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Question is how? How can someone who is confused, unable to reason clearly, has memory issues, etc., etc., manage to say the one thing that hurt me more than anything else? She was never mean. So that's not it. How did she, confused as she is, manage to say the most hurtful thing to me? And then blame me for getting upset? Im new here, but not new to my mother being ill for ten years with heart disease and now dementia. I feel guilty even writing this, but I am in tears. Thanks for a response.

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JoanneJ, I remember my cousin telling me that her Mother, who had dementia, had told her numerous times that she was adopted. That was the furthest from the truth so my cousin just rolled with the information. Her Mom was very convincing, since she had 4 boys and always wanted a girl, so they adopted one. Yet, my cousin's two grown sons were dead-ringers to their great-grandfather when he was their age. Yep, just roll with it.

My own Mom, in late stage dementia, said some hurtful things about my Dad which I could never believe he would ever even think of doing... to which I never told my Dad what she had said.
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JoanneJ,
Reading here, understanding the hurt.
They say what doesn't kill you will make you stronger.
But I feel words can take away a bit of your spirit, wound in such a way it kills. It kills a bit of the relationship that is left between you and your Mom, that changes you forever, even after you forgive.
These wonderful, wise ladies who posted above are great teachers, and I too am learning from what they have said.
If you had not asked your questions, you would not have helped me also. Somehow, if I don't rehearse in my mind, the painful things said to me, the pain subsides, but I don't forget.
My sister told me to always tell somebody immediately when my feelings got hurt to avoid going into a depression.
Keep telling us all as you go through this most difficult, treacherous journey with your Mom.
JoanneJ, please don't take her words into your heart next time.
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Oh, dear young woman; I lived for about a year on full press alert. Until I realized that doing that was going to kill me sooner rather than later.

I sensibly cut back NH visits to twice a month (my brother lives close by; he and his wife drop in several times a week. My mother is being cared for by staff to the tune of 12.000$ per month. I'm not there to care for her, I'm a casual visitor).

I try to practice relaxation techniques, tend to my job, grandchildren and my own health. It's a struggle. But you CANNOT live in crisis mode for more than a week or so without doing serious damage to yourself.
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I forgot to say - her lack of understanding and empathy are also explained by her vascular dementia. Depression, with something called 'flat affect', is common with this disease. Flat affect is when normal emotional reactions to nice or nasty things just don't happen, and it can really take you by surprise. The depression can be treated: if you've noticed changes that make you suspect it, it's worth reporting to her doctor.
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Yes! Heart in the mouth. I lived with my mother for the last six or seven years of her life. Towards the end I had the same kind of anxiety each morning, going in to her room to wake her.

Do you practise any relaxation techniques? There are some simple, effective breathing exercises that are good first aid for tension. Don't underestimate the stress you're under, you need to take care of yourself too.
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PS And don't ever feel guilty for finding your mother's illness upsetting and painful; and for coming to a safe place like this to unload. You're not a robot. You are entitled to your own emotions.
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thank you both for your response. I really appreciate it. I guess the hurt was that she touched on something real about me and something I am sensitive about. When I told her it hurts, she just said "so what"?
I guess I am still in denial or in grief somewhere and she is grieiving too:
denial .. anger ... depression ... bargaining .. depression ... acceptance.
Another question if I may?
Does anyone here feel like they are in an anxiety state alot not knowing when the end will be ... every time the phone rings late at night, I think ... this is it. You know? It is nervewracking. She is 90.
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I don't want to pry so I'm not asking what your mother said that so upset you. But without knowing it's impossible to guess what could have made her happen to pick on the very target that you would find most painful.

But general thoughts: people with dementia lose inhibition, so they have no filters on what they speak out loud. Their thoughts run together, and also become disorganised, so what they've previously loved, liked, cared about they can suddenly claim they always hated; e.g. "very loud, daffodils. I've never liked daffodils." Really?! Another example: my mother loved West Side Story - she even took me to see a theatre production of it, she knew all the lyrics. I put the DVD on for her to watch, and within ten minutes she was wailing and calling out for me to "turn it off! I don't like it!"

If the subject your mother was cruel about was something you and she had discussed before, my guess would be that her collection of thoughts and memories about it has got jumbled and warped. I'm afraid the idea of this happening to your lovely mother's brain can't be much less painful than what she said to you. But I doubt if she formed an intention to hurt you.
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Much of what they say comes from a place of fear and confusion which results in hurtful and angry words sometimes

Doesn't help in the moment of course but I can tell you that my mom can cuss me out in one moment and then tell me how wonderful I am in the next

Dementia is a long tiring journey for everyone
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Joanne, dementia is a very cruel disease. Be comforted, if you can, by the idea that this is NOT your mom speaking. It's the dementia.

My mother becomes convinced at times that she has something like leprosy. She claims that I know all about it and I'm pretending not to . Breaks my heart. Very mild compared to what others, and you, are going through.

But understand that we all understand.
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