So stressed today about mum

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Long-Suffering, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Just been on Skype for the usual daily chat to mum and dad. As you know, mum is dad's only carer now because she cancelled the carers I set up to go in and help her. I honestly don't know what to do any more. Today dad had his lunch and enjoyed it, and then for no reason said it was the worst lunch he'd ever had. Mum took it personally as she always does and while we were online she was yelling at him, asking him why he had said that. "Why did you say that, you cruel *******!?" He was really upset and apologising and asking if they could shake hands. She was having none of it, ranting at him furiously about how cruel and ungrateful he was. She stormed off and dad came online and told me what had happened. He was very lucid today. He said to me "I don't know why I said that. I don't know if I really thought that or not, but I said it and now she's mad. I understand why she is mad, but she won't let me say sorry". The words just come out and even if he does mean them he often realises and apologises afterwards, but mum takes everything so personally. Even after 2 years she is still treating him as if he is a normal person doing bad things deliberately. When she came back on line she was talking about dying soon. She said she was going to join her parents in heaven soon. She was going to be an angel. She told dad "You're going to end up killing me!"

    Honestly, I don't know what to do. If only I was well enough to go and stay with them and try and look after him myself, but that would only work if mum wasn't in the house. I tried last year and she wouldn't trust me to do a thing. She micromanaged every single thing I did for him, stood at my shoulder checking how I was making the sandwiches, wouldn't let me administer his medicine because "only she knew how to do it". The stress of having me there made her even worse than she usually is and that upset dad even more.

    What do you do when on the one hand she 100% refuses to let anyone else help her with care, and dad point blank refuses to go into care, but on the other hand she complains about having to look after him every single time I speak to her (it's all she talks about to me) and gets furious with him and even talks about suicide? It's an impossible situation and it's sending me crackers.

    I'm not expecting a solution to this, BTW. I just need to let off steam about it. She is driving me ****ing nuts. My husband says that my mum is evil, always has been evil and he wishes he had a shotgun!

    LS
     
  2. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,815
    UK
    Know I shouldn't say this and will probably get other members telling me off for doing so , but I like your husband!! Thank god you have someone who understands how you feel and what you are going through. It does sound so dreadful for you and your father though. No advice just lots of understanding.
     
  3. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Tin,

    Thanks, your answer made me laugh! Honestly, I don't know what to do. I'm in a different boat to most people on here - most people's stress is caused by the person with dementia not the carer. My mum has always been this way, right since I was a child. She has her own mental problems and because of that I try to be understanding, but there is only so much a person can take.

    My husband is very practical. He said to me - "If you are lucky, your mum will die then we can fly your dad over here so we can look after him." Even though this would be impossible due to dad's fragile health, I found myself thinking how great that would be. I feel terrible about thinking such things. You shouldn't wish your own mother dead, but my god, how different mine and dad's whole lives would have been if she had died long ago.

    LS
     
  4. PeggySmith

    PeggySmith Registered User

    Apr 16, 2012
    1,683
    BANES
    Tin you wrote the truth - good for you. Long- Suffering, not sure there's anything you can do at this stage. Just keep skyping and visiting when you can. Sadly it's often only resolved by a crisis.
     
  5. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Peggy,

    Thanks. Yes. I think that is all I can do until it comes to a head one way or another. I have done all I can at this stage and my own mental health is shredded.

    LS
     
  6. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,582
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Long Suffering I really feel for you.
    My Mum is the one with AD, but Dad has MCI. Although I am Mums main carer, Dad of course does all the daily practical things, but refuses home help.
    He has no understanding of Mums AD, although he says he does, so he has no coping skills. He complains that he does everything around the house, but does things to compromise Mums safety, like leaving her alone in the bath to go to the shops to go and get milk, or arranging for Mum to walk up to visit him at his club... Crossing 2 busy streets, and a major intersection.

    Undoubtedly Dad is the one that causes more me more stress, and the two of them together cause me more stress than Mum alone.
     
  7. janetlynn

    janetlynn Registered User

    Jul 22, 2012
    107
    England
    Hi,

    I can understand how emotionally draining this must be for you.

    Sorry I don`t have any advice for you, but just a thought, you said your Mum has always been like this, so..... ( sorry if this sounds harsh - I don`t mean it to be ) your Dad has put up with her moods for a long long time, so he must love her very much, otherwise he would have left her long ago. What I am trying to say is, although it must be upsetting to see your Mum treating your Dad like that, please try and remember that this is nothing new and it was his choice, when he was well, to put up with her. ( so if he was able to make a choice now, he would probably do the same. Does that make sense? I do tend to ramble!

    Take care and try not to worry too much. ( easier said and done I know )
    Janet.
     
  8. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,962
    Brixham Devon
    LS-your Dad may have put up with this kind of behaviour when he was well-but that didn't make it right then or now:( If this had been a woman without Dementia putting up with this abuse we would probably have advised the woman to leave. Your Dad has spent his married life being controlled by your Mum and putting up with her appalling behaviour. Love doesn't necessarily come into such relationships-brainwashing does. Of course, your Dad could have the mind set that he was married so that was that; honorable as it is to abide by one's vows, it can lead to a miserable life. However, your Dad is now being abused by your Mum in an unacceptable way and it could be a good time, before it gets even more out of control, to contact Adult Services where they live.
    I'm afraid that your Dad could be in danger from your Mum-she sounds as though she has no control over her anger and no ability to understand your Dad's illness.

    I'm sorry-I really don't mean to be offensive to you or your family.

    Love

    Lyn T XX
     
  9. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    839
    Fife Scotland
    hi, just wanted to say how sorry I am for your problem, but can I ask could your mother also maybe have a touch of dementia if she is saying things like she wants to die and being nasty to your dad?

    I am probably saying the wrong thing but it just crossed my mind.

    Huggs

    patsy
     
  10. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,127
    Toronto, Canada
    I know you're just ranting and not expecting a solution, but is it possible to simply say to her (over and over and over) every time she complains that there are possibilities for help but since she doesn't want help, there's no point in discussing the topic? Then move on to another topic and if she insists on complaining, get off the phone as graciously as possible.
     
  11. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Linbrusco,

    Sorry, I'm not sure what MCI is. Is that Mild Cognitive Impairment? Is that going to get worse, like dementia? Sounds like you are in a very similar situation to me. Do you feel like you are trying to look after 2 kids rather than dealing with your parents? That's how I feel. Last time I was round there. I literally had to sit between them to stop the squabbling and bickering. I used to teach kids years ago and this was something I had to do with 5-year-olds.

    LS
     
  12. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425

    Hi Janetlynn.

    You understand exactly how it is - you have hit the nail on the head about the dynamic of their relationship. About 5 years ago, I asked dad why he had stayed with my mum for 50 years when she was most of the time such a horrible person. He simply said "I love her".

    LS
     
  13. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Lyn,

    I'm not offended at all. Don't worry. I totally get what you are saying, but it's a lot more complicated than that. Obviously, mum's behaviour wasn't acceptable in the past either, but in the past, it was me who got the majority of her abuse not my dad. When I was a small child she was mentally and physically abusive to me, plus I was neglected. She bathed me once a month, and my teeth were never cleaned so they completely rotted away. She also slapped the **** out of me whenever she got angry, which was all the time. The physical abuse only stopped once I got old enough and big enough to start hitting her back, which I did. By the time I was 14, I was drinking half a bottle of spirits a day and smacking her back if she dared lift a finger to me. Throughout all of that, my dad just sat and watched. He did absolutely nothing to help me. He would sit in his chair as if in a trance, just ignoring it all. The only time he reacted was once when she was hitting me, he came over and joined in. He punched me, not her. My best friend from school, who knows my case very well b/c we've been friends 40 years, is a social worker. She told me that if my family had been on her books, I would have been taken into care and my parents would have been prosecuted.

    When I was 17 I went to the doctor and set the ball rolling to have her sectioned. My father tagged along like a little dog while I explained to the doctor what had been going on for the last 15 years. She was sent to a mental hospital the next day, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and put on anti-psychotics, which she has been taking ever since. Recently it seems that may have been a misdiagnosis and she may be bipolar or something similar, but the details don't matter - the point is she is and has always been a very abusive woman. Once I got older and started fighting back, she transferred the majority of her aggression to my father.

    I will be honest with you here. Because he sat back and let her abuse me as a child, I in many ways feel that he is now getting what he deserves. In fact family friends who know my situation and my childhood tell me that this situation they find themselves in now is what they both deserve - mum is being driven nuts by having to care for my dad and my dad is now getting exactly the same abuse from her that he didn't protect me from as a child. I am torn between agreeing with my friends on bad days, but on good days feeling that it is my duty to do something to stop her. This dilemma is something that I think only abused kids can really understand. I love and hate them at the same time.

    The situation isn't helped by the fact that I find it very hard to control the rage I feel towards my mum when I meet her. About 15 years ago, I went to visit them and my mum started her usual ranting and abuse and I physically attacked her. I had no control over myself - the rage just took control of me and I threw a heavy ceramic dish at her that just missed her head. I could have killed her. That scared me so much that I didn't go and see them again for 6 years.

    So you can see that it is very complicated and I am confused about how I feel about both my parents. The social services are aware that my mum has been hitting my dad because she told them. The community carer mailed me last week to say that she was satisfied my dad was safe and so she was closing the case.

    Honestly, Most of the time I really don't know how I feel about them as parents as a whole and this dementia thing has just complicated everything ten times more.

    LS
     
  14. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Patsy,

    Thanks. I appreciate it.

    Like I just said to Lyn in the last post, my mum has a history of mental illness. When my dad was admitted to hospital last year with a chest infection, one of the doctors told me they though my mum also had dementia, but to me she has always been that way. I don't see any difference in her mental abnormalities now to how she was 45 years ago. She's used suicide talk as emotional blackmail ever since I can remember. When i was about 6 she forced me to decide whether she should take an overdose of sleeping pills or not because she considered me to be to blame for her mental illness. This suicide talk is nothing new.

    LS
     
  15. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,962
    Brixham Devon
    Well that was an explanation that I didn't expect. I'm so sorry that I was so judgmental. I guess I'm primed to be extra protective to the person suffering from dementia. It's all I know. I'm also sorry that you had such a bad upbringing-it shouldn't happen should it? I've learnt a valuable lesson-that is things are not always clear cut.

    I hope things get sorted out-but I have to be honest and say that this is beyond any experience that I have had. I hope you receive support from TP'ers who have the knowledge to be able to help and advise you.

    Please take care of yourself

    Love

    Lyn T XX
     
  16. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Joanne,

    I do ask her what she wants. I say to her, mum, I know you are very stressed about dad, so what do you want? If I phrase it like that, she can tolerate my question. If I were to say to her there was no point discussing the topic, she would go absolutely mental. I have to be very careful what I say because if i upset her dad gets upset. It's the same if I abruptly end a Skype call. That makes her really angry. And she then spends the whole of the next day or so taking that anger out on my father. She'll refuse to Skype me so that he can't speak to me because she knows that will upset both of us.

    I am sure some of you reading all these posts won't understand why I continue to support my mum. I don't understand either.

    LS
     
  17. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Lyn :)

    No worries - I'm not offended by what you said at all. I am happy for you that you don't understand, if you see what I mean.

    I guess in most people's cases, they have had a good relationship with their parents all their lives and then suddenly one develops dementia. That must be very difficult for them and I have to admit that is beyond my experience. I have never had a good relationship with my parents, so it's like I've been caring for 2 demented people since I was a child. I can't imagine what it must be like for a LOVING parent to suddenly start being horrible to their child or OH. I have never had to deal with that because my mum has always been horrible to me and my dad was indifferent and remote. So in an odd sort of way I feel more sorry for you folks than I feel for myself. I am hardened to the lack of happiness after all these years, but for most folks on here it must be a totally new and horrible experience.

    I am going to be shockingly honest here - I am counting the days off until they are both dead and then perhaps I will FiNALLY be free to live what is left of my life in peace from these people. What drives me crazy I guess is the feeling that it is never ending, that there is nothing I can do. It's the powerlessness. If that makes any sense :)

    LS
     
  18. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Hi, LS. Thank you for sharing about your background on here; it really does help to explain your situation. I think that all of us, with family members/friends with dementia, have an awful lot to deal with just in terms of the disease and its manifestations. The relationships that we did, or did not, have with the people with dementia, make it more complicated. Sometimes I think complicated doesn't even begin to describe it, and your situation is certainly worthy of complicated, and then some.

    You have absolutely had more than your fair share to deal with, and then some. It's no wonder this is a multi-layered, complicated, difficult situation for you to grapple with. I cannot even imagine what this must be like for you. Of course you are confused. How on earth could you not be confused? Parents are not ever supposed to do, what both your parents did to you, repeatedly. Of course you're uncertain/ambivalent about how you feel about them, as your parents.

    For what it's worth, and I know you know this but I am going to say it anyway: you never did anything to deserve what happened to you and I am genuinely sorry to hear your story.

    I did want to reach out and say that several of your statements resonated for me, however. My background leaves out the outright abuse and neglect, but my mother was not capable of providing stable care for me past a certain age, possibly because of physical and mental health problems from which she suffered. In addition, or because of that, or for whatever reason, we've never been close emotionally and she's always been a very difficult person for me to deal with. I just about killed myself over the past two years, trying to provide support and care for her through a variety of medical issues, and, I know now, dementia.

    I never liked my mother and never wanted to spend time with her. (Why would you want to spend time with someone who is unpleasant, critical, and mean to you, and who did such a rotten job of parenting you?) Whatever I do for her, I do because I feel I am doing the right thing and I am doing what I need to do, to be able to live with myself and sleep at night. Perhaps that is an element in why you continue to support your mother?

    Like you, I think that most people who have a parent with dementia, presumably had some sort of relationship with that parent, let's hope a good one, and think how much more difficult it must be for them to lose that relationship to dementia.

    I am not shocked that you would count the days until your parents are dead, and you therefore get relief from the day-to-day stresses and concerns. I feel about my mother, and often say to those who can handle it: that all of this won't be over until she's been dead, plus two years (that's to allow enough time to finish the paperwork).

    I am sorry if you've already mentioned this in other posts, but are you an only child, or have you siblings? Any other family members in the picture? I am an only child, my mother is an only child, and her closest relative is an elderly cousin with medical problems. Since my mother is/was not really a nice person, she doesn't have friends. My parents were divorced when I was quite young and my father died over 15 years ago.

    Since my mother was diagnosed with dementia about six months ago, I've done a lot of reading on the subject. I don't know if this is the case for you, but I get frustrated over and over by the books that talk about "your loved one with dementia," because while she has dementia, she is not my loved one, and then go on to discuss how the family should all work together and how to deal with your siblings and so on and so forth. I found one book that had part of one chapter that discussed being an adult only child of a parent with dementia. I thought that there must be other people who didn't have big, supportive families and who hated their demented mothers, but why aren't they in the books? And then I found TP, and found out, there are quite a lot of us here who are only children and have difficult or non-existent relationships with our parents. So while I admit I haven't heard your exact story, I am willing to bet you are not alone out there.

    Also: how is your support network?

    I know I would be completely around the bend, if it weren't for a couple of very good friends, my therapist, my husband, and EVERYONE on TP. I've also been making the rounds of the Alzheimer's/dementia/caregiver support groups in my area, and have finally found one or two that fit my schedule and appeal to me. I didn't think these would be helpful and was really very skeptical but I do find them useful. Also, did I mention TP? Someone on here said the other day, that TP was the only place where her feelings mattered, and I agree with that. It's also safe.

    So I guess my point is to say that you matter, and your feelings matter, and you should come and tell us whatever you like, and we are here to support you, not to judge you.

    I don't know if that even begins to touch the surface, but I could not read your posts, and not respond. I will be thinking of you.
     
  19. In a Whirl

    In a Whirl Registered User

    Feb 23, 2015
    62
    Dear LS,
    It seems to me that there are at least three different areas to ponder about.
    The first & most important is your own mental wellbeing.As you said the dynamics of your parents's relationship have remained unchanged over a very long number of years. I would venture to suggest that should give you pause to consider whether it is worth beating yourself up over the situation which is unlikely to change .Getting involved in the daily/weekly dynamics may be counterproductive & just cause more upset for you in particular.
    The second area is whether at this stage, to let Social Services know of your concerns since you are living away.They will assess your parents as individuals.
    Just remember it's your parents's choice to stay together . However,if you feel your father is now incapable of making a decision because of mental incapacity & is at risk then alert Social services or the GP.


    The final topic to take into consideration is whether your own family are suffering because of all this worry. If so who comes first? Your abusive parents or your own family?
    Tough questions & tough decisions but maybe a way forward?
     
  20. janetlynn

    janetlynn Registered User

    Jul 22, 2012
    107
    England
    #20 janetlynn, Aug 15, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
    Hi Longsuffering,

    Thank you for opening up and telling us about your childhood. It must have been horrendous! No child should have to go through that!
    I don`t want to make this about me, but, I had a difficult childhood too. Nothing near as abusive as yours, but my mum was very moody and would go into a bad mood at the slightest thing. She would be horrible to my dad, who was very placid and would just put up with it. She would refuse to speak to me for days, even from my earliest memories .She controlled me through emotional blackmail, so that I would have done anything just to prevent her from going into one of her moods. I felt as if I was a bad person and I had done something to upset her. I used to go to friends houses and see the relationship they had with their parents and wonder why we were not like them. She did threaten suicide, especially when I was going out to something special, so that I ended up not going out. As I say, I don`t want to make this about me, so I`ll not go on much longer about my childhood, except looking back I think she did have bi polar. In those days mental illnesses were not talked about and I think people thought it was something to be ashamed of. My dad developed vascular dementia and then after he died, mum had it too. Although our experiences are similar mine are nowhere near as bad as yours. I am amazed at how you have coped with what you have been through! I can`t imagine how it must have felt. I think that our mums had a mental illness, otherwise how on earth do we rationalise it all. Sorry I am rambling again! Please, please take care of yourself. I am here for you and if you want to pm me, please do.
     

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