Even before she became ill (Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia), my mother was pretty passive-aggressive. She doesn't like confrontation, refuses to talk about anything of substance, especially regarding her health, and every time I open my mouth she accuses me of trying to start an argument. She cuts me off and doesn't allow me to finish a sentence. Ever.
Not a good situation, as I am her full time caregiver. She is very sarcastic and constantly makes cutting remarks. She seems to derive great enjoyment from mocking me, when I am only trying to help her stay healthy and safe.
My mom's mental health has never been all that great, and yet she has always refused evaluation or counseling. Even her (so-called) sense of humor is wry and sarcastic. She says the opposite of what she means, and assumes people know she's only kidding.
Here's the problem. Now that the dementia seems to be advancing, I can't tell if I'm dealing with her dementia, her depression, or just her usual hostility toward me. Here's an example:
She's currently in a rehab facility where she's supposed to be working to build back her strength and regain the ability to walk. She's supposed to ring for a CNA whenever she needs to use the restroom (which is about every half-hour, 24/7), and she was doing that until about 4 days ago. Now she tries to stand up by herself and, I assume, get to the bathroom on her own. I've tried talking to her about this. Once, as she was starting to get up, I said, "Mom, where are you going?"
"Where do you think I'm going?"
"Mom, if you need to go to the restroom, what should you do?"
"Raise my hand?"
That threw me. I had no idea if she was being sarcastic, or if this was a legitimate answer. I tried not to look shocked and continued,
"Well, yes, you could raise your hand to go to the restroom if you were in school. But this isn't a school. Do you know where you are?"
"No, I have no idea where I am."
So I reminded her she was in a rehab facility and was not allowed to toilet without assistance and that she should ring the call bell.
She just glared at me.
I have no idea if this is dementia or just the usual disdain. It's very hard for me to deal with this, and I find myself not wanting to be around her at all. Yesterday, for the first time, I didn't go to visit her. And today, I was only there for a short time before she started in again, and I left.