Why does my mother need me and resent me at the same time? - AgingCare.com

Why does my mother need me and resent me at the same time?


I was asked to move back home to help with mom by my two brothers. I lived in Costa Rica and had a full time business there. I did agree, and moved back 4 and 1/2 years ago. Mom was extremely ill and looked like she wouldn't last much longer, but after a pacemaker and other medical issues were addressed, she's fine now. She does have CHF, but is doing well. We had her tested 1 year ago for Dementia problems and after a 2+ hour neurological exam her scores were mostly in the 'very severe' range (like no cooking, etc). She's a very smart, but also a very narcissistic person who has extreme emotional response, especially towards me, her only daughter. The sons do come first. So, as said, I've been taking care of her 24/7 and it hasn't been easy. I do work part-time as the director/teacher at a church preschool and love my job. She's becoming more and more hateful towards me, and that reminds me of how she treated me as a child . . . the boys came first, for sure. So, here I am caring for her. She had a doctors appointment last Friday that she knew about and anticipated. She loves her primary care doctor. She bathed, dressed, coat, gloves, etc. We got onto the porch (I live in a very old renovated farm house) and when she got near the steps she started saying "get your hands off of me" (I was trying to help her navigate the steps) and "you're going to push me down the steps". We did not get to the doctor that day. I don't understand why, when I have been her sole caretaker for over 4 years, she fears me. I am heart broken over this and would really like some input into this from you. I have been loving for the most part with her, and yes, there have been times when I haven't been so wonderful...but I've been here and helped her for so long. Tonight she told me that she didn't want me to be near her when she got into bed. Usually I tuck her in and hug and kiss her goodnight. Tonight she told me not to because she thought I was going to hit her. What in the world? What in the world do I do? I want to leave here. I want to go back to my life in Costa Rica. But I also want to be a helpmate to my mother. I'm so upset and confused. Janet

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You say that she tested for Severe dementia. I'd read a lot about dementia and the way it manifests itself. People with this condition often act hostile, rude, disagreeable, resistant, etc. They may have delusions that people are harming them or stealing from them....even toward people whom they love and care for. It's a horrible condition, but it's due to damage to the brain. Sometimes these symptoms will decline over time. It depends on their progress.

Of course, I would discuss it with her doctor and get them to check her out for a UTI, medicaiton issues, or something else. But, if it's the dementia, I'd try to adjust my expectations of her behavior. It's not common for dementia patients to show appreciation, act thankful or be eager to receive your help. They are often resistant and it's a struggle to care for them in the home. Only you know what you can handle. If you really need or want to return to your home in Costa Rica, I'd explore what level of care that she currently needs and make arrangements for her to be placed, unless, some other family member wants to take her in.
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Take a look at the book "I hate you, don't leave me." I do not recall the author right now, but you could likely Google it. It explains a lot and could help. You are trying to do the right things. Her reaction is difficult to deal with. Best wishes to you!
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What you described sounds like dementia behavior. People with dementia frequently accuse those closest to them of trying to kill them or trying to steal from them.

Her behavior won't get better--only worse. Have you considered placing your mom in a memory care facility?

I'm sorry you're going through this. Taking care of someone with dementia is so difficult and heartbreaking.
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