My Mom Is Bi-polar & Homeless By Choice

I'm 26 years old and spent most of life in foster care starting at the ripe old age of 4. My mother fought the court system to get me back but lives as a hoarder. As a result when she did have custody of me we slept on a twin size mattress on our kitchen floor with roaches crawling all over us and her beating me everytime I squirmed. I could write an encyclopedia long list detailing her other abuses ranging from verbal abust to choking me until I blacked out in my middle school principal's office.

While I was raised by an amazing foster mom, my mother always managed to secure a job at my school. (Thanks DC Public Schools for doing that background check on substitute teachers.) In 8th grade, I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to boarding school 2 hours away and then later attended college 8 hours away. During that time I maintained minimal contact, enduring her Hell only during the Holidays.

My biological half brother (betther known as my mother's son), 18 years my senior, is an alcoholic who has done time for domestic violence and needless to say has never bothered to forge a relationship with me. He has even told me that he hopes I die. (Way to be a big bro) He has always tried to guilt me into having a relationship with "our mother" and taking care of her. I complied in small ways by visiting ocassionally and giving her a cell phone that she has lost 3 times.

After my mother's hoarding caused her to be evicted for the 7th time in 10 years she chose not to seek public and instead decided to sleep in a park. Dead beat bro needed someone to watch his dogs & cat (because he can take care of them but has only seen his 19 y/o twice her entire life) and thus invited my mother to move into his slither of an apartment above a garage. I get her there after sweat, blood, tears and roach infested bags she demanded I allow her to take from her storage unit. I stock the fridge and buy her supplies all the while Dead Beat Bro sneaks things into the cart for himself. Deadbeat texts me 2 days later saying that I need to come get her.

I can't balance graduate school & a full time job, with taking care of a woman who did nothing for me. Yet, I don't know what choices I have. Two years of therapy & she's still ruining my life.
TashTash TashTash
4 Responses Sep 26, 2012

<p>My heart goes out to you. I understand the guilt you feel. I paid my mom's motel bill this weekend, all the cash I could gather up. It was that, or bring her home with me, which my husband, thank God for him, told me "NO!"</P><br />
<p>It's hard for me, because in her way she did try to be a mom, but over the years, she has admitted, that she has never viewed me as a daughter, more like an older sister! </P><br />
<p>I am 59, she is 74, there is no way she is going to change, and now I finally put myself in therapy, and Alanon, and am taking many different wonderful essential oils (instead of anti-depressant medication and medication for ADHD).</P><br />
<p>You will find your way too - just be strong, and try not to answer the phone when your Dead Beat Bro calls or your birth mother calls. Giving birth to a child, does not give a woman control over that child's life forever. It means loving, nurturing and letting go.</P><br />
<p>Now, it's time for you to find yourself and make your life out of all the hard work that you have done. </P><br />
<p>God Bless!</P>

I am 25, married, and have my second child on the way. My father passed away in May and my mother is on the fast track to homelessnes....(bipolar my whole life, alcoholic before she met my step-father(amazing man)). If it wasn't for my step-dad who took care of her for 15 years I have no idea where I would be. I was lucky and its been a harsh reality since his death. She spends all her money $100's a day (life insurance money) hasn't worked since he died and now is diagnosed with MS. It's a grim future. I've been in therapy for years as well. I moved her in with my husband and I for 2 long hell months. Please stay away from your mother and brother. Every time I feel guilty which is very often I ask myself "Who is going to take care of me if I fail? Its all up to me now. It is the hardest thing you will ever do but pray every night for the strength to not give in. It's not easy. Keep going to therapy you will get stronger and you will not be judged for your decision, especially by those who have personally experienced the same tragic childhood. (My mom would drink and drive with my brother and I in the car spend all day at a forest preserve in the car, then drive home escorted by a cop as I hid her bottle under my seat 4 y.o.). I over came my tragic childhood thanks to my very amazing step-father and you never have to second guess yourself. I am successful and happy with my family.

You're not obligated to take care of her or even talk to her (or your brother). You have to keep yourself in good, healthy relationships. It sounds like you've already been through enough and deserve to focus on yourself for awhile. Good for you for achieving all that you have!

Interesting, my mother is also a hoarder. I wonder if there is some kind of correlation between bi-polar disorder and hoarding. That being said, I'm extremely sorry for what you've had to endure. I've had to endure hell as well, but 1) mine is over and (2) I've always had my siblings. I can't imagine going through that kind of neglect and abuse by myself. I could write things like, "birthing a child doesn't make you a mother," but you already know that. My advice would be to drop the dead weight, but then again, the only reason I'd say that is because it worked for me. You can't change her, but she can change herself if she desires. That statement is true for everyone. ba<x>sed off the fact that you have accomplished so much (scholarship to boarding school, working towards a graduate degree), I say this, and sternly, that you are victor and champion in a one-sided fight, and you should be applauded and appreciated rather than being drained by genetics and blood. I'm sorry that my response wasn't as supportive as yours, but reading what your brother has done pissed me off. :) A quote for you, "Fighting for peace is like ******* for virginity." -George Carlin. Acting mother is not your role to play, my love. But once again, you already know that.