Nearly at the end of my tether

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by connie53, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. connie53

    connie53 Registered User

    Jul 26, 2007
    Hi everyone. I have just joined this forum, and thought I would just tell my story. I have been looking after my mother for the past 20 months. She is nearly 75yrs old and was previously living on her own in Scotland. My dad died some 16 years ago. She was never an easy person to get on with, so it was with some reluctance that I moved her to England to stay with my family. She was at that point just a bit forgetful. Since then I see a very different person who is living in my house. She accuses my daughter of ''taking'' things out of her room. She even accused my 3 yr old grandson of ''losing'' one of her shoes in a very threatening and aggresive manner. She constantly moves her things in her room, then forgets where they are and accuses that someone has taken them. When I try and explain to her that it is herself moving things and forgetting where she put them, she says that I am the one who is trying to make her think she is going mad. She is making my life a misery as she wants to be in my company all of the time. She sits in front of the tv , but takes nothing in, and offers no input to any conversation. She resents any other family member coming to the house, especially my grandchildren, who at 3yrs and nearly 2yrs should not have to witness this behaviour. The strange thing is that i used to be a nurse and was a very tolerant and caring person, but now, I hate to say it, but I sometimes wish that my mother was dead, as she has no purpose to her life, and seems to bring a depressing cloud in my home. I have other brothers and sisters, but they are very reluctant to have her stay at their homes as they know how ''nasty'' she can be. I sometimes feel that i hate her, and feel ashamed for feeling that way, but i cant see any other solution than to put my mum into a home, which I know I would feel guilty about.
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Hello Connie and welcome to Talking Point

    Firstly has you mother been diagnosed with any form of dementia? Not that it makes much difference to the behaviour, but a diagnosis can open some doors that would be otherwise closed. So if she hasn't been I would push to get her to see the GP. Other people in this position have found it helpful to keep a rough diary of shall we say, behaviours of concern, so that you can share them with the GP, either in advance or at the time of the appointment. That way you don't have the situation where you're talking about her in front of her, which may well cause upset.

    The forgetting (or hiding) things can be an ever present source of stress. While it's understandable that the person in question would react by accusing other people of moving things (I think I probably would if a) I couldn't find something and b) had no recollection of where I had put it) it is very difficult to deal with, particularly if you are on the receiving end. And when you see your own grandchildren drawn into it it must be awful. The last think you want is your grandchildren being afraid to come to your home, because of their erratic great grandmother. I assume she doesn't go anywhere, (daycare or similar) so that there is no time when they can visit when she isn't there, and nor are you getting any breaks from caring.

    Have you had a carers assessment? In order to get the help you need, deserve and are entitled to, you're going to have to get one.

    As to having been a member of a caring profession - it is VERY different when it's your own relative. You have all the emotional baggage (good and bad) and you don't have the luxury of walking away at the end of your shift. Whether it is time for you to consider other living arrangements for your mother or not, only you can truly answer. But what you can do is try (and I say try because it's difficult) is get the guilt monster off your back. Guilt goes with the territory, whether you've had a great relationship with the person or a terrble one. If the former you feel you should do more, if the latter, you feel you should do more. There is no winning.

    Incidentally, many posters have found that even though they dreaded the move to residential care, they can now have a better relationship with the person they were caring for simply because they are not so worn down with the minutae of caring.

    Best wishes

  3. Jilly88

    Jilly88 Registered User

    Aug 11, 2006
    Margate, Kent.
    Hi Connie.
    IDENTICAL to my aunt! She hides everything then accuses me (or anyone) of stealing it, she moves things around the room and forgets where it's all gone, then of course, it's been 'stolen'. Yesterday she couldn't find her slipper, so I took the room apart looking for it. When I emptied her commode at 6pm, there was the slipper, covered in excrement and urine. I told her that I'd found it and she said she must have put it there so that it wouldn't be stolen. So, yet another shoe has gone in the bin and I have to buy more.
    She also doesn't like me to have any visitors and is VERY rude, shouting and screaming at me to go to her and ignore my visitor. She won't sit in my own sitting room, but insists on me going to sit with her in her bedroom.. if not, she screams. She has a huge TV in her room but refuses to watch it, she won't read, even though I've got her new glasses - she just stays in her room screaming. It's all part of the illness I'm afraid... and like you, sometimes I hate her, but I have to remind myself that she doesn't know what she's doing. She's now 93, rushes about the house trying to break windows, kicking the doors etc and generally being abusive. She's wasting away because she doesn't eat enough... and that's because all she wants is ME! Food now is just an annoyance which takes her mind off me, so she barely eats. I have to force Ensure on to her to give her the vitamins that she needs.
    Chin up Connie. You're not alone.
    With love
  4. lovdn2

    lovdn2 Registered User

    Jul 24, 2007

    I am sorry you are going through such a terrible time, maybe residential or day centre care is an option to consider to preserve your sanity.

    Watching TV may be something your aunt can't do any more, the pictures and words may make no sense to her any more, if she has lost the ability to process that information.

    Lots of sufferers lose the ability to read at some stage, seeing the words is one thing, understanding them is totally different.

    Your aunt may need her medication reviewed to help her to be calmer and more relaxed, has this been done recently?
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Connie,

    I really do feel for you. You have acted in good faith, but your mother is obviously far too challenging for you.

    If you were on your own, you might be able to cope, but as you have family, who visit regularly, you are being put under additional strain.

    I would explore the medication avenues, to see if your mother can be helped to be more agreeable, but would seriously consider residential care. The guilt would surely be less stressful than what you are experiencing now.

    Take care xx
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Jilly.

    I think you are a saint.

    With love xx
  7. paris07

    paris07 Registered User

    Jul 11, 2007
    Hi connie
    I am only a new comer as well , I would also like to welcome you to TP . I can understand what you mean by saying your mother resents anyone coming to the house and my mum especially does not like our granddaughter coming to visit she is 18months old, we have put it down to the fact , she may be jealous because we all pay attention to baby and she feels left out ,even though we know this is not true.
    Mum has lived with us for 2years now and has shown all the same odd behaviour patterns as your mother, I too , have had experience in careing for the aged in a nursing role and I can agree with you that when the problem is with a loved one at home the feeling of guilt is very strong.
    Recently I was forced to put my my in respite care for 2 weeks ( which she hated )due to my having been stressed out . I can only advise you to seek as much help from community agencies and carer respite as you can , we are all in similair positions and are willing to listen and help as much as we can .
    Keep posting with TP
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #8 Margarita, Jul 29, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2007
    I could never get use to that , use to think she doing it on pursuers , Mum still does it to this day , but only from other people sharing how they feel , that it happen to they love one can I now tolerate it .

    I know its not her fault , I have became mum security blanket , she only feels safe with me in her confused mind, but it took me a very long time for me believe that and come to team with that, also with it does not go away even with medication.

    My friends daughter all have sat with my mother while , I have pop out they all tell me that she up down all the time . when I get back she settles .

    I was trying to explain to my friend that I am sure its because I am her main carer , that if mum lived with another person she would get be as clinging .

    That why I wish I new then what I new now , that if I had put mum in care home years ago she would of felt safe in there, just as she feel safe with me , because she would of got use to those surrounding, carer , just as she got use to living with me. are relastioship would of gone back to me being her daughter not her carer .

    I also use to say I hate my mother , because I could not share moment alone with my children without my mother standing behind me, but it was not hate really I just hated her behavior .

    I perceive it as I love my children , My family , my mother, but I don't like they behavior as much as sometimes they don't like mine , but it does not mean I don't Love them , when they behavior get on my nerves and they won't change.

    Mum never going to change , also like you connie53 with your mother many other symptoms that you have wrote about just like my mother was my teenagers , young children I use to have in my house , she also would show symptoms as in not liking them around her, get angry with them , I just learn not to have them around in same room as my mother, if we had a party . I would need eyes behind my back so I would plan head and mum would have to go into respite , as I do not have other family that I could send mum to for those occasion

    All I can say it don't feel guilty in what your feeling , because its all very highly stressful having a young family and blanching caring for parent who ill & very highly demanding on you time .
  9. janetruth

    janetruth Registered User

    Mar 20, 2007
    Hello Connie and Paris,

    I have come to the same conclusion, my Mum acts like a jealous child and sulks.
    When my 4 grown up children and 2 young Grandchildren come round they find it difficult to accept her 'moods' and the AZ.
    I too have found my feelings towards my Mum changing, it's not her I dislike but this awful ILLNESS that has taken over. Some of the terrible things she has said to me and about me to others, is one of the things I find hard to forget,
    But forget, I must and shall develope a thicker skin and try to ignore her moods.
    Mum has not been violent, yet, I am saying yet, because it seems, from reading others posts, that it is probable.
    Today being Sunday we ( my partner, Paul and I ) take Mum out for lunch and she is in a good mood.

    I have 5 sisters who take no active role in Mums care and when they visit, they are welcomed with open arms.
    That can be sole destroying and hurts like hell, sometimes.
    I don't want to get hardened to it, but I have to, I'm not the 'strong ' one I'm the 'soft'one, who couldn't let Mum go on living by herself.
    We know there is worse to come and we can't predict the future, but I say many silent prayers thet Mum will be released, sooner rather than later, from this mental 'prison' that we are all in.

    Take care
    Janetruth x
  10. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    This dreadful disease is one of the biggest challenges any carer could be expected to face.

    Most terminal or chronic diseases arouse sympathy. So does dementia.

    But when carers are faced with challenging behaviour, mood swings, personality disorders and abuse, it is so hard to remain sympathetic.

    With the best will in the world, there has to be a point when time has to be called.
  11. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    This is a very similar situation to mine except my mother actually IS in a nursing home. She was always a very difficult person although I have now come to think maybe she had very early dementia even 25 years ago, but now she is aggresive and makes the kind of accusations that your mother does.
    Initially I did feel very guilty at putting her in a home although it would have been very difficult for her to come to me due to lack of room and me working full time.
    The thing is here though we do have a duty not only to our parent but to our children and ourselves. We cannot be all things to all people and if it came to a toss up between my childs happiness and my mothers I have to say I go for my child everytime, and it would have caused him a great deal of distress if she had come to live here.
  12. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    There are so many of us in the same situation, so join the club! It is the hugest task caring for someone with dementia because you never know what is round the corner, but you just cope with it all the same.

    I have recently decided that residential care would be better for my Mum (and Dad) because they are just too vulnerable now in their own home, albeit with the help of visits from carers. I try not to feel guilty, as at least they will be looked after by professionals 24/7.

    It is such a steep learning curve dealing with this awful illness, perhaps it should be on the curriculum at school!

    Good luck!
  13. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    watching the telly.

    hello Connie 53 and welcome to the most wonderful site i have ever come across.My mum has the opposite problem to you.My dad will sit and watch the same dvd all day over.It drives mum mad,she huffs and puffs at him all the time.Its a horrible experience for families to cope with but it must be worse for the sufferer.My dad can get nasty but only with mum.If i am there its like I'm the parent and i will tell him off and he will comply.I to have 2 brothers who don't want to offer to give mum a break and they do live locally.I and my sister do our best to help even though we both have families and work full time.If it comes to it i will give my job up and take care of them.This is a disease that tears all involved apart.But chin up,do your best and you will get a mention in dispatches.Take care of yourself or your no good to elaine:D
  14. connie53

    connie53 Registered User

    Jul 26, 2007
    Thanks to all for your words of support. We are in the process of having mum assessed, but the cogs of the NHS go fairly slow!It does make it a more bearable when you know there are many people in the same situation, and it certainly does help getting support from all you wonderful people in here. My mum has always been a very difficult person in her earlier years, so with AZ she seems to have no inhibitions. I know she has a disease, but I cant help thinking back of my own childhood and how she was never there for us, and how she used to treat my dad, who died some 17 years ago of heart disease. Mum always said that we all wished it should have been her that should have died. I suppose in a way I blame her for my dad's early death, as she put a great deal of stress on him. She could be really awful and not speak to him for weeks, and would just stay in her bedroom, leaving my dad to take care of 6 children. Today was just another up and down day, with mood swings all over the place, all because my grandchildren were over to visit. Who knows what tomorrow will bring......
  15. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hi Connie,
    I wouldn't fret too much, that as working as a nurse you coped so well.Things are much more personal when it comes to your own. I think considering your past history with your mum you are to be commended. My own experience with mum and kids is similar to your own, she is very suspicious of them, but, as she deteriorates, she seems to tolerate them better. Mum was a person who was always so loving and kind to kids, so it was very upsetting to see this change in her. I feel from your thread that you have exhausted your caring role, and there is, absolutely, no shame in that. The behaviours can become just to challenging. No one, would expect you to be miserable. I wish you well. Taffy.
  16. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Strange really sound like my story with my mother , even down to blaming my mother for stressing my father so much that it gave him a heart attract , that killed him .

    If you had the courage to do it , while your waiting for an assessment , tell SW that you need emergency respite .

    even if you don't feel its an emergency, tell them that and they do it right away . 20 mouth in caring is hard going without a respite and young children .

    take care xx

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