Hello. I’m new here and could use some advice please.
I’m an only child with 1 parent, I’m single and in my 30’s. My mum is 70. She has been ill since before I was born and suffered multiple illnesses such as cancer, my father was violent to us both, they finally divorced when I was around 11 and I haven’t seen him since. Then my mum got very ill with cancer again, she recovered but was left with multiple disabilities (organ related) then my nan died, and then after a number of years my grandad died.
My mum has clearly got severe mental health issues but I’m not sure if it’s because of the above, as I have recently found out she’s been the same since she was a child. She point blank refuses to even admit to her GP she has any mental health problems and puts on an act around her friends, to her family and to all doctors. So i have no idea what they are but my therapist says she thinks hoarding disorder, depression and some sort of personality disorder (not that she is trying to diagnose her, just to help me with some sort of explanation really).
She is rude, manipulative, controlling and downright awful to me and always has been, she has no empathy and no feelings aside from if she is angry or crying. She will say ‘Happy Birthday darling’ or ‘I love you’ in the same voice a police officer would tell you that your child had been run over. There is no connection or emotion/feeling. Everything I do is wrong. You buy her a gift - she hates it, she asks for a sandwich - you get her what she wants - she hates it, she wants a mcdonalds and you take 5 minutes to bring it home and it’s still warm - it’s freezing and she hates it. To the point I even have to rotate the same 3 outfits whenever I visit her as she will say is that new, what is that, and try and pick apart something I have on and my appearance whilst I have to calmly say they are old clothes, well I appreciate your comment about the size of my arse but I’m a size 8 so I think I’ll be fine etc.
She doesn’t act like she likes me or cares at all. I was very depressed due to her treatment of me when I lived with her as a teenager for example and she couldn’t have cared less. I mentioned this to her as an adult and she said ‘oh you weren’t that bad’). I was literally s*icidal and underage drinking by myself at night to numb my feelings of despair so I could even sleep. I also found out that there is a family history of mental illness (OCD) about 10 years after my mental health problems started. Might have been helpful information at the time.
She describes herself as fun loving and happy and caring with a good sense of humour. So the self awareness is …totally non existent.
During the pandemic and her shielding I have realised just how odd she behaves, as I have had to see her more than usual, I used to avoid her as much as possible, as you would when someone is really nasty to you but now she can’t see anyone else I of course have been helping her where she lets me. Her health has deteriorated due to not eating or drinking water with all the medications she has to take and she has had several accidents in this time, each time refusing or becoming hysterical if i try and get an ambulance or try to get her to go to a dr or the hospital. For one period during the pandemic she was so dehydrated she hallucinated an entire argument we had and wouldn’t speak to me for two months. She then finally spoke to me rambling about this argument texts she thought we had and I was just saying, scroll up through your messages, this didn’t happen? And so she finally believed it didn’t happen. Now if I mention that occurrence to her she tells me she has no idea what I am talking about.
The time she fell and banged her head I found her laying in her hallway, I believe she had concussion. But she would not let me call an ambulance and started flailing around and becoming hysterical. I just didn’t know what to do, I knew the right thing was to go to hospital but she just wouldn’t let me take her or get an ambulance.
She will only go to see her consultant in London, not her local GP, which i am not allowed to go to during covid but i was never allowed aside from once to go with her, and then she wouldn’t let me into the room with her anyway. She has recently let me look at her medical paperwork from the doctor, confirming that either she has no idea what the letters have been saying or she had been lying to me and everyone else for years as she has all manner of things wrong with her she never mentioned.
She is a hoarder, the hoarded things are clean and in neat piles, but there are piles literally everywhere, in the hallway and in all rooms aside from the bathroom. I go and clean when I can but it’s hard to clean much if you can barely move around a room. She has a tantrum if I try and move anything or touch it even, let alone throw it away, she will have a rant at me for example if I throw away a plastic pot lid or a jar, assuming it is rubbish. I went through the paperwork that age uk sent me about safeguarding and she has mostly things from Level 2 and some from Level 3 as to the state of her home, but the clutter pictures don’t really help as their pictures look like mountains of random stuff whereas hers are in boxes and bags and tidily stacked, they are just literally stacked everywhere in some cases almost floor to ceiling, door to window.
She has some siblings but has always kept them away from me and me from them, I thought they hated me and was always baffled why they never visited, invited us for xmas etc. Finally I got one’s number from her address book when she was in another room and spoke to one during lockdown and we worked out she had been lying to me about them and vis versa for my whole life. They hadn’t even been told of my father’s domestic abuse and they had been inviting us places and asking about me, my mum had told them not to visit, that I didn’t want to visit for xmas, that i didn’t want them to phone me etc. Now I don’t know if my beloved grandparents even knew
I let her borrow my iphone and she recently got her own and gave mine back not knowing she left all her stuff on the phone so I could see her texts etc. I felt bad doing it but i had a look at her messages to try and work out what was going on and she appears to pretend she is basically fine to her friends. She never mentions anything to anyone it’s all just ‘how are you’ ‘I’m fine thanks just watching tv’ type of stuff.
She clearly never talks in depth to anyone about anything and I basically know nothing about her ie I know she likes to watch certain tv shows, and certain sport. I couldn’t tell you much else about her, she will only talk about surface things like the weather, the neighbours, some random gossip. I also have no idea about her finances, her wishes or anything. For example i have tried to say to her her house isn’t safe and I am scared she will hurt herself due to it. She just will say ‘ok’. And that’s that. I ask can we go through this and get rid of some mess or pls promise not to use a candle and she says OK but not today. The next day will be the same answer. She randomly lopped off a load of her hair the other day when I wasn’t there, and when I asked wtf had happened she said it was wonky due to her bad haircut last year? I mean…she didn’t have a haircut last year, not that that would have made any sense anyway.
If I ask her anything she tries to blame someone else, tries to change the subject, start an argument or will completely blank me. It was the anniversary of my nan’s death recently and she got upset, but when I tried to be nice and say what do you miss about nan she just said oh everything i don’t know. So you can’t ask anything more.
Her siblings don’t want to come and visit her, they just say well we will ask her after covid but she will say no. Well of course she will, but could they not offer for me just once to pop round just once in like 10 years. They say now oh we love you and call us to chat any time. But I don’t need to speak to them for moral support. I really need actual support. Even if it was just once that they came. At the very least they could help by being a witness to me to see the state of her and how she is living and can corroborate the fact that I am trying my best and trying to help her surely?
I need to find some way for either someone to get through to her, to get her to see her gp, or to get her to agree to the social services to speak with her as I get nowhere. At the very least they could help by being a witness to me to see the state of her and how she is living and can corroborate the fact that I am trying my best and trying to help her. She has also told my aunt that ‘I don’t love her’. Charming. I’m the only one who’s bothered to see her since 2019!
I have tried her GP who told me it’s sad but he can’t do anything if she won’t come and see him. They keep sending her test requests and blood test requests so she’d have to go and have an appt where they could see about her mental health but she just ignores them. i’ve tried to contact social services but so far nobody’s got back to me. it just goes to a voicemail and i leave a message and then nothing.
I am just wondering what I can do really? I look after her as much as i can which isn’t much as she hates me doing anything or touching all her hoarding and she’s so rude to me while I am there. i worry constantly about her falling or there being a fire and me being arrested for neglect. That’s what I’m really worried about, that I will get penalised for her self neglect and refusing my assistance, or, with her history of lying, that she will tell them I am abusive. She often calls me aggressive for simply telling her she needs to please eat or have some water! I am always ‘nagging’ by asking her what she plans to have for dinner. I think she just makes it up a lot of the time as she will pretend to have made x y or z but then i go round and there’s no packaging in the bin and barely any washing up. I only ever find crisp wrappers or toast crusts.
To confirm though I have never been angry and aggressive to her or even raised my voice unless to tell her to stop calling me names. In fact I often pull over the car and have a panic attack on the way home after all the stress of being near her. I have always been meek and mild and am told to be more confident and forthright by everyone else so her assessment of me is so wrong.
I have written accounts of the state of things and dates and copies of the contact i’ve had with age uk, calls to social services and the gp and photos of all of her hoarding. I have records of the times I’ve tried to get service people to go to her house, she drove two away by acting bonkers when they turned up, racist when another turned up and the last literally blocked my phone number as she was so rude to him when he came to do a quote. I do not know if this would be enough for anyone official to see that I have tried my best if something did happen to her though?
If anyone has any idea of who else I can contact as well as keep calling the local social services or what else i can document to keep myself safe from being blamed in the meantime I would be ever so grateful. Thank you x