Mentally Unstable: 72 Year Old Mother - Opinions & Experiences Welcome & Wanted.
It’s a very long, complex story, but in the lengthiest nutshell ever: She’s an alcoholic who’s been sober for 2+ years (we think). Every couple of years she has a “crazy” period that then subsides and she acts normal again. She’s been married 54 years to my Dad who has his own memory issues. It has been several months since my Brother and our spouses have seen or talked with them, but we used to be in close contact. We have all reached our limit with her long history of mean, erratic, narcissistic, attention-getting behavior. She claims that she’s exhausted from care giving (she’s talking about making simple meals for my Dad, or giving him a pre-made deli sandwich) and that she needs help. She demands that we drive her to a doctor’s office that is ten minutes away, because she claims that my Dad can’t drive safely. We do not live nearby and all work full-time, so our side of the story is that she is over exaggerating. Medical issues are “her thing” and she’s got a long history and myriad of supposed illnesses which she uses to get our attention. This year, she called 911 nine times in five days and nothing was wrong with her. My Brother is a paramedic who knows when something is wrong or not - - there was nothing wrong with her and he was getting called at 4am over her non-emergencies. Her doctor of several years severed their relationship because she demanded that he sit on the floor, told him that she was 72 years old and knew more than him, and then put her hand over his mouth to shut him up. We’ve been in contact with that doctor and even went to a family appointment with her. He suggested that he’s done everything that he can for her physically and thought that she needed to see someone for her emotional health. She agreed on the day, but then reneged a day or two later. At that meeting, her patient file was literally about 8-inches thick from all of her supposed problems. When she’s not focused on her health issues, she’s focused on my Dad’s declining memory. She self-diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s and told us he had three years to live. Then a year later she claimed he didn’t have dementia after all. If he goes to the post office and doesn’t come back when she thinks he should be back, she calls the police. When she was in the hospital, my Dad went home and forgot to call her, so she had the city police look for him and go to their house. They knocked on the door and he was there. She’s very paranoid, erratic, impulsive and makes up stories. She lives in a senior living complex and claimed for years that her neighbor was a hooker – literally. This year she decided that the neighbor wasn’t hooking anymore and now they’re friends. She loves to sit around and tell us all about what a horrible childhood she had and that her Dad abused her sexually (another long, complicated, probably untrue, story). She berates and talks negatively about our Dad as if he’s not in the room, but he’s sitting right next to her. She goes through periods where she will send us dozens of e-mails in the middle of the night that are anxiety-based (such as she claims she can’t find a key) and she needs URGENT help - - telling us to get over to her house RIGHT AWAY. Up until now, she has refused to see a psychiatrist; however, yesterday she sent us all an e-mail that said she had seen a psychiatrist that day and he said she has no mental illness, that her behavior was due to illnesses that are now under control - and he recommended the entire family get counseling. So now she thinks that she’s done what we asked her to do and that our relationship should pick up where it left off. If she refuses to get help, or thinks she’s gotten all the help she needs, I don’t know how, or even whether to, have a relationship with her. I guess the bottom line for me is that I feel guilty because I’m not “helping her” and I worry that someone is going to take advantage of them financially or otherwise. On the other hand, I feel that I’ve done all I can do for a person in her mental state and that we should just let time take its course. My Brother is DONE and wants nothing to do with her.