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Thread: Dad has cancer, going through chemo... mum is mentally unwell...

  1. #1
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    Dad has cancer, going through chemo... mum is mentally unwell...

    So basically, my dad's cancer has returned. He is going through chemo and is very unwell atm, even though he is 6 weeks into 6 months of chemo. They aren't young, my mum and dad. Dad is 73, mum 74 and mother is very dependent on my dad, as she has been severely mentally unwell since her 30's. She has had a lot of bad stuff happen in life. MY dad cooks, does garden and DIY.

    She can't even go to the shop by herself and only leaves the house once a week.

    I have declined a job opportunity and came home from abroad, to support my dad. However, my mum and her mental illness and stubbornness makes life hard for me and my siblings to be there for dad.

    She is snappy, grumpy, mean and will not really let my dad rest properly. She snaps at him and gets upset/angry with him. He needs to rest, but she has him cooking, cleaning and maing her cups of tea on demand. If i say I will make the tea, she gets moody. Its so bizzare. I thought my fathers diagnosis would snap her out of it, but it hasnt.

    One of the dogs is very barky and we have been trying to train the dog not to bark, but my mum will not follow suit. My poor dad cannot sleep properly and jumps when the dog barks and it has him on edge. We bought a training collar that sprays a mist when the dog barks, but causes no harm. If the dog wears it, she doesnt bark. Simples, however my mum wont put it on the dog, even when my dad is trying to rest.

    She is also like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with me, makes life very unpleasant for my siblings and I. She gets moody and grumpy and argues over nothing or trivial things. I don't know what to do, a lot of the time its emotionally abusive really, I moved abroad and travelled a lot but came home recently after planning to live abroad, to support my dad through this.

    However, I am sick of the toxicness from my mum. I am sick as are my siblings, of how things are for my dad.

    I am a yogi, practice most days for an hour and a halh...and meditate a lot and have a lot of empathy for my mother, however, you would think if she had bad upbringing etc... that she would be different. However, mental illness too ingrained.

    How to deal?

    I just don't get how she can still be like this with us/my dad. However, I think its too mentally engrained and she will not change.

    I know its right to be at home, I wish she could just be chill and make life pleasant.

    (BTW anything you suggest, for her to try, trust me as a family we have tried a million times, this is more a how to deal)

  2. #2
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    I am very sorry to hear about your dad. It is good that you returned to spend precious time with your father.

    The situation with your mother sounds frustrating and draining. Is she on meds?

  3. #3
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    It is frustrating and draining, she is really impossible. My sister said to her, do you realise this will be our memories of this situation? Still.. she continues. She just says she cant help it and doesn't think.

    She is on meds. Has been since before I was born, (I am 34).

  4. #4
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    Have they adjusted her meds recently? Maybe, she is not dosed correctly.

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  6. #5
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    Can you get the dog some proper training?

  7. #6
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    No, she is just always like this. However, it is much more draining and frustrating seeing my dad's health deteriorating and him not being able to do what he used to, but her still behaving like he is her butler.

    This is the thing, we COULD but my mum won't allow it, we have been trying to train the dog but she interjects, which means everyone backs down to suppress her shouting/erraticness and bad behaviour. Its like, she gets away with it because people want an easy life. So if there is an argument, my dad will just do it, to surpress her.

    Its been like it all of our lives really, mine and my siblings.


    PArt of me wants to back abroad to escape my mother, but makes me feel heartbroken over my father.

  8. #7
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    Then maybe she was never dosed correctly. I suggest you see her doctor.

  9. #8
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    You know what? She is on repeat prescriptions and will not go to the doctor, she can't bend down properly or walk far but refuses to go! Its actually mental writing it out, I guess don't really realise how crazy it all actually is.

  10. #9
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    Does your mom have the mental capacity to be making decisions for herself, your father, and your family in general?

    This is something that would have to be assessed by a family physician.

    Iím sorry you and your family are going through this.

    Have you and your siblings sat her down and had a candid conversation with her about what to do moving forward?

    Iím not sure if this type of hard stance, or straightforward approach would even work, but maybe pointing out how she needs to work together with you and your siblings to make things work, instead of making things more stressful would help?

    Has your dad said anything to her?

  11. #10
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    My sister has talked to her, my brother likes to remain impartial. I am the youngest, even though I am well travelled, a qualified science teacher with a BSc in chemistry, I still get treat very much like a child as there is a big age gap and anything i say/suggest tends to fall on deaf ears, hence spending a lot of time abroad, where I can function as a proper adult without the family dynamics.

    My sister has spoke to her, she has said she is aware but cannot help it. I have a feeling something big will happen soon and her behaviour will have to change.

    I know my dads 3rd round of intravenous chemo is coming up, plus the chemo tablets he is on are taking toll physically and mentally, its like something is going to snap soon!

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