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Sometimes, it is just (not 'just', as in minimizing) the rage of an alcoholic, or former alcoholic, and the brain damage has already been there prior to the onset of dementia or alzheimers.
Consider how much more of your life you would choose to live this way, and hire someone to take care of your elderly, mean mom. Make a decision based upon 'as if' your life depended upon it. {{{Hugs to you and your mom}}}.
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Could you tell us a little more about your situation? Do you live with your mum? Are you a 24/7 caregiver to her? Does she have dementia? Has she been like this all your life?

Detaching and setting boundaries are good tools for coping with a "mean" person as are getting some space for yourself.

Jessie, I am not so sure about asking why. In my experience that would not help as my mother would not recognise that she is being mean or would deny it and claim she is trying to being helpful or some such thing or say I am being mean by asking her such a question.

Do give us some more information, schlomer. ((((((hugs)))))). Mean mothers are hard to deal with.

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It really depends so much on them. You could ask her why she is being so mean. Sometimes they need to know that they aren't getting by with being mean. If you tell us a bit more, you may get some good answers.
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Don't take it personally. Set boundaries. Establish what is possible and what isn't. Set aside time for yourself. Hire help. Get out of the house. Exercise. Pray. Meditate. Change the subject when she becomes "mean" and if she continues excuse yourself. If she is only mean with you but is nice with other people then this is not mental illness. If she is mean with everyone then get her a psych evaluation. Learn to take charge. Good luck.
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