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Take breaks, get help and remember it won't last forever and it is not your fault. Don't add to the misery and if you do not feel safe or comfortable caring, find someone else to do it, you do not deserve to be hurt and abused coming and going.
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"53"-I guess you have to keep in mind that it is your Mom moving into your home-and as challenging you may find it-you have to work around her controlling behavior. Also remember, it is possible that the effects of her meds is what you now see-and not necessarily-your Mom. Going to a support group, and those offered by the Alzheimer's Association-is an excellent idea, as there possibly may be others who are or were in a similar situation. Keep in mind, knowledge is power, and the more you learn of your Mom's ailment, the better prepared you will become. This forum is a great place to reach out-for ideas as well. Last, but not least, keep in mind the tables are turned, as you become the parent and your Mom the child.
Best to all,
Hap
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My Mom insisted that she do everything I did in the early stages of her dementia. If I wanted to go out with a friend she would make me feel so guilty, that I ended up just staying home with here, or only going places where she could go. I gave up all of my friends and the activities I enjoy doing. This was a big mistake. Being sucked into the guilt thing, and letting a person who is sick with dementia "run the show". I wish I had been able to set boundaries and keep a schedule and somehow, "lovingly" detach and do my thing, not her thing all the time. But reality , and the old bagage are strong, and their are siblings involved, with their opinions as well.
If you are starting out with this disease, know that you will be giving up many years, 6,7 ,8 or more so it should be a fair arrangement for both you and your sick parent. I regret that I let my Mom's illness take over all of my time. So stay strong and get any help you can. you deserve it. we all do.
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A hard nut to crack - that's for sure !

I think Ed has a great handle on it. I'll add two things.

1) As hard as it almost always is to even think about, much less internally activate... foremost is forgiveness. That, because the brain keeps within our subconscious every single happening, thought, et al we've ever, ever throughout our entire lives experienced. The slightest related thing will prompt not necessarily the particular incident, but a feeling of overall ill remembrances of a similar type. And then it brings forth an expansion into other arenas of ill remembrances. It's unfortunate, but that's just the way it is. The only way to deactivate the remembrance of ills is to release those ills from your internal being. As difficult, and surely in many ways as unfair as it might seem to be, (why should I forgive - they wronged me!!!) the only way to wholly release... is to forgive. That doesn't mean you will no longer remember the ills, but the current remembrance of those ills will surely have less impact upon you.

2) The best way to forgive is to two fold, a) review the ills we've caused in our own lives realizing that some ills we've caused were rooted in our own malice toward others, but hopefully, most were simply a result of mistakes occurring when 'we did the best we could with what we had'. b) Inasmuch as our parent(s) lived under the same two 'causes', (plus - who knows the particulars of their own childhood) how foolish am I to keep them and their ills within my heart and spirit... allowing them to hurt me... when I can release them? After all, look at the ills and mistakes I've caused. Perhaps in many ways and toward many people then, I'm as ill thought of by those I've hurt as I now think of my parents... i.e. I'm just as 'bad' as they??? Do those I've previously hurt, today also emotionally hurt themselves today because of the ills I've caused them?

The whole thing is not worth the inner turmoil we put upon ourselves. Maybe we haven't done the same things to others that our parents have done to or not done for us, but it doesn't matter. Forgiveness of and for all is indeed the key toward releasing all that crud. From personal experience, I've lived it. I know.

Proceed accordingly... but yes, it is indeed a hard nut to crack.

Good luck,

V
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If she is ruining YOUR life and you cannot afford counseling - move her out. I know this type DOES NOT NEED THE COUNSELING?! You've paid your dues. My 50+ friend is going through the same thing -criticizing, belittiling and confrontations over nothing by her mom and she does not even have to live with her.-- but, it's gone on all her life-she has no esteem left. God Bless and good luck.
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I have to agree with Ed. Otherwise you will constanly be driven crazy with guild trips by the parent. I know because I struggle everyday with my 89 year old Mom with dementia. Marie
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Find someone to vent with after every conflictual event. That person should be able to remind you that your mother's cognitive abilities are diminished and that your reaction may be compromised due to your past history with her. You should also have a plan for how to react to her every time she infuriates you. That plan should be specific, you should write it down and begin thinking of it every time you and your mother are together.
Arelys
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I feel for you. Having a similiar situation I have had to seek help to deal with the way I respond to my parent. Get help for you,now-during and beyond. Also,prayer is significant. Learn about dementia and what you should expect .
I agree with 'edvierajr'-ED. Own your adulthood,don't respond to what you know are old ways your parent has treated you or how you have responded. Sometimes it's easy to fall for the parlor tricks and get sucked in by a controlling person. You control you. Ghandi once said "No one can hurt me without my permission". You're in my prayers. --new
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I agree with Ed... she did the best could with what she had.

All of us can look back at situations and NOW we realize we could have done better but WE did the best WE could with the knowledge and resources WE had at that time in OUR life.

It's the "woulda... coulda... shoulda... syndrome".

Little known facts surrounding your mothers behavior when she was young and why bother going back to those bad times, unless you want to keep feeling bad and sad.

Write a letter about how you feel, read it, place in can, burn it and bury it. You will feel better.

The poor me syndrome gets old, we've all had bad times, some worse than others, it is your choice and you can not do anything about it now.

We can't move forward while looking back.

I would keep your visits short maybe 10-15 min., don't talk about things of the past or get into victim conversations.

Take a puzzle or game that can be completed easily and talk about it.

Maybe some day you may become her friend... she needs a friend not a judge.
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53:

I'll spare you the "forgiveness" speech, as it never worked for me and therefore I don't recommend it to people used and abused by their parents throughout their childhood and beyond. Try, however, to find some compassion by convincing yourself she did the best she could with what she had.

It's your home, so set boundaries and enforce them consistently to keep from being disrespected and revisiting old wounds that you've had to live with.

Wish you the best my friend, and let us know how it goes.

-- ED
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Can you possibly find a way to start regular sessions with a counselor? During stressful times, we instinctively revert back into those old, hurtful, behavior patterns. If you can get some support that is JUST FOR YOU, you will be better able to keep your balance and boundaries intact. There is no shame in getting you the support you need. Caregivers are like a pitcher of lemonade (or maragarita's)... if you constantly give out your lemonade, without refilling (self-care) you will run dry and then you are no good to anyone... least of all yourself. Take care and God bless... keep us posted... we care.
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The only way I know of to keep breathing and handle this is to frame is like this: everything we experience is an environment in which we can be: looking for new ways to handle old baggage -- chipping away at old patterns -- developing and practicing emotional skills. It's slow and goes in tiny steps but our own growth is the payback for living through difficult things. Your mom's dementia actually gives you a new way of dealing with her.
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Oh boy is this hard. I have a very controlling, bossy mom, who was always that way and got much worse when mild dementia set in . In my case, the arguing intensified. It got so bad that my sister finally had to take over my mom's care last summer. I hope that it works out much better for you. Unlike my mom, your mom may be more social - it that is the case, keeping her busy with outside groups and activities would take her mind off of you and how you run your household. The busier the better! Even on the days I took my mom to the mall, she was nicer over all. Best of luck to you.
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childhood baggage is right. In the beginning it's like being 12 years old again. But, with dementia, the caregiver has to take the reins and be the "parent" now. The person with dementia has an illness of the brain and needs your help to make the appropriate decisions for her (even though she thinks she knows everything) I think it is a process that has to happen slowly so that the dementia person can let go and trust that she/he is in good hands. And , it's easier said than done! good luck to you and keep trying.
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