Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Mental Illness wears many disguises

with 2 comments

Ok , here is more gloom and doom people….. Actually if you are reading this and have some thoughts would you please share them with me.

The story goes back 40 some years to an ugly divorce, a small family of young children, and two adults that were not behaving like adults. They split, and the children were moved to multiple locations with mom, until she relinquished them to their father and his new wife. Mom disappeared and was seldom heard of, as she was busily building her new life with other men. She traveled the world, had multiple husbands and very occassionally calld us. Very occassionally.

We stirred controversy when we got married and didn;t invite her. She was out of his life for many years and her presence would only serve to stir up the family scars. She returned to her happy life free of her now adult children. Went through several more husbands, and then relegated herself to live without a man.

My sister in law needed or wanted her mother around and uprooted her from her happy arrangement in the east to life in the big old midwest. 10 years later my sister in law moved south, left mother dearest in the midwest. And then she began calling us…. calling and telling us how she has been abandoned and wants to move the 300 some mile to be closer to us. Initially believed that was the right thing, and offered her to stay with us for a few weeks while she scouts an apartment. That turned into 9-10 months of learning to cope with another person in our household, who commandeers the tv, sits on her tuckas and wants everything done for her… not lifting a thing – no dishes, no laundry, would not change sheets on her bed unless I offered to change them. So she played the diva, expecting us to run to her aid, cowtow to her wishes, and mold our lives around hers.

Unfortunatley this has been a very turbulent year of job losses, income is a rare term in our household. Expenses have been buckled back to the brass tacks, and even selling th brass tacks has been done…. so she decides to stay in her home and sell it… but the repairs needed will take time. We spend several trips out there to work on everything and do what we can… but we need to get home and get a job! we need income.
We ask her to hire a handyman – even the realtor has someone in mind who is reasonable and efficient – and mother dearest flat out refuses. Refuses everything.

So time passes, we have no extra money to burn in the gas tank to drive there and work on the projects – she only sees her own wishes…and rebukes us for her perception of “neglect”. My thought is this – you spend 40 years of life away from us, rumble into our life and now expect us to pick up your life, your problems and deal with them…. no no no no! we have enough of life to get through. Know my heart… i would do whatever I can for her when I can. But now it is not possible because we do not hve the means to help her. We busted our butts for her, and she doesn;t appreciate that.

So mental illness can sometimes wear a passive aggressive suite, decorated with jewels of guilt, and a healthy dose of remorse dappled on for good measure.

I have often told my husband that I am frustrated about her situation because she had nothing to do with the kids in their formative years then here she is…. larger than life. I struggle when I hear tales from relatives remembering that 4 children were left alone at home, with a 6th grader taking care of those younger than himself. That was a burden too large for a young man, and bad all the way around. But mom was out running around or had some other excuse for leaving them. So 40 years later she has remorse… how tragic of her. But she never considered the selfless need of her children to have a good and safe home and supervision of a parent that wants their best. Leaving them for 8-10 hours at a clip does nothing to secure their environment nor does it speak to their safety. And abandoning them to their father as the “only option” seems to be the last grand act of a selfish woman. Now 40 years later she has regrets? No, she has sinful guilt that she was more concerned about herself, not her offspring.

Now my hubby is a well adjusted man, who has worked through these thoughts years and years ago….and he has viewed this need of his mother to seek a new place as a good thing, wanting to honor her, and do good by her…. but with the neurosis and the manifstation of her bouts of guilt I see a confliction in his soul. This brings out the warrior in me that wants to rise up and vanquish the enemy.

So in addition to all this crazyness she has developed a strong appetite for pain meds and manifests the classic drug seeker behavior. When one doctor doesn;t satisfy her addiction with a refill she finds another. At one point she was playing doctors in her home town against ones she established with here. We can always tell when she she is out of meds and the docs are refusing to refill… because her disposition is manic… off the charts with anger and anxiety and fixatin on things that are not necessarily true.

So here’s the dilemma – how do we help her, honor her yet not give ground to the crazy manic melodrama she brings with it. Have you ever dealt with someone like that? Do you call her doctors and drop the bomb on her drug seeking? Or call her on her lies? I need Godly wisdom for this one.


Written by Barbara Bloom

November 3, 2010 at 8:36 PM

2 Responses

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  1. Although this only helps alittle with the situation with the mother. I think you should check out dave ramsey. It will give you financial peace from a biblical point of view. Also it is very hard to help someone else out when you cannot help your self.

    Algenia Noble

    November 3, 2010 at 9:02 PM

  2. I actually just finished Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university series…. so that is where I am coming from… agree that there are seasons when you are not able to help… and this is one. thanks for the reply.


    November 3, 2010 at 9:22 PM

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