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compassion and frustration


Registered User
Oct 4, 2015
I was unable to keep my cool with my mum today and that's made me feel terrible and mum upset. She knows she has to see the specialist next weekend and tell them the truth about everything, about deciding she is no longer safe to drive as well as all the other problems she's been having. Here our issue starts because she's "much better now" she's accepted she has dementia and can't drive but otherwise "there aren't any problems". She has a trip to her specialist next weekend, I was supposed to go last time but mum made such a fuss that dad made me stay at home, the time before that she had refused to let me go with her again, the first time when I told them what had been happening at home she called me a liar.

I'm supposed to be going this time but again she doesn't want me there. I had over an hour of her telling me how much better she was and how she knows she has a problem "in here" whilst patting her head but again she's "much better now". It's her precursor for telling me that she and dad are going to the specialist without me. She keeps trying to cut me out of any decisions or medical treatment and I finally told her that I hadn't sold my flat in England to move to Gozo and live with them as her carer just to be ignored or shut out when people need to know what's really going on. See I know that she and dad gloss over the problems, gloss over the fact that things are definitely worse now than they were a year ago, and I don't want them to do that. How can the specialist do their job, prescribe the right medication, up the dose if necessary, if they aren't told the truth? I know it's the right thing for me to be there but it doesn't stop mum from crying when, in frustration, I ask her why she asked me to help her if she won't accept that help.

She claims she isn't in denial but one day she tells people she has dementia and the next she's crying and begging me not to tell anyone about it ever. She won't let us put together a power of attorney whilst she's still mentally aware enough to be able to and dad won't push for it, but without it we will have no say in her care or her finances without going through a court battle here in Malta. It's so hard to see her so wrapped up in fear, to see her unable to understand logic because now everything is so encased in that fear she can't get past the emotional jumble and roller coaster that is in her mind.

Today has been a bad day for both of us and for dad, she can't follow instructions because she can't remember them or can't remember what one of the words means but she won't admit to that instead she'll do it wrong and then argue with us about it. Afterwards she will say she's sorry and she'll try harder. No matter how much I tell her I love her and that she doesn't have to try harder it doesn't help because she doesn't remember and next time something happens and she cries I feel like I'm the one making her feel worse when I only want to help. She wails "I didn't do anything wrong" and I feel like such a ***** because I didn't mean to make her cry, I didn't want to shout at her, I was just scared for her. Several times I've had to stop her doing something that could hurt her, like putting metal in the microwave, and it's worrying.

I know she's already scared and worried about her dementia and I don't want to make it worse but the frustration doesn't go away, it eats at my reservoir of patience every day and then, one day, I snap and say something I shouldn't or in a way that just isn't nice or compassionate and I hate myself for it.

I'm not sure I even have a question today, I think I just needed to rant a little and this is a safe outlet.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
Hi tmo
yes this is the place to come to let off steam and get it all out - so glad you have - best not to bottle it all up :)
It's all such a mine-field isn't it - you want to support - yet our parents are so used to being their independent selves - they want support - yet it feels like an admission of defeat if they accept it
your poor mum must be in a spin, knowing something is not wholly as it was - yet so badly wanting everything to be exactly as it always has been.

I wonder whether you could appear to be going with your mum's desire to deal with the appointment herself - for the sake of peace and her peace of mind - yet actually write a detailed overview of what you want the consultant to know, with an idea of what you would like as outcomes from the appointment - and then send it to the consultant, maybe even drop off another copy as well before the appointment, just in case - that way the consultant will have your input and be able to weigh up your mother's presentation.
Who knows, maybe your dad wants the chance to tell it like it is?
Maybe you could mention in your letter that your mum is resistant to the LPAs - the consultant can then bring this up - and your parents may take more notice ?
Just an idea.
Don't beat yourself up - we're all human - and you are there for your parents, they know that
Best wishes

Candlelight 67

Registered User
Nov 4, 2013
West Sussex
It's so frustrating isn't it? All we want to do is help.

I have almost lost count of the times my Mother and I have words. Dont beat yourself up you are not alone.

It helps posting on here because we all understand. There is really good advice.

I hope the appointment for your Mother goes well and I think Shredrech advice of writing a letter for the consultant with what you want to say is an excellent idea.

Candlelight 67

Hair Twiddler

Registered User
Aug 14, 2012
Middle England
"Having words" is an understatement in the summary of relationship between mum and me over the past 4+ years of dementiaville. You are not alone. As Shedrech says, and I agree, don't beat yourself up. Write that letter - warts and all. Don't attempt to explain or give reasons for your actions and thoughts - please just give a full and frank account of what you see and what you know. It is all too easy to be sucked into the guilt monster scenario and create self doubt along side a troubled mind. Stay strong.
Let us know how you get on. x

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