Verbal and emotional abuse

Natashalou

Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
426
london
Having been through this myself, I sympathise. My final conclusion was this:
What exactly does visiting a nasty, rude abusive old woman who tells me she hates me actually achieve?
For me the answer was simply the avoidance of the guilt I suffer if I DONT go.
Now, I visit weekly, stay briefly, suffer whatever mood she is in, and walk away pretty much guilt free.
She is now local so its much easier than when she lived 70 miles away. If she was still that far id probably be visitin every couple of months with the same principal.
 
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ChrisD

Registered User
Jul 22, 2007
27
Hampshire
"What exactly does visiting a nasty, rude abusive old woman who tells me she hates me actually achieve"?

I couldn't have put it better myself Natashalou. The guilt is immense though. I will leave it for a few months. I agree Grannie G, oh to be a fly on the wall. I wonder what she will be telling people now.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Chris,
What a tough position to be in. You say that it is only 8 weeks since your dad died - this must have added to your mum's confusion immensely

You must feel so hurt when she is nasty to you. I can so understand you feeling that it is not worth going - but try and accept that it is the illess that is making her behave as she is. (Presuming that this is out of character).

In your position I would be asking myself, if she/he died tomorrow could I live with the decision that I have made? For me that focuses my mind and emotions.

Love Helen
 

Cate

Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
1,370
Newport, Gwent
Hi Chris

I understand totally what you are going through, I was in the same position myself, aggression, violence, the lot.

I have no real words of wisdom, just try to weather the storm as best you can. I knew I would come away from each visit in tears, it became the norm. Sometimes I would just walk out, walk around the town for a while and go back, 9 times out of 10 her mood had changed, and mum would be fine.

Mum moved into the NH nearly a year ago now, and the last 3 months she has been a different person, very little verbal abuse, and no violence at all, so take heart, things can change. You hang on in there, and be kind to yourself.

Love

Cate
 

x-lauren-x

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
125
dont be sorry

hi,
dont be sorry, its not your fault at all. My uncle does the same, he directs his abuse at me normally, he is fine with my mum but will regulaly say i am incompetent and just wishes id go away and leave him alone. Everytime i hear him say something i think back, back to when we had some fabulous times and remember that this is not what hes like. Its really hard, but if everytime they say something you count to 5 then smile and say, ok , never mind it normally passes. sometimes you wonder, am i making this better or worse? but i feel that sometimes someone for my uncle to moan at and complain about is better than him seeing noone at all!
I hope things improve for you, dont blame yourself, keep smiling
luv
lauren:)
 

ChrisD

Registered User
Jul 22, 2007
27
Hampshire
Out of character

I keep thinking about whether it is out of character. As I mentioned before we were never particular close and I always felt she was disappointed in me. There was never a lot of affection, either towards myself or my children from mum and dad. She was always very strict with me as a child. I got a nursing diploma at 40 and a degree at 50 but never felt she was proud of me, or at least she never showed it. I was adopted and she has told me she would have preferred to have had children of her own. Although she said this recently, she also said it 25 years ago when I adopted my son. She said to me how nice it would be if I had a child of my own. It hurt 25 years ago and it hurt again recently when she said it. So although I think some things are out of character I also think she is verbalising what she is feeling. I do sometimes wonder whether I actually really knew her.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,142
Kent
Dear Chris, you appear to have been emotionally abused by your mother, when she was well, and now she is ill.

I know, because I recognize the behaviour, having experienced it myself.

Some people will never change, but they have no right to behave in this way. You are not duty bound to tolerate it.

Take care

Love xx
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,142
Kent
Dear Chris,

I didn`t cope with it. I grew up as a shy introvert with a very poor self image.

Believe it or not, I`m still shy and introverted, but slowly gained self confidence through success in my work, and by making sure my own child had the upbringing I would have liked.

Take care

Love xx
 

Natashalou

Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
426
london
I too had an abusive childhood and now im left constantly wondering which is worse.
If a person was close to the parent in many ways to lose that closeness and the person you adore must be horrendous. But at least there are the happy memories and the knowledge the abuse really IS the dementia and not the real person to sustain you through the bad times.
Because I was never close to my mother and her behaviour to me was always very bad, I havent "lost " a loving parent or even a "friend". But I seem to have the responsibilty for an awkward elderly woman for whom in truth I have very little feeling.
she often says "I suppose you wish I would die!"
In fact, I can say truthfully, no, I dont WANT her to die, what I want is her to be a normal mother and Grandmother...and it certainly isnt dementia which first stopped her performing those roles.
 

ChrisD

Registered User
Jul 22, 2007
27
Hampshire
Again, it's reassuring, but also very sad that there are others who feel like me. I seem to have started a whole new subject! What you say about losing a parent you were close to must be horrendous. I wouldn't say my childhood was bad, but it wasn't as loving as my friends relationships with their parents. My relationship with my children (25 and 21) is so very different and we have a very close, loving relationship. They are horrified at the way their Nana is behaving towards me. I also don't feel I have lost a loving parent or friend, but I too feel I have the responsibility for a nasty, old woman. She often says to me that I think she is mad and want her in a home. I want her to be happy and safe in her own home for as long as possible, with the support of carers, but she will not believe me. I too grew up with a low self-esteem, but could never really understand why. It has all become very clear over recent weeks. I hate feeling like this and wish I could switch off.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Chris,
I cannot begin to imagine how that must have felt - you obviously feel that you were in some way second best. But does the wish to have experienced giving birth, automatically imply that your mother felt any less for you?

It sounds as though you have lots of questions about the relationship with your mother, and that this is making your current experience even more painful. All I can say, is that even in this you are not alone on TP. The feeling of not knowing whether she was proud of you - again you are not alone. I am sue that she was - sounds to me as though she has always had trouble in expressing her thoughts and feelings to you.

Hang in their Chris. Unfortunately dementia means that some of the answers you may have liked, some of the discussions you would have liked to have, some of the reassurances you would have liked to have received - they will never happen.

Take care.
Love Helen
 

ChrisD

Registered User
Jul 22, 2007
27
Hampshire
She may have had difficulty expressing her thoughts and feelings in the past, but she definitely has no problem expressing them now!
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
x-lauren-x said:
hi,
dont be sorry, its not your fault at all. My uncle does the same, he directs his abuse at me normally, he is fine with my mum but will regulaly say i am incompetent and just wishes id go away and leave him alone. Everytime i hear him say something i think back, back to when we had some fabulous times and remember that this is not what hes like. Its really hard, but if everytime they say something you count to 5 then smile and say, ok , never mind it normally passes. sometimes you wonder, am i making this better or worse? but i feel that sometimes someone for my uncle to moan at and complain about is better than him seeing noone at all!
I hope things improve for you, dont blame yourself, keep smiling
luv
lauren:)
Dear Lauren,
I'm going to say one of those awful patronising things older people say to young people, so I hope you'll forgive me. :)

You are an amazing young woman. For someone who is still at school to have such maturity and such an immense capacity for empathy is truly outstanding. You are a true treasure and a jewel. I wish I could nominate you for "Young Person of the Year". (Do you have an award like that in the UK? We have it here in Australia.)


You are a tonic and an inspiration to us all. Please keep it up!! :)
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Chris

Oh how I empathise with how you feel
My Mother was much the same .....my sister was the perfect daughter and I was merely everything that was wrong
Never did she have a good word to say to me , she critised everything i ever did
Fun is my sister did nothing while i was the practical one who fixed things
After she died though the number of people from her various clubs told me at her funeral how much she praised everything i did and how talented i was .........they were incredulous when i just looked at them and said "pity she never told me "

Equally my Mother always claimed everything she ever did was "perfect"
Again after she died and i cleared her house etc boy did the 1001 real mess ups of absolutely everything surface
 

DeborahBlythe

Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
9,222
Amy said:
Hiya Chris,
I cannot begin to imagine how that must have felt - you obviously feel that you were in some way second best. But does the wish to have experienced giving birth, automatically imply that your mother felt any less for you?

Take care.
Love Helen
I think it would be hard NOT to feel that one was second best unless the words about wanting her own children were said incredibly tactfully and preferably to a mature person rather than to a child. Even if she had followed it up with something like 'Of course, I soon realised how wonderful it was to have you as my daughter, Chris and how lucky I was' etc I think I would still be pretty unnerved by this. I say this because at one stage in my childhood, my mother told me I was a 'mistake' and that during her pregnancy with me she had tried on doctor's advice to 'get rid 'of me, but the pills hadn't worked. I don't think, at the time, that I realised what an impact these words had on me psychologically, but much later on, in adulthood, when I told a counsellor, she said " What a very dreadful thing to be told. I wonder why your mother wanted to do this' and it dawned on me that 'Yes' that was a strange thing to say to an eight year old child. It also explained why I was forever seeking approval, in various ways (perhaps I still am).

However in my case I can honestly say that I love my mother now more than I ever have done, and through her illness she has occasionally said things that have been extremely comforting to me, so I think I am extremely lucky in many ways. I do think back to what she said when I was achild, quite often , but I think I have forgiven her for for saying it. She already had three children and had been told that four was too much. Ok she didn't have to let me know; I don't suppose I was a model child and she might have just let it slip on one of those days when I tried her patience too far. I don't think they had 'naughty steps' in those days!:)

I hope this doesn't sound too flippant; I am not suggesting you provoked your mother's words and attitude, nor am I defending your mother. I never had the courage to become a mother myself although a kind of 'motherhood has been thrust upon me now. I just think that parents have a very difficult job and if they say things that are outrageous, it somehow doesn't really surprise me.


You , Chris, who have been dealt such an unfair hand, should simply do what you reasonably can for your 'mother', feeling neither guilt nor undue stress but looking after your own health and loved ones and drawing as much support as you need along the way. You did not choose your mother, she chose you. You have no siblings to share the burden and responsibility with. ( Don't use that as an excuse to feel more guilt: your parents could have adopted more children, no?) If you had, you perhaps might not feel quite so much angst about her because they could have been expected to play a part in caring for her.

You achieved fantastic things getting your nursing qualfications at 40 and 50. That is such an inspiring thing to hear. You are, to your core, a very caring person to go to those lengths. Now care a little for yourself too. Do whatever it takes to get back your self esteem regarding your mother.

Remember to treat yourself and to congratulate yourself for even bothering to think about this woman who has seemingly been so cold to you all your life. Maybe you need to talk more in person to someone who can see all the tensions and consequences of your mother's actions. It is possible that there were reasons why your mother felt she could not be more loving, stemming from her own past. That doesn't excuse what she said and how she acted, but it might make it more understandable.

Is it possible, at the end of day, if you understood her better, might you find compassion for her? A cold unloving person who has belittled you, does even she deserve the affliction of Alzheimer's?

You, more than most have utterly no reason to feel guilty even if you threw up your hands and said you could not face ever seeing her again.. It would be understandable. I'm fairly sure you won't do that, but I don't think you could be blamed if you wanted to. Kind regards, Deborah
 
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Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Remember to treat yourself and to congratulate yourself for even bothering to think about this woman who has seemingly been so cold to you all your life.
I 2nd that , I'm not going to beg up old memory from my childhood with my mother as it was not an easy joinery with her at the beginning of mum AZ for a good year or so, saying hurtful thing.

So if you don't feel like congratulate yourself we all do it for you xx
 

ChrisD

Registered User
Jul 22, 2007
27
Hampshire
Thank you

Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean an awful lot and have certainly kept me going through some very dark moments. I certainly won't give up, but I will leave it a few weeks before making contact again. As I have said before, I didn't have a bad childhood, just not a particularly loving one. Even so, I still do not understand where all this nastiness has come from, and I probably never will. I did found out tonight however that she will only allow me back in the house if I arrange for the gas cooker to be turned back on!!
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,434
66
Toronto, Canada
I mourn the mother I've lost

I was one of those people who had the most incredibly close relationship with my mother. I've said this before - I hero-worshipped my mother, I didn't think any other mother-daughter were as close or loved each other as much as we did. In many ways, it was true. My sister, on the other hand, had a difficult relationship with our mother.

It's only during the last couple of years, when I've really thought about our relationship, that I realized how I accepted so many things that Mum believed or said. I've grown up a great deal. It hurts, I don't want to grow up, I just want my mother back.

Ironically, my sister has said that she had to wait 40 years to have the relationship she wanted with Mum. It only lasted a few years until Mum's decline was too much, but finally she had it.

Which is harder? I think never having had the close relationship is harder. Yes, it's all kinds of horrible watching her decline but at least I had that good relationship for such a long time.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,142
Kent
I have never been able to understand how anyone can believe they have the right to be verbally aggressive or abusive to anyone else.

The person who does has put him/herself on a pedestal, at whose direction?