She is crafty, manipulative, abusive. All undiagnosed and undocumented. She had taken my 21 yr old son in, making him to believe she wanted to "help" him. What resulted was great anguish for him trying to stay on her "good" side. As long as she is able to control you, and you do as she says, you can tolerate her. Although she makes you think she's helping you, it's not w/o a price. Being your sanity, monetary, lose. For 18 years this woman made me her personal punching bag and emotional toy. Through many years of therapy and medication, I can finally say I'm free from her hold. But now she's done the same with my son. I know you're wondering why I didn't take him in....I did, but I had rules. And it's a long story. But he put his trust in this woman that I firmly objected to. But he's got a big heart and mind of his own. He has stayed with her off and on (she'd kick him out, ask him to come back, kick him out, etc) for around 6-9 months. She stole his money, abused him and his trust. Harmed him both physically and emotionally. Yesterday she told him to get out, no particular reason, and keeping his money because he used water and electricity. When she took him in, she assured him that he could stay there to save money, which she held for him, to pay off his debts. Now that she's gone "mad" again, he's out and broke. She has mental illness, probably multiple, but according to her its everyone else who has a problem. I need help, I don't know what I can do, who to talk to, what rights, if any, I have? I'm reaching out in hopes someone has gone thru something similar and can guide me to a solution. I will be forever grateful for any advice. Thank you. Sorry this is so long.

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Dear Believe: most of us in the Dysfunctional Family Camp here feel for you. We've been through the wringers with our families. I can certainly understand your angst, anger, and unresolved despair: double whammy with your issues and wanting protection of your son. I know how easy it is to be fooled by someone like your mother: the pattern is similar to alcoholics, gamblers, and the like.
Sounds like old wounds may not hold up in court but you could probably get a free half hour consultation form an elder lawyer. I know of one in the Boston area if you live in Ma. Arthur Bergeron in Marlborough, part of Merrick O'Connell Attorneys.
I used to edit his tv access shows that were terrific. He's been doing only elder law for 30 years. Very approachable and to the point. Maybe you can call even if you are far away. I'd try that.

I don't see that you are vengeful. I see that you are hurt and angry and for good reason and seek resolution of some sort. And I hope you find it. Of course, we all have to travel the road to self realization, forgiveness, and perspective so we can stop opening and re-opening our old wounds. I've got my own issues, and it's not easy. Those people can bring out the worst in anyone but a saint. And a saint, I ain't! Working on it....Best wishes and prayers for your own growth and for your son. He'll wise up I think.
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"Through many years of therapy and medication, I can finally say I'm free from her hold."

Um. I don't think you are. I think you've got quite a way to go; but I do think that that is what you should be aiming for. And pursuing vengeance isn't a good start.

Advice? As in, what should you do?

You're worried about your son. Of course you are, he's only 21. But because he's 21, you don't have any authority in his life. I'm afraid that you will have to sit tight and hope that he learns for himself. Stay in contact with him - you clearly have done, or you wouldn't be so well informed about his grandmother's treatment of him - and support any good choices he is ready to make. That's about all you can do.

Your hatred of your mother may be well-founded (please remember that we only have what you say to go on - it's not disbelief, it's just that everyone is aware that there can be many sides to a story); but the point is that it is doing you no good. And since it looks as though your son has reacted against it, and tried (with disastrous results) to prove you wrong, it hasn't done him any good, either, has it.

What debts, by the way, did a 21 year old have that needed paying off?

If you would like your life to improve, you have to lose the hatred. Back to therapy, I think.
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Your mother "stole" your father's Will, including the original at the attorney's office? How in the world could she steal something from an attorney's office?

If she wanted the Will to be retrieved from secure vault storage, which is typically where original Wills are kept, she would have had to sign a receipt. Ahat may have been dishonest, but it isn't theft. And the attorney's office would have the receipt to prove that she took the Will.

And Wills don't just disappear, unless your mother was in collusion with the attorney, which is a stretch of the imagination.

Although I don't like to be blunt, I think you have to recognize that your own acquiescence in allowing your mother to physically and emotionally dominate you is probably one of the reasons why your son is in the situation he's in. He saw you it in, learned the behavioral pattern.

And your strong hostility to her is so obvious it may actually be turning him away from you. Ask yourself why he would want your advice or intervention when you submitted to her abuse during your earlier life. He may not realize that you have now seen the light.

If you son is a legal adult in your state, he's entitled to make his own decisions. If you want to guide him away from the path you fell into, back off on the obvious hostility toward your mother, tone down the rhetoric, and have a heart-to-heart talk with your son, gently and quietly sharing what you've learned and try to help him find his own courage to step out of this situation.

You might also examine the reasons why he's not living with you either. That relationship probably has some effect on how much he'll listen to your counsel.

Again, I'm not trying to be cruel, just honest. It's not my intent to offend you. But be aware of the hostility and anger that permeate your post; I actually found it difficult to read.
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Hi ibelieve - not sure what rights you are talking about and what you want the lawyer for. Could you clarify? As said above, you son is an adult and can do what he wants. I, too, hope he has learned his lesson with hs g'ma. I don't think you can intervene on his behalf. As an adult, he would have to do that himself.

Unfortunately society and the health and helping professions have a long way to go with regard to people with mental illness. I would have thought that bringing in another lawyer when the will was tampered with would have been the time to act as regards your inheritance, though you might consult a lawyer now to be sure there is nothing you can do.

Even if she is forced into treatment, I very much doubt that she will make much change or make amends. Unless there is some legality that allows you to bring this up again in court, I think you have to write off your losses. Consulting a lawyer to make sure may set your mind at rest more.

My mother has a personality disorder and narcissism and has had it all her life, so I understand the havoc such a person can cause. Treatment for these conditions is not very effective, even of the individual is willing to go along with it, which usually, they are not because, as you say, it is everyone else's fault.

Good luck to you, let us know how things turn out. I hope your son will not go back for more abuse. I know it is hard. I have ended up as caregiver (at a distance) for my mentally ill mum. So many games get played... (((((((hugs))))))
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Thank you for the response. I truly appreciate it. It's hard to make clear what we are truly dealing with. When my father died, and I blame her, she stole his will his will (and the copy at the lawyers office) making sure that me and my sister got nothing. In all reality, she stole over $150,000.00 from each of us. The lawyer acted as if this never existed....I was there when dad had it drawn up, watched as he, lawyer, and a witness signed it. But after his death, it disappeared. Such corruption. So when it came to court, because there was no will, everything went to the surviving spouse. They were separated, but not legally. So not only grieving the loss of a wonderful man, having to deal with this woman's greed and cruelty was unbearable. This is even the tip of the iceberg that this woman has done to us. Amazingly, several years later, 22 years as-a-matter-a-fact, this will surfaced! Of course, there's nothing we can do about it...statute of limitations. This woman leaves a rotten taste in your mouth with everyone she meets. I pray that karma gets her. She has affected to many people negatively to get away with all she's done. Like I said, she's crafty and a master manipulator. How do we recover what she has taken from us? Do you think if she's somehow forced to be evaluated, that she gets the help she needs and will make amends? I don't have to worry about this woman haunting me in death, she does it in life. Would speaking to a lawyer be worth our time? Any advice?
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Your son is an adult. He is free to stay with whomever he chooses. Hopefully, he learned his lesson and won't move back in with granny again, if and when she changes her mind.

It's not clear what kind of help you're looking for. If your mother is not safe to live on her own, you could try contacting adult protective services. Good luck.
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