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.

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No, you don't stay. You say " I have to leave now." and you get your coat and go. Take your anxi-meds before you see her. Smile, attempt to change the subject and if she is stuck on derision, leave. NEVER visit her alone. My SIL would bring a girlfriend, because mom would behave better in front of strangers. Evenings were very bad. MIL's best time was right after lunch, never good for more than an hour.
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Update: Mom had a doctor's appt. 2 weeks ago. When I got to her facility, the c/g told her, "Your DAUGHTER is here to take you to the doctor." Boy, was she mad. She treated me badly for the first 2 hours, (as above) then switched to telling me she wanted to die around 30 times in the next 2 hours. I wound up raising my voice to tell her that only God can take her and He will in His own time. I was exhausted when the day was over.
Fast forward to today. I walked in and she obviously didn't recognize me. She said, "I know I've seen you before, aren't we related? You're my sister, aren't you? I agreed and she took my hand and held it most of the visit. We had a nice chat then I called her 3 siblings so she could talk to them.
I will remain her "sister" because it works better that way. It's SO hard to remember not to say "Mom", however! I'm glad I found something that works!
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Thanks to the 3 of you for the advise.
It happened again today. Mom was in a particularly foul mood when we got there. [We always visit after church on Sundays around 1 pm]. She had a sour look on her face and asked us why we were there. She said, "It's not Sunday today." (On one hand, she's sharp enough to know that we visit on Sundays, on the other hand, she didn't know the correct day of the week.) When hubby told her it was Sunday, she shook his hand and smiled but she just scowled at me. Immediately, she started telling me that it must be nice spending her money because I was wearing a dress that she'd never seen. I became depressed immediately and just quit talking. Hubby told her I had bought it 3 years ago. She continued in attack mode until he changed the subject. After that, she started complaining that I had "dumped " her in the facility so I could spend all her money. (She wants to go back to her apartment in San Francisco, where she was happy.) Finally, even hubby had it with her insults to me. He told her that she was being rude to me and she should be happy when we visit her. She said, "Well, I'm happy to see you but not her." (meaning me). I got up, gave her a limp hug and said goodbye.

Eyerishlass, On your advise, I will be limiting my visits from now on. Neither my mom nor I enjoy our visit, so why go? I have to pay the "rent" once a month, so I will have to go then. It really ruins my day and I can't shrug off the constant attacks.
She hates my guts and I just don't want to deal with it. Guilt be damned, this time I'm not changing my mind!
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Thanklessjob, imo, you don't have to go at all. Why would you, when it also agitates your mother's illness. She has strong emotions concerning you, and the illness causes her to take it out on you. Please don't do this to yourself anymore.
Even when you pay the rent, you just don't need to pop in. You also don't need to answer to staff. Please protect your heart and mind. As you said, this is not what your final memory of her should be.
I have read that when visiting, make your visits short! Makes me wonder why others are passing judgment on you! Give yourself a break, a big break.
{{{HUGS}}}} and blessings to you and hubby from here on out.!!
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I agree with the others. No, you shouldn't stay. Put in the time you're obligated to and then get out. And I don't think it would hurt you to skip a Sunday here and there either just to give yourself a break.
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I haven't been able to visit my mom for 2 weeks, I went to a funeral one week and was sick the second week. Today I went by myself. She thought I was her sister. I figured I'd play along. She was so kind to me (a first) and patted me on the knee and asked me to visit more often!!!! That's a change! She told me how beautiful I was (another first! Previously all I heard was how fat I was and what poor choices I had in clothing.)
She told me how much she hated her "nasty, mean daughter (me) for stealing all her money and belongings and throwing her into this facility." We talked about it a bit and I asked her a few questions. She wasn't going to change her mind, so I figured I'll just continue roll playing being her sister from now on.

Believe it or not, I was actually waiting for this time to come, when she wouldn't recognize me, so maybe we could have a decent time together. It was a nice visit (for the first time in 6 months) but kinda' weird being her "sister" instead of her daughter.
Oh well, hopefully, no more rotten visits.
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Of course you don't have to stay, I doubt that she gets any benefit from it and you certainly don't! And how dare the caregiver try to guilt you, they have NO idea what your back story is and whether or not it is appropriate to stay or go. I was recently told of an aide who had to go home early because a resident kept accusing him of being the devil and wanting to kill her, and he should be a detached professional caregiver!
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Thanklessjob, good heavens, why put yourself through all that. Is it guilt that is making you visit because Mom is now in a memory care facility? That is understandable.

Yes, it's the dementia talking and the filter is gone, it is so unfair that it is all dumped on you. It seems like a parent will slam those who are closest to them, but be very polite to someone who wasn't born into the family, like your husband.

I agree with Eyerishlass above, go every other Sunday and see what happens. Your Mom might not ever realize you weren't there the Sunday before. And as soon as Mom starts to talk like she is a Presidential candidate toward you, time to say "good-bye" and leave the room. It will make you feel good that you actually do have "control" :)
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I'm so sorry that your mom is so mean. I agree with the others... You do NOT have to stay when she gets ugly. You are showing up. Regularly. You are a saint. If your mom is still able to learn, you and your husband leaving the instant she becomes toxic may be all you need to do for her to start behaving differently. Putting your self thru that awefulness every Sunday is not necessary to be a good daughter. You might also talk with her doctor to see if an antidepressant might be in order.
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Thankless {{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}.! You are one brave lady!
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