Am I misplacing interests for hurting when my Mom with Alz ignores me for weeks while she loves to kiss, compliment, and hug others?


My mom, 84, has Alzheimer's, stage 5. For years she refused to live where her family can be with her and take care of her. We got her back to the Caribbean at last. She is not happy, is usually angry. In the beginning her way of expressing herself was like spitting fire.
My mom does not like me to advise her in anything when she is in this mood.
She loves to show appreciation to others, while she shows that she will not be just as sweet to me, the care-giving family member. In fact she is usually very nasty. This hurts so much, especially when in front of me, she will kiss and hug another for helping her while she shoves me away from doing the same for her.

Sometimes for days she will not look at me nor talk to me. Her anger lasts for weeks. Some without being triggered. One day in weeks she can be kind to me.
Strangely, it is when I talk with her about her illness and that her behaviour is because of it, she reacts of course very unreasonable and obstinate. This I understand. Yet shortly after she becomes meek and cooperative and very sweet to me. I cherish those changes. They last one to four days in which I have to be very tactful, for she hears/understands what has not been said. Three times now I have used this approach and have had success, all be it very short-lived. It is these rare moments that keep me going. She displays senility in these moments. Yet she does not forget what she has been angry about.

We live together, but she is still looking to live elsewhere, and not with family. She believes she can take care of herself. Yet when "given" the chance to be independent she shows fear with anger.
My mom senses that something is the matter with her mind, but she rebels against her family saying, We think she is dotish.

I am desperate at times. I feel then that I am thinking of my predicament in stead of her situation of losing her independence and grasp of things, which she is very aware of. Yet I do not intend, by God's grace to drop caring for her.
I have not read that others are experiencing anything like what my mom does to me, or the way she behaves.

Thank you, Dell

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Thank you for the very helpful replies. I am so happy I found this haven of others' experiences. God give us all joy and peace of mind while caring under these circumstances.
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You are not alone. The woman always gets blamed. Mother, daughter, wife. Sometimes she deserves the blame, but she gets the blame even if she is saintly and does all she can.

Read "The Mermaid and the Minotaur" by Dorothy Dinnerstein. The infant is totally at the mercy of the mother. She can rescue the baby from hunger, fear, or pain. But sometimes she doesn't. Mother is only human, and sometimes the problem takes a while to solve. The infant believes the mother is all-powerful, so pain, hunger, etc., are her fault. The infant feels both intense love and dependence and also intense anger at the mother.

We are supposed to grow up and mature out of these feelings, but often people - male and female - still feel that the mother, and therefore The Woman, could make them happy but doesn't. The adult caregiving child is in the place of the mother. The elder blames the caregiver for everything. "I am unhappy. It's your fault, because you could make me happy - make me young, healthy, pain-free - and you refuse to! You are a bad person!" Not logical, but common.

Your elder is not angry at you the person. She is angry at you the representative of The Mother. If you can understand that her behavior isn't REALLY directed at you, it might hurt a little less. Maybe.
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LooDell, what you're talking about is very common if I am understanding what you wrote. Elders can treat people they don't live with like they are priceless and appreciated, yet treat their 24/7 caregivers like they are worthless. I've read that it is because they are more secure with the caregiver, so will show more of their true selves. I don't totally buy into that explanation, to tell the truth, but I do take comfort in knowing that other people go through the same thing. If you get a chance, you'll find many threads to read on helping difficult parents. I think you'll get much good information on how to deal with your mother if you read the threads. They pretty much give the same type of advice -- establish boundaries of what you will tolerate, pull back emotionally but with love, and let everything slide off your back. It is hard to do all of the time, but it is the only thing I've found that works for me.

I do have to add, however, that I have backup plans for getting rid of the anger that comes from being treated badly. I rake leaves or wash my car. I go for walks. I come here to vent. All of these things help. I'm glad you found the group. It can be so helpful to have someone to talk to. Welcome!
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There are many medications that help with Alzheimer's. Hopefully you are near a good neurologist who can get some brain imaging and prescribe something to quiet her anger. You might want to look for a memory care facility for her, but the first place to go is to see a doctor who can recommend what she needs.
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