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Where do I go from here? DM related.(15 Posts)
I'm sorry this will be long, I have been trying to digest this for a while and haven't been able to.
My DM has had bi-polar my whole life, and before. She has on many occasions attempted suicide, been sectioned (more than once), self harmed, drinks to excess - if I'm being honest she's a functioning alcoholic, would go missing for weeks on end - resulting in me and her partner (at the time) reporting her missing to the police and our home being searched (once again more than once). She has been stable for approx 10yrs but I still panic every time my phone rings.
My brother was killed in a car crash 20+ years ago, this resulted in her attempting suicide more than 15 times in a year, and these (as were other attempts) very real attempts, she would lock the house up and keep keys in locks so nobody could unlock the doors from the outside, all windows shut and locked so nobody could get in through a window. I have been called to the ICU more than once to say goodbye, every single time she has been hysterical and violent when she realises her attempt has failed, someone had found her - usually me by getting the police to break in.
I was 15 when my brother died, and since my late teens have suffered with depression on and off over the years, in recent years my depression has become even worse - I was diagnosed with chronic pain after complications from a hysterectomy, more recently I have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and osteoporosis. My depression is classed as severe - I have had two occasions where I have been determined to take my own life, the first time my husband found me as I was about to take an overdose- it was the middle of the night, he woke up realised I wasn't there and came to find me, I was sat on our doorstep having a cigarette with all of my tablets. The second time I googled which tablet (that are prescribed) would be the best combination to take which would mean almost certain death as a result of all this I have no access to my medication my husband has made sure of this and he gives me my medication when needed (at my request).
I am now under the same hospital that my mum had been admitted to. I have always been adamant I do not want my children to ever go through what I did with my mum hence taking steps to help myself. I'm on a waiting list for treatment at said hospital - waiting list is 18mths even though I am seen as a danger to myself.
Thank you if you have got this far, I know it's a long read.
My mum has never mentioned anything from the years that she was at her worst, no nothing.
Last week I was speaking to her about something completely different and she said 'I know I made your life shit, and I know it's my fault you are the way you are'. I was that shocked I said nothing, then changed the subject.
It's not my mums fault that I am as I am. I have made my peace so to speak in previous counselling sessions, yes her actions were a contributing factor as was my brothers death, but I have my own demons that I have to address.
I don't know how to now go back to my mum, or even if I should. I don't know why I haven't even discussed it with DH although he knows something is wrong.
I guess what I'm asking is what do I do now? Its really playing on my mind but I really don't know how to address it?
Wow. How brave.
You have processed so much and tell your story with such clarity. I'm sure you will process this too, with time.
Can you discuss how you feel with a HCP? Is there someone you talk to regularly?
What is it you want her to know? That you do not feel it is her fault and you do not blame her?
I would speak to her the way she spoke to you, a very brief 'in passing' comment. That would give her time to process it as well.
picklemepopcorn Thank you, O guess I have told it so many times over the years that it makes sense.
I did wonder about just mentioning it in passing but at the moment I'm not in a very good place and I think I need to give myself some more time.
I have the fear of something happening to trigger something within her that will take her back. It's Mother's Day and the anniversary of his death coming up.
My feeling is that you'd be better off talking this through with a therapist you know and trust. It's awful that the waiting list for you to get the help you need is so very long. Is there any help you could access before then? Your GP might be able to get you some CBT more quickly, it might be worth asking.
But while you're waiting, if you can talk to your husband about all this then that might be a good place to start. If you want to talk to your mum then work out what you want to say before you start, and make sure you can keep control of the conversation so it doesn't spiral into blaming and accusations (phone her rather than visit, perhaps, make sure you have a reason to leave the conversation after half an hour, etc).
It's probably wise to avoid the forthcoming anniversary, but try to remember you're not responsible for things your mother says, does or feels.
Most of all, though, be kind to yourself. Look up "self compassion meditation" online and find a few free ones you can download and do each day. It sounds a bit whacky but it's really helpful.
You can always talk to Samaritans, they will support you whilst waiting for therapy.
BACP is the list of counsellor and psychotherapists. Check it out if you can afford private counselling. Some therapists/counsellors do not charge the earth.
I saw something the other day called Kooth. Free online therapy.
I guess you are in a position that your mother never was-you have foresight. You need to use that foresight and work with it. With counsellors, with the support of your husband with medication if you take it, to avoid this chain or unfortunate situations going forwards.
You sound incredibly brave x
I had 20 sessions of counselling last year which is the maximum and unfortunately we are not in a position to pay privately for more sessions.
My GP won't refer me elsewhere as I am on a waiting list with the physiatrist.
I was on another waiting list for a local charity for CBT and/or counselling but they removed me as I now have a psychiatrist - that waiting list was also 18mths.
I have spoken to DH briefly this morning, after putting this thread up I burst into tears so I told him. He is so lovely, he just gets me. He understood why I hadn't said anything before and we will talk more later when the DC are in bed.
TBH just getting it out in the open has helped to a degree.
OnTheRise thank you, I will have a look.
I'm so glad you've talked to your husband, and that he's been understanding. And I'm sorry you can't get any more help, and that you're having to wait so long for the help you need. But do try those meditations. It's surprising what a difference ten minutes can make. I find them really helpful. I won't recommend any in particular, as what suits me might not suit you. But really, anything which gets you to feel more centred and calm, and which encourages you to be kinder to yourself, is probably going to be helpful.
I agree with OnTheRise.
Meditation can help. Go for the highest meditation as taught by Advaita Vedanta teachers. Rupert Spira, Mooji, Eckart Tolle.
Thank you, I will look into them.
I have started reading a lot more again, I used to be able to get lost in a book for hours and my psychiatrist thought it would help with the insomnia. DH bought me a kindle for Christmas and it has helped, I'm not sleeping any better but I do switch off so feel more refreshed.
I really do appreciate all of the support and suggestions
In that case read.
The Direct Path. Rupert Spira.
The Power of Now Eckart Tolle.
Change your thoughts change your life. Dr Wayne Dyer.
noego thank you, I will have a look for them.
Every Human being has a serene, luminous core. Meditation is finding that core and bringing it to every aspect of your life.
I'm pleased you've had DH's support and feel a bit better. I think you are wise to avoid triggering near anniversaries, and to take your time and feel ready before you speak.
I would say though, that it is something she brought up so may well be ready to hear.
I agree with the other posters, meditation is a massive help. Even just YouTube meditations. I put my headphones in on a night (if I am feeling anxious) and put one on. Just sometimes the talk down ones (relax your toes, ankles etc, take deep breaths) and they really help.
There's a guy called Jason Stephenson who is really great, meditationvacation is also good, and TheHonestGuys.
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