Dad’s back & Painting

About mid-week last week, I drove by Dad’s house, and noticed that his truck was there.  I didn’t stop then, because it was quite late.  Last weekend we got some fairly heavy rain, and I drove by again to see if he was still there, or if I needed to make sure that he hadn’t flooded.  His truck was still there, and it was late, so I didn’t stop again.  I did go over the next day to check.

I went over to see him Sunday afternoon.

He was in the shower, so I ended up knocking, ringing the doorbell, and knocking on the back door before he finally came down.  He had hired a local handy-man to patch some cracks in the drywall, and had painted nearly half the house, including the ceilings.  We talked a bit about a wide variety of things.  Those relating to Mom were:

  • He asked if I thought if Mom would get to see the kids.  I told him that I had noticed a change in the level Mom’s agitation, but not in the content of what she was saying.  Without a fundamental change, no, it’s not going to happen.
  • Mom has been constantly messing with Dad’s cell phone, changing the PIN, and changed the menu to Spanish (again).  Dad got tired of it, and took it up to the store to have it reset.  After waiting for the Spanish-speaking clerk to return from lunch, they did get it fixed.  Dad had them put a lock on it so that the PIN and menu options can’t be changed unless HE goes to the store and asks for it in writing.
  • Dad leaves both his cell and the house phone off.  Always.  He never checks his cell phone voicemail, and only checks the house answering machine when it fills up.  He communicates with Mom primarily by leaving her voicemail.
  • Mom was at the cabin (which she mentioned in a voicemail to me), and that after Mom was there for 4 or 5 days, it would take Dad a full day to clean it up.
  • He told me that he had to get a 2nd shed to store all the stuff that Mom collected, so that the house could be rented.  He worked for two full 19 hour days cleaning it up, and finished with less than an hour to spare before the renters arrived.
  • When he gets to the beach, Mom has the sink and stove both piled with dishes.  It takes him a full day to clean up just them, mostly because Mom is concerned that he might be doing something ‘wrong’.
  • Their bedroom in their house at the beach is piled so high with clothes that they have to sleep in the other bedroom.
  • Mom had spent a few days up here while Dad was at the cabin.  When he got back, she had removed everything from their kitchen cabinets and pantry closet, and stacked it on the dining room floor.  She was ‘straightening it up’, but she never got around to putting anything back before she started ‘straightening up’ another room.
  • She has lots of other ‘problems’, including allergies, sjogren’s, digestive problems, etc.  None of which Dad believes.  She is confused about how she is supposed to take some of her meds – one can be taken ‘up to four times a day, as needed’, and she takes it exactly four times a day every day, if she is having a problem or not.
  • Any kind of odor can cause an ‘allergic reaction’, and Mom is frequently taking benadryl.  I’d be worried about adverse effects & addiction, but Mom can only take the ‘childrens dye-free’ stuff, and then only in very small doses. (1/2 teaspoon or so)
  • One of the times that he and Mom went to see a shrink, the shrink told Mom that she probably just needed to ‘get it out’.  During Dad’s private time with him, he let him know in no uncertain terms that that was the absolute WRONG thing to tell her, because now she’ll never stop.
  • He thinks that she has gotten worse, maybe.  She definitely hasn’t gotten better, even though the mania is gone.

My Wife wasn’t entirely happy that I didn’t ask Dad the ‘pressing questions’ – Is Mom going to actually take us to court, why doesn’t he call when he comes back, etc

I’m going to stop by again this Sunday with the kids (boys, at least), they’ve got some interesting things to tell him about.  I may get a chance to find out a bit more then.

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~ by namegoeshere on September 9, 2008.

5 Responses to “Dad’s back & Painting”

  1. My mother is also bipolar and I haven’t spoken to her in several years. I started speaking with my father again a few years ago (he finally admitted that I was right and mom needed institutional care) and I have actually moved out of the country in some sense to maintain a physical distance from the craziness. Thanks for this blog.

  2. OMG. After having my bipolar mom scream at me on the way to work I Googled bipolar mom. Your blog popped up. It is such a relief to read someone else’s account of what we go through. I think our mom’s are twins. This too shall pass, right?

  3. Anonymous: If by ‘pass’ you mean that at some point in your life it will no longer affect you, then probably not. Sorry.
    Even after cutting contact with Mom, the kids still get a little nervous when someone with a similar car drives by. Honestly, I do too.

  4. i’m so happy i found this blog. my family’s life has been in shambles for the past 7 years. its nice to know that someone else has similar experiences as i do. my mom is also bipolar… but won’t admit it, she won’ take her meds

  5. my mom is Bioploar also, and she

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