I'm back. I posed a question on here some time ago I think in the fall when I saw that my sister, who lives with my Mom, was starting to have anxiety attacks. I got a really disturbing phone call from her today and it turns out that for the past year or more she has been experiencing EXTREME paranoia and delusions, and neither my mother nor my sister told anyone. I called Sunday to wish her a happy mother's day and my mother LIED to me about where my sister was - said she had gone for a run 'or something' but was actually in the hospital since Saturday night after attempting to take an overdose. I've gone through a lot of emotions today, but now that my kids are asleep and it's quiet I'm alone with my thoughts. In my sister's mind, I'm the mastermind behind some kind of conspiracy to have her arrested so I can't go help her. I'm absolutely shocked, baffled, and confused as to why my mother wouldn't share this information with me!

When I first posted I was concerned about my sister's sanity, and now it's happened - I don't know if she has a sleep disorder, if she's Bi-Polar, if it's stress, if it's Schizophrenia, but instead of staying in the hospital, my mother went and picked her up because she was having delusions that the hospital staff were assisting police to orchestrate some kind of raid on the hospital to arrest her. So she's home now, and they are both telling me she's fine, but she is NOT fine! I think back to our family life, and look at my siblings and myself, and realize none of us escaped childhood unscathed. My mother won't even talk to me now (I think she's avoiding questions) but there are big questions - my sister is the only one who knows where my mother's will is. Who her doctor is. What medical issues she has. (my Mom and sister are VERY private) and I don't even have a house key. My stomach is literally hurting over all this, and the lax attitude everyone has towards it. I've got a mentally ill mother living with a mentally ill sister with 2 kids with autism. What am I supposed to do with this? Everyone I've talked to today has said there's nothing I can do unless she wants to go into care. As for my mother, she needs to downsize the g-damn house and all the crap in it because they can't keep it up and I'm convinced it's part of the reason my sister is getting so stressed out. So many things to think about, and I feel completely alone.

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I agree with reporting the children’s situation to child protective services. Even if nothing comes of it you’ll have done your best and they’ll be on the radar of the agency. Otherwise, I fully think you need to back away from both your mother and sister and preserve your own health. They are a toxic dynamic together that you’re not going to break through or change. Surround yourself with people who bring light and positivity into your life. I wish you the best
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I will keep you and your family in my prayers, silverlinings. I am praying for you at this very moment.
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Your mother is still working. Why would she want to go into care?

You say everyone you've talked to today has said there's nothing you can do. I know you're not going to like this, but I completely agree with them. I think you really need to step back and build yourself a very strong boundary between your own life and your own needs - and heaven knows you already have your hands full - and those that properly belong to your mother and your sister.

The thing, it isn't just that it's difficult for you to intervene. It's a bit more than that: it's not for you to do, not unless your mother and your sister want your support, and accept your intervention. You say, they are VERY private. Well, that is their right, you know. You may consider their desire for privacy extreme, even symptomatic of mental illness; but for one thing it isn't necessarily, and for another even if they are mentally ill they are still entitled to privacy, confidentiality, and a choice about who is involved.

I don't think it's possible that a mother of two autistic children could be admitted to hospital following attempted suicide, and CPS not be notified. Granted I don't know the ins-and-outs of mandatory reporting around this - others here will! - but I would be very surprised if the family hasn't been flagged up one way or another.

Your mother and sister do, clearly, intentionally keep information from you. But there is an upside to that - it means that there could well be a good deal of work going on that you're not aware of. It must be frustrating, and I should have thought it must also be very hurtful; but it doesn't mean that they're drowning together and no one is lifting a finger to help.

I'm afraid you might not like this either, but it is honestly intended as a suggested way forward.

You have very clear views about what would be good for your mother and your sister. Your mother should sell her house and move into care. Your sister should stop struggling to rescue everyone and prioritise her health. They should get rid of all the crap, and cease this unhealthy co-dependency.

You may be absolutely right about all of it! But they are not going to *agree*. And the more frustrated and stressed you become, the more oppositional your relationship is going to get, and the less they will be prepared to hear your point of view.

Have you, in fact, already made formal reports about your concerns?
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No, my mother isn't going into care - I'd like to see her sell the house (which she can't take care of alone, and even with both mine, and my sister's, help) and get into something more manageable size-wise. This is so that my sister can get out on her own with her own kids.

I've spoken to my sister much more in the last few days since her breakdown, and she is still having serious issues. Getting treatment is difficult in this time, so things are moving very slowly. She surprised me by telling me she HAD to get out of my Mom's house but felt that my mother couldn't be alone because she needed the emotional support.

I think you're right, I think I need to step back unless I'm asked for help. I think it would just make it worse for everyone to interject my opinions.
There s something you can do that may be very effective. How old are the children? Call child protective services. Protect them by all means. That could start the system churning. I certainly wouldn't hesitate. Even on an ordinary day this is not the environment that children should be living in. So what, if mom and sis suspect it was you that made the report. Sis could go berserk at any moment from the sounds of it.

And it is 12:30 am and I am having a rough time staying asleep. Don't stay away so long.
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Thanks for your response - as it turns out, since my sister was hospitalized, the children are with their dad as she needs to do her 14 day quarantine. Day by day she's working through things, but the big question for both of us is how to help my mother so that the role of emotional support person no longer falls on my sister.
You're not alone, because it's a quarter past seven in the morning in the UK and I'm wide awake :) Or as wide awake as I get, anyway...


So your sister, as far as anyone has told you, is now back home with your mother?
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Yes, she's back with my mother now. She needs a lot of reassurance that people in her life aren't plotting against her, but her doctors are working with her to try to help. I don't think we can properly deal with the issues caused by living with my mother until my sister has stabilized, but it feels like a catch-22. I want my mom to be happy and comfortable in her own space, but I also want that for my sister and her children. It's time to bring my other siblings into this conversation.
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