Mental health going down the drain. I can't support both of us psychologically

I am very stressed at the moment. I feel like I’m balancing about ten things at once and not succeeding on any of them. The thing that is getting to me most of all is when my mother refuses to engage with other means of support beside myself, making all sorts of excuses. I went to great mental efforts to get her some therapy on the NHS and she has not put in any effort at all to work with the therapist, instead actually causing a huge amount of confusion and more stress for me and the therapist. Neither of us know what she wants, face-to-face, remote, both a flurry of excuses and problems. I wanted her to have someone else to talk to to work on her own problems, her confidence, her social needs. Instead she is putting more and more on me and pushing any friends she does have away. I am fighting constantly to get her to stay in touch with her old contacts, but it’s excuse after excuse. A friend came to town the other day, no reason why she couldn’t have met up with her for coffee, strengthen a failing friendship, but no. I have made it clear to her I can not and will not be her only social contact in the future, I can’t do it, my own life is a disaster.

Hi, sounds like youre very stressed. My Mum is a bit like that too, only wants me. I don’t really have any advice. Others more knowledge may have advice.

My Mum has been complaining for years that she’s bored, yet any hobby or activity suggested, she says no. She was referred to a day centre and went once and of course didn’t like it so didn’t go back. She’s had a bit of phone counselling but didn’t stick with it. The counsellor gave her little tasks to do, but Mum didn’t.

Now that I’m working full time, she complains to me that she’s lonely and bored. What does she want me to do about it, when everything anyone suggests to her is turned down. I feel like she’d rather I was sitting in tbe house with her all day to keep her company.

Times if I’m upstairs, to get a wee break or do some housework upstairs, she complains that she’s on her own and I ‘must be upstairs because I can’t stand her’
She says its ok for me, I get out to work.
Well, it is called work, its not a hobby

I am struggling and worn down with the whole ‘caring’ thing myself so sorry if I’m being negative. Its really difficult

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@SimonA I hear you, and I understand your stress
I just reread your post from 19 days ago Just had a conversation with my mum about her health, not how I wanted it to happen

If you’re comfortable, could you share a little more so that we could offer some thoughts or advice? OR Feel free to tell us that you’d prefer to just vent everything here - that’s another way we can help, just by reading-listening.

It seems like things have become much worse over the last 2 weeks.
Is your Mum diagnosed with a condition?
Is there anything in my previous message or other messages that helped you?
Could share more myself or other readers can share thoughts

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Hi Shelly. I’m so sorry, that sounds very similar. I can empathise, I don’t have any answers either. For me it is the mental toll, and feeling like the “bad guy”. I’m gently pushing to keep her active and involved socially but recently I’ve been saying it’s up to her, I can’t do it any more. I fear what happens when her few friends stop making the effort. I fear it’s one of those situations where we may be better off apart, but I don’t know if I’m making the wrong choices, I have no one to advise me.

Hi Victoria. I keep meaning to go back over the previous post, but I’m barely managing and prioritising time on my OU studies when I can. But this is affecting me so much it’s also affecting that, so I need to deal with things.
I don’t know really, many situations, but mostly she just isn’t helping herself any more. She is not helping me by making life harder, little things, but they all add up. She confuses everyone, it’s like a twisted nightmare when she’s on the phone with the GP, they must dread her calls. Her NHS therapist I’m pretty sure had had enough of her indecisiveness. I ask her what she wants and she never gives me a straight answer, always beats around the bushes, lets other people make the choice for her. This is incredibly annoying when I’m trying to support her and I don’t know what she really wants/needs. I’ve been pulling my hair out lately, she has sometimes been making no sense at all and we go in circles in conversations, that I just have to end it.

Yes i understand feeling like the bad guy. I get it from my Mum when im trying to help. And I get it from relatives, that I’m not doing enough. Even though realistically I know I am, I’m only human and I’m doing my best. But I’m sure many of us on here know how much relatives like to say, you should be doing … But not doing much themselves to help. Even ones who mean well, they don’t ask what would help, but go on doing what they think, and sometimes this adds to the stress, but you can’t say anything or theyd get upset.

Its hard caring for a parent too, because they probably still see us as little children who shouldn’t be telling them what to do - even if its for their own good. It changes the dynamic, the roles are reversed. At least thats how it seems for my situation. My mum says she wants to be in control, doesn’t want to be told what to do like a little child.

Hi @SimonA I hear you, you’re not getting anywhere, despite all your efforts, and she’s confused and you’re totally burnt out and it’s SO frustrating when you do all that and then you’re still told you’re not doing enough or the right thing
and @Shelly1 yessss we’ve all experienced that ‘care-splaining’ -

(I cared for my Dad through to his passing, he had vascular dementia, heart failure, bladder cancer and mobility issues due to rheumatoid arthritis. I care for Mum now.)

Your guilt or feeling bad or being led to feel your bad - it’s things we’ve each experienced and it’s real and you’re not alone. Each of our situations is unique in some ways but SO similar in others.

@SimonA How old’s your Mum? She’s been diagnosed with a condition?
It sounds like POSSIBLY??? there’s something going on beyond ‘being difficult’ - if she’s being even more than usual difficult…Dad got scared a lot and so he got really cantankerous and difficult and had weird behaviour episodes
I’d like to ask @Charlesh47 and @bowlingbun - who are MUCH more experienced than me about how to ask medical services to check on your Mum if you’re worried…I think I read in a post that it’s possible to raise concerns?!?
Sorry if you’re already done this, I’m thinking not about a therapist but about having a memory check or a GP assessment consult to see if something is underlying her behavior??!!

When we’re burnt out we do the doing and get worse…I’m wondering if some sort of intervention is possible for either of you @SimonA …and

@Shelly1 how are things since Oct 2022? Are you still able to have GP counselling?

HUGS and big empathy support!

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Struggling newbie Shelly

Hi Simon A, I know what you are going through, been in the same boat as everyone else. The therapist has not thrown the towel in yet, it is going to take time and I know it draining. You need to see someone, not just to speak to a councillor but also to get some respite but also tell your GP what is going on with your life, as they can help you in some ways.
Worst thing to happen to you would be you would not feel well and hit the wall, I have been there my self a few times and it not great .
I know that it not easy to step back but you need some space and help.