Brother and I are going to Butt Heads (vent warning)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, May 31, 2014.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My mother is 77 yrs old. She is declining rapidly both health wise and mentally. I am her POA, her medical POA, and the executor of her estate / will. (oh lucky me) This was done to protect her from my siblings whims, one in particular. Mom is barely holding her own. Her house is on the market and she has a serious bite, the couple just has to have a buyer for their house first because they otherwise can't swing it. I can't get her to budge (unless I put that medical POA into effect and force her) until that damn house is sold. Otherwise it will be the nightmare sis in Texas had. The move here will be traumatic enough without making it worse unnecessarily. Know what I mean??

    *Note for those who don't know, Mom is a paranoid schizo untreated / unmedicated who functions fairly well except under stress, real or imagined. As she advances in age, physical illness can also effect her mental status, which isn't uncommon in the elderly.......add in a mental illness and you get a whole new level of omg. She also is suffering from memory issues which is exacerbating the whole paranoia part of the schizo.

    I tried to call her this evening when i realized it had been more than 7 days since I last spoke with her. No answer on her cell. Unusual. But sometimes happens if she's charging it or somewhere she doesn't want to talk on it, like in the car. I tried for four hours.......and couldn't get her to answer. I fb message younger bro asking if he'd talked to mom recently. Well, that is where she was. Travis tried her again and she answered, talked to him briefly........promised to call when she got home. (which she never did)

    Younger bro takes this as an invitation to go on yet another tirade about our insane mother and her antics and how he's not going to put up with it yadda yadda yadda. I asked him what was going on. He supposedly invited her to a bbq and she procedes to come out and accuse everyone of stealing her stuff. Uh, ok. So what is new about that? Turns out she just got over a rather nasty case of strep throat. So this episode is to be expected. I told him to ignore it. It's her vulnerability, fear, and illness talking. He starts ranting about how he's not going to let her get away with calling his kids thieves blah blah blah. omg The man has about as much compassion as a rock, no maybe not even that much.

    He goes on to say she has no right to sell the house she is mentally incompetent. I counter by once again telling him she is not mentally incompetent, other than under high levels of stress she functions just fine. As evidence by the fact her bills are paid, her house cared for, her affairs being in order, able to meet doctor appts ect. He says oh he can walk into any courtroom and any judge will have her declared just based on what he tells them. He's such a freaking moron. That sort of action on his part will do him no good. I'm her POA. If she wants to seel the house all I have to do is give my ok and it's a done deal. Mentally incompetent or not. Mom made certain the POA paperwork was solid and has a damn good lawyer. She has copies and I have copies. My daughters are to step into my shoes if something were to happen to me. The woman is covered, trust me. And bro doesn't have the money for a lawyer good enough to attempt to over throw it. And with his last name in that city? Never happen, he'd be laughed out of court. (which is why the same attempt failed with his mother in law) He's all bluff on that score.

    Mom never called me. According to bro they clashed. I don't doubt it as he's become a downright A hole and abusive to her verbally. I'm sure she was upset when she left. I hope someone drove her as it's quite a long drive and it was near dark. She did not call me when she got home. I tried to call her and she wouldn't pick up. I'll try again when I get up in the morning.

    I had to bite my tongue on the phone. Actually I was ready to crawl through it and beat the snot out of bro. I'm beginning to think his cheese may have slid off the cracker too, if you get my drift because the stuff that come out of his mouth is downright fantasy. Nor can you sway him from his unrealistic beliefs. Oh, he "gets" that mom is mentally ill but evidently still expects her to act totally sane. Idiot. He pushes her and pushes her. He can't let anything just roll off his back. I don't know why in the heck she even bothers with him.

    He and I are going to go nose to nose. I see it written in the stars. It's not going to be pretty because I won't back down and I'm armed with experience and knowledge.

    When mom passes I'll have a lawyer to help me handle the estate. No way I'm doing it all by myself. I'm the queen of cover your own arse. And once that is done, I am totally done with younger bro. He can go straight to hell in a hand basket, I'll buy him a first class ticket. I despise this sort of person. If nothing else you'd think he could drum up just a little respect simply because she gave birth to him. Never mind the years of helping him over and over and over and over again.

    Someone up above is making darn sure I remember exactly why I moved so far away from my family and I have so very little to do with any of them.

    This is coming to a head, and soon. I'm trying to get the house ready for her as fast as possible. That isn't very fast with my work schedule and my kids work schedules which of course clash with each other. I may have to call bff's sister in law (who is my top boss) and ask if she could lay me of for several weeks so I can handle this situation and get it done with. Soon as her house sells (or if something happens medically or mentally) I want to be able to move her in here quickly........even if I have to find a facility for her after I get her here if she is that bad.
     
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ugh! Your mom is lucky to have you! I hope it is less ugly then you think it will be!
    HUGS!
     
  3. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    What does he want? The house? It's not your mom's best interest certainly. That is really sad for her. At least she has you. I hope you can get laid off and take care of everything. Once she's settled you can ignore him forever. Hopefully.
     
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Actually, I'm not quite sure what he wants. He doesn't want the house for certain, none of us do, which is why it is being sold. It is a gorgeous house, tri level, good neighborhood ect.....it's the city. He might want mom's money, which she has a decent nest egg, after the house it will be even more decent. Not all of it, but what he perceives as his share. But he claims he doesn't.

    I think he just wants rid of her completely. No. correct that. I know he wants that. He doesn't want to deal with her anymore at all. As long as she is living in the area (he lives in another county quite a drive) she will drop in without warning. Which now has me concerned because he said he nearly backed into her car last night. She drove herself. She arrived without warning. Although she told Travis they'd invited her to a bbq. This would not be out of character for mom.

    To some degree I understand that. There was a period in my life when I wanted the same thing. Schizo is one of the hardest mental illnesses to have in the family.

    His unbridled hatred and rage I think are pushing me to my limits. We had a rough childhood (I'm putting it very mildly) but he and sis in Texas were mom's favorites......they didn't receive the brunt of the abuse ect during mom's psychoses, the other 3 of us did, some more than others. Mom has been helping this bro when I stop to think about it as long as I can remember in one way or another, money, free babysitting......a place to live. Anger at the illness ok fine, but hating her and rage directed at her is unwarranted and just plain mean. I do think his own cheese is starting to slide......if not has already slid off the cracker. I would never had imagined, but there were a lot of years that we had basically no contact. So who knows.

    He started on a tirade about grandma being the same way. (mom's mother) Now at that point he had most certainly gone too far. I was raised by grandma. I took care of her until the day she walked on. The vast majority of my life was spent in her presence. She was in no way shape or form any way like mom is, not even memory issues. The woman died of cancer at 72. I cut him off at the knees over that one and I was heartless about it. (I don't do that often) 1. He's not going to talk about grandma that way ever as long as I'm alive and breathing and 2. He's not going to start making up family medical / mental history to attempt to help him make his case against mom. He started stuttering and dropped the subject. For the record, younger bro is one of my childhood abusers. He *thinks* I'm just going to cower at whatever he tells me. He doesn't know how to handle it when I don't.

    I don't know where the dementia / memory loss issues are coming from. Most of mom's siblings didn't live beyond 70, most of them didn't make it to that age. Grandma was sharp as a tack up until the day she passed. Her sister who lived into her 90's was the same way. My cousin who is in her early 80's couldn't have a sharper mind. I do not see evidence of dementia or memory issues or alzheimers anywhere in the family tree. Not that necessarily means much as it is clearly evident we're dealing with increasingly worse memory issues that are effecting mom's grip on reality.

    I know I'm running out of time. What makes me furious is that I don't need him constantly agitating her and making it worse. If you can't deal with her, leave her the hell alone. If she shows up at your door pacify her until she leaves. Lots of uh huhs and playing dumb as dirt can let her rant on until she runs out of steam without causing her to turn on you.

    Or better yet, how about you help the situation by mowing her yard when it needs mowed, do the odd jobs she needs done ect and let the rest roll off your back as if she is uttering pure nonsense words which is actually what she is doing. Do these things for her to ease her anxiety and to make her think she has someone there for her when she needs them. Gee whiz it just really isn't that hard to act the grown up in the situation. Such things would calm her down and keep her on a more even keel and he'd not have to deal with so much. ugh Like I said, Idiot.

    The more vulnerable, the more anxious, the more afraid mom gets the worse her condition is......psychotic breaks from reality are frequent and psychosis is rampant. If he doesn't knock of his stupid childish tantrums he's going to push her straight over the edge and my time will instantly run out.

    Getting ready to start trying to get her to answer the phone again. I dunno why she isn't answering for me, she always answers for me. But it is really upsetting me. Last couple of times she has been severely depressed (gee I wonder why) and sounded like a vulnerable scared little girl. That is so out of character that I spent hours on the phone until she sounded more like herself.

    Please keep us in your prayers. I need to get her over here, whether it be to live with me or into a good facility, before something horrible happens.
     
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    At least she finally answered the phone. She sounded just fine.

    And therein lies some of the problem. Bro is not beyond making crap up so I can't take him at his word on her behavior. Ever.

    Still, going to get her over here as quickly as possible.
     
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are a good daughter and an amazing person. There are a LOT of people who would simply walk away from this mess, family or not. I hope deep down your mom knows this.

    As for your bro, it is entirely possible that his own mental illness (if he has one, sounds like he might given genetics and behavior, Know what I mean?) is behind his behavior and stupidity. These changes in your mom's life mean changes to his life that he cannot control and he cannot accept or tolerate that.He also knows that you refuse to be bullied and will drag him into court if needed. In his mind you are the littl sister he can push around and and he cannot stand the idea of you not giving in. By standing up to him, you further push his world out of his control. Loss of the illusion of control so fast and so clearly is more than he can cope with. so he lashes out.

    In MANY ways it is a fairly typical domestic violence situation waiting to happen. Bro thinks he has controlled mom for years until now, getting whatever he wanted (at least in his mind, even if that is not reality) and now it is slipping away fast.

    It stinks to have to do this. Be wary of your bro because this is the most dangerous time for your mom and anyone who is helping her.

    Given your brother's general attitude and past behavior, is it possible he made everything up? That your mom told him where she was going and he manipulated the situation for his own reasons? Just a thought that crossed my mind.

    I hope that a peaceful solution can be found and that your mom is settled and much happier soon.
     
  7. layne

    layne Member

    It sounds like they are both reaping what they sowed to an extent. He was one of her favorites, but was he really one of her favorites, or was his time getting the "abuse" just delayed? Maybe he is experiencing, what you already experienced at such a young age, just a lot later on in life. He doesn't have the maturity to deal with the situation. Men rarely do, especially spoiled ones. Their ego's shudders at the responsibility of it all. He gets the brunt of her illness a lot more often since she has no one else close by enough to unleash it on. It's good, maybe he needed to experience it so later on in life he can have more empathy in some way and also needed it to be humbled. It may not happen now, but it will happen, just on God's time, not yours or anyone else's. Let them give it to each other. Maybe she seemed ok when you talked to her because she felt good about what she did, ever think of that? Maybe he really wasn't lying or maybe he was! Regardless, he still deserves the stress because he doesn't help his own mother out, the one who helped him with everything, which is why your mother is more than happy to do what she is doing to him!
     
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lisa, I really have to give you kudos for how you are handling things. I know how difficult all this is. One thing I have always been thankful for is that I never had any siblings to deal with because I know my mother would have spent her life trying to turn us against each other so it would have been so hard to deal with her when she got sick. As it was, I only had to do what I could live with and had to answer to no one. Im glad you have everything buttoned up well. Everyone else can go rotate fast...lol
     
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm. I think I need to clarify something.

    One must keep in mind my mother is, even when she appears "normal", insane. Her concept of reality is warped. The facts are usually there......just well......twisted sometimes or altered, exaggerated or whatever. Mom is an odd one to say the least. When I say "favorite" or "spoiled" I don't quite mean it in what would be the normal context. This is not so easy to explain. You had to live it. Favorite is one who didn't receive punishment often.....actually rarely as she'd tend to believe they were incapable of wrong doing (depending on her state of mind). Doesn't mean that child didn't suffer abuse.....mentally, emotionally or physically. And Mom helping? Is as much control as it is being generous. (also depending on her state of mind)

    Now I had the good sense to realize that accepting mom's help is generally a very bad idea. I have rarely done so.......even in the form of gifts......for this reason. If you don't do what she expects with whatever she's given you.....well, it's not worth the aftermath. My sibs have been rather dense about accepting her help over the years.

    Spoiled? No. I can't honestly say any of us were actually "spoiled". Sis in Texas came close......but that was more the whole this kid can do no wrong deal and mom letting her do whatever she wanted basically. Thankfully sis in Texas wasn't a difficult child.

    Bro could easily have his own mental illness going on. In my family the number of mentally ill relatives is staggering. Maternal grandma didn't pick from a good gene pool. Plus bro did major drugs and booze for literally years. Lord only knows what that did to his brain cells. Not to even mention the abuse.

    Bro still doesn't realize I won't back down or that I'll haul his rear into court faster than he can blink. I'm not one to play my trump card until it's needed. I've had to survive in this family for a long time. He thinks if he repeats his load of bull long enough I'll believe him. But I know better. I've already been through this before with mother in law as far as all the legal stuff.

    It's actually hard not to laugh when he cannot understand the concept that mom can be mentally ill and yet not mentally incompetent to handle her own affairs. He just can't grasp that concept. Oh, well. Not my problem.

    I don't worry over much about bro......I've got elder bro in my corner (oddly enough and trust me I never saw that one coming) and even sis in Texas after all that mess with Mom last year.

    Mostly with bro......I think he just wants her out of sight out of mind until she dies and he gets whatever he gets. I can't wait until karma catches up with him. It won't be all too long, he's 53 yrs old. His daughter cares a great deal for mom........not the brat Stormy but the eldest daughter......and she is watching how her dad treats her grandma. What goes around comes around Know what I mean??

    I asked to be laid off from work. I talked to bff's sister in law (the big big boss of the temp co) about what was going on. Unfortunately she couldn't just lay me off. I'm a senior temp slugger (one of 3) and there is always work for me unless they get rid of ALL the temps. The only thing she could do is let me resign......me work my required notification days.......and try to get back to work within 90 days. If I can get back to work within that time frame it will work the same as me just being laid off. I keep my seniority and my pay rate and just go back to work as if I'd never left. I'm hoping to be back to work within a few weeks. But it is the only way to get things prepared here for Mom's relocation. Both girls and their husband's are helping. Once everything is ready here.......I can go back to work. Soon as the damn house sells.......we zip over there on a weekend and get her fanny back here. Should be no hitches in the plan unless something serious happens in the mean time.

    I'm no saint. I care for my mom and have managed to form a relationship with her during the past about 8 yrs or so. Mother / daughter? No. But a relationship. I'm realistic when it comes to mom, brutally so. The last thing in the world I want is to live with her under the same roof again. I remember all too well the hell that was before and due to her health / memory issues I know it will be far far worse now. My children have been taught from toddlerhood that grandma is schizo, what that means, and to take just about everything that comes out of her mouth with a grain of salt good or bad. I've been realistic with them when it comes to my mother because it was the only way to protect them. easy child is an RN so she gets it totally. Nichole has been working with alzheimer and dementia patients has recently acquired a new level of understanding.

    I can handle mom because I was not actually raised by her. Until the age of 12 I spent very little time under her roof. My grandma (who raised me) was a very wise woman.......and mom was not her only child with schizo. My aunt was also a very wise woman whom I don't think meant to but taught me how to accept my mother for the person she is because it's not her fault, it's an illness she can't control. I've also worked psychiatric units and have the medical knowledge to view her illness realistically instead of taking it personally.

    If she actually chooses to live with me, which she probably will because any facility would make her too vulnerable to tolerate, it will be hell on earth. However, she has been warned time and again that if safety becomes an issue she will be placed in a facility voluntarily or not. She understands that, so far agrees to it. Unfortunately, until she comes and is here a while I can't judge if a facility is necessary.

    layne, my mothers abuse stems from her mental illness. She is not one to go around and stir up trouble......not like that. If she is unstable it warps her reality and sometimes that can set her off, but not usually without a trigger. If she went off on bro then he pushed her into it. But bro isn't exactly truthful either. Travis spoke to mom right in the middle of all this on the phone. She didn't sound the least bit upset, instead she was enjoying the bbq bro's eldest daughter had prepared. Bro wasn't even supposed to be there......he'd come home early. Very rarely does mom get belligerent or violent (we're not kids anymore), she has to be in a psychotic episode to go that far. Unlike my sibs, I've seen far too many of these episodes over the years. I'm all too familiar with them. I've had the misfortune to be with her during most of her most unstable times. I've also talked with eldest bro who tells me that other than some over the top paranoia, which has her accusing people of stealing from her (normal), there is nothing out of the ordinary. Eldest bro like me has learned to let what she says on that score run in one ear and out the other.

    I'm doing this for my mom because my grandma raised me right. I'm doing this for my mom because despite a severe mental illness that alters her true personality (which is kind and caring) she cared for every one of her siblings that were dying AND my grandma with the utmost care and compassion and respect when she didn't have to do so. I'm doing this for my mom, who somewhere along the line had a sane moment and allowed my grandma to take me out of the home and care for me... And I'm doing it because she is my mother, mental illness or not. Without her I wouldn't exist. It's not her fault that faulty genes gave her paranoid schizophrenia and made her life and ours a living nightmare at times........in all honesty I'm sure she's suffered far worse than any of us have.

    And when the time comes, and it will soon, I will do it for my sister in Indy.....who also has schizo, just a different variety.

    While I'm caring for Mom, whether she is in a facility or my home, I will be reminding myself of "why" I'm doing it most likely as an ongoing mantra to help me have the stamina to get through it. And yes, some of it will be not because of mom but because I have to deal with siblings that I'd rather not even talk to on a normal basis.

    Walking away from the situation has never been an option. Doing the right thing is rarely easy.
     
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Here is a classic example of Mom:

    Bro called me a few mins ago to let off steam.

    Mom called him after 11:30 last night to complain that she thinks she has a blocked bowel because she hasn't had a BM in a week. Bro tries to get her to go to the ER to be checked. She refuses, excuses such as time of night and no one to watch the house when she goes (she thinks people are stealing from her remember). Bro gives up and Mom eventually gets off the phone. 6am this morning she calls and wakes him up. Same complaint. She now is willing to go to the ER but Bro has to get someone to come watch the house, but he can't tell them WHY they're watching the house........ He reminds her that she kept him up last night and now has woken him up early on his day off resulting in very little sleep for him. Doesn't matter, she now is ready to go to the ER. It's up to him to find someone to watch the house that she'll approve of and take her.

    Bro can be a class A Arse but I do hear the frustration in his voice / tone. I know he is putting up with a LOT of her bull all the time simply because he is close. He was a bit more reasonable this time. Although he still is shocked none of this surprises me in the least.

    Mom is a nurse. It was a bad career choice. Not that she didn't make a good nurse but because someone with paranoia should never learn medicine. She has been "dying" of something or other not too long after graduating nursing school in her 40's.

    I'm not concerned with her "blocked bowel". Unfortunately I know more about Mom's bowel habits than I'd ever care too and a week without a movement is normal for her.

    Mom is feeling very alone, unwanted, and unloved right now. If she calls the bros for anything, large or small, they give her the run around or may or may not show up. I know much of what she calls them about is trivial to them. But she isn't always calling about whatever "problem" she is calling to see if she has someone she can depend on when she needs them. I totally understand their reaction (you do it enough it gets old) but them reacting to it the way they do actually only makes it worse. Mom has gotten progressively worse since her last husband died. She has never been someone who can live alone........actually this is the first time in her life when she has lived alone although she has gone through however many husbands. Being alone terrifies her, being old fail and alone puts it on a whole new level.

    I went through a version of this with mother in law as she became more frail as her years advanced. Shortly before she lost her independence Fred and I noticed a dramatic increase in such phone calls. It's normal for the elderly. It was my signal to watch her more closely........and it was only about a year or so when we had to force her into assisted living for her own safety. Then? It increased tenfold. mother in law felt very vulnerable in the nursing home ect and called me every time I turned around. I did my best to be there for her, but I also spoke with the doctor about giving her something to relieve her anxiety. Then had to help him talk mother in law into taking it. In the end it took a stay in the psychiatric ward to get her to do so.

    Which is something else I have that is not available to mom or my sibs back home. Here we have a psychiatric ward geared to the elderly (they only service the elderly). Mom gets out of hand I have somewhere to take her that I know is a good facility........and trust me, she will not leave until she is stable no matter how long it takes to get her that way.

    In my sibs defense...........they've only realized in the past year or so that mom is not sane. I realized it back in junior high. I suspected it before then. I used to help grandma with my schizo aunt.........and right about that age it "clicked" that mom was a different version of my aunt. So I've had many years to come to terms with my mother's mental illness. My sibs are just now stepping out of denial.
     
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    And the drama continues...

    Bro called mom later in the morning to see if she still wanted to go to the ER. She basically told him to go straight to hades and hung up on him. He didn't attempt to call her back but called me instead to ask me if I'd called her today.

    I told him no. If I have things to get done I know not to call her until they're done. She's lonely and not so easy to get back off the phone.

    So I tried to call her.........more than a dozen times. Again with the ignoring phone calls bit. Now I understand she's ticked off at bro. I can empathize with her side of things as well as his. But I had not a thing to do with it and I'm already losing patience with her anger at my bros being taken out on me.

    As her POA for everything, I expect that phone to be answered when I call or at least give me a call back if I happen to call at a bad time. Not to be flatly ignored so that I don't have a clue if she is ok or not. I don't know that bro even told her he spoke to me. (big mouth probably did, but he might not have mentioned it) And I have nothing to do with what goes on between her and my bros. But as her POA it is my responsibility to make certain she is well and safe. I can't do that if she has a tantrum and refuses to answer my calls. This will NOT fly as I will NOT put up with such behavior.

    When I do get her on the phone she will be read the riot act for it. If she is going to start acting the drama queen or like a child then perhaps the time has come for me to step in and take over.
     
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