My mum is in her late 60s she suffers with severe physical disability and complex mental health issues. I have lived with this since I was five years old in and out of hospital with her as her mood swings and behaviours were at times uncontrollable she was a danger to herself. I am now 32 my dad was her main carer until he passed away around 11 years ago. Since then my mum lives on her own and still suffers. I am an only child and she rings me constantly sometimes two three times a day, I see her twice three times a week but this feels more like a chore and i leave feeling absolutely drained because she will just talk at a hundred miles an hour and not make any sense. Following a recent hospital admission I had her staying with me and it was utter chaos she was up all hours of the night and reverted back to almost being a child. She sat on the sofa and demanded constantly. She is also a hoarder and her house is cluttered with all sorts of teddies etc. She is constantly admitting herself into a and e for various injuries that she has imagined … the last time she phoned an ambulance saying she was having a stroke. I have tried social services. They say she has low level needs she will not get carers and cleaners and other services only last a matter of weeks before she gets rid. Mental health wont help because she is not accepting she is mentally ill I cant cope and feel anxious and stressed all the time and have major headaches on top of this I am in a third year degree on a full time placement in childrens social care. The thought of giving everything up to care for her … it sounds extreme but I would rather be dead but her health is so bad I dont feel she is safe to be alone anymore Most times I dont like being around her and i just want a mum and the guilt that then follows is just making me feel even more ill every day I feel anxious to the pit of my stomach waiting for another phone call to hear from the hospital about what has happened,

Welcome to the forum.

You are NOT going to give up your degree, you deserve to succeed, it can’t have been easy getting this far and you DESERVE a life of your own.

Mum has conditioned you all your life to make you feel responsible for her in various ways. Mine did this to me, but I was 60 when counselling helped me realise what was going on. In other ways I’d been very successful, despite having a son with learning difficulties, but still behaved as an obedient child with mum.

Counselling will help you manage mum’s demands. Nothing, sadly, will ever change her attention seeking behaviour, you will be forever frustrated and disappointed tat you can’t help her, until you accept this. My mum was also a hoarder, she had over 60 dining chairs, 10 dining tables, 10 sideboards…! It took me a whole year to empty it after she went into a nursing home.

DUMP the guilt, you are not the cause of mum’s mental illness. You have been denied a proper upbringing and a proper mother/daughter relationship.

TURN YOUR PHONE OFF. Then you can concentrate on your work and get some freedom. Yes, you CAN.

Have you ever thought that by propping mum up it’s stopping others accept how ill she is? Maybe if you step back, it will make them understand. If the house is hopelessly cluttered, that can be a fire risk or hazard. Social Services are responsible for vulnerable adults, and she certainly sounds like she comes into this category.

Can I ask a bit more about mum’s “severe physical disability”?

When did Social Services last complete a Needs Assessment for her, and a Carers Assessment for you?
By law, they MUST do these, ideally updated annually.
You and mum should both have a written copy of the completed assessment too.

Thank you for your reply. Social services have been and completed needs assessments, they have suggested that any care will need to organised and paid for by her own budget (she is in receipt of PIp at a higher rate). She has arthritis in pretty much every bone in her body, she can walk a little… a few steps but no great distance. She gets about on her mobility scooter. She was put on the waiting list for assisted living, it was a lovely apartment in a community with everything provided including 24 hour care if needed but still with the freedom to come and go. Trouble is she took herself of the waiting list after several months during one of her many mood swings saying she didn’t want to be in there.

When people see her they say things like ‘gosh she shouldn’t be on her own’ one lovely church going respected member of the community even said to me ’ your mum should be your priority you only get one mum’ I think everybody including medical and social services expect me to just get on and do it and when I’m not available to her, when I need a break, she will put herself in hospital as she knows then that I will have to do something and always go running

“I will always come running” is just what she wants, keeping you tied to her apron strings.

The only power she has over you is the power YOU LET HER HAVE. If you didn’t live so close, you coming running wouldn’t be an option, she would HAVE to manage.
There is a phrase on the forum I really don’t like, but I can’t come up with a better one. It’s “Elderly Toddler”. Doesn’t this describe mum? Stamping her foot,having tantrums when she doesn’t get her own way?

If she was offered a lovely flat and turned it down, that was HER choice, and she must live with the consequences. Ideally getting back on the list again, supported by Social Services.

Please get some counselling, specifically aimed at helping you manage mum’s expectations. It was life changing for me, but many years too late.

In future, it will help your career hugely, so think of it as an investment.

Hi Carol
You can start a form of counselling free by self referring yourself for CBT online.
Google your area and CBT and the contact details should come up. The first 6 or sessions will probably be offered on line where you type you answers real-time with a real human the other end. It’s nice and private, can be done at a time to suit you and no travel involved. When doing the Initial assessment don’t hold back, like with all other services there can be a queue and the one most in need are treated first.

With Mums long term mental issues it does sound as if you have been forced into the parent role from a very early age, and she is in the child role. There’s a school of thought that the best relationships are between 2 adults, so she needs to grow up a bit, and you relinquish the parent role a bit. However, be aware she is unlikely to change, but you can.

Good luck