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Grieving for my mother while she’s berating me

angry ladyFor the better part of two years, my mom has been uncharacteristically suspicious and mean. It took me a while to adapt to the understanding that the changes in her brain were altering her personality in negative ways. My survival mechanism has been to remind myself, over and over, that my mom has a head injury. It helped me better understand how to approach and interact with my mom.

I have three people I want to thank for helping me adjust my mindset:

  1. My sister–in-law who works with individuals who have head injuries and has explained how similar the issues are to my mother’s dementia. She raises funds every year to support new research to assist head injury survivors.
  2. Kate Swaffer who is diagnosed with early on-set dementia.
  3. Lynda Alicudo with Leading Executive who suggested I start to mourn the loss of my mother.  It helped me appreciate the familiar moments with my mom and recognize that her behavior was not personal.

As I reflect on how much my mom has changed, I realize how much I have changed. My mom is unable to adapt, so I had to adapt.

I also recognize that people change and move in and out of our lives as we age. My friendships have changed as circumstances and personal choices divide and reconnect us over the years. I understand that right now, I don’t like my mom. However, I will ensure that she is safe and happy and enjoy the moments when the mom who raises me reappears. Thank you to the women in my life who have helped me on this journey.  Appreciated.

5 comments on “Grieving for my mother while she’s berating me

  1. Dear Kay.
    Thank you for your kind words.
    And I ‘m sure you mean you still like your mum, but don’t like the changes in her caused by the wretched symptoms of dementia…
    Always the devil’s advocate!
    With love an dhope,
    Kate

    • I love her and all the things she has done for me – now it’s my turn. I appreciate all of your kind words and insight. It’s been extremely helpful. I want to make sure everyone knows that symptoms can change the personality — sometimes, it’s hard to understand that it’s not really your mom telling you what a terrible person you are. Hugs, Kay

      • I suspect understanding it is not really your mom is the hardest… there are times now when I have too much insight, and can hardly believe I have done or said something. I think I’ll be glad for the last stage, when I am less aware 😦
        Stay strong, and focused on love, for your parents, and yourself. Hugs

  2. […] and mean. I finally was able to approach her and be the type of caregiver I needed to be by telling myself she has a head injury that has changed her […]

  3. […] my faith and to be more mindful to the things going on around me. The process and the woman was invaluable so that I could manage as the caregiver for my parents. Lynda Alicudo is one of two women who I credit with helping me launch […]

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