Some of my anger has dissipated and I’m feeling better about the whole Mom situation.
The social worker and I had a good conversation, so now I have a better understanding of what's going on with Mom and her options once she is released.
Mom will be getting ECT treatments. She told me last night that the doctor wanted her to have them. The social worker said Mom requested them. I'm not sure how I feel about it. She had ECT in the 70's and it worked for her. It's safer now, but can have serious side effects and a risk of death.
The social worker already made plans that if Mom’s month trial in ALF failed, she could go to the independent living place in Hometown. Mom made it sound as if they made a half-assed attempt at getting her in there and let the ball drop. The plan was actually that Mom needed to make an effort at ALF before they would transition her. I felt like the social worker had done a poor job until the whole story came out.
Our suspicions that Mom’s real desire is to live with us were confirmed by the social worker. When confronted with the reality that we may not be able to provide the care she needs, since ALF wasn’t enough, Mom’s reply was “we’re family. Love is unconditional.” She’s in denial and dodging the real issue as usual. The social worker tried to point out that living with us may not be an option, but Mom refuses to accept it.
Mom has a personality disorder in addition to/as part of the bipolar disorder and anxiety. Duh, why didn’t I figure that out? That explains the selective memory, partial truths, and manipulations.
If independent living fails, Mom’s options are short-term residential treatment (she did that about 5 years ago and it really helped – it’s a minimum of 6-8 weeks on total lock-down and intensive therapy), state hospital, or a nursing home. Mom’s not too thrilled about any of those other than maybe SRT, so maybe that’ll be motivation for her to make independent living work.
Mom refuses to deal with her issues (as in her conviction she can live with us). She’s not doing all the treatment she should, such as journaling. The social worker believes that by writing out her situation, she could get to the root of her problem. I agree. As usual, she’s stubborn and refuses to do anything she doesn’t want to, to her own detriment.
Mom is mad that the social worker won’t tell her what she wants to hear and instead tells her what she needs to hear. That is all too familiar.
It’s OK for me not to make the decisions for Mom and tell her to make them for herself.
I have a much better appreciation for what my Dad went through. He and I have spoken about it before, but I'm really seeing the manipulative aspect of her illness/personality this time. I used to blame him for my parents’ divorce and was convinced Mom was the victim in it all. Now I understand just how frustrating it was for him. She asked for the divorce, he gave it to her. When I was growing up, he occasionally made remarks about her that pissed me off, but I realize now how much he held back and how honorable he was to her and how kind and loving he was to me.