the lead when it comes to her grieving and not take it personally.
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad. When my own father passed, 22 years ago, my mother coped by posthumously picking on him and his shortcomings, real or imagined. It got so bad, my family told me to tell her to stop. I did, and after that, she adopted a "little girl lost" attitude, which was almost worse, and became nasty and needy to everyone. My doctor advised me to "ride it out" with her. She said not to let my mom verbally abuse me, but to not take what she said to heart. Part of the grief process is anger, and people handle it in different ways. Don't hover over your mom. Things have changed for both of you. Don't do what I did and be so "available" for your mom's grieving that you don't have time for your own.
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I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mom may be lashing out at you because you are the closest relationship she has, and she feels secure in it. I would pray a lot, and read Psalms and Proverbs. Best wishes to you and your family.
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I am sorry your Mother is acting like this. But I can tell you I used to love talking to my mother, and enjoyed her company. Then one day, she started not talking and would walk out of the room. I didn't understand, but now I know it was the LBD taking over her mind. So I would start just giving her a kiss and a hug and walking away. It was all I could do, it was very hurtful but I know it wasn't me. But watching her suffer was so hard. They out her on zoloft, and it seemed to help.
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I would bet that your mother knows how supportive and present you are and that, unlike your sister, you will remain consistent in your relationship with her. This makes it easier for her to show you her anger. She knows, deep down, that you are a safe person to express "ugly" feelings to. You won't run away or leave her when the going gets tough, and by the sounds of it, you are the only one who is a constant in her life now. As others have said, to protect yourself during this very vulnerable stage of grief, perhaps scale back on the calling (it's difficult because of the guilt, I know), but make a point to remain consistent about when you do call to show her you are still there for her as you were before, just with less frequent telephone calls. Hang in there. It will get easier with time.
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Perhaps it is BECAUSE you had a much closer relationship with your parents than did your sister that your mother is snapping at you. Perhaps it is easier for your mother to talk with your sister because she was not as close.

Your mother is experiencing the stages of grief, which are not an orderly process. Anger is very much a part of grieving. You are on the receiving end of your mother's anger that your dad has died and left her alone because you keep close by calling every day.

You cannot replace her husband, her companion, her mate, and so step back and call less often - maybe once or twice a week. You both need to find a new normal now that your father is gone.

That she thanks you for calling is her being polite. I always thank people for calling because that's how I was raised to end a conversation. Try to not take her snapping personally. Stepping back and giving your mother some space will benefit both of you. And, in all likelihood, she will start reaching out to you when she's ready to resume that part of her life. Recognize that right now she isn't focused on being your mother; she is focusing on being a widow.
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LaVelata, I am so sorry for your loss of your father. You will have grief work to do as Barb mentioned.

One month is not a long time to process such a loss.

I can't speak for your mom or her behavior toward you, but here is my experience for what it's worth. I am a widow, it's been only eight months, and nothing is the same, especially myself and how I relate to others - everything seems unfamiliar. Sometimes I am lonely but no one can fix that for me, and sometimes I have to be alone just to deal with an overwhelming exhaustion.

Losing a parent is a difficult transition, I still miss my parents. Losing one's spouse is a very different experience. Please be gentle with your mother. It is not reasonable, in my opinion, for you to expect your conversations with her to be the same as before your father died. My guess she is not 'mistreating' you; she is trying to cope with what has happened to her.
Consider checking in with her often and simply asking her if there is anything you can do, bring her a meal, drive her to whatever appointments are required of her as she deals with her new status, no longer married but now a widow.
It is not about you.
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LaVelata, I can really empathize with you. My story was much the same after my father died.

You say your mother is isolated. My mom was the same way (self-imposed isolation) and she depended on my dad for everything. She controlled him to the max and refused to do anything herself. Was that your mom and dad's situation?

When he died that control switched to me and our relationship was never the same. All of the sudden, I was responsible for her happiness or lack there of. It was very difficult.
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I appreciate your response, Barb, but I'm not sure that it makes much sense in my case. I don't call my mother and push her about my father or her "grief work." I call her in the way that I always have -- to chat -- and she always thanks me for calling. It's just that our conversations have changed -- I often feel like I am walking on eggshells (and NOT when I am talking about my father). Whether or not that means that I should call less (and maybe I will, though it's important to note that this means that my mother, who is fairly isolated, will not talk to anyone on the days that I don't call), I don't really think that your account of the situation makes sense.
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La, maybe you need to back off a bit and do your grief work on your own.

Is it possible that your mother is experiencing your calls as intrusive, rather than supportive?

Whatever is going on, she is pushing you away right now. Ease up and take care of YOU.
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