The Difference Between The Two

I shake my head sometimes and try to figure out why some older people (or just people in general I guess) act differently than others. Is it genetics, how they were raised, or the circumstances of their life? I'm not 'old people' bashing, just observing what I'm around a lot of my time.

My Lady is going through a 'I hate Kden phase'. But it's never to my face, I just hear it through the other girls. The story on how we got there is so long and involved I can't even possibly explain it. And to a rational mind it wouldn't make sense. Her daughter says that's just how she is and always has been, so it's nothing new to her; the way she talks about people and being mean and cranky. But to us girls, it's hard. She talks about them to me, and I don't believe her tales anymore than they believe the ones about me. But it still hurts. She's nice in the morning but by afternoon she gets frustrated, confused, and mean. The other girls think she has Sundowners (form of dementia) but her daughter is not willing to have it checked out.

I know she's unsure and scared about her future. I can't say how I will act at that age so I'm not trying to judge. But how can someone give me 300 bucks for Christmas and say how much I mean to her and then tell other people that I don't want to help her. One Friday I actually left in tears for the first time ever.

There is such a big difference between her and my own Mom. Oh my Mom is no angel, trust me. And she has her own anxiety issues which is now causing her to have Tachycardia episodes. Recently I had to take her to an emergency Dr. appointment because of it and it was a trying 4 hours. But even though we were pissed and frustrated a few times, at least we could cuss a little and laugh a lot. When she's mad, she gets mad and then gets over it in time (kind of like me).

My Lady will go on for hours, days, and weeks at a time about the same subject and it makes you want to gouge your eyeballs out and cut your ears off! I feel for those poor girls who have to listen for 6-12 hours straight about how terrible I am. She gets fixated on a certain thing and that's all she can talk about, while also adding or embellishing or just plain twisting the truth. It may pass in a month or so but for now I feel so beat down. I can handle whiny and complaining for awhile but just plain meanness and lies is almost more than I can handle.

My Mom makes a list for me and I know exactly what I need to do. She calls me with her grocery list so I buy them on the way to her house. My Lady on the other hand will not commit to me doing anything until it's almost time for me to go, "Oh can you shop now?" And this is after I have asked her several times if I can go shopping. When I finally have to say no, there is no time, she gets mad and tells the other girls I didn't want to take her.

Maybe I'm just more comfortable being around my Mom because we can joke and laugh around while getting things done. I know her, I understand her, I AM her. I have to act more even keel around My Lady and just sit and nod and never have an opinion that will be held against me later. I'm starting to feel like the Stepford Caregiver.


Grumpy said…
I think that many people who need assistance become frustrated and angry at their own limitations. They are mad that they need help, so their care givers become the target of that anger.
fernvalley01 said…
working with folks with dememtia can be exhausting and very trying.I hear you on the frustration.It may or may not help to know it isnt actually persona,it is often a lashing out from fear or confusion. And the ones they feel most comfortable with are often the ones they attack first . My mom (who can be nasty nasty esp to me she has a brain injury ) has often thrown out the line to me "familiarity breeds contempt " It seems the more I do for her the worse she treats me , but then if I suggest I would stop, she panics and is tearful, fearful that I will walk away. Dont know if this helps or makes sense to you but... hugs
kden said…
It does help a lot Fern, thank you! This past week has been much better, reminds me of the old days. I wonder if she even has any recollection of how she treated all of us? But for now we're all really happy :)

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