Terrible Feeling! Trapped no Win Situation

by Joy
(NC)

My mother is 92 years of age and she has always been controlling. Since my fathers death 3 years ago she has constantly complained that I used to come often and follow my Dad around like he was a saint. She seems angry that she is not getting the attention she needs from the family.


I live a few minutes away and have always tried to look out for my parents. Things were fair until about 6 months ago and she started looking at me real mean when I would come and then she would start accusing me of taking her money, her deed etc.

I would tell her that I did not take anything from her and then she would start telling me all the bad things I had done as a child having fits at her for not buying me something in town, messing up one of her cars when I drove it.

She then took my brother who had not come around in years and got money out of bank put in another bank with his name on it. She finally told me that I had tried to give away one of my children when they were born because she said I let my next door neighbor baby sit.

To top it off she said my poor husband had produced a paper the night my Dad passed while we were at emergency room and he was home with her after ambulance came that he tried to get her to sign her house over to him.

Any way she sees other people she barely knows and gives them a big smile and a hug but for me she never says thank you and never smiles at me. She calls all of family members in middle of night and does not say anything.

She asks constantly for me to show her how her phone should work. I show her and then the next day she does not remember. She forgets what day it is and often says when I come you haven't been here in a while when I had just visited a few days ago.

She says things like your Dad would be ashamed how you are treating me. Any way I can't win.I have tried to help her and I have tried going a few days without calling nothing seems to work. Some days she is fine and nice and other days she is odd.

She wont take medicine doctor gave her says it makes her fall. She does not drive so I take her for most everything. What is going on I don't know whether she just hates me or if something is wrong. Torn and do not know how to deal with her behavior.

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Hope these suggestions help
by: Gina

Hi Joy, so sorry you and your family have to endure this. You mom's symptoms are evidence of cognitive decline (not sure what kind). I would call your brother and see how he's handling it and maybe she's doing the same to him.

I suggest your brother makes a doc appointment for her, the purpose of which is to covertly have her officially tested for dementia. Your brother (or you) should be in the room with her during this exam.

Before going into the exam room your brother will need to have a note ready to hand to the nurse without your mom seeing it asking that a dementia test be performed.

They will be glad to help him. At this appointment your mom should also get checked for a urinary tract infection, which is extremely common in seniors, particularly women and they often don't even know they have one.. A UTI can cause people to exhibit dementia-like symptoms or magnify their existing dementia symptoms.

This may be a productive effort. At any rate her cognitive issues need to get into her medical records. She probably won't question the test since she will probably think its routine..

Next, you don't have to "deal with" your mom's every utterance. Just change the subject abruptly to something positive or interesting and pretend you didn't hear anything she just said. If she pursues it, walk away.

Only respond if she says something that is acceptable to you.

Money issues can be such a painful wedge in families. Most things seem to be out of your hands since she moved her bank acct and put your brother joint on it. In a non-threatening way in a calm moment, ask your brother if your mom has things in order, like has she assigned a Durable Power of Attorney? Did she create a will and assign an executor? Did she create a medical directive for end of life issues? 'Express her burial preferences?

If not you need to help your brother see why doing so soon is very important for everyone. You can get more information about these legal protections online.

If your mom refuses or your brother doesn't care, there's really not much you can do unless there's evidence of neglect of abuse while in your brother's care. Maybe absence will allow her heart to grow fonder for you ;-) Wishing you success!

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HELP!!
by: Anonymous

Everything that you said in this article is happening to me, my husband and my children right now!!

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This is all so familiar
by: Anonymous

Joy, I know what you're going through. I don't have any siblings, so there was no one else to transfer money to. But my my mother controlled me most of my life, or tried to. I was an easy target, being an only child.

When she lost her mind, I was accused of stealing, of leaving her there to die, of trying to sell her house out from under her (!!), reminded of things I did as an adolescent (I'm 65), and more. I was called names until I stayed away for a week and told her I wouldn't come back if she called me names again.

She wanted instant, concierge service no matter what I was doing. Because I in my 60s she couldn't grasp that I still needed to work. She'd use any trick she could think of to get me to her house, including sabotaging her own satellite TV connection in the middle of the night.

I couldn't fix it because it was too complicated and she complained that I couldn't leave her to die with no TV. She called me 8 to 10 times a day, and a few times as many as 30. She wanted to come and live with me and I flat out refused.

She wouldn't let me bring in help, wouldn't leave her house, and wanted me there all the time. She killed the love I had for her.

She continued in a downward spiral that lasted about 10 years. Finally, eight months ago she fell against a wall and broke her upper arm. She couldn't go home again, but she continued to make my life hell until the hospital and doctors finally found the right combination of meds to mellow out her dementia. On short notice, I had to scramble to find a memory care facility to take her to and finance part of it myself.

She died three months ago and I feel as though a block of stone has been lifted from me. I did my best by her but she wore me out. Please don't let that happen to you.

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