View Full Version : Mentally ill grandparent
i hope there is someone out there who can offer advice... or who is in a similar situation. we are out the end of our tether with my mother, she is bipolar/manic depressive (im an only child who has had to look after mum more than myself, needless to say i left home at 15 becuase i couldnt handle her eccentric moods anymore).
brief history: shes been in and out of mental hospitals a few times in her life, last time was about 5 years ago. when shes good shes a creative eccentric soul when shes bad she a vindictive hateful person. she never directed her hate at me until a few years ago. mum has alot of enemies and no friends, im the only family member who still speaks to her, her sisters havent spoken to her in over 10 years.
just before my daughter was born a good friend rang us and told us someone had published an ad in the local paper saying mum had aids and to stay away from her. this is a friend who has known mum for over 20 years but they dont speak anymore and he is forever worried about her and like a father to me. mums main profession is prostitution but shes always been an advocate of safe sex and women rights, abuse etc and been harrased with rumours like this since i was little so i dont believe any of them. but when my mum flew over to see my first child the first thing she did was put rubber gloves on and it freaked us out a bit but we didnt say anything cuz we didnt want to ruin the joy of ambers birth with mums dramas.
this lasted about 2 weeks before we started to fight and it all came out. we havent seen mum since tho we do email - hateful and peaceful emails like usual.
now amber is 18mths and mum has seen her for the first time since she was born (we moved interstate after amber was born) after 6 weeks she started up trouble again and now says that she lied about not having aids and that shes given it to us all.
i want to get a restraining order out on her - ive had enough, im emotionally shaken and tho deep down i know she wouldnt do anything im still scared and dont want her around amber or us anymore... no more second chances.
im sure you will all sympathise with me but does anyone out there have mentally ill parents and had to go to legal lengths to protect their own sanity and wellbeing?
Is she on medication and getting regular counselling? It just seems unusual if she is still showing such extreme symptoms and is on meds..usually, well from what i know people with Bipolar/manic symptoms/depression function quite normally without to many problems when medicated and seeking appopriate treatment.
I feel very sorry for you and your family, it must be very emotional for you.:hugs:
Beyond blue is a good website for info on bipolar/dealing with bipolar family members, maybe you could have a look at that to help you understand her better..and to give you some support from others that are in similar circumstances.
shes been medicated before but she hates taking the pills and it only lasts for a short time, no more than a year then shes off them again. counsellors havent had any success with her, just put her in mental hospital till she seems ok (shes a great actress) and then shes out again, for a while she stays calm in fear they will lock her up again but not for long and after a while the hospitals just say that unless she physically harms someone or herself they cant do anymore - she has to accept the treatment but of course she doesnt believe shes ill.
i will check out that site tho thanks for that
That sounds like an extremely difficult situation to be in. I can't really offer advice or understanding... just a :hugs: .
i wouldn't have a clue what to say. a friend of mine has a mother exactly the same. when she's good she does these absolutely amazing paintings and is creative genius and when she's bad, she is unapproachable and frightening. apparently is got worse over the winters (this was in northern ireland). i reckon you need to speak to professionals for advice, as they deal with this all the time.
House full of Princesses
:( What a heartbreaking situation, my heart goes out to you. Definitely check out the Beyond Blue website, but also - Jessica Rowe's mum had Bipolar, and wrote a book about it. (actually I'm not 100% sure if Jessica herself wrote it, or her mum?) - but it might be something worthwhile reading, as I believe it talks about how Jessica dealt with it while she was growing up etc. Might help to read about another person's views on it, and their experiences.
Although I haven't had any close dealings with bipolar, my mum has had serious depression since I was a kid, and often acts very differently (like spaced-out) when she's on her meds (which I believe she goes on and off). I've always found it extremely hard to deal with, and can't really talk to her about it.
All the best to you, cw. :hugs:
Hi there Creative Warrior :wave:
I dont really know what to say, altough I can kinda relate, this person is your mother. My experience is with my father/sister. As you woud know, the solution is not simple. Even with my own experience - I cant really conpare what you've been through, going through - except to say I admire your compassion and srength. :hugs:
ARAFMI (Australian Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill) I think it stands for - is an awesome support that Ive used in helping me cope/deal with my father's illness and sister's condition. They are a National Organisation and hold local ARAFMI Carer Support Group Meeting most probably in your area. They also have a 24 hour support telephone number .
They have a number of publications that cost only approx $10 or so - One that I have is - "Coping with Mental Health Problems, A Handbook for Family Carers"
It has great info on Caring for yourself, Family Relationships etc - as well as info of Mental Illness etc.
When my son was a little bubba, my visits to my father's were very short and sweet. I never felt confident to leave my son alone with him ever - even while my mother was there at his house, for the fear of his moods changing and my son being frightened of him. All I remember of my dad - was feeling scared of him, and I do not want this for my own son. I want him to always know his Poppy as Poppy and not a scary moody peson. I still pass on messages about our son through my mother, and occasionally send a letter of photo's etc. My mum on the other hand - has told me of times when he has lost it (was caring for my sister's little one's (2 and 8 months) while my mum popped up the shop for 5 minutes) He became so stressed with the little one crying, that he wheeled her pram into a spare room and shut the door! The poor little thing was left all alone and scared out of her wits! When I was younger, my 10 year old nephew was just a tot - There was one incident where he totally lost it and got his belt off to strap my nephew! (Who had Autism) I flew at him- grabbed it from him and growled through my teeth if he ever EVER tried to do that again - I would let him have it! Im sure this has happened from time to time since no doubt. (The Same thing happened when I was a child) Now I get so angry and frustrated as I now live 16 hours away and cant be there to protect my nephews and neices, but as sad as it is, the older two have grown to accept life as is and are used to it. (Way to old beyond their years unfortunatey) Its so hard for my mum, because she has care - temporary care - of all of my sisters 4 children, is unable to work now, and lives by herself with all of them. She is pretty much is my sister's only sole support person. (Im scared this has become a co-dependent relationship - as my sister has BPD)
But, all I can do if try and support my mum the best way I can.
My sister on the other hand - I have no contact with whatsoever. As she has been violent towards me and assulted me years ago - the last incidence of aggression late last year - was it for me, and the police became involved as a preventative measure. She is a very distructive person, and nearly tore my life to pieces last year with her abuse and behavior. I am forever worried about my nephew and neices, and in the past when they were very little - have called certain agency's before, regarding their welfare. I have sinced realised my mum is providing the best care for them that they could possibly have, and she is trying to hold her grandchildren and their mummy together. I have come to terms with the fact that my son may never get to know his Aunty as he grows up, but that for my own sanity and safety, this is the only soloution I have for my own family.
I know telling you my situation hasnt been a positive story, and without suggestions or advice - but please know that you are not alone and that people out here admire your strength to have gotton through this far full stop! :hugs:
Wishing you all the best
thanks for your post - it has helped alot just to hear that im not the only one whose parent wont see their grandchild. thank you for sharing your story with me what you wrote about your dad having troubles just looking after the kids for short periods is what hit home for me - mum would only have to get a phonecall she didnt like and she would likely start ranting and raving about stuff that would scare amber.
the courts have granted us a restraining order - she is allowed to call or email only - and if she is abusive or threatening we are to call the police - mum decided to do some travelling the day they went to issue the order so we have to wait for her to return... i think shes only gone for a few weeks. she doesnt know about the RO yet and they are worried she will have an episode once she finds out but it has to be done. they will have emergency medical help around the corner if she gets violent towards the police (pushing, spitting, scratching is what she'll likely do)
i went to arafmi last week - the courts gave me their details - and they were very helpful. she said ive done remarkably well coping till now and she agrees that the level of threats (the courts called it emotional/pshycological abuse) have had a bad effect on me and that im doing the right thing about protecting my new family and distancing myself from my mother.
we have to write an action plan for how were going to cope if she turns up on the doorstep etc and various scenarios. ive been a bit too emotional to read thru all the notes yet so - one in particular is a page about Letting Go....
Letting go is not to cut myself off - its the realisation that i cannot control another
to let go isnt to be protective - but to permit another to face reality
and the tears flow... i think once she realises that im not handling it anymore, that i cant cope and that ive let go she may decide to do something about it herself
gotta run - wass gonna write more - later
I know how you feel - my mum and sister are Bipolar - sister functions normally , Mum doesn't ! Its a hard thing especially when they can be so naughty and deceiving - medication affect every individual differently and unfortunatelly without individual prognosis, medication and support some people really struggle with the illness. I have watched it nearly kill our family but some how we have stuck together even though I live in Australia now - i maek sure I speak to my mum every week and its probably making things better that I have moved away - because she is made accountable and having to stand on her own 2 feet a little. Might even make her appreciate me oneday
feel free to chat if you need to air things -I know how you feel!!!
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