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I can't do anything right and she is always negative. She has changed. I was crying last night when I told her I wasn't coming home Thursday. She lives 3 hrs from me. I cannot handle this anymore. She told me last night to Shut up which she has never said to me. I was very upset. I told her if we cannot get along on the phone then we can't do it in person. That's when I told her I wasn't coming home. I'm so guilty and feeling hurt at the same time.

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Thank all of you for your answers. I did stay home for Thanksgiving but missed her terribly but she needs to know that I have a heart and she has broken it. I will go home for Christmas. She hasn't called since I talked with her last Monday. I want to call her so bad but I feel that she should call me. We talk at least 4 times a day. I've put everything in the Lord's hands and have prayed so much. If I don't hear from her in the next few days I will call her. Thanks again everyone for the advice. Merry Christmas to all of you!
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Debbie I think you should go home, not because you expect san apology from your mother. You won't get that. She has probably forgotten that she ever told you to "Shut up" What you need to do is some detective work while you are at home. Yiu need to look not only at your mother's behavior but how she is managing the house. Is it messier than normal. Is the bathroom and kitchen dirty? Are there piles of mail unopened? old newspapers stacked up? is the fridge a science experiment? has her personal grooming slipped? Is her hair salon clean and shiny and well stocked. Have a good look around and make the judgement now if you will be moving home to care for her now or in the future. People who are demented can keep up a facade of functionality as long as things remain familiar. This is a much bigger problem than an unkind remark so go home and celebrate Thanksgiving with Mom and let any unkind remarks pass over your head for the sake of enjoying the holiday.
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I agree with Jinx. Moms don't have a free pass to verbally abuse their children because they're mothers. And Debby has NOTHING to apologize for - her mother owes her an apology.

I agree that it might be a good idea to go home sometime over the next couple of months just to see how mom is doing over a longer period of time. Docs can't pick up on every little change in their patients. And some patients are very good at hiding their problems. But if you're with them 24X7 for a couple of days, the truth will come out.

My mom sounds great on the phone for the first five minutes or in the doctor's office. She looks great and sounds with it But if you talk to her longer than that, you'll see she'll ask you the same question over and over or repeat the same story over and over. She has virtually no short-term memory. Your mom may have some kind of similar thing going on, that you'll only see if you're around her in her home environment.

So stay home tomorrow if you feel like it, but consider going home at Christmas/New Years just to see how she's really doing.
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Royalking1, No! I understand what you mean, but NO!

Mothers DON'T have the right to say anything. Some mothers have said, "I wish I'd had an abortion instead of having you!" I think Debbie needs to grow thicker skin, but her mother does not get a free pass to say hurtful things to her children. If an ungrateful child is like a serpent's tooth, an unloving mother is twice as destructive.

My mother was wonderful and could say anything to me, but not because she was a mother. She was a wonderful person. Some mothers are just plain horrible people.
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Debbie, Dementia is senility, which is a health problem.

Probably most 87 year old people have at least mild dementia. I hear how hurt you are. But you need to pretend that Mom is in the hospital with a high fever. Then you would know to ignore her words, because you could see she is sick.

When she was 77, was she rude to people? I'm guessing she wasn't. She does have an illness, but it is hidden in her brain. When you believe that she is acting like this because she is a bad person or wants to hurt you, that makes you very unhappy. If you start to believe that she is doing this because of dementia or senility, It will be sad, because she is failing and will die. But you can stop taking her words personally. She talks like that to you because you are the closest person in the world to her. The meaning of her words is "I'm afraid I'm losing it. I'm mad because you can't fix it for me. If I let you know I'm losing it, you'll put me in a home. I'm sad because I am becoming unable to care for myself."

This is going to be very hard for both you and your mother. Her words are like a child's temper tantrum. The child says "I hate you" because s/he is just plain tired, cranky and miserable. The child doesn't hate you. This is going to be very hard, but if you can have love for yourself and her, it will be easier.
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My dear. Mom always have the right to say anything to children. Whatever we are just because of our parent's prayers. I will just say to you that please go back to home and say sorry to your mother.
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And she does live alone. That's the way she wants it. One day I may have to go home. She speaks out both sides of her mouth. She has gotten to be very rude. When we go to Walmart she will often say bad comments about other people which is embarrasing to me. She has lost some of her hearing which I know is normal. I know she has changed but the doctor told her she is senile. I am that too. I have to write down things are I will forget. None of her family members had Dementia but then I feel like her doctor would run test if he thought she needed it.
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Thank you all for the comments. My mother has no health problems. She still gets a mammagram every year and goes to the dentist every 6 months. She has a beauty salon built onto the house and still does 2 people a week. I can see that she does have problems remembering things because I talk with her at least 4 times a day and on weekends many times. The heart doctor just took her off blood pressure meds. He told her she was in good health and didn't need them. She does take Xanax but not like she is suppose to. She disagree's with me on everything. I personally think she is depressed. She has been very active all her life and now she says that she is bored. She has buried all of her family (13 of them). The goes to Church on Sundays and to the grocery store. She doesn't want to go anywhere else. I have not called her today because I think she needs to realize what she is doing to me. Nothing else has worked and I know she can be stubborn and it's only gotten worse with age. He sister's were the same only. I know it runs in her family but don't take it out on me. I hope some of this helps all of you. I pray everyday for patience and for help with dealing with her. I know the Lord is working in my life. He may be preparing me for something (death) because my mother and I have been so close all my life. Or maybe I will be the one to die... I am 59 going on 60. God bless you all. Please keep me in your prayers. My mothers name is Marie. Thanks again.
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She needs some sort of medication, we got mom Xanax and then had to add Celexa. You are right to walk out, do not go back until SHE is feeling better. You would not feel guilty if a five-year old threw a tantrum and you gave them Time Out. It's about discipline. If she starts to bring up negative things, change the subject, dementia is fairly easy to redirect to a happier thought. Redirect your own unhappiness as well, push it away and find a fonder memory. Avoid barking orders "Go sit down and put your feet up!" (she will dig her heels in and refuse) works better with " Can we sit in the living room?" (now it is her idea and she has control). Yes, you pick up on things that aren't right. Mom just asked to go to the post office substation at a drugstore that has been gone for thirty years. I have to tell her three times and it slowly sinks in. She frowns. I change the subject to how nice her hair looks. Smile returns. You have to be sneaky :-)
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Debby many people on here deal with a parent who has been mean and self-centered all their life. I'm glad you told us that in your mother's case this is a change. A mother who suddenly says "shut up" when she has never done that before is experiencing some changes in her life -- probably in her health.

I agree with JessieBelle that spending some time with her will allow you to observe her more fully and try to pick up on other changes or impairments. I also agree that this sounds like symptoms of dementia, but that is a huge leap from just hearing about some phone conversations. But I'm willing to bet that SOMETHING is going on in her health. It is ironic that when she needs you the most she is pushing you away.

Until you know more about her condition, try not to take her outbursts and uncharacteristic meanness personally. I know that sounds crazy. She is your mother! How can what she says not be personal? But try hard. This behavior may not be the "real" mother. It may be fueled by a health problem.

Remove yourself from the situation when she gets mean. If you are visiting her you could say, "Mother, you seem upset right now. I think I'll take a little walk and get some fresh air. Maybe we'll both be calmer when I get back." Don't storm out of the house and slam the door (or retreat to your bedroom and slam the door). Try to stay calm. But let Mother see that you aren't going to put up with the verbal abuse. You can do a variation of this over the phone. Don't slam down the receiver, but do end the conversation.

Just a sidenote ... my 93 year old mother with dementia was taken by ambulance to the hospital a few weeks ago, for an obvious GI bleed and as it turned out a UTI. As two of my sisters and I were accompanying her from the ER to a hospital bed we were chatting a bit. She turned her head and said "shut up!" It was all we could do not to burst out laughing. Later we asked each other if we had ever heard her say that to an adult. We hadn't. And we couldn't remember for sure if she had ever said to us as children. We knew she was not herself. We didn't take it personally. In that case the health reasons were very obvious. Debby, there are very likely health reasons behind your mother's sudden and uncharacteristic "shut up." They just aren't as obvious as my mother's were that day.
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Oh, Debby. Call her back and tell her you are coming home. I responded to your discussion question already, but I didn't know about Thanksgiving. Your mother sounds so much like mine that I wonder if she might have some dementia setting in. My mother is in a mid-state of dementia. If you are with her, you may be able to pick up on things that don't seem just right. Does your mother live alone or with someone else? Tell us a little more about her and someone may have some good suggestions about things that may help.
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