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New member Pat - Carers UK Forum

New member Pat

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi everyone ,
I care for my daughter 42 who attempted suicide a year ago after an abusive relationship.
Over time l have discovered that there is much more to this than anyone thought going back to her teens
It seems l didn’t believe her when she was 18 that she was ill and she still holds that against me , although only becoming apparent recently .
Even though l have cared for her the past year she hates me l can’t do much right in her eyes . Sometimes my own fault because I have said the wrong thing or lost my temper which l obviously regret and can’t take back . She can be really difficult with me and only me , she lies and tells everyone how mad l am . I am convinced she has an underlying mental problem which shows itself as her ‘alter ego ‘. She is morose , rude , difficult but has an answer for everything .
It is really difficult to deal with on a daily basis and l can’t help feeling resentful .
I did have a heart to heart a couple of weeks ago where we discovered about the unbelieving at 18 .
I went on Monday to talk to her again but Mrs morose was in the house , not the right time .
I went to my doctor today to ask what l can do to help sort out the problem but because she has capacity , and can refuse to comply , l can do nothing .
I think this mental condition also spread into her relationship with her abuser and stopped her from telling friends and family what was happening and she just endured a living hell . It’s horrible that we don’t get on but more worrying how will it affect her future .
I went to my doctor today to see what l could do to help but apparently l can do nothing !
She doesn’t think there is anything wrong with her , it’s all me apparently , so she will definitely not agree to see anyone . I just don’t know what to do . My doctor said to support her , which l have been doing , l go round to her less and less , socially it’s a no go so l am just a taxi taking her to her appointments.
I feel useless .
I know someone else with a mentally ill daughter, after years of odd behaviour, especially the lies she told to anyone and everyone, she was eventually diagnosed with bipolar.
It sounds like your daughter is blaming you especially for anything and everything. Isn't it time she grew up and took responsibility for her own actions more? Some people who have had the most awful upbringings have had successful lives and careers, even if you had been a bad mum (which I very much doubt given how much you care for her) she is an ADULT now, and needs to take responsibility. If she was in an abusive relationship it was up to her to get out, to ask for help. Not throw it at you. How on earth could that be your fault?
She is using you. Calling you "mad" and "useless" but then using you as a taxi service, free no doubt?!
Others will be along with experience of Mental Health issues, but I'm concerned for you. Try making yourself less available.
Dear bowling bun
She is housebound now after a stroke caused by her suicide attempt so she puts up with me so she can get about .
It’s not about growing up , she is ‘ locked in ‘ now to this ‘alter ego ‘ which has gotten considerably worse since the abuse . No matter what l do l get no thanx and no consideration and is just the loveliest person to everybody else especially strangers . I just want her to love me , it would make it so much easier but she just puts up with me because she has to .
At the moment she has carers 3 times a week but l think that’s coming to an end soon which is a little worrying but have to cross that bridge when it occurs . She can look after herself but likes to have the carers , and that probably means l will have to fill in more.
I did tell her l am not putting up with her attitude any more and she has kept herself in check this week but to be disliked so much by your child when you have done so much is really depressing and unbearable .
I have to suck it up .
Patricia_1712 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:10 pm
to be disliked so much by your child when you have done so much is really depressing and unbearable .
I have to suck it up .
Why? If she has MH problems, her accusations - including the one about hating you form years ago - may all be delusions. Her malice towards you may also be down to MH, but why should you suck it up? As has been said, she's an adult and must take responsibility.

If she wants care, why doesn't she pay for it? If she NEEDS care, and can't afford it, why doesn't SS provide it?
You didn't mention the stroke initially, that might have affected her mentally, maybe making a difficult person even worse, through no fault of her own.
How is the stroke affecting her, who arranged the carers 3 times a week, a hospital, or Social Services? Are you saying she is housebound due to disability (in which case has she claimed PIP?) or because of psychological problems?
Whenever she becomes nasty, just stop what you are doing, say "I don't have to listen to this" put your coat on and LEAVE. Then insist she apologises before you visit again. You do NOT have to accept rudeness just because she's your daughter.
What was it that you did not believe when she was 18? That seems to be the hook on which she is hanging all her anger and resentment and malice at you on!

I agree with the others - it's her life, her responsibility to be happy. If you have apologised for your 'crime' at 18, and mean it, she should accept it.

You want her love, and that is natural, but she is deliberately withholding it to punish you for your 'crime' even though you have apologised. Does she think you are not sincere in your apology, or she just enjoys punishing you to make herself feel better?

One of the terms I use (informally - no idea if it's a real one!) is 'firm love'. Sometimes it's necessary to exert not necessarily 'tough love' (it can be too tough!) but firm love sets boundaries on the bad behaviour of those we love (as recommended, if she starts off, tell her you don't have to listen, and walk away), and places expectations of mutually respectful behaviour.

If she refuses to accept there is anything 'wrong' with her, is this because she things to admit it is to admit she is 'at fault' rather than than she has a 'morally neutral' mental illness/unhappiness?

However, it's all too common for those with some forms of MH to deny there is anything wrong - it's the 'others' who are mad, not them!!!! To admit they have a problem is too 'scary' too 'dangerous' to them, and so they go on refusing.

In that situation, sadly, because the law cannot 'enforce' they have counselling or treatment, she will, grimly, simply be left to fend for herself.

Do be aware that the more you do for her, the more you are 'enabling' her to stay where she is in her dire mental state, locked in a toxic relationship. You may, sadly, simply have to accept that you cannot communicate with her in any emotionally healthy way, and therefore you have reached, for now at least, the end of the road with your daughter.

if that is so, tell her you love her, that you are sorry for the past, but want to work with her to establish a happier future fort he both of you. Tell her you will always be there for her, but that she MUST meet you half way. You are not going to be her whipping girl any longer, as you have apologised for your crime (if, indeed, it was one in reality, and not just in her perception!) when she was 18.

Her abusive relationship is, alas, HER responsibility too - it is her responsibility not to have been, to have agreed to be by not leaving, an abusive relationship. That is a hard thing to say, and to accept, but it is so. She has now found the strength of mind to leave it, and that is great - but she has to accept that she went into it, stayed in it, and that she cannot 'take revenge' on it having happened, out on you, or anyone else.
Hi Pat
There is a difference between supporting someone and enabling them. Supporting is providing the means for them to move themselves forward. Enabling means doing so many things for them that it enables them to stay where they are, mentally and physically.

Think back she she was a toddler, you supported her learning to walk by holding her hand, encouraging and praising. You did not allow her to remain a baby by keeping her immobile and doing everything for her.

By doing things for her instead of making sure she has the information/tools/skills to them for herself keeps her as she is. For example, instead of being her taxi, provide her with a list of taxi companies. Instead of accepting her hurtful tirades , give her a list of counsellors/charities/mental health service telephone numbers.

Ditto with benefits, make sure she has the info, then she has the choice whether to make the call. If she makes bad choices (and she will at first) just calmly let her know she can try again.

If she's being abusive or mean, walk calmly away.
To encourage her, praise every single tiny little thing she does or is. Tell her you love her, often.

She will rant and moan at first as she isn't used to being an adult (she sounds like the longest standing toddler ever) but an adult she has to be.

Your role is to model good healthy behaviour, so you start to take of yourself physically and emotionally. You get exercise or a walk in the fresh air everyday. You start getting counselling for yourself. You order and read Melanie Fennells "Overcoming low self esteem". You get a social life of your own. If you feel temper rising you walk away and deal with it elsewhere .

It isn't right she takes her anger out on you. She needs to learn how to manage that for herself. It's easy for her to blame you (or any one else) as that then excuses her from the difficult and scary task of fixing her problems herself.

You start exploring the 'how to help someone 'pages on Mind website https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/
She can also use that website, it's brilliant. I'm sure there are 'survivors of abuse' support groups thy she could access too. You provide the information and stand back. She has to want to change herself, you cannot change her.

Oh, and you book and go on a holiday, with no mobile contact, for at least a week if not more.

(Yet another!) very calm and sane and sensible and wise post from Mrs A!! :)

(PS - I agree with everything she says - so she must be right!!!) :) :)
Whenever l broach the subject of mental health to my daughter about my daughter she just goes ape and l have to shut up .
Should l push it ? Should she be made to understand she has a mental health problem ?
I have been very wary of saying the wrong thing ,but information is power , and the more l unravel the less anxious l feel about her response .
I am ignorant at exactly how much control she has over the behaviour .
She manages to make me nervous , anxious and always on the back foot because she has been practicing since 2005 when an incident (nothing to do with me ) affected her deeply . So this behaviour is deeply ingrained . How it’s gonna change l don’t know , especially when she has no interest in changing .
Nobody else in her life stands up to her , her friends just humour her .
One friend from school thinks all her ailments since have all been in her head from day one but she would never tell her that ! Both her school friends were in contact with her whilst she was in the abusive relationship only one of them had any idea she was having a hard time , the later friends only thought he was a ‘ wrong ‘un ‘ she told no one specifically what was happening which leads me to believe Mrs morose was in the driving seat ! It took her brain to go pop with a nervous breakdown to and suicide attempt to stop it . She would have gone back to him but l kept them apart on purpose.
She gives me no credit for all the hard psychological ping pong that went on in the first few weeks after leaving hospital.
Which saved her life .
You all encourage me to be harder , l haven’t a lot of confidence in myself to be calm as it’s such an emotional issue , and after the last year of sky high stress and anxiety it’s so immotive. I have to try .
I am only human with human feelings and the thought that she slags me off to anyone does make me resentful but my shoulders have to be broad .
Pat, I really don't think you need worry about what she says about you to others, because anyone who knows you will know how hard you are trying to help. It just shows what a troubled person she is.
However, you need an ally to deal with all this, not just a forum. Have you ever asked Social Services to do a Carers Assessment? Ask the assessor for some counselling to help you manage your daughter. It's so sad that she's undermining your confidence.