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Old 07-31-2007, 05:58 AM   #1  
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Default A dark note- family tragedy and weight. [Super Long]

Off and on since November I have posted a few things about family problems, and how I have a difficult time not taking them inside and letting them fester. This past month has been the hardest, and I keep dwelling. It has left me feeling rotten inside, like I just can't care enough about myself to rekindle feeling. To make it brief, a month ago my Aunt was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in her lungs, ovaries, and liver (she is morbidly obese, and was a week prior, diagnosed with diabetes). It was a hard blow to take, when my mom couldn't my Aunt was the love I needed and when there wasn't money she would pay for clothes or a birthday party to make sure I wasn't "shortchanged" as she called it.

Two weeks ago I had to call the cops on my mom, who has been grappling with undiagnosed mental illness. Paranoid with audiotry hallucinations, she disappeared and turned up soaked with her dog on 3 large cats in a cat carrier and my dying Aunt's house. She was then involentarily detained at my place of work, the local ER, where she was then sent to a psychiatric hospital upon my written testimony. I had my mom locked up. I could scream with all my anger at having to do this, and barely being 21. Two days ago I had to testify, before my mom's accusing eyes, to her behavior (starving herself, selling her property to move to the mountains, refusing to leave the house, talking to the walls and floors and light fixtures *The government*). I looked at the prosecutor and said: "I'm probably not the first daughter to do this, but I feel like the worst." This left my stubborn father, a alcoholic and physical disabled, up on that mountain more than an hour away from me without any help. I've been making that treck in my broken car every other day to make sure he has easy food and a clean house. He is heart broken, angry, and unable to understand that his wife can't control these dilusions and aren't doing them to hurt him. My mom says she never wants to see me again, so the my work just tells me they can't confirm or deny her location when I call.

I work full time and go to school part time and I feel like I am going to explode. I just can't muster the energy or mind to care about my body or myself. I'm greatful to have the love of my life to fall back on (of 4 years), but it is draining on us both and we're tired. She's tired, I can see that. My coworkers, having seen all these issues come through the doors (my aunt, my mom) are disgustingly sympathetic and ask daily how I'm holding up (A rotation of 40ish people who gossip, and it is a constant question).

This is the first time I have really sat down at my computer to write all this. I just don't want to do ANYTHING, save for indulge in icecream and sorbet and sweet drinks. I slept for 18 hour, off and on, but never leaving the bed. I know lots of people here go through life problems like this, how do you make it and care for yourself too? I just don't feel like I can take another day let alone make healthy decisions. I'm tired of my sig other picking up my slack, but I just can't seem to find it in me to help. My moods are off the chart, and my weight climbed a little- I want to be strong and get this under control, I just don't know if I want it bad enough... it is just to easy to get swept away in all these dark emotions.
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:09 AM   #2  
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Hey Reddalice,

I am so sorry. That's just so much to be dealing with!

Maybe you and your SO can sit down and prioritize--what things are the most important for you to deal with. What things can be put off at present. Those sorts of issues. It will be hard, but it may help you to see more clearly what you need to do.

I have no idea what your list will look like, but it might be that to help your aunt and your father, you'll need to drop out of school for the time being. Working full time is going to be hard enough, but I expect you need the income. Your mom--you just have to let the system care for her for awhile. That's not ideal, but she had become a danger to herself and others from what you're saying.

Anyway, I hope you can work out what you need to do to take care of yourself. As far as stress, exercise is good for that. Just a half hour walk a day will help a lot--I know this from experience.

It may not be a time when you can concentrate on weight loss--but you can concentrate on maintaining your current weight. That might be a good goal for the short term.

Hang in there! Hold on!

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Old 07-31-2007, 07:26 AM   #3  
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Hey there, your story is heartbreaking. I know what it is like to feel like you want to explode. It is good to talk to someone like a counselor ( I know it sounds corny, hoky, a cop out) whatever because I thought the same thing. I tried the one at my university (its free!!! well... w/ tuition) and it has really helped to talk and sort out my feelings. Anything to help sort out emotions and vent will put you on a better road in life - trust me on that one.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:34 AM   #4  
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I would also recommend you talk to a counselor. You may also be suffering from depression and/or anxiety -- both of which make it that much harder to be able to care for yourself and others around you. Usually university students can at least see someone for free initially at the school.

Weight loss might not be high on the priority list right now, but if you don't find ways to handle the stress, you won't be able to help anyone else.

Good luck!!!!
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:30 AM   #5  
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Alice- that is so much to deal with! I am sorry to hear that you have all that on you. One of my best friends went through a similar scenario - her beloved mother passed away from a battle with cancer. About a year or two later her brother began to have severe mental illness symptoms very similar to your mothers. He was ultimately diagnosed with schizophrenia, and it has been a very hard road fror them. The health care system seems so inept at dealing with mental illness. His pills alone were costing $800.00, and she and her father could not keep paying it. They were eventually advised to have him made a ward of state so he could receive care. It is so very sad, and I know it is incredibly draining to be the caretaker. Do you have a support system to help get you through? Could someone else do the checking on your dad?

Hang in there and tell people around you what you are going through too. Ask for help - you can't handle something this emotionally draining alone.

Take care and hang in there
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:00 AM   #6  
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Wow - I can imagine how you would feel drained, anxious, and depressed, given your circumstances. I agree with others. Find a support system and/or counselor, prioritize who needs your energy and how, delegate when and where you can, and make yourself a priority. If you're in "survival mode" right now, it might be best to cut yourself some slack when it comes to weight loss. The daily stress-relief walk sounds like a great idea, and nurture yourself well when you can. The last thing you need right now is to stress yourself out about bad food choices, at least until you can gain some momentum with all this other stuff going on.

I feel for your situation and I wish you the best. Keep coming back to 3FC, because even if you're not able to make weight loss a priority right now, it helps keep it in the back of your mind for when you are ready to.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:15 AM   #7  
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I dont know what to say except, Stay strong, for you and your father! Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:52 AM   #8  
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Hugs, you did the very best thing you could do for your mother. She really needs the help right now. Hopefully they will be able to put her on medications and treat her such as to make her mentally stable. As for the situation with your Father, I'd check with the DHS and find out if there is any way they could help get him a caretaker or Aide that comes to his home to help with cleaning, food preparation and such. (You mentioned that he is disabled). I would enlist the help of any family that might be able to help. This is so much for you to do by yourself and it is draining you. Counseling through your school would be a great idea.

I haven't lived through the exact same situation. I did move my mother in with me when she was diagnosed with End Stage Liver Disease. I was single at the time with 2 small children and was working fulltime. It was a very hard period of my life. I felt horrible guilt for being at work and not available 24-7 but had to make the money to support myself and my kids. I internalized my feelings and really just handled it and didn't put other family on the spot to help. I should have asked for help. Like you, I felt the stress was going to make me explode.

Like someone else mentioned, it might be good for you to take a semester or so off from your schooling. I'd definitely try just maintaining your wt. for now and give yourself a break from trying to lose weight.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:27 PM   #9  
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Lots of hugs to you!
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:37 PM   #10  
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Despite my shame in doing so, I contacted a counselor. I suppose I have to take care of my mental health before my physical? That didn't even occur to me. Thanks.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:58 PM   #11  
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I think it's great that you've taken a step to good self care! I haven't been in your shoes exactly, but I have had to deal with a family tragedy of my own in the past. The one thing I learned is that you are of more help to others when you take care of yourself first! So make sure you have some "me" time to take care of you.

It must have been very difficult for you, but I think you did the right thing with your Mom. That is proof that you love her!

Hang in there!
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:00 PM   #12  
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OH MY SWEETIE! There is no shame in seeking HELP! wether it be through church, friends, counseling or 3FC ~ we all need help at one time or another. Sounds like you are doing the job of "many"...trying to hold your family together. You have been saddled with a huge burden, my PRAYERS are with you and of course many ~ many
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:25 PM   #13  
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Oh ReddAlice,

to you. I can sympathize with you. My brother is schizophrenic and I have had to sign papers to have him committed, then go through the hearing, more times than I can remember. It is hard, and I can only imagine that with it being a parent it is even more difficult. Sometimes with mental illness, there comes a point where as family, we can no longer help. Your mother, my brother, they need professional help, medication, things we can't do.

It was a good move to contact a counselor. There is no shame in that. You have a lot on your plate right now.
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