My mother has dealt with depression and anxiety ever since I started high school (1996). There is tension between her and every other family member because they cannot tolerate being around her negativity.
It's really sad to me because there's times where I feel like some family members are only staying in touch with her so she'll continue to give them money. Despite all the money she's given them and continues to give them, they rarely call or visit.
Some family members even decided to stop exchanging b-day and X-mas gifts with her because it was too much of an inconvenience for them. This hasn't stopped them from cashing the checks she sends them on THEIR b-days though.
In my mind, this reveals their true motives for maintaining their relationship with her. If money wasn't involved, I think most of my family would have written her off by now.
The hardest part for me is that my mom is one of the most loving, caring, and kind people I have ever known. She is so selfless and such a giver, and all she wants in return is some appreciation and love. Unfortunately, these are rare commodities in my family :(
I wish my family would understand that she just has poor coping skills, and her mental illness has interfered with her ability to cope effectively. Once her physical health started to decline, she wanted to get a little help from other family members because her support system begins and ends with me. However, no other family member has been willing to provide any assistance.
Now, all she wants is for other family members to understand what she is going through and show some sympathy for her situation. Apparently, even this is too much to ask. I think some people just have difficulty looking outside of themselves and putting someone else's needs in front of their own.
I will admit that my mom can be hard to be around at times, especially if she is in a really negative state of mind or if she is obsessing about or exaggerating all of her woes. However, she tries so hard to be on her "best behavior" when other family members are around because she doesn't want to upset them by saying the wrong thing.
I think it's ironic that my mother has the mental illness; yet, she is the one who has to put on her "good behavior" hat in the rare event that another family member visits. Despite her efforts to please them, the rest of the family just can't seem to get past her shortcomings.
Even if nobody else appreciates my mom, I feel so lucky to have been blessed with a mother who has such a beautiful soul. She has taught me so many valuable lessons in life, and I’ve never met anyone with such a big heart.
I just wanted to use this forum as a platform to vent my frustrations and demonstrate the gratitude I have for my mother and all she has done for me. I also wanted to reveal what an amazing person she is because this often gets masked by her anxiety, depression, and decline in health.
Thanks for listening.