I’m new to sharing my story in a forum. I should have done this sooner after reading some posts. My mom has schizoaffective disorder. It started when I was 7 years old and I am now 30.
It was a very rough time back then. First there was only sadness that I saw in her and lot of tears. Soon after she told me about how my Dad got killed, murdered, and the man in front of me is just a copy, not real, but here to harm me. She told me about many men standing in front of our house ready to unalive us, the moment we would step out. I was very afraid as a child. But my dad was there to explain it all to me. Even Though he got upset a lot, he still managed to make me understand that this is not my mom talking but rather her brain not working correctly. When she finally turned hostile against me, by planning to jump off a bridge, my dad took me and we moved out. She came to my school a bit later, looking for me and when my teacher wanted to take control of the situation and put me in front of her, my mom cried. Stating that I have passed too and I am only a copy of the real child she has lost.
These are actually the very few clear memories I have from my childhood. She did therapy afterwards and she also got medications. She believed she had a “Nervous breakdown”. She was mad that my dad moved away and an 11 year custody battle followed after.
She had her ups and downs throughout the years but never as bad as back then, until 2017. It got immensely bad, refused medication, hearing voices, being paranoid. I tried to help, especially with her housing and financial situation. We might not have the child-parent bond but she still is my mom and she does not have much family in the country she lives in. I had visited her in the clinic and it was just very hard for me. It unlocked memories I had long buried or forgotten. With the help of some social workers I had as a child, we got her a guardian that took care of a lot of things. I felt like we were getting somewhere and I continued with my own life, by moving to another (neighboring) country.
For some odd reasons the court allowed her to dismiss said guardian after half a year. We as a family didn’t even know that. All I did to help her, all the time I put in and she just kicked it away. She was stable-ish until 2019. Pandemic was hard for everyone but it did something else for the people who are already fighting certain battles. She almost lost her home, she was more stubborn than ever and even though her brother lived with her, everyone just called me and asked me to fix things. From neighbors, to uncle, courts and my brother. I didn’t even know what I was doing but I tried to work thru all that pressure and expectation, collecting evidence against my mom to maybe get her into the clinic by other means, while at the same time getting her a new guardian, because how am I supposed to do all the help, while in a lockdown in another country? I am grateful for the court and social workers who don’t have to help me but they have been giving me great input. When she finally had the guardian she was willing to go into the clinic by herself, get new medication, while the guardian got her a lawyer who managed to persuade her landlord to let her stay in her home. I could finally breathe, for a bit and deal with my own life and other people around it. Last year I lost my best friend to cancer. Usually she would be able to say something to give me strength and I already miss her, but moments like these make me miss her even more.
Today I got a call from my 18 year old brother, he thinks that she might be in trouble again. That there is no guardian because she suddenly has a lot of money to spend. While she had the guardian he had a strict financial plan for her. Her money spending has always been an early sign of an underlying problem.
I don’t even know what to do anymore. I feel like my life is on standstill, waiting to fix the next issue that she causes. While I do work great under pressure and the past has shown me that I can accomplish many things, I am just drained of it all. I can not always be occupied by it.
I’m in a very loving long term relationship and my partner is very understanding. He gives me a feeling of vacation, homeness and a drama free zone. He is ready to start a family. My mom, his mom are all nagging for a kid. But how can I commit to a child, while I am kind of co-parenting my mom? I would no longer have the capacity to fix everything. Who will be there for her then?
I know this is a long post and I am very sorry for it. It was hard to narrow it all down. But I am very interested in how other people manage their parents’ situation and balance their own life. Are you also kind of alone with it?