If anyone has any advice or practical suggestions for me or my mum I would be very grateful to hear! Outline of situation below: -
I am the second child of four children between the ages of 34 - 21. My parents have been together for 34 years with my dad working and my mum having raised 'us kids' (amazingly I might add).
All the time I can remember my dad has been possessive, jealous, negative and stifling of my mum- I have pleaded with him to go to Relate with mum (something she has been asking for for at least 15 years) and he just will not go.
Mum has developed OCD in the form of obsessive thoughts and has gone missing in the past and has made an attempt to "end it all". She is on medication, involved with Mental Health Services and sees a counsellor - all I think misses the point that she has zero self esteem and has changed from an amazing, outgoing, vivacious and brilliant woman to someone who is scared of her own shadow (she is still amazing and brilliant but she can't see it). The counsellor wants to see dad too but he is flatly refusing saying that "I'll see Relate when all this is sorted"... he did go to Relate once but apparently he manipulated the situation so the Relate counsellor told them it was "too soon" after everything.
I have pleaded with mum to come on a train to stay with me for a while- to give herself a break- (they have not visited my house which I bought in December last year with my partner). I have also suggested that if she wants to leave that I can help keep her safe from dad, can help her sort out finances and generally assist.
Of course she is worried about my relationship with dad and she doesn't want to put me in that position (I know two of my brother's would hate me for it as would dad- another brother would support it).
Mum has given him an ultimatum saying "you either see the counsellor with me or I will go and stay with our daughter" - dad still refuses. I have explained to mum that she needs to follow through with this ultimatum as dad needs to learn that she will do what she says.
I just want to pick her up and take her away and make it alright.
Hmmm interesting! You may have a point and I have tried to step back, particularly from talking to dad about things, I am very thankful for the support of my partner, I guess what will be will be and I just have to support both mum and dad and let them know I'm here if they need!
What is the purpose of your mum's mental health counsellor seeing your dad? I'm assuming it's not some kind of joint counselling in the way that Relate would be. That type of counselling is not recommended with emotionally abusive partners - for the reason you've already seen; the abuser manipulates the situation to score points.
A lot now depends on why your mum issued the ultimatum. If she was serious then she needs to follow through. If she did it at your prompting (which I don't think she did?) then that's rather different. The net result may be the same, though - in the unequal power struggle with your dad she loses even more power if she doesn't follow through.
From your description it seems likely her mental health would improve if she separated from your dad. I hope she comes to stay - but it must be her decision.