Caregiving can be lonely. I have been living with my mother for 3.5 years. It is just her and me, since friends and family rarely visit. One would think that we could keep each other company. I do try. One major problem I have is that after we've been talking about five minutes, my mother starts disputing what I say. It happens regular as clockwork. She is itching all the time to start an argument for some reason. They are silly type conversations. I say the sky is blue, she says it's not. I say I did something in the yard, she says I never did. When it starts, I just have to get up and get out. If I don't she'll ultimately get angry and start bullying.

Sometimes I feel she has a deep-seated anger in her that she turns on me. I've noticed she also takes pokes at my SIL, which may be the reason that she doesn't come around more. Of course, then Mom criticizes the wicked SIL for not coming around more.

On the surface, my mother seems so sweet. I don't understand the need to contradict, because the contradiction would only be true if I were lying. So his contradictions are really saying, "You're lying." I do not like those conversations.

I asked her once if her parents had ever accused her of disputing every word they said. She said no. I have a feeling that is not true, because she sure does it to me and has for as far back as I remember.

One thing about caregiving is that it gives us insight into the people we have become. I've always felt uncomfortable talking to someone for more than a few minutes. Maybe I am afraid that they will start arguing with me if we talk longer. Still... I sure wish I had someone that I could speak heart to heart with.

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Thanks, Perserverance. I spend a lot of time walking away. It would be so much better if we could spend time together, talking about things. I know that it just isn't going to happen. Sad.
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It is not easy to care for an elderly parent for many reasons, and especially when they get nasty.

What I learned to do when Mom was argumentative (and she was prior to her long cancer illness and into dementia), is one or more of the following:
1) ignore her
2) change the subject, and/or
3) walk away

Prior to learning to apply those tips I was always reacting and felt emotionally thrashed. It was painful.

When I administered appropriate responses, I felt empowered and she (or her demons at that time) could not hurt me.

Does that make sense?

Bless you.
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