Please understand that when living in a traumatic environment with daily stress it can seem less dangerous than it really is. It becomes normal and acceptable but her threatening to kill you, others, or herself are the absolute worst symptoms of mental illness. This puts your mother in a crisis level 4 state meaning she should be immediately taken to an ER or local behavioral hospital for treatment. If she won’t go its appropriate to call 911. Just because she hasn’t done anything yet doesn’t mean she won’t. I hate to scare you but your family has become acclimated to her behavior which makes it even more dangerous. Your family is enabling her behavior instead of getting her treatment that could save someone’s life including hers. I went through this with my daughter as well. Anytime she says she wants to kill herself we take it seriously because normally she would never say that when she is healthy. Just look at Las Vegas shootings for an example of a long slow devolving. Or Columbine. Or the shooting in Waco. There are plenty of cautionary tales out there where there were signs of mental illness ignored for far too long. What I have learned to do is look at the behavior and ask whether it’s something I or my husband would do. If the answer is no, we know it’s not normal behavior.
Mental illness can be very cyclical with unpredictable periods of normalcy and the increasingly troubling signs of dysfunction like poor hygiene, abnormal emotional response, isolation from others and much more. It can be hard to recognize especially if you are a minor. One thing you might do is just talk to your counselor about what you are seeing at home. He or she may be able to help you understand better.
Please don’t ignore this just because there are times when she seems okay. Every family I have ever read about tragedies happening had signs and warnings they ignored. You are trying to justify the behavior and feeling guilty, all of which is normal. It is okay to feel uncertain and even scared. I am 38 years old and scared of my 10 year old daughter who wants to kill herself and others. I am scared of how to keep her safe or myself. I am scared of triggering her. The best solution and only solution is to reach out for help, even though it takes so much courage. Getting her help is the best and most loving thing you could ever do and if she were healthy and not struggling with mental illness she would understand and appreciate your concern for her but she is not able to.
Please,please,please don’t wait. Please talk to someone. Please open up and let the truth out. Hiding it only makes it worse and it can get worse if it’s ignored. You have the ability to change this for the better and you would be doing a great thing for your mom and family even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
If you need to, keep a journal and right down the things that are happening at home since talking is hard. The patterns will start to emerge and you can share that with someone that will listen.
I cannot tell you what it is that’s affecting your mother. I can tell you what it is not: normal behavior. What it is doesn’t matter nearly as much as you and your family being safe.
I am here to help and listen and answer questions and whatever you need. As a mother of two children, I am very worried for you and hate the idea of you being in such a situation. I would like to help so if none of what I suggested works for you, please tell me why and maybe we can find another way. Because there is a solution that’s better than just dealing with it.