Whenever Mom and I would go somewhere, I felt like she was constantly being judged. Truthfully, I know when it came to her job performance, she was being judged, only people didn't quite understand. I felt like I was constantly having to apologize for her behavior. I remember my parents coming out to visit in NY and we were invited to the home of one of my good friends. As Mom droned on and on and kept repeating herself, I felt like I had to apologize and explain. My friend's husband said he could recognize it. That same trip, my sister had a bunch of people over at her house and her roommate got stuck with my mom. Of course the roommate was a neurological nurse and understood.
I guess it is the same kind of feeling that mothers of special needs children experience when they are out in public with their children. You know that the outbursts are inappropriate, but at the same time, she can't help it. You don't want people to look poorly on her nor you.
I think the most difficult, yet somewhat amusing, incidents was when we went to Walmart to get new cell phone plans where they had one phone on my plan. Mom was not having any of it and felt like we were plotting against her. By the time we got out to the car, she was having a full-blown temper tantrum. She even started throwing stuff out of the van. The look on a passing child's face was priceless.
We didn't have a choice but to laugh, even though at the time it was horribly embarrassing.
I don't tell this story to try to exploit my mother and her illness. I tell it to let others know that some of us out there understand that tantrum that your mother or father is having. We know that (s)he can't help it. Not all of us are judging you.