JB — Sounds like you’re tougher than I am. My mother is mostly pleasant, and animated, and likes to laugh when people make jokes, and seems to enjoy her days, and treats me as a valuable member of the staff of whereverthehell she thinks we are at any particular moment (she still lives at home with my dad, but we’ve visited her while she’s been on a cruise ship, at her old office, at some large retirement home [we think, it’s hard to say when reality flows around her], and occasionally at her house). Sometimes she knows who I am, I think maybe. But maybe not.
At Christmas her granddaughter (our niece) made cookies. When everyone else was off somewhere and I had Mom-duty, she offered me a cookie “that someone on the staff had made.” When the family came back, I told them we had cookies that a staff member had brought in. Mom looked at me and said, “Hailey made the cookies. Yesterday.” (Ever had someone with dementia look at you like you’re stupid? Humbling.) Anyway, it’s hard to predict from one moment to the next how she’ll be.
I’ve been content to let my sister (The Princess Bitch) handle everything, because she wants to, first, and because it means I won’t have to deal with my father, who has himself regressed to the total abusive asshole he was when I was a kid (not to Mom, just… actually, almost everyone else, depending). Telling myself I’m avoiding triggers and emotional breakdowns doesn’t make me feel any better, alas.
Hang in there.