SandraMay 9, 2023 at 11:52 am #1120062
I think my mom has a mental disorder – she is slobbish and disgusting to the extreme. and I don’t know what mental disorder she has but no mentally healthy person would live like her and I do know she needs serious professional help.
She also has a major victim complex. You will never meet anyone who constantly views themselves as the victim as much as her. For example, growing up my father was incredibly physically/verbally/psychologically abusive to me and my siblings, but she was to busy wrapped up in her own self pity to care or do anything. It’s caused a lot of psychological damage to us. Any criticism about things now she sees as bullying.
I know the answer is that I need to have an uncomfortable conversation with her and beg her to get help. But I’m scared to. I don’t want to tell my own mom she she is revolting and lives like a pig – it’s so mean. But that’s the truth and there is no way to tip toe around it. She is bringing everyone down, she is an embarrassment.
I’m not good at diplomacy so I’m reaching out to ask for advice on how to go about this. Any advice on how to word my intentions would be appreciated.
“I know the answer is that I need to have an uncomfortable conversation with her and beg her to get help.”
This isn’t necessarily the answer. A lot depends on your relationship, how close you are or want to be with her, and whether she’s a danger to herself or others.
My first suggestion would be to find yourself a good therapist and work through your own issues from growing up like this, have them help you develop strategies for dealing with your mom.
- This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Kate.
How old are you? Do you still live at home? Let us help you with script ideas for broaching the topic of her mental health with her if it’s appropriate to do so right now. There actually ARE ways to be diplomatic and if you don’t employ some diplomacy – and your language here suggests you might not – you could risk ruining your relationship with your mother and I don’t think that’s what you want?
So… I agree with @Kate on therapy for you first. To me this read like you’re coming from a place of frustration and anger rather than concern, so I don’t know that it’s appropriate for you to say anything or intervene.
I’m sorry she wasn’t able to protect you from your father’s abuse, but odds seem high that she herself WAS a victim.AnonymousseMay 9, 2023 at 2:19 pm #1120078
I agree that you sound more in contempt of her behavior, living space and person right now than that you’re coming from a place of real care or concern about her. I’m sorry, I’m sure you do care about her but you should do as others have suggested and get some therapy or counseling for what you’ve been through to even begin to clear up some of the parental issues.
A therapist can help you pick apart your feelings and can maybe help you begin to heal your relationship with her, or at least yourself. Therapy has helped me accept the actual circumstances/people I’ve been dealt in life (as far as family, parents) and manage my own expectations and relationships with them from there.
She isn’t your responsibility and you don’t have to save her. Take care.SandraMay 9, 2023 at 3:39 pm #1120083
I have started therapy a few months ago but its early days. I don’t live with her and haven’t for a long time, but am staying for a short while and her slobbiness is affecting me mentally but also literally (food cross-contamination etc). I’m 30 and live a long distance away. My sister lives a lot closer and has the same frustrations with her.
I agree that my feelings are coming from a place of frustration, because me and my siblings have tried to help her so much over the years only for her to ignore us. She is in a self-inflicted rut. But I do want her to get better because I love her and know she needs professional help.
She definitely isn’t a narcissist, that’s the strange thing – she is wonderfully caring in many ways. But she has always dragged us down with her laziness and apathy.
Thank you for the point that she was also a victim of my father’s abuse. I need to remember that when I think back to her negligence.
Thank you for all your responses, it is helpful to get different perspectives.LisforLeslieMay 9, 2023 at 3:47 pm #1120085
You can’t help someone who doesn’t want help. You and your sister are going to have to face the awful reality that at some point, there is a real possibility that your mother gets evicted from her house if the local government determines that her home is unlivable (either due to neglecting upkeep of the house until things like indoor plumbing are not functioning or due to causing a health hazard to neighbors because she’s overrun with pests like rats).
If that happens, she may need to go to elder care where they will not allow such behavior or live with one of you (not recommended).
All you can do is tell her you love her but refuse to visit and she knows why and she knows what she needs to do. There are several different mental disorders that can be at the root – try the book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Gail Steketee & Randy Frost.
If you believe that your mom is afflicted by mental illness, then I hope you will stop using words like “lazy” and “apathetic” to describe her. Basic life tasks can be really hard when you’re struggling with your mental and emotional health.
You don’t have to stay with her if you’re too deeply affected by how she lives. I say this as someone who made the choice to stop visiting my parents’ home several years ago because their dynamics take a toll on my emotional wellbeing. Different circumstances, same idea — guard your own wellbeing whenever you can.
I once read something about boundaries that went something along the lines of this: Boundaries are the distance from which I can love you and myself. I’m probably butchering it, but I think that’s true. You can love your mom and be present for her in ways that don’t compromise your own sanity, but it’s not your responsibility to “fix” her. I’m glad you’re in therapy. It took me years of therapy to be a boundary-setting queen with my own family.