Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by JustMe, Aug 6, 2010.
Aug 6, 2010
JustMe. I know this has to be hard. I would give it time and see if this 'new' mom of yours sticks around for a few weeks, maybe even months.
I know very little of your situation, and have never known anyone like the mom you describe.
But, to be honest, this new "at peace" attitiude would frighten me. Can you have someone look in on mom?
I still have younger siblings at home with her. That's what most concerns me. But at the same time, in my heart I'm not truly worried because I think she's all for the dramatics. I spoke to my sister who lives at home this evening and she said things are fine, but because she's in middle school and doesn't understand this all, I'm going over tomorrow to see Mom in person...
Is your mom in therapy?
I would be a little concerned about the sudden change in her feelings, and would definitely have someone check in on her.
Maybe she's on meds? Or, self medicating. Drastic changes are worrisome.
The extreme change combined with her comments about understanding why cutters cut themselves is a huge red flag to me. However, I have worked with kids who cut themselves not for any of the "red flag" reasons - they do it just to see who is going to notice and tell other people so they know who 'REALLY' cares about them. If your mom is really all about drama, it could be that she is testing you to see if you are going to react. If you feel like that is her reason for all of this, check in on your siblings at home, but don't talk to her or make and issue about her behavior with her.
I would also make sure there is a plan in place for your siblings at home should your mom have a breakdown (I'm thinking more of an emotional breakdown because of the extreme attitude shift, not the nervous variety) and they need to get away from the drama for a few days. Like others have said, though, I don't know much about your situation so ultimately it's up to you and your siblings how you proceed from here.
I am far from an expert in emotions, etc. But, I had an employee who went very quiet, cut herself. She got help immediately for some very intense emotional issues.
Aug 7, 2010
When I read about the calm manner and cutting comments, I immediately thought suicide. If she's apologizing, she might be trying to bring closure to her life. It's like when people give all their stuff away before suicide...
Huge hugs, JustMe.
I am unfamiliar with your situation. I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. Living with or having a parent who is not consistent and stable is very, svery scary.
My Dad suffered a brain injury when I was 18. I left for college in August and when I returned in December it was a nightmare. The whole holiday break is a blur of hospitalizations, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Psychologists and Psychiatrists. Neurologists and Neurosurgeons.
His personality did a complete 180. He was not the man my mom married or the dad that my sister and I grew up with.
It took almost 1 year to diagnose him. Doctors said he had an "Encephalopothy" (there's no way I am spelling that right). The illness messed with the frontal lobe of his brain which we learned controls his actions, moods, personality, etc.
We'd go to restaurants and he'd yell at the waitstaff... he'd wander into his old office and become billigerant... he "ran away from home" the following summer, leaving my Mom and I scared and helpless. There were many time when he told us that he wanted to die.
He became selfish, angry, impatient and mean. 4 qualities that I never, ever imagined I'd use to describe the man who has always been my hero.
My older sister was living on the West Coast at the time and she was not helpful. She was almost embarassed and ashamed of what had happend to our once "perfect" father. Every time Mom and I would try to clue her into reality, she'd change the subject. Years later, I am still saddened by this, but I do know that everyone deals with emotions and situations their own way.
You never knew what to expect. Once day he'd be his old self again and there'd be a glimmer of hope that all was better. The next day he'd become the stranger living in our house again.
I am not sure how your family reacts, but much of my dad's side of the family became estranged. They all of a sudden got too busy or unwilling to help out.
My Dad would just show up in my Mom's school and go into her classroom. Just so much inappropriate behavior, all caused by the injury.
My highschool friends didn't come over anymore... even though all thru hs my house was the "cool house." They were uncomfortable around my dad.
I was 18 when he got sick and am 31 now. Lots of progress has been made. He is better. Not the same, but better. I have so much admiration for my mother. She clearly meant her vow of "sickness and health."
JustMe, you are in my most important of prayers right now. I realize our situations are not the same, of course, but I do know how it is to deal with a parent who has emotional issues.
You're a good person to check in on Mom.
Please let me know if you need a listening ear.
Aug 8, 2010
I am sure I speak for at least a few others on these boards when I say you and your family are in our prayers.
Aug 9, 2010
My first thought was suicide; like Jem said, she's almost organizing her life and mending fences before she goes.
My second was sheer manipulation; mentioning cutting is a good way to get you involved in her life again. I know you've been struggling with your mom.
My third was medication - is there anyway for you to find out if she has seen a doctor? I think you said she was never formally diagnosed - but if she is, say, manic/depressive, she could be coming down (or up) from an episode... in which case this change may not last very long.
If you do fear for her safety, is there anyway to have her observed if she refuses to see a doctor? We have the Baker Act in FL. "An involuntary Baker Act is when a person is taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination when there is reason to believe that he or she is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness, the person has refused voluntary examination; the person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether examination is necessary and without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself and such refusal could pose a threat of harm to his or her well being; and there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior." It might be something to look into in your state.
Expect the roller coaster. Be at peace with the face that you are an adult separate from your mom and don't take her too personally. Her mental illness will give a bumpy road at times. I have experienced the calm before the storm and the suicide stuff. One suicide in my family actually resulted in death. The other attempts were cries for help. She needs intervention.
Edit: Regardless of the "motivation" behind any of this, she needs intervention. Wondering what someone's motive is really is a fruitless endeavor. Treat the symptoms just the same. It is serious.
I was going to ask for an update, JustMe, so thanks for posting again. That was a good strategy, to suggest family counseling. I usually believe that it is a systemic problem, anyway, sometimes caused by one person but affecting everyone just the same. Too bad she is against help.
She seems to think she is fine?
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