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If you’re writing of how we feel when we’re screamed at, sworn at, accused of outlandish things we’d never do and vilified for what we did do to keep them safe and cared for, there is no good answer. The strength comes from sites like this and from what’s inside us. It hurts to see loved ones turn on us and act like we’re the worst people in the world.

Knowledge is power. Studying the stages of this disease is a start. No one Alzheimer’s/ dementia patient fits into a nice little package so we know exactly what to expect, but there are things that are the same that happen to all of them. I’ve heard the Teepa Snow YouTube’s videos see great and there are many books recommended here as well that have worked for people. It’s no shame to admit you don’t “know it all” about this awful disease and ask for help. That’s what we’re here for and we always try to help.
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Midkid58 Feb 5, 2019
I feel your pain.

I'm NEVER good enough, fast enough, organized enough--just never "enough". Comes from years of mother constantly deriding me, slowly, so slowly I wasn't even aware it was happening.

Just recently I helped her order some flowers for her sister who had lost HER daughter. It was a flat out nightmare, what I could have accomplished in 15 minutes at home on my computer took me 3 hours on mother's ancient Ipad, which she does NOT know how to even log into!

Flowers were ordered and mother chose the delivery date of 1/26. I queried her over and over--was she POSITIVE she wanted them delivered a full WEEK after the funeral. She was positive. So, I ordered them.

Went up the next week to give her some papers and she blows up at me the second I walk in "damn flowers never showed up. I want my money back! I TOLD you to call FTD for flowers, but no, you had to have it YOUR way". (My way was to let somebody ELSE do it!)

I opened my phone and showed her the receipts stating the flowers had been delivered on the 26th, as per her wish. I said "If you could open your Ipad you would see the same email". She insisted that she HAD and there was nothing there. I opened it and there was the receipt and the notice they'd been delivered on the 26th. Also on her phone messaging, which she doesn't know how to use.

So she goes back to her rerun of Bonanza, turns it up REALLY LOUD and says "I always hated Bunny anyway".

WTH?

Mother supposedly doesn't even HAVE any dementia--but when she acts like this...I don;t know. Is she just becoming more "herself" or is the the slow slide into la-la land. I do NOT mean to make fun--as this is my DNA too. I just wish she weren't so mean a lot of the time.
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My demented mother's long term memory seems to have become razor sharp these days, as her short term memory vanishes completely. It's rather unfortunate, too, because all she wants to talk about is my late father's lack of sex drive and how it was HIS fault she couldn't have children (I was adopted). He ruined her life, forcing her to settle for a second choice child and yada yada. I truthfully wish I could duct tape her mouth shut, but hey, I can't. Right? :) I find myself shortening our interactions and saying things like "I haven't done anything wrong mom, so I'll speak to you tomorrow when hopefully you will be in a better mood." As far as not letting it all get to me, I've yet to figure that one out. Sigh.
Best of luck
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ExhaustedPiper Feb 8, 2019
I feel your pain.

I don't like it when my mom drones on about the old days. She seems to be remembering with rose colored glasses because MY memory of those days is that they sucked, mainly because of her.

I hate that I have this past dysfunction with her. It makes this 1000 times worse because I really don't like to be around her in general, let alone like this.

I am constantly battling with myself on what is a reasonable amount of time to spend? I don't want to be neglectful, I don't want to be the cause of any suffering, but I'm so tired of feeling like a trapped animal.

If the person with dementia can still take care of their own hygiene, eating, and basic (very basic) life skills, what is reasonable?
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In the last several years of my mothers life, pretty much everything that came out of her mouth could fit into one of four categories:

Delusional; Ugly

Delusional; Rose Color or Whitewashed

Blatant/Obvious Manipulation

Confessional/Ugly Truth

Of the four, the Confessional was the worst. Terrible truths came spilling out like skeleton Rockettes, high kicking in a Rockefeller’s Christmas Special. Many a family dark mystery was made clear in cruel detail.

Year five, of the six I spent turning myself inside out, putting my husband and son second, ignoring my own health crisis - my mother told me she wished I had never been born.

Not sure which catagory this fell under. Certainly not Rose Colored.

Regardless, It did not have her desired effect. Instead, it hit me like a bucket of ice water being trickled out slowly over my head. As the sensation ran down my body it left behind an impenetrable shield.

Nothing my mother said from that point forward had the slightest effect on me.
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againx100 Feb 8, 2019
Wow, that's pretty harsh words to hear from your own mother. At least you have your armor now.
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Did your Mom take to heart the nasty mean things you said to her when you were a child.
Like when you wanted to go to a party and she said "NO" and you replied by saying..."You never let me do anything...I hate you"
When you wanted a piece of cake be fore dinner and she said "NO" and you said..."You are so mean"
We all say things sometimes we regret and most are forgotten.
Depending on how cognizant your Mom is you could tell her...I do not like it when you talk like that and when you do it I am going to leave the room. This works for now IF she is aware of what she says. So when she starts talking in a way that upsets you tell her..That upsets me if you continue I am going to leave the room" So you have given her a cue that she is doing something that upsets you and the consequence of that.
If she is not aware of what she says telling her all this will have no impact so you can leave the room if she can be left alone. Go for a few minutes until you regroup mentally.
If this is a constant barrage of words and nasty talk headphones might help.

A few things that might help if you are doing this by yourself.
1. If at all possible see if you can get her into an Adult Day Program. This will give you both a break from each other.
2. If Adult day program is not possible getting a caregiver to help you out a few hours a few days a week will be a lifesaver for you both. Even 4 hours 2 or 3 days a week is an amazing help. These can be paid caregivers or just friends, volunteers or family that can come in and talk, play cards, watch TV, read a book.
3. An actual physical support group for yourself. It is good to connect with real people that know what you are going through.

the most difficult thing to remember is ..This is the disease talking not your Mom. So try to let the hurtful things roll off your back.
And when she says something that is hurtful tell her..."I am sorry you feel that way" and give her a hug and a kiss and forgive her. Forgiveness will let you go past it and not carry it. Things she says does not hurt her, they hurt you only if you let them so don't let them have a place in your heart or mind.
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It is okay to say, I am not listening to you run my daughter into the ground. I will come back later.

Do this everytime, she will eventually figure out that you leave when she does that.
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pcgirl56 Feb 8, 2019
We made a family pact that when Mom says negative hurtful things we turn a deaf ear and don't respond in any way. When she engages positively we respond pleasantly. True that windowing complicates things, but this has generally worked for us.
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Detachment with compassion...
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againx100 Feb 8, 2019
I was trying to think of how to word that idea. I think we do have to detach from our LO, at least to some degree. With dementia type decline, they are NOT the same person and therefore we can not have the same relationship that we had with them before the symptoms began.

It is a struggle. I am trying to figure it out myself. How to deal with the snapping for no apparent reason. Like, I had the nerve to tell mom something when she was looking for something in her purse. Bit my head off. Really? So bizarre.
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I am so sorry! I found out yesterday that my dad has been telling his banker, insurance person and relatives that I took money from him to build my lake house. I’ve never been so hurt and embarrassed. My precious parents are 91 (him) with dementia and 72 (her) with Alzheimer’s. They have been so good to me and I have NEVER, stolen money from them. I know he’s worked very hard and money is so important to him, but they don’t have much and will need every dime plus my contribution for their care. He’s never said a word to me and is always kind to me. I was their miracle baby and they have always adored me so I have no idea what would cause him to make up such horrible lies other than this dreadful disease. It becomes harder and harder to overlook who they are today for who they once were. Also hard to keep plugging away daily to care for them and make sure they are safe- especially when he won’t cooperate on anything. Many prayers for us all!
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I feel hurt when my dad says mean things about mom

I use to get upset inside. I learned to numb myself so I don't feel angry. It still hurts, but thank G-d I can control my temper better than before, so as to stay calm.

There is lots of info out there about emotional detachment and how to do it.
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It's hard and I get upset when my 93 yr old mom says that I'm stupid. Sometimes I just have to walk away. With her, sometimes in about 5 mins, she has already forgotten that she has said anything wrong.
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Gotta just let it go. If they were always rather 'mean' then you know what you're dealing with. Nothing new. If they are so different than they used to be? And they used to be a kind and sweet person? Then they don't even know what they are saying. And if that's the case, that they are so different? It's their dementia and they don't even know what they are doing or saying. It's not easy to hear, I get that. But it's not about you, it's about the dementia. Such an evil force to deal with.
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