My mom is 80 yrs old, English is her second language, she does not speak it well. So I have to take care of everything for her. When my dad was alive, he took care of most things so she didn't have to. I am one of six children, but the only one who checks on her daily. When she gets angry with one, she is angry with all. I feel like her punching bag on a daily basis, but I have to talk to her daily so that I know she is ok. Today she was argueing with one of my brothers, in the argument she had to state how none of us care about her and we are all horrible children. I try to make her realize that by saying all, she is hurting my feelings, but she doesn't care. I need some sort of coping mechanisms to help me deal with her. I also have 6 year old twins at home. One of them needs extra help with everything so I feel myself being pulled in too many directions. Her bad mood transfers to me and my children are feeling it too. How sad is it when I come back from my mom's and my children see my face and say what did grandma do this time? I'm tired. Don't know if any of this makes any sense.
I can tell you that this disease does hurt everyone that is around. My Mom has yelled at us that none of us care for her, that all we want is her money, that she will be glad when she is dead, that WE will be glad when she is dead, that all we do is watch her every move...like we are spying on her, and it just goes on and on.
My mother's dementia really deveoloped after my Dad died. It became very apparent, very fast and she had basically locked herself away when he died, so she did not help herself any.
My 21 year old daughter was an Honors Student when she entered college and 3 years later she was failing half her classes due to the stress cause by Mom in the home. My daughter one day said, "She is killing us all." It shocked me but she was right.
Right now she has gall stones and is having a gall bladder attack at 84. I have gone and purchased all of the foods she can eat and yet there is a constant argument that she wants the "other food" which makes her sick as a dog, but her memory lasts about 10 minutes so she doesn't remember how sick she is getting from it. It is enough to drive you crazy!!!
I have enlisted the help of a therapist FOR ME!!! I see a therapist once a week to basically vent and go over what is happening, it keeps me sane!
If your Mom does not have dementia, you need to limit your visits and focus on your twins. Because your father is gone, your Mom is feeling alone and yes you want to be there for her, but you need to tell her when she starts putting you down that you have to leave and if you ever have the opportunity to speak calmly to her, you need to tell her that what she says, hurts you deeply and you do love her but you will not stand by and allow her to verbally abuse you, you have young children to care for, so if she wants to see you, then she is going to have to change the way she treats you. I can be hard especially if you have never said anything like this before, but sometimes it wakes the parent up that they cannot treat their children so shabbily. If she has dementia, nothing you say will really make a difference because they no longer have a filter and you have to learn to ignore it.
God Bless You....This is Hard!!!!
Whatever the cause, aging or disease, your mother is no longer the strong, wise woman she was years ago. She is old, afraid, and confused. I hope that when you were young, you could turn to her with your problems and rely on her strength and love. Now you are the strong one.
Have your kids ever said, "I hate you!" to you? Some people think that's a terrible sin, but I think it's kind of normal, because as a parent, you have to say "no" to them all the time. If your child, in the middle of a tantrum, said that, would you think they didn't love you? I wouldn't. I would know that they love me, but they are very very angry, and that's just how they feel right now.
You need to take a step back when your mother says that no one takes care of her. She is not stating a fact; she is talking about her feelings. She feels abandoned and helpless because she knows she can't do things herself any more. Can you respond with sympathy instead of taking it personally?
"Oh,Mom, I'm sorry you feel that way. You do have to be alone a lot. You must miss Dad so much." Or put your arms around her and say, "It's true. Nobody loves you. Nobody comes to visit. Nobody brings you food. Poor Mom."
She may be angry because she is so sad. Don't let her abuse you, but maybe a soft word can turn aside anger, and make you both happier. You know whether this is a good idea with your mom. I hope you find something that helps.
If she needs daily help, then maybe you need to consider either getting her outside help or moving her somewhere so that her needs can be taken care of.
One other suggestion I'd have is to see if there's a way to get her around other people who share her first language. If she could communicate more easily with others, that might be nice for her.
The psychology of visiting less often or shortening visits that are not going well can work in that you are no longer totally taken for granted, the person may sense that they can't just dump everything they are feeling all over you and expect you to to just keep coming back for as long as they want or need no matter what.
The other consideration is that at times, a person truly believes or comes to believe the mean things they are saying, and may act on them, so that if dementia is the reality, it is important to get things in shape from a legal perspective as well as the medical one.
2. Can you get her to take antidepressants? That also made a huge difference for my mother.
3. Re the sibling issue. I have two brothers (who are good people BTW) yet, in caring for my mother, I might as well be an only child. Sometimes that's just the way it is. So try talking to your sibs - maybe a family meeting/brainstorming session about what you and they can realistically do. Then see what happens. If you're still the only one showing up then figure out what YOU can manage and what you can't manage. I like the idea (above) of, when when she becomes abusive, simply and calmly telling her you'll come back when she's calm and then leaving.
BTW, I was angry with my brothers for a while, I have finally come to peace with them not helping. I realized that I'm doing what I need to do to live with myself now and in the future. But it took me quite a while to get here. Good luck to you!!!
So sorry to hear you are shouldering this heavy load plus raising twins. There were some good suggestions here under a topic like "How to deal with a difficult parent." Maybe you can search and find that. My Mom can be like this too. Good boundaries seem to help. Even leaving when she starts with the verbal abuse. Since you are the one taking care of her, if you calmly say, "I will come back when you have calmed down," or something similar, you are telling her you will not be the punching bag but you still care and will return when she is more rational. There could be a lot going on here with her. Dementia, fear, etc. A doctors visit woul dhelp too. Big hugs to you. I know this is tough.