Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Feral animals tied to my feet.

     There has been, as long as I can remember, mystery surrounding the mental health of my family. For one thing, my parents grew up in a time when having any sort of mental illness was a shameful secret, and both parents had a strange and INTENSE hatred for psychologists. I asked Mom one time long ago why she never went to therapy for help in dealing with her childhood issues. She became angry with me for suggesting it, as if I had just asked her to go get tortured. Totally strange. My brother had difficulties very early on and was never brought to a doctor, I assume because my parents just thought he was "different" or needed more discipline. It turns out he is bipolar, and is working on it now, doing much better. My Dad and I have panic disorder, which I was diagnosed with as an adult and treated with lifestyle changes. Dad had it much worse than I did and never sought any help, and the dude was miserable every day of his life, or seemed to be anyway.

     Mom had her wild ups and downs, but it wasn't until she started having more downs than ups that she finally agreed to see a therapist, a few years ago. However, she refers to her psychologist as her "friend" and not as a doctor who is treating her. I know for a fact, because I am the only one with permission to discuss Mom's treatment with her doctor, that Mom consistently lies to her about how she's really doing. I have even called her doctor and told her this, and said how concerned I was that she was going from suicidal to elated in a matter of minutes. I told her Mom is a nurse. She knows how the system works and what to say and do to get a doctor to give you what you want. What came of it? Not a damn thing. Mom is still manic, though no longer suicidal as far as we know. But now her mania is dangerous because of her health. Back in the day she would go on a home improvement kick and paint the whole living room, fix the fence out back, plant an entire garden, and redecorate the house in a week. Then she'd flip out and hide all the spoons in the house because she found a dirty one in my room, and declare a strike on housework because nobody cared about her, and then threaten to run away. I'd always cry and beg her to stay, and please don't leave me with Dad....and she'd apologize for scaring me, cry a bit and then go back to being normal. This was a few times a year. Nowadays she'll attempt to clean something or rearrange furniture and totally overdo it, become exhausted and then get depressed and go to sleep. I know she'll never be properly diagnosed. We just have to try to keep her safe the best we can, and it is frustrating and exhausting. I know that if Mom was able to think clearly and not on all those drugs, she would not have made this trip, and would definitely not do all the dangerous things she now does that scare my brother and I. But here we are.

     It's hard not to get angry. Yesterday was so hard, the worst day I've had with her EVER. She kept me up all night, being loud in the kitchen and waking the baby, then while I took Husband to work in the morning she decided to use some awful slippery chemical cleaner to sour my already perfectly clean bathtub, in her bare feet. I came home, started Bug's breakfast and my nose started stinging as the fumes wafted into the room. I ran into the bathroom and discovered her, and I could see she was struggling not to slip in the tub. I flipped and ordered her to stop because she wasn't safe. She adamantly refused. It was filthy and she wanted to help, she knew I was mad at her (?) and wanted to make it up to me by cleaning. Bug was eating breakfast in the other room, and so I had to choose between wrestling my mother out of the bathtub against her will, or going back to keep an eye on my toddler who was surrounded by food she could potentially choke on. It was like that horrible question, "Your mother and your daughter are drowning in a pool, and you can only save one, who do you pick?" I picked my daughter and said a little prayer for Mom. After she was done, she apologized and then started acting even weirder and passed out in the bedroom. While she was out, I checked her pill cases like I always do. A DAY AND A HALF OF NORCOS MISSING. I watched her sleep for the next 6 hours. When she woke up, she told me she took a whole days worth while I was asleep last night, and took a muscle relaxer in the morning (my brother has since told me it's more likely she just hid them somewhere in the house, she just does that sometimes and then forgets about it. GREAT. I can't wait to tear my house apart searching for drugs that can kill my baby if she eats them). The rest of the day was a blur. I don't even remember it. Every time I asked Gage for help, he did what was asked but quickly fleed the scene as soon as he could. He and Husband have been conveniently absent throughout this whole ordeal, and I have to admit, if I were them I would be too. But I can't escape. It feels like there's a feral animal tied to each of my feet. One is a year old and one is 68. Both will totally fall victim to accidental death if I don't watch them every minute. Both make terrible decisions and have emotional outbursts. Both count on me to set the tone and keep them happy. But the older one doesn't take direction as well as the younger one.

     When my brother called me last night I had a huge, hysterical emotional breakdown. I don't even know what I said, but whatever it was, it was everything I have been feeling. We compared notes and what he will discuss with her doctors when she gets home, and he offered to get her an earlier flight home. As tempting as that is, I don't want to break what's left of her heart by telling her to leave. That poor woman has had a cancer diagnosis, two major surgeries, her husband died and her grand-kids moved out of state, all in a year's time. I want her to have as much happiness as she possibly can now. I just wish she could cooperate so that we CAN have some fun. Husband and Gage said they will be more present and social with us from now on, too. That makes me feel so much better. I didn't realize how alone I was feeling until they both admitted to not being there on purpose. Hopefully the next two weeks will go smoother....

     Sorry I stopped being funny and interesting, but the humor in this pile of shit escapes me thus far.

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