Donate to Remove ads

Got a credit card? use our Credit Card & Finance Calculators

Thanks to ExFM,ErroneousBee,GSVsowhat,Shelford,Hypster, for Donating to support the site

Miserable mum

A friendly ear
Braziers
Posts: 31
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 12:50 pm
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Re: Miserable mum

#341778

Postby Braziers » September 21st, 2020, 6:02 pm

I work with older people and recognise this behaviour. I deal with it regularly.

It very is easy to be drawn into the drama and put aside ones own well being too excuse bad behaviour because someone is old, has cognitive decline and has some unpleasant things to deal with. My experience is that personality and family relationship dynamic plays big part in these dramas. The personality the old person has had all their life and the personality of the relative.

Ultimately, while your mum has mental capacity, her problems are her problems. She should not be using you or anyone else as an emotional punch bag.

Your healthy role for her is to empathise and support her to deal with her problems but she must take responsibility for herself. It's her job to make herself happy again.

This might be an interesting read for you.

https://www.bpdfamily.com/content/karpm ... a-triangle

I know it's tough. Good luck

Sunnypad
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 204
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:17 pm
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Miserable mum

#341795

Postby Sunnypad » September 21st, 2020, 7:26 pm

Thank you for the replies

Curve ball of phone chat - following tests done after the fall, one possibility is cancer. She’s been fast tracked for a colonoscopy and endoscopy, though we’re not sure what fast track means in a time of covid.

She sounds very calm but that might not last of course. I really hope she doesn’t have to go through what dad went through.

Depending on what happens, I might need to look at renting out my place to rent nearer to her.

I also might need to keep posting here. Thanks so much to everyone for keeping this board going.

Don’t worry about being patronising at all, all advice is helpful. I think you guys have been giving comfort for maybe twenty years now? I feel lucky to have you.

bluedonkey
Lemon Slice
Posts: 586
Joined: November 13th, 2016, 3:41 pm
Has thanked: 334 times
Been thanked: 189 times

Re: Miserable mum

#341894

Postby bluedonkey » September 22nd, 2020, 10:35 am

GrahamPlatt wrote:Could be that your mum’s not simply unhappy, but depressed. Difference being, it may be treatable.

That was exactly my thought. It does sound like depression.

sg31
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:35 am
Has thanked: 815 times
Been thanked: 585 times

Re: Miserable mum

#341910

Postby sg31 » September 22nd, 2020, 11:11 am

Sunnypad wrote:Thank you for the replies

Curve ball of phone chat - following tests done after the fall, one possibility is cancer. She’s been fast tracked for a colonoscopy and endoscopy, though we’re not sure what fast track means in a time of covid.

She sounds very calm but that might not last of course. I really hope she doesn’t have to go through what dad went through.

Depending on what happens, I might need to look at renting out my place to rent nearer to her.

I also might need to keep posting here. Thanks so much to everyone for keeping this board going.

Don’t worry about being patronising at all, all advice is helpful. I think you guys have been giving comfort for maybe twenty years now? I feel lucky to have you.


Don't cross bridges before you get to them. With elderly people there are a lot of reasons for falls, some are dramatic but many aren't. You need to be prepared for anything but don't stress about them until they become reality. There's an old saying 'a coward dies a thousand deaths but a brave man dies only once'. think of it like that, there may be many false alarms. Deal with what is, not what might be.

Think twice about moving close, then think again, is it what you really want or do you feel duty bound? It's easy to get sucked in even though you don't want to. Think about alternatives first. Remember it could be your life for the next few years. It wouldn't be so bad if you know it will end in 3 or 6 months for instance but once you make a move you might not know when you will get your life back.

You really have to look inside yourself and decide what you want and can cope with.

My wife was very close to her mother and cared for her for a couple of years by visiting most days of the week. One day towards the end of that period she turned to me and said "Mum's had her life, now she wants mine". Totally out of character for my wife who is the most loving, caring person I've ever known. She'd realised she could never do enough to satisfy her mother who was at that time in her very late 80's.

You need to protect your own sanity but also you need to be able to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the journey and be able to honestly say to yourself 'I did my best'. That doesn't mean everything, 'everything you can' differs from person to person. That's why you need to know yourself.

I hope that makes some sort of sense.

Dod101
Lemon Half
Posts: 7324
Joined: October 10th, 2017, 11:33 am
Has thanked: 1741 times
Been thanked: 3036 times

Re: Miserable mum

#341926

Postby Dod101 » September 22nd, 2020, 11:53 am

I am not Sunnypad and have never been in his position with parents but I have with two wives; one died of the very long term effects of insulin dependent diabetes (these days called Type 1 I think) and the other from cancer much more recently. It is fair to say that neither wife wanted to take over my life, but both did in different ways. I think that sq31's latest post is the most balanced I have read in a long while. There is only so much that any one person can do and whilst it is natural to want to throw everything at a close relative to help, the carer must retain his own energy and life as best he can as well.

I would certainly counsel against upping sticks to be near what may (or may not of course) be a relatively short term problem. That is the only comfort in these situations; it will not last for ever.

My only advice to Sunnypad would be to try to detach himself a bit and seek help from where ever he can get it. Obviously social services is one place to start and I would not hesitate to seek help.

Dod

Clariman
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1814
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 12:17 am
Has thanked: 1388 times
Been thanked: 600 times

Re: Miserable mum

#341948

Postby Clariman » September 22nd, 2020, 1:41 pm

Can I wholeheartedly agree with sg21 and dods most recent posts. Think carefully about whether to move nearer to your mother. You will be pulled further in ..... for who knows how long? It might be 10 years. You need to decide where you will draw the line.

All the best
C

sg31
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:35 am
Has thanked: 815 times
Been thanked: 585 times

Re: Miserable mum

#341963

Postby sg31 » September 22nd, 2020, 2:39 pm

Thanks Dod and Clariman for the support. I wasn't sure I'd expressed what I wanted to say in a way people would understand. It's very complex trying to explain the interplay between keeping your 'self' and doing what you can.

My sister and I got sucked in too far and ended up losing 10 years of our lives. I'm glad I did it and regret it at the same time. I've still not got a perfect handle on it. It's the futility that got me. It's only going to end one way. If you could 'win' because the person got better it might feel different.

Clariman
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1814
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 12:17 am
Has thanked: 1388 times
Been thanked: 600 times

Re: Miserable mum

#341969

Postby Clariman » September 22nd, 2020, 2:58 pm

sg31 wrote:Thanks Dod and Clariman for the support. I wasn't sure I'd expressed what I wanted to say in a way people would understand. It's very complex trying to explain the interplay between keeping your 'self' and doing what you can.

My sister and I got sucked in too far and ended up losing 10 years of our lives. I'm glad I did it and regret it at the same time. I've still not got a perfect handle on it. It's the futility that got me. It's only going to end one way. If you could 'win' because the person got better it might feel different.


It is all very fresh in my mind following the death earlier this month of the last of Mrs C's and my parents. That sense of obligation mixed with guilt, care, love, frustration, sadness, irritation, the knowledge of how it must end ... but not when (delete as appropriate). All that set in the context of family relationship patterns, behaviours and stresses. It is very difficult to deal with emotionally. All made much harder if the relative in need does not always appear appreciative or gracious about the support given.

C

Sunnypad
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 204
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:17 pm
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Miserable mum

#342042

Postby Sunnypad » September 22nd, 2020, 8:55 pm

I’m sorry people have been through so much.

I do understand the remarks about parents trying to take over your life. Moving nearer to mum is a thing I’d do if she had deteriorated to the point of needing daily carers or something. It would be as much for me as her. It can be a two hour trip one way and it means I often get stuck staying the night, even just to take her to medical appointments- she’s had a lot of those over the last year.

I know worrying is fruitless. However, dad had a range of health issues over the years and I found forward planning and always being “emergency ready” was very helpful.

Someone mentioned about older people getting stronger in the personality traits they already have. Mum is very nice. Dad was angry shouty man in his youth, and he got so much worse after about 76, I had to ban him from my flat till he learned to behave! He didn’t believe me at first till six weeks went by with me saying “no, you can’t visit at the weekend”.

Mum isn’t like that, thank goodness. I just get tired of talking about dad or her ailments all the time! We have actually had some nice times after dad’s death. maybe it’s a phase!

But now the main hurdle is the hospital stuff, I just hope I’m allowed to accompany her.

sg31
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:35 am
Has thanked: 815 times
Been thanked: 585 times

Re: Miserable mum

#342133

Postby sg31 » September 23rd, 2020, 9:19 am

Sunnypad wrote:I’m sorry people have been through so much.

I do understand the remarks about parents trying to take over your life. Moving nearer to mum is a thing I’d do if she had deteriorated to the point of needing daily carers or something. It would be as much for me as her. It can be a two hour trip one way and it means I often get stuck staying the night, even just to take her to medical appointments- she’s had a lot of those over the last year.

I know worrying is fruitless. However, dad had a range of health issues over the years and I found forward planning and always being “emergency ready” was very helpful.

Someone mentioned about older people getting stronger in the personality traits they already have. Mum is very nice. Dad was angry shouty man in his youth, and he got so much worse after about 76, I had to ban him from my flat till he learned to behave! He didn’t believe me at first till six weeks went by with me saying “no, you can’t visit at the weekend”.

Mum isn’t like that, thank goodness. I just get tired of talking about dad or her ailments all the time! We have actually had some nice times after dad’s death. maybe it’s a phase!

But now the main hurdle is the hospital stuff, I just hope I’m allowed to accompany her.


I fully understand your point about the 2 hour trip. You need to do what you feel is right for you and your mum. I think what we have all been saying in our different ways is realise beforehand what you might be getting into. Don't do it because it's the line of least resistance, do it with your eyes open and then you can commit to it.

Sometimes and for some people the time spent looking after a sick and or dying parent can be a very fulfilling and satisfying time, it's not always bad, sometimes it's horrible. It depends on you, your mum and your relationship.

Forward planning is great, you need to do it, just don't fret about things. If you wake up in the middle of the night worrying about something, you are weakening your ability to cope, you need to be strong and for that you need to get plenty of sleep.

Regarding the hospital, tell them you are her carer and she needs you there, even under covid restrictions I seriously doubt they will stop a carer being there. You might have to throw a strop but I doubt it.

If you need to talk at any time ....

didds
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 3132
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 12:04 pm
Has thanked: 1458 times
Been thanked: 504 times

Re: Miserable mum

#342458

Postby didds » September 24th, 2020, 10:55 am

WRT two hour trips etc.

We are in a similar scenario with MiL. Only its usually at least 3 hours each way.

When FiL died, wife had long chat with her mum about going forward, and discussed the option of MiL moving to our town. MiL didn't want that, for good reasons. MiL is healthy enough for a 92 year old now, but has phtsical issues that will only exascerbate.

So we had to make it clear to her that we coudnt "pop over" at the slightest issue, and MiL was/is fine with that. It is very hard for my wife though. We are also aware that if/when something really does deteriorate (sp?) then it will be a royal PITA to then support her - she does has other family very nearby but lets just say they arent overly active. MiL does have a very good support group of friends and neighbours to be fair who are wonderful. We are however aware that they have no "connection" to retain that support other than through kindness, and the youngest of them are in their 70s already themselves :-)

That discussion with MiL it must be said was with her being quite upbeat and/or accepting of her situation, albeit maybe also slightly in denial. I appreciate your mum doesnt seem in such a sanguine position.

I would kindly suggest you either have to accept the situation as you have it, or have a kind but firm chat with her over what you can and cannot be expected to do to support her which will have to be less than you currently are doing.

Best wishes for both of you

didds

Sunnypad
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 204
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:17 pm
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Miserable mum

#342475

Postby Sunnypad » September 24th, 2020, 11:49 am

Sg31 - thank you. The situation with Covid seems to have changed since I even posted that. She doesn’t have a telephone appointment till next week, but I’ve told to say if she’s not allowed a carer, someone must at least take her to the door in a wheelchair after her procedures.

I don’t find any of it fulfilling really, I thought I might, but I don’t.

Didds - thank you. Mum doesn’t expect me there at the drop of a hat, not at all. She just seems surprised that I’m not okay with sitting around talking about dad all the time.

This week I’ll do the same as last week - go on Friday but leave on Saturday so I can at least have Su day to myself.

She seems much better generally. I think her making a big deal of the birthday is such a bad idea.

Clitheroekid
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2066
Joined: November 6th, 2016, 9:58 pm
Has thanked: 894 times
Been thanked: 2188 times

Re: Miserable mum

#342619

Postby Clitheroekid » September 24th, 2020, 8:43 pm

I sympathise with your situation. My mother was very similar after my dad died, though she was considerably younger than your mother. My only sibling, my sister, lives thousands of miles away, so couldn't help, and I was therefore the one who was saddled with it.

It may sound harsh to use such a term, but there's no point in pretending otherwise. Unfortunately, we'd never had a close relationship - she had always been very critical of myself and my sister as we were growing up, and both of us had been glad to leave home.

Although she was quite capable of doing things herself she nevertheless expected both me and other people to do them for her. I didn't particularly mind that aspect of it, but it was the psychological aspects that I found incredibly difficult. She never phoned me, but expected me to do so regularly, and also to visit her, even though she lived some distance away. I'm not sure why, as she didn't give much indication of deriving any pleasure from such interaction. I just felt it was something she considered that a dutiful son should do.

Of course the net result was that I didn't call or visit as much as she required, so that when I did finally get round to it she would come out with some self-pitying spiel like "Oh, you've remembered I'm still alive then?" This led to a vicious spiral - the longer I left it the more I dreaded this sort of response, so I'd put it off even longer, and this inevitably generated an even more self-pitying and critical reception.

My solution, which worked relatively well, was alcohol! My mum didn't really drink, but I decided the only way I could get through a visit would be to have a stiff G&T, and I decided that it might induce a little mellowness in her as well. Somewhat surprisingly it actually did. I guess the alcohol made us both a bit more relaxed and uninhibited, and we occasionally had a quite enjoyable conversation. It also had the benefit of sending her off to sleep fairly quickly!

I don't wish to make light of your situation at all, and this post may sound a bit frivolous, but I can only say that it worked for me and my mum, and it might therefore be worth a try, even if it's just a small glass of dry sherry ;)

I must say I was always tempted to get a bit of cannabis and put it in a cake for her, which might have worked even better than a G&T. Unfortunately, I concluded that the risk of being caught was too high, though with the more relaxed attitude that exists nowadays I might, if in the same situation, be tempted ...

Sunnypad
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 204
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:17 pm
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Miserable mum

#342738

Postby Sunnypad » September 25th, 2020, 11:34 am

Clitheroe, that sounds really hard.

I should reiterate, my mother is nowhere near that level. She’s just miserable.

She can’t have a drink, everything sets off her stomach, hence the cancer investigations, she’s like a twig.

I must admit I am dreading the visit so might well have a couple of drinks myself. I am, shall we say, fairly well equipped for relaxants - but that’s because I have depression and anxiety generally so have to be careful re booze and meds.

I think she needs a hearing aid too but she doesn’t want one. I told her again yesterday and she said she didn’t mind asking people to repeat themselves. I told her bluntly it was driving me mad. I think that upset her.

It’s a relief to hear people speak so bluntly of it being a burden. That seems to be something no will say in my circle of friends. I did have one friend basically shrug when her father died - he was in his 80s with dementia and she was clearly relieved.

That’s the worst of all this elder care, I think. It puts you in territory of such depressing stuff.

sg31
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:35 am
Has thanked: 815 times
Been thanked: 585 times

Re: Miserable mum

#342864

Postby sg31 » September 25th, 2020, 6:25 pm

Sunnypad wrote:I think she needs a hearing aid too but she doesn’t want one. I told her again yesterday and she said she didn’t mind asking people to repeat themselves. I told her bluntly it was driving me mad. I think that upset her.

It’s a relief to hear people speak so bluntly of it being a burden. That seems to be something no will say in my circle of friends. I did have one friend basically shrug when her father died - he was in his 80s with dementia and she was clearly relieved.

That’s the worst of all this elder care, I think. It puts you in territory of such depressing stuff.


My parents both developed a habit of removing their hearing aids at every opportunity. It is a common thing in dementia cases, they also remove false teeth, glasses and anything else they are 'fitted' with. It is also common with elderly people without dementia just to a lesser degree.

Keep trying with your mum but be aware she might stop wearing hearing aids even if she has them.

As far as friends are concerned I've been there and heard all the comments. People talk a good game until they are faced with the same situation. They soon change their tune. The reality is,( no, can be, because it isn't always,) unbearably hard, and the more you love them the harder it can be. There's something deeply depressing watching the slow deterioration of someone you love, someone you looked upto your whole life. You know it is only going to end one way. Some people find it a special time of closeness with their parent(s), I can see how that may be but it takes special people on both sides of the relationship for that to happen.

Trust me your friends have no right to judge unless they have been there.

Sunnypad
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 204
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:17 pm
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Miserable mum

#343088

Postby Sunnypad » September 26th, 2020, 8:27 pm

Thanks Sg31

The neighbours who seem a bit judgey did everything for their parents, but I still think it’s none of their business.

So, mum has been told she has to go for her endoscopy alone. She was told “absolutely not” in terms of having anyone there. I presume you’d have to have serious mobility issues to be allowed someone and even then, maybe they just get staff to help.

One of my friends had an op at the same hospital and she assured us there are many nurses hanging around with nothing to do.

Mum is understandably very stressed, I will go up to the front door of the hospital with her but I’ve realised I might be turned away before then. I guess I’ll ring reception and ask.

My friend had trouble even getting her op - when she finally saw a consultant, it was deemed an emergency and she wasn’t allowed any visitors.

Is it worth contacting PALS or is that only for other stuff? I honestly don’t think it right for mum to be unaccompanied.

Sunnypad
2 Lemon pips
Posts: 204
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:17 pm
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Miserable mum

#343180

Postby Sunnypad » September 27th, 2020, 12:17 pm

Over the last week, I’ve been wondering why I feel so cross

But this morning I woke up thinking “please don’t let my mum be ill” so I guess my empathy is still here after all.

stewamax
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1538
Joined: November 7th, 2016, 2:40 pm
Has thanked: 24 times
Been thanked: 336 times

Re: Miserable mum

#343380

Postby stewamax » September 28th, 2020, 9:42 am

Sunnypad wrote:I think one complication is I can never get her to answer a question clearly. It’s starting to feel like a tactic because then she can claim there was a misunderstanding of some kind, which feels like a way to blame me.
In the middle of the moaning, it’s very hard to figure out what she wants. She is irritated by straight questions. She’s very much “why use three words when you could use thirty.”

Not uncommon apparently. Someone (female) close to me with Lewy Body dementia does exactly this. When asked very simple straightforward questions such as 'do you want another cup of tea' or 'another piece of toast', she gives a lengthy and largely unintelligible answer. If I repeat the question and add 'please just say Yes or No' I get the same result. It is only on the third or fourth repetition does she respond with a Yes or a No.

sg31
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1342
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:35 am
Has thanked: 815 times
Been thanked: 585 times

Re: Miserable mum

#343403

Postby sg31 » September 28th, 2020, 10:48 am

It is also a technique used by people who don't want to take responsibility for their action. My Mil was very good at it. She would never answer a direct question then she could blame my wife for anything that she didn't like or that went wrong.

Don't play the game or if you do, accept the result without letting it upset you. It just goes with the territory.

Dod101
Lemon Half
Posts: 7324
Joined: October 10th, 2017, 11:33 am
Has thanked: 1741 times
Been thanked: 3036 times

Re: Miserable mum

#343410

Postby Dod101 » September 28th, 2020, 11:11 am

Having said what I said early on in this thread, and having read the later posts, I think Sunnypad that you should try your best to become a little more detached. I know only too well that this sort of thing can become all consuming and I found it much easier to do something physical about looking after people than going through the mental side of it and learned to a large extent to detach myself. I appreciate that that is very difficult and upsetting but if you can get yourself to understand that the person you are dealing with is not the same as the one you knew and loved that may help you to understand the emotional side of the problem. In many ways, the more you indulge your mother the more advantage she takes of the situation and she may not even realise that she is doing so.

I feel for you but you really need to try to step back a bit.

Dod


Return to “Comfort Cafe”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest