Don't know what to do..please advise

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Katie7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 11/13/2008 9:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, I am new to this board. I normally am at the MS board since I have MS, but something happened today that has me very upset as well as my brother and his wife. I was hoping maybe someone here could offer me some advise.
 
My Mother, who is 79 and divorced over 20 years and lives in a double next to my older single brother, has sufferred from depression as far back as I can recall. 3 separate times she tried to kill herself ( the last time was 15 years or so ago).
 
She has been on many different meds, seen many different Docs, but is unwilling to go for any more therapy. My feeling is she might be Bi-polar. She is a retired RN. She keeps an emalulant home.
 
Recently, over the past 2 years, she has been doing MUCH better. We had encouraged her to get active in some things which she is doing. Although she complains about everyone she meets at these function ( because she is a major perfectionist), she otherwise has seemed much more happy and eaiser to be around. She is extremly private and will not discuss with any of us kids, what Doctor she is seeing now ( or if she even is) or what meds she may be on. Believe me I have tried.
 
Theres way to much to go into, but Mom is very upset that her youngest son and his family dont seem to call her that often. They live about 2 hours away.  They only moved this summer  and with 2 little kids, very busy getting a routine going again. They call her about once a week. I call her about every other day and stop in to visit her or just take her shopping or whatever 3 times a week, usually. Still she complains we dont spend enough time with her.
 
In the past she used to write us these long letters and mail them to us kids, I mean LOOOOONG. 5 pages on leagl paper...all of it putiing us down for whatever and telling us all our faults. Finally we told her ( as her Doc recommeded to us back then) to tell her we would love to talk to her in person and go over what is bothering her rather than get these 'hate notes'.
 
Okay, now the present problem. At least 4 years have gone by since my younger brother or I have gotten one of these notes. Until today. My brothers wife called and near tears said they got another one and after reading it to me I am shocked. I had invited all of the family to come here for Thanksgiving and also for my younger brother and his family to stay here for the night so they would not have to drive back late. Mom said in her letter she is very angry that I would invite them to stay with me and that they should stay with her. That she would give up her bed for them. She said they are staying with me because we have a big fancy home and ( which I hear all the time from her) and hers is not good enough. Then she vented about our Dad, who died of cancer 5 years ago. AND about my sister-in-laws family who live 800 miles away. It was terrible. My brother and I grew up watching this behaviour and I tell you it was very hard. We have both been to counseling for it. My older brother was never around much...long story.
 
Mom is always saying how my brothers always had it the worst. Never me. I was the middle kid. 9 years between the youngest and 6 w/ the oldest. I saw her through 3 marriages and divorces, was abused by old boyfriends of hers...it was a mess. The Dad that died was actually my younger brothers dad, who adopted me. Another long story. Believe me when I say this, it is amazing I turned out as well as I did. Jesus was really looking out for me.
 
Anyway, I am happily married with 2 grown boys for nearly 29 years. I am very blessed for the life I live now compaired to the home of anger-hate and abuse I grew up in. I love my Mom very much. I know depression is a disease, and that it is the disease acting, not so much her. But this is like a yo-yo. I dont know who to talk to, go to or what. My brother, who got the letter, his wife said he is done. He cant do this anymore and now they are not coming for thanksgiving. My heart is breaking.
 
I feel mom needs to be re-evaluated but dont know how to get her in to go. Should I bring the letter up to her that she wrote my brother? I almost have to when I tell her they are not coming now. I fear this will send her over the edge again and she will try to commit sucide again. Theres so much more in that letter and I know this is getting very long, but thought you may need the background ( and theres so much of it).
 
Why cant she be happy and proud of how well my younger brother and I are doing? I know he does not stay in touch with her as much as I do, but she does this to me to.
 
My older brother is no help at all. She babies him something terrible and he takes huge advantage of her. There was a time I did counseling with her, but she turned everything around on me and even the counslor said I cant win in so many words. Mom wont go back...to anyone. I just dont know where to turn for help. Sorry this was so long.~Katie
What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own ; The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protecxt you!
                              Hugs~Katie
                  Diagnosed ~ August 2008


Knight
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 352
   Posted 11/13/2008 11:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
You have quite a situation facing you.  I suggest you do not fall into her trap.  From afar it's easier to say what to do and not do.  Maybe it is best to not read the next letter.  You know you are dealing with a troubled person.  Don't take her words to heart.  Sometimes you can not win no matter what you do.  Sounds like there is no pleasing her.  It's a shame that your brother will skip this year, but there will be other years and you will be together again.  Hope for the best for mom but don't let her hurt you.  I hope this is not too blunt and you know that it will work out.  You are on the right track.  Stay on the right track.  You'll make it.
 
Knight
 
Mild to Moderate Left Side UC since 10/2002, Joint Pain since 10/2004
 
Strict SCD 7/2004-12/2005
Prednisone 8/2004-10/2004
Remission since 9/2004
Daily Meds:
 1500 mg Pentasa, 150 mg Zoloft, 30 mg Baclofen, 10 mg Ambien


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40595
   Posted 11/14/2008 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I think that knight has a point here, it is not her true self writing these letters, it is her disease dictating. But I can see your concern with how to help her. Since she wont reveal her medications or her doctor, there isn't a whole lot that you can do.

Are you seeing anybody for support? I wonder if it would be a good idea for you to have somebody yourself to talk about this to. A professional.

It doesn't sound like there is a whole lot that you can do for her in this situation. Maybe have a heart to heart with her. Let her know that she hurt your sils feelings with the letter. I can see why they wouldn't want to come. Does your mother have a tendency to start arguments at family functions? Or is she more solemn? Let us know how things are going. We are here for you, though I still think a little counseling would help you deal with this situation. I hope that your Thanks giving goes well for you.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Katie7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 11/16/2008 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi and thanks to you both for your advise. I feel things are just about to blow up and get worse before they get better though. I made a decision to 'univite' mom for turkey day and that went over like a lead ballon.

I felt that she needed to be held accountable for starting the rucus that was going to keep others away from attending. So I did the tuff love thing and now I feel terrible and guilty.

Of course my older brother , as usual, is backing her up 100% and making me feel even more guilty.

He now wants me to read her lletter that she wrote to my other brother and wants to send along his own letter to explain her letter, ARGH! Can you see how impossible and dunb this whole thing is getting? I am not getting any sleep stressing over it and my MS is flairing up again like crazy.

Thankfully I have a daughter in law in her senior year of nursing who is going to talk to her psch nurse instructor to see who I can go talk to to get help for me....so I can help my Mom. My husband and other family members think I made the right decision, but as I said, I feel guilty and she is SO GOOD at making me feel guilty...mostly becasue I let her. After researching some of these nursing books, Mom seems to display many personality disorder symtoms. But I am not a doctor, so I will just wait and see what they say this time aorund. It has been mentioned years before she was sufferring from that disorder as well as being a perfectionist and compulsive.

I love her so much, I just wish we could have peace. I wont give up. Thanks for listening to me and caring. Hugs~Katie


What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own ; The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protecxt you!
                              Hugs~Katie
                  Diagnosed ~ August 2008


Knight
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 352
   Posted 11/16/2008 10:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Katie,
I appreciate your concern and willingness to keep trying and not give up. But some things can't be fixed. I learned this when my son was not born yet. Doctor did an ultrasound and said he had such-and-such disease. There was no cure. In my mind, it would not compute. No cure. What disease has no cure? Sometimes there is no cure. And it is not what any of us wants. I was lucky and the doctor misdiagnosed and my son in fact had a condition fixed by surgery and he's fine. I say all this to make a point that maybe you mom is not able to be cured. You can treat her cordially, but I suggest you expect that she continues behaving as she has. You are right, the letterwriting is dumb and not so productive. Try to hold yourself above the bickering. Be cordial. Be concerned. Don't expect a sudden change though. Maybe if you ignore the crappy stuff and be steadfastly noble and consistent, then it may rub off on them eventually. Good luck. Just my 2 cents, and I hope she improves her behavior and shows love for the family.
Knight
 
Mild to Moderate Left Side UC since 10/2002, Joint Pain since 10/2004
 
Strict SCD 7/2004-12/2005
Prednisone 8/2004-10/2004
Remission since 9/2004
Daily Meds:
 1500 mg Pentasa, 150 mg Zoloft, 30 mg Baclofen, 10 mg Ambien


worm
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/17/2008 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I have no real advice for you (sorry!) but I know exactly how you feel....except in my family it's my grandmother who does these things....if you ever need to vent or compare solutions I am here for you!

Katie7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 11/17/2008 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Knight and worm...I am feeling better today. I stayed up late reading all this stuff in my daughter in laws nursing books. I just came back from the gym and worked up a great sweat, that helped me blow off steam.
 
At Moms age (79) I truly don't expect much to change since this has been going on since my childhood. I am just feeling crappy about dis-inviting her for Thanksgiving.
Do you think that was a bad decision? I only did it because others were not going to come if she was there and I guess I figured it was not fair to them and their children since they were looking forward to it and did not instiagte this.
 
I am expecting all these letters in the mail today.  I'll let you know how they pan out. Thanks agin for all the support.
What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own ; The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protecxt you!
                              Hugs~Katie
                  Diagnosed ~ August 2008


Knight
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 352
   Posted 11/19/2008 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
KT,
Hi.  How's it going?  Just wanted to check back with ya.  Hoping for the best.
 
Knight
 
Mild to Moderate Left Side UC since 10/2002, Joint Pain since 10/2004
 
Strict SCD 7/2004-12/2005
Prednisone 8/2004-10/2004
Remission since 9/2004
Daily Meds:
 1500 mg Pentasa, 150 mg Zoloft, 30 mg Baclofen, 10 mg Ambien


Katie7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 11/20/2008 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Knight,
 
Well I got the letters. My older brother who lives next door to her is supporting her 110%. He also wrote me a letter and told me he did not see anything 'mean spirited in it at all. On the phone he got argumentaive with me and I pretty much let him blow it off, as I ususally do. They can both be overly dramatic.
 
Anyway, guilt start to ( still is ) crawl into my heart so I mailed them both a simple Thanksgiving day card. In Moms, I just wrote I do love and  care about her alot and hoped she would come to our home on Christmas for dinner. In his, I Invited him for Christmas dinner. They should have gotten them yesterday.
 
I am physically and mentally exhausted, but am still gonna make myself hit the gym this morning.
 
Lst night I was at my art club meeting and one of my Mom friends was there who is in Moms Dance class. She asked me how Mom was because Mom did not attend last Thursdays session ( that was the day that letter arrived to my other brother and the day I disinvited her for turkey day). AND Mom was supposed to do this tap class with her club last night and did not show up. I just told the woman Mom was feeling under the weather. But now I am going crazy with guilt again and not sure what to do.
 
My older brother is also very different and many in the family thinks he also has somekind of personalitiy disorder. He has no friends, works, sleeps...eats with Mom a few nights a week. Very private guy, usually in a social setting he just sits back and observes everyone. I was never close to him growing up cause he lived with his natural Father, so we never developed a bond as my younger brother and I have.
 
Anyway, I had planned to take one of my friends and invite Mom to go with us in early December to Fla. for a short vacation ( my husband is a hunter and hunts alot in early Dec. so he wold not be around then and we have a condo in Fla, sitting unused). But now I am uncertain. I had not mentioned this trip to Mom yet as she had started acting edgy ( which was becasue she sent that letter and did not tell me) and I did not want to have to drive down to Fla. and listen to her complain the whole time. If I my freind and I go alone, then I will worry Mom will have a bad 'episode' while I am gone and do something stupid., and I wont be here.
 
Thanksgiving to me is ruined no matter what now. Even with her not coming, I will know things are not the same and feel bad. If she was going to come, I would worry about the tension between her and my other brother and my older brother just sitting back and analizing us all to death.
 
I have not heard at all from her. I told older brother I felt she started this and owes us all apology ( Cause I am alwasy the one making the peace). He said Mom was promted to do all this becasue she sent cutout cookies to other brother at Halloween and never got a thankyou for them ( cookies are never mentioned in her letter). He said she was raised with 'manners'. I said Geeze, so was I , I lived with her....I do things for my kids all the time without thanks, but thats not why I do them, I do them becasue I love and want to help them out and I dont expect anything in return. Sometimes they thank me sometimes they dont. But over cookies - all this??? Is he crazy??? Its over dramatic. They were in process of moving then and were real busy ( had a week to do it in). I could go on, but whats the use. This is like a freakin soap oprah.,and I am sick of watching it over and over again.
 
Everything I have studied meanwhile about personality disorders offers little help, other than telling me its not ever going to change. I just dont know what me next move shold be. Do I wait till after Thanksgiving to call on her or before. Believe me I am praying for direction I am sick to my stomach over this whole deal.
Knight, you have been so wonderful and supportive. Sorry this is so long, just trying to claify the picture more so you can see what I am dealing with.
 
Blessings to you and yours~Katie
What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own ; The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protecxt you!
                              Hugs~Katie
                  Diagnosed ~ August 2008


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/20/2008 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear Katie,

I know this sounds to easy, but if your Mom is upset about how things are working out and starts being disrespectful, I would just say in a nice calm voice " I am sorry if this upsets you Mom, I invited the family for Thanksgiving. You are all my family and I love each of you." At that point it is your Mother's decision on how she wants to respond, remember you are not responsible for her behavior or actions. If she starts to get nasty, tell her you will not discuss this while she is so upset and angry.

You may also tell her, "when you say these kinds of things" it makes me feel sad.

Then take ahold of you reins and have your Thanksgiving the way you planned.  It is after all your house.

It sounds like she needs to see her physician. Perhaps someone else could tackle that issue with her.

You are a wonderful and caring daughter and sister.  Believe in you and be happy.  This is your life.

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
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getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40595
   Posted 11/20/2008 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Katie,

You can choose not to think about her on Thanksgiving day and just enjoy the moment. After all, that is what it is all about.

I can see how concerned you are about your mother. It really shows. It sounds like you spend a lot of time worrying about her. You have to put a stop to that before it drives you crazy. You need to enjoy your life and I am giving you permission to not let her control it. Try to get her out of your mind 24/7.

I went through the same thing with my mother. Even after she passed away, I would dream of worrying about her. I spent a lot of wasted energy in my life worrying about her. We have no control over others emotions and how they react to situations. So give yourself a break and live for yourself, not for her. I know that you love her and that doesn't change. Just how much time that you spend worrying.

Best wishes for a wonderful day

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Katie7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 11/20/2008 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear Kitt and Karen,

Thanks for the support. I just got home from gym and feel better.but boy I tell ya, it is SO HARD to let go and not worry. I want to, I know it is the healthy thing to do, but guilt creeps in as I realize much is her disease talking rather than her...which creates more guilt in me. What a vicious circle. I also so believe I need to let God and Let go. He can't fix anything I am hanging onto. Still, hard.

I am still praying over it and am going to let God direct my next move. In my heart I feel if I don't hear from her by the coming Monday...I may just give her a call and see if it is okay that I stop over to visit...then take it from there. OR....I may wait till after Thanksgiving , just not sure yet. So that alone tills me to do nothing....yet.

I agree that it would be a good idea for her to see her Doctor again, only I am certain she won't. I cannot change her mind, she has to want to go. I can only set boundries, which is why I did what I did by not allowing her to come to Turkey Day, due to her recent actions. She brought it on herself. So once again I am the 'Black sheep' in her eyes. In the past she has never responded well to any boundries I needed to set ( her past PHD suggested I do this boundry thing) so I dont expect this time to be any different.

Thank you both for sharing your thoughts and suggestions with me. It is very helpful and I am keeping it all in mind for my next visit with her. I'll keep you all posted. wink ~Katie


What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own ; The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protecxt you!
                              Hugs~Katie
                  Diagnosed ~ August 2008

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