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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
mrp0928 Offline
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Mom needs Help - March 30th 2009, 12:05 AM

Ok, so, yeah, I apologize if this comes out as a rant, but I need to get this off my back. I won't be able to give you my whole scenario but I'll try to say the gist of it.

For the past couple years or so, my mother has changed for the worse. It isn't my perception of me, it's her, and it's gotten to a point where she needs some kind of help, whether psychiatric or otherwise.

I'm not sure what has exactly triggered it, but mom seems to be suffering from a form of depression. Let me give you some potential reasons.

Mom and Dad divorced 6 years ago. While this was far from a usual divorce (can't go into details) and there was much pain to endure on the part of myself, my brother, and my sister, we stuck through it. Now we're over it. But they're not. They don't even communicate to each other aside from notes (because they hate each other that much), and whenever a note is sent through us to the other parent, practically nothing is ever accomplished and it ALWAYS ends in an argument through notes. They literally act like children despite the fact that we've practically grown up. My mom seems to have a partial paranoia (and partially true) belief, albeit exaggerated, that my dad is out to get her through us. She thinks he wants us to live with him and hate her, more or less, or otherwise he just wants to financially ruin her. I wouldn't be surprised if this were true, but she definitely goes overboard. So anytime we even have to mention our father, trouble brews and it ends in her getting depressed.

Ever since I went to a private high school that was recommended by my dad, my mom seems to have the impression that I am becoming more and more like him. While I wouldn't deny that I do try to follow his instructions on what to do with finances, education, etc (because he went through college and whatnot and knows the routine), she takes this in the wrong way. All of the time she talks of how I've "changed," and how I (along with my siblings), no longer need her. It's like she has Empty Nest Syndrome before I have even left (and my younger brother is still a Freshman!). She admits that we need him for money, education, and all that, but doesn't like the fact. My father is in a much better financial situation than her and has probably what society would brand as an all around better life.

Now, when she goes through one of her depressive spells, I've seen her drink quite a bit. She usually tries to hide it from us, but I can always tell when she's buzzed or drunk. And even when she's not drinking and just depressed, nothing gets accomplished. The house becomes more of a mess than it normally is, and she cares but doesn't want to do anything about it. And whenever I try to offer help, she refuses for me to do it, whether because she's stubborn or considers it her job or whatever (I am usually exhausted after all the AP courses, Track, and other extracurricular crap that I do anyway).

Her mother (my grandmother), hasn't been doing well either. I've never known quite what's wrong with her, but apparently she has some disorder where she becomes extremely angry and delusional, taking it out on my grandfather who, in turn, often comes to our house to stay the night and let things settle (she has medication and everything, but it doesn't seem to work too much). And my mom goes on about how her parents won't be here much longer, stuff like that.

Sometimes when she's depressed, my mom will come to me and talk about how I've changed and she'll cry about how she "misses us." She'll go on and on and usually repeat herself several times, and it always ends with her saying that she won't bring it up again, but she always does. If I say something, anything, she just becomes more upset, or otherwise I just don't know what to say. So I don't say anything, and she always tries to get me to talk (but, again, when I do, she just gets more upset, there's NOTHING I can say that makes her feel better). Then mom will go on about how I use to need her, how we'd go for walks when I was younger and talk (I had severe depression/anxiety after the divorce, and talking with her really did help, even if she was biased against my dad).

When she's depressed, she really is like a different person, and it makes me a bit depressed too (though I won't show her it). She becomes slow to respond and just... out there. It's hard to describe other than that she isn't herself, and I can never tell which person she's going to be when I get home.

I tried to seriously help her once. When she went into one of her talks and hinted to me that she was suicidal (how she just wants to go to sleep forever, etc), I let my emotions out and burst out crying, telling a lot of what I just told you). I had an appointment with my psychiatrist coming up (which I don't even need anymore because, to be honest, I'm not depressed. These are just routine check ups.) and I convinced my mom to talk with my psychiatrist (she claims that she doesn't have the money to see a psychologist). So, at the appointment, we sat down and talked, I explained things to my psychiatrist, and my psychiatrist questioned my mom. My psychiatrist strongly recommended to her to see a family psychologist (which, under our current plan, would be charged for me, not her, allowing a price she could pay) and to go on certain medications, so an appointment was made. But... my mom canceled the appointment. She said she didn't have the time and that, no matter what I said or what a doctor said, that it wouldn't help. I at least coaxed her into being more active and everything and, while she still can be depressed, she hasn't exhibited any suicidal signs since then, about a year ago.

This makes me extremely angry. It's like I'm trying to help her but she doesn't want to be helped, like she doesn't care regardless of what I try to do. And I have to bottle these emotions up because, when they do come out, they aren't helpful at all. So when I'm depressed and angry I have to suck it up and try to help her anyway, which I know isn't helpful for me There are times when I just want to leave her for good, which is something she claims I want to do and is in part why I don't want to live with her. And there are times when I want to scream at her and destroy the house. But I don't do anything. She doesn't even care about herself though, and she frequently lets herself go, eating unhealthy, sleeping on the couch during the day, and not bothering to wonder about what her children are doing at school even though she complains that dad's too active with us in the school. We try to convince her that we need her and that we'll always love her, but it isn't always effective. And she pities herself sometimes even when she doesn't seem to care, claiming that the house is in foreclosure when it really isn't.

She's even had some serious relationship problems with boyfriends. I admit that I was cold to them at first, but I got over that. Still, there are some things she's done that are practically unforgivable. One time years ago a family friend's wife burst into the house screaming about how my mom was a whore and how shameful she was to be doing it with the children here. I ran up stairs and went in her room, only to see my mom in bed and that family friend with his pants down (my siblings never knew about this). After the incident, my mother quite frankly failed at trying to justify this. The two were going through their own divorce, and mom was claiming that she was helping her friend out. My mom has, to be honest, acted slutty on several inappropriate situations. I even suspect right now that she might have cheated on her current boyfriend with a man that I know for a fact has been after her.

She's not a bad person though. She IS very caring, and she's shown a lot of character with the money that she has. She's great with the elderly and has taken care of my grandfathers, my great aunt, and others on many occasions. And she always tries to do favors for neighbors, to the point where some take advantage and walk all over her.

I'm just tired of this. It's been going on for years and I don't know what to do. I really do love her but, to be honest, I cannot wait for college. I don't want to have to deal with her anymore. It's like she has a learned helplessness but still reaches out for help, creating this maddening paradox where I can do nothing. This can be overwhelming and a lot of mixed emotions are present for me.

Any suggestions/comments?

Last edited by mrp0928; March 30th 2009 at 12:17 AM.
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
SimplyComplex Offline
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Re: Mom needs Help - March 30th 2009, 05:39 PM


First of all, I just want to say how strong you are for holding things back the way you do. It isn't healthy, but I know it must be hard feeling so strongly and not being able to express yourself the way you want to sometimes.

As for your situation, you and your mom are both adults. Unfortunately, you can't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do. What you're doing now seems very nice and generous already. Sometimes, people just need to figure things out on their own and there isn't anything anyone else can do about it. The best lessons in life are the ones we learn on our own. It's the only way sometimes. I know you want to help and I know seeing her like this hurts a lot, but she's her own person. Maybe she needs to feel low to understand what has changed. It's easy to ignore the differences when you're depressed (between who you are and who you used to be). I urge you not to give up though. If she needs to vent, give her different ways to vent. Maybe you can print off a few success stories from the internet and show them to her? Stories about depression being overcome through therapy and such. That might help motivate her or convince her. If she gets angry at this though, remember to give her space. She doesn't need to do anything she doesn't want to. Remember to remind her you love her and maybe set aside mother and daughter time once a week.

However, be sure to think of yourself too. It's awful nice of you to worry so much, but you have feelings as well. You have need and you need to meet them if you're expected to keep going too. Sometimes we help so much and we don't realize how much it's weighing down on our own moods. If you feel your mom is weighing you down, don't be afraid to admit it's too much for you to handle. We all have our breaking points. We can all handle only so much. You're allowed to tell your mom it's too much to handle right now. You're not being rude, you're being truthful. In the end, you'll feel better about drawing boundaries.

You also mentioned holding your feelings in. This is extremely unhealthy and only builds up on you. I understand you not wanting to express them to your mother, which is fine. But, I think you should express them either way. Try writing in a journal or blog. Maybe you can talk to your father or a friend about how you're feeling. Just don't keep it inside. You don't need to keep it in. If you want, you could even write all your feelings down in letter format, to your mom. Who knows, maybe someday you could give it to her? Certainly emotions, when yelled and screamed, aren't heard easily, but maybe a sincere letter, when the time is right, can help.

The bottom line though, is to make sure you are ok. Make sure you can handle this and don't take on anymore than you can. These are your mother's problems, they have no business with you. You don't have any obligations. If you can't handle your mother at a specific point in time, get out of the house. Try making plans and doing social things that will keep you and your mind busy.

I really hope you and your mom work things out. Good luck to the both of you. Again, you're a strong person for doing all this for so long. You only have a little bit longer. Keep holding on to college. If you need anything at all, I'm only a PM away. Take care.

~Stay strong and have faith.

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Baby stand tall. You can have it all.

Don't you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine..
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
lukethekid Offline
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Re: Mom needs Help - March 30th 2009, 11:28 PM

just tell her how you feel and show her you are concerned about her and that you really really do care for her and want to help her

and overall just make sure that you keep her controlled and watch after her you know?
  (#4 (permalink)) Old
mrp0928 Offline
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Re: Mom needs Help - March 31st 2009, 01:49 AM

Originally Posted by SimplyComplex View Post
Remember to remind her you love her and maybe set aside mother and daughter time once a week.
Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely keep it in mind.
But I hope I didn't come across too feminine here. I'm a guy.
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