Through the years I have mentioned my gfg/bipolar mother. I just wanted to post about her today because she weighs heavily on my mind and I know this is one place that I can find understanding. Actually a post I just read where someone commented about understanding here from members on detachment vs real life family/friends finding the persons detachment "cold". The "cold" people upset me so much. It's a level of detachment I struggle with. That lack of understanding I serious NEED for detachment.
I know many bipolar adults as well as people with other diagnosed mental illnesses that thrive in their lives and succeed despite their illness. I say that because my mothers story is the opposite and I absolutely don't want members to feel my mothers outcome is in any way a given for members gfgs.
My mother continues to regress into her disease so far that it is clear there is no coming back. Her entire personality has changed. Where once she had a functioning and "normal" life while stable, she no longer resembles that person at all. The improper long term medication she clings to despite doctors wishes and warnings, has destroyed her and she is too ill to see it. Nobody even tries to get her to see it anymore. We know it is pointless. I feel pretty certain she has a personality disorder as well that has never been diagnosed. She refuses any mental health help other than script renewals for her meds every six months at a walk in clinic where she raves about her "magic pill" that has kept her hospital free for 18 straight years. She was given a antipsychotic med when in hospital 18 years ago. It was never meant to be long term. In fact is a med with warnings to not use long term. She was meant to get stable and psychosis free, and then to work with a psychiatrist to find a healthy med combo post hospitalization. However she clung to that med and moron doctors keep giving it to her despite the permanent neurological damage now done to her. She is right the med has kept her psychosis free (other than the few times she stopped taking it in early years). The price she has paid for her lack of participation in a healthy log term medication plan has been very high in all areas of her life. To hear her tell it, this med is magic and she is just fantastic. Just one of the ways she obviously no longer can discern truth and facts from her magical thinking. And boy does she have major magical thinking.
At one time she was a nurse. She worked with seniors in a seniors facility. She was admired and likable. She had many solid long term friendships. She attracted kind and caring and good men in her dating life. She was financially responsible. She had interests and hobbies and was a busy woman.
Then came the breakdown years. The manic highs and crashing lows that was, looking back, the start of her journey of no return. Lost career, has existed now for some 30 years on various social assistance. Lost every single friendship. Attracted only damaged and abusive men who saw her as vulnerable and latched on. To attracting no friends. Period. Same for potential romantic relationships. Moved on to losing myself and brother to our spiral of foster care years. Eventually. Destroyed every family relationship with her siblings and cousins etc. leaving my brother and I as the sole hold outs trying to help her and be there for her. Which didn't come easy for he nor I, given the hateful and cruel acts towards us for a lifetime.
I struggled for years about detachment. Realizing you cannot help someone who won't help themselves. Meanwhile evidence if a likely untreated personality disorder developed and flourished. Or maybe it just was the affect of years of improperly treated bipolar. We probably will never know. Probably doesn't even matter as the end result is the same regardless of the root.
I just went about 20 months with no contact. To this day she does not have out telephone number. I was finally ok with no contact. Had lost the shame and guilt I should never have owned, and walked away to self preserve and I protect my children. Then pc was going through such hades in her life with her dad etc and was suicidal and other serious issues with her. Her one wish for her bday was dinner with grandma. Boy I struggled and erred. In my desire to bring something to pcs plate that was enjoyable for her in a dark period, I contact my mother and invited her to dinner out with pc and I at a local restaurant. That actually went fairly well.
Then, it didn't. I maintained calls to her a couple of times a week. Quickly I came to regret the dinner that has led to contact. She began calling a mutual contact to ask them to call me to tell me to call her, since I refuse to give my contact info. What a burden for that person. I can't get her to hear a thing I say about NOT doing that. I also see massive decline in her life after a long period of no contact. Coupled with seeing things even I missed over the years because it was just "typical mom". I literally can't continue this. She is beyond help. Because she is just fine don't ya know and her life is great too don't ya know because of her "magic pills".
Just fine. Well let's see. Zero family contact for over a dozen years. Zero friends. Not one. Her phone is a useless waste of money. Other than my frequent (and soon to stop) calls, only my gfg bro contacts her. They had lived a few doors apart. Even being a gfg in his own ways, he knew it was madness. He moved last year to a city two hours away. He calls and does infrequent and super short visits. Even those get it short because it is impossible to stay sane near her. She brings out the worst in both my bro and me. Triggers us in no time flat.
She resides in subsidized housing however is constantly behind in her super low cost housing. This is a nicer rental than we have at crazy market rent. She is out of options if evicted. She claims "the lord will provide". She has become so self absorbed and entitled. Resents anything that anybody has and wants everyone he is meant to love to struggle along with her. Anything more, she rants and raves and rages and lashes out. It is exhausting and hurtful to hear rage because her adult children and grands have basics like healthy food, clothing, god forbid luxuries. You should here rant about our wedding and how terrible I am to spend on a destination wedding for a group when my own mother can't eat or smoke or pay bills or buy new things. While she gets wnough to do basics like bills and food, I admit she has no money for luxury. But in her magical thinking, life is so unfair so she is entitled to do what she wants with her income and her children should fix her messes. Pay her rent. Buy her food and cigs and clothing and support her pets. She spends crazy. Doesn't sleep for days before she is paid. Spends on a good month maybe $100 on food. Buys a week of cigs. Then buys used junk she calls her "bargains". Thrift store garbage. Ugly broken lamps that "you'd die to have they ate gorgeous". Horrible wrecked garbage paintings. Her current thing is sea shells. She hunts them down at yard sales and when the person says offer a reasonable price (read $1 or $2) she will offer $20. A large one she recently handed over $50. Can't blame to people for taking it. Although I could never if I had someone offer that. She never had money within 48 hours of being paid her disability.
She has had free dental coverage for 30 years. She has had declining teeth from zero dentistry for many years. Probably 20 years since she used the dental coverage. It caught up huge the 20 months that we had no contact. Her teeth are now rotted pegs and that she is in pain is apparent. She can't chew properly. It's frankly disgusting to see inflamed gums and stick teeth black with rot. She needs them pulled. And she has coverage for dentures. It is to dangerous levels of infection. You smell her breath on entering a room. I gave up after two attempts to get her to dentist where I offered to go with her, offered to prepare soft foods and keep care of her post op to pull them. Offered to provide the denture cleaning products when she was fitted etc. she looked at me like I was off my rocker and claimed I was nuts to want her to pull out all of her beautiful teeth just because she is aging when she's a fortunate one who can be proud of her self maintenance all of these years. Magical thinking.
The second call to her post pcs bday dinner began immediate return to her entitlement. Asking for money for bills. For groceries. Smokes. She paid her last $50 to a male neighbor to cart out her living room furniture. She spent a few days sitting on the floor in pain from her sciatic nerves before raging at me because I didn't stick to the plan and take her out to a nice shop to buy her a new living room. Huh??? Two days later, since I hadn't called, she paid someone to drive her across th city to my house. She had no money to pay the driver the insane amount she offered ($100 to cross town). She demanded we go shopping for furniture and that I stop neglecting my responsibility to her as my creator and that if I didn't "the lord would smite me". I refused and ushered her quickly I the persons car. She was raging. I ignored. I told the driver it is obvious she is mentally ill and it is hateful to allow an offer of $100 to taxi her across our town. I gave him $10 for gas cost and sent them both packing. She took her entire next pay and bought a trashed used sofa at a yard sale and paid them her entire month income and told me what a bargain she struck. I'd be at that persons door if I had a clue who took advantage like that. Meanwhile she again faces eviction. I caved last week and sent her a delivery of about $200 in food. She called me a Ungrateful and selfish B. because I reused to pay her rent and bills. Didn't sen cigs. And sent her no cash for "spending money" when I was leaving the next day for a weekend away to pick up my Matt in the city for our first visit in 18 months since he moved across the country. Raged at how I had paid Matt's pricey plane ticket, was taking pc along for back to school shopping, staying in a nice hotel and dining out and sight seeing. While neglecting her and only sending stupid useless beeping food. I hung up. And cried for two hours. She is beyond reach.
Matt went to see her yesterday. He felt bad he had not even gone to say goodbye when he moved west to other end of country. I prepared him but even still he was stunned at her decline. It was horrible for him. He lasted twenty minutes. She waltzed around her townhouse showing off her treasures and telling him what she will give Gina's inheritance. Walmart lamps from yard sales with broken shades and chips. Broken chairs she will one day refinish. And her prized collection of religious items (dollar store signs and figurines). She then hit him up for cash for food. The $200 worth of groceries I sent a week ago? She traded for a ratty quilt for a bed. When I moved here two months ago I had a delivery company bring her boxes of items in near new condition. Drapes and matching bed sets (quilt, sheets, pillows and cases, skirt and extra sheet sets). Good quality things. She traded them for shells and a carton of cogs. She hit him up for smokes. He did go buy her one pack and brought them. She screamed at him because he said he was going to get her some so she assumed a carton. He said he don't have $90 for a carton. She yelled BS because you work. He got upset and said and i pay a mortgage grandma. And have bills and a car payment an insurance and a spouse and have to live too. She screamed how he had all of that yet lets his grandma starve and he was going to he$@ and in and on. He was crying by then. Not at her words but at her decline. His best friend was with him and whispered we should just go Matt. He hugged her, kissed her cheek and told her "goodbye grandma" and left. E was a mess when his fried dropped him home. He said that for him that goodbye and kiss and hug was his farewell. He said his grandma isn't there anymore and he won't, can't, ever do that again. He was devastated. He always was close to her growing up and was the one person who looked past her behaviors and just loved her and coped well. It was a mistake for him to go. He would prefer to haut remember the better times.
So I told myself, self! Get back off the ride because you're sinking back to her world and remember how healthy you felt completely detached. I promised myself I wouldn't contact her again. I debated sending a letter explaining or calling to tell her. Then realized how pointless that is.
Some family asked me last night if Matt stopped to visit her. I had called around because I am to host a family thing here today for everyone to see Matt. E leaves tomorrow. I explained in a short summary what happened and that I too was done again with her. The same people who haven't laid eyes on nor spoken to her for a dozen years? Went off all righteous because with gfg bro living two hours away, I am the only person left in town to monitor her. To hospitalize her again if needed etc. what?!?!?!?! I started being that person at age 15. Fighting for hospitalization against her will. They gave up 12 years ago but I'm a terrible daughter and heartless to walk away to save my sanity when nothing will change anyhow? I do not understand the double standard. And boy I am still hurt today. These same people expect me to clean up today (we have slacked all week with Matt's visit so short we figured I'll clean after he goes and just spend our time together). Expect me to shop, cook for them and host them, then clean after them. And share my final day with my Matt with them.
The kids said to wake them at 7:30 to let them clean while I shopped and cooked. Well it's 9:15 am and I am typing here, having my third coffee. They are sleeping. I figure let them sleep. They will be rested and we can stay up late to have as much time as possible before he leaves tomorrow.
I am calling the family and telling them I am not up to playing host. If any d them would like to shop and cook and host us, we can pop by for a couple of hours. Or we can select a family restaurant and meet there for a few hours, Dutch. I'll pay for me and the kids and they can pay their own. Otherwise I am open to other suggestions however I am claiming just not up to hosting and the work when it will take time from Matt. Secretly I hope they get mad and refuse to make a plan. Matt won't care. He is beyond detached from them and was annoyed they had invited themselves. He intended to stop in for a quick tea or coffee at their homes today. Home within a couple of hours and obligations done with.
What is wrong with people who practice detachment themselves buy act as though others are cold? As if I would choose or wish this lack of living on my own mother. As if I have any power whatsoever to influence a mid 60's unstable woman with magical thinking who refuses to believe she is so unwell? As if I would opt to have no mother , no grandmother for my kids? As if it feels to good to picture her alone, starving, facing eviction, no fronds or family and no hope? As if the pain to get to this detached place has been a enjoyable journey for nearly forty years?
People can really Hoover. I expect my mothers issues. I expect better from others. Fool that I am, for allowing myself to expect anything.
If you read this, Wowsers you've got time on your hands to read my self indulgent purge. But thank you. I suppose I need to learn a level of detachment for these other people as well. I truly wish I could fib, claim Matt is sick and in bed and just back out of any contact today.
I may have said it but people can Hoover.