Mom is truly not well mentally and emotionally. Pressure to get her into therapy has yet been unsuccessful. Requests that she get a memory baseline measurement also get turned down.
She's currently in a "getting rid of stuff" mode. It's part legacy of when my sister's family was living with them and they were crowded, part worrying about downsizing for moving to something smaller. She's also very stressed and anxious, and that is definitely affecting her memory. There's an edge of panic to her.
If she is experiencing dementia i don't think the panic, stress, and anxiety are going to get any less.
So, there's that.
And there's a much longer standing inability to recognize that her intentions can be misinterpreted -- and that doesn't mean the other person is WRONG in their reaction. And Mom is really very very judgmental.
So the type rejections going on are:
After Christine's Mom died, Mom brought lots of food to Christine & her sister. Christine then gave mom a souvenir glass from an art exhibit. The very next time Mom sees Christine, she tries to give Christine back the glass. For Christine, this is a gift all tied up with her grief and memories around her mother's death. For mom it's a thing from someone. They must like the thing, thus it should be returned to them when the receiver doesn't want it.
I've just received from Mom two boxes of papers. In the first folder are inserts to candy boxes that presumably i gave her. Along with cards, emails from me she's printed out, etc. My favorite surreal returned item so far is a printed out email that was a chat transcript between me and my parents that my dad asked me to email to them.
Also, there were CDs of Christine's father's funeral and a Christmas sermon he gave. Christine sees them and, again, feels the sort of thrown back in her face sort of reaction. Christine just realized the source of the CDs sitting on the box and is reacting.
Through some miracle, my relationship with my mother healed some years back. I can be around her when she says something that can be interpreted as insulting or judgmental and it just slides past me. I worked at that healing though, very deep work, and i can't expect Christine (or my siblings) to have the equanimity i have. (Dad has done therapy too: he's found a similar place of peace with her.)