Nichole Update with a twist

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hound dog, Jan 4, 2010.

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  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Overall Nichole is doing well. And thankfully just had a doctor appointment for BC.:D

    Unfortunately boyfriend is still very much boyfriend and continues with his own difficult child behavior. Because Nichole no longer reacts to it 99 percent of the time, he actively attempts to goad her into old behavior. He's not even subtle about it these days.:mad:

    The twist? A few months ago Nichole came to me and asked for a Bible. You could've knocked me over with a feather. I'm a very spiritual person but have no use for organized religion. I don't knock anyone else who gains benefit from it. But when you've got a paranoid schizophrenic mother who is also a relgious fanatic to the extreme.....well, it does that to you.:faint:

    I told Nichole I have several in the house but they were being stored and I couldn't get right at them. Nichole said that was fine, she'd go ahead and get one of her own that way she wouldn't have to worry about something happening to mine.

    She had it mailed here. She didn't feel comfortable with boyfriend knowing she had a Bible. Felt he would make fun of her. She showed it to me and asked if I thought the one she picked would be easy to understand. It doesn't look too bad for that and I told her so. But also told her I have one here that translates it into normal everyday language, so if she gets bogged down to come over and get it. She is reading it cover to cover.

    This comes as a surprise because (also due to my mother) my kids share my views on organized religion. So I asked what prompted the sudden interest. She said it occured to her that she was placing judgment on something she really didn't know that much about. Reasonable.

    When I last saw her she told me she's been going to church again with her best friend. I know the church and it has a rep of being a good church with a fairly mellow attitude. So I asked if Aubrey was also going. Nichole said no, cuz she hasn't gotten around to telling boyfriend. I told her it's silly to hide something like that from boyfriend, and that I think Aubrey would at least enjoy sunday school.

    This all sounds very nice and good. But I've got red flags going off. I'm keeping my mouth shut and my eyes open. Why? Nichole's gfgness is very similar to my mother, with my mother being much more severe. We've been watching her for any signs of schizophrenia every since the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) diagnosis was first made because psychiatrist didn't want her diagnosed with it at such a young age.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to judge this objectively or not due to my own experience with my Mom. Then again.....who better to pick up on whether someone is becoming fanatical than a person who has lived with it?

    I guess what worries me is that all the family I've discussed my Mom's mental illness with, including my bio Dad, tell me that she "found" religion just as the schizophrenia symptoms began to emerge. And when Mom is at her most unstable...she is also her most fanatical.

    Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hmmm, that is a twist - I too would be worried a bit, but taking a wait and see attitude is probably for the best. Is there anyone else that can keep on eye on it with you - you know, sort of help you decipher what is normal and what could be perceived as fanatical?

    My mom sounds like yours back in the days when I was growing up and lived with her. She was either completely over the top steeped in her religion or completely detached from it. Never a middle ground - it's part of the reason I didn't go to church for many years.

    It's interesting that she'd want to read the Bible cover to cover - that's a lot to take in without being in a bible study group of some sort. So much of the written word can be misconstrued and those who I know have joined bible study groups do well in having others to help them translate the meanings.

    I wonder if she will have Aubrey go to Sunday School eventually; kids like seem to really like it! Do you wish the boyfriend would just up and disappear? Do you think Nichole will eventually leave him for good? I'm just wondering because as her behavior becomes healthier, it seems his disfunction would become glaringly apparent and maybe she would want to take a step away.
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Lisa, I don't remember if Nichole has a psychiatrist or not. If yes and considering family history, do you think he/she might want a heads up?

  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think this is a thing where I would take a wait and see approach. Maybe its some place for Nichole to go for friendship. That would be nice. Cant say I have ever found a church like that but Im pretty sure there are lots of them out I have my own hang ups over them like you do I think.

    I tend to do research on religious things online when I get the urge.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear. I hope Nichole is just interested in learning more, and this isn't a sign of worse to come.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh, yes. I most certainly wish boyfriend would just pack up and move out one day. Actually, the whole family is in agreement on this. I keep hoping since he is unable to bait Nichole successfully anymore than he will lose interest, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

    Suz, Nichole stopped seeing a psychiatrist when hers quit the mental health clinic. She spoke of seeing mine for a period, but this was because boyfriend was messing with her head again. And she decided to wait on it. She is still quite stable in behavior.

    This is going to come off sounding odd but you'd have had to spend a lifetime with a schizophrenic to understand it I think. But her new found self-control also nags at me. Because when I say that boyfriend is goading her I'm not kidding, he really is pushing the limits to the point where family have stepped in to stop his behavior. Yet Nichole does not lose it. At. All. Good on one hand, yet I've got to be honest if it were me it was directed at I'd have hauled off and decked him. I was sorely tempted and it wasn't directed at me. (easy child and sister in law as well)

    When my mother is in one of her "episodes" (I'm not sure what else to call it) she is the epitome of self control as well as the religious fanatic. It's downright spooky. And it's not something that someone outside of the family picks up on. But she has to be um well, perfect in her behavior I guess you'd call it. It's something I've never quite figured out. But I've suspected it might be the way she attempts to hide that inside she's actually losing it. The religious fanaticism is possibly an attempt to help herself in some way. Then eventually she finally breaks from reality and can't hold up the facade any longer.

    boyfriend is going to extremes to goad Nichole and yet she doesn't respond other than to calmly tell him to stop and that it isn't going to work. Even when she should respond and the reaction would be appropriate for his behavior. I don't know if this is because she hasn't found the right point in which response is appropriate or what. I know I didn't put that well, but my brain shut off in the middle of the darn thought.:ashamed:

    But it nags at me. The new interest in religion makes that behavior stand out more. There are other small things. And I don't know whether they are related or not. But growing up in my mother's household one learned to be extremely observant of behavior or one didn't keep their skin intact very much. Aubrey's behavior is off. easy child has also noted this and commented to me. So I'm not the only one picking up on it. She is extremely eager to please, devastated when disciplined......even when it's a simple time out. Craving attention from both easy child and myself. I don't think she's being abused or neglected, but something in her environment is causing this behavior. We just haven't figured out what it is. It worries me because Aubrey is currently behaving like I did as a child. I suppose it could be all the goading by's got to be creating tension at the very least....but I simply don't know. But I will put in here that I behaved like that because my mother could change character/personality so rapidly when I was young that until I learned to read her behavior, I never knew from one moment to the next whether she was going to be nice, a stone wall, call me vicious names, or haul off and knock me across the room. I am NOT saying that is what is happening, I'm saying that is what triggered that behavior in me. But you can see why it disturbs me to see it in Aubrey.

    So I am watching. And I am praying that it is just a series of innocent coincidences. And I am worrying because boyfriend is in the process of convincing Nichole to move with him to Michigan when he graduates in June.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I really don't know what to say, but wanted to send (((hugs))).

    I can't imagine why boyfriend would want to be around if he's so miserable. It's like he's not happy unless he's making someone else miserable. I guess he's like his mother, huh?
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Gosh, Lisa, no wonder your antenae is up! I would be worried also, noticing the changes not only in Nichole but also in Aubrey. Keep a close watch and we'll all be praying for you.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911


    You know growing up with fanatical religious parents can really do a number on you as a kid. I remember my Father telling me he was going to be raptured. Okay so then you get in the car with him and you're driving down the road, he's raptured and you don't know how to drive; then what? You die and where do YOU go? To sit and hear my Father discuss Revelations? Yeah well let's just say therapy and me? Not strangers. :tongue: Once the therapist told Dad that he had to stop discussing the end of days in front of us? Not a problem - he did stop and then? Well then I married the anti-Christ so.......(moving on).

    Anyway my thoughts are sorta along the same lines as yours because as soon as everyone starts thumping the B.I.B.L.E.? I literally roll my eyes and exhale. Not because I'm not a believer, but because it seems to me that nearly everyone in my life (not all) but everyone that I have met that is fanatical is only that. FAN. They are not walking the walk, just talking the talk. It's confusing for people trying to imitate or emulate others around them. Take Dudes foster family for instance. Tells me right up front "Oh I am a holy roller, we have 2 house rules, you must go to church and there is no swearing in my home." Oh okay. But it is okay to cheat the IRS and lie, steal money, and that list goes on forever.

    Someone once told me that learning religion is like kindergarten is to the English language. You're not going to get it all the first year - that's why there are 12 years of school. In the mean time, you have to surround yourself with people who do both walk and talk not just Sunday but every day. It's like my thought on celebrating Christmas. I don't celebrate Christmas one day a year I celebrate it 365. It's a spirit of giving. Not a day, so...if Nichole is exploring Christianity? Good for her. Encourage her to explore a lot of religions. I've studied a lot of religions because I wanted to have an intelligent conversation AND a sense of awareness about what others believed not just my own little corner of the world. I mean how can you begin to respect someone else or their space if you don't understand their beliefs? I don't have to agree-I don't even have to let them know I know...but I don't have to be disrespectful either. In doing so I hope to find some sort of peace.

    For Nichole? Maybe this is where she's headed. You can literally get a free book of worship from nearly every faith and religion in the world. I have a Quaran. I'm not Muslim. But after 911 - everyone was running around saying this and that about what the book said, so I wrote them and asked for one so I could look it up myself. Interesting how things are interpreted to fit panic stricken minds. I also asked for a book of Mormon. I read about Wicca, and Paganism. Catholocism? Historically one of the most interesting religions. One of the most beautiful religions is the Jewish religion. They're all fascinating to me. Doesn't mean I'm heathen or forgotten my faith - just means I'm trying to understand and would like to know different things, but everyone is always so afraid to ask for fear of upsetting someone. I'm just not.

    If it does end up that she's going the schizophrenic route? You'll know. My first thought was maybe......she's trying to find out how to cast out a demon. (lol) wait, thats what I was trying to find out in MY marriage. AHEM. Hey - if she does throw holy water on him and he leaves wouldn't that just be great? (okay back to my pew)

    Hugs -
    St. Ar.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My mother made us learn to guide the car by age 6 because she was going in the rapture and us spawn of the devil would need to know how to drive the car if she was taken while driving. She did the pedals, we did the steering...cuz if you didn't you were gonna die. She'd suddenly hold her hands up in the air while driving down the street. I thought my Mom was the only one crazy enough to do such a thing. lol Actually she stopped getting to visit the kids by having them stay with her when I discovered she was doing this to them. :mad: But at least they were 12 and up and not 6!

    I also enjoy learning about various religions. I find it fascinating. And because of that my kids have also been exposed to them. And yeah, my biggest issue with organized religion is that most people I've met claiming to be devout are sooooo the other extreme. Not that I haven't met people who try very hard to live by their beliefs, because I have and I have great respect for them. Unfortunately they seem to be in the minority.

    I had to LOL about the exorcism :tongue:

    When the kids were small they went to church. (shocker, and no my Mom does NOT know this) I took them. It was my mother in law's church and was very nice and had the majority of people trying to walk the walk. Both girls attended their preschool. The kids went to the vacation bible school.

    That church is now 2 hrs yeah. lol But I think all children need some teaching in spirituality of some sort in order to form morals if for no other reason. My kids also learned traditional individual spirituality from my native culture as well.

    I've been having some fairly devious thoughts myself of late. I'm wondering how boyfriend would respond to being exposed to the native part of Nichole's heritage.......Dragging him to a gathering, letting him pull his behavior there....and watching her extending family scare the living sh*t right out of him. Because they would, whether I wanted them to or not. *snort* Bad, bad, bad. I know. But Aubrey would LOVE to be a fancy shawl dancer just like her Mommy was! :redface: lmao!
  11. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Do it.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    When our oldest passed? We did 2 ceremonies for him. One was in the church and it was lovely. The other was outside with the Catawba Nation and there was Shawl women dancers in full costume and the men beat the large drum while the tribal chief sang. It was really spiritual, and loud. The most moving thing; a golden eagle flew over the cemetery from the East. Right over the grave site at the exact moment the drum stopped. It just hovered in the air jet, then flew off into the West.

    The chief told us that it was a good sign - that Kary was at peace and had been taken to the other side by one of the mightiest spirit guides.

    It made me cry because I was the first one to see the eagle. I was looking up trying not to cry when I saw it. Couldn't help it I pointed and burst out "Look."

    So I get where you're coming from Daisy. Kary was Catawba/Cherokee mix. The Natives here are very serious about their heritage and preserving it. I'm glad they were able to still do what they did. People that had never been to a dual ceremony like that found it really interesting. If they didn't they never said otherwise to me. I just know he was a great kid that went way too soon at 18.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    That brought tears to my eyes Star. I've been to a few of those ceremonies. They are both profound and filled with their own sort of beauty. I'm glad it was done for your son, and glad you were able to experience it.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I can have husband pick up some holy water if you promise to throw it on him.

    I am always alarmed by organized religion. I try to be tolerant of it. I really do. I was horribly abused by the Catholic nuns who ran the school I attended for 6 years. I have very deep personal beliefs but am not really comfortable around organized religion. My husband has a deep need for the Catholic services. At least he is fine that I will NOT attend. We try to respect each other on this.

    Wiz has hated church services since infancy. Is deeply afraid of them for reasons we do not understand. I would be incredibly alarmed if he started attending a church. Well, if it was not at the invitation of the parents of a girl he likes, LOL. He did go a couple of times to allay the fears of the parents of one girl he liked. I just laughed when I heard it.

    I have known many who make me doubt organized religion. We lived across the street from a prominent church in my town. Used to be "the" powerful church in town. I know more about the members actions than I wanted to. Mostly because they only tried to conceal them on Sunday morning. These same people try to regularly close the bars and clubs because alcohol is evil and woman are not capable of being faithful if not watched every second of the day.

    Yes. They do SAY this in the church literature. And from the pulpit.

    With Nichole I would be more alarmed by the hiding than the religion. Maybe she told you because she wants to be sure if she does slip into schizophrenia that you will know and be able to help her. didn't you say a while back she was thinking she heard voices?

    This is a hard maze to navigate, esp given your mother. I am sorry.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yes. Quite a while back Nichole told me she heard voices. She also sees people. The latter has never gone away. She just refuses to discuss it with anyone but easy child and myself thanks to psychiatrists off handed remarks the one time she brought it up to her. She knows psychiatrists (there was more than one) were considering the schizo diagnosis for her but didn't want to chance placing it on her too young, so they went with the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), hoping as we did that's all it was. We've had lengthy discussions about it, about the diagnosis, about her grandmother and a great aunt who was schizo-BiPolar (BP) (I forget the term they use for that now) Nichole has also done some research on her own while she was still living at home. She's not deathly afraid of the diagnosis......I explained to her that even unmedicated her grandmother was able to work and function fairly normally much of the time and that if she'd accepted treatment she would have functioned way better than she did. She understands it is a disorder like the BiPolar (BP) and can be managed with medications.

    During times we had such discussions she asked me to please make her aware if I suspect that was going on. Same as she did if I ever suspect that she is sliding over the edge as she did before.

    I do find it odd she chose to hide it from boyfriend. I think he guessed it recently, or maybe she finally told him. But boyfriend is a class A jerk to put it mildly........he'd latch on to it and not let it go. ugh
  16. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    BiPolar (BP) and Schizo is Schizo Affective Disorder. husband's psychiatrist has told him he has schizoaffective tendencies. Before his psychiatric hospital stay he had visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile hallucinations. He could feel the clothes he thought he was wearing.

    I would be concerned about the level of control and the religious aspect too. All you can do is watch, and watch Aubrey really really close.

    Mental illness hoovers, and sometimes I think when we know something about it, we get a little hypervigiliant. I get so tired of analyzing husband and difficult child, but I do it without even knowing.
  17. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    The sometime connection between mental illness and fanaticism is an important topic. Let's be careful this doesn't get any more into a religious discussion of opinions about religion etc. or I will have to lock the thread... :angel:

  18. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I am shocked reading this thread. I didn't know there were so many members with history similar to mine! My mother (bipolar and more, just not sure what the "more" is) to this day remains obsessed on religion. Talk the talk type, not walk the walk. I have the most terrifying memories of the level of fanaticism that permeated my entire childhood. Oddly I enjoyed church very much and was even a alter server when our Catholic church finally allowed female servers. In my tweens, I went into shell shock over my mothers issues. I haven't attended church since. It puts me into the worst state of panic and anxiety. 5 years ago, I attended with my last surviving aunt, as it was a service in honor of my much loved aunt (mother figure) who we had recently lost. I wasn't in there 10 minutes and had to sneak out and when my aunt came out after services, she though my breakdown and shaking and crying and panic was over our loss. Of course I mourned my aunt, I do to this day. But I walked out in that state simply by being in the building. And I had thought i was over my issues surrounding my mothers religious obsessions.

    I believe my mother was in her early 20's when she became fixated on religion to a unhealthy / mentally ill minded type level. Before that, she was more just a typical child and then woman who was raised in a strict Catholic home and with church being part of her life. It is sadly something that served her well to bring joy and peace to her life and has morphed into the predominant reason for her own self destruction in her life.

    I hope that Nichole is curious, maybe searching for some comfort and guidance, and this turns out to be something healthy for her. You are wise to keep an eye on things given her diagnosis. At the same time, I do think when we have backgrounds like ours, seeing someone with a mental illness who previously wasn't interested in religion taking a new interest, our fear radar kicks in. If you don't let it jade you, I think youll know if Nicholes interest crosses a line to unhealthy.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lisa...My mom was always the epitome of self control too. No one outside my family would have ever known what was going on inside it. To look at us you would have thought we were that perfect little family with a mom, dad and a blond-haired blue eyed little girl, living in the house with the white picket fence. We literally had the white picket fence.

    You just had to look closely at my pictures to see that I had unhappy eyes in all of them.
  20. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    My grandfather is an extremely well-educated rabbi (he's also 100 years old). he has read the holy books of most religions in their native tongue, be it Greek, Aramaic, Arabic, etc.

    He was a Talmud scholar for most of his adult life as well. He said something years ago that I found to be very profound: "All religions have good in them. The problem arises when human nature gets involved"
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