1. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,732
    She isn't being unreasonable she has a disease which prevents her from following the normal social convention. In our world she appears to be unreasonable but in her world she is talking to her little girl and who knows perhaps she took great pride in having her little girl's hair cut in a certain way and it was very important to her and now she is reliving it. Whatever the thinking behind her reaction one thing is for certain - she ain't going to change - not because she is being unreasonable but because she has a disease which prevents her from reasoning and compromising and that's all there is to it. It isn't mean, it isn't malicious, it is a disease.

    All I'm thinking is how Poster will feel afterwards. Will your regret not making your peace with your Mum. Perhaps people are right, perhaps a break will mean your Mum forgets about your hair, perhaps she won't - who knows, one thing is certain - dementia is unpredictable and that must be more uncomfortable for the person with dementia than it is for us because we can walk away, they can't.
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    11,086
    Female
    South coast
    This sound like it could be a loop - when the same situation/circumstance triggers a response - a bit like the way lots of them demand to go home as soon as they see their relative, even though they dont do it the rest of the time.
    If distraction doesnt work the usual advice is to not visit for a few weeks as this is likely to weaken or break the association and so the loop often stops.

    Poster, I know this wouldnt work for the average person, because we know when we have made a decision and stick with it, but your mum has dementia and is not acting logically. What people with dementia tend to remember is the emotion, even when they dont remember the event, so next time the same event happens they remember the emotion - thats why loops happen.
     
  3. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    190
    Even if we got on like house on fire, because of the distance and the fact I work full time, I could not visit very often so it would be every couple of months or every three months. The recent visit even with the reduced fare that I now found cost me £150 for two nights with my mother so I cannot really afford to keep doing that. What with the cost of living and a home to run and myself to keep, I can only afford it every three months.
     
  4. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    I understand all of that. However, the request in this case is unreasonable and hence poster should not feel obliged to go along with it.

    I suspect the long-term resentment towards her mum would be far worse if she unwillingly got her hair cut, particularly as there's no guarantee it would appease her mum anyway. Thinking about Canary's 'going home' scenario, actually physically going home usually doesn't work. It's all about emotions.
     
  5. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Lots of people with plenty of money don't visit their parents as much as that, so I think you're doing fine in the circumstances.

    Have you considered the idea of writing to her instead of phoning so often? I don't know about everyone else, but I used to love receiving proper newsy letters in the post. I was wondering if there was something else (other than your hairstyle:)) that she was particularly interested in so that you might be able to engage with her in that way on a different topic.
     
  6. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    190
    I cannot write to my mother because she has eyesight problems and no longer reads. My mother is interested in music and listens to a lot of CDs. However when she has a fixation such as this then she will not want to talk about anything else. I tried a few days ago and she was only interested in talking about my hair and when was I going to get it cut short and the fact that I was not to go to see her until I did.
     
  7. cobden28

    cobden28 Registered User

    Jan 31, 2012
    442
    As well as making comments on the length of my hair, my Mum has in the past made adverse and unpleasant comments to my ex-husband about his being out of work at the time and to me about my being automatically a member of the Communist Party because I was a trade union shop steward at the time (knowing well that any whiff of suspicion that I might be a Communist would cost me my civil service job), thus making both of us unemployed and give her more to criticise us for :eek::mad:.

    On more than one occasion my ex and I have simply got up and walked out on Mum when she refuses to moderate her views; I accept that she has a right to different opinions, but if her views on a subject are likely to offend then it might be tactful to shut up and keep quiet, but she thinks I'm being unreasonable.

    Trying to be tactful with my Mum doesn't work, the only chance I have of my message getting through to her is to be as blunt and outspoken as possible, and then keep well away fro a while.

    Mum is 84 and I don't think she has dementia, but reading other folks' postings on this forum gives me some useful ideas on how to cope with Mum and her attitudes & opinions.
     
  8. nessy22

    nessy22 Registered User

    Nov 22, 2014
    42
    Dear Poster,
    My Mum has various 'loops' and once she gets on one of these she sticks with that loop no matter what. I also live far away away and can visit Mum only once a month. There is one loop which I find absolultly unbearable and Mum is able exactly to press the buttons which make me despair to my deepest soul. I am not good at coping with this. She is my Mum though and I can't walk away. I love her even though we have never been on the same wavelength. Just stick it out. What else can you do. There is no logic anymore.
     
  9. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    190
    Even though my mum has been controlling and I feel I have to keep away, I can't help but think of her and wonder if she is ok or happy or sad. I also wonder if she is thinking about me in the same way and also wonder that if she was then she would say sorry. A friend of mine who had a very controlling husband said you have to forgive the controlling person and then you will feel happier in yourself. She said you do not have to contact them and say I forgive you, but you have to say it to yourself. However her husband did not have dementia and my mum does so I can perhaps do as she says and in my mind forgive my mum because my mum is not in her right frame of mind. What is her husbands excuse? deliberate and calculated and evil? I could not forgive someone who does it deliberately with no medical problem to justify the action.

    I know people have said take a break. But that is just putting off the inevitable. If I do not speak to my mum for a couple of weeks, then it will only rear its ugly head again when we do so what is taking a break achieving? Nothing as far as I can see. It is simply running away from problems that will still be there when we stop running. Problems need solving and the sooner they are solved the sooner we can get on with the rest of our lives without wondering what the future will hold
     
  10. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,291
    SW London
    If you stop visiting for a while, I mder if this fixation will pass, since she will not be reminded of it. My mother's fixations/obsessions did always pass eventually, though they could seem endless at the time.

    Talking of mothers and hair, even long before dementia mine had a positive Thing about what she called 'messy' hair - usually the mass of long and curly, e.g. Rebecca Brooks. Every time she saw anyone with hair like that, whether on TV or in a photo, it was, 'That HAIR!'

    It long since turned into a joke-catchphrase for me and my daughters.
     
  11. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    190
    #71 poster, Dec 19, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
    Sorry but you may be able to pass something like that off as a joke but it is no joke when you are told do not see me unless you cut your hair short. My mother will not forget about this fixation if I do not visit for a while... She will talk about it on the phone asking me whether I have got a hair appointment or not. You do not know my mother and I am telling you and anyone else on here that this will NOT pass. I am a very strong person. Yes this is upsetting me and I do not know what to do for the best and I do not think anyone else does either. You read or hear about people who take their own lives for one reason or another. Very bad bullying from your own mother which I believe this is could in some cases lead to death because there is literally no other way out of this situation. I am NOT and never have been suicidal but I am just trying to point out the seriousness of this. At Easter a chap I know who was in his 40s was found hanging in his garden shed. He seemed very happy on the outside and very full of life. Something must have made him do what he did and nobody has any notion as to why he did it. He left no note. You should not keep things bottled up and that is why I am trying to talk to people about what is happening to me so that perhaps a solution can be found and I want to say again that I am NOT suicidal. I know there are people on here who have people in their lives who have dementia and they have to cope with them every day and look after them and the people are worse than my mum.... they do not know who is who or what day is what and some cannot even feed themselves. However, emotional bullying is bad and can lead if not careful to disaster. Even at the end of the day my mother and I go our separate ways and never speak again then I am left with the guilt that I have disowned an old lady in poor health and I should have been the better person and put my needs to one side and put her first because she gave birth to me and that is something I do not think I would ever be able to get over. She on the other hand has dementia so does not know what she is saying so cannot really be held accountable but obviously if I dump her and say I really cannot cope with this we should not have any more contact and when she eventually dies the home contact me as next of kin to bury her then I as an adult woman with a fully functional mental brain, fully aware of what I am doing will live the rest of my days riddled with guilt. My own mother did the same to her mother and never saw her again and never even attended her funeral. I said to my mother recently if she had any regrets about it and her reply was.. no none whatsoever she said she did it because I was a baby and she did not want me to mix with a woman (her mother) who she felt was not a suitable influence.
     
  12. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,732
    The thing is that you won't solve the problem in the way that you would with a person without dementia. She no longer has the reasoning or the logical process to be able to follow in the way that you are expecting. She is simply incapable because of the disease. It is the same as asking a person with no legs to walk - it is the a similar problem in her brain. It doesn't mean she doesn't love you, it doesn't mean she doesn't like you, it doesn't mean anything personal at all. It is her memory, playing tricks on her. If she knew what was happening and control it then she wouldn't do it.

    When you are on the phone tell her you have had it cut really short, when you see her tell her it is 3 months since you saw her and it has grown again but you have an appointment on Monday to have it cut again. Then distract her with photos or a game or a puzzle or whatever you need to do and if she keeps on then just repeat that you are having it cut on Monday and don't get stressed about it because the more stressed you get the more she will.

    She can't help herself. just remember it doesn't mean that she doesn't love you and try to block all those old feelings if you can.
     
  13. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    190

    She wants a photo of what it looks like so that she can approve of it before I next visit. Also what is the point of telling me to lie and say I have had it short and go with it long and tell her oh it has grown. If you had read my earlier posts you would have read that she told me not go turn up again with it long so I cannot go can I? She will have a go at me and say I told you not to turn up with long hair and why have you turned up with long hair and embarrassed me again...... I think the only way if for us to cut our loses and go our separate ways..

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions...

    bye
     
  14. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    1,953
    Female
    London
    you are a grown up woman?? you do not have to do as you mother tells you and when dementia is added into the mix the things she asks of you are not reasonable...therefore your response demands a different approach....as if dealing with a child for instance. You are throwing every suggestion back and limiting yourself to this going on and on... whereas if you behave in a different way with your mother there is a good chance of you finding a way to cope with this and save yourself a lot of pain. A sense of humour often gets us through the worst of times......
     
  15. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,291
    SW London
    Sorry - I was not likening my mother's pre dementia hair 'Thing' to the problem you have with your own mother.
     
  16. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,732
    Surely your mother won't remember the details of a conversation you had with her in person 3 months earlier. I'm amazed - even in my Mas early stages of dementia that would have been beyond her and beyond me at times with no dementia lol. I'm sorry you are right I haven't read all 74 posts because basically I agree that a sense of humour is paramount with anyone with memory loss or we would all drive ourselves round the bend. Good luck with whatever you decide
     
  17. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    190
    #77 poster, Dec 19, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
    I have no idea whether she will or will not remember our conversation three months from now. She cam remember some things and not others.
     
  18. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    190
    How did you cope? How did you deal with the emotional blackmail.
     
  19. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    190
    #79 poster, Dec 19, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
    My mother has nobody else either and very similar to your mother. The difference is that I am not prepared to put up with things whereas you did. I wonder what you would have some if you were told to cut your hair or you risk never seeing your mother again? Would you just obediently cut it? Is your mother still alive? I guess not from the way you say she had dementia. Do you have siblings to help you? I am an only child and my mother has no family of her own because all her siblings disowned her many years ago. She was the middle of 5. She had an older brother and sister and a younger brother and sister and lived most of her adult life not having any contact with them whereas they all had contact with each other. Her elder brother married a woman my mother disapproved of so he decided to disown her because she never accepted his wife. He had two daughter whom I have not met. One day I was curious so I asked another member of the family for their addresses and I wrote to them. One lives abroad but the other one lives in the UK and wanted to meet me. She said she could not meet my mother because my mother never accepted her mother but she could happily meet me. My mother was very angry so told me not to meet her because it would be disloyal to her so I had to write to my cousin and say that I could no longer meet her because of the rift between her and my mother due to my mothers non acceptance of her mother. She wrote back and said fair enough you have to be loyal to your mother and that was that. We wished each other well and ended our correspondence.
     
  20. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,732
    My relationship with my Ma was exactly the same Kassy - she gave me hell but I loved her because she was my Mum and I'm glad now that I looked after her to the end even though sometimes i was at the end of my tether (5+ visits a day every day lol). I was an only child with no other family and my husband died 2 years in so it was me or no-one and I made the choice. I also realise that it isn't a choice that everyone either can or wants to make.

    Some of my teeth are literally ground down lololol
     

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