I have started to notice agression, and I reacted to it.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Michele, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Michele

    Michele Registered User

    Oct 6, 2007

    I have started to notice mum is getting a bit aggressive. She had done this on the phone to me quite a few times, and I haven't reacted. However today I did.

    I turned up there this morning because me, my sister and my niece were taking her Christmas shopping so that she could buy her presents for the family.

    When I got there I gave her her Christmas card, she opened it and straight away said in a very aggressive tone of voice - well you haven't written in it. Well I snapped and said yes I have mum just read it. I felt a bit bad that I reacted that way, but I was also pleased, because she apologised and gave me a hug.

    Then I told her that I thought her house was cold and asked it there was something wrong with her heating, and she looked at the thermostat and said well who has turned it off then. Again I snapped and told her that she was the only one living there so it must have been her. I then turned round and told her that if she carried on like that, then I would just go home.

    She then again apologised and gave me a really big hug.

    Am I wrong in reacting to it. I don't think I am - I have just let it go before, but I don't see why I shouldn't let her know that it hurts.

    We all went shopping and had a good time. Even though now I am completely worn out and could do with going to bed.

  2. Pescita

    Pescita Registered User

    Oct 31, 2009
    Hi Michele

    Don't be too hard on yourself about this. I don't think any of us who have had to deal with a parent with dementia haven't at some time reacted in a way that we later wish we hadn't. However, the way your Mum responded with affection makes me wonder if her aggressive manner was not really a sign of a generally aggressive trait developing, but more just shortness of temper because the frustrations of her memory problems are getting to her - & in the case of the card, maybe she is starting to experience some difficulty in reading? My own Mum has vascular dementia, & although this has not caused her to become aggressive, there are times when she is short with me because I have made her aware that she is confused about something, or has forgotten something.

    You, in your turn, reacted crossly because you are worried and scared at the changes in your much-loved Mum. You are both entitled to a short fuse now & then!

    I have read your other posts & admire the way you and your sis share the care of your Mum. (I admit sometimes I am jealous because I don't have that sort of relationship with either of my sisters!) Has she notice any aggressive behaviour from your Mum? Maybe you should have a chat about it, if you haven't already.
  3. Michele

    Michele Registered User

    Oct 6, 2007
    Hi Pescita

    Many thanks for your reply. It is funny, because alot of the time mum is aggressive towards me rather than my siter. Also mum does tell me lots txxhat she gets angry with herself. Only today whilst out shopping she toild me she was annoyed with her brain and was angry with it.

    Maybe she is angry with herself, rather than me.

    It's funny as well (well I am not sure if funny is the right word) but as a child it was always my sister that could do no wrong and I was the black sheep of the family, and I never really felt that close to mum. But since her illness, we have become really close and she relies on me alot, and tells me that I am her little baby.

  4. Pescita

    Pescita Registered User

    Oct 31, 2009
    Michele, this is so much like my Mum & me! She seems to like me much better now than she did in her pre-dementia days! She says that I "love her best" & I am "her baby" , & is very huggy & affectionate with me in a way that she never was in my younger days. I think with me this is partly because I am like my Dad in some ways, & since he died I have become the closest substitute to him. Though obviously he wasn't her "baby"!
  5. Bookworm

    Bookworm Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Co. Derry
    Just wanted to add Michele that I thought it absolutely right what Pescita was suggesting - that the agression is really directed against the reality & fear of memory problems, not you, x (& I need so much to hear & understand that in my life with my husband, too)
  6. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    One thing I would say, by all means react – especially to aggression or verbal abuse and make it clear you won’t tolerate it – but can you do it in a way it does not undermine your mum’s abilities?

    I know when I dared tell mum she had got something wrong – she would look at me like a wounded animal ....... until I learnt not to ..... (I might have still screamed ‘Oh fer Gawdsakes, mum’ but learnt to do it silently and not openly to her).

    Like Pescita’s idea about the reading – I am wondering if there needs to be a label on the thermostat .. and so on? It will help both of you (and your sister) to maintain her confidence and independent abilities as far as you can. I know how much it hurts to see the changes and decline in her abilities, but sadly the one person who doesn’t need it reinforcing is mum herself. :(

    If you can, take a deep breath, turn on your heel if you have to (as I often did) and then get to TP and let it all go here!

    Love, Karen, x
  7. frederickgt

    frederickgt Registered User

    Jun 4, 2005

    Michelle,Anna twice hit me with her handbag,but then I learned to duck...and smile
  8. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    The only way really,you will not always achieve it,but try because remember Michelle, in a short time mother will have forgotten any upset,but you will not.
  9. Michele

    Michele Registered User

    Oct 6, 2007
    Now this is spooky Pescita, because my mum has been like this with me too since my Dad died, and she tell me all that time that I remind her of him. Reading your post is liking reading my own.

  10. LuLu100

    LuLu100 Registered User

    Sep 22, 2009

    oh god reacting to agression was my experience last week! first time ever with gran! I was doing my turn at sitting in hospital keeping her entertained and of course she was having none of it the blanket was her knitting wel so she thought up and down the bed it was going so i snapped and pulled it down and said that is the blanket gran your knitting is at home! well the look she give me was unreal but it did distract her from what she was doing!! its so so hard not to react and very hard to control with a loved one. that dreaded agression is creeping up with gran and I think its fustration cos she knows there is something wrong with her and then just worries but doesnt know why. its awful for them and family to deal with

    keep your chin up and take each day

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