My mom has dementia, diagnosed in early 2019. She's at a stage where I see both confusion/memory loss/decreasing executive functioning and increasing needs. At the same time, there are other times when she seems to have clarity and seems more capable. And she STILL lies, manipulates and belittles me. Her lifelong personality is still 100% there.
I've gotten better with boundaries, although I still need more work. What I really want to figure out how to do is to protect myself emotionally from her. Even when she is not in my presence, I feel myself holding grudges and being angry-- that is what I want to stop. I don't get why I can't just let it go?
There are so many examples, but I'll give a recent one to put this in context, because it's not really a big thing, and something I feel I should have been able to brush off quickly. But a day later and I'm still resentful.
My mom needs to see an ophthalmologist because at a recent optometrist exam for new reading glasses the exam showed (blood?) spots behind her retina. Her primary care made a referral and yesterday I called to make an appointment.
Got the appointment made for 10:00 AM next Wed, but I did not have her insurance info so I said I would call back with the info. I called my mom to let her know about the appointment- and that I needed her insurance info. She told me to come over and get her insurance cards. I said I would be over a little later, and she says in a cutting tone- YOU ARE SO LAZY!
I immediately said- I'm not lazy, I'm not dressed, then I said YOU bring them over to me! She laughed like I was being the @%^-hole and said she would. I live like 200 feet away. She came over and gave them to me, looked at my clothes and said sarcastically- You look nice. I responded these are my cleaning clothes.
How does one call someone lazy when they are literally in the middle of doing a favor for THEM?? It will also be necessary for me to drive her to this appointment. Then the dig about my clothes? Why does she cut me down like this? I can't fathom saying those things to my son, ever.
I swear if there was a surgical brain procedure that could sever the area of my brain that reacts to her I would get it. Since that's not possible, what can I do to prevent getting so triggered?