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Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Rant! Long! Sorry!

(14 Posts)
snafu Mon 01-Aug-05 13:16:16

Don't know where to start really. Am freaking out a bit and need to vent and hopefully calm down in the process so huge apologies in advance to anyone who opened this thread thinking it might be a bit of light reading

Have just had the head of our local Community Mental Health Team round to see my mother. Some of you may know from previous rants that she has very severe 'atypical' OCD and depression which have, over the last few years, proved almost entirely unresponsive to a variety of treatments. Recently things have really deteriorated. The last few weeks she has hit the depths and refused to get out of bed, to wash, to eat, even to talk, really. She has been refusing all treatments, threatening suicide on a daily (hourly) basis, etc etc. She lies in bed crying - sometimes screaming and wailing like an animal - all day. The CMHT won't section her and the other local in-patient unit (which she has been to 3 times already this year with no positive effect at all) has no beds. So, after today's visit, they have finally seemed to twig that we need a little more support than a 10-minute monthly meeting that she never turns up to, and have offered to start some sort of home care programme. Of course, she thinks it's a load of pointless crap and has already refused to go an see her consultant to discuss it, but I am at least pleased that someone is listening at last (at least I hope they are).

Anyway, the thing is that I am supposed to be starting this bloody midwifery degree in 6 weeks time. I'm desperate to do it, to get out and stop rotting at home with all this stress and uproar, and start rebuilding a life for ds and me. But how the hell am I going to manage it? It's bad enough that ds is going to have to go into fulltime childcare - I didn't want that and would probably not have taken on the course at this time if I knew in advance that would be the case - I might have waited until he started school. Things weren't at this stage when I got the place though - she was still functioning (although it was hardgoing at times) and the general feeling was that she would be helped by looking after him at least some of the time. But now....obviously that's not going to happen and I understand why but... But more than that - I must be mad, right? Shouldn't I be at home supporting her (even if I'm so tense I'm probably doing more harm than good atm)? How am I going to cope with the stress and demands of this 3-year, fulltime, full-on course when my home life is in disarray anyway? Purely practically - how am I going to write an essay when she's sobbing for God to take her away, in the next room? How am I going to cope with a toddler, and a course and all of this? The CMHT woman said something about 'Oh well, if you're not going to be around to take her to appointments from Sept then we'll have to get someone else to do it' - just made me feel so bloody guilty, like I should be there, like why am I even thinking of not being here?

I so want to do this. I need to do this. But I'm so worried that I won't be able to cope. I need to do this and start sorting out a life for ds and me and a career and a future, but I am so torn. I just don't know what to do. It would kill me to give this course up but what if it all gets too much and I end up dropping out anyway?

Oh, bollocks. Sorry, this is just ranting now. I just don't know how I'm going to manage and I'm worried about the effect a very stressed mummy is going to have on ds. I know there's nothing to say really, well done to anyone who got this far. Am so bloody angry and frustrated.

snafu Mon 01-Aug-05 13:18:05

Oh god, sorry, that really was long and dense and ranty

dinosaur Mon 01-Aug-05 13:19:41

Snafu, what a horrible situation to be in.

But it sounds from your post as if giving up your degree course is the last thing you want to do, so fwiw I think you should stick with it and at least give it a go.

So sorry to hear about your mother, though. That must be so difficult to deal with.

motherinferior Mon 01-Aug-05 13:20:52

Snafu, it sounds appalling. I think you have to continue with the course, don't you - otherwise you will just go under. Is it totally unfeasible to move out (yes, I know that is a very cruel suggestion, just wondered)? What does your father say?

Ignore the CHMT woman's implication, though. I think you have to.

ScummyMummy Mon 01-Aug-05 13:22:37

Oh gosh, snafu. Loads of sympathy. That's really tough to handle.

Some questions...

Why won't they section her?
Is voluntary admission an option?
Are you living with her? Why? Can you move out?
Can she get direct payments for a carer?

DON"T let the CMHT woman make you feel guilty. Bloody cheeck of it. You have a right to your own life and they are extremely lucky you've been around to care for her this long and will continue to be involved in whatever capacity you can be.

Marina Mon 01-Aug-05 13:26:40

snafu, I'm really sorry here...remind me again why your dad can't help with any/some of the appointments etc...is he at home with you both, or living separately and working full time?
Are there any Mners locally who might be able to assist you with having ds for little playdates when deadlines loom?
I think given that you have successfully won a place on a course leading to an in-demand health qualification it was a bit below the belt of the CMHT person to start chuntering about not being able to do it all yourself.
You are not mad to want to reclaim some time for yourself especially when it will lead to such a worthwhile career.
Full-time daycare for toddlers may not be ideal and no doubt some of your worries are triggered by the fact that your choices have been reduced by your mum's deterioration. But I hope the fact that my two have done just fine so far in full-time daycare (also not what I would have chosen) helps just a little.
With your mum the way she is, I can see advantages to this crisis point for both you and ds. I think if you don't stand your ground now for your course and your future it might get even harder to extricate yourself. And although you could not have foreseen this, you could also argue that either ds spends more time at nursery because you are on a course, or he spends more time at nursery because you are becoming de facto your mother's full-time carer.
I really feel for you and admire your loyalty to your mum. She is lucky to have you still there trying to do your best for her.

snafu Mon 01-Aug-05 13:27:21

Thanks for replies, everyone. (Hope your head is feeling better, MI )

Scummy, yes, I am living there. Long story, moved in when dh and I broke up. Have no real means to support myself and ds atm - and certainly not if I want to do the course. Could not move ds again either - he is very settled here even if it is a bit difficult sometimes.

They don't think she needs sectioning, tbh. Despite suicide threats they don't think she is a danger to herlsef and tbh they're prob right. CMHT said atm it might do more harm than good and if she can be cared for at home, so much the better. They ahve asked my father to keep her medication and dole it out.

To be fair to CMHT, don't think she meant it that way really, but I am in midst of guilt-fest anyway, so even the vaguest implications send me....

snafu Mon 01-Aug-05 13:31:15

My dad works full time, M. He gets time off when ever he can, obv, but he has already effectively lost one job through this.

I know some of you must think I'm crazy not to move out. But it is the lesser of two evils to stay. I would rather be here and trying to cope without the extra hassle of bills and rent and 'true' single motherhood - I know how crap that must sound.

dinosaur Mon 01-Aug-05 13:32:47

snafu, am I right in thinking you are in North/East London? If so, there are loads of mumsnetters around you. I'm sure we could get together and organise e.g. taking your DS out for the afternoon/sitting with your mum/whatever so that you can get your essays done.

motherinferior Mon 01-Aug-05 13:33:15

No, I can see that moving out, at this stage, would be an extra and horrible stress.

Direct payments vg idea, Scummy.

Marina Mon 01-Aug-05 13:38:23

Why did I think you were in Reading snafu (? puzzled emoticon).
If you are in N/E London that quadrant is bristling with Mners. Plus the E bit draws in South of the River types...
I don't think you are mad to stick it out with your mum. Loyal and goodhearted - and yes, you make a case for some self-interest there, but - unselfish too.

snafu Mon 01-Aug-05 13:49:03

Am in Croydon area so more s. London, but yes, there are MNers around. Bless you lot for your suggestions - I knew it would clear the fog a bit to just write it down. The carer issue has been looked into before but I will have to investigate again. I don't think we would be eligible for payments (?because of savings) but it's got to be worth another go. CMHT are coming back this afternoon with drug prescriptions so I will see if they could shed any light. I am in such a muddle.

Ds is awake now so better go but thanks for input and kind words.

motherinferior Mon 01-Aug-05 13:57:50

Snafu, I will do some thinking.

Loads of us are in your neck of the woods, btw.

Marina Mon 01-Aug-05 13:58:41

A mere trundle down the 54 bus route for some of us...

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