Family again... (Thread will be shown to MH therapist so need some input please)

J

JasonR28

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#1
Family again... (Thread will be shown to MH therapist so need some input please)

Both family members (mother and grandmother) here are so backwards. They have had a very sheltered life and barely any life experience. Unfortunately they are both stubborn and 1 of them owns the house. They live in this fantasy world believing that they are never wrong and what they say goes.

Due to their lack of intelligence (I'm being serious here. 1 of them thinks that HD is worse than the older video quality, still uses a chequebook. The other doesn't have a clue about anything really) there are always disagreements. Not long back for example 1 of them thought the heat setting on our new shower is not to be changed. I explained that the heat setting is for a hotter shower in winter and colder showers in summer. Due to stubbornness and no compromise by them, I was told "I don't care, its about time you shut up and listened because no wonder you never get anywhere in life... You are not to change the heat setting!!!".

Over the years they have always criticised me in this way on a daily basis. So many incidents have happened.

What makes it worse is when I don't agree with them, they take this as me keeping on at them, will get very defensive and actually start insulting me. They seem to forget the way they spoke to me and simply blame that argument on me. When I have tried to resolve things after they are in complete denial that they said anything bad to me and it's just me causing them trouble.

Not surprisingly over the years this has caused me to become mentally unwell with the way in which i'm always criticised, treated like i'm stupid, worthless and it's always my fault. I developed social anxiety and depression purely because of this and i'm a very nervous person whenever I leave the house. It causes me problems out in the real world.

They have been made aware that I have a mental illness. I have written notes to them and sat them down to explain every detail about my health problems. Yet once again, their stubbornness takes over and there is no compromise or understanding anything that isn't already in their head.

They believe that a "mental illness" means someone is "insane". They think it means they can flip out at any moment and are unpredictable. Having a mental illness actually makes things worse with my family.

It adds fuel to the fire. Because I have been diagnosed as "mental" (In their opinion) and based on their opinion of a mental illness, they believe even more now that all the arguments were my fault because I am a "Maniac" (Yes I have been called that). When I was given citalopram they said "keep taking those as it will calm you down".

The criticism is even worse now...

They think i'm "insane" and incapable of doing anything. They think i'm not in my right mind so my opinion is never taken seriously. They agree with whatever I say just to shut me up and are even more dismissive than ever.

On 1 recent occasion I was saying about ways to change some things in this house to make it better all round. Yet they told me they don't want to know and when I carried on talking I was told to shut my mouth and stop keeping on at them. I got very upset by this, burst into tears and left the room. They then started talking about me behind my back and said "Just ignore him, he is nothing but trouble".

So now they are treating me like I have a psychotic mental illness and i'm not in my "right mind".

Can I just get some input based on this situation please? I will be showing this thread to my mental health therapist. What do you think needs to change? Who is in the wrong? Is it true that being treated in this way has caused me to develop SA and depression?

I already know what I think and I do have certain plans already in place, but I would like to know other peoples opinion so I can show the mental health therapist.

Thanks
 
J

JasonR28

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#2
My mother has parkinsons disease. I have been a carer for many years. I worked for over 7 years yet also had to care for 2 dying family members.

My uncle also had parkinsons who previously lived here. He went downhill from when I was just a child, so even then I had to care for him. I saw him go from an active man to someone wheelchair bound who didn't even know his own name. I used to have to change his incontinence pads when I was in my teens.

I put my own family's health before my own and even though I was treated and spoken to like dirt, I kept it to myself. My friends all vanished because I was not about as much as I wanted to be due to caring for family members. While I was sitting next to my uncle when he was on his death bed, they had all moved on with their lives. Thus I had nobody to actually support me through that time.

To make matters even worse. I have been told that theres a very high chance I will also be diagnosed with "early onset parkinsons disease" due to there being a genetic link in my family.

I have grown up before my time. I wasn't able to be a child, I had caring responsibilities. Had I not done that, family members would of had to live their lives in care homes. I didn't choose for them to be ill....

I don't pay for therapy. Because I am so poor (due to carers allowance paying just 1/3rd of the UK minimum wage per month) I get free therapy.

Yet that doesn't resolve the housing situation. I cannot afford rental on any property.

Thats why I made this post, hoping that I could get some clarification that my home situation can indeed cause things like depression and social anxiety so the mental health team I will be seeing can read this and have further evidence to write a letter to the council office and get me subsidised housing.
 
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Gajolene

Gajolene

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#3
I can understand it causing you depression and anxiety Jason, being a carer myself. I've always put that burden onto myself with my parents I did it for their last 15 years even though my mother was horrible to me throughout my life. I felt it was my duty, my responsibility, the right thing to do. I would get angry with my siblings as all of them moved away and on with their lives and left me holding the boat using excuses like "Well your the closest" "You've always been closest to dad" ect. ect. I did their driving to shops, in their last years, helping with gardening, any housework they couldn't handle, usually the heavy stuff like cleaning ovens, pulling out appliances and such. Driving to doctors and specialist appointments. Sometimes cooking and their social family support.

As long as my dad was alive there was a buffer of mental support, we could vent about my mother to each other and find humor in bad situations, his dying was a very long and slow process with me watching COPD litterally sap the life out of him over a 15 year period. It was a horrible death to watch.

The siblings showed up once a year for what they considered the family get togethers. During these times I would be critisized and told how much better I could do or the proverbial "what you should of done this with your life." and the "Well you did it to yourself" comments. There was always some sibling drama that would wreck the whole visit and I would be left with the aftermath of patching my parents together once they left and the depression as they trashed everything I had tried to do in my life and blamed the whole mess on me.

Once dad died mother was a holy terror to deal with solo. She had her church members she could call on for anything and a weekly homecare worker to visit. yet I was still the one she called and I had to be there several times a week regardless of what my life entailed raising three boys single and on services income. It got worse when her cancer spread and started causing her demetia. The woman verbally and emotionally abused me and neglected me her whole life and the cancer getting to her brain made it much worse. It was driving me to question my mental health, I was trying to develop relationships on my own and work aside from all this as well. I was dealing with depression and anxiety and my relationship crashing and burning with my spouse at the time.

In the end I couldn't take it anymore and walked away only 3 weeks before her death. The family was all quite shocked by it and really abusive towards me because of it. They had to get off their high horses and take time away from their far away lives to step in and take over unwillingly. I took it further with my rage at the injustice I felt from all the family neglect and abuse and refused to attend her funeral. I was the bitch then in their eye's. My mum's last gift to me was to sell my dad's car, the car I drove her everywhere in, to a complete stranger, which she knew, I sorely and desperately needed at the time. She was a cold greedy, bitter woman, with no natural love or compassion of any kind. She even had her friends put the dogs down so I wouldn't be able to take them in and care for them after she passed. There was nothing wrong with the dogs. They were 8 and 4 yrs old and in good health at the time.

But I had to do it for myself and for my mental health. What got me was the hypocracy of them pretending they all cared so much when they hadn't done shit for years and gladly stayed away. I had to start asking myself why in the first place I had put myself through all that with them. I told myself it's because I cared and it was my duty but in reality that care was not reciprocated. I was never given a leg up, loans to help me through, help with getting transportation of my own. They never watched my kids or really wanted anything to do with them. Made it quite clear they were fed up with kids and the fact I had boys and not girls like my sisters did was their excuse. They never paid schooling or took us in no matter how desperate a situation I was in. And I had been through really tramatic and life threatening situations for which I had absolutely no support.

Maybe I always held out hope that one day they would show the love and appreciation for all my efforts, I agonized and self blamed when that didn't happen, and thus would strive again to show my family devotion and duty all the more. To show myself deserving of the love I was denied. It was a spiral I had put myself in and like you didn't know how to get myself out of.

Now I am in the position of carer once again for my adult sons, I do it out of real love for my children, I show them I love them. It does put me into depression and the obstacles I face for my own progress at security as I go towards my 50's keeps me from accomplishing the things I always wanted to do for myself. My reasoning though for caring for them now is much different than it was for my parents. I don't do it because it is expected, or my duty. I have been told to walk away and "cut em loose" as one sibling put it. But their mental illness' havn't reached a point where they can live independantly without their quality of life going downhill and I don't want them to suffer with the loneliness and dispair of being ill with no support as I went through either. For them I have high hopes for recovery and one day having their own families. So that's my take on it anyway.

The therapists did help me identify why I did a lot of things I did when I simply could have walked away at anytime. I still have social anxiety, panick disorder and depression issues with additional PTSD symptoms but I do my best to cope and live with it while still being there to support my sons.

Don't know if that helps or not. Just my perspective on it I guess. You have to do what is right for you even if that means walking away when you feel obligated to stay in some way.
 
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SarahD

SarahD

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#4
I was a carer for twelve years. It is well known that carers often suffer more and worse physical and mental ill health, because of the nature of the caring role (always focused on the health, needs and problems of someone else), and because they usually suffer hardship/poverty, often have to bear worries and responsibilities alone, with little or no support, oh there is an endless list... Poor or interrupted sleep. The fact that it goes on day after day, week after week, month after month, year... Etc

I was lucky because I was looking after my mother and I was close to her. But it was still very hard. You usually are a carer for someone close, and it is hard when they suffer, or when the doctor thinks because you are looking after them they don't have to bother, so you end up with the full responsibility for someone's life. Any emergency any crisis any decision it is down to you. It was horrible when the NHS decided she'd lived long enough and killed her off.

After she died I started working through a long list of physical health problems I had neglected, while my mental health went into a tailspin.

Get whatever help you can Jason. You have been through a lot. Sometimes you can only do what you can do.
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

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#5
You are so right Sarah, the physical health deterioration alone is astounding. I have aged double to what my sisters have even though I am the youngest, my hairs going grey quickly, the skin is aged and worn, my teeth have suffered because I can't afford any dental work for myself. I have lung problems myself starting, work related injuries that really limit what I can do. Not being able to afford transportation really sucks too in a town with no busses and only really expensive taxi's. I've some sort of arthitis or fibromyalgia that keeps recurring, eye's failing rapidly I can't afford care for either. Services income being a carer is horrible here. Just general welfare same as any unemployed single person. I get my rent, 78 for utilities and only 200 a month roughly to survive on, a trip to the corner store is usually 30 a trip so you can imagine how long that lasts. That doesn't even touch the never ending worry and anxieties surrounding care or the traumatic experiences of hospitalizations on the family as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies from skipping meals to stretch money is definately taking it's toll. Especially with the food banks here changing rules about family members sharing a house. We aren't even eligible for that any more. Even a disability income would be double what I get currently. last year social services gave me just over $6000.00 to live on the whole year. I have yet to find any carer support at all. It just isn't there. No social support with friends either, no one want's to be friends with the crazy's at the end of the street.:BLAH:
Jason is right that these forums have been my only support going on 15 years now.:nod2:
 
SarahD

SarahD

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#6
Now I need another button again Gajolene, THANK and LIKE are inadequate, I need "know what you are going through" although I probably don't, you have done it longer with probably worse problems. I recognise the struggles and worries. It does have a big impact on your life, your health, everything. Financially trying to manage was a nightmare. Everything was difficult really. I was so focused on looking after my mother, even when I wasn't with her I was thinking and planning what she needed doing, it was a bit like living her life, mine had disappeared. Still glad I did it.

Wish I had found out about the forum sooner. It is a lifeline.
 
J

JasonR28

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#7
Thank you very much for the replies everyone. I know I touched on this before but now i'm moving in a new direction with help, I just like getting everything in 1 thread to refer back to and even show people who are helping me.

I'm sorry you had to go through that too Gajolene. Actually I can completely relate to what you say there.

My uncle was like your dad. My actual dad was never a part of my life so he treated me like his own. As he got worse my mother started showing symptoms for PD too and she certainly didn't handle it well. She had a breakdown and on numerous occasions would show symptoms of shaking, drop something and them take her anger out on everything (including me). Yet I felt so upset too because I saw the other side of things where she would be sitting down in extreme tears saying she wants to just die.

My uncle would always take me out of that situation while he was still mobile... Football games, town, the park. It was very hard seeing him on the decline and I remember when he was wheelchair bound and at the end of his life, barely unable to talk he muttered 2 words to me.... "Sorry mate".... because he knew his time was up and he was sorry that he had got to that stage and was unable to be a friend to me anymore.

Then it was just me, my mother and grandmother.

Certainly we can question why we stuck it for so long but for me anyway it can partly be guilt. 2 of the main reasons though can be that I see the other side of things, I see her in tears, the emotions, the weakness. Also I have lived with the hope that things will change... that 1 day she understand me and things will be different. Sadly I realise that this will never be the case now and she will only get worse.

My grandmother plays a massive part in the downfall of this house. She lives here, owns the house and ever since my uncle died has decided she has to take control of everything. Already when I was a child I was criticised and accused of things I haven't done. However since she "took control" things have become so much worse.

She really isn't intelligent at all and has no common sense. She has old paperwork and newspapers in the front room and when someone is due here she will put them all in a carrier bag, hide them in her room and when they have gone will take the bag back downstairs. She puts food waste down the sink and complains when it gets blocked. She slings carrier bags of shopping on the kitchen floor and leaves them there because the cupboards are filled with out of date stuff and there's no room. Rather than do things that makes life easier for everyone long term she will do the easiest option short term.

This is where the arguments started years ago... because I am sick of living in a dump. I help with sorting all this out and it goes back to old ways right after which is disheartening. When I make suggestions or plans to help she dismisses me. This is because she has "taken control", she believes it's her house, her rules and that she is always right.

When I didn't agree with her she took what I said as being negative towards her and making helpful suggestions was me keeping on at her. Slowly she built up that false opinion that I am trouble. It was purely on the basis that I didn't agree with her or do everything the way she says to do it.

She took over everything with my mothers care and when I was offering to help I was shut out. Doing it all on her own is a struggle and some days she would flip out at my mum. This has been both verbally and sometimes violently. When I defended my mum by shouting at my grandmother to stop, my grandmother took that once again as me being horrible towards her and built up more negative thoughts about me.

My mother would never appreciate this either. She believes she needs my grandmother too much to help with her care and so they make up 10 minutes later but would both be negative towards me. My grandmother would tell her that i'm angry, nasty and all sorts of other things which she would believe.

When I tried to explain to them that because of all this I have developed social anxiety and depression they were in denial that they actually caused it. They heard the words "mental health" and jumped to the conclusion that I am some knife wielding maniac who could kill them at any time. To them it just gave them confirmation that i'm "insane" so all arguments and disagreements that have happened were always my fault.

They now always talk negatively about me behind my back and both have a negative opinion of me. They think that due to having a "mental health" problem, I am off my head and as my grandmother told my mum earlier... "Just do what I do and agree with whatever he says, don't say anything back to him and he will soon shut up and go back to his room". If I ask them about this negativity I have heard, they deny saying anything and call me a liar.

My mother is now at a point where thinking any differently of me is too late. She tells social workers that I am "trouble" and it's sad that she will die in a few years thinking her son is nothing but a lazy maniac who had made their life hell. When the reality of it is different. My girlfriend sees that I am nothing like that and her family who have known me for a while think i'm a friendly and polite guy who makes their daughter happier than she has ever been. (That is 1 person in my life but she doesn't live in the same town and I can't burden her with everything)

That's how i'm at this point now. Knowing I need to move out and get on with working on my own life.

The problem has been that being a carer means minimal money so I can't afford to rent anywhere and as I put in the other post here, my only option is to get subsidised council housing.

The waiting list is long though and while I do have reasons why I should be made more of a priority, I have had problems proving this for years.

People who see the situation think its some kind, friendly old lady looking after her sweet, ill daughter. So when I have told people how I am treated, they just ignore me.

I have spent a year gathering evidence of this though. I have handed this in to GP's, mental health workers and the council housing offices. Now I guess I made this post to hear others opinions who are/were in my situation. Just so show therapists who can also understand and write a letter to get me a new home even quicker.


It's very sad that tomorrow is mothers day. Yet I have a mother who thinks so badly of me that I haven't even bothered to get her a card.
 

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