Depressed and worn out - page 3

I am soo tired. I had to quit a very good job last week because I was forced out by some other co-workers, my mom is living with me and she is stressing me out, and my childrens father isn't helping... Read More

  1. by   sjb2005
    Quote from rn/writer
    Sometimes when people ask for guidance, they want to hear what they already know in their gut from others who are more objective. I hope that's the case with you. The tough choices will be a little easier if you already suspect them.

    Your absolute first priority is to re-establish the safety and sanctity of your home. You wouldn't leave a loaded gun around your children, yet you allow your loose cannon of a mother to do drugs and engage in all kinds of scary behavior in their presence. For the sake of your children and your own sanity, she has to go.

    It's not an easy thing to turn your back on some who neeeeeds you, but in this case, it's essential. Here is a litany of truth you can recite like a mantra when she's crying, begging, making promises, and hurling false accusations at you. She's an adult. Mentally ill or not, she still has choices to make. You can't spare her the consequences of those choices, but you CAN and you MUST protect yourself and your kids from her unhealthy choices and behaviors. The unstable mentally ill are not capable of making legitimate promises. Of course, they mean things when they say them, but their sincerity has all the tensile strength of wet tissue. You mother needs far more help than you can give her. Without that help, she will go down the drain, and if you haven't disengaged from her neediness, she'll take you and the kids with her. She can't put a stop to this so you have to. I was a psych nurse for years and I tell you, this is the truth.

    I won't say any of this will be easy. You care about your mother and she knows how to push your buttons and exploit that caring. Right now, you can't afford to be emotional, and believe me, she will try to play with your feelings and pressure you to fold like a house of cards and take her back in. You can't do it.

    So how do you pull this off in practical terms?

    First, do not warn her. That might seem unfair, but think about this. She knows what you want and has had plenty of opportunity to comply. She doesn't need more information or yet another chance. She's battling addiction and mental illness--or rather, she isn't battling them--and she has demonstrated an inability and/or an unwillingness to change her ways. Even if you got temporary cooperation, it would be just that--temporary. You would have to ride herd on her constantly and that just sets up an oppositional tug of war. The only way to win is not to play.

    Get your kids out of the house if possible. They don't need to see the scene that will undoubtedly take place when the moment of truth arrives.

    Now for the hard part. The very next time she's doing drugs (or is drunk), call the police and ask them to remove her from your home. Stop up your ears to her drama and stay strong. Tell the police you don't want drugs (or drunkenness) in front of your kids, and insist they take her from the premises. Do not relent no matter what she says. You can't take care of her anymore.

    Now for the harder part. Pack up her stuff and put it out of sight. Tell your kids that Grandma had to leave and you don't know when she'll be back. Don't take phone calls from her or her court-appointed public defender or her social worker or members of her treatment team or her friends or relatives or anyone else whom she dispatches to pull your heartstrings on her behalf, for at least six weeks. Longer, if you still feel vulnerable. They will all try to play on your sympathies so they can hand her back to you.

    Now for the hardest part. Determine that you will love her from a distance for as long as it takes for you to develop immovable boundaries and for her to deal with her addiction and mental illness and be in compliance with treatment. Decide that you will keep that safe distance even if she never turns things around. If at some point, she's been verifiably clean, sober, and compliant for at least six months, agree to meet with her on neutral ground. Don't bring her around your children for a long, long time and then only after she's continued with treatment and whatever mental illness regimen she is on. Again, brace yourself for the reality that this might never take place. Cling to the knowledge that you can care about her even if you can't care for her and know that loving someone doesn't mean you have to put yourself or your children in harm's way to prove it.

    Your mother has choices. You have choices. Your kids do not. They are depending on you to look after their best interests.. The feel-good choices (giving in to your mother's manipulation and guilt) will destroy your home. The feel-awful choices (evict this dangerous person even though she's your mother) will feel better in the near future as your head clears and the tension leaves your house.

    If you're still not convinced, think of this. If you knowingly harbor someone who is doing drugs in your home, your ex or anyone else who wants to make your life even more miserable than it already is can call Child Protective Services and set an investigation in motion. CPS may not have enough grounds to take your children from you, but they can put you under a microscope and keep you there for a long time. Worst case, they could remove your children, at least temporarily. If someone is going to leave, would you rather it be your mother or your kids?

    I wish I could come over and give you a hug. You're too young to have all this on your shoulders, and yet, you probably are very old in your spirit.

    You may not have friends and relatives ready to step in and help you carry the load, but you DO have a virtual support system and we're here 24/7. One other very important thing, TAKE YOURSELF TO AL-ANON IMMEDIATELY (look in the phonebook). There, you will find like-minded folks who are or have been right where you are now. That kind of educated understanding is invaluable. You'll learn a lot from this group about how to let go of burdens that aren't yours to carry.

    Once you have dealt with your mother, you will have more energy to tackle some of the other issues, and we'll be glad to give you all kinds of encouragement and ideas.

    I don't envy you the task ahead. But, I have confidence that your love for your kids will prevail over the false guilt you mother will try to heap on your head. Ditch the image of the ungrateful daughter and put in its place that of a warrior mother who is putting aside her emotions to protect her children.

    Please, please, please, come back and update us and let us build you up and care for you.

    Be strong and of good courage. You have my prayers and sincere admiration.
    DITTO.
    Quit being a door matt. You are the child. Not the mother..of the mother. Only she can get her act together. Don't let her bring you down. As far as God goes..God loves you for what you have done...but you can't change her...only she can. God loves her if SHE reaches out. You are not her saviour...she has to do it. Now go reach out to God and focus on you and your family. If she can't do it...it's not your fault. This guilt stuff really gets to me. DONOT FEEL GUILTY. We are individuals, all born that way and the choices we make is what we should own. It's our own fault and not the fault of others!
  2. by   tencat
    I'm so glad you got up the courage to put her out. Good for you! Just because she's your mother doesn't mean you owe her ANYTHING if she won't give in return. Your family will try to keep you down because they don't want to see you rise above, but you have to for yourself and your kids. You sound like you have the ability to do it. You are smart and you want a different life for yourself. I'm not saying it will be easy, because it won't be. But you CAN change your life. I'm proud of you for standing up to your mother! :hatparty:
  3. by   Annabelle57
    wow. hugs to you! :icon_hug:

    you are an extraordinary person... extraordinarily strong, loving, and courageous! no one who is weak could have endured what you have in your lifetime. you are going to be an excellent nurse, as well as a wonderful mom (which you are now).

    i'm glad to hear your mom is back out on her own again. for what it's worth, evaluate your choices if and when this ever happens again (your mom having to live with you). your children are your #1 priority - you obviously love them and want the best for them, and having a house with illegal drugs inside, even if they belong to someone you love and care about, is one of the worst situations they can be in. they could get taken away. i don't say this to scare you - lord knows you need love more than anything else right now! but if it does come down to this again, i would not let her live with you if drugs and abuse are going to be present. taking a stand and refusing to have that in your home, regardless of what other people may think at the time, is going to be a much greater example of true love to your children than caving in and taking her in each time. i can't imagine how hard it would be to turn away your own mother... but it's something you have to do, if the situation happens again.

    i will keep you in my prayers.
  4. by   giada23
    Thank you to everyone who posted to this. I have not spoken to my mother since I put her out two days ago. I hope she got home safely, but I am not going to call her or anything. My son snuck and called his father yesterday. I was angry, but what could I do. He is a child and he loves his father no matter how much of a deadbeat he is. I am just angry that I am in this situation and I am praying to God everyday that I find a permanent solution really fast. I don't want to have to ask or depend on anyone or anything. Thank you again everybody for your opinions and prayers, they are greaty appreciated.
  5. by   Jerico
    Quote from giada23
    Thank you to everyone who posted to this. I have not spoken to my mother since I put her out two days ago. I hope she got home safely, but I am not going to call her or anything. My son snuck and called his father yesterday. I was angry, but what could I do. He is a child and he loves his father no matter how much of a deadbeat he is. I am just angry that I am in this situation and I am praying to God everyday that I find a permanent solution really fast. I don't want to have to ask or depend on anyone or anything. Thank you again everybody for your opinions and prayers, they are greaty appreciated.
    I think you are a good mom in that you realize he is his Dad, no matter what. Try not to be mad at him, you are right, he is a child and he needs the other half of his parents, no matter Dad is a deadbeat.

    What is important is that your son not identify with being a deadbeat. His male model sucks - and you need to reinforce to your son that he is good, even if his Dad makes mistakes and it is OK to want to talk with his Dad. Don't let him start feeling guilty about wanting to talk with his Dad - you WANT your son to be open with you about his desire to talk to Dad. I'd worry big time if he DIDN'T want to. So - it is good you know it is normal for him to want to connect with Dad.

    Put your anger to work for you. Make plans. Start small - make lists of things you will do or say if confronted with your Mom again. Make signs to put up in your house, reminders to keep you strong when she calls, knocks on the door, or the authorities call you regarding her. Have a back up plan to defer to others. Put it in writing for yourself, keep it handy so when this happens (as it will - because when others figure out you have doormat tendencies - they graviate toward the big hearted and you will be tempted to give yet again. When you get the urge, STOP, read what you have written to yourself and then STAY on track toward YOUR needs and goals.

    MAKE A PLAN. NOW. So that you will be able to HANG in there for YOU.

    BTW: My nearly 20 yo son came to me today and said: "Mom, how come when you are a kid you think life will be easy? It isn't easy to be adult and it sort of pisses me off....".

    Life is NOT easy. It is a challenge for ALL of us each and every single day to figure out ways to survive the trials and tribulations in life.

    What makes life BETTER is knowing we are all human and need each other - and that there are people on boards like this who can love and support without strings.

    Good luck, keep up the good work...you will survive.
  6. by   topamicha
    i don't know where to begin. i'm your age and have been through very similar circumstances. my mom is an addict, an alcoholic, very abusive, and very manipulative. she is great at painting herself as the victim, convincing those around her that their job is to sacrifice everything to rescue her. abusive people are experts at manipulation. remember this. they prey upon the kind. i am so glad you set boundaries. keep doing it. if you don't, she will take you and your kids down with her. i went through the guilt you are experiencing. it's terrible. even though you know it's illogical, it's there. and she knows it's there. that's how she controls you...or has controlled you. you need support and probably therapy. i know that a lot of people shy away from therapy, and i hope i'm not being rude by suggesting it, but from everything i've heard, it would benefit you greatly. i say this not just because of your past, but because you are having such difficulty setting boundaries that clearly need to be set. you need a cheerleader, someone who will support you and your choices...someone who can look at situations objectively and help you change thought patterns that are hurting you and your family. you have a struggle ahead of you. your mom is going to try every trick she knows to weaken your resolve, and you are going to need support to stay strong. if you can't afford it, try community services - there should be a county mental health center.

    you said that you don't want to depend on anyone for help...but the fact is, we all need each other. even under the best circumstances, we need each other. perhaps you were referring to finances? i understand...i dream of the day that i will make enough money, i won't have to pray that the child support keeps coming. but the fact is, right now, you are in dire circumstances, and you need support and help. you need to utilize every resource there is - if you can't bring yourself to do it for you, do it for your children. you have no income except a meager amount of child support. you will qualify (at least in my state) for:

    food stamps
    cash assistance
    housing assistance
    childcare assistance
    medical assistance

    go to your county's child support enforcement unit if you haven't already. they will prosecute him for you. if he is employed and not paying, they will garnish him, especially if you get on public assistance.

    i think you said he is sending you threatening messages. don't tolerate it!!! change your phone number. there is no reason you have to deal with that.

    as to your mother...she is your mom, not vice versa. it is not your job to mother her. she is a big girl. she has choices. your kids don't. you are their only advocate. so don't feel guilty, you have no reason to. if she had been a loving mom and had alzheimers and you locked her up and threw away the key or kicked her out on the street, it would be different. that is when you have a responsibility to a parent. she didn't keep her end of the bargain. you cannot help those who don't want help. period. there is help available. if she doesn't use it, there are consequences. it's not your job to soften those consequences at the expense of innocent children. this is why i said you need therapy - escaping that cycle of guilty is difficult. all of which you probably know because you got her out of your house.

    i hope things get better...don't endure this alone. resources are there because people need them. you are raising five kids!!! you are already doing a huge job, employed or not. don't feel bad for using the resources you paid your tax dollars into.
  7. by   Maisie
    I will pray for you. Please turn to God with your burden. He is there for you and can help you.
  8. by   giada23
    Quote from Maisie
    I will pray for you. Please turn to God with your burden. He is there for you and can help you.
    Thank you for those words of encouragement.
  9. by   giada23
    Quote from topamicha
    i don't know where to begin. i'm your age and have been through very similar circumstances. my mom is an addict, an alcoholic, very abusive, and very manipulative. she is great at painting herself as the victim, convincing those around her that their job is to sacrifice everything to rescue her. abusive people are experts at manipulation. remember this. they prey upon the kind. i am so glad you set boundaries. keep doing it. if you don't, she will take you and your kids down with her. i went through the guilt you are experiencing. it's terrible. even though you know it's illogical, it's there. and she knows it's there. that's how she controls you...or has controlled you. you need support and probably therapy. i know that a lot of people shy away from therapy, and i hope i'm not being rude by suggesting it, but from everything i've heard, it would benefit you greatly. i say this not just because of your past, but because you are having such difficulty setting boundaries that clearly need to be set. you need a cheerleader, someone who will support you and your choices...someone who can look at situations objectively and help you change thought patterns that are hurting you and your family. you have a struggle ahead of you. your mom is going to try every trick she knows to weaken your resolve, and you are going to need support to stay strong. if you can't afford it, try community services - there should be a county mental health center.

    you said that you don't want to depend on anyone for help...but the fact is, we all need each other. even under the best circumstances, we need each other. perhaps you were referring to finances? i understand...i dream of the day that i will make enough money, i won't have to pray that the child support keeps coming. but the fact is, right now, you are in dire circumstances, and you need support and help. you need to utilize every resource there is - if you can't bring yourself to do it for you, do it for your children. you have no income except a meager amount of child support. you will qualify (at least in my state) for:

    food stamps
    cash assistance
    housing assistance
    childcare assistance
    medical assistance

    go to your county's child support enforcement unit if you haven't already. they will prosecute him for you. if he is employed and not paying, they will garnish him, especially if you get on public assistance.

    i think you said he is sending you threatening messages. don't tolerate it!!! change your phone number. there is no reason you have to deal with that.

    as to your mother...she is your mom, not vice versa. it is not your job to mother her. she is a big girl. she has choices. your kids don't. you are their only advocate. so don't feel guilty, you have no reason to. if she had been a loving mom and had alzheimers and you locked her up and threw away the key or kicked her out on the street, it would be different. that is when you have a responsibility to a parent. she didn't keep her end of the bargain. you cannot help those who don't want help. period. there is help available. if she doesn't use it, there are consequences. it's not your job to soften those consequences at the expense of innocent children. this is why i said you need therapy - escaping that cycle of guilty is difficult. all of which you probably know because you got her out of your house.

    i hope things get better...don't endure this alone. resources are there because people need them. you are raising five kids!!! you are already doing a huge job, employed or not. don't feel bad for using the resources you paid your tax dollars into.
    thank you for your advice, its greatly appreciated.
  10. by   giada23
    UPDATE: I am doing a little better than I was when I first posted. I found another job on the 13th of this month, so I am glad about that. I will not be doing my medical assisting duties, but it is better than what I was doing, with opportunities for advancement. I will be a manager over an assisted living facility. I haven't found out how much I will be making, but I should find all that out In January. I haven't heard from my mother since I put her out of here on the 8th of this month. I am okay with that because I need a break from her after that ordeal. Thanks everybody for your support, and I will keep everyone posted.
  11. by   Kikumaru
    CONGRATULATIONS! You are freeing yourself from the "enabler" role. Now you can enable yourself! You are teaching all those around you your strengths. :wink2:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!
  12. by   stpauligirl
    Quote from giada23
    UPDATE: I am doing a little better than I was when I first posted. I found another job on the 13th of this month, so I am glad about that. I will not be doing my medical assisting duties, but it is better than what I was doing, with opportunities for advancement. I will be a manager over an assisted living facility. I haven't found out how much I will be making, but I should find all that out In January. I haven't heard from my mother since I put her out of here on the 8th of this month. I am okay with that because I need a break from her after that ordeal. Thanks everybody for your support, and I will keep everyone posted.
    Congratulations. My mother is also an impossible person and I put up with similar things. She had the choker so thight around my neck that I left my home country and came across the big pond all the way here. She survived, even though she was convinced that she couldn't live without me. I haven't seen her since 1986 and I must say that I am much happier this way! Stick to your guns, keep her at arms length, Merry Christmas and good luck at your new position.
  13. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    I pray things continue to get better for you.

    Quote from giada23
    UPDATE: I am doing a little better than I was when I first posted. I found another job on the 13th of this month, so I am glad about that. I will not be doing my medical assisting duties, but it is better than what I was doing, with opportunities for advancement. I will be a manager over an assisted living facility. I haven't found out how much I will be making, but I should find all that out In January. I haven't heard from my mother since I put her out of here on the 8th of this month. I am okay with that because I need a break from her after that ordeal. Thanks everybody for your support, and I will keep everyone posted.

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