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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Bishougen Offline
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Loosing it. - March 27th 2009, 10:35 PM

I've posted about this before, but now it's getting worse. My mom's had paranoid ideas for a long time now. Extreme ones but she refuse to believe there's a problem. Mainly she thinks we have people spying on us all the time. Last night she accused me of purposely trying to make her sick by keeping her awake. It was due to my own laziness and I regret that. But when I told her I didn't mean to upset her she said I was playing stupid. She was furious and the more I denied it the more agitated she becomes. I'm so frustrated and angry I can't even describe it. I hate her when she's like this, her ideas have dominated our lives and she thinks it's everyone else that's working against her. You can't even argue against that logic, I know it's not helping that I'm so angry but I don't know what to do. She's at the same time the only person I've ever had an emotionally sound relationship with. Now I'm so afraid I'm going to end up like her and yet I don't want to loose her. I know it's selfish but I'm a mess right now and I can't deal with this.

Last edited by Bishougen; March 27th 2009 at 10:45 PM.
   
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Re: Loosing it. - March 27th 2009, 11:36 PM

Hi Helen,

Has your mother seen a doctor about this? From what it sounds like, she is paranoid for irrational reasons. It might be a good idea to have her see someone and get some advice on how to deal with how she is behaving.

I think that when she accuses you of things, you should continue to tell her the truth that you aren't doing what she says you are. It's important that you stay firm about this.

You will always be your own person, so don't worry about ending up like your mother. Do what is right for you and just act like yourself. Your mom may have a big influence on your life, but you are not her.

Nat.


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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Loosing it. - March 29th 2009, 01:35 AM

Hi there

I agree with Nat, the most important thing to do is have your mother see a doctor about her paranoia, if she hasn't already. Her irrational ideas shouldn't have to dominate your life. And if she refuses to see a doctor (and she might, given her paranoia), try speaking with a trusted adult for advice. Or if things really get out of hand, you may even want to speak to the doctor yourself.

I'm sorry that you feel so awful. I know what it feels like to think that you may be losing emotional contact with someone you love. But try to remember that this isn't really your mom. Underneath the paranoia, your mom loves you and cares about you, and I'm sure she doesn't mean to put you through so much stress. Just continue reaching out to her and try to help her through this terrible time in her life. And reach out to trusted friends or adults so that you can also get the support you need. We're here for you if you ever need us!

You aren't selfish in any way to want help. It sounds like you're having an awful time and you don't deserve that, so always feel absolutely free to come talk to us, ok? I hope things get better soon!

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Re: Loosing it. - March 29th 2009, 07:03 AM

Thank you both for your help. I do agree she needs to see someone but like Emma says I know she will refuse. The closest relative to us left in the country is my dad (my parents are separated) and he's one of the people my mum suspects of working against her! I did get a word with him but we don't communicate well and he has a ton of other stuff to worry about with his girlfriend and all. Right now I'm really not seeing an end to this, my mum is frustrated that I'm too stupid to see what she sees and I'm constantly mad at her for not coming to her senses. She's even gone to the police about the matter, not surprisingly they turned her away. It's just bizarre sometimes, a few weeks ago she became infuriated because she thought "they" had damaged our car's engine, it was an old car. She spent the entire afternoon screaming inside the house because she wanted the spy monitors to pick up her insults and carry it to whoever was listening in. It's also effecting us financially, I won't go into details but basically to escape supposed sabotage, she spent $5000 from the compensation money I had in my bank account to fix her car when it could have been $1000 dollars. I argued with her over it and she said something along the lines of "You can't just ignore a problem because you don't want to face up to the truth" as in I don't want to face up to her story that we had people following us and sabotaging our lives 24/7! This is really turning into a rant now, a part of me feels quite shameful for speaking like this about my own mother. Right now I'm almost as unsure of myself as I am of her. Thanks once again to those who tried to help, and I will keep trying to get through to her. It's just unrealistic to expect a quick resolution.
   
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Re: Loosing it. - March 29th 2009, 09:14 AM

Hey helen.

Sometimes.. everyone get irrational about stuff because of illogical reasons..and mothers dont escape from that fact either however, as everyone else here says, you're always going to be your own person hence, dont worry too much about becoming like your mom because individuals are born, and become what they're meant to be hence, you dont have to worry too much about that.

This seems to be a situation where the permanent solution will take a long time to have its effect. You have to talk to your mom nicely and comfort her, because the thing is.. she might be feeling insecure because of something thats happened in the past. Talk to her about it, and tell her that whatever it is, it's over

You're going through a lot.. definitely. But always remember you're never alone. We're always here to support you, always


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Re: Loosing it. - March 29th 2009, 11:40 AM

Hi Helen,

I'm really sorry things are so hard for you at the moment, that's a really stressful situation. It's hard when we want people to get help but they won't; your situation reminds me a lot of my own mum. The thing is, there probably isn't a lot you can do to help with her paranoia, because it's not rational, and because there's always that belief for her that you just can't see the truth (as she sees it), and if you push too hard trying to make her realise it's not rational, she might just decide that you're against her too. When she accuses you of things, tell her you're sorry she feels that way and you didn't intend to upset her, and let her know that you care but don't get into an argument about it. The more you argue, the more reason you give her to believe that you're against her. I know it's hard, but when she makes you angry, maybe go for a run or find some other way to express that anger, rather than directing it at her. It's understandable and natural to be angry, and probably frustrated as well? And that's okay, but try not to direct it at her, or yourself. Both of you are doing your best.

I'm sorry she won't see a doctor of her own accord. As the others have suggested, I think it would be a good idea to talk to anyone in her life who you trust, who's an adult, and ask their opinion. It might be that she'd respond better to them than to you, simply because as a mother I imagine it must be hard if your daughter is giving you advice, so maybe she would be more able to hear those things from someone else. Also, don't forget that you can go to your doctor to ask their advice on what you can do to help her, and they might have other suggestions in terms of how to get her professional help. It might also be worth searching to see if there are any charities specialising in mental health in your area, as they might have a better knowledge of what's available to you and your mum in terms of support.

One thing that I find works with my mum when she says I just don't want to face up to the problems, is to say that although I may not agree with her I do understand that it must be really scary to feel like she's being persecuted or spied on, and sometimes it helps to focus on how she's feeling rather than whether those things are really happening or not. It avoids arguments and shows that I still care and want to support her, whereas challenging her beliefs just makes her defensive. I don't know if you think you can use that or a variation of it, but it might be worth considering.

Helen, it is completely understandable to be finding this hard. You have nothing to be ashamed of - it sounds like you're doing a really amazing job of trying to support your mum and be there for her in what is a really, really tough situation. The fact that you still care and want to try, even though it's hard, tells me that you're a really strong person and I think she's lucky to have a daughter like you. I'm glad that you could come here and vent because I think that's something we all need to do from time to time, and I think by coming to a place that's anonymous to do that you showed respect for your mum as well. It's important that you take care of yourself as well as your mum right now, so please keep talking to us here and maybe to your friends in real life if you feel that they would be supportive and understand. It might be worth thinking about seeing someone like a counsellor, too, if that's something that you feel comfortable with. They could give you some support in dealing with your mum's behaviour and also in working through your own feelings about it. And I know it can be hard, but try to take some time for yourself each day, even just half an hour to do things that you enjoy, because taking time to relax and also making sure you get enough sleep will help you to feel more able to stay calm when she's accusing you, for example.

Take care of yourself, good luck.

Lils
   
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Re: Loosing it. - March 29th 2009, 11:48 AM

I don't have any super advice, but I do have empathy.
My dad used to be VERY paranoid when I was younger. It wore off some when he retired early - not for health reasons, but it's benefited his health.
He never sought help for a number of reasons, and I wasn't really old enough to know what was really wrong at the time. But I wish he had done.

You can't force your mum to seek help. But what might help is to show her that you understand what a hard place it is to be in, to feel this way.

It's also important that you get help for you.



   
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Re: Loosing it. - March 29th 2009, 12:23 PM

I can really relate with this! My mother is the same way when she doesn't take her medication. My family decided to bring her in for a check/psychiatrist when she started believing that the house was bugged. She has been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other conditions which require the use of anti-psychotic medication. Please, somehow, get your mother in for a check. It will benefit her, and your family, greatly.

I too feel as if I don't want to become my mother, yet I really want to help her at the same time. Mental illness runs in the family so genetically I'm in not-so-great luck.

PM me if you'd like to chat more about this? I hope things are able to look up. <3 Stay strong and take care.


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Re: Loosing it. - March 30th 2009, 01:59 PM

Firstly, thanks to everyone for their amazing support. It's been a few days and we've had time to calm down, so right now we're both doing ok. The thing is, I'm really bad at sounding sincere when talking to mum about her ideas. I know I should try to support her and I want to be able to empathise with her situation without necessarily sharing her logic. However I also know the type of person my mother is. She is the proudest and most headstrong woman in the world. She simply won't stand for gentle empathy, what she wants is someone who trusts in her judgment and will stand by her decisions. Mum may think she has people after her, but she’s not timid or frightened as some may relate to the situation. If anything she seems semi-aggressive and gung-ho about it. The way she talks to me it’s like she’s proud that she’s living her life in the face of such adversity (or what she perceives to be.) We're also very private people, I don't mean to offend the counselling profession but my mother's the kind of person who believes personal matters should be settled within the private sphere. In our case it's a sphere of two people but still, bringing an outsider into this without her consent almost feels like a betrayal. Twice when the ideas got extreme, I did call an anonymous helpline for advice. However, without meeting my mother in person it's impossible to figure out a solution. One counsellor told me as long as her actions weren't endangering anyone, my most practical choice was to let her live in her own world until she decides to come out of it. It was the safest bet. I’m also afraid that if she does go to a doctor, it would change her somehow. I still want her to be her old confident and determined self, but how can she do that she’s made to question her whole logic system (that is assuming she will accept this in the first place)? I will try not to argue with her anymore though, that hasn’t gotten us anywhere and we’ve both said things that hurt each other. Once again thank you to everyone who helped, it feels a lot less isolating to know there are people out there with similar experiences. I’m very grateful for the advice.
   
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