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Mother with Alzheimer's lost the plot tonight(108 Posts)
Had a bad shock tonight and badly need some impartial advice.
I'm 19 weeks pregnant and my mother, who has early Alzheimer's, hit me tonight with a gate.
I split my time between the UK and Ireland- spending one week a month working from Ireland to provide support to my parents. I rent a house in Ireland that belongs to my father and brother. My plan was to come back to Ireland to have the baby and spend my mat leave here. I'm going to be a single mother so thought it'd be good to be around family and friends.
My mother is in the early stages of Alzheimer's and has decided that the house I live in belongs to her and that she doesn't want me in it. The rent I pay covers three quarters of the monthly mortgage payment so it takes the pressure off my dad and brother and also gives me somewhere to live when I'm back. My dad built the house so there's a strong emotional attachment too.
I'm in a short-term let in the UK up to mid-december and was planning to do another similar one after Xmas to take me to mid-Feb when my mat leave will start.
My mother has been very unhappy with me renting the house for some time now and it came to a head this evening. She believes she owns it, although she doesn't, and wants me out. I was closing the gate at the bottom of the driveway tonight and she tried to wrench it out of my hand. When I didn't let go she pushed back hard with it, fortunately just catching me in the arm and not the stomach.
Legally I know she can't force me out, but she's making everyone's lives very difficult and I'm worried about my father who is 77. I'm also worried about the financial impact on my parents who would be left carrying the full mortgage as my brother isn't in a position to do so.
What should I do? For background, my brother and I have never had a good relationship with my mother (think Stately Homes thread type stuff - I've posted there recently) but we want to help my parents and support them. Dad is really excited about the birth of his first grandchild and would be delighted to have me living just up the road. My mother says she's coming to throw me out tomorrow and that if I weren't pregnant she'd slap me - so she knows that much anyway. I'd love to stay here but the daily threats - and now violence- are making it hard.
What do I do? No support from the father of the baby who I've posted about before....so I'm an emotional wreck tonight and can't stop shaking.
Sorry that was so long and hope it made sense!
From what you've said, your brother is the key here. You, him and your dad are on the same wavelength.
Call him. Make sure he's there to deal with your mother.
Yes, he's definitely on the same page and totally at a loss as to what to do, too. She is fearful of the loss of control due to Alzheimer's - which is understandable - but is totally worked up about the situation with the house. She probably knows deep down it isnt hers but is acting as though it is.
Unfortunately my brother has no more success than the rest of us in getting through to her
Get him there anyway. You don't need to confront your mother on your own.
Sometimes just a loving physical presence can help. Call him.
How does your mother not own the house too? If you're paying rent and you have a room, aren't you essentially a lodger at your parents' house? Or do you have a tenancy agreement. Sorry but this is confusing.
Two separate houses. My parents live in a house they own. My father and brother jointly own a house up the road that I rent and work from when in Ireland.
Thanks, Disquieted. I was talking to him on the phone tonight and he'll be over after work tomorrow.
Ah right. What did she say when your dad showed her the paperwork that didn't have her name on it?
She says because the plot used to belong to her family that it's her house. She's been to the bank, land registry and solicitors to try to prove it's hers. A piece of paper is irrelevant to her now unfortunately.
Really Shifty? Yeah, showing someone with Alzheimer's some paperwork will.sort it all out in no time
I'm trying to stay calm for the baby but I'm really upset. I feel like such a crap mother already - had months of upset with my ex and now this.
I'm trying to help my parents, financially and otherwise, but am at breaking point tonight.
Oh you poor thing. It must be horrible seeing your mother like this. And very difficult as you are trying to help your family and yet... who’s helping you at the moment?
Don’t underestimate the toll this is taking on you. Pregnancy may very well not be an illness, but it takes a hell of a lot of your body’s resources away from you to make a whole entire actual other human! Not to mention growing another organ... for some reason that impresses me more (?!), because it’s like your body just spontaneously growing another heart or something... blows my mind
BUT the point is, you need support to. Having had my dearest darling husband leave me after 7 yrs of marriage because I wouldn’t have an abortion after he randomly changed his mind (sarcasm there, no dear or darling left anymore), anyway, point being, it was so tough. Going it alone whilst pregnant is horrible as you’re surrounded by couples and families and reminders it’s just you.
So mentally and physically, it’s so tough, and I have so much sympathy for you right now. But please really think about how much more you can give, and also, whether you can cope living in this situation with a new born baby and quite possibly a lot of physical healing to do post birth.
Take care of yourself. You now it’s ok to factor in your needs near the top of the list! It does get easier though, I promise. After I had DS the loneliness and lack of partner faded a lot, as I was busy (being knackered & sleep deprived) getting to know the most wonderful soul on this earth
It’s also easier to prioritise his needs than my own I find. So as his needs are my needs most of the time, I’ve got better at living life in a way that doesn’t involve supporting everyone else and leaving myself taking all the flak.
I've been thinking about it a lot overnight and I think my choices are now: stay in the UK to have the baby; or rent somewhere here in Ireland that isn't owned by a family member
@WellThisIsShit thank you for your lovely response. I'm so sorry you've had such a difficult time of it. It sounds like your son has an amazing mum.
Please put yourself and your baby first. Don't worry about paying the mortgage for your brother & dad. Your parents have 1.5 houses between them. You will need to get into the habit of protecting your baby so it's a good idea to start now.
Is your mother happy with the idea of someone outside the family renting the house, it's just you she doesn't want in there for her own toxic/Alzheimer's reasons? Can you afford a market rental in the area? That may be the best solution - and try to keep contact with her to a minimum (I haven't seen your stately homes threads, but it sounds like this goes back a long way - and I guess your father/brother aren't unequivocally supportive as there will be an enabling/golden child dynamic going on here too. Protect yourself!
@Walkacrossthesand I think she's at the stage where she doesn't want anyone here. The house was empty for a long time before I moved in - she ran the previous tenants out of it (a couple of years before her official Alzheimer's diagnosis but her behaviour was definitely impacted) by turning up on the doorstep shouting when they had a child here.
Funnily enough there isn't a golden child! We joke that she doesn't like either of us but likes me less. My brother is very supportive and my dad is brilliant. I worry about the pressure that she's putting him under.
I was concerned that she'd take my pregnancy news badly as she doesn't like anything that means she isn't the centre of attention, but she's been particularly bad.
@Bananamanfan Yes, you're right. This baby comes first and this situation can't go on.
We've all enabled her through the years for a quiet life. I know she isn't thinking rationally these days - she's very childlike in her views on things. Everything is "mine."
Do you dad and brother step in to support you?
Clearly you need help with this what is the care system like over there? Can you get respite?
Yes, they do step in. She thinks the three of us are lying to her.
My mother refused to go to her last specialist check up. Her GP is very good and understanding but is limited in what she can do.
OP do you have any support from the GP or local mental health team, or even the memory clinic?
Alzheimer's can present as particularly violent at times (I'm a HCP dealing with the condition through work as well as a range of other types of dementia and I get assaulted daily) and sadly the only real recourse with some patients is to hand over control to medical/psychiatric teams to effectively manage it.
This is the case in the early stages with a few patients, when the disease is just starting to manifest.
You can't deal with this alone, especially when pregnant. Other members of the family need to step up and help you cope.
Oh dear. I don't suppose for your own safety you could put a lock on the gate and secure the house a bit?
Your poor mum is unwell but it sounds like aside from that she's a difficult woman. You need to be able to protect yourself and your baby.
How completely miserable for you. It does sound as if you are going to have to move out. You need to live somewhere you feel safe.
She refused to attend the local memory clinic and was diagnosed through one in Dublin (a few hours away) but hasn't gone to her last few appts. I will ring her GP this morning. I don't think there's a local mental health team here as such but I will ask about that.
Cross post OP sorry. Push the GP to find out about support services not just online but in RL for her and your family, and see if there's a chance the local specialist mental health team can be bought in. We have one here and they deal with the most challenging of our patients, and frankly are a massive help to our team.
Sadly as the disease progresses, the medical and legal community will decide what's in your mum's best interests whether she wants them to or not as she will be judged as not having the mental capacity to make decisions, and all control will fall to them. But you need to make sure you can access all levels of support in the meantime.
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