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Old 05-16-2016, 04:58 AM
 
3,735 posts, read 9,552,725 times
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Oh, so exhausting for you. Side note: Make sure your brother has all your support. I am not sure he needs to be around the craziness for 2 weeks.

My mom and dad had a somewhat milder form of dysfunction. Mom gave over her whole life and mind to my dad. He had to make all the decisions and it was always only what he wanted to do, when and how. If he did not see a problem, like broken stove, she would not mention it and/or get it fixed. They were that way for over 60 years.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,181 posts, read 35,687,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
Oh, so exhausting for you. Side note: Make sure your brother has all your support. I am not sure he needs to be around the craziness for 2 weeks.

My mom and dad had a somewhat milder form of dysfunction. Mom gave over her whole life and mind to my dad. He had to make all the decisions and it was always only what he wanted to do, when and how. If he did not see a problem, like broken stove, she would not mention it and/or get it fixed. They were that way for over 60 years.
Oh my. People can really get in some relationship ruts and then they can't see the reality of it from inside it.

I am definitely going to keep close tabs on my brother and give him the opportunity to "escape" over here if he needs a break. We're having lunch together today.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Texas
1,145 posts, read 1,898,912 times
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[quote=KathrynAragon;44071139]...
My brother - her perpetual favorite, darling, precious 44 year old, 6'5" and 320 pound boy who is also seriously mentally ill (but whose mental illness is under very good control due to his adherence to a good program of meds and therapy) is coming today for a visit of about two weeks. She was nearly beside herself with antsy anticipation at lunch today, bolting down her food and tapping her feet, ready to get home get home get home get home because he was going to be arriving by about 3 or 3:30 at the earliest (we left the restaurant before 12 noon).
...quote]

Sounds like she put on quite the little show for you. It was probably purely for you and designed to get under your skin, similar to the sticky notes in your books. If you had responded with something like, "Oh Mother, I'm so excited about his visit too. I can't wait for just the two of us to spend some quality time alone together and chat about what's been going on." The "show" would have probably come to a screamin' halt, and she would have begun scheming on her next master manipulation, probably how to keep you two apart.

Dealing with someone like that can't be easy. I hope things get better for everyone involved. Your dad sounds pretty overwhelmed too. Maybe your brother's visit will occupy your mother and give your dad some relief.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
And there's no way I can fix it. I'm coming to the realization that I can't save them from themselves.
Very true....but even as a person comes to realize that, it's still hard to stop trying. I've seen it with my mother and her mother and now my husband and his mother.

You will find your balance, just keep breathing deeply and praying.
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Old 05-16-2016, 03:09 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
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kathryn I'm sorry you are going through this. I have a family member who takes Megace to help with an unspecified eating disorder. When his weight went below 100 lb they put him on it to help him tolerate his food and it has helped immensely, he's gained 30 -40lb over the last year and is doing much better. Might be worth talking to her doctor about, just a thought.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,181 posts, read 35,687,076 times
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Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
kathryn I'm sorry you are going through this. I have a family member who takes Megace to help with an unspecified eating disorder. When his weight went below 100 lb they put him on it to help him tolerate his food and it has helped immensely, he's gained 30 -40lb over the last year and is doing much better. Might be worth talking to her doctor about, just a thought.
Thank you, that's very good to know!
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:25 AM
 
3,758 posts, read 10,571,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
kathryn I'm sorry you are going through this. I have a family member who takes Megace to help with an unspecified eating disorder. When his weight went below 100 lb they put him on it to help him tolerate his food and it has helped immensely, he's gained 30 -40lb over the last year and is doing much better. Might be worth talking to her doctor about, just a thought.
My dad was on that briefly. It's an appetite stimulant. Didn't do a whole lot for my dad, but at the time his reasons for lack of appetite were known/explainable. (Morphine is an appetite suppressant, at least at high enough levels to be effective for serious pain control). Once those issues were controlled (He was no longer on morphine) and dad was on his way to what would be his recovery, his appetite (an appropriate level of appetitie, given his lack of physical activity) recovered.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:52 AM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,012,910 times
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Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Well, my mother is home from Behavioral Health and I saw her for the first time today. She has gained four pounds and seemed to eat fairly well at lunch. Hopefully the Seraquel has upped her appetite. It seems to be working well. She was pretty pleasant.

My brother - her perpetual favorite, darling, precious 44 year old, 6'5" and 320 pound boy who is also seriously mentally ill (but whose mental illness is under very good control due to his adherence to a good program of meds and therapy) is coming today for a visit of about two weeks. She was nearly beside herself with antsy anticipation at lunch today, bolting down her food and tapping her feet, ready to get home get home get home get home because he was going to be arriving by about 3 or 3:30 at the earliest (we left the restaurant before 12 noon).

Do I sound bitter? Well, it's a little irritating to be the one staying up at the hospital, going to doctor appts with both my parents, attorney appts, bank appts, helping them move three times in the past five years, etc. - oh, and also working full time, paying for my own education, getting regular promotions over the years, raising four kids (as a single mother and main bread winner for much of that time) - in other words, being responsible and a hard worker - and bearing the weirdness of my mother's self destructive, suspicious, condescending, paranoid, narcissistic behaviors for years - to watch my mother "blossom" with joy and anticipation and pride and excitement over my brother's visit. This is the brother who didn't come see her at all when she had her stroke (even though he lived just about two hours away) or during her recovery. While I was up at the hospital with her all she did was say over and over again, "Where is my baby boy?"

To clarify - I am not blaming my brother for this. He's had a heavy load to bear for the last three or four years, after his total mental breakdown at age 40. But prior to that, while he was spinning out of control for years - decades - I watched both my parents, but mostly my mother (my dad was more passive) enable him, make excuses, finance, etc. his increasingly alarming and dysfunctional life. This was often so messy that I was caught up in the dysfunction myself - not willingly but just being in proximity to it was bad enough.

Now in his defense, this was before my brother got on meds and in therapy. He's much better now, and seems like a genuinely nice guy who is finally trying to pull his life together - but still, the chaos wasn't all that long ago. This is the brother who can do no wrong, who has been given a bad hand of cards in life, who has been babied on and excused and coddled for decades. I can't say I'm too happy about the mother and child reunion.

This is a very emotionally laden visit for both of them. Also, this is the first trip back to the place where my brother's former life unfolded - his ex wife and her family, lots of old friends who have had serious addiction issues (mostly from wealthy families who have enabled them as well), his failed jobs, etc. Now his mother has cratered too and is in terrible shape physically and mentally.

I am really dreading this. All I can say is thank God this is happening ten miles down the road. I can keep my distance and yet be supportive and friendly - just get the hell out of Dodge when I want to and back to the peacefulness of my own quiet house.
IMHO: Your mother does not value the adult, independent version of you. She values your brother because from the sounds of it, he's still just a big kid. The mothering thing, meaning, child care, is what floats your Mom's boat. She does not seem comfortable doing the adult peer relationship thing with her kids.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:42 PM
 
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Thanks for the update, Kathryn!

I had to chuckle at your description of the "good son" coming home to fanfare after you've done all the heavy lifting. I've starred in that show myself. Frustrating, isn't it?

I also concur with your perplexity over your dad being overwhelmed by certain tasks that seem ordinary. I go through that with my father too and I sit there and think "this is really not a big deal. INCONVENIENT perhaps, but not something to lose sleep over." It really is frustrating.

You know this and have said it, but I want to reinforce to you NOT to let his challenges suck you in to more helping. Take this time to get a little space and spend time with your hubby (how is he by the way?)
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,181 posts, read 35,687,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
IMHO: Your mother does not value the adult, independent version of you. She values your brother because from the sounds of it, he's still just a big kid. The mothering thing, meaning, child care, is what floats your Mom's boat. She does not seem comfortable doing the adult peer relationship thing with her kids.

There's a lot of truth to this, except I need to make it clear that my mother's version of mothering does not include actual nurturing.

Being the one in control, the one that is deferred to - that's my mother's idea of her role in all relationships. All of them. If that's not how it is, then she's not going to play. As long as she can be superior, she's OK. Otherwise, she becomes very obstinate and antagonistic.
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