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AIBU to really not want my parents at this meeting?(12 Posts)
I can't even be bothered to name change. I have bipolar disorder and have been unwell, on and off for about the last 2-3 years. After dd3 was was born in April, I was hospitalised for a while because I started to get manic.
I'm a single parent with three children, have no brothers or sisters and my parents are the only support I have. But my relationship with them is very dysfunctional to say the least and in an ideal world I would probably try to limit the contact I have with them but because I have been unwell there have been times where they have had to 'look after' me (which they openly resent). Whilst I appreciate the practical things they have done for me and the children, I hate going to meetings with them because they sit there saying negative things about me and just make me feel really cr@p.
The meeting is to discuss my ongoing care plan. Last time I had a visit from my CPN my mum sat there saying stuff like 'electra is not very good at this, I am good at this, electra is not, electra is very disorganised' and generally making out that I'm a crap parent.
I have an issue with food and find it hard to sit down and eat a meal every day. It has been suggested that I should do this with the girls (especially as they are girls!). I know I should but sitting at meal times was not something we ever did as a family, and is particularly hard for me now. I know how crap this is for my children and that they also might end up with eating disorders but my problem is so entrenched. I feel like people don't understand that I'm not not doing it because I don't care about the children. Saying it is easy, etc....But at these meetings I always seem to be expected to explain why I can't do this.
So I suppose I can understand why my parents were invited but I don't want to go to a meeting with them because instead of discussing things they try to make me feel like I'm useless and 'on trial'. They never say anything positive and just thinking about going is making me all worked up.
sorry for the long ramble
I don't blame you for not wanting them there. Is there anyone that the CPN can recommend, like a mentor type thing? Have you spoken to them about how much your parents add to your problem?
It seems like if they are the alternative care option when you are unwell, that they would have to be there. Can you sit at the table with a cup of tea and an apple, saying mummy eats later, at grown up time or something?
Yes, that's what I try to do grumpy pants, or feed the baby at the table... They do know about things being difficult between us. I just don't feel in the mood to have to go to something where I know I will be bad mouthed. It is unsettling.
If your parents are openly critical of you then if they do come to your meeting and behave like that, your care team will see it for themselves and be aware that it is an issue, IYSWIM.
Could you get an independent advocate to go to the meeting with you to support you getting your point of view across and/or pushing for some specialist support around the eating if that's what you want?
Can you attend the meeting initially on your own so you have a chance to say how you feel without your parents there, and then if absolutely necessary have them come in later.
Also, maybe rather than feeling the onus is on you to "sort out" all the "problems" you have, once they raise something, can you say something like, "ok. i agree/disagree with what you've said... how do you think this could be sorted"?
I have no experience of this so sorry if my post is off the mark.
Thanks for replies. My mum answers for me - if someone asks me a question she talks loudly over me and it really bothers me. The meeting is not supposed to be about them laying into me but they seem to think it is. I am sure those who care for me can see what is going on but it's very hard for me to deal with when I'm in the situation.
Can your nurse attend with you, or a supportive friend?
Sorry you have been having a rotten time. I wouldn't be surprised if your care team are already aware of how your parents are in the meeting. They will see how your mum is talking over you. Are you able to discuss your concerns with someone who meets with you regularly eg. CPN and request they attend the meeting with you and act as an advocate. In fact is it worth finding out if there is a mental health advocacy in your area and see if someone there can help?
electra, I dont know if this will be work or not, but could you write down a bulleted list of the things you want to talk about, or ways you see yourself moving forward, even headings would work, then you could take it with you and hand it to the CPN at the meeting and use it as a starting point, this way you have got across what you want to say without your mother interfering and I hope CPN will direct the questions to you.
DH behaved like that when our social worker came on a home visit (DS2 is disabled). I reacted by getting upset, as I usually do in such situations & SW turned it round by asking him to note how his behaviour was making me feel. I'm SURE your care team will have noted the family dynamics. Can you ring the person chairing the meeting and explain how you feel, just as you've explained it to us? Then the ball is in their court as to what to do about it.
Regarding meal times, I often just sit at the table while DSs are eating, so we can chat & I can see if they're eating their greens , but don't often actually eat with them. Now I come to think of it, my Mum (deceased) didn't often join us at the dinner table when I was a kid!
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