I'm worried about my mom...

Zoroark18Zoroark18 England. Posts: 7 Newbie
Firstly, I hope this is the right place to post this type of thing. Sorry if its not. 

Okay, so my Grandad passed just after Christmas last year, and it hit my mom hard. I won't go into full detail about their relationship, as it's complex. But basically they had stopped talking, and when he passed it hit her very hard. We didn't go to the funeral, and she's not coping well at all. She misses him a lot, and is just fed up and sad all the time. 

I'm scared she's getting depressed again. She was depressed when I was younger, and it made her drink heavily during my childhood. I'm currently 18 and she hasn't touched vodka for a good couple of years, that I know of.

For a little backstory to her drinking (I think I posted about this around xmas day, but I can't find it), her and my dad split when I was around 6 (they're still married) and have been doing well apart. She started drinking around when I was 5/6? before she split with my dad, mainly due to her getting depressed and having a meltdown, which no one in our family took notice of. She continued to drink heavily on and off the next few years, even when she and dad tried to get back together again, when I was around 8? It's all very fuzzy. She would be violent, trying to harm me and my dad as well. During these times I had moved to live with my dad a few times. 

She stopped drinking after she ended up in the hospital with liver damage, if I recall correctly. She didn't want me to come down, as she didn't want me to be scared. Ending up in the hospital scared her, and she got herself back together, doing well for the next few years. We lived with my nan (mom's mom) for a year, until we moved back home. The next few years were good, but I would freak out at times and think she was drinking. Everytime it happened, her and my nan would say I'm either seeking attention, or I'm delusional. I may be, or it could just be that every time she doesn't act 'normal' in my eyes, I freak and assume the worse. 

Getting to the last few years of my high school life, I started to think she was drinking more and more, even calling my dad, and leaving in the night to live with him for a couple of months. Again, mom and nan said I was delusional and seeking attention. Only dad and his parents would listen to me. Again, if she wasn't then they weren't helping but still. 

So, the last time I know shje was drinking for certain was around my GCSE's, two years back, when I was 15/16. I called my nan, she came over, had an argument with mom, and I lived with her for a few months, going back to moms when school had ended and she'd stopped. 

These past two years have been better, with me not living with my nan/dad and things began to look better. Then, last christmas I posted what I mentioned above, saying I was scared and explained all this in bigger detail. I headed to dads for the week like normal, and when I came back, found out Grandad had passed after Boxing Day. It hit us all very hard, and we all did our best to move forward as best as we could. 

It hit mom the hardest though. She started off sad, talking about him and looking at photos. Silly things really. Nothing which freaked me. Things started to escalate though. Grandads funeral was in Feb? I can'r remember. we didn't go, due to family reasons. My nan's been setting up a wake of our own for him however. This should be happening sometime later this year. Long, I know. 

Mom joined at fb group, named after the company Grandad used to run. She's been talking, and posting pictures on their. It's her way of coping, I guess. She made me join yesterday and is making me post things on their too. A couple of months after the funeral, mom was visited by Grandad's ex (of sorts) girlfriend. Him and nan divorced when I was around 5/6 and he moved to Portugal with the woman (gonna call her V) he had been sleeping with for years. They married. He then cheated on her and went for this other one (gonna call her A). A came round and they talked for hours. I was at dads and didn't know (I go at weekends and such). Mom never told nan as she hates A. Mom also hates A, but she was the closest thing to Grandad I guess. The tow began calling the next couple of weeks, again mom was acting 'weird' to me. Grieving, I know. Mom asked me if i wanted to talk to A and I declined. 

They stopped calling, and we didn't hear of A. Not much more happened after that. The next few months passed and mom was getting better slightly. 

Then these past couple of weeks, shes been worrying me. Now, I'm known to freak out over the smallest thing (as you can see above). The thing is, I'm scared she's getting depressed again. She keeps saying she's fed up, isn't sleeping, not eating really either. All she's doing is listening to old songs, which trigger her to cry, and posting on the fb group. I've tried to talk to her, but she just tells me not to worry and that she's fine. I don't know what to do. It's not my dads problem, they don't live together anymore. Plus, he's currently away on holiday. Nan is getting older and I don't want to worry her. She's got to much to worry herself with. Plus, she's probably tell me that I'm delusional or something. My uncle and aunt don't need this stress, as they're got their own problems. I don't want to burden my friends either. Plus, there isn't much they can do. 

I'm not scared that she'll hurt me, like she's attempted while drunk. I'm just scared she's spiralling down, and is either going to kill herself or go back to drinking to numb out the pain. I'm really at a loss, and it's making my anxiety play up to the max. It's making me feel physically ill and isn't helping in the slightest. Furthermore, she started to zone out a lot last night. She's constantly walking round the house, doing who knows what. I couldn't fall asleep until I heard her come to bed as i was scared I'd wake up in the morning and be greeted with her dead body. 

I thought everything was getting better this morning, she seemed alright again. But now she's back to messaging and walking around, with music playing.

Again, I may just be overthinking this and she could just be sad and grieving, and it won't turn into anything else. But... I don't know. If anyone can give me any kind of advice, or any kind of support, I'd be really grateful. I'm just at such a loss and I don't know what to do. 

-Chloe 

I'm sorry how scrambled this is. I just had to get this off my chest. 
peachysooMama_U660

Comments

  • Candlestick56Candlestick56 Posts: 90 Miniposter
    Hi @Zoroark18,

    It sounds like a tough time for you at the moment. I hope it helped a bit to write everything down at least and get it off your chest -your post is really detailed and gives a good picture of what's going on, which sounds like a lot! 

    I'm not surprised you're feeling anxious seeing your mum struggle with grief. It's horrible to see someone you care about feeling so much pain so I can understand why you're concerned, especially with what happened before. 

    The thing about grief is everyone deals with it differently, and it can be quite a long process. If your mum doesn't really have anyone she can talk to about it, apart from the people on the Facebook page, then it's probably going to be a lot harder for her. Do you think she would be open to the idea of counselling? There are the online sessions now, so she could get referred via her GP. Or if you don't think that would work for her, maybe she could join a local group of something she's interested in, like sport or a choir or something? Something like that might take a bit of encouragement, but maybe you could frame it like it's something you really want to try and want her to try it with you? I think one of the things that helps most to cope with the loss of someone is being around other people - or animals even, if that's an option? 

    You've said you've tried to talk to her but she doesn't really want to open up. Maybe there are other ways you could try and approach it, like rather than doing it from the angle that you're concerned about her, saying instead that you think the grief has hit you a bit more than you realised and can you talk to her about it? Maybe then she will switch into caring mode and feel more inclined to talk? 

    Also you mention your dad and your uncle and aunt and say you don't want to trouble them with this, but I'm not sure it's the best idea to try and take everything on your shoulders on your own. Maybe they wouldn't be able to do anything practical to help, but I think it would be good to talk to them about your feelings and worries at least. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say.

    I hope you're doing ok, and please don't try to cope with all of this alone! 
    peachysooZoroark18
  • peachysoopeachysoo Posts: 151 The Mix convert
    Hey Chloe,

    I'm so sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. It's only natural that you are worried and want to support your mother as best you can - you're definitely not "delusional" or "attention-seeking" by any means (in my opinion, your actions are the best you can do given the situation, and that's anyone can ask for ultimately). You worrying about your mum drinking again in the past even if there was nothing more than warning signs is heartwarming, because it clearly shows how much you love and care for her. I understand you don't want to burden anyone else with the situation, but it must only make it so much harder on you, and you shouldn't have to bear the weight of everything on your own.

    Like candlestick56 has said, people react to grief differently, and some people may take longer grieving. Knowing your mother's history with depression, I understand how worrying and scary this must be for you - these sorts of events definitely would hit home much harder and could make depressive relapses more easy. It's admirable you have tried talking to her about it, but I can understand why she may be a bit reluctant to open up about it to you. Perhaps she truly is fine, but I think it's honestly more likely to be that she can't bear making you upset and worried too, which is how you inevitably feel by her not opening up because you want to help! I think I can empathise with your mother's feelings somewhat - even if my (hypothetical) child were 18, I'd still want to shelter them from my own problems and reassure them everything is okay, even if they could blatantly tell this isn't necessarily the case. Again, as candlestick56 has said, you could try approach the matter in different ways, and maybe then she will be willing to open up. That said, it ultimately depends on whether your mum is personally ready to talk about her feelings, and we cannot do anything except respect her need for time and offer as much support as she is willing to receive - although one of the best things (at least for me) to cope with low moods and other mental health struggles is to talk about it, reassuring someone to open up can potentially be more detrimental.

    As I said before, it's really great you want to help and support your mum. I recently finished (sort of) re-reading "Reasons to Stay Alive" by Matt Haig, and there was this one section about supporting someone else with depression or anxiety, and I related to a few, if not all, of his points  (i.e. how I would appreciate someone else supporting me when I fall back into such states and so as I would also do for someone else with anxiety/depression). Examples of these are (I've selected certain points, and shortened some in areas):
    • Listen
    • Never say "pull yourself together" or "cheer up" unless you're also going to provide detailed, foolproof instructions
    • Educate yourself. Understand, above all, that what might seem easy to you - going to a shop, for example - might be an impossible challenge for a depressive.
    • Be patient. Understand it isn't going to be easy.
    • Meet them where they are. Ask them what you can do. The main thing you can do is just be there.
    • Relieve any work/life pressure if that is doable.
    • Where possible, don't make the depressive feel weirder than they already feel. Three days on the sofa? Haven't opened the curtains? Crying over difficult decisions like which pair of socks to wear? So what. No biggie.There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion variations of normal on this planet.
    That said, it's important to also know, as the supporter of someone else, that:
    • you are valued. Even if you don't feel you've helped, or if the other doesn't necessarily show it, you have probably made a huge impact on the person (I know from personal experience that I greatly appreciate even the smallest comments of support, but sometimes I'm so upset I just can't even respond verbally or even with a smile, for example) - in fact, the book also mentions this: "Know that you are needed, and appreciated, even if it seems you are not"
    • your well-being (physical and mental) is important. Don't neglect yourself and care for YOU as well. If it's getting too much, seek support from a professional, if not anyone else - you can't fully help anyone else if you're not able to help yourself.
    • you can't control the feelings, words, and actions of other people, but you can control your own. Be mindful, caring, and empathetic - be kind and patient, but know that, ultimately, the choices and problems of other people are not your responsibility.
    Here are some helpful links on supporting others with more information (I remember reading a booklet by Mind a few years back, and it was quite informative and helpful for me, though I think it's been revised since then) :
    Ultimately, though, I really believe you should reach out to a trusted person, preferably a professional (e.g. your GP, or even just a school counsellor) if you believe your mum may be suicidal, and definitely at least if it's impacting you even slightly adversely. You shouldn't bottle up all your anxieties and try handle things alone. Don't be afraid to reach out to others, even if you think you're "bothering" them. As humans, we like to help each another, and if someone dear to you is hurting but you don't even know this (so you don't have the opportunity to even decide whether you could help or not) until it could be too late, I think is much worse.

    I hope you and your family's situation soon begins improving, and we are all here to offer as much support as we can, as are others.

    -peachysoo
    Zoroark18
  • Zoroark18Zoroark18 England. Posts: 7 Newbie
    First of all, thank you @Candlestick56 and @peachysoo for your comments. They've really helped me feel a bit less anxious with everything, so thanks really! Plus, I am doing a little better. I had another small freak out a few days back, when I came back from the caravan with my nan and cousin, but me and mom sat and talked and she basically told me to stop freaking as all was okay. But I'm doing much better than before, and so is mom, to a degree. She has good and bad days/hours. 

    Just a small update, me & my mom have left the fb group due to issues with certain people she was talking to being friends with V. Mom is still talking to one or two but not all. She's also trying to meet up with a load of the guys from the group, as they all used to work for my grandad and mom knew them from when she was young. 

    Now, regarding what @Candlestick56 suggested, I'm not really sure she would do counselling. You see, she had counselling (kinda) for her drinking, and unless someone has gone through the exact same (or close to), she doesn't really stick with it. So I don't think she'd want to do that. Again, a local group would be interesting, but I don't think there's much round here she'd be interested in. She doesn't have many hobbies. She not sporty nor arty, but loves reading. That and animals are kinda it. I can try and get us to do something together though, if I look around for anything she may find interesting. As for being around other people/animals. We have many pets, two dogs and three cats. We're looking into getting more pets; a couple of giant lops and another couple of dogs at the least! So animals aren't a problem. People wise, she doesn't have many close friends. There's my Godmother, but they don't really see each other much. Mom doesn't really wanna see close family, as they're either coping from their own grief (being grandad or other recently passed family members) or they're simply stressing her out due to things. Like I said above, she is looking into meeting up with some people plus we are currently having our house renovated a little, and she talks to our builder quite a lot. She's also messaging people too quite a bit as well. 

    I've talked to her a little bit more, and she's said bits. She talks about Grandad, and how she misses him, tries to explain how she feels (which is hard) and apologises for freaking me. She's said she's trying to keep things from escalating to any extreme (like drinking again) by having small cries at sad songs and when she thinks about things. She says she doesn't want to fully block Grandads memory out. She also said she should start to feel a little better after the year has ended, and its been a year since he passed. 

    The main reason I mentioned not wanting to talk to family about it is cause how hard it is for each of them. My nan lost my grandad, as well as her brother (my uncle) earlier this year as well, so shes just hanging on. Plus, she was never one to really be comforting about my fears about mom going back to drinking again. My aunts dad is dying, and my uncle keeps his feelings very locked in (like my dad and myself too). My dad, being blunt, doesn't really care. He never liked my grandad while alive, and he never grieved his grandparents, so I don't think talking to him would do much good. The only person I have talked to this about, apart from the small talks with mom, was my other Grandad, who was able to listen and let me talk about everything. My friends have told me to talk to them, but there's not much they can do, and I don't really feel like its the right thing to put on them. I mean, my one mates dad is dying as well, so I don't want to worry her and her family anymore. 

    As for what @peachysoo said, I have talked a bit to my mom about my concerns, and she's told me to tell her if I feel any of these concerns again. She's apologised for making me worry and has said shes grieving this way to try not to fall back into a drinking binge. She said that if she bottles it up till im not in the house, seeing as I'm at home quite a lot, then it would be more likely she would grab bottles of vodka and down them. She also said she knows that if she goes in the bathroom and cries, I would freak (which I know I would). So I do get shes trying to grieve in the easiest? way for me to not freak out, and which is also the easiest way to not cause her too much harm. If that makes sense. She's also said that I needn't worry about her committing suicide, so I'm a little less stressed about that. 

    Those points you've put we're very helpful. As well as those links, so thank you! I'll probably look into trying to get the book to read it in my spare time, to try and get a clearer head on the subject. I'll definitely spend time looking into the links properly over the next few days as well. 

    I've been keeping my eye on my mom as much as I can, and even though she's told me shes not, the next time I think she may be, I will try and contact someone. If anything, it's been making my anxiety play up more than usual. I do get that. Like I said in my reply for @Candlestick56 my friends have been worried for me and they both said to talk to them if I needed. 

    Thanks once again, 

    -Chloe

    peachysooCandlestick56
  • Mama_U660Mama_U660 Posts: 11 Fast Newbie
    hey chloe, 
    i have a similar problem with my mum. I feel like its okay to be anxious and worried because that shows u love and care about her. If she's not talking just let her know your there for her. Do those little cute things that show u care like randomly hug her and tell her u love her. Or u could just help her by watching funny movies with her and hopefully she'll open up to u. Im sorry about all this stress ur going through and i hope ur mum gets better.  <3
    Zoroark18
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