1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,979
    Toronto, Canada
    I find that over the last couple of months I have become very detached from my mother. Intellectually, I understand this is most likely a self-defense move, but I am not feeling any positive emotions for her. My emotions for her tend to be irritation and impatience.

    I'm tired of waiting. I'm waiting for her to die and I want it to be over. Actually, I'm waiting for her body to die, as she died at least a year ago. I've had a few good moments here and there, but I am mostly in neutral. I hardly ever feel guilty anymore either. I suspect that when she does die, I will have an enormous amount of guilt.

    This is from someone who once was positive that no other mother-daughter pair were ever as close as we were and loved each other as much as we did. I cannot believe how little emotion I feel for her now.

    My husband is wonderful with her, he hugs & kisses her, strokes her arms, holds her hand. I force myself to kiss her goodbye, rub her arm occasionally but that's about it. I'm finding myself repulsed by her bad breath (dental hygiene took a hike ages ago & NH aren't great with it), her body smell (she doesn't smell like my mother did), her pinching & screeching & vicious looks & the only clear words are nasty & swearwords. She called me a "faeces head" (I'm paraphrasing, of course) a couple of weeks ago & it was loud & clear. Otherwise, it's phrases that don't make sense.

    I don't know if anyone feels how I do. I suspect most people do occasionally but this has gone on a long time now. The ironic thing is that I can be so empathetic for people in my situation but I'm no good for me. The other hilarious thing is that I will be facilitating my first AD support group at the end of the month. I'm sure I'll be able to do it, and do it well.

    We have been travelling a lot in the last year and I suspect it's because I always seem to want to get away. When I am away (and I mean a continent away), I don't think about her. I'm too far away to do anything. When I'm here, it's the usual round,- feeding, laundry, tidying her room, doing all her paperwork, fending off her insane sisters.

    I just had to get this off my chest.

    Joanne
     
  2. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    426
    london
    Yes

    I could have written this , virtually word for word. :mad: ?the only difference is we were never close and now we never will be.
     
  3. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    I have just read your post with a lot of sadness but much understanding.

    Surely all this is due to the 'carer' state that we find ourselves in - some feeling and dealing with it differently - each going through strange emotions, ups and downs with our relationships.

    I love my husband beyond words - always have and always will - BUT yes I do have 'bad' moments. I cannot believe that any of us going through this process do not have similar thoughts.

    I think to 'detach' yourself is something of a survival mechanism and why fight it.
    If your mother was 'herself' I suspect she could be feeling the same in the same situation.

    Try not to thrash yourself too much. Best wishes Jan
     
  4. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    Joanne

    I think you already know you have my immense sympathy and understanding and just how closely i felt exactly the same
    We did not share the kind of relationship you had so i guess that made the emotional detachment easier and my husband hated her nastiness etc

    Since mine died and i have had to deal with paperwork etc so much has been uncovered that i can now actually hate her for what she did or did not do and the appalling problems she created many many years before the Vascular dementia started.

    Its dreadfully hard to truly think she was ever actually "a mother " to me certainly no comparison whatever to the relationship i have with my children or my grandchildren
    I sincerely hope the "Long Goodbye" is over for you soon Joanne
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Joanne

    I'm sorry you're feeling so bad about your mum. But don't beat yourself up about it. I think what you are feeling is entirely natural. I certainly feel impatient and irritated at times. We're none of us saints!

    It's been said so often on this forum that AD is 'the long goodbye'. I think we all of us have to distance ourselves to a certain extent, and for all of us that distance will increase the further along the road we get. It's self-preservation.

    It's worse I think where there has been a loving relationship, as you had with your mum. She is no longer that person, and it is difficult to feel the same about someone who hurls abuse at you, however close you have been. However much you tell yourself that it's the illness, it doesn't stop the hurt.

    It was incredibly brave of you to make this post. It's so helpful for people who may be trying to suppress the same emotions.

    It's that honesty that will make you such a good facilitator of your support group.
     
  6. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,979
    Toronto, Canada
    Hazel,
    I don't even feel any hurt anymore. Just annoyance. Some days I find it amusing. Those are the good days, and I try to look on the bright side & find some humour in it. I usually succeed, but I wish I could feel the way I used to about her.

    I realize now that I hero-worshiped my mother. Her opinion was always the most important to me. I have certainly gained a lot in self-knowledge over the course of 6 1/2 years. That's a good thing.

    However, as badly as I may feel some days, I still think it isn't as hard for a child as it is for a spouse. A tip of the hat to the spouses.

    Joanne
     
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Joanne, thanks for that. But I'm not sure that it's any easier for a child.

    We spouses have the stress of sole caring 24/7, exhaustion, possibly our own health problems, the loss of our relationship, the dread of not being able to cope.

    You children have the same problems to a greater or lesser extent, and are often also coping with families, jobs, possibly financial worries.

    I think the ones who have the hardest job are the partners of young onset cases. They have all the above to deal with.

    But comparisons are meaningless, because you have to factor in the way (and the rate) the illness progresses, and the stamina and personality of the carer.

    Let's not compare. We're all finding it hard, I certainly am, we all need each other.

    Love,
     
  8. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Joanne

    I imagine it must have been extremely hard to post what you did.

    I can understand how you feel, entirely - though not, [maybe not] strangely, for my part about my Jan, but more regarding my feelings for my mum, who died partly of stroke and, I'm sure, partly of a broken heart for what dementia had done to me, in my reactions to Jan's problems.

    It is a strange world and I do agree totally with what you said
    You'll be fantastic.

    I really believe that until a person has been through the fire - and become more than singed - they really cannot tell others how to cope.
     
  9. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,979
    Toronto, Canada
    Let me qualify that. I think it's harder for spouses than this child. I say that simply because we all know in our hearts that our parents will die before us. Also, I am not taking care of my mother, so I also think it's harder for those children who are than for this child. I read and hear about people who have much harder circumstances than me & are managing incredibly well.

    For spouses, we don't have that thought of the person going before us. I certainly never give it a moment's thought, I guess I just assume my husband will be with me forever. I'm sure that thought would curdle his socks :).
     
  10. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    I know someone who says her mother is in a very nice place where they visit her twice a year, "she can't remember who we are anyway". Well, that's their relationship and what they can deal with. I don't think there are any rules.
     
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Is that a sense of humour reappearing?:D :D :D

    Good for you, Joanne, that sense of humour will get you through. (And you're coping fine.) :)
     
  12. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,979
    Toronto, Canada
    Gotta laugh

    I firmly believe laughter is therapeutic. It has saved my sanity through all this.
     
  13. janetruth

    janetruth Registered User

    Mar 20, 2007
    563
    nuneaton
    Hi Joanne

    My mum is 82 and came to live with us over 8 months ago. I love her very much, I have always ' Hero Worshipped ' her and hope I can continue to do so.
    It is very hard to watch the woman who sacrificed so nuch for her kids, dissapearing, I am now my Mothers keeper.
    She is still a loving woman and we have still got a good relationship.
    I will treasure all the good and funny times we have shared, and hope I never dislike her.
    Having my mum to live with us has affected, relationships with my partner, children ,grandchildren and friends.
    Joanne, everyones situation is different and none is easier or harder than the other. it's how it's viewed from the outsid
    I realise there are people in a worse situation than myself and believe me, this forum has made me realise that.
    Take Care Bye for now
    Janetruth x
     
  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,668
    Kent
    Joanne, I am at a loss to respond to your post as I would like.

    I remember feeling just the same as you do when my mother had dementia, but like Natasha, we didn`t have the best of relationships in pre dementia days.

    I do admire your honesty.

    As the wife of an AD sufferer, it`s a different story. I have no other responsibilities, no career, no dependent children, and in my case, a deeper love for my husband than I had for my mother.

    Still there are areas of his decline which evoke feelings I`m not proud of. Feelings I`m not yet ready to acknowledge or disclose.

    This is just another area in our lives that has to be accepted. We try our best and sometimes we are found wanting. There is no malice. This is just how it is.

    Take care.

    Love
     
  15. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    Dear Joanne

    I should probably wait to respond to your post, because for some reason I'm not sleeping as well as I might, so I'm dog tired, but I wanted to say a couple of things.

    I also had a great relationship with my mother, but to be honest, much of the time now I consider myself to be an orphan. True, when I see my mother, she rarely attacks me as your mother does you, but this woman is not my mother. I love her I suppose, and have a sense of duty towards her, but that's it. I find visits excruiciating: there's nothing to say and I'm sorry to admit, I don't do sick-rooms well, and that's what it's like. About the only thing I've got from this whole experience is 1) a recognition that a lot of people have it far worse than me and 2) I'm not a saint. I suppose it's character forming, but I could do without it.

    Like you, I don't feel particularly guilty anymore, although I'm willing to bet that will all come back when she dies. Perhaps when she does die, I'll be able to mourn her loss, because then she'll be truly gone. As it stands, we're just waiting, waiting, waiting. It wasn't too bad when I was at the problem solving stage. Well it was BAD, but at least I had some purpose. Now all I do really is make sure the bills are paid and visit when I can. I've switched off emotionally about it I suppose: there's only so much grieving you can do when the person is still alive, even if they're not really there.

    If I had to classify myself as anything it would be Fraud. From the outside I appear to be a dutiful loving daughter, but that's just my role at the moment. I don't feel like that on the inside.

    Love

    Jennifer
     
  16. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Joanne, I admire your honesty. I am sure there are many who will identify with you, and equally others who won't.

    As has been said before, no two cases the same, so no two people are the same.

    Bless you for being you. You have helped many on TP along their journey, and I hope will continue to do so. My thoughts are with you. Love n'hugs
     
  17. taylorcat

    taylorcat Registered User

    Jun 18, 2006
    171
    W.Scotland
    Joanne,

    You have just put into words exactly how I feel and I wasn't even aware I felt this way.
     
  18. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    723
    London
    Dear Joanne

    I so admire you for admitting to this and like Natasha and Sylvia I didn't have a great relationship with my Mum pre dementia days. I can really identify with this and thank you for making me feel that I am not the only one that feels this way. I wonder if it makes the personality changes easier to cope with when one never particularly liked the person anyway?

    You're so right about sense of humour, where would be without it?

    Fond thoughts
     
  19. susiewoo

    susiewoo Registered User

    Oct 28, 2006
    82
    Bromley Kent
    joanne and jennipa..I am stunned by your posts because you have put into words something I was hiding even from myself. I visit this message board nearly everyday and have identified with so much. but this has challenged me on a very deep level. I am not comfortable with these feelings but I am grateful that you have opened this discussion.
     
  20. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    [QUOTE=Skye]But don't beat yourself up about it. I think what you are feeling is entirely natural. I certainly feel impatient and irritated at times. We're none of us saints!

    I think we all of us have to distance ourselves to a certain extent, and for all of us that distance will increase the further along the road we get. It's self-preservation.

    It was incredibly brave of you to make this post. It's so helpful for people who may be trying to suppress the same emotions.
    QUOTE]


    Well said Hazel!! I haven't reached this point yet - but I feel the frustration and irritation of what are essentially very minor things compared with what Joanne and Natasha are coping with, and Helena did cope with. I can only echo Hazel's excellent comments, and send you all my very caring wishes.
     

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