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Can we PLEASE have a thread for those exasperated with thier PARENTS!!

(21 Posts)
lucyellensmum Wed 03-Oct-07 15:46:46

I posted this elsewhere, i thouight i might get more response here


I am totally at a loss about my mother. I just do not know what to do. I find it very hard to be sympathetic and im just losing my patience, i have my own family and my own problems (im on ADs for depression myself)

She is most definately (IMO) severely depressed. But she refuses to even go to the doctors. This has all come about since my father died two years ago (and this is the underlying route of it im sure) But she has found out that her sister (from australia) has taken some photos from her house, probably when she was visiting my dad in hospital as her sister does have access. Or did have. The whole saga has dragged on for nearly two years now, it flares up from time to time. Anyway, this woman is over at the moment and has just inherited her brother in laws house. (she would openly say that she wished he would drop dead so they would get the house - shes 80btw, my mum is 73). Since then my mum has found loads of things in her house that her sister has apparently swapped her decent stuff for shitty replacements. From duvets and peg sets to gold necklaces. Now the thing is, as mad as it sounds, i would not put it past her sister to have taken the photos, and taken SOME things from my mothers house as she is that type of person, and would definately have routed through when my mum wasnt there etc. She clearly wouldnt bother with duvets and peg sets, but its just eating my mother away. She now thinks that she has swapped a gold necklace worht a considerable sum of money. What do i think? I havent got a clue, would she? Yes! HAs she, i'm not sure.

My mother just gets into a screaming rage and i have had her on the phone to me for an hour (in the mean time ive prepared DDs lunch and bottle, cleaned the kitchen! whilst balancing the phone on my neck) screaming at me that i dont support her, she is going to kill her sister but she can't think of a way to get her on her own (like what the hell am i supposed to do about this!), she is just going on and on and on, same thing over and over (no she doesnt have alzhiemers, shes always been like this, always) and i jsut say, i dont know what you want me to do - she has had the police involved which of course they didnt believe her, probably think she is barking mad (she could well be!). As i said, i believe some of it, but its beyond proof. I have cut all contact with this aunt but cannot see what else my mother expects me to do. Because i try and point out to her how it would affect me and my children if she were to do something (believe me, she would) she just screams at me that i dont believe her.

IT is just an impossibel situation, she rings me at 7.30 every morning and im usually just sorting out DD so the phone just rings and rings over and over, then she screams at me why dont i answer, even when im out and my mobile is off there are demented messages, answer your fucking phone etc etc.

I know i dont seem very sympathetic, but i really dont need this, i have severe anxiety and depression and i can just about hold it together but my mother can make me feel like shit in seconds. Part of me just wishes she would go and carry out all of her threats and be done with it, then i dont have to listen to it any more. Its the same thing over and over and i can do NOTHING to help her.

I tried to say to her today, look, this has made you ill, please go to the doctor, she just started saying how i dont help her and dont want to know and now i think she is mad, completely irrational. As i said, she has always been like this, it is because she doesnt now have my father to make his life hell that she is looking for another outlet.

Saying all of this, my mother is the kindest person i know, who adores her grand children and will do anything for us, she would give us her last penny. I just feel so helpless, i cant MAKE her go to the doctors, and if i go and talk to her doctor (who is as useful as a chocolate tea pot!) without her she is going to see that as a betrayal. She only has her sister and sister in law, and her children in her family now, but they basically avoid her like the plague because of all this. I try and include her as much as i can, i have her look after my dd while i work one day a week, this is helpful to me but it is really good for her as she is fantasitc with my dd who adores her nanny. Now i am probably going to have to call into work for the fourth week in a row and tell them i cant work, and its pretty obvious they are going to run outof patience pretty damn soon.

I dont need this, i just want to (as my DP keeps begging me to do) live my life, from day to day, no stress, no drama, no worries. Ive had enough, i can't cope with her shit, but im too weak to stand up to her. I want to help but she wont let me, what can i do?

Countingthegreyhairs Wed 03-Oct-07 15:50:04

just posted on other thread - take care

Vikkin Wed 03-Oct-07 16:00:54

LEM, so sorry this is tearing you up again. Know you have tried so much to help her and this has given you so much stress. Sending you lots of 'take a deep breath's. WHy is it that we bring up our kids, then our parents start acting like kids.
How about printing out your post and leaving it for her to read, or handing her a letter and walking away while she reads it. Sometimes, in discussion the other person is so busy thinking about what they're going to say next they don't actually take in what you're saying. Put it on a plate and leave her alone to digest? Is there anyone neutral who could intervene?

lucyellensmum Wed 03-Oct-07 18:36:22

thanks for the message vikkin, i have phoned her tonight but she is not answering her phone, so i have decided that i am going to pack my job in, she is supposed to be looking after dd tomorrow but with the mood she is in, i just dont want to leave dd with her. I dont think she would hurt her at all, not for one second but i dont want dd to pick up on a bad mood and tbh, she gets so distracted by her own thoughts that she may not be on the ball enough to look after a 2 year old.

The frustrating thing is, that despite my mothers age she is surprisingly fit, i just wish i could find her something to focus on to take her mind off all of this. I think the catalyst is that the sister is due to go back to australia with a big wedge of money that she has inherited and i hate to say this but i think there is an element of jealousy im afraid.

Vikkin Wed 03-Oct-07 19:04:09

If you can't get her on the phone, will she just arrive in the morning to look after your dd? If so, perhaps all 3 of you could go for a walk together. Sometimes easier to talk about things while walking. Obviously she will want to know why you're packing your job in (if you really feel you must stop working try to leave that door open, things may be different in a few weeks). Tell her truthfully, you feel you have so much on your plate including her. Then start walking real fast LEM so she gets puffed out and can't tantrum!
This is what I do all the time when dh and I need to talk (or should that be dh needs to listen).

kindersurprise Thu 04-Oct-07 10:55:34

I do not have any fantastic advice (although I did like the idea of writing her a letter) but I wanted to say that you are being really great to even still be speaking to her. She sounds like a nightmare and she is lucky that you are still making the effort and allowing her to see her GC.

Perhaps it would do you good to cut her off for a couple of weeks. I can understand that you would find that very difficult but you do need to concentrate on getting back on your feet.

Hope you find a solution soon.

Dropdeadfred Thu 04-Oct-07 11:04:42

what would your mum do if you broke down in tears and said you just couldn't take anymore?

If she is a kind and generous person perhaps this is what she needs to see to realise the effect she is having on you..?

OrmIrian Thu 04-Oct-07 11:12:08

good point dropdeadfred. How would she react to that?

Is there any chance that she might be suffering from alzheimers LEM? It can make people act in the oddest ways. Be very suspicious, hostile and aggressive.

duchesse Thu 04-Oct-07 11:20:48

I don't want to take over the entire thread, so I'll reduce my olds to the expression: Parents, eh?

Mine are simply nuts. My mother is almost adult now that she's in her late 60s, but my father is still the same overgrown (and how!) teenager he's always been. I want to be adopted by someone else, but it's a but late as I'm nearly 40. I've met exactly the right new parents as well. I could have done with meeting them when I was 10.

maisemor Thu 04-Oct-07 14:50:14

"She is physically unwell too and was recently hospitalised. She discharged herself from the hospital against their advice after calling all the nurses (who were lovely) all the names under the sun, she ended up smacking me in the face because i told her i wish she had stayed in the hospital as i was then going to have to worry about her all night." (Wed 03-Oct-07 15:54:30 from your other thread).

I am sorry but I don't understand why you would leave your daughter alone with her. She is 73.
She can be violent.
She can be verbally abusive.

Even your partner is telling you that you should put a stop to this as it is getting you even further down.

You are not too weak to stand up to her. You are a strong woman, and when those moments of weakness do arrive you have your husband to lean on by the sounds of it.

Please stand up to your mother if not for your own mental health's sake then for your daughter. You daughter deserves a happy mum.

Rach35 Thu 04-Oct-07 15:00:34

Crikey - it sounds really tough - although I can empathise as my mum goes nuts sometimes too. Firstly, the most difficult thing to do is accept that is your mum - at 73 she is unlikely to change and any decisions have to come from her (as you realistically point out you can't make her do anything without her wanting to). The choices in the this situation are all yours (and this will sound harsh - but it is not meant to be). YOU can choose to respond to this or not - I used to respond to my mum by getting upset, arguing etc - but I decided to change my approach by being firm and adopting tactics that I would use at work (i.e. if she was screaming at me would I tolerate that bhvr from someone at work - NO way - I would talk to that individual about what was acceptable bhvr with me!) Start setting some boundaries (as you would with kids) and let her know what is ok and what isn't. It is hard to start with but it really works - I now have a wonderful relationship with my mum.

lucyellensmum Thu 04-Oct-07 16:24:59

maise - i trust her 110% with my daughter, she would NEVER hurt her. Unfortunately her violent outburst at that time was due to her medical condition and almost to be expected as she was pumped full of steroids, so maybe im painting an unfair picture by mentioning this.

I do resent the implication that i am leaving my daughter with someone who is unable to look after her. If i didnt think she was capable i would not leave her with her. It is her only little bit of responsibility and she is physically more than capable. She never behaves like this in front of my DD and quite frankly if i took this little bit of babysitting away from her she would have nothing to live for. She realistically only really has her for about an hour as i only work one afternoon a week and dd is asleep for three hours and then DP is home.

My mum was much better today, its her i am worried about as she is isolating herself from her family and i am an only child and cannot be there for her all the time as an emotional punchbag. Usually i just hold the phone at arms length and say yes and no in the right places but i have had a horrid cold and was feeling below par yesterday.

Thankyou so much for all the advice and kind words. I hate it when people, when given advice counter it with, i would but, but my mother is a law unto herself, it is just a case of riding the storm sometimes. As i said, she is the kindest most generous person i know but how my father ever put up with her i dont know.

Orm - it really isnt alzheimers (i watched my father deteriorate with this so have first hand experience and i do understand that it affects people in different ways) But it is linked with her medical condition in some way as she has had an adrenalectomy and cannot cope with stress because of this and does not have the same stress response as the rest of us.

I am hoping that when her sister goes back to australia that she will let this drop, although she is now threatening to follow her out there (i should be so lucky wink)

maisemor Thu 04-Oct-07 16:40:26

Sorry if you are offended. However I am a bit at a loss here. Probably just me not understanding English as well as I thought maybe. I thought you wrote in to get opinions. If it was just for someone to listen to you then fair enough, I just missed that point.

Hope you sort the situation out so that everyone's happy.

lucyellensmum Thu 04-Oct-07 17:05:00

I am sorry that your grasp of the english language is as good as you hoped wink Of course i wanted opinions althought was really just looking for support. I do not expect my parenting decisions to be questioned as it is a diffucult situation but i would NEVER pur my dd in danger or even expose her to unpleasantness.

As i said, i was feeling pretty shit yesterday and presented quite a bad picture. And the hospital incident is totally due to her condition and medication, which has now stabalised.

kindersurprise Thu 04-Oct-07 19:18:48

My Mum did a course at work in how to deal with unreasonable behaviour (she worked as an NHS receptionist so needed it!). She was told that the best way to get the raging patient calmed down was to say, as calmly as possible, "I am sorry, I do understand your problem, but you are upsetting me"

She found that telling the person that they were upsetting her took the wind out of their sails.

Have you let her know that it upsets and hurts you when you are treated badly by her? Can you tell her that in a calm moment perhaps?

Journey Thu 04-Oct-07 19:55:08

- Coach her. Ask her to come up with a solution.
-Ask her specific questions like "what do you want me to do?" instead of feeling that you're the one having to resolve things. It's her problem not yours.
- Keep her focused when she replies to your questions, and don't let emotions get in the way.
- If it is inconvenient for you to talk to her on the phone then say so.

HAPPYMUMOF5 Thu 04-Oct-07 20:03:34

Has\she always been like this or just since you father died? Am wondering if the shock of his passing has brought on some kind of mental illness sad sorry i hope that doesnt upset you. I have worked with people who have this and it often starts with temper/violent outbursts

lucyellensmum Fri 05-Oct-07 08:38:23

Always been like it, always been barking im afraid!

Things were much better yesterday, shes still very unhappy though, i'll be glad when her sister finally buggers off to australia for good. Actually i'm quite sad about it because her sister was good to my mum in many ways and would have had her out and about throughout the summer, instead my mum wouldnt even go to bingo in case her sister was there, so it has really isolated her.

All of your advice was really great and sensible, the sort of advice i would give to another person in my position. Of course i will have to completely ignore it as i am the only one to be able to keep an eye on my mum and if she falls out with me she'll have no one, its as simple as that.

She had a great time with DD yesterday, judging by the contraptions they had made with the duplo etc.

I was deeply upset and angered by the suggestion that i am irresponsible for leaving dd with my mother. I am an intelligent person, who, despite my many faults, i know im a good mother and my judgement is sound. I would never put DD in a situation where she was in danger of being neglected or upset by a bad atmosphere. My mum knows that she must not behave this way in front of DD and she values the contact too much to jeapordise it. This little bit of baby sitting is my mums only real activity outside of the house and she adores my dd, there is no way im going to take that away from her. And the suggesting that she would hurt my DD and is a violent and abusive person is ludicrous. I fully explained the incident at the hospital as a result of her medical condition that flares up from time to time (about once every five years!) and the treatment for this. I was really hurt to think that people think i was being lax as a mother by leaving dd with my mum just so i can go to work for an afternoon. It is an arrangement that works well for us all. I wont leave DD with anyone else, i dont trust anyone else to care for her. I have put off putting dd in nursery because of this and sacraficed my own career to stay at home and look after her. I do not, therefore expect to be thought of as an irresponsible parent simply because i started a thread wanting to rant on about my mum. As i said, all of your advice and kind words are much appreciated, and i do realise there are times i should be firmer with my mother, but sometimes the better way is just let her rant on and try not to get emotionally involved.

Dropdeadfred Fri 05-Oct-07 09:51:52

Lucyellensmum, I agree that only you can really judge your mother. One point though..
If your mother can control herself in front of your dd because she knows she risks losing contact and therefore is very capable of controlling her behaviour then why can't she offer you the same respect?

OrmIrian Fri 05-Oct-07 14:25:57

lucy - obviously you know much more than me about alzheimers. Phrase including grandmothers and eggs comes to mind blush Sorry. It was just an idea.

It does sound as if you are having a really hard time. FWIW it wouldn't have occurred to me that your DD was at risk from your mum. Her rage seems to be quite clearly directed at her sister.

lucyellensmum Fri 05-Oct-07 15:09:08

Don't worry Orm. To be fair, if this had been a recent change in behaviour then i would have thought exactly the same to be honest. But its just the way she is. Alzheimers does affect people in different ways, its a god awful disease. There has been some interesting advances in research in the past few years, but a long long way off from a significantly useful therapy.

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