1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

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Verbal and emotional abuse

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by ChrisD, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    27
    Hampshire
    Sorry, it's me again. I really don't know what to do about Mum and I am finding it increasingly difficult to cope. I rang her (on the Isle of Wight) tonight to say that my husband and would be over tomorrow and she told me she didn't want me to go and that she never wanted me or any member of my family to go to her home ever again. I tried to remain calm and asked her why. Still don't really know what I've done wrong but apparently all her friends and neighbours know what a horrible, lying person I am. I am so upset and really don't know what to do. I only visit alternate weeks now because of this and still plan to visit tomorrow, although I am not sure she will let us in. I think it will be a very short visit.

    I know it is all part of the dementia, but why do I get it all directed at me and what can I do about it. I still can't believe how incredibly nasty she can be. What worries me is that it is going to get worse. Would it just be better if I didn't visit at all?
     
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,989
    Toronto, Canada
    Don't be sorry

    It's hard & distressing to put up with abuse. I believe you said you visit your mother every week or second week because of distance. Perhaps you need to skip a couple of weeks just to give yourself a break.

    Also, don't call first - just go. If she's going to say nasty things, at least you can skip the telephone ones. You've said previously her neighbours & church people have been very helpful. Ask them how she is with them & tell them to be brutally honest. You may find she's spreading the abuse around. This may or may not make you feel better.

    Always try to remember - it's the disease, it's not your mother.
     
  3. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    27
    Hampshire
    Thank you. You are right, I should just visit without ringing first. This is the only time I do ring. I have actually emailed the minister at the church mum attends to find out how she is with her friends, so hopefully I will get a reply soon. I have a very supportive husband but he feels completely helpless because he really doesn't know what to say, or what to do to help me.
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,721
    Kent
    Dear Chris
    It is very hurtful having to suffer this verbal abuse and even though we know it`s the illness, it doesn`t stop it hurting.

    It was a good idea to try to find out how she is with her friends, but I`d be surprised if she was as abusive with them as she is with you.

    Joanne`s suggestion that you don`t warn her of your visit is a good one, and also that you visit less frequently.

    I would also suggest that if you did speak to her before a visit and she told you not to come, I`d call her bluff, as it could possibly be a bluff, and say `OK, if you don`t want me to come, I won`t bother.`.

    If she`s rude to you when you visit, I`d walk out.

    I know she can`t help it, well I certainly hope she can`t help it, for if she is, she`s exhibiting the behaviour of a spoilt child, and that in itself, I suppose, is still the illness.

    Love xx

    Love xx
     
  5. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Chris

    My Mum was horrid to me, accusing me of a variety of things as the dementia set in..before it even became truly apparent. For me I just had to keep reminding myself it was her dementia.

    I work on the basis that it was not Mum doing ti but the disease. (Although it was very very hard!) At times I had to kick back or not visit. I had to keep myself fit and stable enough to cope with my twin sons although she regularly had me in tears in the early days with her treatment of me.

    It may sound hard but the loving person did return to me as the disease progressed.

    ((((((hugs))))))))))

    Mameeskye
     
  6. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Chris

    I agree with all the above posts.

    Let her know, you love her and will give her any help neccesary, but you are not prepared to put up with any verbal abuse.

    Leave (normally in tears) if you have to, maybe, to return in approx 15 - 30 mins. then assess the situation.
    If this doesn't work, possibly a longer time between visits, will be the next thing to try.

    I know sufferers can't help their behaviour, but if there is enough capacity left, sometimes we can call their bluff, sometimes not.

    I found it was all trial and error, some things worked, some things didn't

    Good luck

    Alfjess
     
  7. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Hi Chris,Don't let the person you are hearing let you loose sight of the person you are loving.It may be easy for me to say take it on the chin,i haven't yet encountered this,i can only imagine what you feel.take care and love to you all.elainex
     
  8. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    My Mother could be downright nasty on the phone and in person but then all sweetness and light the next minute or if a friend phoned

    However it was not long before she was nasty to friends too and they all stopped bothering with her .......cant say i blamed them ........if she got nasty with me i would either put the phone down or give her as good as i got that usually pulled her up sharp and she co operated
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,721
    Kent
    Elaine, what a lovely attitude. I will remember that. Thank you.

    love xx
     
  10. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314
    Hi Cris,
    I also found this to be the case. Mum was often terrible to me and I did on a few occasions fly back at her and she did back pedal. Mum never missed a opportunity to run me down to anyone that would listen, sure, it hurts heaps. I, like you will never understand were the nastiness comes from. I hope your visit goes well. Taffy.
     
  11. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    27
    Hampshire
    At the moment I can't decide whether it is actually worth going over to see her, for yet more verbal abuse. There is absolutely no point trying to reason with her, so I am not sure what a visit will achieve. Trouble is she will then have one, because she doesn't want me to go over anyway!!!!
     
  12. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    27
    Hampshire
    Sorry, I meant to put then have won! If she lived round the corner it would be so much easier because I could pop in for 10 minutes and then leave if she was rude. Trouble is that it is about 2 hours door to door as she lives on the Isle of Wight.
     
  13. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Chris
    this has been quoted so many times on here.
    "You cannot reason with the unreasonable"
    Although it hurts I found the only way was to walk away and then change the subject.
    Hope this helps
    Norman
     
  14. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    27
    Hampshire
    I've tried changing the subject but she always brings it back again. I think as Grannie G said she is almost displaying the behaviour of a spoilt child. I suppose I just have to try and develop a very thick skin and not let it hurt me. Not sure I can do that though at the moment. It's so hard. I almost want to go and see her to put things straight in her mind, but is there really any point. She won't remember. I have to keep reminding myself that it is only about 8 weeks since Dad died. I do wonder whether she was like this towards him, but he never let on and she was always sat there very quietly whenever we visited. A few times I heard her get cross with him, but certainly never on this scale. Am still dithering about visiting her. Will feel guilty if I don't, but be upset if I do. Oh dear.
     
  15. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    Chris, I think you are the only person who can decide whether to go or not. The world won't end if you don't go today, will it? I'd chill out today and make firm plans to go at a later date. If you have the number of any of those neighbours or church contacts, make plans to ring them at some time.
    It might be more useful to visit during the week anyway when you would be more likely to get hold of carers, or Social Services or other professionals if need be. Just my thoughts.
     
  16. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    27
    Hampshire
    Hi Deborah. I usually do visit during the week on my day off, but my husband was going to come with me today for moral support! You are right though - only I can make the decision whether or not to go. All thoughts greatly appreciated.
     
  17. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    #17 DeborahBlythe, Aug 18, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2007
    Unless you are deeply worried about some aspect of your mum's care, I'd still say chill out today. You are reacting to her nastiness by wanting to rush over and make things well. You may or may not succeed, but if you are going to feel guilty and upset each time she responds nastily, I think you are going to wear yourself, and possibly hubby, out. Save the visits for when you feel you have the stamina and for essential purposes. There will be , probably, quite a lot of challenges ahead and you should try and 'pace' yourself now, otherwise you may possibly find it increasingly hard to cope with other aspects of your life.
    Take your husband next time if you can't face going alone, but if you can get to talk to someone connected with your mum's care or who knows her as a neighbour in the meantime, it will help you to put things in perspective, before the next visit. There's not much summer left. Go and have a nice day somewhere with hubby today!
     
  18. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,721
    Kent
    Dear Chris,

    I do agree with Deborah`s posts, and wish you`d take a break from visiting your mother.

    In the meantime, continue as you are doing, in trying to find out more about her behaviour with others.

    Could her abusive behaviour be her way of coping with grief since the death of your father? Whenever my husband is upset or frightened, his reaction is always to `turn against` me. But because I am his wife, rather than his daughter, on equal terms I can handle it.

    Could it be possible you are taking your father`s place, and she takes out all her frustrations on you?

    Just leave her for a while, let her be by herself, and try to find out how she is with others.

    One or two missed visits won`t make a world of difference.

    Take care

    Love xx
     
  19. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    27
    Hampshire
    You are quite right. I've rung her to say I won't be over today and said goodbye and put the phone down before she had a chance to say anything. She is probably really pleased because she didn't want to see me anyway! I will try and chill out today but still feel really wound up and shaky about it all. I keep saying to myself what someone quoted on here, that you cannot reason with the unreasonable. Thank you again for all your support.
     
  20. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,721
    Kent
    Dear Chris,

    Well done. I know what you mean by feeling shaky, it`s like you`ve had a big row with someone.

    I don`t think she`ll be really pleased. I imagine she`ll be puzzled. I wish I could be a fly on her wall.

    Love xx
     

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