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Carers UK Forum • Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling
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Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:44 pm
by Happy Dude
My first post, I don't usually ask for help but just need some advice if possible.

My mum is 81, she was recently diagnosed with low level dementia in August.

At the end of last year she had a couple of falls, my sister brought in the social care and they have had her on intermediate care since January.

I have spent the last 40 years avoiding contact with my sister because she is a nightmare, she is extremely egocentric and openly hostile if you try to tell her she is wrong or she is actually to blame for something.

Within three months of trying to work with her helping mum she had me and my wife in such a state that we both ended up on medication, me for anxiety and my wife with depression, we tried to keep her happy by following her rules she made up "to make sure mum stays in her own house as long as possible"

Almost immediately she spat her dummy over some imagined insult or criticism and reduced contact to email only but it was my brother in law who was writing the emails, constant criticism, blaming, trampling on our boundaries, breach of confidentiality within the emails (mum not to be told of anything discussed in said emails).

The list goes on, but the main problem I have is that she has bullied and intimidated mum for so many years with things like refusing to let our parents see their grandkids for some minor imaginary slight and so on that she has reduced mum to a strict set of rules and because of this mum is suffering from anxiety and anxiety attacks, my family see it but because my sister has no self awareness she doesn't and anyway if mum has anxiety it's my fault.

Thing is she manipulated mum into giving her PoA 5 years ago while mum was still driving and enjoying a good social life, now when it matters she is using it as a weapon to beat me over the head, twice mum has asked me to arrange joint PoA through her lawyer, the first time during the week leading up to the meeting with the lawyer mums anxiety got so bad that the day before the meeting she had 3 anxiety attacks in the space of a couple of hours so I cancelled the meeting. After mums diagnosis she was once again fretting and anxious about me not having PoA I text my sister asking her to make the arrangements, I got no reply so next day my son went over to mums and recorded every word that went on and after he left the room to take the rubbish down stairs the horrible bitch reduced my mum to tears over her anxiety, then instead of calming her down of even being nice to her just said "aye, aye, well it's hard for me too, I SAID IT'S HARD FOR ME TOO..." just to make sure she heard her.

I have found out that I can arrange my own PoA without my sisters knowledge through the VOCAL charity with whom I have been receiving counselling to help me cope with this nightmare of a person.

I'd like to ask if anyone has had to go to similar lengths to help their old mum or dad against someone with this kind of character flaw and if they had any success in getting a joint PoA in this manner??

The first solicitor I spoke to felt it was ethically wrong but not illegal but still didn't want to help me.

I tried to contact the Social Care Direct to make accusations of elder abuse but I was told to just contact a solicitor.

I'm pretty much at the end of my rope with her...

It was my doctor who told me stop all unnecessary contact with her and to seek counselling, I went for 8 weeks and resolved a lot of my boundary issues and I'm no longer as anxious but still can't bring myself to speak to her in any shape or form.

During my counselling based on the things I told her about our time as kids, our parents, even grandparents, we arrived at the conclusion that based on her always having to be in control, the silent treatments, lying, boundary stepping and blaming she is either narcissistic or a sociopath.

There is loads more of her bad behaviour to cover but I think i's covered it for now...

Re: Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:50 pm
by Elaine
Hiya and welcome.
I'm pretty sure a POA can be undone, in that Mum could cancel the first and reinstate another, but you might have to move fast if Mum already has a degree of dementia, before she is considered as having no capacity to make decisions.
I wonder if an Advocate could be the answer? I know very little about it apart from that they should be entirely concerned with Mum's best interests and wishes. and act on her behalf in the face of family opposition. Worth looking up?
If you have reported that your Mum is being bullied and abused by your sister to a degree that you are concerned for her well being, I don't understand why SS have washed their hands of it. Have you spoken to the carers who visit her? A report of elderly abuse should be taken very seriously.
Do you think Mum is in physical danger? Install a CTV camera? How about calling the police?
If this has been going on for years as you say, has Mum been in denial and refused your help before now?
I'd call Age UK, who might help, the helpline on this site and any other organisations you can find who might offer some advice. If your sister is suffering from some MH issues, I don't think she can hold POA for your Mum anyway. Has she got both types of POA? Health as well as financial? If only one, no reason why you shouldn't hold the other.
Hope you've kept those e-mails and the recording.
You could always ask Mum to come home to you for Christmas?
I've not been much help I'm afraid., but I know I'd be wanting to pick Mum up, carry her away and keep her safe. And that's another whole can of worms.
All the best

Re: Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:41 am
by Happy Dude
Hi Elaine, thanks for your reply...

Things are complicated because the abuse is purely psychological, I have discussed all this with my counsellor and because it has been going on for so long that I believe mum has Stockholm Syndrome, my sister never lets mum see the doctor on her own for anything so when she is really anxious she won't open up because the source of anxiety is sitting next to her and she knows the price for even the most minor criticism against my sister, her bad behaviour goes way back to when we were pre-teens.

An example of this is the other week I phoned the doctor and asked her to chat with mum on her own for the above reason, it was a Monday, my sister always takes mum for her weekly shopping on a Monday, doctor appointments are made for the same day before they go shopping, this day I got a phone call from mum at work at 11.30 asking me to take her shopping, the doctor asked my sister to leave the room to talk to mum alone, when she came back out my sis "threw a strop" raged at mum for telling the doctor that she wanted me to have PoA because she doesn't trust my sis to have mums best interest at heart because she is so selfish and controlling, took her straight home instead of going for lunch and shopping ranting and raving all the way. She must have been listening at the door, mum is pretty deaf these days so they would have been talking quite loudly.

Earlier this year my sister booked her holidays at the same time as me and tried to put mum into respite, mum didn't want to go, sis had lied to the doctor that there was no one to look after her, I said to mum that if she didn't want to go she didn't have to so mum said no, this triggered a series of events which included her bringing a social worker in to investigate me for whatever reason, (her reasons were a pack of lies) the SW didn't even speak to me and dismissed herself from the case. When I contacted them mums OT phoned me and said that the social work weren't interested in what they see as a petty power struggle between siblings and I should seek legal advice, to be fair the OT is sick of my sisters sense of entitlement with the care for mum and is completely on my side but it's not her job, she is very nice and keeps me in the loop, last time I spoke to her we were just talking about how well mum was being looked after she mentioned my sister and said "it seems like these days every family has at least one of these personality disordered people in it creating chaos for normal people like you"

Kind of says it all...

Re: Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:28 am
by jenny lucas
Hmm, I would say it does all rather boil down to whether your mother will be prepared to change her PoA (and if she still has the mental capacity to legally do so).

If you could get her to sign over financial and welfare PoA to you, then I'd say your sister is pretty powerless then?

Apart from her ridiculous rages. Remember, people like her trade on frightening others with their anger, but the thing to understand is that anger alone is absolutely powerless! It only 'works' as a weapon if people CARE whether they are angry or not! Basically, if you don't care, and make it clear you don't give a toss how your sister reacts. she can rage herself into the ground and who gives a damn?

The alternative strategy to getting PoA for yourself, away from your toxic sibling, is to 'give in completely' and allow your mum to be utterly dominated by her ghastly daughter (after all, she did have the raising of her!). Do you think your mum would be happier with that? She might, and the you would simply bow out, or see her very occasionally.

The worst option is to carry on as you are, which is tearing you to pieces.

The only 'real' power your sister has is the PoA - everything else is just smoke and mirrors, with her gambling that you and your mum will be intimidated by her ridiculous rages!!!!

PS I feel sorry for her children.

Re: Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:16 pm
by Happy Dude
Hi Jenny, you seem to have a handle on the type of person my sister is, I would imagine through experience.

Both times mum has approached me to get joint PoA with my sister both times mum has been bullied out of it with threats of abandonment etc, mum really doesn't think she can manage without her hence the Stockholm Syndrome.

I can't leave mum to get on with it, my sons would never let me, they are very close to their granny even though they are 25 and 20 y/o, my sisters two on the other hand never phone her or visit with the great grandkids, Mum says to some people that she only has two grandsons now (mine). If the horrible bitch heard that one I shudder to think of the consequences.

I have a window of opportunity, I can get my own PoA through a lawyer I had a consultation with through VOCAL, my sister is away freeloading off her daughter in laws relatives in Russia in the new year, once I get the dates I will make an appointment for me and mum to go in and get things signed and the narc won't know about it, the doctor will talk to me when I have it, she has always been suspicious of mums anxiety and the attacks that are prevalent with it but won't discuss any of mums treatment with me without a PoA which is understandable.

Mum has still plenty capacity, my sister doesn't see it because mum goes into survival mode walking on eggshells when she is around and it mimics dementia which leads my sister to believe mum is actually worse than she is, the psychiatrist at the memory clinic says "very low level dementia" my sis says she is wrong and mum is much worse and I am in denial.

Mum has a hospital visit on Thursday for her waterworks, it is already taking on the scale of a military exercise with text messages of instructions and apparently paperwork waiting at mums for me and further instructions via email tonight, whoopee... :woohoo: :pinch:

Re: Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:07 pm
by jenny lucas
Sounds like a good plan! Make sure sister doesn't get wind of it, and cancel her freebie holiday!! Can you have a word, maybe, with your own GP, to find out just what you'll need to do, and when, and when by, etc etc - ie, get the ducks all lined up. From what I've read here, one problem may be the time it takes for PoA to be granted - others here will know more, but the last thing you want is getting her signed up, then during the wait to 'certify' it, your sister turning up and causing trouble and bullying your mum into rescinding her decision to switch it to you.....

Is there any opportunity for your mum to physically come and stay with you until the PoA is all signed and sealed etc etc, to protect her from her daughter??

Yes, I grew up with a loving, but highly volatile mum with probably bipolar and schizophrenia (never formally diagnosed in those days), and she could go on Benders for Britain. It took me a long time, but it eventually twigged that her 'rages' actually were more foam than substance, and that if we just 'ducked down' they would blow over and then her happier personality would re-emerge (of course, she wasn't a B, and her rages were more a sign of her distress than anything, but they could be scary and hurtful for all that....)

Wishing you all the best. How sad, in the end, that your sister is so horrible. Sounds like she needs my brand of 'firm love' to call her to account - as it is, she simply alienates everyone. How horrible to be someone no one likes or loves....

Kind regards, J

Re: Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:02 pm
by christina 17
Yes, as regards your Mum's health problems and knowing what is going on, I was relied up on by my brother and sister , about 4 years ago, to make enquiries whether a blood test was back or urine result, or i many a time called the GP out as Mum was somtimes ill when I visited (she refrained from calling GP out herself as she hoped that with time she would get better)
Also, Mum stopped being able to use the phone not answer it as she thought it was the neighbour's phone or the TV.
A query came up when Mum's GP surgery could not give me the result of a test, because of confidentiality, it was then organised that the GP came out and my mother gave permission in front of GP and myself. I also asked for information to be given from GP surgery about my mother, to my brother 2oo miles away, sister 50 miles away and my sister in Australia, in case they themselves ever wanted it. This was all agree by my mother in front of GP.
My mother now has been living with me for the last 2 years, but the option is still there for my 2 sisters and brother to enquire about my mothers health from the surgery.

Good luck

Good luck

Re: Caring for mum along with personality disordered sibling

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:33 am
by Happy Dude
Hi guys, thanks for the kind replies, I've been very busy in the last few weeks with work, looking after mum, friends visiting from abroad etc that I've just had my head down.

Christina, what you say is a really good idea, I will phone mums doctor next week and see if it is something she would be willing to do, mum will be fine with it I'm sure so thank you very much for the suggestion.

Jenny, my sis is most definitely a Cluster B, mums hospital visit needed her to keep a diary of her urine habits and quantities for three days, I was set up to take the blame for the failure of it before it even started, I got a text from her on the Friday afternoon to ensure mum did the diary over the weekend, I had none of the paperwork stating exactly what had to be done as she had taken the letter away from mums house "in case mum threw it out" so played it by ear, mum felt it was a bit embarrassing and didn't really try, (I can't force her) so on the Monday night I saw a handwritten note saying I hadn't carried out the task properly and she had phoned the nurse at the department on the Monday morning to tell her it was my fault it wasn't done, she also said I was to tell the doctor mum has dementia and this was another reason for the failure of the task, the mind boggles at the lengths she goes to in order to shift blame and avoid responsibility.

In the new year I am going to Age Scotland for advice on how to build an abuse case against her, it's sick it has come to this but with zero self awareness of the impact her controlling tactics have on everyone around her especially mum it is my final option.

I believe this is called Passive Abuse because the horrible bitch is oblivious to the carnage in her wake because of her cluster B personality disorder, she always responds to "the figures in authority" when it suits her so if she is taken to task by the social work or even the police then maybe she will listen, or more likely blame me, mum, our late dad, my wife, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all..