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We love our children more than life itself. Just wondering how a parent can turn against their formerly beloved child. I understand that dementia means that a person can no longer control themselves, but still parents generally don't want to be a burden to their kids. Why do so many become a burden, and abusive at that?

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I never thought of it that way. Thank you very much!
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Luv, you take control of your own life and ignore the hecklers. Avoid the drunks. Al-Anon will show you how the drunk manages to divide and conquer. By keeping you in disagreement, he maintains control. Break the cycle.
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P.S. I am the scapegoat of the family. Everyone blames everything on me, always.
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I asked these questions because I'm a long distance daughter and my father has turned against me. In 2006, he actually had me turned away from the security gate at his retirement community. He refuses to see me, and only abuses and threatens me every chance he gets over the phone. (I already asked a question about this and everyone agreed that I should cut him off). I remember when he was my Dad. He was always a drunk but he loved me. He doesn't seem to remember that he loved me. Its been all one-sided, where I try to talk him into remembering his former self, and he just threatens and abuses. If he would just see me in person, I am sure I could change his mind but I don't think it would last. I have reached out, offered to to be his caregiver, and he wants none of it. I just dont understand, when life is so short, that they choose to spend their final years mired in hate instead of love!
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Family dynamics, like pam said, play a part. Old hurts, old wounds, and old resentments can creep up when we're caring for an elderly parent. We take care of a parent 24/7 and we become resentful and exhausted and stressed out and as our parent continues to age and decline they can lash out and the closest person they have to lash out to is us.

Our parent experiences a loss of control over their life and when I put myself in their shoes I can understand somewhat why they take it out on the people closest to them. They feel like a burden and usually they are a burden so depression sets in and when we turn depression inward it usually comes out as anger.

Being responsible for another human being, one who is elderly and frail, is too much to bear yet we do it because we have to. Sometimes there is no alternative and under that kind of stress and strain personalities clash. As caregivers we change because of the stress we experience and our elderly parents change because they have to be dependent upon us for the most basic and intimate of daily tasks.

I've often thought about how I'd be if my daughter had to care for me when I become elderly and infirm and I like to think that I'd be gracious and grateful and loving but who knows? I don't ever want that for her but my parents told me the same thing, "You will never have to take care of us." But they were the 3rd generation in my family who needed caregiving. Life happens.

But my dad was sweet and kind to the very end so I know it's possible.
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There is strong evidence that children who were emotionally or physically battered by their parents, turn the tables as the parent becomes older. Repressed anger builds over time, and one last insult from the parent becomes the breaking point. The elderly parent reaches out to slap their child. But now the child is an adult who can easily strike back and win. Family dynamics evolve over a lifetime and are not easily altered because the resentment on both sides runs very deep.
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Not all parents are loving parents. Not all children are beloved. When there has been abuse since childhood it is not surprising that it continues or reasserts itself in the parents' old age. There are many posts along those lines.

When there is a personality disorder in the parent, that may manifest itself in abuse of others. Some people are pathologically unable to empathize with the needs of others; only their own feelings are real to them.

Dementia can include paranoia, fear, delusions. A parent may not recognize the child, may think an imposter has replaced their child, may believe that the child has turned against them ... all kinds of false beliefs can be part of what motivates someone with dementia. And these delusions can turn a formerly loving parent into a fearful, distrusting, belligerent person. It is extremely sad.

That isn't always the case. My husband's dementia lasted ten years. He went through several months of being paranoid and not trusting me. I don't know how the journey would have turned out if that had lasted. But aside from that brief period he retained his personality and sweet demeanor to the end. He loved our children and grandchildren and was never abusive to them. (They were not his caregivers.) One son lived with us and helped me take care of him. My husband was consistently appreciative and pleasant to him.
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