My relationship with my Mom is dwindling…

posted 2 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
1657 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

armywifetobe :  I feel really bad for her and I really hope that there’s a way you can get her to go to a therapist and a doctor to switch out her medicine. I’ve never taken anti-depressants but always heard that many of them may make you feel worse on them than off of them so maybe whatever she is currently taking isn’t helping.

Post # 3
654 posts
Busy bee

I understand where you are coming from, sometimes someone’s negative energy can suck the energy right out of you. Maybe for a while don’t just go and visit her at home. Maybe come into town to do lunch, the best possible thing for you to do right now is to get her out of the house. I used to work with a lady who was like this, and just going out to lunch could seriously change her mood completely. Maybe talk to her about signing up for online dating? 

I don’t know if you have talked to her about this already, but I would tell her that you are concerned for her. That she only has one very short life to live and she is wasting it away by feeding into all of her depression. If the depression started whenever she got a divorce then I honestly believe it is something that she can overcome if she just has the right help. 

Post # 5
298 posts
Helper bee

After my parent’s divorce, my mom started volunteering for a cause she is very passionate about. She feels like she has a purpose in life (besides being a mom, obvs).

Post # 7
2210 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

a trick you might be able to use is say that you need help with something (oh mom I have this work event and I just can’t figure out a dress to wear – will you come to the shops with me? / I need help deciding on some curtains? can you stop over next weekend and help me decide?) a lot of times people who are depressed will cancel plans because they feel like they are a burden so maybe just try to frame it differently?

any chance you have another friends mom in a similar position? maybe you could hook them up (not in a sexy way!! just friends) or help her set up a facebook page (she might not be ready to date yet) – my mom wasnt divorced but when she got on facebook she connected with a bunch of old girlfriends from HS that she hadn’t seen in decades and it made her really happy

Post # 8
5154 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

armywifetobe :  Her anti-depressants should really be monitored by a psychiatrist. Especially since it seems her depression has just gotten worse. Has her regular doctor mentioned this to her at all? What is the reason that she refuses to go to therapy?

Post # 9
25 posts

Warning: This post strikes a very poignant chord with me, and this may be long. A TL;DR is at the bottom.

Honestly, my mom is very similar to this, but at an extreme level. She hasn’t divorced my step dad yet but they seem to just bitterly hate eachother in perpetuity. She obsesses over things that happened even 10 or 15 years ago and whenever I call her it is draining- always negative no matter how much you redirect, just wants to talk about herself and how terrible her life is, etc. Any suggestion to help improve her life is completely disregarded. All I could do was just sit there on the other end of the phone like “uhuh, uhuh yeah, yeah”, and she didn’t even care what I was saying or how interested I sounded, just wanted to rant. She would even tell me she knew it wasn’t right to lay all her problems on her children, and just keep on going. Never wanted to do anything, or go anywhere. Stay at home mom, all her kids grown, free to do whatever she wanted and she would just sit in the house. Refuses any and all anti depressants or meds doctors have tried to give her. Has cold-turkeyed off serious anti-psychotic medication that could have left her with seizures or permanent tremors. 

The light at the end of the tunnel: Therapy. I never, NEVER, and I mean *NEVER* thought she would go to therapy. She had a bad experience in couples counseling in the past, accused the therapist of taking sides, and would never go after that. After literally a decade+ of listening to her harp about everything bad that has ever happened in her life no matter how long past, finally after every one of her children (4) had repeatedly, hundreds of times, told her to go to therapy, she finally went. She started therapy 2 weeks ago and she is literally like a changed person. Not completely, but she actually has stopped ranting and raving about things that happened years ago. She doesn’t answer the phone sounding like someone died. She doesn’t suck us in for 1 or 2 hour pity parties on the phone anymore. She actually seems like she wants to take charge of her life and let things go. It has been a marked change so far.

I know what it’s like to have someone who refuses to go to therapy and really needs it, who gets hostile when you suggest it, who acts like you are saying something is fundamentally wrong with her, who acts like you are vindicating everyone who ever wronged her by saying it. I know it’s painful and uncomfortable to suggest counseling to her. Keep doing it.

What worked for me was whenever she would start complaining about how horrible her life was and and how she’s been wronged, I would just tell her “I wish there was anything I could say that would help. But I really don’t know what to say. I really think you should see a counselor to talk about this stuff.” Ad nauseum. If she has any friends at all or any relatives that know what is going on with her, have them suggest it too. If you see the same doctor she does, maybe let the doctor know the troubling things you are seeing and voice your concern, perhaps they can also help. Hopefully over time, people telling her over and over that she needs therapy will be enough to convince her to go. It was absolutely life changing for my mom. I really wish you and your mother the best in this.

TL;DR: My mom is a similar, extreme version of this. Therapy has thus far been absolutely life changing. Keep suggesting therapy. Every time she starts in on her negativity, instead of quiety listening or trying to redirect, tell her straight up “I just don’t know what to say. This is really hard for me to handle. I wish I had the answer. I really think you need to go to a counselor and get some insights that are out of the family, from a neutral standpoint. I love you but I don’t think I can help you with this”. Don’t feel bad for having to get away from the negativity from time to time, it will give her pause as to why you aren’t talking to her as much, and hopefully she can connect the dots along with the therapy recommendations. Good luck and I hope she gets better soon.

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