Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Saddest Moment of Accepting Your Parent's Mental Illness

We get to act normal for a while and then every now and then the disease manifests itself. 

I've had a lot of time to think about this. I've had a lot of time to accept that things are going to seem normal for a while - and then they're not.

I've had a lot of time to accept that there's nothing that I can do to avert this, or to avert that sooner or later I'm going to be the bad guy. The one who always rescues my mother, the one who made sure she was out of her home and safely in a new apartment before she was financially destitute, the one who made her divorce happen because she couldn't function enough to do anything let alone appear in court to face her (soon to be ex-) husband... eventually I would be the bad guy.

I've had a lot of time to accept that it's an emotional state that she enters, and that there is nothing that I can say that will release her from that, or cause her to see anything, rationally, any differently.

So when this afternoon, I said "So what about the credit card and the taxi ride?" I knew that sooner or later warm air and and cool air were going to meet and produce the thunder and lightening. I was at a shopping center, in a big soft easy chair that they had for patrons to relax.

"He said that the card was turned off."

"Yes, Mom. I closed the card."


But of course I could, and I did. And a person who is being abused, or who is part of an abusive relationship, or a co-dependent relationship, will never, or rarely, acknowledge it.

"I had to, Mom. You're going to be destitute again and I can't allow that to happen."

What was different about this time is that I saw her illness roll in like a dark cloud. The issue was her and her Unidentified Male Relative. There would be no talking to her.

"But I'll have bad credit."

"Mom, you'll have bad credit if I don't do that. There's too much money going out to UMR"

She screamed "YOU CAN'T DO THAT." and screamed "YOU DON'T HAVE THE POWER TO DO THAT.", she was going to "get a lawyer and that will cost even more money" while I waited quietly. The voice in my head said, "There's nothing you can say." I felt like the center of the hurricane. All was quiet. Maybe it was one of the saddest moments of my life. But I had reality on my side, and that's nothing to sneer at. There was one thing I could say:

"Mom, I'm going to get off the phone now. I'll talk to you later."

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