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On the other hand, those with a borderline personality disorder are great at creating masks to lure you or hoover you in.They tend to only abuse those directly close to them in the old "I hate you, don't leave me" dynamic. There are different levels of it and some are rather high functioning, but all of them can verbally abuse, get into white/black thinking/, split people and reverse people in categories of all bad or all good, and get triggered into an irrational rage like a flash of light and then return into a sulky sweetness without remembering the rage at all. It appears that personality disorders are more a problem of the mind than just physically a problem of the physical brain although some meds do help with some of their issues which they seldom want to face or deal with in the hard work of therapy both private and group like DBT, dialectical behavioral therapy.
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One more thing. An abusive person has an unhealthy value system. If parents are only abusive with a caregiver but act sweet as pie with their friends, neighbors, and other family members, then that person is not mentally ill but rather just an abuser. A mentally ill person has an unhealthy brain. Mentally ill people do not know how to put on a fake mask to save face and will abuse people without discriminating. If you are the only one being abused then your relationship with that person is unhealthy.
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No where in Fan's post does it suggest her parents are demented. According to the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study dementia prevalence increases with age from 5.0% of those aged 71–79 years to 37.4% of those aged 90 and older. There are other reasons besides dementia that old people are abusive. Old people are not angelic little bundles of joy. Those are called babies. Elderly parents abuse their children because their children let them. I agree with JessieBelle that we caregivers hold the walkaway card. If you don't like being abused then walkaway, cool off, come back, and try again. Keep doing that and the abuse will either stop in which case you've taught your parent that you have healthy boundaries, or it won't in which case you need to ask yourself what is really going on and what you can do about it. Sometimes we can't do anything for a parent besides get them professional help. I wish you lots of luck!
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You are bringing up some of the key issues in dealing with abuse from our elder parents. They hold some cards that can trump almost anything we do. First, they have the Age card, which brings with it sympathy from us and the outside world. Second, they have the Parent card, which allows them to always see us as willful children who need to be told what to do. It also gives a feeling that we should respect them and do what they want us to do. Third, they hold the Sick card. How could we not do what a sick person wants us to do? Last, they hold the Not-their-fault card due to dementia or other ailment.

We hold one very important card, though -- the walkaway card. We don't have to stay and listen to it. I wish we didn't have to go through it, but it comes with dealing with an elderly parent who is so full of rage. I wish they would find a magic pill that would take away all the anger that is hurled at the caregiver. We are often the only ones there (another card for them?) and we don't deserve to be mistreated. We are super special people.
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I'm currently seeing a counselor at Chrysalis. I feel more should be done to end this abuse. I'm getting tired and depress how she treat me.
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My Mom emotionally, mentally, and verbal abuse me. She is sick and dying so I don't want her to go to jail. But she tell me what I should and shouldn't wear, going in cycle about the same things. Also she used to call me name now she doesn't. I was wondering if there is a law that fall under this abuse and what can I do?
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PARENTS ABLUSE ON THERE OLDER CHILDREN,
I am standing up for my self this week . I have helped my family over 16.000 buying a place for my father to stay next door , when I stood up for my self he was going for a gun I think. They were spose to stay here and help pay for half of the bills . They have left me with a 420.00 light bill and a 400.00 water bill , When I asked my brother for gas money he say I am broke after spending all that weekend. I was abused as a child. Praying that my dad would change after what is left of his life. His heart is is not well heart fraction rate of percent . and his lungs keep fillng up with fluid . my heart hurts threw everything I have been threw I been homeless as a teenager , I could not take the abuse any more . I did get out on my own , had no car at graduation ,parents took ever money I made when age I started able to work as a teen so never able to save for a car . I did buy a car for 400 00 cash , at the time . I also was age of 19 looked for love in all the wrong places wanted to be accepted . I became a mom at age of 20s. Once again the man I thought I was I n love with didn't really care for me abused me hit me while I was pregnate with my oldest daughter . I think I would of been better for my parents to give me up for another family to love me , Maybe I would have such a tough road as a kid and teenager . Reason I say this why is cause I got a scholarship for to go to college and was not able to go . I had to get out of a bad home life . a lot of times is there a god and Jesus that is really here , I asked a pastor other day came on way home crying my eyes out never really got a straight answer . only thing he told me that they sinned , why would god
allow us to be hurt like this ? I was born in this world didn't asked to be not like this , to be emotional abuse as a grown up by my dad and as a kid , if there is any pastor or someone that can answer this question ?
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Beatndone - how about calling the cops - assault is assault and around people like your mother you need to protect yourself by getting your word in first. You must be a saint to keep hanging in there. I did a "divorce" from my mother - never saw her after my Dad's funeral and when I heard she died some years later, I sat there..could not believe it would ever happen, that I would outlive her.
I guess you are a nice quy, but me, I think I would tip off code enforcement, the health department, and on and on. Had to do this in a similar type of situation, and you know, I got to enjoying it, but then they deserved it big time. Just protect yourself from her false accusations.
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BINGO, JessieBelle. I have to deal with that,too. I use to help out with there place a lot and one second, "You just don't know how much this helps me and your dad out" and in the very same day be called a worthless bastard. During the last go around, the courts issued a no contact order for three years, and that was fine with me, but it wasn't anymore than a month before my mom was trying to contact me through my daughter. My mother thinks that breaking the law is okay just as long as she has approved it. I'll admit that I have had drug and alcohol problems, and certainly don't want anymore trouble with that. Even knowing this, when my mom is in a good mood and wants to show how much she cares, she will make up the little care packages of stuff, problem being is that she includes prescription medicine like ibuprohen, prilosec, and after telling her that I can't have hat stuff with me if my name isn't on the bottle, she sends it constantly. I'm a full time RV 'er and use their address for mail, and she constantly opens my mail for me, she has my whole life, it's just normal to expect her to open my mail. Now that I really don't care about it anymore and just come to expect it, she has stopped for the first time in 50 years. What is funny is that she just tears one side of the envelope flap open. Why she does this is beyond me but my hypothesis is that she always used the excuse that she thought it was her mail, so now she rips one side open as if "Well I thought it was my mail but then saw it was yours and didn't open it," or as just a reminder she can open my mail anytime she wants. The same dysfunctional behavior happens with email. Both my brother and myself have asked her repeatedly not to forward chain letters to our email accounts that has her whole email contact list attached and even explained why with the spam thing and all. This doesn't stop her. I've had to change email addresses on a regular basis because I would go from a clean address with no spam to 100+ a day and the only people I've used that address for is my girlfriend and daughter. I've told her that she needs to do something about her hoarding because it's only a matter of time before they get nailed by code enforcement and then forced to do something, I think that will send her over the edge. For now and while she is caught up in her world, she believes she is perfect and I often hear it.
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Something I've often thought, but haven't said -- Narcissism is a big topic on this group. I believe it is because parents who expect their children to give up their lives to take care of them have a narcissistic streak. Personally I could not ask someone to leave their families and tend to me when there are so many options. If a child offers, it is one thing. If the parents use FOG to pressure a child, it is narcissism.
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After reading some of these accounts, I realize that I don't have it so bad. My mother's main abuse of me is to belittle me and invalidate what I do. It can be little things like telling me all I do is sit around after I've spent the whole day working. Or it can be taking credit for things I've done and telling me I didn't do them. Or it can be pushing me to get out to make friends and find another husband, like something is wrong with me for not having these things. She criticizes when I talk to the men around here because they're wives will get jealous. Goodness! I live on a block where people are all in their 20s. I'm 60, so I know their wives are not going to be jealous.

It was this way when I was young. She is a mother who chews at their children, then wonders why they don't worship her for the princess she sees herself to be. Truth is that she has no love in her heart for anyone. She uses people, and family is just used the most. I am used up.

I've often thought of leaving, but know she would have to go into a NH. Her money wouldn't hold out long, so the house would be lost. I have been here for 3 long years, so as long as I stay, the house is protected and willed to me. It would be dumb of me to move, because the house is worth a lot. So I grit my teeth and put up with all of the snideness, belittling, and invalidating. It can be crazy making and has a terrible effect on the self esteem. We can know who we are, but when twisted mentally enough, it can be like brainwashing. Living with her again has given me a lot of understanding why I had such a hard time with self image growing up.

Something I dread happening is that she'll change her will after I've sacrificed so much. I have a brother with a family who pays little attention to her. She tries to buy their attention by giving them more. She talked about giving one of their projects her money. I told her that my brother couldn't be bought, and it is true. But I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't change the will to leave his family everything to prove to him what a good, generous mother she is.

Forgive the book.
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My parents have abused me my whole life. My mother would go into fits of rage and beat me with a board. When I got out of the military my mother begged me to come back to California and help them with their property and even offered to pay for the move. I finally did and it turned out to be a very big mistake. After very gainful employment for a spell I was laid off and got behind a little on the money I paid for rent. I did some work for my brother and he bought me a cd burner for my pc. My mom went into her rage and demanded my dad "Do something about it." She nagged him for almost two hours and finally my dad had enough and showed up at my bedroom door with a hockey stick and literallly attack me while I was surfing the internet. I could'nt even run cuz where my PC sat, I was cornered. I was lucky enough to get out of getting hit any more and by the grace of God go the hockey stick out of my dads hands and held him down on the bed until he calmed down. The whole deal gave my dad chest pains as he is a heart patient. My sister-in-law called just after the smoke settled and the first words out of my mothers mouth was that I had just tried killing my dad with a hockey stick. I moved out a short time later in with my girlfriend . My mom proceeded , after she found out where I lived, to mail my girlfriend packets in manila envelopes about alcoholism, bi polar disorder, manic depression, and would cal and hound my girlfriend just as she has done with all my girlfriends. It usually only takes about three or four months after this crap starts that the relationships I have with any women goes south, and my mom will openly admit that she does this intentionally because, "that girl isn't right for you." I was over 40 years old when all this happened. There is so much more, too. Three days after I had rotator cuff surgery, and again after they begged me to move back to their place until after my shoulder healed, they gave me a 30 day notice to move, in which as I got rid of stuff I didn't need, my mom would dig it out of the trash(she's a hoarder, a bad one) and re-integrate it with the stuff I wanted to keep. Being that I did not want to be there I would go to friends houses until they went to bed. My mother would stack boxes knee high in my direct line to the light switch I need to see after I got in and twice I tripped causing me to extend my arms to catch my fall, one of which really wasn't great for my shoulder that was operated on a few weeks before. She was totally hampering me in my efforts to move. Long story short, I ended up in jail maliciously accused of elder abuse and facing 15 years in prison because she told the police that I threatened to kill them , nothing could have been farther from the truth. I'm not a big man, 5'7" 150 pounds on a good day. My dad is almost 6' 190 and my mom is is my height and well into the 200's, and believe me, knows how to throw here weight around. One time whne I was trying to ignore her rants, with my back turned, she took a running start and kick me as hard as she could right in my tail bone. I look back at the beatings with the board and everything else, it is no wonder why I suffer from sciatica. Fast forward to today, I loaned a utility trailer of mine to a friend that I've known for years. I was at their place no longer than 30 minutes. That evening my mother, supported by my co hoarder dependent dad, called and proceeded to accuse me of stealing a pack of cigarettes from one of there cars my brother was using. He has moved in with them as he lost his job and house. The unbelievable part to this is that my friend and I don't smoke, weren't any where near the car that my bother was using, and why in the heck would I steal a pack of somebodies cigarettes? My current girlfriend laughs her ass pff at the whole thing and found out this evening that my mother offered up the hockey stick incident, except said I was the one to go after my dad with it, she knew right away it was crap because of my mothers behavior and her hoarding.When I say this I'm not saying it lightly either. My parents have a 2000 square foot house, a detached two story 5 car garage, and a 40 foot Quonset hut(Arch building) and every closet, every garage bay, and even the 90 foot porch that spans the back of the main house is stacked almost solid with crap...You can't move in the garages, or from one end to the other on the porch. the bedrooms have so much stuff that you have to unload the whole room or at least a pathway just to get into the closets, which are stacked solid. My mothers answer is she buys shelves every chance she can find a deal on one. I quit putting them together for her and have even told her I'm not going to reinforce her behavior and this infuriates her and believe me, she remembers and holds a grudge to be used at a later date. I've been threatened to be written out of the will, and have been. As of now I see the same storm brewing and am going to stay away as much as possible because she will surely use the police and courts against me when I don't submit to her. I have a complete set of pictures to support myself, I did last time but my mom found my camera and deleted them so it made it hard to explain to a judge my moms condition..she comes off as a pleasant ol gal and at first my past girlfriends can't understand why I don't wan't them to talk to her and not give her their phone number, but they do and within two weeks my mom through phone calls at all hours of the day figures out their schedule and 10 minutes after they get off work and walk through the door, guess who they get a call from...and this has been going on my whole adult life. Thank God I have a girl friend that see's exactly what is going on. Fan4gator, I totally understand your problem..but what can we do about it?
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Avidreader, my suggestion is to see what is really happening with your mom in terms of her judgement and higher level thinking skills. She may have mild cognitive impairment and her empathy and ability to control outbursts and realistically assess her finances and her relationships may have already suffered quite a bit. It is hard to realize this is happening, and hard to accept if you find it really the case. Taking over in terms of setting limits and insisting on reasonable behavior and decisions is a very tricky thing, as no one wants to give up any automomy at any age; you want to let her have as many things the way she wants them as possible but also have a life you can live with if you are going to help her. Especially since she was not like this when you were growing up, having someone to help you understand and give perspective to what both of you are going through may be the key. Some people told me they htought my mom was "sharp as a tack" and we kept hoping she would do what she needed to do to get what she really wanted, which was to go home and be on her own again...but it more and more clearly wasn't happening. I had to get my mom to an actual geriatric evaluation, and even though she did not believe a word of anything they told her, it helped me enormously to begin to plan realistically and to accept where she was coming from, and that *I* was not the one being unreasonable.
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Bristi, you sound so trapped...parents are supposed to empower their children to leave the nest and be on their own, but it seems yours have done the opposite. Cmagnum is right, you need to be out, but you also need skills to be able to stand on your own, both practical in terms of a job and emotional. I'm assuming they do not have a guardianship over you, but rather leverage in terms of your financial and emotional independence. If you have any identifiable disabilities, there are likely reisdential programs in your state under Rehabiliation Services or Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Goodwill Industries or Job Corps or something like that could even be an option, or even a program that helps abused women. At 39, it is by no means too late to learn compeletely new ways of living and to realize that you are as worthy a human being as the next person and can become capable of whatever it takes to make it on your own.
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Is your mother able to look after your father? How much care does your father need?

I think you need to contact social services, tell them what is going on as well as the fact that you can't deal with it and get out of there. You are not their slave, but that is how they are treating you. You deserve better.
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My parents abuse me throughout life, I went for a desperate marriage to be away from them but that did not work and after mutual diborce I am back to my parents, who are now more verbally abusive, always mention how worthless I am and use highly abusive language. I tried to take up a job but they humiliated me and dismissed that. I am now dependant on them, subject to everyday abuse. My father, who is very ill, also uses blackmail methods to get things done as per his wish. My mother supports him mostly out of fear. They do not allow me to socialise, So I am all on my own, very frustrated. I do not even siblings and relatives to talk to. Going to psychological help is prohibited. What to do as as female of 39?
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I beleive that for my Father, who has rapidly increasing vascular dementia there are many factors.Which include his parents treatment of him, his dementia,the fact that he was an extremely emotionally repressed man",in my experience anyway",a miserable marriage, then miserable divorce,one child who had serious physical and emotional problems. "myself" some of those problems being epillepsy 10yrs old on,SEVERE obssesive compulsive disorder11yrs on, speech impediment 5yrs on alchohol/drug abuse and a bunch of other problems that because of the time couldnt even be named.Anyway as things turn out I am the primary and only caregiver,I try not to take his verbal abuse personally of course this is verry difficult at times.I try to remember that he is sick just like when i was abusing alcohol.I happen to be the one who is in front of him,not my sister who he continues to give large amounts of money to, to me virtually nothing!.This is another form of abuse I beleive. S.he does nothing at all for him but take his money.Again I try to remind myself "in fact im doing it right now" that he is sick and I do my best not to take it personally. I do my best to take care of him the way I would like to have been cared for when I was or am currently sick.One thing that is really DISTURBING is that he seems to enjoy to see me suffer!. Which theese days I am doing alot of,so i keep a stiff upper lip and talk to people I can trust and who respects me about my Physical suffering,I must say there is only one family member I can include in this class.Otherwise it gets back to him and I get mocked about it.So it is a good strategy to learn to protect yourself.Anyway it does well to take a few minutes to prepare and get ready for what I am going to face before I actually put myself in his presence,for me this is a prayer for guidance and a spirit of forgivness in his driveway,before I jump into the fire. God Bless
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One of three sisters, I am the primary caregiver for an 88-year-old widowed Mom. She is trying to be independent but does not drive. She has constant needs for help of all kinds and can become verbally abusive, even in public. I have not been able to elicit respect or consideration and am becoming increasingly resentful. She refuses to hire any outside help, although she can well afford it. I don't mind the work, it's the attitude that hurts. I don't feel I deserve to be treated this way, yet I had an excellent childhood for which I am grateful. But this is too big an emotional price to pay, I feel. Any suggestions?
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kale4na

My MIL does that all the time to my wife and to my SIL. It's called "Emotional Blackmail" and Susan Forward has written a great book by that same title.
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My parents were abusive all my life but it continues with control and verbally as they grow older. If they feel like they are not listened to they verbally abuse and threaten to remove me from their will.
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I appreciate the feedback and things have gotten better in the last couple of days. I have showed more compassion and love and also, this is key, have relied on them for emotional support with some issues I am having. That really helped. It showed them that I still NEED them also.
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I found with my 92 yr.old mother,that the more she has to rely on me,the more difficult she becomes,I think its because she knows she isn`t able to do the things she used to do,she gets very upset,and very nasty toward me,sometimes I just want to run away,as I am the caregiver,and feel like my life is over,then I come to this site,and get good feedback,or identify with the other people,and it helps.I try to be understanding,and I know it is a hard change for mom to go through,bottom line is I will be there for her,after all she is the only mom I have.
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No , they are not purposely trying to drive you crazy - they may succeed anyways, I'll sure grant you that! But as sad as it is, at some point you have to understand that dementia means losing the ability to reason, as well as the ability to remember, so of course, they become unreasonable. It's not you. They really don't or choose not to remember and it would never cross their mind that it would bother you to deny something that you remember happened. They may even be trying to communicate that they *wish* it hadn't happened. Wish it was easier for all of us in this boat.
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I was wondering if there was such an entity that would send someone to the home to be the "referee'' so to speak to address some of these issues. As an example, the reason my dad was violent towards me last time it happened was because he did not want to be proved wrong. He mentioned the air conditioning was running even though it was chilly outside. I told him that I did not hear the AC running and I started to walk into his bathroom to feel if air was coming out of a vent. Instead of being proved wrong, he pushed me out of the way so I could not get to the bathroom. I have a balance disorder, Bi-laterial Vestibular Deficit, which caused me to fall when he pushed me. What's strange is the next day my mom said that dad knew he was wrong in his actions. Now, they are denying it even happened! I'm going to lose my mind. It's like that movie "Gaslight". Are they trying to drive me mad?
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Unfortunately it seems to also come out of sheer frustration of their situation. If you are the primary caregiver who deals with them on a regular basis, then you are the one they are going to take out this behavior on. As great as they may have been growing up, they are now finding themselves having to rely on others to do things for them that they feel they should be able to do themselves... bathing, bathroom, eating... as they decline it may get worse. This is what we found with our father. Also, if they have suffered even a small stroke that may have gone overlooked and if it affected the frontal lobe at all that doesn't help. We ended up getting a Psychiatrist that my father liked to come in once a week and just chat. Good luck.
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Have they had a medical evaluation lately. It might have something to do with the stage of their decline.

For whatever the reason, you do not have to put up with violence even from your elderly parents. If they verbally or physically threaten you with violence again, I would say call 911 to have them committed to a hospital for a full psychiatric and physiological evaluation particularly. Anytime someone is a danger to themselves or to others, their abusive behavior needs to be reported and them taken out of the house for some serious help.
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The strangest part about this behavior is neither parent has ever been violent towards me until now. I was only spanked one time as a child and that was by my father. The next day he bought me flowers. It's as if they are completely different people. After the latest incident, my mom told me that my dad knew he was wrong and that it was not appropriate behavior. He did not come to me to apologize, though. I want to understand how aging can take sweet, passive, happy people and turn them into jackasses.
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FAN:

Usually, there are personal or situational factors that compel individuals going through age-related decline to become abusive. Whether from sheer existential angst or for the thrill of it, this kind of behavior doesn't happen in a vaccuum. And they'll keep taking it out on you because you probably have always allowed it without realizing it's abuse. Until now.

In any case, it's 5:37 in the morning and I have to get ready for work. Let's talk about this later, okay? I want to hear what your plans are, especially how you're going to leave this behind you.

Always at your service,

-- ED
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