My sister called me today to let me know that my mother is blaming everything that is happening to her on me! My mother is "extremely angry" and me and told my sister she could tell me because she didn't care if I knew she was talking about me. Apparently I'm "bossing" her around and making her life a "living hell" and keeping her in the prison.
I'm the one that goes to visit my mother each week because my sister lives in another state and my brother has his own health problems so I'm the one she sees all the time.
It has been extremely difficult to separate what I know Alzheimers is doing to my mother and the feelings one gets by being criticized by my mother for doing everything bad to her.
Thank goodness for this message board because I can read about others that are going through the same thing with their parent blaming them. ; It is getting easier to hold back the tears but it isn't easy. I'll keep on visiting and pretending that I enjoy my visit. Thanks for letting me vent my frustration.
Jannar...your story could be any one of ours! Most here have felt these same feelings...and they're pretty crappy!
Of six "kids"...I'm the only one who still visits our Mother...and in the beginning, most of the blame of her being placed in an Alzheimer's facility was put (by her) on me. Now, after 10 years there...most of the time she is not even aware of my weekly visit.
I remember sitting there and "smiling and sighing....or was it sighing and smiling"....it really didn't matter. I remembered hearing the sentence "Perception is reality" and it helped me understand Mom's actions, reactions, and behaviors. At each visit I had to remind myself of those 3 little words...and it helped me realize the fact she had no control over what was happening to her. It's a horrific disease........Pam
I think I mentioned once before that you are very close in location to me!
Your story is all of our stories, though I do question why your sister would feel the need to relay your mother's words to you. She must know your mother, if in her right mind, would not feel that way. If it make's you feel any better, two weeks ago my mother informed me that I had "sucked every bit of pleasure out of her life" because I would not take her to the scrap metal yard. It does not make sense, it is not a judgement upon us. Hang in there sister.
All the best,
You know, when I first started posting and reading on this board, someone said something I will never forget. They said that the caregiving child is often the one that got the least attention, or something like that.
I was NOT the golden child. That was my brother. We are both adopted kids, but they really wanted a boy, and mom told me that they "settled" for me first because they were not sure they would get a son. They did acquire one, 23 months after me.
Well, now, mom is gone and dad is in deep Stage 6 dementia, and where the hell is my brother? Not here, that's for sure. He has shown up twice...both times after I sent him a 4figure check to come. Now, I am not giving him money, and guess what? Haven't heard from him in months. Anyway, I am still here, and will be forever. Seven days a week, 365 days a year. Cutting hair and nails, preparing 3 meals a day, vacuuming, taking care of his fat stupid dog, washing his body and laundering his clothes.
And you know what I get for my efforts? A really cranky old guy that I love with all my heart, that sometimes says the meanest things to me.
Today was rough. My 12 yr old decided to be a butthead all day long, decided that he "hated" my chili I made for supper, and when I took dad his supper tonight, he refused to eat it. Said he didn't like chili. Or the scratch cornbread that was made with corn and cheese in it. (It was yummy). That was almost the straw that broke the camel's back for me today. My son cranky, dad being crabby...sometimes it's all you can do not to act just like 'em.
It's hard to just ignore 'em when they are being difficult. And you know why? Because we, at one time, took every word that dropped out of their lips as absolute gospel.
Remember being 9? If mom or dad said it, it was so. So how are we supposed to flip that around and be "the boss"? When our parent calls us names, or accuses us of ruining their lives (I ruined daddy's life by moving him here to Colorado from Oregon. Mom had died, and dad was getting worse, so there was no choice - move here with me, or a NH), it hurts us.
And this is the place where everyone understands that role reversal is so hard. In fact, it's impossible, as far as I can see.
So I get it, jannar. And all I can say that might help is to return here, vent, type, and let it all out. Ya' gotta have someplace to go. And that is here, my friend. Q is right - your story? Our stories. For reals.
It seems to be a common occurance Jannar. I have been disowned so many times I have lost count. Before Mom went to AL I was the horrible daughter that couldn't do enough to help her with Dad... no matter how much I did. She never got to go any where or do anything and it was at least in part my fault. Now I am the horrible daughter that is forcing Mom to live in that god forsaken place that she hates with all of her being. I am preventing her from taking Dad home to die. Yes, I have sucked the happiness out of her life. I listen to her cry as she screams at me that I just don't care. Beyond that I am stealing her things and only put her in that place to take her belongings. Mom is an equal opporunity accusor. She not only tells me these things about myself but also tells my sisters these things about me. Then she tells each of my sisters how horrible they are and the rest of us are. Her hostility is tangible. It has gotten progressively worse over the last three to four years....
Several things have helped me. Mom is unable to express her feelings in a normal rational way and this is the only way she knows to release her emotions. Her world is in chaos and she doesn't understand what is happening to her. She knows that it is not her... so it has to be somebody else that has turned her world upside down. What she believes is real to her. I know, before the disease, she would have never said such things to me or about me.... or my sisters. I also know that when she "wants to go home" she does not just want to go back, as she is now, to the physical location they lived before. She wants to go back to a time and place when there was no confusion in her head. I want the same thing for her but no amount of wishing will make that possible. In my heart I know she loves me and I love her. I also know that she is exactly where she needs to be. She is finally safe and well cared for even if she doesn't realize it. So if it helps her to vent at me.... so be it!!! There are days it gets to me. Usually when I have had a difficult time in other areas of my life and Mom is particularly vicious. But I remember all the things I have written here and it does get better. Or maybe she has said it for so long that I am becoming immune to it.
Dad has done this a few times but it is very rare with him. Usually it is when Mom has upset him with her rants and he wants us to "make Mom happy".
So I do understand. You just have to keep explaining to yourself that it is not your Mom saying those things.... it is the imposter.....
"A prisoner in her own home". These famous words were how my sister described my 5 year stint as full time caregiver to our mother. She wanted Mom to be free. Free to go out and walk in front of a truck. Free to burn all the pots or set the house on fire.
When I heard her saying you make Mom feel like a prisoner I couldn't listen to another word. I slammed the phone down, very angry, very upset. Later my sister said 'good thing we were cut off, I had a lot more to say to you but I thought better of it."
I was never Mom's jailer. I was always there for her, protected her even from herself, and did what I was able to do - but those words still haunt me to this day, around 4 years after they were spoken.
It is the ultimate thankless task to be a stay home Alzheimer Caregiver. Nothing you can do will make anyone see you as a selfless helper - unless they have done it themselves. To many you just ''want something." Maybe Mom's money, maybe her house, maybe her love and thankfulness. Not gonna happen. Her anger and confusion will be taken out on you, the nearest person.
This disease costs lives, families, relationships, and kills a lot of idealistic dreams ....
Dealing with my mother with this horrible disease is one of the hardest things that I have had to deal with. It's both mentally and physcially draining. I am extremely glad that I found this message board and all of you have been wonderful in assisting me with dealing with my mother's venting and paranoia. I will continue to come by because I need it for my own sanity. I'm going to make the two hour trip on Wednesday to have lunch with my mother. Who knows what will happen this time, but thanks to all of you I will be better prepared.