Do any fellow brides out there have a mother with mental illness?

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
1055 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Loft

ericamariejudge:  I have dealt with this my whole life as well. My advice is to keep your expectations low. Any communication you have with your mom should be taken with a grain of salt. My mom has a tendancy to not want to be enthusiastic about things she know would make me happy. Or if it is big news she says she can’t deal with it and it is over whelming her. Just keep these things in mind.

I am sorry to hear about what you’re going through and sending many positive thoughts and well wishes to your father.

Post # 3
Member
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Yes I am in the midst of dealing with it right now and my mother does not want to get help or take medication even though she has extreme delusions to the point that it negatively effects every aspect of her life.  She has to buy food everyday from the store, won’t eat any prepared foods, think people are spying through the cable box etc. its really really bad.  On top of that she is extremely manipulative, harsh and seems to lack any kind of empathy it’s hard so I know where your coming from.

When me and my fiance did pre martial counseling she told us most people will never get help for a mental illness bipolar,schizophrenia etc. and the only thing you can do is love them but stand firm in your boundaries what you will and will not tolerate and you have to keep the firm line.

Post # 4
Member
7 posts
Newbee

I have this issue in my family as well.  Mom has suffered from sever depression most of her life (and all of mine) along with agoraphobia and host of other things, and sister is bipolar and border line.  I definitely sympathize with your situation even though i know each one is unique.  I have probably not handled it well.  My sister is the more difficult one because she can “flip” her mood so quickly for no reason and so I have just avoided things I didnt have to include her in, which hasnt seemed too much of an issue because the things i do include her in she doesnt show for…but i know something will happen eventually.  Mom is more of an eggshell situation because i dont want anything to make her sad because she has a hard time coming out of it.  I just try to be positive around both of them, include them in what i can and not take any negative or “selfish” comments personally.  I have learned to let things go, accept that i cant control everything and I hold on to every moment so that i can make this moment in my life memorable.  Hold on to the good and let the bad run right off like water off a ducks back.  easier said than done, but worth trying 🙂  Good luck!

Post # 5
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

I know how you feel. My mom had always been my rock – she is an extremely loving and smart woman who has always been supportive of me and loves my FH dearly. But, she has also been ill with a chronic pain disorder for about 4 years. She has always taken antidepressants but had to get off of them due to a reaction of her medication that caused her to have her first (and only so far) manic episode last summer, shortly after I became engaged. It was incredibly scary – she was hallucinating, having delusions that she could talk to people through the TV, and stayed up for 4 days straight obsessively writing about drug company conspiracies on her Facebook page. After her manic experience was over, she spiralled into a deep, deep depression that almost resulted in her divorcing my dad (with whom she has been otherwise happily married for 25 years.

I live 5 hours away and felt extremely guilty for not being able to help her and my family more during this time, while at the same time trying to put on a happy face and plan a wedding. I did not want to trigger any stress in her, so I did most things on my own or with my FMIL or Grandma. Eventually, she said some very hurtful and untrue things about my father to my FMIL at my bridal shower. FMIL was very sweet and understanding, but I was very embarassed and angry, and felt guilty for being angry because I too have been depressed in the past and know just how much it can disort your perception. 

I wrote her a letter telling her how much I love her and miss her – the old her. I knew she was scared to go back on her antidepressants due to the reaction early in the year, but I told her that I needed her to get professional help. I told her that her children are not the people to discuss her relationship issues with. Thankfully she listened. She was in an outpatient day program at a clinic for 6 weeks and has found a medicine that is working for her. She is not back to her old self yet, but she has improved a lot. However, up until about 3 weeks ago, I was not sure who would show up at the wedding – my mom, or the bitter, angry lady that looks like my mom.

My advice to you, is to write a letter. Even if you don’t send it, it is still important to get everything you are feeling off your chest. Cry. Then, talk to your mom about what you are feeling in a non-judgemental way. Set boundries that will preserve the health and sanity of you and your FH. 

It is also important to understand that your mother is not a reflection on you. Mental illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain and cannot be fixed with love or “saying the right thing” anymore than the flu can. 

I am sorry you are going through a hard time – but I wish you the very best for your wedding and beyond 🙂

Post # 6
Member
568 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I am dealing with a FMIL that has some mental illnesses, undiagnosed, and Its not been easy. I wish I had advice but I am struggling myself the only thing I can offer is if you ever need to vent/talk and dont want any advice im your gal!

Post # 7
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Beach

Hi,

Yes I know how you feel. My mom is in her early 50s and is currently in a nursing home because she is not capable of taking care of herself. She also has dissociate identity disorder (aka multiple personalities), though growing up I just thought she was weird and talked in weird accents sometimes. But that’s neither here nor there.

My mom actually doesn’t know I’m getting married. I know she’d want to be there, but is incapable of doing even the most basic things, but she doesn’t realize this. I may just wait until its done. 

It sucks, it really does. I’ve cried several times already over the thought I can’t go dress shopping with her or spend time talking about wedding details. It sucks, but I’ve realized that my situation is unusual, but need to do this for me. Because if I prevent myself from having the wedding I want because of someone else, then it’s not fair to me. I’m sure you grew up in a situation where it was never about you, because I know that’s what it was like with me. Mom always had some kind of drama or sudden illness that made everything about her all the time. If I do my wedding my way, then that’s taking back some of the control that I lost as a child. 

Like the others, I’d say keep your expectations low. If she wants to help, and you think she can handle one small task, perhaps assign her to something. Other than that, unfortunately, her biggest job will be finding her seat for the night and trying not to act out.

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