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39 next month: will I EVER be able to escape from my family? - Page 4 - Carers UK Forum

39 next month: will I EVER be able to escape from my family?

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75 posts
I'd printed off a copy of the "Why am I depressed" history that I linked to upthread: I was intending to show it to my mam at some point (to go over how I was really feeling) but before I could summon the courage to do so my sister had found it (this was March 7th) and showed it to her!

She was extremely distraught after reading it, to the point where she vomited profusely and spent the next two hours crying!

She did however make her own annotations to my print-out which I have reproduced here. While some of my original claims were factually wrong (like that I had £280k in the bank: I actually only have £128k and the rest is my mam's money -- not that she seems to have any idea what to do with it) and others may have been my delusions (that when mam was in hospital in 2016 after her brain operation she was questioning my ability to look after my sister, as opposed to my ability to look after myself), I'm struck by the way in which elsewhere she seems to be denying so much of her controlling behaviour.

How likely is it that she exerted this level of control over me out of fear and/or desperation even though she knew it was wrong, and her distress when seeing me describe it in a printed document was out of remorse for what she'd done? Does it give any other pointers as to her mental state? (Incidentally, I now know that she's been on Sertraline for the past few years.)

Perhaps this gives me a lever if I wanted to try to build a social life, but perhaps it's also exposing some obstacles unrelated to my mam (specifically time pressures)?

Currently on working days (Monday to Friday) my schedule is roughly as follows:

06:30 - Get up to get washed
06:55 - Have breakfast (my dad makes it)
07:15 - Set off in car to work
08:00 - Park car, begin walk to office
08:15 - Arrive at office
13:00-14:00 - Lunch break (I usually go for a walk into the city then, unless the weather is very bad
17:45 - Head back to car park
18:00 - Get in car
18:40 - Back home, have meal (again, my dad makes it along with my sister's meal while I'm at work)
19:10 - Have bath
19:40 - Relax in my room (usually browsing the internet)
21:00 - Watch TV (and usually play a board game) with mam
22:00 - Go to bed

It would obviously help if I could somehow become more productive at work (I'm only required to do 7 hours a day at work, but I always seem to be falling behind in spite of actually doing more like 8 1/2 hours), but I'm not sure how to do that.

Any more thoughts or advice?
What sort of work do you do?
I always aim to do the essential paperwork first thing when I work best.
I'm a computer programmer (mostly Python along with C# in Unity3D), whose focus for the past few months has been getting the company's Jenkins continuous integration system working the way it ought to be.
I apologize as I haven't read all of this thread so I may be getting things totally wrong but I suggest you look up narcissist on the web and see how it fits in with your family. It is known to be very difficult to deal with narcissists as they manipulate you into feeling you are wrong not them. I had the misfortune to befriend one and could see how easily he takes people in. I have nothing to do with him any more.

You've probably been asked this already but have you had counselling and/or anti-depressants or even sleeping tablets? They might help you find your way out of this impossible situation. You are clearly trying to take practical steps already but it sounds to me like you are easily becoming discouraged although you do keep trying again which my new book tells me is the essence of resilience.

Good luck with it all.
The quick answer to how do I find a suitable counsellor is ask your gp. There are plenty of them out there. Paying to see them privately is a great way to jump the queue and wouldn't make a huge dent in your or your Mam's savings (much cheaper than the dentist). Your gp will still be able to tell you how to find them. Have you registered as a carer with your gp? If not it might help.
Twice this week my mam mentioned she'd talked to Jean Straughan (an 80-something woman in my village which she knows). She'd had a son (a year younger than my mam) who qualified to go to the University of Cambridge: he'd been the talk of the village apparently, so unusual was his achievement at the time. Unfortunately it didn't work out for him: he'd focused his whole life on his studies (not getting involved in other aspects of student life) and as a result in his second year he suffered a nervous breakdown and had to return home!

My mam had been using his example to suggest why living alone would probably be a seriously bad idea for me, but when I was thinking more deeply today I started seething inside as I though of my mam "why didn't she tell me about him back when I was a student?! If she had then I may have lived a more balanced student life myself (like Jean's son I engaged little in student life, but in my case I was living with my parents, and didn't do much outside my studies for fear of my mam's questions).

If I'd known about his case when I was a student I would have almost certainly socialized more with other students: both because I would have been informed of the risk of over-concentration on study, and because I wouldn't have put all my social life eggs in the "wait until I move out" basket as I would have been alerted to the possibility that my mam would resist my moving out! (As it was I couldn't imagine that my mam would have been anything other than thrilled to bits if I told her I wanted to move out, provided I had the income to do so.)

Instead, the cautionary tale which my mam used on me during my student days was that of Christopher Morrow: he was about a couple of years older than me and was lured off the rails by a woman he met while at university, who encouraged him to quit his studies and not even get a job either, as she "didn't want him leaving her side" to use my mam's words. I also learned that Christopher had all ended up using illegal drugs amongst other things.

Do you think my mam had been deliberately manipulating me during my time as a student (by using negative role models to suggest I should concentrate heavily on my studies, and not even think of getting a decent social life, while also luring me into a false sense of security by suggesting that once I had an income I could move out unopposed)?

And if so, why would she have done this?

Please advise,
George, you are clearly very intelligent, I haven't got a clue about exactly what your work involves!

However, your last post shows that you need to STOP analysing the past. Whatever happened is gone, it can't be changed or rewritten. Mum going over what happened to other people, what did or did not happen, is utterly irrelevant now.
(My own mum was always so busy thinking about the past that she ended up being stuck in the past, housebound, unhappy, with "stuff" from the past she refused to get rid of).

You need to draw a line under your "old" life so you can plan a new one. Every time this sort of thought crops up, mentally stamp on it. You are only looking forward now.

Please invest in your future by getting some good counselling as you need someone to confide in on your journey to a far, far better future.
George, can I return to your comments regarding your sister has a mental age of 6 and my interpretation of what you meant was that she would never be able to live independently.

well my daughter who is 52 has a mental age of 2 if I am generous. she lives independently from us, her parents. she has lived independently in supported living for the past 10 years. she has 24/7 care and is very happy. she cannot read, write, dress herself, cook anything.
however, she is taken out by her carers almost every day, shopping, walks in the park, swimming, shows (childrens because she would not understand adult shows, but that's ok.) I have had to ask if she can stay in on sundays, for a rest. but they insist on taking her to church service in nearby church. of course, she has no clue as to what its all about, but likes the music, and the congregation like her.
I am not saying these sort of activities would sort your sister, but good staff would find out what she likes to do.

so please try and reassure your mum that's its not all doom and gloom, if you find the right place. I must admit I was very worried at first, but your sister needs her own home just as much as you do. whats going to happen when your mum and dad pass away, as we all must eventually. (not too soon I hope) .I suspect if things carry on as they are, you will be the one that feels that you have to give up your job and care for her. and that is just not right or fair.
Hello again, George. Back from holiday I have been seeing how you have been getting on.
George_1902 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:33 pm
Twice this week my mam mentioned she'd talked to Jean Straughan (an 80-something woman in my village which she knows). She'd had a son (a year younger than my mam) who qualified to go to the University of Cambridge: he'd been the talk of the village apparently, so unusual was his achievement at the time. Unfortunately it didn't work out for him: he'd focused his whole life on his studies (not getting involved in other aspects of student life) and as a result in his second year he suffered a nervous breakdown and had to return home! . . .
My own observations, based on my own undergrad days and the part of my career as a college lecturer, is that "swots" who take little part in social life tend to end up with the best gradings. This seems to be how it has worked for you. The case your mam quotes is just second-hand hearsay and there is probably more to this case than your mam is relating. Is it really relevant? The fact is that you have passed your exams and got your degrees, and now have a good job. Your problem is your present family situation.

. . .Do you think my mam had been deliberately manipulating me during my time as a student (by using negative role models to suggest I should concentrate heavily on my studies, and not even think of getting a decent social life, while also luring me into a false sense of security by suggesting that once I had an income I could move out unopposed)? . . .
It is pointless to speculate like this over what may have happened in the past. You are clearly unhappy in your present domestic situation and want and need a social life. Move on. Build on what you have achieved.

I noted from one of your other posts that you seem to have difficulty at work in getting things done in the time expected. I suspect that worries about your personal situation are encroaching into your work. At least you get meals cooked for you, which eases the strain a bit.
Having your own place, even if it's just a studio flat, will enable you to switch off in a way that you never can at home. Start planning your escape. You have excellent qualifications, and a good job, and deserve succcess.

That means cutting the apron strings from your controlling mum and her drip feed of negativity. She is now too old to change, but you CAN change your own situation. Don't leave it too late, or you will regret it forever.
75 posts