Not very proud of myself.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Champers, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    189
    87 year old mother with early stage dementia living in her own home.

    I’ve always had an awful relationship with Mother. She’s definitely had some sort of undiagnosed personality disorder - most likely
    NPD. She’s been quite vile to me (only child) over the years and has always resorted to emotional blackmail to get her own way. To the outside world she’s charming but myself, my husband and my children have seen the real person underneath.

    I live two hours away and have put quite a few things in place; carers for medication, shopping delivered, hairdresser, gardener. All of which, she’s been totally ungrateful for and regularly kicks off to me about them - how useless they are, how unreliable they are etc etc. I’m pretty used to it as she’s always displayed contrary and confrontational behaviour.

    Yesterday, my husband, myself and my adult son visited, partly because neighbours had contacted me concerned about her general welfare and because I needed to top up her pill supply. She HAS deteriorated- lost a lot of weight, complaining of severe pain in both hips and has a yellow tinge to her skin.

    The boys went off to get some fish and chips and I said I would stay and chat to her. I expressed gentle concern and that I thought she might benefit from a visit from her GP just to check her over. She turned on me like something you seen in a horror movie - absolutely in my face with demented eyes. She accused me of being after her money (I have an LPA and could have cleaned her out already if I was that way inclined) Told me my (much loved by me) late father would be disgusted to see how appallingly I treat her, that she hoped I would walk out in the road and get hit by a car, that I didn’t deserve to have such a lovely husband and son, that she was going to call the police on me. I’d made her a cup of tea and given her an iced bun. She said she wouldn't have been surprised if I’d put arsenic in the drink and put s**t on the bun. I had to walk out of the room because I was torn between being so hurt and bursting into tears or turning on her in fury. When I returned, the verbal attack continued. I’m afraid I told her that she needed to be careful as I was the only thing between her and a care home and if I walked away, she wouldn’t be able to last 5 minutes, plus a few things about what an awful mother she had been. I feel so guilty now I’ve calmed down and bitterly regret my outburst.

    When the men returned and saw me so upset, she denied having said any of those things and that I “must be mental!” This is not the first time she has been so vile but despite the dementia, she seems to have the control not to display these characteristics in front of third parties and promptly started sobbing , telling my husband that she’d done nothing wrong and that until I’d arrived, she was perfectly happy and that Tuesday was the worst day of her life, because of me.

    I now feel so useless that I really am tempted to walk away. Her doctor visited at my request today and Mother has told her that there is absolutely nothing wrong so, apart from a blood test, everything seems to be staying the same. She seems to have convinced the GP that I’ve overreacted and my call was unnecessary. If I withdraw everything I’ve put in place, things will definitely come to a crisis point very quickly. I’m at the stage when I need her to go into care for MY sanity. I’m almost hoping the blood tests will show something up so that some else can share the burden of her care and a decision can be made about the future.

    Is that a really wicked, evil thing to even think?
     
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    6,109
    Male
    Bristol
    It is normal and perfectly human to get to the stage of virtual breakdown where you want to walk away @Champers. Have you reported your concerns to Social Services in your mum's local area ? From your description she is vulnerable and they have a duty of care to investigate and offer some support. You have to think of your own mental health and the welfare of your family.
     
  3. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    1,064
    Oh @Champers ,I really empathize, this whole scenario was just like my mother-in-law was. My husband and his sister had been on the receiving end of atrocious behaviour from their mother over the years. It's such self absorption isn't it? No magic answers I'm afraid, but if you aren't able to step back, it's waiting for the inevitable crisis.
     
  4. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    633
    I sympathise @Champers. My mum could turn on a sixpence too, and though she wasn't quite as vile to me as yours was to you, I got a load of 'don't tell me, what to do, your not my mother' etc etc on numerous occasions when trying to put things in place to help her. In the end I just did things and didn't tell her, including moving her to a care home
     
  5. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    341
    Hi your comment “she seems to have the control not to display these characteristics in front of third parties” resonates with me! My mother also exercises control in certain circumstances. I find it astonishing that someone in the later states of dementia can be so deceitful. How on earth are they able to do that ?
     
  6. Louise83

    Louise83 Registered User

    Feb 5, 2019
    40
    It'a human to lose the rag like that sometimes, I've done it myself.

    Re the comment about acting different around other people - I'm finding this too with my own mum. Makes me wonder if it's just me she's had enough of.

    I've got to the stage I just leave her alone when she's shouting at me, one day last week I had to laugh it off after she told me to "go to hell", otherwise I'd breakdown!

    Don't beat yourself up over what you said, take care.
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,814
    Female
    South coast
    Sounds like Hostess Mode to me
     
  8. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    630
    Female
    That saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me', isn't really true, as harsh words can cut to the quick and even more hurtful, when they are spoken by your mum, it cuts into your heart.
    It's the disease making her inhibitions falter and you, her caring daughter, are an easy target.
    Try and develop the hide of a rhino, but if you're a softie (which us carers always are, otherwise we wouldn't be carer's), her vicious barbs will hurt no matter what.
    Come onto this forum and blow your top!
     
  9. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    189
    Thank you all, as always, for your wonderful and much appreciated support.

    I’ve had yet another phone call today from a concerned neighbour telling me that Mother struggling physically and that it appears she isn’t feeding herself without promoting. The neighbour has kindly made her toast which apparent she’s wolfed down. The doctor has come out again and prescribed her paracetamol for her pain but how she’s expected to remember to take it when she can’t even go to her fridge to get food, I don’t know.

    Clearly, the time has come for Mother to go into residential care and luckily, the CH that we got MIL into 3 months ago (that was another drama!) can take her from Monday. I’m dreading collecting her as she’ll probably kick off majorly about that. I’m hoping I can convince her we’re taking her to “care” for MIL for “a short time” and that she doesn’t suspect the real reason otherwise I’m in for another full on attack.
     
  10. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    6,109
    Male
    Bristol
    Good luck on Monday, Champers.
     
  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,814
    Female
    South coast
    No, you dont have to tell her the real reason. I never did tell mum the move was permanent. Tell her whatever she will accept. Perhaps she is going on holiday to a place that she has been before. Im sure the staff will coax her in and will make a big thing of saying welcome back.
     
  12. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    189
    That sounds like a good idea. My husband thinks I have a duty of care to explain to her but I’m very conscious that there is absolutely no way she would go willingly. As it’s a two hours journey, a holiday trip sounds like a good reason - that’s why we packed a case of course. I’ll let the CH staff know this is the impression she will be under when she arrives.

    Its the lying I hate - ironic really, because she’s always told untruths throughout her life to impress people and put herself in the best possible light but I guess it’s for her benefit.
     
  13. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,325
    Female
    Chester
    It took years for my husband to realise that this didn't apply. He wanted mum to agree to selling her car, as he thought she could understand that she couldn't drive anymore. I just left it sitting on our drive and an opportunity to give it away came up. He did apologise at some stage for not realising that she could't agree to get rid of it.

    My work colleague had her MIL and mum with dementia in the same care home, little or no dementia with MIL just not up to looking after herself fully. Her mum kept going to find her MIL, and they had to move her mum to a different wing, as it wasn't fair on her MIL (to start with MILs presence helped her mum to settle - they both went in at the same time, when a long haul holiday was booked - and both going in helped mum with dementia agree to it).

    Not sure that is crystal clear, but be prepared to have to move your mum if she is causing issues for MIL - I'm sure you will be.

    I'm glad you've found somewhere so quickly and won't have the distance caring responsibility for much longer.
     
  14. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    633
    Sounds like a good plan @Champers, Hope it goes well. Do your mother and mother-in-law get on well? I think you said it was a small place and it would be brilliant if they do as it would be a ready made friend.
     
  15. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    189
    I visited MIL yesterday and told her Mother was coming to stay with her in the CH. She’s seemed really, really happy about it and I suggested that perhaps she could look after mother as she is going to be “the new girl” and will need to be shown the ropes? Apart from the fact I had to tell her this four times and each time it was a brand new piece of news, I think it went down very well.

    Any pointers on how to “sell” it to Mother without her suspecting would be really appreciated. We have a two hour drive back to where she will live near me. I thought about telling her we were taking her to ‘visit” MIL? I mentioned “the visit” on the phone and that she will be staying for a “few days” with her. The response was, “I'm not staying away anywhere overnight!” So, I think I’ll have to pack and get the cases into the car without her spotting anything - I have husband and son primed for distraction duty. I’ve tipped of the CH that this is the story we are telling her.

    Is this kind of subterfuge normal? I just know with my mother’s personality, if she suspects anything, she will get extremely aggressive and hysterical and the last thing we need is a fight on the doorstep and there is no way I can leave her in her house any longer.

    Many thanks.
     
  16. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,814
    Female
    South coast
    #16 canary, Oct 12, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    Yes, absolutely. Its usually the only way you will get them over the threshold. Its called Love Lies or Therapeutic Untruths for a good reason. If they are unable to understand the truth, you have to use something that they do understand in order to meet their needs.

    Edit to say - if you can get someone to take her out the day before this will give you a chance to take the basics of what she will need (you can always bring more later) so that you can label it all and pack it into your car without her seeing it. On the day I would just keep it simple ans say that you are going to visit MIL. While she is distracted sneak the case up to her room and unpack without her seeing you doing it. Dont forget to remove the case.
     
  17. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    633
    Although I'd told my mum she was coming to stay near me for a bit while work was being done to her block of flats and we were sorting out somewhere for her to live near my brother, she'd forgotten that on the day I moved her. Instead she thought we were going on holiday and I didn't correct her. Of course when we got to the home she totally kicked off. Fortunately they (and I'm sure every other care home) was used to it. They all took off their name badges and poured her a glass of prosecco so she'd think she was in a posh hotel.
    Good luck with it all!
     
  18. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,968
    please read my threads as I’ve been through this recently, ihope my threads will help you.
    Believe me it soon changes - myMum now like a clingy toddler needs me; it’s been hard but I am doing my best to ensure her safety & care are in place. I hope my experiences might be helpful
    (((((( hugs))))))))
     
  19. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,968
    my Mum said to the community nurse on Thursday how she couldn’t do without the help- after everything I’ve battled to get into place finally close to the end of her life acceptance.... it’s bittersweet & I wait for the next battle; but I am sad to say I think that this battles almost won by dementia
     
  20. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,094
    Yorkshire
    hi @Champers
    I hope you manage the move … it clearly is necessary
    do use any 'love lie' or silence that will make the day easier on you, and therefore on your mum … don't explain to her or forewarn her and be an actress on the day, behaving as though it's just any old day, fixed smile ...
    a treat is a good idea … whatever your mum enjoys or feels pampered by, have some ready and they can magically appear in the home so hopefully she is distracted into focussing on them rather than her surroundings
    maybe be careful about introductions to MIL and leaving your mum with her … I'm a bit concerned that your mum may come to see her as part of the reason she's moved and take it out on her … though, of course, it could go the other way and she likes the company (hopefully not too much as jugglingmum describes)
    and cruel as it may sound, be ready to fade into the background/beat a hasty retreat/fib and say as she's fine for the moment you'll just pop out to get some more treats (do not say when you will be back) … rather than drawn out fond farewells, that will only highlight that your mum isn't going home that night
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.