I'm Venting Again. Friend Died. Mother Oblivious and Making Me Crazy.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Long-Suffering, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    The first half of today was very good. I felt cheerful for the first time in ages. Went to see my psychiatrist and he made me feel really positive. He said I didn't need more pills for my depression and anxiety and panic disorder. However, he said my 3-day headaches were due to stress, probably due to my parents' situation, and he gave me some more pills, strong tranx, for them. Then met a friend and had a nice lunch.

    Then it changed. Got home to find a message from my close friend's wife. Close friend has been in a coma for 10 days and was starting to recover. She tells me he died unexpectedly this afternoon. I am in complete shock. When I heard the news my legs literally gave way under me like you see in old films. I helped her contact people before anyone put one of those RIP messages on Facebook without thinking b/c we didn't want his close friends to find out from FB.

    Evening comes and I have to contact mum and dad on Skype as usual. I tell mum what has happened. Mum says oh, that's terrible, but then starts the same rant as always about how bad my father is, how much she hates looking after him, how she knows he's ill and can't help it, but how she hates "the evil *******", and she knows it's only a matter of time before she drops dead of a heart attack, etc. etc.

    I was sitting there with my face buried in my hands, which she can see, but she just went on and on and ****ing on until I thought I was going to go mad. She knew how upset I was about my friend and how shocked. She knows that I am suffering from clinical depression, etc. and on a ****load of pills, but she just went on. I honestly think she is more demented than my dad. Dad came on and today he was "the other guy". Angry, rude. He isn't usually like that with me. He was quite lucid and said he was so stressed from mum. We sang the song he likes. He went off.

    Mum comes back on and starts yet again with the ranting, so I said to her very loudly (because you have to shout to get her to break her monologue) that she had choices, she could have had help, but she had rejected it. So she had better make her choice - carry on as now and accept that she has chosen to look after him alone, or accept help/ the care home. She could see I was about to lose it, that I was on the edge of sanity myself, and that somehow miraculously connected. But for a moment there I thought I was going totally mad.

    God, WHEN WILL THIS END?

    I would go ****ing mental if I couldn't post on here. I have to try and get some sleep now and will probably have to start helping organise a funeral tomorrow. Then I have those two nuts to look forward to tomorrow evening.

    Thanks for reading this far. Hope your day isn't as **** as mine has been.

    LS
     
  2. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    19,049
    Durham
    I am so very sorry to hear about your friend, his wife will be grateful for your support,

    Take care and try and look after yourself,

    Jeany xx
     
  3. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Thanks, Jeany.

    I just want to go and sit on a desert island. We all know how that is.

    LS
     
  4. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    19,049
    Durham
    I know the feeling well, sometimes things are just too much,
     
  5. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    464
    Female
    Cheshire
    Sending you a big hug, LS, you've had a horrible day and need to be kind to yourself right now. If I were you I'd want to put a little distance between myself and my parents for a short while, even if just a day or two. Make more time for yourself if you can. That way you'll cope better when you do speak to your mum and dad.

    xxx
     
  6. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,912
    Suffolk
    (((((Hugs)))))
    Feel for you.
     
  7. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,535
    North East England
    LS, I'm so very sorry to hear about the death of your friend. What a shock, when you thought he was recovering, no wonder you're reeling. Sending you big hugs.

    I'm wondering whether it might be time to have a break from skyping your parents every night. For your own sake. You are important too, and you need some respite from this stress, in my humble opinion. Would it be possible do you think?

    xx
     
  8. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Thanks everyone.

    You're right. I need a break. If it were only my dad, it'd be no problem. I can take any amount of him even with dementia. It's mum. I just wish I could see dad on Skype, but not her. But I could never be so mean as to say to her "don't come on, I just want to talk to dad". Besides, she'd take such offense she'd stop him speaking to me. I've been going on every day because he tells me the Skype call with me is all he has to look forward to in his life now. That's why I always go on. I would feel so guilty about depriving him of the one thing in life he enjoys now. Plus I love to see him. It's her that's the problem. But I do feel sorry for her despite everything. I have such confused and mixed emotions. You can maybe see what a dilemma I am in.

    I can't blame mum. She is so stressed too. I feel about her the same way she feels about dad, so I shouldn't complain, should I? I rant about her driving me crazy and she rants about him driving her crazy. We are just the same. Poor him. Poor her. Poor me. Poor all of us.

    I used to think cancer was the worst illness a person could ever have. Now I know different.

    LS
     
  9. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,535
    North East England
    Yes, I totally see your dilemma!

    In that case, feel free to use us as a venting mechanism. We don't mind. Rant away every day if you need to, after you finish skyping.

    Or ... arrange for the doorbell to chime just as your mum comes on, or the phone to ring, or the internet to fail :D
     
  10. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    Just an idea that may help you, but may not depending on the time you call them and the time difference. How about getting a wireless/cordless doorbell and stick it under your computer desk that you call them from, or as long as it's out of sight. Then when your Mum starts going on ring the bell and pretend someone is at the door do you will call later.


    If when you call later she still carries on just say as you would do in person 'well Mum, obviously now isn't a good time, so I will call again'. Can you try to encourage your dad to speak to you first, by saying to your Mum can I speak to Dad as last time he worried me/I was concerned/or then he can have his nap before you speak to her.

    If the doorbell doesn't appeal then try calling your own phone by having your mobile handy with number ready to press.
     
  11. AndreaP

    AndreaP Registered User

    Venting is a life saver as you well know. And probably mum has no one else to whom she can vent.

    I'm always troubled by the fact that dementia ruins more lives than that of the sufferer. In order to keep the patient as happy as possible, your mum and you are putting yourselves through hell. The dilemma is that if we love them we feel we need to do this. But the question is "do either of you want to?"

    Dementia is a crazy unfathomable disease. Yes dad isn't happy with this - who would be? - but it sounds like you and your mum are experiencing utter despair. My advice is put a stop to this NOW! You love your dad but what about giving yourself some love? How about putting yourself and mum first for a change?

    If mum insists on caring for him at home then she must be prepared to bear the consequences of that. Tell her that you can't support that decision any longer and will be phoning once a week. Tell her you can't both go insane trying to keep dad happy. Take charge and insist on finding a CH for him. She will be probably relieved as I bet she is at the end of her tether.

    Take charge - I had to - and I am only just beginning to see how much damage mum's disease had caused. It sounds like 3 lives are going down the toilet. You can't fix dad but you can fix yourself. Duty has its limits. If the two of you go on like this you are sacrificing your own lives on the altar of Dementia. For what purpose I ask you?
     
  12. Angela T

    Angela T Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    187
    France
    #12 Angela T, Sep 3, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
    I am very sorry to hear about your friend... dealing with grief on top of everything else is going to be hard. I hope you have plenty of support systems in place!

    About the difficult situation with your parents, I agree with everything Andrea says - it does sound like you need to step in and take charge. Your mum is too close, she sounds desperate.

    It is hard to do this, it is hard to be parents to our parents. But we have to, we are the responsible adults, not them. I remember when I knew I had to take charge, I went to the UK specifically to set up a care package at home, which I did, but I then backed down in the face of total hostility from my mother "There's nothing wrong with me, I don't need any help...!".

    I just didn't see how I, the daughter, could go against what she, my mother, wanted. It was my daughter who helped me and made me realise I simply had to step up. She said very kindly but firmly "OK, so we all know she needs to be looked after, we all know she doesn't agree... you came over to set that up, and now you're giving in to her?"

    Try talking to your mum as an ally - finding a solution that works for her and for you - to keep your dad safe.

    If she refuses your help and insists on continuing to care alone for your dad, it would actually help her to realise that you do not support that decision, and that you cannot continue to call every day.

    Good luck - be strong!:)
     
  13. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    512
    It sounds as if you are really struggling at the moment, and you need to take a little bit of time for yourself, even if it's just a day or two.

    It sounds to me as if music and singing is a big part of your interaction with your dad? I wonder if you could make a DVD of you singing some of his favourite songs, and send that to them so that he can watch it on days when you can't Skype with him.

    And when it comes to your mum, perhaps you need to be a bit tougher with her for your own sake - if she starts on one of her rants, I think you need to be quicker to make an excuse to cut her off and say goodbye, even when it's rude and she's mid-sentence, otherwise she knows you are there and she has a captive audience.
     
  14. AndreaP

    AndreaP Registered User

    'I just didn't see how I, the daughter, could go against what she, my mother, wanted. It was my daughter who helped me and made me realise I simply had to step up. She said very kindly but firmly "OK, so we all know she needs to be looked after, we all know she doesn't agree... you came over to set that up, and now you're giving in to her?"'

    Angela, you nailed it! That's exactly how I felt but I hadn't realised until I read this. You grow up respecting your parents and obeying their rules and you are thrown when suddenly you have to be the adult and over rule them. It feels unnatural, it feels scary, it feels impossible! I had never said "no" to my mother - she brooked no defiance when I was growing up - and every time as an adult I went against her wishes ie moving house, buying a car, returning to work - there was hell to pay. She actually went nuts over my buying a red car once, calling me a stupid idiot. ***??? She didn't approve of any colour other than white it seems.

    So telling her that she couldn't remain in her home when she thought she could was akin to scaling Mt Everest for me. I'm still amazed I did it. But I had reached the limit of my capacity to cope and the alternative was worse than moving her.

    Thanks Angela for enlightening me :)
     
  15. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    237
    Can I come too if I promise to be very quiet and sit on the other side of the island? Sorry your day's been awful
     
  16. Angela T

    Angela T Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    187
    France
    #16 Angela T, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
    Thank you too, Andrea, because reading your post made me realise that yes it really was huge, standing up to my difficult and arrogant mother. Like you, I'm amazed I did it... but it had to be done, and no-one else could do it. I have never really existed in my mother's eyes, except as someone to be criticised, I hardly ever saw her, and suddenly everyone was looking to ME to find the solution - health professionals, family, friends all asking "What are you going to do about your mother?" It felt very unnatural, very strange. It brought my daughter and me closer as well - she was so supportive.

    Now it has become second nature standing up to my mother, she is as difficult as ever, I know that she won't change. She can even be nice at times. Nothing much surprises me any more, I just deal with her...

    All this is one of the hardest things I have had to do, but I am surrounded by people in similar situations, it seems to affect so many families now...
     
  17. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Thanks for the comments, Andrea. I know you mean well, but you make it sound as if it is so easy to "take charge". My mother has paranoid schizophrenia. I am recovering from a nervous breakdown and also suffer from clinical depression, anxiety disorder and panic disorder. I can't even "take charge" of my own ****ing life. Some days I can't even make it out of the house and down the ****ing street.

    LS
     
  18. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    When someone has paranoid schizophrenia as my mum has, you have to do things their way. There is no such thing as standing up to them or being tougher or taking charge. If you do anything against them the result is hysteria, violence, and non-stop reminders for weeks afterwards of how you have betrayed them. I've lived with this for almost 50 years. And it's not a question of "getting the authorities involved" either. Everything has been tried that can be tried. For years. NONE OF IT WORKS.

    LS
     
  19. AndreaP

    AndreaP Registered User

    Sorry Long Suffering, I didn't mean to sound like there is an easy fix. My mum isn't paranoid schizophrenic but she was narcissistic in the extreme and standing up to her was something I couldn't do for 60 years. She had the ability to cut me to the quick with her nastiness if I dared to tell her any home truths. She knew exactly where I was most vulnerable and would attack instantly, spewing pure venom.

    The legacy of all this was chronic depression for which I luckily found the right meds 25 years ago. They saved my life - literarily.

    So I do know what you're dealing with to some extent. I have recently discontinued contact with her. Dementia has not made her softer or nicer and she claims I tricked her into the nursing home and attacked me verbally and viciously. It was like something snapped inside me - there was a physical sensation of something breaking - and I walked out vowing never to return.

    I feel as if I have been freed from a heavy ball and chain that I have dragged around with me my entire life. Toxic people like your mum can make you so physically and mentally ill. My advice would be to seriously consider changing your number and writing to your mother telling her all contact will be in writing from now on. Post a CD regularly to your dad if you think that will help him. Poor dad's life choices and dementia has led him to this point.

    None of what I have suggested is impossible unless you make it so. We make choices too and continuing a relationship with mum will be at a terrible cost. I was and still am terrified of my mother; it's so firmly ingrained I will never be free of it. But now she is being cared for I don't need to see her if I choose not. My brother visits so she is not abandoned.

    If it's possible to go no contact then do it. All the internet sites re Narcissists recommend it as the only way to save your sanity. It's a valid choice I promise you. Sounds like she has ruined dad's life and there is nothing to be done about it. Save your own.
     

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