I am new on here but feel the need to reach out.
It’s difficult to say how long I have been caring for my mother to be honest. I think at the least it has been 10 years but perhaps we are looking at it being more like 20.
She has had mental health issues I suspect for all of my life but they can be pin pointed as stopping her being able to live an every day life in about 2004. There was a 6 year gap after then where I didn’t have a clue what was going on with her and there was a lot of turmoil.
I lived in England at this time and her in Scotland. In 2010 she called me telling me she wasn’t crazy but that they were going to come and lock her away. I drove straight up there and brought her back down to stay with me. It turns out that on this occasion the police had become involved with her behaviour and indeed and made moves to section her. I brought her to live with me in England at this stage so I could monitor her and try to work out what was going on.
I lived with her for 6 months during which period she was pretty much fine. At this point (being 29) I thought it was time for me to try and live my life a bit again. I moved out of my house and let her live there. I moved 10 ten minutes away and rented a place so I could be nearby. It took 4 months for the mental health issues to come back and so at this point I was able to start defining the issues that she was having from all the monitoring etc I had been doing. It took about 6 months of doctors visits etc before anyone would start investigation the issue and eventually I had to drive to A&E one day and tell them I was refusing to leave until my mum saw a psychologist. This did actually work and led us in the right direction.
Fast forward to 2019 and we go regularly to see a psychiatrist together. Mum takes a blend of anti anxiety meds alongside anti psychotics which have been effective up until the last couple of months. I started to see her take a mental dip again and after discussion with my partner we both agreed that it would be best if she was to just live with us as the mental dips don’t take place when she lives with me basically.
We’re just at the stage of making the space for her to move in currently. I’ve always felt like I can get my head round everything that is happening but just recently I have been really struggling with it. Part of this is because my mum sees herself as a totally independent person that doesn’t rely on me in any way.
This is a struggle on many levels for me as she also has severe COPD and cannot walk without oxygen now so relies on me a lot to live her daily life. I think the thing that is causing me the biggest issue really is the denial from her that I have done what I have been doing for the past 15 years. At times she can be quite nasty and selfish and I have had to take up mindfulness and focus on staying in the ‘now’ to be able to deal with her behaviour.
I have a sister who doesn’t talk to either me or my mother and at times that can annoy me if I’m honest. I feel a bit like she has conveniently washed her hands of the situation although she clearly knows what Is going on and what she is leaving me to deal with.
As I was saying earlier, normally I am able to rationalise everything and carry on but just recently it’s all been a bit of a struggle. A few weeks ago I contacted my LA about getting a carers assessment. That was a total mistake and caused a lot of stress. I asked them not to contact my mother and of course they did. She went into melt down and it took several days before she came out the other side of it. I ended up cancelling the request as the local authority made it clear that all they would be prepared to do was take mum away for a bit to give me a break. Really, that is not what I needed - I just needed advice and guidance on how to continue with her.
At any rate, it feels good just to get this all out! I’ve not really ever spoken anyone about all of this. I know my family in Scotland are in denial about my mothers health and so feel they judge me for having brought her down here. Honestly, if it wasn’t for mindfulness right now I don’t know where I would be!
If you’re still reading, then thank you so much for keeping with me on this!
Have a lovely weekend all