I sound so 'woe is me' and hate myself for it but...

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Demonica66, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Demonica66

    Demonica66 Registered User

    Oct 23, 2014
    53
    Hi everyone. I'm not sure that anyone can help me, but here goes. Long story; Mum is in a CH. She was an habitual alcoholic and the last 10 years have been awful due to her behaviour. She has lost all her friends with her antics and refused all offers of help. She developed vascular dementia as a result of strokes caused by uncontrolled hypertension by refusing to take her anti-hypertensives because she was continually drunk. I have to work full time as my hubby had a stroke and cannot work. She was uncontrollable and aggressive towards me before and after she was placed in a CH but recently calmed down due to medication. My Mum and I were practically estranged when she was placed in a CH, due to her throwing me out of her house when I offered to help her organise her finances after bailiffs had been. There are no words I can use to describe the hell and back I have been in. I am an only child and have no family. Now, it falls on me. I am her only visitor at the CH. I am supposed to be applying for Deputyship to be COP (I just cannot bring myself to apply) and am her DSS guardian. Mum has now become hostile and aggressive again. The psychiatric services are visiting daily and she has been placed on a behaviour chart. She has absconded from the CH twice and she is abusive. Please do not judge me, but I am sick of it all. I just feel like walking away. I want no part in the process and just want to visit her when I can. At the moment, I am relied on for everything. Mum has tried to control me all my life. She has attempted to ruin relationships, she told people that I was psychologically disturbed rather than admit alcohol dependency. I could go on and on. I guess what I am really saying, is that I don't feel that I deserve this. I have done everything I can for mum and still it carries on. I just bury my head in the sand and days go by without me applying for Deputyship, cleaning her house, dealing with her finances and sorting her life. I have no one and feel totally overwhelmed. Meanwhile, my mum just upsets me more and more but she has no one else. Does anyone know of a 'buddy' system in the UK that could 'metaphorically' hold my hand and support me through this? I just feel so utterly alone. I thought I was coping but I'm really not. I have just crashed down into feeling totally vulnerable again. Really sorry for the long post. I only have this forum to vent and get advice from. Thank you all.
     
  2. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hello D,

    I am so sorry to hear about your situation. That is enough to make a person crack up. I don't blame you for not wanting to deal with that - no one in their right mind would want to.

    You will get a lot of support around here from other members. There are numerous only children of toxic parents posting here on TP.

    I am an only child of very very difficult mother. In my case, my mum is that way due to mental illness (diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia), and I know very much how you feel. For 47 years I've always thought "why me?" She has made my life and my father's life sheer hell. I know there are several other folks on here in very similar situations.

    I don't know of a buddy system in the UK, but we can definitely be your buddies on here and give you our support. Don't feel you have to push yourself into doing things you are not mentally up to at the moment. You need to think of your own health first.

    LS
     
  3. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,992
    Suffolk
    Hi Demonica, you do realise that, if you are in Britain, you cannot be made to look after your mum? Social services will take over if nnecessary. Get in touch and murmur vulnerable adult and see where that gets you. Some of the caring charities will befriend, either by phone or visiting. Try ageuk, or Alzheimer's Society who should know.
    I'm an only child, but one of my cousins took out POA for my father and sorted him out as far as he (Father) would allow. Over 6 hrs journey is a good excuse. Plus like you, I got thrown out a good few years before. In his case, knowing what I know now, I think he had early onset dementia.
    Good luck!
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,814
    Female
    South coast
    I am so sorry about your situation
    Ive just gone through COP and I understand your reluctance. Actually, you dont have to do this yourself. If you say that you do not wish to become the deputy then Social Services will take on the deputyship. I do hope that your mums aggression gets under control
     
  5. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    Hi Demonica :)

    Just adding my voice to the above posters. You do not have to take out deputyship if you don't want to - and goodness knows, you have good reasons. Ask social services to take this on. If they ask why, which I expect they will, explain the nature of your relationship, and that you are also responsible for looking after your husband.

    Or, if your mum has sufficient resources, a solicitor could take this on - but it would probably be horrendously expensive.

    Please think of yourself, Demonica. Everyone has their limits and you sound as though you've reached yours. Remember that you have done much more than many people could have done in the circumstances :)

    Sending you (((hugs))) and encouraging you to offload some of this responsibility.

    Lindy xx
     
  6. Demonica66

    Demonica66 Registered User

    Oct 23, 2014
    53
    Dear LS, Spamar, Canary and Lindy50,
    Thank you for replying. I really needed advice and you gave it to me. I cannot get in touch with Mum's social worker; he has not seen her in months. I think I will inform him by letter that I cannot continue to carry the whole thing without support from somewhere so will be deferring the COP until I feel strong enough to do it. Think I need to 'grow a pair'! Thank you again and have a lovely day to you all. Xx


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  7. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,258
    After some long chats with me, my mum's consultant suggested that she might've had some kind of mental illness throughout her life. Delusional disorder... Anyway, she let me down badly as a mother, and I had little choice but to leave home when quite young (I shudder now when I think of my sons doing the same, no way) and pretty much fend for myself. So our relationship's been difficult for a long, long time.

    So I understand where you're coming from. Totally. I've also hit a few brick walls over the years and thought that I couldn't continue. I got over them, but I honestly don't know how. A supportive family and too much alcohol (now back to very occasional social drinking I hasten to add) maybe. I'm a Deputy for her (and for one of my husband's aunts) and have made sure that everything is as she would've wanted it.

    But it is a very responsible position. It's not just a matter of applying, getting the Deputyship, and cracking on with what needs to be done. There is supervision contact, the level of which is dictated by the CoP, annual reports, and that feeling that whatever decision you make you need to be able to explain your reasoning to people who might not necessarily take the same line as you. Don't get me wrong, everyone I've dealt with has been very nice and helpful, but that heavy sense of responsibility is still there. As it should be really. It's not my money I'm spending!

    So if you're not up for it then don't do it. I might've well taken a different path myself, given how tired and stressed I was from trying to maintain her 'independence' while she fought me every step of the way, oblivious to the massive amount of help she needed.

    But also let me tell you that things have settled down. I've arranged her finances well, so things are running relatively smoothly, each year the annual report gets a bit easier, and my mum has now arrived at a stage of something resembling calm (she's in a care home now). She's always pleased to see me, I take her treats, we sit in the garden and hold hands, and life is ok for the moment. The next hurdle, I expect, will be another decline and then, inevitably, her death, and I sense that while I'm holding things together right now, I'm probably heading for some very stormy emotional waters. I'm looking at therapy to get me through.

    So I wish you the very best of luck with whatever you decide to do. TP is always here for us all if you want to chat or rant or cry with us.
     
  8. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,942
    North East England
    Hi D...what a very heavy load you are carrying. I think that it's time to drop some of it.

    You have been #1 support for too long and you are in danger of breakdown yourself. Perhaps, first of all, you need to see your own GP and appraise him/her of the entire situation. They may be able to apply some pressure on the SS.
    Next, you could sit down and decide, once and for all, how much ( or little) you are able to support your mother. Write down the pros and cons and be strict with yourself. No one here is going to condemn you for walking away from an abusive relationship, even if the abuse is caused by alcohol or dementia. You have yourself and OH to consider...
    The Care Home, with her MH team, appears to have her under supervision. If they are finding her too difficult or disruptive to manage, then the LA will have to find another placement more suitable. I wonder if the CH have had contact with the SS on mother's behalf? They may know who has taken over her case.
    If you don't want to become Deputy, you don 't have to.....no on can be made to take responsibilty for the financial or physical welfare of another adult. It is a much greater load than being an attorney under POA. Again, the LA would either apply to the COP for Deputyship, or arrange for someone else to take over.

    Only you knows how much more you can give to this, what someone aptly described as toxic, relationship. but I think that the end is near for you, if you want to stand a chance of maintaining your own health.

    Look after yourself first. x
     
  9. Demonica66

    Demonica66 Registered User

    Oct 23, 2014
    53
    Delphie and Craigmaid,
    thank you. Your advice is invaluable. Mum's care home has called out psychiatric services today as she has become more aggressive and is unmanageable. They have asked me not to visit; more for my own well-being than hers. I am not sure whether she will be moved to a secure facility or not. She absconded again last night by wrenching a steel door open. Time will tell but I think I have got to walk away and make services take responsibility. I'm just not in a place to do this anymore. Am seeing GP too. Will report back and thank you so much again. Night night. D x


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  10. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,942
    North East England
    This is progress......let them take control and have a break.
    Good Luck.x
     
  11. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Demonica, I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time. Whatever you need to do, and whatever decision you make, is fine. I don't think you are complaining or whinging; you're in a terrible situation and no, you do not deserve it.

    I'm glad you are going to see your GP and hope you can find the support and resources you need right now, to care for yourself. It won't do anyone, including your mother, but also very importantly, YOU, any good at all, if you break down.

    I hope you are able to find a way to lighten your burden. If you feel like it, please do come back here, and let us know how you are getting on.
     
  12. Demonica66

    Demonica66 Registered User

    Oct 23, 2014
    53
    Hi all. Mum still raging. The CH has doubled her medication but she is up all night and is scaring the other residents with her aggression. They have asked that I continue not to visit. I fear it is only a matter of time before she is transferred to a secure dementia care facility which will probably be even worse, as she is aware of dementia in others and this scares her. I'm strangely ok. There really is nothing I can do at present except wait. I'll continue posting with news. I just hope it helps others in a similar position. Have a good day/night/afternoon all! Xx


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  13. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi D,

    In a way, this is the best thing that could have happened because now it is all out of your hands. With your mum being so violent, the mental health people will take total control and you will have a lot of that weight of responsibility, if not all of it, lifted from your shoulders.

    Go and have a rest. You've earned it.

    All the best,

    LS
     
  14. Demonica66

    Demonica66 Registered User

    Oct 23, 2014
    53
    Hello to you all. Just an update: haven't seen Mum in 2 weeks. She is pacing, refusing to go to bed, refusing to undress/dress/wash. She has attempted to abscond again. CH have asked that I do not visit as they think I might trigger worse behaviour. Has anyone else been through this? I am battling with guilt; I just feel like I SHOULD be there but how long will this take? Psych team visiting daily but never contact me or return my calls. Soc Worker & CH not contacted me: I contact them. Is this right? Should I be doing something more? Any advice would be welcome. Thanks to all. X


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  15. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    801
    North East
    Are the care home informing you of what is happening on a daily basis? I understand you needing to know what's going on especially as you can't visit.
    As all the other services are ignoring you is there any way the care home can arrange a meeting with the other services for you to all get together without your mum to discuss what is happening and what the future options will hold?
    You have dealt with so much in the past and now this!! Wishing you some settled and good times to come x
     
  16. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Demonica, I was glad to see you returned with an update, but sorry to hear things are difficult. There's just nothing easy about any of this. I don't know that I have any advice for you, but wanted to respond.

    I agree that daily updates from the staff may be helpful for you, so you feel you are in touch even if you're not visiting. Another thought would be for you to visit to meet with staff, without seeing your mother, although I realize that might be terribly difficult/upsetting.

    I'd ask whatever nurse or doctor or staff member you find the most responsive and sympathetic, how the heck to get the psych people to respond to you. A care conference, or whatever you call it in the UK, is a good idea, as susy said. I wish I had other suggestions for you.

    I'm so sorry.
     
  17. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    be proactive and ring the care home today.

    Ask what time the person from Phychiatric services usually comes, AND would the person in charge of her day to day care make themselves availible to have a quick get together, so ''see what the plan is/where we are at now''

    Arrange to do it tomorrow or the day after, not 3 weeks time. Cut straight to the point of your call, don't let them put you off.


    You can go in, just don't go and see Mum.
     
  18. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,258
    It took my mum weeks to settle, months really. And I was definitely a trigger for her wanting to go off. She was particularly bad after phone calls from me so the care home asked me to cut back. I also stopped visiting for a while. Yes, that niggling feeling of guilt was there but to be perfectly honest I needed that break too. I needed to step out of the cycle of constant contact and problem solving and worrying.

    As far as the professionals involved with your mum, I think they should be doing more to keep you updated if you're asking for that information but in practice I know that it's all very patchy and depends on the individuals involved. The SW, CPN and consultant who were looking after my mum were really good. The SW even gave me her private number and said to call her any time at all, even on her days off. I think she realised just how difficult my mum was and how, being an only child, the weight of trying to help her was beginning to crush me. She's still on my Christmas card list and will remain on it forever because I don't know what I would've done without her.

    The professionals involved with my aunt-in-law on the other hand were the polar opposite. In fact the word 'professionals' is wasted on them. I'm sure they all passed the right exams and were excellent at ticking boxes and producing the right bits of paper when asked, but the vulnerable person they were supposed to be helping was very low on their list of priorities and us, the family, were tolerated because we had to be. Shoddy from start to finish.

    I don't know what's typical, so I can only hope that if you put in a firmer request to be kept in the loop, daily, that one of them will hear you and do what you ask.

    In your shoes I'd be putting the most pressure for information on the care home. They've asked you not to visit, you're complying, but the deal has to be that you get a daily update from someone.
     
  19. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    Hi Demonica,

    Reading your update, this is what stands out to me:

    "I am battling with guilt; I just feel like I SHOULD be there ".

    Your background, from what you've said, is very similar to mine and some of the other folks on here. You are the child of an overwhelmingly demanding and abusive parent, and you have probably spent most if not all of your life focusing on her needs at the expense of your own. This is so often how it is for children of alcoholics (or in my case a mentally ill mum who was also addicted to drugs for a time). The relationships we have with them are toxic.

    Not only have our lives always come second to their lives. in most cases they have made us feel that we are responsible for looking after them or making them happy. This happens either unintentionally because the child feels duty bound to look after their parent, or it is deliberate manipulative behaviour on the part of the parent. Not sure which it is in your case (maybe both), but in my case it was the latter. My mum drummed it into my head from an early age that she would never have been ill if I hadn't been born, so her illness was all my fault. When I was six, she made me make the decision of whether or not she should commit suicide by drug overdose because "as it's your fault I am so depressed, it's your responsibility to decide if I live or die. Such behaviour was a daily occurrence for me and I suspect it may have been that way for you too. I am only telling you my story because reading between the lines, I suspect you could tell me a whole load of similar stories about your relationship with your mum.

    I believe the professionals call this reverse relationship, with the child looking after the parent, "parenting", and the point is that all of us who have spent our lives "parenting" are hard-wired to feel this guilt you are now talking about. Your true feeling was a few days back - you felt relief that the authorities were taking care of your impossible to control mum and you could now step back from the hell. You said yourself you have been through a lifetime of hell with her. But I know only too well how it is - after a few days that old guilt comes back, the guilt that your parent has deliberately engineered you to feel. I am exactly the same.

    Looking at it from that perspective, I honestly suggest that you just do what the authorities say - take a rest and wait for them to call you, at least for another week or so. Let someone else deal with her for at least the time being. You've done more than enough, and let's face it, there is nothing you could do to make the situation better even if you were there every day and were in touch with the psych team. The trouble is all in your mum's head.

    Be easy on yourself.

    LS
     

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