My widowed mother is 83 years old, still living in her own home and has, from what I know, an undiagnosed mental illness. She has extreme mood swings that include depression, rage and general meanness. As she has aged, she needs more help from me (her only child). She has isolated herself from all friends and most family. There is a history of abuse here, I was both emotionally and sometimes physically abused as a child, especially when she was having what my husband and I refer to as an "episode". I am working hard to protect my own mental health while still providing her with support. She refuses to go to the doctor because she is afraid they will "turn her in" to her insurance company (she also suffers from paranoia). She is very manipulative and difficult to be around. She will frequently deny my attempts to help her (cleaning her house, helping with her dogs, etc) but then will call me abusive names and say that I never help her. It's a terrible trap. Many people have encouraged me to cut her out of my life, including my own family. I just don't have the heart to abandon her, plus, she still has my beloved father's (who died 20 years ago) lifes work which includes his incredible art. I'm afraid if I don't stay in contact with her I will be consumed with guilt AND I will never see my father's work again. I know she is mentally ill and that is why she acts the way she does. I'm trying to move through this with grace and good boundaries, but I'm not sure what to do. It's a very isolating experience. I have attempted to talk to her doctor but he has not returned my phone calls even though I am on her HIPPA statement as a contact. I'm at a loss. Do I ride out this storm and endure her abuse or do I throw in the towel and cut all ties to this tormentor? If anyone has had a similar experience, I would love to know how you managed.