My mother misplaces things, then accuses me of stealing or moving them, and is always speaking defensively. What can I do? - AgingCare.com

My mother misplaces things, then accuses me of stealing or moving them, and is always speaking defensively. What can I do?

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I know this might just sound like me complaining but I don't know what to do. Just hours ago my mother lost a bottle of medication and her first instinct is "Someone stole it" even though she's been carrying it around to three different doctors, a surgery and an ER trip, and emptied her purse out three times since getting it filled. She also often makes comments like "You just walk around angry like you hate everyone and want us to die" or "You just don't want to do anything except for yourself." "You'll help other people but you won't take care of your own family" and even went so far as to say things like "I wish you were never born." when I was 16 due to an upset.....over cooking dinner. It wasn't even that something was really WRONG, it was that I was late cooking dinner. From a young age, as far back as I can remember, she's been like this. She once slapped me clean across the face because I was having trouble understanding a math problem when I was a pre-teen. Called me a pig when I went down on one knee (Kneeling) for a picture, and just generally always found time in her day to make sure that I knew she thought I was useless to her....and I'm the only person that takes care of her. When she needs something, I go get it. I run errands, I bring her hot towels when her muscles are having a spasm. I cook and I clean and I try to make sure that she's comfortable. No, I'm not a model son and yes we have our disagreements, but generally speaking I try to make sure that she's taken care of. And yet I still get those constant hurtful jabs. Another thing she'll do is misplace something and her instant excuses are either "You stole it, why do you always lie to me I know you took it. Just admit you took it because I know you're lying" even if I had never laid hands on it or knew what she was talking about, or she'll say "Well I gave it to you x days ago, where is it?" and...then when we start looking for it, we find it in her purse or her bag. But there's no apology. There's no "Hey, I'm sorry I said that." Instead, she just says "Oh. I found it" and goes on with her day as if everything hurtful that she just said never happened. I know this is a lot of "complaining" but...i honestly don't know what to do. I've got a herniated disk in my spine, have chronic depression and get maybe about three hours of sleep a night....The stress is physically and mentally breaking me down and I don't know how to make her understand that every time she misplaces or loses something doesn't mean someone is stealing something or that every time I walk by without a smile on my face that I'm "Angry at everyone / hate everyone." I mean, to give you guys an idea of how bad she is with keeping up with things...she loses her badge that she has to have to get into her office building. Almost every single day. I can count on one hand the number of times that she hasn't had to drive all the way back home because she's forgotten or lost her badge, and her immediate response is "WELL SOMEONE MOVED IT, WHY THE HELL DO PEOPLE MOVE MY THINGS!?" As if we would intentionally put her CAREER in danger by playing "I spy" with her badge. I care about my mother. I don't want to have to be one of her children that has to say "Screw it, I can't take you anymore" and just move away with zero contact, but I feel like that's the only way I'm going to be able to keep MYSELF from going as bat-crap-crazy as she gets, like the time she started screaming at me because my dad asked me to buy a box of crackers from the store and I told him "I don't think I'm heading towards the grocery store, but I'll pick you up some later today". She then went on to tell my niece and nephew to "Keep him away from your grandpapa, he might try to kill him." and the kids looked up at me with a "What the heck is she talking about?" I've never once laid hands on anyone, nor have I ever been one to threaten or scream at people. Most of the time I stand there quietly while she screams at me, nod my head and just walk off, trying to hold it all in because I know anything I say will just be met with kindergardener like rebuttals such as "Oh whatever" or "Just shut up and stop talking to me" before she launches into a thirty minute rant about how everything that's wrong is my fault or that I'm just "So selfish"....again, even as I'm the only one physically taking care of her. I feel like I'm slowly losing it. She pulled me out of school at a young age, covered it with "Homeshcooling" but never took the time to actually teach me anything, I did my best trying to teach myself but when I failed something, I was just called "retarded" or "useless" or "Why don't you think, you piece of trash?" I'm sorry. I know this isn't a rant board but I don't know where else to turn. Is there anyone who has a parent like this? How do you deal with being verbally crushed every day? How do you deal with being called a thief or a liar whenever something goes wrong? How do you stay sane?

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Hugs x all I can say is I have heard some of the same. Even yesterday and today. You are in a difficult situation. You need an outlet. Even if it is just going out for a drive or hunting pretty rocks. Seriously anything to do for you...even if it is silly. Also dogs help. ;) I love mine cos they never act like my mom!!! They are unconditional with their love. You are not alone. Hang in there!!!
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I'm glad she's accepting the help!
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BarbBrooklyn - We had an aide coming in on Mondays and Fridays to clean and care for her. We told her we wanted to up it to at least 3 days a week and she refused. I had her social worker come out and evaluate her. The social worker said if she didn't agree to the extra day then they were going to recommend that she go to a nursing home instead. So she agreed. So that is set up 3 days a week and we've got a rotating schedule for hubby's siblings to do grocery shopping etc. Aide picks up her Meals on Wheels 3 days, church does it 1 day a week and his sister will do it one day.
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Rosenberg, is anyone caring for MIL now? I seem to recall last summer that she was need of a pretty high level of care due to bowel and dementia issues.
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It takes all kinds and it is unfortunate that you landed a parent who do not know how to 'give'. It is not you, it is her. Often, we are victims of victims of victims of... I too can never understand why parents are nasty with their kids and still claim to love them. It is something they haven't dealt with, and it comes from a place deep inside. As for the stealing, do not worry about that too much. Many elderly do that and it is a shock to the recipient, but quite common. If she still works and is fully lucid, then your mom is a very unhappy woman and alas, takes it out on you, the closest. She needs to go into therapy and get it out of her system, by the sound of it. Do not internalize it, it is a bigger issue. Look at her past.
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My MIL was always accusing my grandkids and DIL of moving her things. Stealing money out of her wallet. They ended up getting fed up and moved out in May. MIL called hubby last night. She's missing her wallet and her finger sticker (not sure what it's called but it's to get blood to test for sugar levels). She's SURE they came back and snuck in the house just to mess with her. They live 3 hours away and DIL is 8 months pregnant. Pretty sure she wouldn't have drove all that way just to sneak in and steal things. They know she never has more than $20 in her wallet and it would have cost that much just in gas for the 6 hour drive. smh
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PixelZed:
I'm going through a similar situation as you. I'm 53, mom 96!. Dad died 9 years ago. Ive lived at home my whole life because of health problems. Always lost jobs because I LOOK extremely healthy. From the age of 15, I constantly felt I had to RESCUE my mom from her unhappiness. I have an older brother and sister and they both moved out at 18!, I now know why!
So my mom is the healthiest person I've met in my life but made me believe she could die any day. I felt like I had to do everything to make her life better.
When dad died, I wanted her to relax and enjoy the time she had left. 5 years after dad died, mom broke her injured one leg and broke the other. I waited on her like a slave for six months, on top of being very sick myself AND barely able to walk. I cooked her gourmet meals twice a day and did EVERYthing! It took 4 years for her to walk normal again and I have still not received any credit of taking care of her. She acts like I did nothing but make a piece of toast and water for her . It's so hurtful. She never once has appreciated the fact that she can sleep at night because I'm always home, I make all the meals, buy all the ORGANIC groceries and cater to her left and right. I spent hours/days/and weeks/months teaching her how to use an iPhone and she never used a computer in her life! I'm her teacher, caregiver, doctor, nurse, taxi, secretary, physchologist, shopper, errand girl, and many more. I have a bad heart and I feel like I will die before her. If I could do it all over again, I would have saved every spare penny I had, and moved out, and I would have tried to make a life for myself. Now, when she does, I will have no life still. My brother and his bully girlfriend want to come to the house and stay for 4/6 months in the winter. Moms dividing the house up to all 3 of us. It's not fair. I be never had a life because she made me feel guilty about everything I didn't want to do that SHE wanted me to do. And she made me believe that if I say "no" to anything, their will be bad consequences. So I've been afraid to stand up for myself my whole life, for fear of something bad happening. I'm finally standing up for myself and at the same time praying to GOD that he shows me that bad things will not always happen. Sorry, didn't mean to make this post about me.
I've suffered from depression in and off but changed my diet to no sugar, only cook organic, mostly vegetables and some grass fed beef, and I take Great Lakes gelatin everyday ( it heals the intestinal tract) and it helps the depression go away in about 3 weeks. I think feeling better mentally will help you slowly figure out exactly what you need to do , to get out of the mess you are in! By the way.. you are an ANGEL thank walks the earth! Most parents children WOULD say " screw it" and walk away"! Hold your head really high and say " I'm somebody good and I deserve to. E treated nicely and with respect"! Think of it this way: how would you feel if a friend of yours was going through what you are going through? Would you want to tell him or her to be good to themselves and to stop letting people abuse them?
I hope some of what I typed helps you.. please keep us all updated.. there are a lot of out there that go through what you are going through and I'm sure a lot of us who were able to free ourselves from
the " Cage". God bless you!
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I had a herniated disc and eventually needed back surgery. I got about 3 hours of sleep at night - because of the pain. At the time my 94 year old mom with Alzheimer's and bladder cancer was living with me, I was caring for her and working fulltime. After the surgery I wasn't healing like I should. I was told it was because of all the stress in my life. Pain, stress and nerves are all linked together. Last August I moved my mom into memory care. I still have issues; but am much better and I do get to sleep at night. Sleep also has a lot to do with our body healing itself.  Sounds like you are neglecting yourself. 

Your situation sounds horrible, it's time to take care of yourself. Your herniated disc can get worse and then who will care for you. Please take the advice others have given you and get out to this toxic situation.
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I feel for you.

If your mom can drive and work, she does not need care.  Consider calling APS (anonymously) for your Dad.  If you can move out of the house, rent a room nearby, stay on a friend's couch - anything is better than living in a toxic environment.  Do you work?  Can you get a part-time job working from your new home?

My mom is much older and has, for the most part, been verbally abusive since forever. The siblings are not involved, and I help her with everything.  However, I live in my own home, an hour away, and assist two-three times per week.  She is doing well, and I wish she could have more help, but she is paranoid.  She is verbally abusive most of the time, and I give her options: We can get this bill paid now or we can let it go and pay penalties, or I can leave now/leave for an hour until you calm down.  If I come back next weekend, we will have blown a deadline b/c you would rather rant and insult me for no reason instead of handling household business. Works most of the time.

She has told me she wishes she never had me and other times how blessed she is that I help her. It's a hard pill to swallow.  When anything is missing, she says that I stole it b/c I am the only person who comes into her home.  90% of the time, she has hidden an item or misplaced it, and when I find it, no apology.  When I call her out on that she just says that she had to blame someone, and that she is not going to call the police now.  I think she hides some things so well, that we cannot find them, and I have spent hours looking for some things - I will not do that anymore.  What a waste of time.  

She brings up things from decades ago that she thought that I did wrong, and I just ignore it.  I was a good kid, and had to take on responsibilities from an early age as the youngest, with the older siblings flying the coop ASAP.  My job now is to make sure she is safe, clean, bills paid, has food, home maintenance, clothes are clean, hair washed, taking meds, etc.   

The most important thing for you to consider is moving elsewhere, finding assistance for your Dad, and getting on with your life.  If your mom calls and abuses you by phone, you can simply hang up - works like a charm.  In the near future, have a set time to stop by or to monitor help, and that's it, take care of yourself.  Good luck and let us know how things go.  Believe me, you are not alone.
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I'll go back and read the comments, but let me tell you this first. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are so many people who have been where you are. Do not subject yourself to the verbal abuse any longer. It is not good for your health, and you MUST care for yourself first. LEAVE. Do it please. You are under no obligation to put up with that. NONE. If this is who your mother is, as she gets older, and, what appears to be the onset of dementia, progresses she will only get worse. Leave. If you want her checked on, call APS and have them check on her regularly, but you need to get out. Trust me you will grieve for a little while at your loss, and then the relief will set in and you will feel 100% better.
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