My friend, Linda, is 68. Widow of 3 years. She has physical custody of 3 grandkids, age 11, 9 and 5. Older 2 kids are boys, youngest is a girl.
Mother is in rehab/jail in ND. Father (Linda's son) is a long distance trucker in ND on the oilfields.
Kids were removed by ND CPS for abandonment by the parents about 20 months ago. Linda went to ND and retrieved the kids and arranged a verbal custody/child support arrangement with her son.
VERBAL= he doesn't HAVE to pay her a dime. He should, of course, but since all this was "handshake" basis, she cannot legally hold him to anything.
And she doesn't. Just complains bitterly about the kids. They are all very troubled and hard to handle.
She is absolutely besotted with her son. (Only child). She has spent his entire life (37 years) bailing him out of problems and legal issues. Sick relationship.
He will only talk to her when HE feels like it, and had not seen his kids for over 18 months. No calls, nothing. Also no money.
She lives on a $1400 a month pension and what was left of the life insurance on her husband.
10 months ago she decided to move to AZ where her son has a GF. (He is still married). She announces she's moving and begins packing--sort of. Son can't decide if he really wants to move or not. She can't make plans w/o his income. He won't give her the info she needs to find a rental.
Long story short--she is going to lose her house to foreclosure in about 4 months. I got involved organizing the packing and paying for the storage for her 4500 sf home. PLUS a TON of the son's stuff too. She has waffled back and forth on moving, selling, letting the kids be adopted by a wonderful family (that got shot down--dad would rather they were dead than adopted--just a power play).
She is now, simply and literally frozen in place. She cannot make decisions. She doesn't open her mail, pay her bills or answer her phone. She has shut down completely. She cannot think from A to B--she forgets things and discipline in the house is simply her screaming at the kids non stop.
I do not know if this is just her being overwhelmed with decisions to make, or if she is showing signs of dementia. You cannot carry on a conversation with her. She is forgetting people's names and basic living skills---it's horrifying to watch.
Her son graced her with his presence over Thanksgiving, but locked himself in the downstairs apartment with another GF and wouldn't come up to see the kids nor talk to his mother.
She will not make a move without the son's "OK" and she is terrified of him. She will NOT make a decision how to move forward.
She has had incredible support from our church family, and that is all she has had to lean on--but right now, she has 2 enormous pods packed with all her worldly goods, furniture in the garage and an empty, yet somehow filthy house. People are burning out, trying to help her. She has become VERY mean and screamed at me the other day. I have been by her side through all of this--and I know she wasn't mad at ME--but the situation.
My question--how do "we" figure out what is going on with her, mentally? She is all alone in the world, has no family but this son and the grandkids, and 2 elderly Inlaws. So sad.
I am so worried that her son is taking huge advantage of her, and in the end, which is coming soon, she will lose her home to foreclosure and the kids to foster care.
CPS has been called, so hopefully the kids will be looked after---I'm very concerned about her. How does a "friend" step in and tell someone they aren't acting/thinking like they used to? I went to her house the other day, and I could see through the windows that she was sitting in a chair. Just staring at the wall. It was chilling.
Very worried for her & for the kids. Couldn't care less about her son.