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Old 10-28-2008, 02:25 PM   #16
Tinker'n'Fun
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Well I have had a horrible day and I needed a place to come. I hope someone is still out there with me. I need to get some things off my chest, feel free to scroll down but any insight would be appreciated....

I have been very absent out of my sister's life since this all came to a head in the last 6 months. She resents me and my family and I have come to terms with that. I still would be there if she asked and I tried to keep my mother out of all the drama she has caused our family. But today it all came flying through the phone at me....

My mom hasn't dealt well with my dad's passing a few years back and this week a friend of hers died of cancer. She was going to skip the wake and funeral. These are the same people who cared for her after Dad died. So I told her that I would go with her, but she should be a friend. She agreed and all was well.

So today I get a call from her about my sister. We have been going back and forth about the $ situation since it started. I want her to understand if something happens to her, she needs to have money saved. Well she freaked out at me and said that I was no different than my sister (see below for expanation) and why did I always put my sister down... I told her that I didn't put her down, I just didn't see my sister doing anything to help the situation so she could pay her back. She never made an appt with the Dr. therefore is totally out of meds and its okay, cause she will make the appt next week. In the meantime my Mom is paying for her rent and now a new cell phone that she went way over on minutes and texting. My sister said the counselors said its okay not to pay any of her bills so she will get more services. So the money she does get goes for her to go out and do stuff. But my mom says she is trying.... I don't see it at all. I have her old cell phone because I was helping her and I still get text's from her friends about going out and drinking and partying. I am so hurt about my mother saying I am just like her and that I should get over it......

Okay here is the background to make some sense. DH and I wanted (NOT A NEED, a WANT) to send our kids to Catholic HS. It is very expensive and we are by no means rich. My mother offered to pay up front each year for the schooling and we pay her back monthly within our budget no interest. I am grateful that she did this for us. Yes I owe her money and yes the kids will be out of school 2 years before I finish paying it off. But I pay my mom before any other bill gets paid. And I thank her every month for doing this. I also made it very clear that if she could no longer help us, we would understand. No hard feelings. So since I took her money and pay her back, that makes me just as bad as my sister who gets her rent and bills paid each month with no signs or repayment anywhere . She hurt my feelings so bad....

So if you are down here reading, my sister is not getting any better. Her meds are not working, she is not going to all the dr's she is suppose to, has gained a lot of weight recently, and we are still not allowed to talk to her about the situation because the Dr's said SO!! We are to keep our mouths shut and let her do as she pleases, and Mom foots the bill. So as I sit here crying I am saying a prayer that my sister will find the right Dr's and meds so that she will get better. And I pray that my Mom found some sort of peace and or help in screaming at me today...

thanks for listening. Diane
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Tinker'n'Fun View Post
Well I have had a horrible day and I needed a . I want her to understand if something happens to her, she needs to have money saved. Well she freaked out at me and said that I was no different than my sister (see below for expanation) and why did I always put my sister down... I told her that I didn't put her down, I just didn't see my sister doing anything to help the situation so she could pay her back.

I am so hurt about my mother saying I am just like her and that I should get over it......

So since I took her money and pay her back, that makes me just as bad as my sister who gets her rent and bills paid each month with no signs or repayment anywhere . She hurt my feelings so bad....

And I pray that my Mom found some sort of peace and or help in screaming at me today...

thanks for listening. Diane
Hi Diane,

Sorry you are having such a rough day today!

I wanted to perhaps shed some insight into what happened with your mother. Whenever my Mom would get stressed out or worried about something she would call me up, insult me, and was just generally nasty. Afterwards she would be contrite, but I would still have hurt feelings. Then I noticed that I would do the same thing at times, and that the person I was upset with had nothing to do with what I was really upset about.

So from then on, when Mom would call to yell at me, or was nasty to me, I would ask her what was really bothering her. It took a while, but eventually she would call me to vent about what she was upset about, not to yell. This might be what happened with your Mom today. I know she didn't mean to equate you with your sister, but your sister might be what has her so upset.

Maybe your Mom needs to vent to you or to someone about what your sister is putting her through, and how worried she must be about her. I know you are very upset about your sister, and confused as to why she is behaving the away she is. I also think your Mom is doing the best she can to take care of her the only way she knows. Your Mom is just going to have to come to the realization on her own that enabling your sister is causing more harm then good.

I hope this helped a little - I really feel for you and think about you often
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:35 PM   #18
Tinker'n'Fun
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Hi Diane,

Sorry you are having such a rough day today!

I wanted to perhaps shed some insight into what happened with your mother. Whenever my Mom would get stressed out or worried about something she would call me up, insult me, and was just generally nasty. Afterwards she would be contrite, but I would still have hurt feelings. Then I noticed that I would do the same thing at times, and that the person I was upset with had nothing to do with what I was really upset about.

So from then on, when Mom would call to yell at me, or was nasty to me, I would ask her what was really bothering her. It took a while, but eventually she would call me to vent about what she was upset about, not to yell. This might be what happened with your Mom today. I know she didn't mean to equate you with your sister, but your sister might be what has her so upset.

Maybe your Mom needs to vent to you or to someone about what your sister is putting her through, and how worried she must be about her. I know you are very upset about your sister, and confused as to why she is behaving the away she is. I also think your Mom is doing the best she can to take care of her the only way she knows. Your Mom is just going to have to come to the realization on her own that enabling your sister is causing more harm then good.

I hope this helped a little - I really feel for you and think about you often

Thank you for responding. I am going to try very hard to let my mom know that I am aware she is hurting. I hope that I have the courage to do what you did. It is a wonderful idea and I am so glad you replied. Diane
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:18 AM   #19
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Just thinking....does your Mom have outside activities? Like does she work and have friends and go out or is she home missing your Dad, worrying about your sister all the time and has nothing for herself..

How close is she to her grandchildren?? When my Dad died, my mom was young, maybe 49.....it was very hard for her. There was lots of drama between siblings and inlaws, but eventually we got to the place where her grandchildren were her life and she travelled and was doing ok, she missed my Dad till the day she died, 20 years later.. I think back now, she was so young, maybe she could have met someone else, but she was never interested and I never pushed.....

I am wondering if your Mom is there yet? She has the drain of your sister, she probably sees all the things that you see in her, but she is her daughter and she might feel protective. You, on the other hand, do is what expected of you....and she needs to vent about your sister but instead picks at you.. Hugs on the hurt feelings, maybe a heart to heart with your Mom about you and her and hurt feelings but no discussion or fingers pointed at the your sister. I am sure she knows what your sister is doing....

Hugs!!!
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:38 PM   #20
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Just thinking....does your Mom have outside activities? Like does she work and have friends and go out or is she home missing your Dad, worrying about your sister all the time and has nothing for herself..

How close is she to her grandchildren?? When my Dad died, my mom was young, maybe 49.....it was very hard for her. There was lots of drama between siblings and inlaws, but eventually we got to the place where her grandchildren were her life and she travelled and was doing ok, she missed my Dad till the day she died, 20 years later.. I think back now, she was so young, maybe she could have met someone else, but she was never interested and I never pushed.....

I am wondering if your Mom is there yet? She has the drain of your sister, she probably sees all the things that you see in her, but she is her daughter and she might feel protective. You, on the other hand, do is what expected of you....and she needs to vent about your sister but instead picks at you.. Hugs on the hurt feelings, maybe a heart to heart with your Mom about you and her and hurt feelings but no discussion or fingers pointed at the your sister. I am sure she knows what your sister is doing....

Hugs!!!
My Mom does not work outside of the house and she hasn't been keeping up with her friends as much as she should. We have had conversations and I am trying to get her to understand she has to do things outside of the house. She is getting a bit better. My children are the closest of her 4 grandkids. DS13 goes to visit her every day... He prefers being there as she feeds him and lets him nap during the day and mean old Mom (that's me) prefers that he help out with chores or homework. He spends at least 2 hours a day at her house during the week. I think that is pretty good for a 13yo. The problem begins after he leaves or during school times. She bores easily and wants someone to talk to at all times. I call her at least 2 times a day, but she seems to feed off it. Sometimes she just walks in the house unannounced. This is very hard for me. So I guess after writing this novel, no she hasn't gotten to a place where she can do stuff during the day and feel content at night. She also refuses to travel. I did mention her coming with us to Disney next Christmas and she is "thinking" about it. So that is some progress. The only problem I have is we would be there a lot longer as DD is dancing at the Orange Bowl, so we were going to combine the experience. I need to get her to the point that she will fly home alone...

Once again, thank you for your kind thoughts and suggestions. This is one of those subjects that if I talk with close friends I get looks like I am cold-hearted because I don't want to spend all my time with her..... Here no one judges and it is my place to just fit in and I truly appreciate it. Diane
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:45 PM   #21
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May I jump in here? I know it's late but I feel like I should make sure you're (all of you, not just the OP) getting what's happening.

Mental illness is just that. An illness. I have personal family experience with major chronic depression, unipoloar depression (unpredictable swings between deep, dark, suicidal depression and fairly normal) and bipolar illnesses. They all run in my family. I've seen the highest highs and lowest lows and every level in between.

I'm not a Dr nor am I a psychiatrist. Anyone suspected of having a serous mental illness should get medical assistance no matter how you have to do it. Sometimes it means treating your 35 year old sister/brother like a 5 year old.

I can tell you your sister hasn't the vaguest idea how ill she really is. She probably thinks she can handle everything on her own because people have told her for years to just buck up, put on her big girl panties and deal. Obviously she can't.

Your mother seems to understand that her baby isn't able to care for herself right now and is following her maternal instinct. That's not always the best thing. Help your sister file an appeal for SSD, most lawyers will work on contingency (you don't pay unless they win your case so if they take it, chances are GREAT you'll win. Lawyers won't waste their time on unwinnable cases )

Once a decision in her favor is made, your sister would be taugh to live independently, cleaning, cooking, shopping and eventually paying her own bills. That's the purpose of SSD, to pay your bills when you can't work anymore. So long as she's getting some kind of help, let her therapist, Drs and other professionals tale care of those things. Just try to understand and not judge on the basis of where the disease originated.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:19 PM   #22
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May I jump in here? I know it's late but I feel like I should make sure you're (all of you, not just the OP) getting what's happening.

Mental illness is just that. An illness. I have personal family experience with major chronic depression, unipoloar depression (unpredictable swings between deep, dark, suicidal depression and fairly normal) and bipolar illnesses. They all run in my family. I've seen the highest highs and lowest lows and every level in between.

I'm not a Dr nor am I a psychiatrist. Anyone suspected of having a serous mental illness should get medical assistance no matter how you have to do it. Sometimes it means treating your 35 year old sister/brother like a 5 year old.

I can tell you your sister hasn't the vaguest idea how ill she really is. She probably thinks she can handle everything on her own because people have told her for years to just buck up, put on her big girl panties and deal. Obviously she can't.

Your mother seems to understand that her baby isn't able to care for herself right now and is following her maternal instinct. That's not always the best thing. Help your sister file an appeal for SSD, most lawyers will work on contingency (you don't pay unless they win your case so if they take it, chances are GREAT you'll win. Lawyers won't waste their time on unwinnable cases )

Once a decision in her favor is made, your sister would be taugh to live independently, cleaning, cooking, shopping and eventually paying her own bills. That's the purpose of SSD, to pay your bills when you can't work anymore. So long as she's getting some kind of help, let her therapist, Drs and other professionals tale care of those things. Just try to understand and not judge on the basis of where the disease originated.
Thank you for taking the time for responding. I think your insight may be just what I need. My sister's Dr's told my mother and was told to relay to us, that we are not to ask her anything about her illness, and in no shape or form, suggest anything regarding her or her life (even if it means helping her get her meds etc). Is this normal? This is a main problem that I am having with this illness. My mother is sacrificing everything, but gets no say?? My sister is continuing going out drinking and may be doing some type of drugs. She is perfectly okay when she is with these friends, but not when she is with our family. And we have tried to talk with Drs etc, but are denied any information (and yes I do understand the patient/dr stuff).

And since I probably haven't been thinking too clearly when I write hear, my sister did check herself into the hospital. She was given the name of a counseling service who is handling her appeal and counseling sessions with a psychologist (hope this it the right one, helps with her condition but can't prescribe RX's). She has not made any appt's with a Psychiatrist and therefore since it has been over a month is out of her medication.

Finally, I do understand it is an illness, and that my sister is not thinking clearly. To be totally honest, neither am I. I am taking the initiative to go and get information. But it is like hitting a brick wall... I hear things like I can't speak specifically re: your sister because I don't treat her... And or each Dr. treats each illness differently, and no I am sorry I can't find out what your sister was diagnosed with... I hope this explains where I am coming from and why I may not seem to be caring and understaning. It is hard to work with what you don't know... I do really hope that you can give me some more information that I may use. Even ways that I can help. but for now, I am doing the best I can.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:55 PM   #23
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I do know exactly what you're trying to say. She's sick but her Drs won't really talk to you. You're missing a LOT of information in translation and to top it off your sister isn't getting the right treatment since she's still practicing additive/dependent behaviors. Nor is she getting proper medication.

It's quite late and been a very long day for me and I need to rest but I'd be glad to talk with you privately by PM with some pretty detailed info that might be of help to you. Please let me know if you'd like a little more help and insight.

Tammy
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:23 PM   #24
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The sad thing with a MI is that the doc's don't talk to you only the patient and the patient is the one who is sick! They are the ones going to the office telling stories of how they take their meds (when at times they don't). The way society has become with the privacy act, we cannot find out what is really going on with our ill loved one unless they sign a disclaimer (and many will not). Has your sister signed for your mom to at least find out what is happening?
My son is Bipolar and he is 22. I cannot get him to stay on meds for the life of me. When he starts them, he is off of them before they have a chance to kick in. How long has your sister been taking her meds? I know I have posted earlier to you that they take a while to kick in. Do you even know for sure that she is taking them? I use to think my son was and he wasn't! Living with someone that has a mental illness is like being on a roller coaster. You have your hills that you climb up and hills you fall down. There are spirals & corkscrews too It is one of the worst things you can have to deal with. It hurts everyone, not just the one who has it. There is no cure only maintaince (only way to put it). There are times that I cannot stand living in the same house as my son, then I have to remember, he doesn't even realize that he is sick. He thinks everything is fine & we are all "crazy".

Your sister needs a good Psych doc to get the meds from as well as a Psychologist for therapy. They will work hand in hand with her. If she can find two that she trusts, then you are ok. Seems my son cannot. He finds fault with one or the other. Drugs alone don't help & therapy alone don't help. Maybe after a while and they understand they are sick, but until they do, they need both...

Don't get down on your mom too much, my DD's are doing that to me. It is not like I want to have a DS who is this way. On the same token, your mom should not be enabling your sister, there is a fine line. She can watch over her to make sure she doesn't "hurt" herself without supplying everything for her (enabling). There are many many sucessful people with MI's... if they get the right treatment, they can live as close to normal lives as anyone else does. They key is the right treatment. Remember, they are sick.. they aren't just spoiled. hugs to you.. you need them too....
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:07 PM   #25
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The sad thing with a MI is that the doc's don't talk to you only the patient and the patient is the one who is sick! They are the ones going to the office telling stories of how they take their meds (when at times they don't). The way society has become with the privacy act, we cannot find out what is really going on with our ill loved one unless they sign a disclaimer (and many will not). Has your sister signed for your mom to at least find out what is happening?
My son is Bipolar and he is 22. I cannot get him to stay on meds for the life of me. When he starts them, he is off of them before they have a chance to kick in. How long has your sister been taking her meds? I know I have posted earlier to you that they take a while to kick in. Do you even know for sure that she is taking them? I use to think my son was and he wasn't! Living with someone that has a mental illness is like being on a roller coaster. You have your hills that you climb up and hills you fall down. There are spirals & corkscrews too It is one of the worst things you can have to deal with. It hurts everyone, not just the one who has it. There is no cure only maintaince (only way to put it). There are times that I cannot stand living in the same house as my son, then I have to remember, he doesn't even realize that he is sick. He thinks everything is fine & we are all "crazy".

Your sister needs a good Psych doc to get the meds from as well as a Psychologist for therapy. They will work hand in hand with her. If she can find two that she trusts, then you are ok. Seems my son cannot. He finds fault with one or the other. Drugs alone don't help & therapy alone don't help. Maybe after a while and they understand they are sick, but until they do, they need both...

Don't get down on your mom too much, my DD's are doing that to me. It is not like I want to have a DS who is this way. On the same token, your mom should not be enabling your sister, there is a fine line. She can watch over her to make sure she doesn't "hurt" herself without supplying everything for her (enabling). There are many many sucessful people with MI's... if they get the right treatment, they can live as close to normal lives as anyone else does. They key is the right treatment. Remember, they are sick.. they aren't just spoiled. hugs to you.. you need them too....
My sister was diagnosed with depression while away at college around 15 years ago. She is 35. For the most part, I never noticed anything more that depression for the last 10 years or so. She has a great apartment and a very good job. She has always been "triggered" or "easily upsetted" by her weight and the fact that she didnt have a boyfriend. So fast forward to 2 years ago. My mom started saying that my sister was more depressed around her and that she was breaking down at work. The only information I received was that she was "stressed" from work. Fast forward to last September and she had a total meltdown at work and was immediately at the Psychologist and Psychiatrist office. She was placed on meds, and my mom claims that she filled them each month for her. Now I am not sure if she took them, but my mom gave them to her. I know that different meds were given at one point because one of them made her sweat too much. So for the last year she has been going out with friends or sitting at home alone. She pretty much stopped being part of the family. I would call and or even go to her house. Nothing. Occassionally she would text one of my kids, say she missed them, that she wanted to take them out, then nothing. She didn't make it to my daughter's confirmation for reasons unknown and that was pretty much the end of all conversation that she had with me. She would speak with my Mom, but I only get bits and pieces.

Oh my goodness, I have written a novel and all you asked was if she was taking her meds. Sorry about that. I don't know for sure. My mom had me research the drugs they gave her at the hospital..

I don't remember the names of them, I will find out though. As of today I don't believe she has seen the Psychiatrist since being released from the hospital. My mom said she did see the counselor because they are the office that is fighting her SSD and filing out her paperwork for assistance.


Thank you for your response. It gave me a bit more insight from what would be my mothers eyes. God Bless. Diane
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:58 PM   #26
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Don't worry about your "novel", that is what you need! You need to vent, ramble on, what ever you want to call it, or you will go nuts. I know, I do it myself. As far as the meds go, I would get my DS's filled, give him the bottle and ASSume he was taking them. One day he was drinking with them. He was on Depakote & Seroquel. You cannot drink with the Depakote because it can do number on your liver. When I saw he had been drinking, I called his psych doc. She said to call 911 and get him to the ER to have his blood levels tested. Well when they came, I explained to them about his meds. When I gave the meds to the EMT, he counted them (to see if he took more than he should have).. not only did he not take more than he should have, he had not been taking them! There were more in the bottle than there should have been. Needless to say, we did not have to have his blood levels tested.

The lastest script he got was Zoloft & that was from our primary doc. He was given that in Aug. He came out of his room today with the bottle & asked me why would someone say that drug would cause someone to commit suicide. I looked at him and told him I never agreed with the doc giving it to him. I did not think that a person who suffers from BP should be given that. I was afaid because it is known to have that effect. He looked at me and then said.. "it's ok, I never took them" so again.. a script he got and never took.. that I thought all long he had used for that month & refilled himself. I am glad he didn't use them.
It is like I want to grab him by the hand & take him to a psych doc for meds, but then I know he will not take them. He has to be ready to admit he is ill. He was dx'd just over 4 years ago & at his age, he cannot accept it. He seems to think he is ok. I cannot speak for your sister, but if she is not ready to really accept that she is ill, she really doesn't want medical help. Yes, she will want the financial help. My DS isn't even doing that. To do that, he must show he is going to the psych & therapist, taking meds etc.. he would rather drift thru life right now not accepting what is happening to him. He occasionally tells me that so & so suggested to him to apply for SSD, but he has not made the attempt to do it. I think if he does, he is admitting he is ill, and he isn't ready to do that. There have been times (when he is depressed) that he will ask me why can't he be normal like other people, so he knows there is something not right with him.
OK.. I just wrote my novel...
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:47 PM   #27
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Op What I do no get is why her dr told her not to talk about her illness with you both. I think she needs a new dr, I was told to actively talk with my family members about my bi polar, its give every one better insight as to what is happening with me. Again any dr who is saying its only your fault and your mothers fault your sister is having outbursts is a looney!!!

I would tell your mother If i was you, and this is coming from someone who has bi polar, that your sister needs to be told either you(your sister) pay for your stuff yourself or you hand all your finances to me(your mom) bottom line. If she has money coming in then she needs to pay her own bills. People may not agree with me here but time for tough love especially when this woman has had it for 15 years.

give your mom support but be firm with her in this to, she wants to help her other baby, but your worried about them both and it cant keep going on like this.

this may sound like a really dumb question but have you talked with your sister and asked to be included in a session with her? let her know your just want to learn more about the problems she is dealing with, so you can avoid "making her have her outburst" I really hate like you have to sound like you are the one causing it..grr

I hope this calms down again for all of you! I hope your sister gets the right kind of help!
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:06 PM   #28
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OP, everyone has made some really good points.

The person with BP may not be in touch with reality all of the time, remember that, did the docs really tell her not to talk to you or mom? Ask to sit in on the session, this was wonderful for us, when DH would say something that wasn't quite the truth the doc would look at me and I would shake my head to back him up or discredit what he had said. (this was during a really bad manic phase, but I still go to some appt. and we have been maintaining for 2 years now).

I think she needs someone to hold her accountable, for bill paying, therapy sessions, taking meds etc....

I know how hard this is, I have been a passenger on this same roller coaster.

Hugs & Prayers to your family.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:25 AM   #29
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Sometimes a person with BP also suffers from paranoia which means they weave everyone they know into a plot and suggestions are not received well because they are an attempt at mind control from a puppet-master somewhere. If you listen to someone like this they will tell you where everyone fits in and every-time there is a flare-up the people around them will resume their roles. Sometimes this disease is so debilitating that the person will be successfully put on disability, but its not an easy battle and to be able to stay home completely I think it takes 80% or something like that. A big part of the illness is inability to care for oneself so occasionally power of attorney should be given to someone else, if your sister can't pay her bills your Mom really should let them lapse so the mounting problems can be offered as proof of disability. I know its hard to let this happen but to the outside world, if your Mom is taking care of her she looks fine and it will be impossible to prove anything different to a judge unless there is concrete proof to the court. This might not be a big deal now but if she ever becomes a danger her only hope may be for your Mom to be able to forcibly institutionalize her through power of attorney. I know this is ugly business but our laws are not designed to help people with mental illness, they always assume complete sanity.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:09 AM   #30
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I was a bit surprised to see this post as it was over a year ago, and I actually have a new one also.

My sister is at a new counseling group. I am not sure if she is on her pills. Due to a bad falling out, I am not in the picture right now. I do have access to how she is through my mother and my brother, but it is limited. I did what I thought was right for my immediate family and due to a wonderful poster here, I am scheduled to two different groups for families of mentally ill siblings/children. I start next week with the first one. I hope to get the information I need for one of the two and then will be able to make an educated decision what do to regarding my relationship with her. It's not easy and while I have no contact now, I HAVE NOT given up on making this work for everyone involved. Thank you all for being so kind and considerate. It helps to have an extended family.
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