Why does my mother turn everything into an argument?

Follow
Share

She wants to get croissants, so I assumed she wanted to sit for a few minutes in Starbucks. Then she throws it at my face that I told her I was tired of not getting home before 4:00 on other days because we were out having lunch, doing errands, etc. I said that Starbuck's was just a quick stop. She kept going on and on about it, making sure to make me feel bad about what I had said. Every time I try to do something nice, it turns into a rant about something, like she won't drop it, but wants to dig in harder. I finally just end up leaving, so a nice get together tuns into an angry get together.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
12

Answers

Show:
Going through the arguement phase X 10! About everything, unless I do something she likes, get her something she wants, do her bidding, how dare I show any concern for her safety, her horribly poor diet, which results in constipation, her clogging up the toilet, she makes excuses for EVERYTHING!!!!!!! The merry go round again, keeps repeating the same excuses or denials over and over. I would love to just let her be and ignore her but when her poor decisions have wound her up in the ER, when her poor diet makes her constipated, I try to discuss eating a more nutritious diet, instead, she starts taking stool softeners everyday to remedy the problem, plugs up the toilet, then it is just a matter of time before it really does become my problem! I try to stay quiet, I try to stay calm, but it is the same thing, the same arguements, the same denials, the same sulking face when I get frustrated with the guilt ridden comments, the same childish replies. I swear somedays I want to grab a pillow and scream into it as loud as I can! Dementia is a nightmare, if I ever get it, I will find a way to end my life before I put anyone I love and care about through this nightmare. It's not fair to anyone and just causes pain and enormous amounts of frustration and resentment. That is not the memories I wish people to remember me by. Thank God I chose not to have children, that won't ever be an issue. I feel like I am going into the burnout stage, and her dementia has just kicked up another notch. Nobody to help, no money for respite, just pray for patience everyday for a stubborn, queen of denial, spoiled Mom who always knows how to passive aggressively get her way or I never hear the end of whatever the latest thing she has decided to fixate on. On to the next arguement, then me feeling bad, wondering when to just walk away and let her just do her thing. I think a big part is she does not like her "daughter" telling her what is and is not safe under current physical handicaps, telling her how to fix her constipation by eating more healthy foods, or whatever. She goes right into rebellion. What do I know, I am just the daughter and she was the RN who worked with the elderly all her life.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

So sorry to hear this! I can share my experiences and see if this somehow relates to you. Others might also find it helpful.

It's called ANGER ADDICTION, now exacerbated by aging, medical conditions, and a controlling personality. It just gets worse and worse as these things contribute to the addiction. She's always had a bit of an angry, disagreeable personality, because she always had to be "right!" That's classic sign of a controlling personality. Scenarios are invented to control an outcome so she can be right, to push buttons, be disagreeable, create anger, to feed her constant addiction. The best thing you can do for yourself is learn to understand this disorder, how to deal with it. (Anger addiction, controlling personality, manipulation) That's exactly what I did and it's helped me tremendously with my now 96 year old grandmother who has given me plenty of grief throughout my life! I only found a particular book a couple of years ago when I began to learn more about myself, and then several others through self-help, was struggling to make a new life and was not going to let anyone emotionally abuse me again. It's called "Controlling People" by Patricia Evans. She has a series of books I found insightful. Best of luck to you. You must always take care of yourself first!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Something I've thought about with my mother is that she does it to push me away. She was always a hermit and doesn't like many people. The contrariness usually sets in about 5 minutes after I'm in a room. It makes me want to argue out of self defense, but I just get up and leave after a few minutes. Maybe that is what she is actually trying to accomplish -- getting rid of me. It often seems that way.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

brdlvr1, try to picture your Mom with her ears layed back when she is in a argument mode.... kinda like an animal does while growling. It might lighten the situation for you.

Or give her a Snicker's bar.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

... and a protective helmet so you can bump your head on the wall without hurting yourself. :)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

JessieBelle, Thanks for the reply. I do believe it is partially due to her oppositional defiant personality, which my son has also. I just realized it in the past few years that it is part of who she is. It's certainly aggravated by her age and not feeling herself. I do realize if I meet up with her in the morning, it's much better because she's rested. A friend of mine told me that seniors can get Sundowner's Syndrome in the late afternoon with fatigue and the darkness beginning. I know I have to bite my tongue sometimes, which is really hard to do, especially if she keeps arguing over nonsense things. For example, I had to contact someone for her, so yesterday she gave me the lady's address and phone no., but said she didn't have the Email address. Today she insisted that she had the Email and had given it to me, so I just had to go along with it. Yes, caregiving takes a lot of patience and not always saying what's on your mind.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

brdlvr, I have a feeling it isn't you. My mother is very argumentative. She has been as long as I can remember. Talking with her is like a Point-Counterpoint show. If I say I like something, she says she doesn't. This is about everything. If I say I don't care about something, she says that I should care. There is no winning and nothing to be won, anyway. She is just contrary. She has dementia, but I can't blame it on the dementia. It does get on the nerves when it feels like conversation is only an argument. If I say I don't want to argue, she'll say that she wasn't arguing, she was just trying to explain something to me. ARG! In Caregiver Heaven there will be no arguing I hope.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Yes, I agree that I believe that it's a combination of cognitive decline, difficulty in doing most things, pain, and probably some depression. I try to do things for her and make it fun, but like I said in the post, it seems that I can do no right on certain days. She even apologized one day for being so hard on me. She was arguing with me basically the minute I came in. She does have a history of being defiant, but I think it's just getting worse. Sometimes I feel like it's just for the sake of arguing and keeping me there longer, What she doesn't seem to realize is that when she does this, it makes me want to leave sooner. I know I have to be patient, caring, and understanding, but I'm not perfect either.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Is this argumentative behavior new for your mother, or just her usual behavior ratcheted up a notch? If she's always been like this, there really is no point in asking why, is there? But if it is new a little investigation might be in order. Is she suffering more pain lately? Does she seem depressed? Do you think that her cognitive skills have declined any recently? Might she have a UTI or other illness?

Have you tried asking her why she is doing this? "Mom, it seems like lately we get into arguments no matter what. Can you think of why that is?"

Why she is doing this might help determine how to react to it. For example, if she has an illness or pain that might deserve a different response than if she has always been crabby.

Can you take the wind out of her sails by agreeing with her? "You are right, Mom. I did complain about not getting home early enough. But today I'm willing to relax a little over a croissant. Is that OK, or would you rather take them home?"

You certainly don't have to put up with her crabbiness. But if the cause is something like depression (which often manifests as anger) or mental decline or pain you might also want to try to help her while you are protecting yourself.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

When every trip becomes a battle, you STOP taking her anywhere. You were absolutely correct to excuse yourself and leave. My SIL got to the facility to pick up mom, who met her at the door with "Where the F--k have you been?". She turned around and immediately left. You have to do that to survive.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.