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I feel all alone on this situation. Part of me is amazed at how well and patient my hubby is at times with his mother but I always get blamed no matter what and then he screams in my face. He says she is like a 2 year old that is not capable of learning and that I should not take it personal when she tells me I have never will never be a part of this family yet expects me to kiss her a.... wait on her hand and foot. I tell my husband that the emotional is worse than if he just hauled off and punched me in the face. Those wounds run deeper and never seem to heal. What can I do to just not let it get to me? If I ignore her she gets mad if I mimic her faces or tone I get screamed at. if I say the same exact evil words that spew out of her mouth right back to her just so she see's first hand how much it hurts I get screamed at. When is it time to just admit defeat?

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Your MIL has dementia. In many ways she is like a 2 year old that is not capable of learning and that you should not take it personal when she tells you that you will never be a part of this family.

That is the truth. Your husband certainly didn't convey that in a loving, helpful way. But it is still true.

You mocked her? Mimic her tone and words? OMG. If someone had done that to my husband with dementia I might have screamed in their face, too. If it was a paid caregiver they would have been out the door before their shift was over. How DARE you treat a person with brain damage in that vile manner. Yes, she is vile to you. She has dementia. What is your excuse?

OK. That is a bit harsh. You probably did not volunteer to care for a person with dementia, and you certainly have had no training in doing so. I took the dementia journey with my husband for 10 years, and my mother is living that journey now. The thought of someone treating either of them the way you describe treating your MIL makes me a little irrational.

You are doing this all wrong, but then, you never asked to do it at all, did you? If you want to improve your situation PLEASE learn about dementia and how to deal with people who have it. Babalou's suggestion of watching Teepa Snow's videos is an excellent starting place.

Not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. No shame in that. Perhaps having MIL attend a day program (again, as wise Babalou sugests) would alleviate some of the stress. And perhaps the ultimate solution is for her to be in a facility with three shifts of rested and trained carers to serve her.

Caregivers should protect themselves from abuse. Usually the best way is to quietly leave the room temporarily. "Milly, you seem to be a little upset right now. I'll come back later and maybe we can have a calm visit then." Leave, and do come back a little later, maybe with a pot of tea to share.

Your husband isn't going to win any prizes for winning friends and influencing people. He should not treat you that way. You should not treat his mother that way. This must be a VERY high-stress household. Please learn more about dementia.
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kathy, you are going through a lot with someone who is not even your mother. Bless you, girl. Something that should help is to decide what you will and won't do, and what you will and won't tolerate. It is okay to excuse yourself and walk away when she is abusive. I love what Jinx wrote about getting together some good comebacks that are humorous. It might stop her hurtful words.

My main defense when my mother gets abusive is to make myself scarce. There are many things I need to do and listen to her be bad to me is not one of them. Just walk away when the talk gets bad. You can do the tasks that you have to do, but you don't have to put up with bad stuff.

There are many threads on the group where people talk about dysfunction in the family or "whine" about the things going on in their lives. You may find some comfort knowing that you are not alone. There are many of us living through mind-bending days. There are many of us who have less than nice people around us. Be sure to read and get some ideas. There are so many good ways to cope and so many people here that can make you feel better about things. Big hugs as you're going through this.
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Kathy, people with dementia CAN'T LEARN. Their brains are broken. It sounds like your mil may have some form of mental illness in addition to the dementia. It's a bad combination. It's probably best for someone with that profile to be care for by three shifts of professionals.

Imitating her expressions and mimicking her words is not going to teach her anything. The only thing that's going to do is erode your own caring soul. So don't do it.

Watch Teepa Snow's excellent videos on caring for dementia patients. Look into adult day care. Start researching care facilities.
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This is a situation where you need to act, not react. Try to see a frightened, fearful woman slowly losing her mind. She strikes at you with viscous words to try and regain some control of her life. Can you respond with love and empathy? The more you respond with love; the more your husband will love you, and the more happy you will be in life. You can do this. Try and take your anger and frustration out of the equation. Bring that anger and frustration to us. We won't judge. We have all been there. Good luck
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God bless you. It sounds like you are alone. I assume that if you could, you would walk out on the two of them.

The good news is that you can change your situation. The bad news is that you will have to change yourself and jump through mental hoops. But you can make your life easier and more satisfying.

You can't take her remarks personally, but you need to do something to protect yourself from the abuse. She can't and won't change, but if you give her different things to react to, she will respond differently. When she says rude things, start talking about your own mother, or tell her a story, or make a joke. Groucho Marx said that he would never want to join a club that would accept him as a member. Say something like that about being part of the family. Tell her that if you aren't a family caregiver, you expect a raise.

Can you turn her into an object of your pity? Respond to her remarks with comments like "It sounds like you are having a bad day. Can I do anything to cheer you up?" There is no excuse for your husband's verbal abuse, but if you can express sympathy for him, maybe the two of you can be "on the same side." You probably should try to find someone other than him to complain to. We are always here, and we are all ears.

You are in an awful situation. Can you leave, at least for a weekend visit to family or a friend? That would help a lot. God bless you.
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You don't need to admit defeat - the battle isn't yours to fight, lose, or win. Just admit that it's not worth trying to please her and ignore her as much as you can. When she becomes belligerent, leave the room.

Next time someone blames you, announce that from now on you won't participate in whatever was done that laid the groundwork for the accusation.

There is no reason to tolerate her verbal abuse, nor that from your husband. You need to stand your ground and stand up to both of them. And don't engage her - it only creates more opportunity for her to be hostile.

Or you could just be as frank as she is and tell her that her behavior is unacceptable and you're not going to listen to her any more or help her. Then don't. If he screams at you, remind him that she's his mother, not yours, and let him deal with her.

If you tolerate the abuse, it will only continue. You're the only one who can stop it.
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