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Anyone have a daughter undermining what you do with your Mum?

My Mum has Alz Dem and lives a few hours away independently and is doing okay. Me and my daughter and her young family live in the same town. Earlier this year, my daughter brought my Mum down for a holiday and to get her tested for Dementia as she believed that she had it (she was right), however I wasn't sure at that stage as me and Mum's relationship had been strained for a couple of years, as this was 'normal' behaviour really in my mind. She has a strong personality and can be very mean and outrageous but that's not to say me and her haven't ever been close. We are and one thing I do know is years ago, we had these discussions about if she ever got 'mentally incapable' so I know what it is I need to do now. She was medically diagnosed in February and within days, her life had changed due to that diagnosis. It's been a nightmare ride since of course, she still can be very hostile and nasty with me but I keep at it and know when it is dementia talking and try not to take things so personally. At time of diagnosis, me and my daughter helped her set up legal matters before she was deemed incompetent, we also got access with her permission to services. All those things I allowed my daughter to be a part of out of respect to what she had done up until then and becasue I thought she could support me with things so to make it easier for her to do so.
Me and my daughhter aren't close anymore, we had a major bust up 3 yrs ago but things changed when my grandchild nearly died and we reconnected but I know what she is capable of - forgiven but not forgotten. She hasn't been super close to her Nana since a teen and only about 2 years ago, did she even start having a relationship again with Mum. As many of you are aware, they can hide dementia for years and especially from those closest to them so I really didn't have any clue. I'm still reeling at how drastically my mother has changed and I have to start dealing with the new Mum because it's too draining to have those former expectations of a mother pre Dementia. I've effectively lost the Mum I knew.
My daughter is signed on both EPOA, I'm on the Personal and Finance one. I allowed this because she had been handling medical things so I thought it only right. I think in hindsight, because it was rushed, I didn't fully realise it. I instinctively did but the lawyer assured me in the legal eyes, being her child counts for more. Over the months, I have been undermined and disrespected when it comes to doing things for my Mum, by my daughter. She has the upper hand anyway because she can communicate with Mum all the time. She has brought back some stuff to sell for her and gets cagey if I ask what they are. She makes appointments and arrangements to go visit her without consultation with me and this isn't about being petty about those things; she effectively cuts me out of the equation. It's my Mum and I'm fully capable of making the right decisions for her because that's what I'm about right now, this time is that awful time that I hoped would never happen but it has. So yes, I'm hurt and all the rest, but mostly I'm so over her being a control freak and thinking she is the one who leads this whole thing. She has even said as much, turned on me and said she will do what she wants to and needs to regardless AND she has EPOA (not in effect yet) and that keeps getting thrown in my face.
Of late, she has been rest home looking here without me (we agree she needs to move here and I believe, into a rest home not independantly living) and even put her on a waiting list of the place she thinks is right. (I don't think it's an ideal fit and have another choice but nothing set at this time). And more recently, I asked her about Mum's doctor appointments due at end of month (as I'm trying to work out when I can get Mum down here for a holiday with ME so I can try and reconnect and help her in that way, of course still seeing my daughter and family during day when I work) and she said she is heading up there tomorrow for it as she changed it. No discussing with me or mentioning it or even seeing if I wanted to go up, that type of thing is norm. In fact she goes into, "okay, I'll try and make it up there too" if I mentioned anything happening for Mum or when I was thinking of going.
Do I think anything shady is going on? Not outright and I have my finger on that pulse enough to know I think. I also can't hand on my heart say that because I don't trust her one bit with anything. She is so clouded by her own arrogance and has no idea she has issues, that she will stay perched up there on her high horse and just ride on past me. She will not answer me as to why she thinks it necessary that she takes this tack/lead and is it because she doesn't think I'm capable of looking after my own mother? She's defensive and plays the put out one and turns it back on me and like I say, won't actually answer what I've asked her and also what I've openly stated as how I'm feeling and why this is so.
So, after all that, my question is that (sorry), has anyone had a similar experience, especially with a grandchild of the Dementia parent, but could be another family member. Strong personalities and issues that may be theirs aside, I wonder if this is actually something that happens with families dealing with Dementia.
Thank you.
Status: Open    Oct 09, 2015 - 03:17 PM

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Oct 13, 2015 - 08:03 AM

Yes, absolutely...similarly with my mother's other daughter (I refuse to call her sister. Nevermind that she has a different father). I will call her May.

May and I haven't spoken for years because of childhood issues. She has been in recovery from alcohol for over 30 yrs. Mom lived near May for 12 yrs and moved there after her second husband passed away. He left Mom a very rich widow...intended to take care of her for the rest of her life. Mom bought a condo where she lived for the 12 yrs. but when Mom realized that her abilities and mind were failing, she decided to move closer to me. So to appease May, and to get away from her "demanding ways" (Mom's words; not mine), she GAVE May the condo outright. May did nothing to receive such a gift. Because we could not find a duplex situation, Mom bought a house where I could just live WITH her. It is intended to be mine, but the title is in both our names. And the task of taking care of her did not become obvious to me until we moved-in. That was 2 yrs ago.

May cannot speak one kind word to me. She lies to the rest of the family telling them that I won't talk to her, when the truth is, when I do take her phone calls, she starts in..... to the point where I have to hang up. I see no reason for taking abusive phone calls. She has rented the condo, collects the monthly rent, and has done absolutely NOTHING for Mom. When Mom speaks to her on the phone, Mom becomes a different person...it's sickening. Mom denies remembering any part of the conversation she had with May. Meanwhile, my life has become all about Mom.

Noone asked me if I wanted this. Our family loves her but as long as I am taking care of her, the rest of the family doesn't have to. Its a sickening dilemma. I am a senior citizen too and these are the last of my good years. I never thought that I would be spending them taking care of someone else. That sounds so selfish, but it is the truth.

My situation differs from yours in that mine is about "sibling rivalry". I don't want to compete with anyone but the other half of "sibling rivalry" seems to want to. I have two brothers but they both passed away suddenly. I wish I had help.

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Oct 13, 2015 - 03:30 PM

Oh I feel for you. I'm not experiencing half the pain and horribleness you are. It's only just become a little nasty lately and even then, I'm not letting her words get to me, but I can imagine this going on and that's why I feel for you. I'm in a much stronger place when it comes from dealing with her too (daughter) as she cannot break me and I'm not caregiving my mother full time.
But what I can relate to you with is the denying of your right to do what you know is right and good for your Mum. And what you always have done. I think we all spend so much time justifying ourselves to others and even to ourselves too with saying, "I'm not doing this out of spite", "It's more than sibling rivalry" and all that stuff that we try and make clear as honestly, when I'm sharing my story to friends etc for some support and advice, I feel like they're thinking - "That's so made up". That's where being strong and resolute in your actions is so important and finding some help for YOU.
I do believe this is a common thing with families, all dynamics too and big or small families, the numbers make no diffierence. You only need two people to have conflict and then what actually doesn't help you at all, is that the other family members remain passive and seemingly taking the higher ground of not 'getting involved' or just condoning quietly what's going on; once again leaving you feeling isolated in the situation and unsupported even. I feel very alone at times. I did phone my brother for some emotional support really, I was careful not to just come in from a tatter-tail mode or even victim mode and I did get that assurrance from him, inadvertently really, just with him and me talking about childhood things, crazy things she did where she was Alz Dem free so then saying how hard it was over the years to differentiate. And just the knowledge that he has my back, together we both are the best people to understand what is best for my mother as our lifetimes have been with her. You cannot minimise that, not matter the relationships between you, and bar neither of us ever having done anything sinister or bad to our mother, no one should lessen our input or role now with her.
So just of late, she has been up there with my mother, (interestingly I saw in a FB video showing them haivng fun, she referred to my daughter as with my name so a little light bulb came on for me), taking her to doctor's appointment (fine, that's great she does that, I'm grateful she tends to this), then shopping up a storm. I have access to Mum's accounts (so does daughter) and see where she's shopped. Clothes mainly, petrol for daughter (this is s first, we've never taken money for our travelling to see her, never did before, why now?), not sure other withdrawals, and yes, she needed clothes but that's something I can do for her and I am mindful of how she spends so I would just do the same and I've done this already on a previous visit. My daughter is living vicariously through her, I know my daughter. And benefitting too in a small way, like eating out and all the other perks I bet. I'm not saying she shouldn't get anything but here's the thing: I want to do all this with my Mum. It's what we always did together in good times, it's something I'd never abuse, I'd always still keep mum real with a bit of leniency because she doesn't do things like this now, not driving and no one to take her.
It's this denying of my role in my Mum's life that is the feeling I'm working through now. That's the hurt and pain I'm feeling. How she is selfishly and for whatever other reason she's doing it such as selfishness and her own issues that demand of her to be this way. How do you fight this? Firstly I won't go in fight mode as that serves no purpose.
I can't control things fully like what Mum spends her money and willingness on with my daughter. Yes I'm looking into the legalities of changing EPOA and I'm going to try and do this with my Mum actually. She is possibly not deemed mentally incapable yet so they don't need to be enforced. If I can somehow have my mum understand what and why I want to do this (and my brother - my brother wants me to be solely in charge of the legalities and he backs me 100% in my decisions). I will also explain that this doesn't change anything of what my daughter is doing with her and for her, it just keeps things right and how they would be if Mum had made these decisions way back. If this fails, then I will see how much is entailed to doing this via a lawyer. I can only try, not put all my energy into it but give it a go.
I will not let my daughter deny me of too much time concering myself with these things. She's stolen enough really, my time and emotions are more precious than financial and things. She has stuff that she will probably will give to my daughter that she shouldn't but hey, it's stuff and that bites but I won't let that take over me. It's stuff. It's the relationship and precious time that I want to be mine, I'll be doing what I can to do that. As I mentioned above, when she called my girl me, I then thought, at least she's having a great time with ME, even if it's not! She is having this wonderful time and she thinks it's with ME! Well in an Alz Dem way but still, it's a small sense of satisfaction out of my daughter's sneaky, underhanded behaviour. You know, my daughter said to me the other day when we were having this tiff, '...if anything, you undermine me with this." Interesting take isn't it? And how could I undermine her with what I do with my Mum? That's why all this is about her and not about me and my needs.
You have to see the truth in what is going on (sorry I don't know your name). If you are coming from pureness of heart, you have to always start your day knowing that. I still think you must look after yourself too right now, however you can do that. Your mother is fine, she's with you and being looked after, you have thie home, get that soundly sorted so no one can take that later off you. Look at your mum and feel the love because it's huge and it's there - you would not be doing this if it wasn't. I'm feeling emotional thinking about that because my heart goes out to you and others feeling so mistreated and alone.
We cannot let these things destroy us. We must stay strong and the main thing to help us do this is to stop and get very present, very present. If we do that, then we realise, right at this moment, we are doing everything right and our mother's love us and we love them.
I thank you for your reply. I send you healing thoughts and blessings, you're amazing. I encourage anyone else going through similar to join in and voice it here so we can all support one another.

Dec 06, 2015 - 05:18 PM

It is best to have one person be legally responsible for your love one. I try to be fair to my two older siblings letting one be Co Administrator and the other being Co Guardian along with me for my Mom. just so they would not be insulted by my Mom trusting her middle child. What a mess and hell it has been. I do all the work and they find things to torment me and give no help. They are baby sitting me and running up lawyer fees over nonsence and trying to push my Mom into an anger stage of Alzheimer's. Ask the attorney if it is best for one person to be in charge. He will tell you " It could get messy when you have Co's involved " .
My story is too long for me to write with no time to do it but, I want you to know sadly this happens to many of us from what I hear.
I have a big fat note at my phone saying " STAY AWAY FROM TROUBLE " and I will not answer it if Sibling One or Two are on the machine. It xxxx especially when I have to deal with important calls for my Mom but I get alot done and have a little more peace doing it and my health is better.
Only way to focus is to get rid of negetive energy or Satan.

Peace and Good Luck

Dec 07, 2015 - 06:05 PM

Wow, I have it easy really! I can deal with one person undermining me and causing me pain and grief but more than that, well, that would make things a whole lot more difficult. We fell out about it, she pushed me again and yep, I lashed out in a text no less but you know, I've reached the point with my daughter whereby her narcissistic and arrogant behaviour can be dealt with sharply and swiftly. There's no use aiming to get out of her way, she won't hear what's going on, she will just keep turning it back to her. I got, 'if anyone is being undermined, it's me'. How is that possible? And, 'you don't know how hard it's been on me trying to help you and her relationship' then followed by 'I'm not interested in your mother/daughter issues'. Apparently too, her being straight up with me is reason enough for her to believe she is right and I'm just afraid to hear it straight up.
I wasn't hurt after reading her crap and I also wasn't surprised she was not relenting in her behaviour or at least, trying to see it from my point of view, because I didn't approach it all in anger, I came from a place of love and asking her for some compassion and understanding. It's not there, I no longer require it from her. I told her that I will be getting on with looking after my mother, how I see fit and that's what I've done. My stance is being very present about what I do, irrespective of what she's doing with Mum in the sense of communicating with her as Mum does like her contact a lot and my daughter still takes care of the medical side of things like doctor appointments etc.
My mum's doctor would not sign off on mum being capable of understanding any change in the EPOA. Mum's lawyer thought otherwise and is fully on my side. My mother even brought up something along the lines of wills and such, when I last stayed with her. However I won't force the issue and it will only come into play at the time. My brother is also more supportive now and he will back me with anything I decide is best for mum. My daughter will most likely take us on but whatever, it's not about her so I will make it about Mum and not let a piece of paper, however powerful it is in my daughter's eyes, control situations.
This is what I have learnt since writing the original post. I think I needed reassurance it is about the person and not sort of Alzheimer related with how family members can be over things. Sure, the situation and events can create the drama and spark conflict but it has to be there in the first place. I guess I mean that if we have family members that are capable of crap like what they do, then that's always going to be the case. Everyone in me and mum's family are fine with what I do and will do, there's the usual negative and nosey and somewhat ignorant comments that go on but hey, this Alzheimer's Dementia thing is awful and along with the best, can bring out the worst in people.
As I said, I think I have it relatively easy upon hearing from here and elsewhere, just how damaging and troublesome some families can be on the main caregiver/loved one. Maybe down the track i will focus on things like this to help and support others going through it because man, I was having a hard time with it. That and bringing people on board with it before it happens, maybe helping them build resilience and strategies to keep one safe and strong.
Just some thoughts.
For those dealing with these issues, my heart goes out to you, honestly it's just awful on top of the already awful going on.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really got a lot out of your response.

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