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Old February 18th, 2018, 08:52 AM
drwholover83 drwholover83 is offline
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Mother Wasting Away

Hi everyone.

I have an issue I need advice on from others who donít personally know my family. It seems I find the best help on forums like these
Iím a Junior in High School, my mother is 48 and going through menopause.
Iím not really sure how to start this off, but Iíll try to make it flow smoothly:

When this started, Iím not exactly sure, but I feel like itís been this way for a few months. My mother has started to not care about life at all, it seems. She letís herself waste away, day after day, on the couch of our home. About a little more than a year ago, sheís started working from home on her conputer for a loan servicing company (sheís been with them for about a decade). Now that sheís home all the time, she does nothing. And when sheís not working, sheís shopping on Amazon, playing on apps, playing on our Xbox, watching TV shows. I kid you not, she doesnít move from that couch. Messes build up to the point where I have to clean up after her, her laundry never gets done so she wears filthy clothes constantly, my step-dad is always having to go pick up dinner somewhere since she never cooks anymore, it takes her about a week to even take a shower, and she complains anout being overweight 24/7 when she never even takes the effort to change that while she eats Pirate Booty and chips & dip all day long as well as her bottle of wine a night. As a 16 year old, I already feel like Iíll have to change her diapers soon, too. Itís pathetic and dissappointing. Not to mention that whenever I play a video game, she has to get into it, too. She stays on video games until the wee hours of the morning, and sleeps in until 12 in the afternoon. I donít think she understands that I want a functioning mother, not a 48 year old best friend. I may sound like a ďdisrespectful teenagerĒ in this post, but frankly, Iím very kind to her and donít put her down. This has been bottled up for so long, and Iím going to burst.
My mother and father were never married, even when I popped up in her belly. Ever since I was 2, Iíve gone back and forth between their houses. Both are remarried, I have a little half brother on my dadís side, and Iím an only child for my mom. Whenever I come home from my dadís house, the dirty dishes are literally piled up so high, they touch our cabinets. I end up doing 3 loads in a day, along with the loads of home-work I have from my AP classes. Sheíll pay me to do her laundry for her as she sits on her *** all day doing nothing at all.
She has depression, anxiety, and ADHD
I donít know what to do. No one has advice for this.

Thanks for any help.
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Old February 18th, 2018, 10:08 AM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Mother Wasting Away

I'm so sorry to hear about this. It's terrible.

You're right - there isn't really any advice about this. Your mother needs help, but she needs to be the one to seek it out. Between you and your stepdad, she should lovingly be told that you're worried about her, maybe she should see a doctor, etc. She may be having medical issues - some hormone imbalance things that come along with menopause can be a bear - so that would be the first thing I'd ask her to do. If she goes, you can call the doctor's office ahead of time and tell them what you have told us.

Other than that... this is hard to say. Take care of yourself first. You are 16, you have your whole life ahead of you. You are at an age where you should be worried about prom and college applications, not your mother's mental well-being. Become a little bit selfish. Spend more time at your dad's, and let the dishes pile up at your mom's house while you study for your AP exams. When you are home, don't sit on the couch with your mom playing video games. Sit at the kitchen table to eat, or study or whatever. Maybe she'll eventually get up from the couch to join you.

Good luck. Focus on your future, don't worry about your mom. Right now she has your stepdad to take care of her, and she is only 48. She can still take care of herself. Don't let her hold you back.
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Old February 20th, 2018, 06:30 PM
drwholover83 drwholover83 is offline
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Re: Mother Wasting Away

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
I'm so sorry to hear about this. It's terrible.

You're right - there isn't really any advice about this. Your mother needs help, but she needs to be the one to seek it out. Between you and your stepdad, she should lovingly be told that you're worried about her, maybe she should see a doctor, etc. She may be having medical issues - some hormone imbalance things that come along with menopause can be a bear - so that would be the first thing I'd ask her to do. If she goes, you can call the doctor's office ahead of time and tell them what you have told us.

Other than that... this is hard to say. Take care of yourself first. You are 16, you have your whole life ahead of you. You are at an age where you should be worried about prom and college applications, not your mother's mental well-being. Become a little bit selfish. Spend more time at your dad's, and let the dishes pile up at your mom's house while you study for your AP exams. When you are home, don't sit on the couch with your mom playing video games. Sit at the kitchen table to eat, or study or whatever. Maybe she'll eventually get up from the couch to join you.

Good luck. Focus on your future, don't worry about your mom. Right now she has your stepdad to take care of her, and she is only 48. She can still take care of herself. Don't let her hold you back.

Thank you for all of your advice... Iíll try out your suggestions.

I feel responsible as her child for her wellbeing, and to take care of her once she ages. I didnít imagine that time would come before she was even elderly. Iíve had talks with my stepfather, and heís told me that heís given up. Heíd rather do everything himself than argue with her about how lazy and irresposible she is.
It feels pathetic, and quite annoying.
I know I have responsibilities and chores to do as a part of her household, but I feel disrespected when she leaves trash and piles of dishes around for me to pick up, when sheís fully capable of taking 2 minutes of her life to walk to the kitchen and clean them up herself. I suppose that her iPad is more important.
She has a psychologist she sees weekly, as do I, but less frequently. Sheís told me before about how this psychologist says her behavior at her age with the menopause that sheís going through is normal. Although, ďnormalĒ does not mean that itís OK. I donít think she cares to see the difference.
There was a time where I stayed at my fatherís for quite a while due to how I was being treated by her quite a while ago. I feel that itís contributed to how she acts towards me now. According to my stepdad, when I was gone for that long, it was the worst he had ever seen her. Iím afraid to make this an even larger issue, and damage her further, unintentionally.

(Iím very unfamiliar with this forum, and Iím afraid I tapped a button when I was trying to reply to you. I hope it didnít flag your post. Sorry!)
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Old February 20th, 2018, 10:30 PM
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Re: Mother Wasting Away

I don't think you did, but if you did - No worries.

drwholover83, I'm a 55yo woman with a lot of middle aged female friends. I can wholeheartedly guarantee that what your mom is going through is NOT 'normal'. Either your mom isn't telling the psychologist the truth of what's happening at home (because maybe she doesn't see it for what it is) or your mom is not telling you the truth of what the psychologist says.

What I'm about to tell you is very, very important. You are NOT responsible for your mother's wellbeing. You are her child, not her parent. If your mom was legitimately disabled it would be understandable for you to feel that you are responsible, but menopause is NOT a disability. Your mom needs a giant wake-up call, but she has to hit rock bottom before she will get better. Any effort you and your stepdad spend preventing her from hitting rock bottom is, sadly, enabling her.

Does your school have a counselor? I'm glad you're seeing a psychologist, but I think you need better guidance about what your rights are. You are not being well-served living with your mom. You can't sacrifice your life because she is unwilling to seek help. That's not how parenthood works.

Have you told your dad about this? Honestly, if I were him I'd insist you live with me. If he pays her any form of child support, he deserves to know about this because she shouldn't have custody at all.

Talk to your dad, talk to your teachers, talk to the school counselor, talk to your doctor. Help is out there for you, and if you seek help, people will be alerted that she needs help too. That's really what is best for both of you.

Do you plan on going away for college?
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Old February 21st, 2018, 11:17 AM
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Re: Mother Wasting Away

I have to second everything that KayKay wrote.

Your mother's behavior is not "normal" for a 48 year old woman going through menopause. She needs more medical and psychological support than a high school student can provide.

As her child, she is responsible for YOUR wellbeing. If she is not providing for you and relying on you to complete her responsibilities, then she is at least guilty of neglect. She is responsible for her own happiness; you have no power to do anything for her. But, the fact that you want to help her illustrates what a kind person you are. You are a good daughter who deserves better support.

You are maturing and learning to be independent will not damage her. Do not let your stepfather or your mother guilt you with that lie. She may have "been the worst" he's ever seen her when you left last time, but that's about her own wounds which she needs to heal. You didn't break her, and you can't fix her.

Definitely reach out to teachers, counselors, and your biological father. You need to be cared for, to have support in following your own path to college, continuing education, etc. The best thing you can to do honor your mother is to live an honorable life.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 03:07 PM
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Re: Mother Wasting Away

I'm thirding what kaykay said - I'm 52 & went thru early menopause (it got caught in time) and later went thru "normal" menopause ....
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