Unless they have full blown dementia or Alzheimer's or something else that takes their mental stability away, why do they (parents) feel it's acceptable behavior to be so cruel? It seems like there are so many on here that have parent(s) like that, just like me and I don't understand. You KNOW that they KNOW better and it's almost like they use aging as an excuse to inappropriate and foul and critical and mean. I get that most of it is having an unfulfilled life, regrets etc but abusing the limited people around them should be the LAST thing they would do. I just don't it something in the water that only parents over a specified age can catch or something?

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Welcome to the party! My mom was always this way, so I have spent 42 years learning to cope/hide/live far away..... I feel for people whose elders are just becoming this way. It will break your heart. I suggest making a journal so you can look back in 6 months or year and see if it's getting worse. Cognitive changes can sneak up on all of us if we aren't paying attention. Sometimes meds make them ornery. Sometimes it's UTIs, constipation, or sometimes it is neurological. Lack of sleep, lack of activity, lack of hobbies, general frustration... Since I moved my mom to be in my state nearby, sometimes I have to excuse myself and not be around her. I love ya, but I'm gonna do it from over here at my house.
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They are frustrated by failing memory, failing vision, spotty hearing and unreliable bladders. They become five years old again, dependent on others, no social filters, they just blurt things out. We can't fix our parents, but we can get the doctor to give them anti-anxiety meds. We can get them visiting nurses. We can arrange for lawn maintenance, snow plow, housekeeping. We can bite our tongues, go outside and bang our head on the side of the house. We can sit by them as they tell the MD or RN "I'm just fine" (my eyes flew open and I shook my head NO) hoping the MD knows they are not. By the way, you may not recall it, but at 15 you were probably just as foul and critical and mean. I keep telling myself it is payback time. God bless and hang in there.
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I don't know. I wish I did, I feel the exact same way. My mother makes me feel awful, and I don't get it. She is the queen of guilt trips, and never has anything nice to say.... and I'm the only family member who is sticking around because of it! I hope we can work through it and come out better on the other side, but I fear this is the way it will be until her end. We'll see...
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