How do I deal with my mother calling me a dictator?

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My mother informed me that I was a dictator. My mother lives with my husband and I. I always think of her safety and her well-being. I do not force her to do anything she does not want to do. I talk to her and explain an issue to her in a diplomatic manner. Being called a dictator hurt me and it makes me not want to say much to her. I do not think I am a dictator at all. I have been respectful to my mother. Help!

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I have no idea whether you control Mom's every breath, or if you simply insist on her taking her pills once a day. I assume you are NOT a dictator, though.

As the mother of a recent teenager, and the spouse of an ALZ husband, my advice is to choose your battles. Don't try to make her eat her broccoli. Let her have ice cream sometimes. MAKE her put on her seatbelt EVERY time. She is old and dying, however long she has. Making her do what's best for her all the time may not be worth it. Forcing her to avoid danger is worth fighting for. Letting her enjoy life as much as possible is worth fighting for.

You really have my sympathy. Finding a good balance is so much harder than either letting her do whatever she wants OR making her always do what's best.

You feel very hurt, but she is not really angry at you. She is angry because she is old and powerless and maybe in pain. Remember that she really does love you, if she was a pretty good mother. She hasn't stopped loving you. She is just very very cranky.

Try humor and sympathy. If she uses the word dictator again, draw on a Hitler mustache and fake a German accent. "You vill take your pillss now!" Or say, with sympathy, "Oh. Mom, it seems like I'm always bossing you around. No wonder you don't like it. You still want to run your own life. I don't blame you."

Good luck to you.
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I have a feeling that it is her way of saying that she resents not being in charge anymore. Parents can have a hard time with the partial reversal of roles that happens when they get older. Living together under one roof can be challenging indeed. If you are being reasonable and kind, I wouldn't pay the words any attention. They were probably said at the spur of the moment in a bout of temper.
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I overheard my sister referring to me as "the tissue Nazi" - ongoing battle with mother about snotty soggy used Kleenexes and the proper place to keep them, long story… I assumed she was being humorous.

I agree with everyone above, especially that your mother is probably more resentful of losing her independence than she is, really, blaming you for it - and as you're already dealing with her as tactfully as can be, I'm sure you also see how hard that is for her. Only you know whether your mother would react better at a particular time to light-heartedness or sympathy about the fact that she needs your help, and that sometimes that's going to feel to her like "being ordered around" (even though you're not doing that); but keeping your own sense of humour will definitely help you.

Now, repeat after me: "let them hate me so long as they fear me..!"
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it is 645 am here and I"ve spent the last 4 hours explaining to my dementia dad that he is NOT going driving to buy dress pants right this moment. There is no need at this time to rebuild the bathroom cabinet to fit his toolbox so when he unplugs the clock again he can "fix" it with his tools. And re-introducing him to paper towels which he can clean up his cereal he dumps out when he just wants the milk (then he picks it up with his fingers off the cabinet !!!! WHY??) He has insisted I hid his electric razor that was in his hand. and that I control his every breath, (Thank you LORD that I do not or this morning I might have let him turn purple a few times). Now he is tearing up the livingroom looking for his debit card which I have hid from him because he buys crap off the tv all the time. and we just don't need another PX90 or whatever it is. bless you though, I hope it gets better for you.
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Agree with her and tell her you're a "benevolent" dictator placed in power due to circumstances beyond your control. When you look at it from their point of view - so many don't know they need help - the word dictator pretty much sums it up I guess. Keep calm and carry on, Texas. Whether she realizes it or not (and she probably does) you're a blessing to her!
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Today I didn't agree with Mom about something and she immediately went into Drama Queen Overdrive! By the time we got to the senior center for her exercise class I happened to pull up behind a big truck that was picking up donated clothing from a big metal drop box. I had clothes in the back seat I wanted to give away, but Mom wasn't aware of that.
"What are you doing? Why don't you just give yourself to them?" She laughed in her best sarcastic evil voice. And I had a fast reply: "These days, now that I have some self esteem, I am only going to give them my clothes!" I jumped out of the car and left Mom sitting there with a dropped jaw. A young man came to help me with the bag. "Here you go. I lost 15 pounds and won't need these anymore!" And I held my head up high and got back into the car with a real smile.
Yeah, this is going to be my year, baby!!
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Say, about the haircut...my approach is to step back and allow your parents to do their own things: whatever they can still do, as long as they can. If your Mom wants to grow her hair, so what? If my Mom likes her pointy, glass tables and doesn't care if she impales herself on them in a fall, you know what? She won't allow anyone to tell her differently so ok. It's her choice. I have cut back my "caregiving" to on call as needed only. I am slowly detaching, one tear at a time.
I have said good bye thousands of moments and I can let God and my mother have their own conversation. I am out of it. There seems to be no need for me other than chauffer and shopping mate, and that is done for her without much appreciation. I have gotten quite bloodless about this now. I feel like I am waiting for the big event. Even in the hospital she was verbally abusive. Next time I am simply leaving. I can't take any more of her. It's a matter of survival for myself at this point. She has no idea how to relate to a daughter who grew up and has boundaries. That's her problem. I have tried and having a simple conversation is now just unreasonable to expect.
Do you all feel any of this? How else can I cope?
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denounce it firmly with a frothing 3 hour oratory in front of about 4 million western europeans in nurnberger square.
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I call myself "the Sergeant" with my mom when I want to get her to do something. My dad was a Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force, so like father, like daughter. I agree with Jessie, that your mom is really reacting to the loss of her ability to handle things without help. It must be tough, particularly if your parent was very independent (as my mom was). And the role reversal can be hard on some parents and children.

In a quiet, calm moment, I'd have a heart-to-heart with your mom about why you ask her to do certain things. Also ask if there's a better way to approach her about what she needs to do, one that won't get her hackles up. Maybe there's a better way to word things or to give her some kind of choice, or more notice about what she needs to do. I just tell myself whatever I do, I'm doing to keep my mom safe and healthy, whether she understands that 100% of the time or not. I'm sure you are too. Hugs.

And Captain, you're too funny. :)
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It's a sign of her decline of control and the natural exchange of roles as your parent ages and you become the care-taker. You can tell her you're sorry if she feels you are not kind, but stick to your guns and tell her you do what you do for her own good. It's difficult for her to accept her decline, to relinquish control. Perhaps you can examine the way you talk to her and find a less 'assertive' way of speaking to her. There is a therapist named Teepa Snow (look her up on Google, she has her own website. They won't let us post a link here, otherwise I would) who has worked out excellent ways to communicate to resistant elders. She shows how to get cooperation from them while making them feel like they made the decision to cooperate with you.

In college I learned that 60% of people who must be 'leaders' don't realize how their language patterns negatively impact people in their charge. Step back and see if you can makes changes in your 'approach' with your mother that will encourage her to want to do what you request.
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