I had to put mom in a memory care facility 4 months ago. Hubby and I can only go see her every Sunday. Usually, she will start saying hurtful things to me at the beginning of the visit and then throughout our time there. The accusations range from stealing her money and things (I can handle that) to (this last visit) saying that I have psychologically damaged my son. When asked what I did, she replied, "You know what you did, I don't have to tell you", while smirking. It seems like she ENJOYS tormenting me. However, she's very sweet to my husband and never says anything bad or derogatory to him.
After I've been sufficiently chewed up, I usually have him take over the conversation so I can get a break. When she wont "give up", I'll leave him in the room with her and go talk to the nurse.
During some visits I can't last too long. Last Sunday the caregiver asked, "Are you leaving so soon?" (after about half an hour). I said "Yes, I don't have anymore room for put downs." He said, "Oh, it's just the Alzheimer's talking."
I want to scream, "Yes, yes, it IS the dementia talking, but the accusations are based on things she knows will hurt me". She may have "lost" some of it, but not all of it. She's lucid at times and can remember some things. In one way, I feel dumb for letting a demented mothers' comments get to me and, in another way, I'm so hurt by what she says that I can't push past the pain she causes me. She's always been a cold person but now she's vindictive too. I dread seeing her every week.
The question is: Do I stay longer (and be subjected to more criticism) or just leave when I'm overwhelmed, as I've been doing? And HOW can I change my mental perspective/attitude to tolerate her nasty comments?
I hate to admit this but one time I took an anti anxiety pill (a prescription I rarely use) before I went to see her so I wouldn't get upset with what she said. I don't want to have to self medicate just to visit my mother.
FYI: She doesn't seem to mind if I'm there or not, she never shows excitement/emotion when she sees me and never tries to stop me from leaving. She is never anxious for/or mentions our upcoming visits nor does she make any ending jestures like hugging or kissing (but she never did throughout my life either), just says goodbye.
Too bad this will be the last memory I have of her.