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So I am 34 and married with no children. My mom is 60 and divorced from my alcoholic, drug addicted father. I have 2 sisters, one lives 10 hours away, the other lives 17 hours away. I also have a brother who lives 5 hours away. I am the only one who lives in the same city as our mom. In fact I live 15 mins from her. She suffers from major depression with psychotic features, she has been diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder. At least twice a year she is hospitalized for a week at a time due to her depression or times when she goes days without sleeping. She is also showing minor symptoms of dementia. She is very forgetful, many times calling me 2-3 times a day to tell me the same thing. Manytimes if I hold a conversation long enough with her, she will repeat the conversation while on the same call! My older sister has not been to visit my mom in 2 years, she is supposed to be visiting in 2 weeks. But she seems more entertained by my mothers behavior and changing personality rather than concerned about her decline in health. She frequently ignores moms calls and has even instructed me to do the same "if I expect to have a break from time to time". She doesn't even encourage her 16 year old daughter to write or call her Grandmother regularly. My younger sister moved out of the state last year and so we agreed to have my mom come to visit her back in March of this year. Mom was to stay for 10 days with her. It would have been a great break for me. Well after 2 days she called me to complain that "mom was flipping out" and she didn't know how to handle her. Eventually she sent mom back home to me only 4 days into her trip...so no break for me. My brother lived 14 hours away for about 8 years, he recently moved 5 hours away last year...but he has not made a trip here to see mom yet! He has his own vices and is too busy focused on trying to get custody of his own kids again.
I am tired! I am drained. My mom calls me multiple times every day. Sometimes just to talk. She does not call my siblings as often because they often times will not pick up their phones. I don't expect them to relocate back home but they could at least call her often, or write her or even better call me and ask me from time to time HOW I AM DOING!? Especially my younger sister who will go months at a time without even speaking to family. What am I to do? Plus my mom is super needy emotionally. Even though she has friends in her apartment building she demands my attention. The problem is I do so much for her as far as keeping in touch with her doctors, going to appointments, filling up her 30 day supply of medicine, etc that it leaves me with no energy to spend any social time with her. What should I do????

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What are you to do? First, figure out what you would do if you were an only child, because for all practical purposes in this situation you are. Wishing that your sister encouagd your neice to contact her grandmother more often just wastes your energy.

Next, are there any tasks that you do that could be done by in-home help? Could a nurse come in to set up the medicines? Does your mom have a cleaning service? Anything that could easily be delegated to an "oursider" should be, freeing up your time for more meaningful interactions with Mom.

And in addition to that, get some counselling. Schizo-affective disorder is an enormous challenge to deal with. You need/deserve all the help you can get understanding it and treating Mom well without going under yourself.

This situation could go on for decades. The sooner you look into what help Mom is eligible for, and set appropriate boundaries on your interaction with her, the better off you all will be.
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