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I'm at my wits end with this, please help.

(19 Posts)
TalisaMaegyr Sun 30-Mar-14 19:24:28

I have posted about this before, but it's getting worse. I'll try and cut it down a bit for an easier read.

My sister has mental health issues. This has been going on for a few years, although imo, I think it started when we were young. She has been diagnosed with bipolar, but again, imo, I think she has BPD.

It's absolutely destroying my lovely mum sad I've just got off the phone to her, she's really upset again, she was crying. She had breast cancer last year, and she was saying to me this evening that she wishes she hadn't bothered with the chemo, that she doesn't want to wake up in the mornings, that everything is hopeless.

What can I do? I live far away, I don't have much to do with my sister, and I can't really emotionally afford to get involved with the situation - I've done all that years ago, and I'm tired of it. Sounds selfish, I know, but I have my own family to take care of.

But my mum.... sad I know she won't hurt herself, she wouldn't hurt us like that. But she's so sad, so down. She's supposed to be enjoying her life after her cancer, and she's just.. not.

Please help. Does anyone have any advice?

Lweji Sun 30-Mar-14 19:27:06

Is she having counselling or other professional support?

Logg1e Sun 30-Mar-14 19:31:01

Same advice as the last time you posted Talisa. It sounds as though your role as the Rescuer is long established in your family's dynamics. You have to step out of it otherwise you'll spend your life going around and around in circles.

What emotional reserves do you have in terms of listening to your mum, planning a holiday etc?

TalisaMaegyr Sun 30-Mar-14 19:31:53

She's had counselling for years. She's on medication, but I don't know what - when I had my nephew here to stay a couple of weeks ago (he's 20), he said that lithium had been mentioned, but I don't know much about it. Whatever medication she is taking isn't really helping - she extremely volatile and emotionally unstable a lot of the time.

TalisaMaegyr Sun 30-Mar-14 19:35:21

Nobody's asking me to rescue them though! My mum doesn't want me involved as it will cause even more trouble. I just feel for her, and I don't know how to help her - I'm detached, she isn't, and can't. It's her daughter, isn't it? And she wants to be able to see her dgc.

Meerka Sun 30-Mar-14 19:37:29

oh dear, this is an incredibly difficult situation. Particularly as you are on the side lines and powerless to actually help.

I'm afraid that there is only so much you can do. Be a listening ear as much as you can ... but look after yoruself as well, it must be devastating to hear your mum say things like that.

Sadly, and I say this without judgement and not without experience, some people with BPD are not only going through hell themselves but put others through it too. The only way other people can cope is to 'detach with love' .. to keep loving them, to set firm boundaries for behaviour (people with BPD sometimes struggle with boundaries), and to accept that beyond a certain point there is only so much they can do. There are no magic wands, I wish deeply there were.

If it's yoru child with BPD, I cannot imagine what it's like to observe and be involved it. I hope I never find out and I say that from the heart, I don't want to go into details about that here.

As lweji says, is she having professional support? I don't know if it will help or not to point out gently to her that there is only so much your mother can do? To emphasise that your sister is the (rather lost) mistress of her own life?

If your mother is being abused verbally, financially or physically or emotionally, you can gently encoruage her to set those boundaries and not allow it to happen any more because it's one of the few things that will help your sister, as well as your mother.

But with great sadness only your mother can truly be the one to handle this, to find her own way of coping. By the way, I absolutely support your view that your own family has to come first. You can give what you have to your mother, but not more.

Lweji Sun 30-Mar-14 19:41:06

I actually meant your mother, sorry. It sounds like she needs support.

bringbacksideburns Sun 30-Mar-14 19:42:17

Invite your mother to stay with you so she can have a break?

Keep ringing your sister's CPN or whoever deals with her
and tell them your mother needs extra support because she has just recovered form Cancer and you are very worried about her.

Have you tried speaking frankly to your sister about your worries for your mother and the pressure she is putting on her?

If she is as volatile as you say then all you can do from your position is constantly ring mental health services and try to support your mum. I've been there.

scottishmummy Sun 30-Mar-14 19:45:32

My advice is you take on what's emotionally and practically achievable,and not to your detriment
You can't save your sister,you can't regulate how your mum feels or involves herself
I hope your sister is referred to gp and/or mental health services and that she engages

Logg1e Sun 30-Mar-14 19:49:45

This is the kind of thing I meant, OP I just feel for her, and I don't know how to help her. A "Rescuer" feels that they have a responsibility to help.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 30-Mar-14 19:51:20

Advise your DM to access Counselling for herself. Having a child with a severe MH illness is difficult, draining and longterm.sad.

TalisaMaegyr Sun 30-Mar-14 20:11:37

Sorry Lweji I didn't realise what you meant! I suggested tonight that DM maybe has some counselling, but she's had the odd bit of counselling over the years, and said it doesn't really work for her.

Meerka - I really can't speak to my sister. She would go absolutely up the wall, and my mum would suffer for it. She would see it as us all ganging up on her. You have no idea how much I want to confront it with her, but she's so aggressive, I don't know how to deal with her. I have fallen out with her a few times in recent years myself, and she causes so much trouble that I just can't. My mum has begged me not to anyway.

TalisaMaegyr Sun 30-Mar-14 20:13:02

Logg1e - is that a 'Rescuer' though, or just someone that hates seeing their loved ones hurting?

TalisaMaegyr Sun 30-Mar-14 20:17:33

My mum has to involve herself, it's her daughter, she just cannot seem to detach, and I totally understand why. It's much easier for me to keep away from it all, a sibling relationship is so much different to parent/child.

Lweji Sun 30-Mar-14 20:18:46

But could there be local support organisations that could provide peer support?

EirikurNoromaour Sun 30-Mar-14 20:42:13

Has your mum had a carers assessment?

Logg1e Sun 30-Mar-14 20:42:40

Well, it's obviously not a medically defined term, and it might not be relevant to your situation, but I would describe a Rescuer as someone who hears somebody else's problem and feels an obligation and responsibility to solve the problem.

This, to me, is different to somebody who doesn't like to see loved ones hurting.

TalisaMaegyr Sun 30-Mar-14 20:45:12

I've just sent an email to MIND Lweji, see if they can suggest anything local to my mum. If I can find somewhere for her to go, she'd be more likely to do it. Tbf, she's only just admitted to herself that my sister has problems.

TalisaMaegyr Sun 30-Mar-14 20:46:39

* EirikurNoromaour*, my sister is 40, with 3 kids and a partner. My mum isn't her carer.

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