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How do you cope with the nastiness?

(38 Posts)
MrsGrindah Thu 31-Aug-17 19:58:35

My Dad is becoming a nasty bitter old man. I love him so much and I know he's missing my Mum but he is becoming so nasty it's wearing me down. My worry is my Grandad was just like it when he was widowed and it nearly broke my parents and I can see the same thing happening to me. I try to remain stoical and cheerful but it hurts.Any tips?

MrsGrindah Thu 31-Aug-17 20:20:02

Anybody? Please?

LineysRun Thu 31-Aug-17 20:22:38

Is he aggressive, or 'just' miserable?

Oly5 Thu 31-Aug-17 20:24:01

Maybe you could tell
Him that you're finding him nasty and bitter and that it's upsetting you? Did your mum die? Tell him you miss her too but that he can't take it out on you.
Every time he is rude, pull him up on it in a nice cheery way.
Try not to tell or get worked up but don't let him treat you badly.
Sorry you're going through this OP

Oly5 Thu 31-Aug-17 20:24:43

* try not to yell NOT tell. Sorry for typo

MrsGrindah Thu 31-Aug-17 20:25:17

Both! Name calling, swearing and very " woe is me". And he does have some real struggles to cope with but he has a family who love him, great neighbours etc. I'm scared he'll push them all away and it will be left to me

MrsGrindah Thu 31-Aug-17 20:26:57

Yes Mum died suddenly and it was a terrible shock for all of us. I'm still grieving myself so find this behaviour even harder to cope with.

MrsGrindah Thu 31-Aug-17 20:28:18

He's not actually nasty to me but he's nasty to/ about other people

LineysRun Thu 31-Aug-17 20:30:19

It's so hard. Incredibly so. The selfishness seems to be a reversion to some kind of ego-centric toddler status - yet only in some people.

I've read opinions on MN that difficult older people were actually difficult younger people who just find it less easy to hide.

howrudeforme Thu 31-Aug-17 20:32:37

No advice but I'm now living with my mother who's in late 70s.

Her life is pretty good but she has changed and I find her v difficult. She's vicious, highly critical, very negative and horribly selfish. I think that in some people ageing amplifies their character. I have also noted her language skills deteriorating slightly and wonder if she is showing signs of dementia.

If any of this resonates, do you think he may be unwell.

No advice but I feel for you, OP, it's not easy.

MrsGrindah Thu 31-Aug-17 20:37:25

howrude I think he feels entitled .. he's been through a lot lately, he isn't well etc so wants to take it out on the world. It's wearing me down but at the same time my heart breaks for him

tehmina23 Thu 31-Aug-17 20:52:20

My nan could be quite bitchy & unpleasant, I'm not sure how much of it was her early stages of dementia, her frustration at being old (from late 80s) or her true personality.
But she's dead now and we all miss her a lot!

I think that when people age the various good and bad aspects of their personality are amplified.

You need to have a chat with your dad about his issues, maybe it will be a wake up call for him.

CotswoldStrife Thu 31-Aug-17 21:01:13

Oooh, this sounds like a relative of mine too! Extremely passive-agressive with anyone they deal with and constantly thinks people are out to get them. They do suffer from anxiety and depression, is there any chance that your DF might be suffering too?

I often (just in my head, not out loud!) compare them to other relatives who have been through similar experiences in life and wonder why this particular one is so bitter and unhappy. They have pushed everyone away and only speak to 3 or 4 members of their close family. It is hard work and you have my sympathy flowers

MrsGrindah Thu 31-Aug-17 21:09:10

Thanks Cotswold I agree I think he is depressed but he would never ever admit it. I'm making him sound horrible and he isn't but he's BEING horrible. Crying as I write this

Needmoresleep Thu 31-Aug-17 22:09:49

I get a lot of this. I tend to see my mother as a wounded animal flailing out at any- and every-one when she feels under threat. This week has been bad as her normal carer is away, and though the replacement is lovely, my mother is struggling to cope with a change in routine and has been pretty beastly.

A short course of anti-depressants a year ago worked wonders for her. She came off them quite quickly but they seemed to reset her mood, and it has been much better. Or maybe I have got used to it, and better able to avoid triggers.

ChristmasLightLover Thu 07-Sep-17 20:02:13

My experience is that my Dad, who has frontal lobe dementia, blames me for losing his license - and tells me in detail about it and how he hates me and will never trust me again. It's hard - people say that this isn't "my real Dad" but if it walks like a duck etc....

He's so hurtful. I try to say 'yeah whatever' because I would never have gotten away with that as a teenager! Childish but true. I often have to walk away as otherwise I'd be just as bad as him...

And of course, come here and vent and share, so we can all compare what we're on the receiving end of. Sending an unmumsnetty hug.

notaflyingmonkey Fri 08-Sep-17 09:44:51

It's hard, and very wearing. My DM has become really selfish and is only interested in herself, and wanting to talk about what she wants to talk about etc. I have to force myself to spend time with her.

CDAlady Fri 15-Sep-17 07:33:30

My DF has been like this for a while and I found it very upsetting. The lack of interest in me and my life I actually find harder than the nastiness. I do so much for him. I have sacrificed a lot. I also have a job, studies, children and my own life but he never asks about it and shows no enthusiasm or engagement in my news.

Although he still doesn't have a diagnosis it's really clear he has dementia (probably frontal temporal lobe) and I found that reading about the symptoms and other people's experiences helped me. I try to think of myself as a nurse or carer and him as a patient. It's not easy but gives me the detachment I need to cope.

CMOTDibbler Fri 15-Sep-17 07:59:10

It is really, really hard. My mum went through a stage of being really nasty, but as her dementia progressed it got better (though never back to her real self, and it may be that as she lost communication we just don't hear it as much).
Dad has very early dementia, lots of health problems, and cares for mum (with a team). He is incredibly touchy, downright nasty about people, and if things aren't as he thinks they should be, gets himself very worked up. I get accusing phonecalls for a) not being at home b) not having told him I'll be away (even for a day) c) accusing me or DH of not liking him. I don't provide daily care as I live 80 miles away and haven't lived with or near them for 26 years, so going back to have to account for my movements is a bit of a drag!

I cope by just ignoring the bad behaviour. I can't change it, he's lashing out in frustration and hurt and nothing will make a difference. Its bloody hard, it really is.

CDAlady Fri 15-Sep-17 08:12:55

I understand. My dad lives over 100 miles away in a remote place and I haven't lived with or near him for 40 years or seen him that often as he has always been difficult. And now I suddenly have sole responsibility for him. I feel like having an enormous toddler tantrum. IT'S NOT FAIR!

Blossomdeary Fri 15-Sep-17 08:16:54

One of the things that can happen to people as they age is that infirmity shrinks their horizons - things that would once have washed by them because they were buy loom large in their lives and their minds.

I must be so hard for you. I think the only way is to be jokily up front with him. "Gosh you are an old grump today!"

Blossomdeary Fri 15-Sep-17 08:17:36

they were buy........they were BUSY

PurpleWithRed Fri 15-Sep-17 08:27:24

I work with the elderly and I see a lot of it. Sometimes it's the beginnings of dementia, but I also see a lot of people putting up with downright rudeness and deliberately selfish behaviour from the elderly that they wouldn't tolerate for a minute from a friend or a sibling or a child or a customer. It may break the habit of a lifetime but call them out on it - 'no need to be so nasty' or even 'did you mean to be so rude?'. Being old doesn't give you the right to be unpleasant.

SoConfusedandUpset Fri 15-Sep-17 10:06:07

My Mum is 73 and I'm at my wits end with her... Over past few years she has become very difficult. Despite the fact she's very intelligent and on the ball, she's just become very critical in some things that is not her business, totally uninterested in things she should be, but most of all - the bloody interrupting! She's actually got to the point where it's every single sentence I say. So I now if I have anything important to tell her, I have to plan my sentence carefully!! To make sure I get the important parts of it into the first half of the sentence before she butts in. Doesn't help that it's one of my biggest pet hates!! Anyone else's elderly parent/relative do this?

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Fri 15-Sep-17 10:12:24

My dad has Huntington's disease, and he can be an absolute beast - incredibly spiteful, critical, and hurtful. He always had a rather nasty streak, but the dementia aspect of the disease has exacerbated it.

I know he can't help it, but it's very hard to separate 'ill dad' from 'well dad', who could also be horrid.

SoConfused, my dad interrupts and talks over people too, often about something completely unrelated to what you're trying to tell him. He also has a tendency to fib/confabulate.

Everyone on here has my sympathies flowers

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