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DM visit and mc issues - urgently need advice(22 Posts)
I am visiting my mums on Monday as she has been having a hard time lately. we've had a rocky relationship as my step-dad who she met when i was ten has refused to speak to me or acknoweldge that I exist for 7 years. This wasn't over an argument etc - he has since admitted that he found having a step daughter harder than he thought and just buried his head in the sand. My mother miscarried a few years ago but has had a breakdown as a result. She is obsessive around babies - will hold them all the time, try and breastfeed them, refuse to give them back to their parents, call them Adam(the name that she was going to give to the baby) etc. She doesn't realise how she is being. I am getting concerned as she works with children and after a recent fall out that she had with my stepdad I decided to go and stay to get a better read on the situation - I live 200 miles away.
I am unsure how to proceed - do I confront her, do I try and get her to talk? I am concerned about DD (6mo) who I am having to take with me. And I am unsure what to do regarding step-dad - I left home because his neglect was having such a huge effect on me and haven't been back since. I need advice desperately. Am feeling v. out of my depth and in need of MN wisdom! Thanks ladies x
How long are you visiting for? Is it imperative your dd goes with you?
I am going on mon and coming back on fri. Yes - there is no-one else to look after her, DP has graduate interviews in London so not at home atm.
Personally I'd put any dealings with step dad on the back burner and give yourself a couple of days to weigh up your mums situation before attempting to talk. Unless it's evident that something needs doing pronto. Has your mum got a support network around her? Other family/close friends etc?
She has family but she is very private. She doesn't like talking to "outsiders" about things. its fallen to me as no-one else that Ive spoken to in the family feels there is a problem. I also have a 7yo DB at home who rang me upset last week because mum and SD were fighting and DM had called DB Adam. he knows about the MC and that the baby would have been called Adam and was v distressed. thats when I felt that things were getting worse and that i needed to go up.
Well yes, it sounds like she's having trouble coping at the moment. Is she aware you are visiting as you are worried about her? Or does she think it's "just visiting"? Has she seen her GP at all. Do you think she'll be receptive to being told she needs some help etc?
It's a lot to bear on your shoulders without other family members onside as it were. Can't really offer any solid advice other than take it one step at a time and weigh it up as you go along.
Thanks Shakey. She thinks Im just visiting but I think she will have put two and two together after DB rang me. But seeing as she doesn't realise there is a problem re. MC I think she will think Im going as concerned about arguing with SD. She hasn't seen her GP - she doesn't like him very much and wouldn't see a reason to go unless ill. I don't know that she'll be receptive. I think I need to wait for the right moment (whatever that is!) and not just go plouging in straight away.
Thanks again though
Did you post on this subject a few weeks' back?
I seem to recall you were concerned that your dm who works in a school has attached herself to a sn child who she calls Adam, and that this may be to the detriment of the child to your dm's employment?
Weren't you going to talk to her and contact the school if necessary? What's happened about that?
It occurs to me that if you are going to stay with dm this coming week, it may be half term and there will be little you can do vis a vis the school if you haven't appraised them of the situation.
I'm sorry, but this all sounds barking mad! Look at what you have posted:
My mother miscarried a few years ago but has had a breakdown as a result. She is obsessive around babies - will hold them all the time, try and breastfeed them, refuse to give them back to their parents, call them Adam(the name that she was going to give to the baby) etc.
And she works with children????!!!!!
Really, I thin see needs a psych assessment.
Yes that was me. I have contacted the school after things seemed to be worsening but they said they had no concerns about her relationships with children she works with etc but said they would monitor the situation. Am now more concerned about her ability to cope with day to day situations and her relationships with SD and DB than her work. It seems more and more apparent that she is unable to cope - but I obviously need to go and see her to get an accurate picture.
BusyBusy - Im sure it does seem mad. This is my mother we are talking about. its not as if she had the MC and went straight into working with children. It happened years ago, she seemed to be coping. a few years later DBs school needed volunteers to do reading etc - they were desperate and so she started volunteering one morning a week. It grew and she did a course to enable her to qualify as a teaching assisstant. she seemed fantastic - really passionate about the job and course, had more enthusiasm etc. Its only in the past few months that alarm bells have started to ring. The breastfeeding incident was a major concern. Its not all babies that she does this with - just mine and my auntie. And like I said it happened gradually. Im sure it sounds insane but she is my mother and Im worried about her and I need advice. This is a nightmare situation for all involved.
I hadn't realised that your mother has a 7 year old ds and IMO you shouldn't underestimate the potential seriousness of her fantasies about 'Adam'.
However, it's probable that she will be in denial that her fixation is the cause of any problems in her personal or professional relationships or that it impairs her perception of reality.
It may be that, if her GP is not supportive or your dm is unwilling to attend an appointment with you in tow, you may be best advised to call her local authority's social services department and speak to an Adult Services social worker.
You'll most probably be told that there is nothing they can do unless the adult (ie your dm) approaches them but, at the very least, you can ask them to record your concerns.
If you form the opinion that your db is being adversely affected by your dm's fantasies, I would suggest you contact the local authority's Childrens' Services in order to safeguard him.
Should you need to take such action, your dm and your stepfather will undoubtedly need reassurance that you are acting solely from concern for her mental and emotional wellbeing and that you have no other axe to grind.
I have a feeling that you will not find it easy to win your dm's confidence in this matter, particulary as it seems that others in the extended family do not share your concern.
If it proves politic to beat a retreat after a couple of days, at least you will be able to console yourself with the knowledge that you tried to be of assistance.
Thanks Izzywhizzy. I have taken note of the steps you mention. I so want to do the right thing and not tip her over the edge and contacting outside authorities as it where always seems like such a drastic step but i can see how necessary it may be where DB is concerned. I think thats whats worrying me most - is that he may be heavily affected by all of this. I think it will be very difficult whatever I do as have just turned 21 and DM sees me as her little girl still. Hopefully whatever happens she will understand I am acting out of concern. Thanks so much for your advice though.
Oh and no i don't think she is menopausal. Although living so far away i can't be sure.
tbh my main concern is that you are taking your DD. If she attempts BF, refuses to give babies back and behaves inappropriately in a short visit, I am worried what will happen if you are there for 5 days.
You can put your foot down in your own home with your DP/DH there to back you up, but in her home, with your abusive SF there too you may find it harder.
I dont think that you should go until your OH is in a position to look after the baby while you are away.
Im needed here when DP gets back (see other thread - DP severly anorexic and someone needs to be with him at all times ((he is staying with his brother while in London who will monitor etc)) ) For that reason equally I can't leave DD with him while I go - he could collapse while looking after her etc. So this is my only window. I don't plan on leaving DD with her at any point if I can help it. The BF issue happened once and we confronted her about it quite harshly (me and my auntie) and I think it sunk in.
There is never going to be a good time to go unless DP suddenly gains 4 stone and a healthy food relationship. I've just got to do my best. At least once Im there I do have family close by who can take DD if DM gets out of hand. And I can always leave early. Im more than aware of concerns though - DD is my first and am always worrying about her overheating, not getting enough milk, missing naps etc so have already said to GPs that if I get the feeling DD is at risk I will take her to theirs. It is a worry though.
I didnt know about your ill DP Bully, sorry
I think you are right and I would make sure that I didnt leave DD for a second IIWY.
You have an awful lot on your plate right now. Are you getting any support yourself? Are your DPs parents supportive?
Honey, given that it seems her dps live nearby, is this something you should be taking on?
You've said that no-one else that I've spoken to in the family feels there is a problem but surely your auntie alerted other family members to your dm's inappropriate behaviour?
I can't imagine that your dm is going to be receptive to your questions, and she may well be hostile to your attempts to elicit information as to her state of mind from her.
If your stepfather and dgps fail to support you, you'll be out on limb which won't be a good place for you to be in given the other issues you're coping with at your young age, as well as meeting the needs of your baby dd.
Maybe you should turn your trip on it's head.
View it as if you're simply going for a break to introduce or reacquaint dd to her dgm, du, ggps, and other relatives while, coincidentally, looking to have a cosy chat with your dm about her past feelings for the baby she miscarried and her present feelings for 'Adam'.
Otherwise I fear it may prove too much for you to handle alone.
I agree with Izzy, thats why I asked about support for you. BUt as usual she his the nail right on the head!
Focus on what is important right now. And that is yourself, your baby and your partner. I put them in that order for a reason.
You need to be healthy and stable to be a good parent to your baby. When your baby is happy and thriving (as I am sure she is ) you can "spend" your remaining energy on your partner.
Dont take on too much, you have enough to be going on with.
Thanks ladies and sorry I didn't post again last night. DD does come first - i feel quite awful sometimes when I leave DP to it so that I can focus on her but I know that she is more important. I try and find time for myself aswell although that can be a litthe tricky.
I thought last night about what Izzy said and think that making the trip about family in general is a better idea than going solely for the purpose of helping DM. I think it will make her a lot easier to be around aswell. I know there's not a huge amount I can do and Im not trying to take everything on - but even if I get her to open up just once its a start - she hasn't talked about it for years. Thanks ladies
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