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  1. #1
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    My mother hates and blames me

    My mother has not taken her diagnosis well (Vascular Dementia and Alzheimers with signs of old stroke damage conveyed to her, my brother and I on 21st December 2011). She seems to have decided that I have 'engineered' this, blames me directly for her being told she must not drive again, does not understand why she has to have carers daily to administer her Aricept (which she doesn't understand why she has to take) and is taking her anger and frustration out on me.

    She is furious that I claimed for and managed to get Attendance Allowance for her - apparently she was well aware that she was entitled to this and was waiting for someone from the DWP to contact her direct and offer it to her. She blames me for all the clothes that she says are missing from her wardrobe, also blames me for all the mysterious items that have been piled high in her spare room, blames me for all her important paperwork going missing (Marriage and Birth Certificates, all the paperwork from her divorce from my father some 40 years ago). She has told her friend that I have had all her important mail redirected to my house and that I have somehow (because I have some legal knowledge from very long ago) got around the system without a Power of Attorney. In fact she has told them that I am evil.

    I took her shopping today and have been berated for being concerned that she has lost 200 in cash that she withdrew from the Bank only recently (which I know she cannot possibly have spent as she only uses this cash to buy the Daily Mail twice a week) and I've been screamed at to "GET OUT OF MY BUNGALOW" for being so horrible as to be concerned about her, help her look for the missing cash and take her out shopping. She has in recent weeks also tried to slap me on a couple of occasions.

    Now I know my rational side is telling me that this is all symptomatic of her disease, but today she reduced me to tears. It is very reminiscent of the mother I grew up with who would scream and shout, beat me, threaten to take her own life all because my father left her. I was a terrified 11 year old and left home as soon as I could. I thought all those years were behind me but now find the little girl in me struggling to stay put as I'm faced with some very old memories coming to the fore, and I'm 52 now.

    Today, when she behaved very bizzarely in the Bank with me stood by her side but not interfering, on leaving she apologised to the cashier for my bad behaviour!!

    I have tried to communicate the troubles I am having with my mother to the social care team at the hospital but I'm finding them as much help as a chocolate teapot. They have instructed me as to all the things I should have in place for my
    mum but they don't have to implement the process! I'm having to pay up front for everything I do for her as she is in total denial and we wouldn't have got anywhere if I hadn't and ultimately I don't think it's fair on my husband who goes out to work for our household income to be financially supporting my mother in this way (and she is not short of money).

    The anxiety is getting so acute that I'm suffering palpitations and feel as if I'm going to have a heart attack. I wake some nights with throbbing chest pains and feel like I can't breathe and today when she was having a go at me and tried to shut her front door on my face I could feel my blood pressure rising. I thought I was going to burst!

    We have no Power of Attorney registered yet - she has one but she's hidden it from us. I know that once this is done I could probably deal with things without having to have the face to face confrontations. She set one up when she was thinking clearly but now sees it as a threat that she has one. The GP has suggested we get a psychiatric assessment and apply through the Court of Protection. She seemed to think we would have no problem going this route. Yet my brother and I were trying to help her retain her dignity for as long as possible. I feel as though this is now our only course of action otherwise it's going to be me needing the carer, or worse.

    It's all compounded by the fact I am officially my husbands carer too - he has MS and Parkinsons but bears his lot with good grace. He may still be working but he does require a certain level of support from me to enable him to do so. We know that our future is not looking too brilliant, but here I am with the unexpected addition of my mother's condition.

    Sorry for moaning. Today has not been good. Does anyone know how to cope with these issues and is there any advice on how to get POA with a psychiatric assessment?
     

  2. #2
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    Oh, dear, Julia. What an awful day.

    Your priorities should be

    1. to look after your own health. It's a bit like the safety advice you get when waiting to take off on a plane: make sure your own mask is in place before helping others If you fall ill, you are no help to anyone.

    2. to look after your husband. Sorry, but he takes precedence over your mother, as would your children

    3. to decide whether continuing to be involved in your mother's care in the short-term is actually counter-productive. What would happen if you didn't attend to her needs?
     

  3. #3
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    Not ideal by any means but.... would it be possible for your brother to have a look for the original POA documents while you take your mother out? Or maybe save your blood pressure and get your brother to take her out while you look?

    Could she have left the documents with a solicitor rather than keep them in the house? If a solicitor helped draw up the documents that option is certainly possible and if you can get suitable confirmation from the doctor they should hand them over without too much trouble.

    I will stop complaining about FIL being pig stubborn about accepting help. Your mum sounds a lot harder to deal with!

    Good luck.
     

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemmy View Post
    Oh, dear, Julia. What an awful day.

    Your priorities should be

    1. to look after your own health. It's a bit like the safety advice you get when waiting to take off on a plane: make sure your own mask is in place before helping others If you fall ill, you are no help to anyone.

    2. to look after your husband. Sorry, but he takes precedence over your mother, as would your children

    3. to decide whether continuing to be involved in your mother's care in the short-term is actually counter-productive. What would happen if you didn't attend to her needs?
    Thank you, very sound advice. Husband definitely comes first, if only because he appreciates all I do for him (my kids a close second) - I have thought over your last point but I don't see a way out of it. Two years ago we moved her to live near us as we were a little concerned about her being alone in her advancing years and for the first time in my life I had thought we might have the chance to build a mother/daughter relationship. My brother lives not too far away but has massive problems with his FIL in the advanced stages of Alzheimers, so as I was about to retire we thought I would have more time to keep an eye out for her, not realising that she was already down the dementia route herself! It was the actual move that made me realise there was something wrong and so I initiated investigations. If I didn't do my bit I would feel awful for my brother - he also has a young family (one child autistic) and a business to run. My sister lives 'up north' and isn't interested in getting involved!
     

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ITBookworm View Post
    Not ideal by any means but.... would it be possible for your brother to have a look for the original POA documents while you take your mother out? Or maybe save your blood pressure and get your brother to take her out while you look?

    Could she have left the documents with a solicitor rather than keep them in the house? If a solicitor helped draw up the documents that option is certainly possible and if you can get suitable confirmation from the doctor they should hand them over without too much trouble.

    I will stop complaining about FIL being pig stubborn about accepting help. Your mum sounds a lot harder to deal with!

    Good luck.
    The POA was bought over the counter 5 years ago - a DIY Enduring POA that my mother set up herself worried that she would have extra costs as the law was about to change to Lasting POA. No solicitor was involved but it was all completed properly with her appointing me and my brother, duly witnessed and her telling us that she knew if she was incapable of looking after her affairs we would do the right thing by her. It is this document that she has hidden, telling me she does not want it registered. She has also hidden her car registration documents and we removed the vehicle over a month ago as it was driving her potty looking at it parked outside her window and not being able to use it. The road tax expires this month and it's parked on the road outside my house. I have no idea what to do about that!

    My brother is going to see her tomorrow to give her an ultimatum about the POA - a) produce the original and let us register it b) draw up a new Lasting POA of which he has the documents ready to complete or c) if she doesn't agree to a or be we will apply to the Court of Protection for POA. The choices are 1, b or c - there is no d!

    As to the car choices are a) give it to one of her grandchildren or b) let us sell it - she has come up with option c) park it back at the bungalow. The social care team have told us we should not let her have it back as it's causing her too much stress.

    You should have seen her reaction when I tried to discuss registering her with the route call bus service!!
     

  6. #6
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    OK, what would happen if you and your brother didn't get so involved?

    Maybe it's time for you both to step back and concentrate on your families and to up the involvement of professional carers. She may not like it but, quite frankly, that's tough, and you can bet your bottom dollar, she won't be able to bully them the way she bullies you.

    I'm sorry, but Alzheimers does not give anyone carte blanche for abusive behaviour. You have rights too.
     

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemmy View Post
    OK, what would happen if you and your brother didn't get so involved?

    Maybe it's time for you both to step back and concentrate on your families and to up the involvement of professional carers. She may not like it but, quite frankly, that's tough, and you can bet your bottom dollar, she won't be able to bully them the way she bullies you.

    I'm sorry, but Alzheimers does not give anyone carte blanche for abusive behaviour. You have rights too.
    Thank you. I will talk with my brother about this. Mum did tell me today that she hates me taking her shopping so I said I could arrange the carer to do this as well, but Mum then said it was something I had to do. I told her she was making me ill and that I couldn't take much more of this. You are so right, she is bullying me. She is sweetness and light to anyone else outside the family unit!
     

  8. #8
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    There are others on TP who will sympathise with you in that they too have mothers who know exactly which buttons to press and have done so for years.

    Perhaps it's time to break free from the shackles....we'll all be here to support you - and your brother - every step of the way. It's wonderful to see two siblings working together.
     

  9. #9
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    I have to agree with Chemmy about not letting her bully you!

    Hubby is getting so stressed with the (much more manageable) behaviour of his dad that we are cutting back our visits. We accept that this puts him at more risk but we are hoping that it will help him accept that he needs outside help as well.

    Would Mum accept supermarket shopping deliveries? That way you could 'do the shopping' for her with minimum stress to you.

    As for the car I would definitely rule out option c! FIL didn't understand the 'you aren't allowed to drive' and the only way we were sure that he was stopped was selling the car (which amusingly he was quite happy with )
     

  10. #10
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    One thing I was told was that with Alzheimers personalities tend to become more acute. By this I mean in my Mums case she was always a worrier, so at first this became extreme. From what you say about your Mothers behaviour when you were a child it sounds like this is indeed being magnified by her condition.

    Sorry if this isn't making sense.

    Not easy for you at all and yes I would back off for your own sanity as there is help out there
     

  11. #11
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    You may not need to go through the Court of Protection but if you do let me tell you that I went through this process (without involving a solicitor) and it wasn't all that complicated.

    In my mum's case (and she does sound a lot like yours!) the psychiatrist said that telling her about the Deputyship application would make her worse so wrote up a report saying so and the court accepted it. Mum was never notified, not even when the Deputyship was granted.

    I now have the ability to make sure her finances are protected and I have paid myself back for the bills I've been paying on her behalf and the expenses I incurred in looking after her affairs.

    None of the above solves the problem of verbal abuse, the accusations, the doors being slammed in my face as my mother blames me for everything. Real, imagined, stuff she's seen on TV, it's all my fault. I steal her pension and riot in the Middle East. I'm a busy girl these days.

    I joke, but like you I've cried too. Mother/daughter relationships are often complicated and I too question what nastiness is down to the Alzheimer's and what's real and perhaps released by the disease.

    I've no advice on that score. All I can say is that I understand how you feel, right down to the palpitations and the blood pressure shooting up. Mine does that every time I deal with mum. Sometimes I think I'm getting a better handle on things and maybe I am, but then she'll press the right buttons and I'm right back to having to steady my breathing before I pick up the phone or knock on her door.
     

  12. #12
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    Poor you. I completely understand and have been (and am still) through this. I have a wonderful counsellor who has made me realise that when I react to my mother's nastiness, manipulation, tears, etc I am reacting inappropriately (ie as an 11 year old child and not as the nearly 50 year old that I am now). Do what you would do with a difficult child. Explain that you aren't going to be treated like this and leave as quickly as you can. If this means driving home from the shops in silence, so be it. Every time it happens, leave and explain that you aren't to be treated like this. Put up boundaries and, believe me, even with the dementia she will start to understand it and behave better. The voice that you have criticising you for being a bad daughter/person belongs to your mother and has no place in your life now. Be your own best friend and stop berating yourself (you wouldn't say unkind things to your friend, so don't do it to yourself). This is a very difficult situation and you need all your energy to get through it, without being afraid of your mother's temper.
    Sorry, have gone on a bit, but I know just what this feels like!
    xxx
     

  13. #13
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    Supermarket deliveries - I have managed to get Wiltshire Farm Food deliveries, but I am having to pay for them at present as she wouldn't do it (but she will eat the food!). For the rest she insists on being taken to Sainsburys as she used to work for them and has lifetime 10% discount on production of her card. I suppose I could see if we could do this online and use the discount, but part of the shopping trip is that she doesn't go anywhere else and if it weren't for that then she'd hardly ever go out! I think I will have to stop being the chauffeur though.

    I too have been told that Alzheimers brings out an enhanced version of a younger self, so I'm not surprised how it's manifesting. My SIL's father was a very dear, sweet, younger man and so is even more so now! Luck of the draw I suppose....

    Delphie - thank you, I will investigate further and thank you also for your shared insight.

    Thanks Annie - I have been thinking about going for counselling (I've had lots in the past!!!) and your comments have spurred me into getting on with it.

    Thank you everyone, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to me.
     

  14. #14
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    Julia

    Have been away for a while on here recharging, but completely get where you are at the moment. (I was there just over a year ago).

    My mum tells everyone Im great, but to my face she is not pleasant, and although i dont now get accused of moving things, taking her money etc, this is only because she is now in care.

    Please try not to take it personally - really hard (I took it personally until she went into care). I was convinced (still am) that mum, although ill, had a lot of awareness of what she was saying, and always managed to be hurtful enough.....

    If you have an ally in any other members of the family please use this to support each other. You must get SS and the doctor on your side. perhaps they are holding back, because you are 'coping so well'. I had this until I told SS that I was having fantasies and dreams about Harold Shipman...then they took me seriously.

    Mum is in residential care now - she is safe and contained - its the best I can hope for. I visited on Monday and because I had a 5 minute conversation outside with my brother (who hasnt visited for 5 months)and she saw us..... (staring at us from the wiindow) I am 'plotting'.

    You have my sympathies.
     

  15. #15
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    Julia, I can really relate to the things you are saying. My dad has turned on me - my sister died some years ago and my mum died 3 years ago so there's just me and him, and for many years, we have been great friends, very close and always took him on holiday with us etc. But in recent months, he has been absolutely dreadful to me, and I am often in floods of tears which are mingled with self pity and self righteous anger! It is hard to separate the illness from the person, but on the other hand, he is perfectly normal 80% of the time so I then wonder if he actually really means the awful things he says to me.

    I havent spoken to the GP about him partly because he is normal so much of the time that I fear she will think I am being fussy and seeing things that arent there etc, but I feel as though I cant cope with it all now and wonder how I'll cope when he gets worse. I am 53, and disabled and have had 2 heart attacks so I have to be a bit careful, but he has become very demanding, making me take him shopping almost every day since he had to give up his car, and he seems to have forgotten that anyone else has a life or health issues, whereas he used to be a very caring and considerate person.

    It is awful when parents get like this and take it out on us, and SO embarrassing when they say things to or about us in public, because the 'public' seem to think we must be evil people!! I know my dads neighbour thinks I'm a dreadful person because once I had to force him into the car for an appointmet. But what can we do? We can't go telling everyone 'he has alzheimers' because then the accusations start again..............

    Sorry, I dont have any help to offer, but maybe it helps you to hear that others are going through the same thing - I know that just reading other peoples experience on this forum makes me feel better because I no longer feel so alone and isolated.

    Take care and keep coming back here - that is what I am going to do! - and we just might get through it.
     

 

 

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