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So tired of the constant insults & put-downs - my poor Dad
Livesbythebeach
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:09 AM
Joined: 4/3/2019
Posts: 211


My mother has always been negative, but in the last few years, as her memory and cognitive skills go, it's just getting worse.  I would estimate that 95% of what comes out of her mouth are insults aimed at my dad and I.  It is truly exhausting, especially given how much we do for her.  He gets it even worse than me since he lives with her.  I know, I just have to ignore, or redirect, but sometimes it is impossible to redirect my mother . . . she finds something negative in everything, blames my Dad and me every chance she gets, and will just keep ranting and escalates so quickly you're sitting there thinking, "What the h*** just happened?"   And when things don't go her way, it's all some evil plot we purposely designed to upset or disrespect her.   

I try my best, but yesterday was extremely frustrating.  I also am really seeing why my Dad doesn't enjoy going out in public with her because you never know when she's going to twist something into an opportunity to berate us.  Like, once he decided to carry their suitcases to save a little money and he was struggling with them, so she basically screamed at him and called him stupid in a crowded airport- and the theme of the story was, as it so often is, "ur father is stupid"  . . . .   I had a crystal clear vision of her standing there doing nothing except causing a scene and it made me feel so bad for my father. 

They are coming to visit in a few weeks and I want to throw up.  I agree to these visits only for my father's sake and I schedule them so they only spend a total of two nights with me.

My mother clearly needs to be medicated, but I know she'll never agree to it.  

I truly feel bad for my dad- she picks on him for everything and has zero gratitude for the life he created for them. And he's still taking care of her in so many ways, and she just doesn't see it. 


Sayra
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:37 AM
Joined: 8/10/2016
Posts: 1598


Know these visits are very hard for you and I’m sorry.  You are right your dad needs all the support he can get from you.  I am your dad.  If your dad endures what I endure she all so is very loud when being aggressive.  He lives with this every day, probably dreads getting up in morning to face another day.  My mom would never agree to taking meds either.  Thank you for being kind to your dad.  Your mom also has a disease.  It’s hard for us to remember that sometimes because of the effect it has on us.  Sometimes I shed a few tears because I can no longer talk and reason with her.
dayn2nite2
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:38 AM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 1968


You save yourself.  The visits don’t help your father, they just give her a new environment to criticize.

Refuse to host them.  You can do that.  If you don’t, that’s a choice.

Your father married her and has tolerated the behavior.  He chose not to leave and is choosing to ferry her all over today.

Nobody has to be abused.  But you sometimes have to make difficult choices to avoid abusers.


harshedbuzz
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 8:06 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 1688


It's difficult when a person has a difficult personality that is magnified by their dementia for a number of reasons. This scenario makes it almost impossible to embrace the mantra of it's the disease talking because the behavior is pushing the very same buttons they installed decades ago. 

This behavior might eventually pass, with medication and further cognitive decline my once rat-bastard father revealed a sweeter, almost child-like temperament. Medication, to reduce his anxiety and dial back his agitation, made it possible for my mother to care for him at home as long as she did. If you could get her to a geripsych for medication, do it. Even if you have to slip the meds into a treat behind her back.

Giving you dad the chance to visit you is a kindness.
Victoria2020
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 8:13 AM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 927


Hi LBRB

System tossed my reply so here is mini-version take 2.

I couldn't find  all your earlier posts but she refuses a doctor, your Dad won't push it and she still drives as I recall.

When they come for a visit, see if your Father really understands she won't get better and her behavior may be treatable to some degree. Can't he step up, or is he maybe a nicer person but slipping too?

Has he appointed you his DPOA healthcare proxy? If he strokes out from stress can you see her or brother handling the bills, his care etc?

See if you can't turn the not-fun visit into at least a  legally productive one.

 


SunnyBeBe
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 9:08 AM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 701


It sounds like your father really is in denial.  Why would he want to take her out in public or to visit someone acting that way?  I don't think I would tolerate it.  It's not helping her or anyone to continue this.  I might suggest to father that he consult with her doctor, an attorney or other professional about her care and his rights and responsibilities. .  If he's not able to get her help, then, I'd wonder about his judgment.  I don't see him being long suffering as a good quality now, when a spouse is likely suffering with some kind of cognitive issue.
Livesbythebeach
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 12:38 PM
Joined: 4/3/2019
Posts: 211


Sayra- My mom thinks that if she doesn't yell, she can say whatever she wants, regardless of the time or place.  It's so toxic! 

I think of these visits as a necessary evil so I can give my dad a little bit of a break, and honestly I think my Dad's a pretty cool guy (well, aside from enabling my mom).  They are a package deal and so I tolerate her but it's not healthy for me to engage with her too much.  

 


Livesbythebeach
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 12:44 PM
Joined: 4/3/2019
Posts: 211


dayn2nite- The way I deal with it now, is that they come here, stay the night with me, then go to their beach house for a few days, and then return for one night before they leave.  I am making a choice.  A very painful choice.   

I do it for my dad's sake.  He needs a break from her constant complaining and criticizing!  So as painful and nausea inducing as it is, I will do it for my pops.  He deserves better than she gives him, so I try to make his life a little happier, and it gives him a few days respite if she's busy bitching at me.  

And I've put other boundaries in place- ie I WILL NOT go and stay with them at their house, and I will NOT take trips with them- my mom had this crazy idea last year where she wanted me to drive 1,000 miles with my dog to visit them, and then leave my dog (100 pounds) with my dad and then go on a vacation with her . . . and then drive 1,000 miles home with my dog.  She truly didn't get or didn't care how difficult that would have been on me to drive that distance alone, or the fact that my dad wouldn't be able to manage my big dog by himself.  

So if anything, I make this choice, is for my Dad's sake. He's always been in my corner. Plus, seeing the look on his face when he interacts with my dog is priceless. 


Livesbythebeach
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 12:51 PM
Joined: 4/3/2019
Posts: 211


Harshedbuzz- You totally get it . . . my mom has always been difficult.  The paranoia, the accusations, thinking of things in the worst way possible, beyond how any normal healthy human being would interpret a situation or interaction.  

She's always convinced people are out to cheat her or lie to her.  I mean, FFS, I lent a friend of mine my Instant Pot and made the mistake of mentioning it to my mom . . . she went on a rant about how my friend would never give it back etc.  The friend is someone I've known for over 30 years and is SOOOOOO generous with me- letting her try my Instant Pot was literally my pleasure- and if my friend never gave it back I would be happy she enjoys using it!


Livesbythebeach
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 1:08 PM
Joined: 4/3/2019
Posts: 211


Victoria- You're always so good about reading past posts to make sure you get the context.    I always appreciate your thoughtful and caring replies. 

Yes- mom still drives, refuses a diagnosis, and I think even if she did get diagnosed she'd refuse meds.  (I have to hide my anti depressants when she visits because she'd probably flush them and then yell at me/judge me for taking them- she says things like "We don't do pills"- meant to be an insult to people who take medication).

I do have DPOA for both my parents.   NO way in h*** I'd want my idiot brother involved in anything if either of them had a medical emergency. 

Dad is 78, and I think he's getting tired in general.  He has been slowing down a little and it takes him longer to process information.  

My plan, like last time, is to use our dog walking time to have an honest chat and discuss some details and plans.  It's really tough because we can't even have a normal conversation around my mom- she just rambles constantly and gets mad if we are talking and so then starts her own conversation- I've asked her many times to please not do that- pointless. 

 


Livesbythebeach
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 1:11 PM
Joined: 4/3/2019
Posts: 211


Sunny- My dad is in denial, but he's also the type to try and avoid conflict . . . and my mom is just so mean that I think he's a bit scared of her- I felt awful last time they visited because one night he told me, "I really prefer to be home so I can relax"- meaning he's tired of managing her in public.  I think he feels responsible for her and also doesn't know how to change now.  He tolerates a lot.
harshedbuzz
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 4:07 PM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 1688


LBTB-

Kudos to you for securing the POAs and being dad's primary agent. 

My father fought the suggestion of having POAs and trusts drawn which was OK until my mom got sick. She went into autoimmune liver failure while they were at their place in Florida. I knew she hadn't been feeling well, but didn't know that a neighbor had found her napping on a bench at Publix and taken her to the hospital where she was admitted. I talked with dad a few times that week and he never mentioned that she was hospitalized or the color of a school bus- only that she was mean and not cooking meals for him. The hospital found my name on the PCP's emergency contacts and reached out to me. 

Perhaps your dad, like my mom, is channeling the frog in the pot on warm water set over a flame. Mom was so used to dad's antics, she didn't have the sense of urgency about them others did. The trip when I was summoned to Florida while my mom was hospitalized I happened upon my dad entertaining neighbors for their nightly happy hour wearing only a bath towel. Like that's normal. That he thought this was OK is understandable- his brain was damaged. But that my mother accepted this as normal and suggested I was being overly proper to call him on it suggests she didn't realize the water was almost at a boil.
Victoria2020
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019 5:20 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 927


Maybe report her driving to the State where she is licensed. they should get her in for an exam, make her see at least at eye doctor - then you can try to cascade her getting into a more through exam. If you tell the eye doctor the issues , maybe they can prod her to a GP etc .

Best thing would be if she has a melt down at Motor vehicles or the eye doctor and then maybe a 72 hour hold and they can start to really test/treat her.

I just *so* don't want your Dad to just burn out like that caregiver lady in the recliner who passed from stress. He deserves some peace and rest and puppy kisses this side first.

(Can you legally record her at your home going off? To show doctors )


Livesbythebeach
Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2019 7:13 AM
Joined: 4/3/2019
Posts: 211


Harshedbuzz- Thank you.    Again, you made a really good point- I think dad is so used to mom that he lets a lot of things slide while I'm sitting there thinking WTF, lady! And I think she reserves a lot of special barbs just for me.  She has this whole thing about how she never spoke up in her life and now she yells at my dad . . . and I just sigh because "yelling" is not the same as speaking up.

I started noticing that she fights with EVERYONE about three years ago.  She and my dad were renovating a condo they own, and I referred contractors (all friends of mine) to her as it is located near me.  Long story short, the painter almost quit, the realtor did quit, and the flooring guy threatened to sue her- and ALL of them called me and apologized and said they were totally befuddled as to why she was so upset with them.  

The realtor in particular, got it really bad.  My mom kept insisting she wanted to place an ad to rent the condo and specify that the renter should be of a certain gender and from the same country as us.  The realtor and I both told her that is illegal (I have a realtor's license too so I know rental and housing discrimination laws very well) and she simply wouldn't believe us, and kept blasting out the realtor via email.  I then told her I didn't want to see her on her next visit (she visited 7 times in six months, 2016 was not a fun year) and she turned around and accused the realtor of ruining the relationship she has with me . . . total craziness, right? It's never her fault! Everyone else is a jerk!


Livesbythebeach
Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2019 7:45 AM
Joined: 4/3/2019
Posts: 211


Victoria- That's a really good idea about her driving!!  One of my friends recently asked me if she's ok driving, ie does she get lost etc, and I had to truthfully answer that I have no idea because I haven't seen her drive in almost 5 years.  Her vision is horrible and her hands shake badly (Parkinson's runs in our family)- it's bad enough that she needs to use two hands to hold a mug and needs small utensils. 

And truthfully I LOL'd at the idea of her having a meltdown at the DMV . . . she would totally freak out if they took her license away!  She expects people to bend the rules for her and is furious when they don't.  

She turned 70 this year, doesn't the DMV make people get eye exams after a certain age to keep their license? 

I worry about my dad too- I really worry about him.  It's not healthy for anyone to be around someone who insults them constantly.