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Feel like a hostage

Sanitary Sue

New member
Mar 27, 2020
I live with my two teenage children and my mother and father who are in their 80's. I was living in a flat with my children but had to put it on the market as have a schizophrenic neighbour who was harassing me.
Stress due to neighbour's behaviour and failure of Social Services and police to rehouse my neighbour has taken it's toll on my mother who together with my father got me to write endless emails. Added to this she had the stress of having to apply for right to remain in UK after 50 years of living here.
She has become increasingly aggressive and vitriolic towards me over the years telling me that I'm a hopeless idiot, a cretin, disorganised, useless, no authority with my children.
She has always been very independent and looks after my father who is partially sighted and has speech aphasia. She is increasingly controlling and goes through our drawers deciding what she wants to throw out or often breaks things in the process. Now we are in lockdown she refuses to let anyone else do the shopping or order online and is not taking recommended corona virus safety precautions. I am eating less so that she doesn't have to visit so many shops but this will not help me of I catch the virus. Just before lockdown I bought some tinned food which I hid at my flat. Wanted to bring them back home and she was furious saying she would throw them out on the street so my son and I bought 10 tins back and hid them in a secret space at the back of his desk which we fortunately discovered. I really don't know what to do. My dad is in despair but refuses to admit that she is mentally ill. He just says she is ill informed about corona virus. I have ordered some fruit and veg which will arrive on the 7th April. I am terrified of her and keep having panic attacks. I share a room with my daughter who has nightmares and shouts things like"No granny, no! Stop! Why are you doing that?" My children are furious every time I respond to my mum. My son rightly says to me to just ignore her and shut up but everytime she is nasty but I either break down in tears or shout and swear at her (I know it's awful but I still am desperate for her approval). Yesterday she said I would get a nasty shock after she died implying that she would write me out of her will. I'm sorry to say I stuck two fingers up at her like a rebellious teenager. I've decided to stay out of her way and not eat with the family. My kids gulp down meals in 10mins and rush back upstairs. They are spending virtually all day on their mobiles. They are getting on with homework but also obsessively following the news and mainly eating biscuits and sweets which they stocked up on before lockdown. They are reluctant to go our because they think it will encourage my mum to go out more. They are looking so pale. I am really worried for everyone's mental and physical health. Let's see how today goes.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @Sanitary Sue

The level of stress you are all living with is dreadful.

We understand the current situation is putting many families living in confined conditions under extreme pressure and yours certainly sounds like one of them.

I wish I could offer some ways to help you manage this situation but I know I would be as stressed as you are.

Please phone the Dementia Connect team. They will be better placed to advise you.

Dementia Connect support line: 0333 150 3456
Our dementia advisers are available on the phone to give you the support you need.

Opening hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 9am – 8pm
Thursday – Friday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 4pm

Email address:

Online support page: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementiaconnect
Last edited by a moderator:


Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
Oh gosh thats sounds really hard and like you've moved from living in one stressful enviroment into another stressful one.
If as your dad says your mum is only ill informed about the virus then once someone informs her of how we should be acting then there shouldn't be a problem, if she doesn't understand or ignores it, then there is something else wrong. It sounds like you have all been very stressed over things before the virus, if your mum is someone who likes to be in control normally and hasn't been able to control things over your neighbour and her right to stay here then she may be trying to take back control again now and going overboard.
Could you pop out while your mum is out and get some extra shopping? I know we aren't supposed to be going out only for essentials but food is an essential and you and your children need enough to eat.
If you're mum is increasingly nasty with you and you get really scared or feel unsafe then I think your or your kids should call the police or social services and tell them situation.
Sorry I haven't really any helpful suggestions but I wanted to send my sympathy x


Registered User
Nov 16, 2016
Moreton, Wirral. UK.
Just cant truly imagine the stress you are suffering @Sanitary Sue and my heart goes out to you. Please, please use the helpline if possible and certainly try Social Services and get some help as your situation sounds dire. Try and stay safe (and sane) x