My mom’s bitterness turned into something physical for the first time. What can I do? - AgingCare.com

My mom’s bitterness turned into something physical for the first time. What can I do?

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As I’ve shared before on AgingCare my mom has always been very difficult, to say the least. Reason why I, only child and only person that she can count on, am here taking care of her to the best of my abilities. Since last night she has been very upset, mad, and would not tell me why. I think it has to do with her thinking I don’t do or handle the house chores as she would do it. But I’m doing the best I can, honestly. My main focus is her wellbeing, that she is eating healthy and on time, helping her, being there if she needs something. Today she was furious (well, since last night); since early in the morning. Everything she said was nasty and everything I said was taken the wrong way. As background, my mom is refusing medical help, we are overseas, no nursing homes here unless you have the means to get private at home care. So I’m it. Today I went to mass, actually I never leave the house because everyday there is something wrong with her that makes me not have the heart to leave her alone. But today I felt I needed to, so went to mass and grabbed a coffee afterwards. Took me an hour and a half probably, I think that made her even more mad. Came back, she was sleeping or pretending to. A while later she got out of her bedroom and headed to the kitchen, I asked if she needed anything, she told me -visibly mad- that she wanted the leftovers from last night...but last night she told me she wasn’t even going to tell me to keep the leftovers because she knew I wouldn’t do it (?) and that she didn’t want them anyway...so I gave the leftovers to the dogs last night. So today once I told her I disposed of the leftovers because I thought she didn’t want them, she grabbed a plate with food from the refrigerator and threw it on the floor,plate broke, food everywhere, and I was/am paralyzed with concern...because being as alone as I am on this journey, if this is a symptom of a worsening undiagnosed mental condition or physical condition, I don’t know what I am going to do. Even if it’s just that she feels so miserable that I’m not really helping her..what am I doing then? What can I do? I have to go back to the US in June (I moved overseas to her house to care for her) because my house rental agreement (I’m renting my house out) is over and need to go receive my property, fix it up and find new tenants, all in four weeks, I hope. Still no one that can stay with her while I’m gone..she doesn’t tolerate anybody. I’m so concerned. I love my mom, with all me heart! It’s truly only God and I on this, and He is the reason why I’ve been able to do all I’m doing, and to keep going, but I’m so scared not to know what to do, and to fall short, I’m AM falling short!..not do or be what she needs at this stage in her life. My heart feels so heavy with..sadness, disappointment, concern..loneliness.

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Is Mom under any doctor’s care at all? When these “moods” turn violent, it can signal a urinary tract infection. My own mother wound up tied to the bed in the hospital because she kept attacking the nurses and even me. From what I’ve read and heard, countries foreign to the USA treat their elderly a whole heck of a lot better than we do. Have you made any effort at all to find any resources or help? Mom seriously sounds like she’s out of control and consumed with anger, spewing vitriol and accusations at you. What do you plan to do when you come back to the US? Will she stay alone? If she continues on this downward spiral with no medical intervention that might not be such a good idea. If she does have a doctor, tell them you absolutely need help, now. With so much anger inside her, next time she may not throw a plate, she may grab a knife.
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If your mom has dementia, you can't count on her past behavior as a guide to her future actions. And don't discount the power of a UTI. A urinary tract infection in the elderly does not present the same symptoms as it does in a younger person and can absolutely cause altered thinking and unusual behavior.

You sound like you could use some help. Maybe the church has someone you can speak to? Possibly your mother's doctor's office has someone who can guide you to local resources. What your mom will or won't accept is really not part of the equation right now. You are leaving. She is a vulnerable adult. What does the community do with vulnerable adults? Find out.
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You keep saying you “don’t think”, but in reality you aren’t a doctor and you don’t have lab facilities to do blood or urine tests. In your first post, you presented to us a woman who is seemingly out of control for no apparent reason. Will you have someone qualified, meaning someone in health care, stay with her while you are gone or just someone from your neighborhood who might need the extra income? Will this person be able to be counted on if Mom “loses it” with them or will they walk out leaving Mom alone? Four weeks can be forever if one is dealing with an unpredictable situation.

Were I you, I would have Mom thoroughly checked by a doctor before I left. That way, you can leave with peace of mind that you did all you could.
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Neither Marcia nor I in any way intended for you to read we are calling you irresponsible. I think both of us understand that you are between a rock and a hard place here. Not knowing you or your mother, it is impossible for us to even try to determine if there might be a magic word or phrase that would make your mother “see the light” and realize she needs to see the doctor by June. There obviously would have to be someone very creative and devisive to convince this lady she’s not being fair to her daughter or to herself. Some people just don’t trust doctors. So what can you do? Interview more than one person for the caregiver position. Tag-team more or less. Sounds like your mother might pass her time telling one caregiver the other is better or complaining to one about the other, and so on and the 4 weeks will pass without incident, hopefully. In any case, there is nothing you can do. You can’t hogtie Mom and transport her to the doctor, and even if one does make housecalls, she probably wouldn’t let them touch her. The only thing that would happen then is that you would have a witness to Mom’s temper tantrums and it might make it easier for you to get help.
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Rosses003- I just re read your post and your mom doesn't have dementia, apparently. (I'm a little new to the boards.) When we hired an Aging Care Specialist, one of the reasons we chose the one we chose is because she said "I believe people should make their own decisions if they are able to do so-even if they are decisions with which I disagree." I know it's torture for people to stand by while their loved ones make decisions that seem irrational. Have you considered the idea that the results of her bad decisions are not your fault and not your responsibility? It might actually be counterproductive for you to get in between your mom and the consequences of her decisions.

The hard part is evaluating her competency. You can't expect someone with a compromised brain to make decisions. But it sounds as though your mom suffers from cancer not dementia. You are turning your life upside down to stand by your mom and it doesn't seem to be what she wants.

In my family culture, care of the elderly was just assigned to the eldest girl and the eldest boy handled the finances. No one ever said this out loud, but this is how it was modeled and expected. I have friends from the same ethnic background who have seriously compromised their own financial futures caring for parents. My very good friend said "This is what I want to do. I'm doing it for me...not for them. " and I respect that. But her brothers absolutely took her sacrifice for granted and her father absolutely expected it and I didn't see a lot of reflection about whether or not it was the fair solution. It was just the way things were. So maybe give some thought to how things were modeled for you and then re examine those values and make sure they are still the ones you want to live by. Because you are affecting your own life and your own financial future. Make sure it's what you want to do...not a default position.

I hope this doesn't come across as unkind. I am completely empathetic to your situation and you really sound like someone who is trying to do the right thing. But do the right thing for yourself and for your mom as far as you are able. Best of luck!
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Rosses, does your Mom know that you are going? Is it possible who new agitation is that she knows you are leaving and may be fearful, you will not return. Sometimes, people as I have seen in my family, treat each other poorly when they are going to leave each other for a while. Sounds crazy but I have seen it.Only because they just don't want to be sad.
Just throwing it out there. I am so sorry the weight of your load has increased. If I were in VA I would offer to handle your properties as we manage properties here. I will be praying for you, and hang in there. I know that God gives YOU an amazing strength and it will all work out Rosses. You are not alone.
Don't lose hope and don't lose faith. I wish I could give you wonderful words like yo always have for others.
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jeannegibbs May 1, 2018
I think you are talking about the family reunion syndrome, smeshque. People get together for a long weekend. Everything goes well. They are thrilled to see people they seldom get to see. Everyone is having a wonderful time. But on the final day an argument breaks out over something silly. People take sides. Many wind up mad. It is easier to leave people you are mad at than people you are having a great time with.
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Can you afford to find someone in the US to do what is essential before finding new renters. most realtors know someone who can take on that kind of work. There are also companys that take on the task of finding and vetting new tenants and generally managing the property.
That way maybe you would not need to return to the US at all. Do you mind sharing your location? If you don't want to that is fine but there maybe other members who are from a similar location and could help you with services if there are any.
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Thank you Marcia, I completely understand what you mean. However in my situation I am the only person that can and will take care of my mom, plus, I could not live with myself if I did not.

This is my choice. Yet, that doesn’t make it easier. Choosing to do “the right thing” means usually accepting the hardest path. And I know I’m greatly affecting my own life.

Someone reminded me that we should learn to live through the difficult stages of life, find a way because there is always a way, stop trying to change the unchangeable as that is like trying to walk through a wall of cement, it won’t happen, we will only hurt ourselves trying. So, we need to accept and learn to live what we have ahead. Sounds simple, but so very hard in practice.

I just hope my mom’s mental health and general health doesn’t get worse. Or that at least I’ve the opportunity to handle one problem at a time. And I truly pray to find the wisdom to do what is best for her, as that will mean doing the best for my peace of heart in the long run.
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Marcia7321 May 1, 2018
Choosing the right thing usually is the hardest thing. I agree completely. And, in a review of my life(so far), the hard things I chose to do because I felt they were the right things to do are the jewels in my life story- so far! I hope you find a good solution for your VA property and I hope your mom finds some peace.
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Yes Jeanne you nailed it. Thank you,
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Want to share what my mom said today. She told me she was sorry about her behavior the other day; admitted she woke up with a desire to just scream! but of course she didn’t. So she finally had the explosion she had.
She said she understands she was wrong to do what she did, and that I’ve nothing to be blamed for. That she is sorry and she doesn’t want me to believe she is crazy, that she was just completely overwhelmed. Her voice was breaking as she said this.

I told her she never needs to apologize to me, that I understand, completely understand how she feels. That my main concern wasn’t at all what I felt, but that I knew she had to be at her limit to have lost it like that. That it hurts me to no end that she is hurting so much. That I love her. The rest doesn’t matter.

Now, do I feel better after what she said? Not really, not at all.
See, I don’t need validation, I don’t need apologies, specially not from my mother. What I really need, she cannot give me because at this point it is out of her control, and that is, peace of mind.

It really makes me very sad to see her so diminished and so over her limit. It also doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again...especially when I’m gone. Or maybe when I’m gone she’ll do better because she won’t have me to complain to, almost as her punching bag (I admit that’s how it feels to be the recipient of her anger sometimes).

Im sharing this so we all remember that out elderly loved ones are trapped within themselves and are many times the victims of their own doing, their on thinking, their own choices.

Nothing my mom said is new to me. The problem is she doesn’t understand for example that remaining inside her house with no other distraction other than her own thoughts is the worst way to deal with life, specially at this,point; that chosing isolation over socialization has consequences (I’m guilty of this too). She doesn’t understand that she has had a problem with anger all her life, and now that problem is a deadly weapon that points at herself, because it became the root of her bitterness. She doesn’t understand that someone that is consistently unhappy becomes permanently bitter.

How much unawareness we can live with and carry all throughout our life, which at the end becomes our own trap! How ironic is life.

It’s is good reminder I think -at least it is for me- that we need to be careful and mindful of our choices as to how to live our life, so when we get to our golden years the weight we carry, aside from illness and weakness, isn’t made unnecessarily heavier because of our self imposed limitations and adopted sorrows.

On the bright side, today I talked to a lady that someone recommended, and she said she would come on Monday. If this works out, by the time I need to travel I hope she is fully trained and my mom is used to her. Crossing fingers she does come, and that she is good and the solution I was hoping for!
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