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I Want to Be Happy ...but My Mom's Illness Won't Let Me

My mom has paranoid schizophrenia...no its not like how they portray schizophrenia on TV. She creates connections where there aren't any.  She is the center of her delusion.  When I was growing up no one explained to me what was wrong.  I saw my mom lose her friends and 2 husbands both of which were losers. her disease has destroyed every relationship she has.  I fear the feeble relationship that exists between us is next. I know Iknow she 's my mother, but you all don't know the mental abuse I have suffered.  She is narcissistic nice for a while and draws you in and then she whispers her madness and then she degrades and put you down if your don't buy into her delusions.  Now she's in the hospital and her rent needs to be paid.  I don't know how I am going to convince the back to seen a check to thee apartment people without her there at the bank.  I know you are thinking I should have power of attorney, get family to help...well no one in my family gives a damn, I am all she has left. She called me from the hospital Thursday talking that crazy paranoid crap...i can't take it I feel like I am going to break down and scream. I got clean up this mess she has made no one else will. I am so tired and broken. i cry all the time. I am tired of being unhappy. I am going to go to mass tomorrow and pray. I don't have anyone to talk to about this. My husband has been great, but I try not burden anyone.  I can't seem to maintain any other relationships.  At work I bury myself in my work and on my way to work I listen to books on CD to take my mind off my problems. I will take any advice I can get, because right now I feel like I just want to cut her lose and let the chips fall where they may.

Taega2002 Taega2002 36-40, F 4 Responses Oct 3, 2009

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Hi, Taega2002!

My mom has paranoid schizophrenia as well. I too, am at a crossroad with my mom. My "bonus" dad is in bad health and I know he will pass before she does. In the beginning I never thought my mom's illness affected me, until now. All though my mom's personality seems to be a little different than yours, the impact on me has been the same as yours. There are times when we are having a great conversation and then, Whoa.,.....she goes off into left field. Growing up, she was very loving, kind, and on top of me when I was ill....However, when I have had enough of her world and I would let her know that the voices were in her head "she would began to yell"

First of all, you have to take care of you! Period! End of story! God placed you in this family because he knew how strong you were. Second, start making arrangements to place her in a caring, safe facility. Third, get help for yourself to recover. Recover from the guilt, the shame you have felt, and give yourself permission to be happy. In the mean time, tell her you love her and that you will visit as long as she doesn't miss treat you. There are a lot of resources that can help you; church, change a mind. org, etc. The more you understand her illness, the more you can forgive her for the times she was mean and self centered. I hope this helps and I pray that you find peace.

it sounds like you should see about having your mom intervened on. when i worked at a homeless shelter, we could call up a county designated mental health professional. i would start looking for people for your mom to talk to. it sounds like getting the legal system involved could help. i'm sorry you're going through this.

I am really sorry for what you have to go through. I really mean it.

I too grew up with a mother who suffers from a mental illness , although not as severe as schizophrenia, she did go into full psychosis at times, and it scared the hell out of me. I admire your courage to stand by her all this time, and it's only natural to question your capacity and tolerance as a human being. Do try to get all the help you need for yourself as well.

My mother was paranoid and abusive. She compounded it with being a drug addict and alcoholic. I got lucky though and she died when I was 12. The thing about my mother though, a lot of times her "paranoia" was actually correct. Nobody would believe her which made her stress out and then the super delusions would start.



Then there was me. I had hallucinations, horrible mood swings, could fly, time travel..many many things. I also had 3 daughters. I could'nt hold down a relationship to save my butt. I was diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses throughout my life. It turned out, that I was not mentally ill. I have temporal lobe epilepsy. My girls went through hell because while I was mistakenly diagnosed, they had me on psych meds of various kinds that made me worse ( because I did'nt need them ).



I found out that even though my mother was mentally ill, she actually had a good reason to be paranoid even though she sometimes could'nt state the reality of her paranoia in a way we could understand. When she could, the parties involved would deny it. I feel bad for thinking it was BS. No, not all of her paranoia was real, but a good part of it was and that led to her making connections that were unreal particularily when she was not believed about the real stuff. Then the unbelievers became a part of the conspiracy.



My girls found out that not all crazy people are actually crazy. Unfortunately it took so long to be accurately diagnosed, they had to live through me on psych meds for many years. It's funny I feel guilty about that...I should have been able to figure it out my self. I should have researched my intitial symptoms more but by then they had blended with all the unneccesary meds symptoms and it was confusing. I do now have a good relationship with my girls.



I hated my mother. I hated her for things that were beyond her control. I still ..and I am 45 now, cannot have a picture of her anywhere near me even though logically I know it was not her fault. There was a lot of abuse toward me.I am angry at the people who spurred her paranoia deeper by not admitting to things they had done. I am angry at her for drinking when it just made her mental condition worse. There are many emotions involved.



For YOU though, if your mom is going to be hospitalized the rest of her life, I'd have a lawyer divy up the remaining bills equally between all the siblings. Pay 5 bucks a months, ayh it might never be paid but so what ? Technically you are not responsible for her bills at all.



If she will not be hospitalized the rest of her life, everyone should pitch in ( if your siblings don't care, force them to care legally ) and get her into home of some kind.



If these two options are beyond you and you really do need to simply put an end to it..then do so. Your mental health is important too. Change your phone number so she can't call you anymore and breathe for awhile. TAKE A BREAK.



If you do decide to keep talking with her, the best thing to do is not to try and talk her out of her delusions. View it as a good story and participate in that story. Instead of attacking her delusions approach it from this angle " wow...you might be right, I never thought of that..but what if....( and give her a possible alternative explanation ) If she accepts it great, if not, let it be ok with with you and simply give her her delusion. She will think about the alternate thing you said even if she does not acknowledge it right away. I've actually used this method on schitzophrenics. It works well if you are careful not to sound condescending while you are doing it. The words "maybe you are right" will get you farther with a schitz than anything else you can say to them. Once they feel you are listening to them and they can trust you, many of the schitz symptoms and anger toward you will disappear and you can have some somewhat normal conversations. ( I studied this after my mother died and worked with some mental health patients in college ) You say you listen to books on tape, consider your mom a giant fiction book on tape that you can be a part of. One of the schitz guys I worked with had the most incredible beliefs in his alternate worlds. I actually enjoyed listening to his paranoid delusions and asking him detailed questions about his worlds.



But again, don't feel guilty if you need to cast all the responsibility aside. You need to live your life too. Your own mental health is at stake as well. Drop your mom a card now and again, change your phone number, BREATHE. The only thing I'd ask is...try to forgive her because it's not her fault. I've forgiven my mother. I still can't look at her picture without feeling fear...but I do know it was not her fault. Just brain chemicals and brain matter.



No matter what you decide to do...before you do it, make sure her doctors regularly check her for diabetes and hypoglycemia. if she develops sugar problems in the hospital and they don't catch it, it will seem like her schitz is getting worse. That was also one of my mother's problems and nobody caught it until right before she died. make them do a 3 month fasting test to be sure.