This static page is set up for my visitors to tell their own stories of their encounters with bipolar disorder.  Anonymous comments ARE allowed per the posting rules on my About page.  Even if you don’t want to be identified, your experience can still be shared.


883 Responses to “Experiences”

  1. Hello, It was great to come upon your blog. I am an adult child of a bipolar mother. I am married with two small children. My mother lives in a retirement facility where she is medicated and monitored. She currently is in a cycle where she needs to be hospitalized every two years to have her medication adjusted. She tried to commit suicide two years ago.
    I am coming to terms with the fact that for my own sanity and mental health and the general well-being of my children that I have to cut-off my mother from our lives. She called at 5:00 am a couple of months ago accusing my husband of something he did not do, threatening police action. (this is after the first one hour visit we had with her in three years) Granted she is delusional but the threat from her regarding my family’s safety was the final straw. I can not take her drama any longer. She is manipulative with her illness using it as an excuse when it suits her or remains in a state of complete denial at other times. Her selfishness with her behavior and her illness robbed me of a childhood. I grew up trying to make sense of her irrational behavior while my father withdrew into his own world leaving the house with me to deal with my mother.
    It sounds as if your family is coming to terms with your mothers illness late in her life. The best thing you can do is have her committed when she needs it and explain to your kids what’s going on. I know it is completly maddening and frustrating but your mother will probably always remain in denial of her illness. There just comes a time when you need to take a step back to restore the peace in your own family and regain a peace of mind for yourself. When I was involved in helping my mother get treatment, she thrived on the drama it caused our family and the guilt that it entailed. I would advise that you just take a step back from interacting with your mother and give your own family a breathe of air. Try it for six months to a year for the mental well-being of everyone.
    I’ve had a tough time locating info or books regarding adult children of bipolar parents. Please feel free to forward any info you have come across.
    Thank you & Good Luck!

    • Not all mom’s stay in denial. It is harsh to read your words and hear your feelings.Many of the words you used, my daughter has also used. My heart is broken that I broke my daughter’s heart and my behaviors caused such pai. I certainly don’t revel in the drama and I would give anything to have our time as mom and daughter back. Your anger is palpable through your words. I hope you can have peace in your life and begin to heal your wounds. I hope you can find compassion for your mom as you find compassion for yourself. I love my children more than I can say.

      • it sounds to me as if you just want something from your daughter it breaks your heart that the one person that should love you can’t because you never had any love to give her I bet you just used her for sympathy and then used her to take your anger out on and prolly used her to do the stuff you were to lazy to do in the first place the truth is your mad she doesn’t feel sorry for you all the time and now she can focus on the people who make her happy I cut off ties with my mom 3 years ago since then she has tried to replace me with several of the other teenage kids friends even letting them move in my room but none of them can tolerate living in that environment for 3 months because she is so crazy and I’m pretty sure y’all would be best friends or worst enemies

      • My heart is broken reading these sites. I am a mother who was diagnosed with bipolar last year at the age of 53 and I have an adult son and daughter. I get the impression they are both closing me out of their lives more and more…and what about future grandchildren? If they have a child with bipolar are they going to turn their back on their child too? I am sure I caused my children some suffering but my childhood was no picnic either. And while raising our children my husband and I went without constantly so they would have a good life. I think a lot of people are just spoiled and I think it is very selfish to turn ones back on ones sick parent. Would you turn your back on a parent with cancer? What’s the difference? God forbid you should one day have to struggle with this terrible illness. Like my Mom used to say “there but by the grace of God go I”

      • Yvonne:
        53 is atypical for the onset of bipolar. My guess is that you had symptoms that went undiagnosed before that.

        Your problems in childhood do not excuse or negate any suffering you caused your own children. It is the parents DUTY to go without to meet the needs (not wants, but needs) of their children.

        The difference between cancer and bipolar should be obvious, even to you. Cancer (rare brain tumors excepted) can’t turn someone into a manic, paranoid sociopath.

        And wishing your affliction on others (which is exactly what you did) is really evil.

      • Bipolar folks responding to this post – please do NOT gaslight the poster! As an adult child of someone with bipolar, she is fully valid in her feelings and experiences, which many of us have also experienced. It’s emotional blackmail to accuse her of being hateful/angry/unfair/etc. She is not being any of those things – she is being honest about ways in which her mother did in fact do significant damage! If you’re hurt by that, that’s your own guilt to sort through, not her problem to mitigate by withholding the truth.

      • I am sorry you feel I gaslighted posters. I feel what you went and are going through is enraging and extremely hurtful more so because it is your parent. You must do first what you need to do to heal and live your life in peace. I hope you don’t feel guilty for the choice s you need to make and actions take. Your anger is palpable to me it is so strong I feel you must be so hurt. I cannot know what you are going through, I can only tell you how I feel it. I realize you felt I was criticizing you. I want to validate your feelings not challenge them. I am sorry. I will try to be mor careful with my words.

      • thank you for sharing. your post helps me.

      • Thank you Nick, I hope whoever you need it from has empathy and compassion for you. I hope the person ( people ) hear your feelings, validate them and you can heal. I hope you and any other that needs to break ties with a BP parent does not feel guilty. You are doing what needs to be done to be happy and at peace. I do not know if you are a parent or child but having your feelings and experiences validated is so important. I think if you need to set boundaries with the person with Bipolar it could possible lead to the beginning of their path to treatment. I am in treatment.

      • I am 27 years old iv had bipolar disorder all my life, but was diagnosed 4 years ago. All my life i wondered why is life so difficult for me but seems like being so easy for other people. My dad grandmother and uncle has bipolar disorder so guess where i got it from! The thing is all the petty people on this site saying bad things, we do not want to be this way and just remember that. My mother doesn’t like me saying that I’m bipolar because of people treating us differently. Once a guy was chatting to me and made a really rude joke about bipolar people… Well when i said to him I’m bipolar he disappeared very quickly. My whole one side of my family has it and yes it gets on your nervers when they go through those moods but if you did the effort to get to know them for who they are then you will love them no matter what and will be able to know how to handel them in their different moods. And all of you blaming your mother or father being bipolar and how they distroy your lives remember that your children may have it aswell and most only get triggered from the age of around 20 so get your act together cause if you cant handel it now you going to have a very hard time ahead of you when your child gets diagnosed. And you know what really makes me angry is you people who point a finger and say rude stuff and criticise and have no respect! I will give you a week in my shoes and deal with all this shit in my head and see how you like it you will be a broken person at the end of the day! Do you think we wish to feel like this or act out the way we do? Would you like the feeling of knowing you aren’t in control of your own body when you do or say something and afterwards when you get a grip on yourself you think “but who am i know im not that person!” Medication helps but it doesn’t take everything away. You think its bad how you have it! Shame i feel sorry for your mother because sounds like all she needs is love and support from her family she is a broken woman and just needs her loved ones and now she acts out now you want nothing to do with her. The thing bipolar people need more then anything and you taking it away from her (love and family) im just glad i have a amazing supportive family that i have. Just remember that people with bipolar disorder feel emotions 10 times more then the normal person! Now if you love your child multiply that with 10 and thats how much your mother loves you. Now you push her away so she gets sad and depressed multiply that with 10 and it comes to thoughts like i cant live without them it hurts so much just make it stop so why not end it with a hand full of pills! I haven’t acted out because of my amazing doctor and the best family in the world. And my to be husband, i always say sorry if i have a episode and not once will he raise his voice at me and his answer when i say sorry is i love you and wont change a thing i love you and we can handle the difficult parts together.

      • I hope that you have less and less difficult parts.

        I wish that all of us could stop labeling each other as “all the petty people” or ” hateful”. Actions may be petty and hateful and hurtful. I know it is easy to judge one another . On this site it is important that every persons’s feelings are valid especially when there is so much hurt where there should be love. Empathy and compassion are so important , however that does not mean anyone accepts any kind of abuse, neglect of any kind. You can accept another’s feelings and still need to distance yourself or accept a child needs to cut of all contact .
        I believe I try to accept my daughters feelings and I want them to do what they need to do to be happy. I have written them that I accept they do not want to have a relationship with me. I will not contact them. I am heartbroken but understand they have good reason to need to cut off all ties. I told them not to feel guilty about their decision. I love them always and my door is always open if they ever want to walk through it.

      • I wish my mother felt this way. Congrats and god bless you for wanting to change.

      • I’m sorry you did not get what you needed from your mom. I know it’s very hurtful. Thank you for your kind words. I hope someday you will find peace, your mom listens, validates and hears what you need to say and need her to do and does them with love. Xo

      • I understand you honey.

      • Not all mothers with mental illness sdd it this way. But you need to realize that being manipulative hurts everyone. My mother is a bipolar/border line personality disorder violent alcoholic. I’m an adult and stay in home to care for my brother with cerebral palsy. I’m in fear daily while I’m at work that she will hurt him. So I have friends visiting and calling often go make sure he is cares for.

      • I love your words of wisdom and agree.

    • Wow totally understand. I have a small child and also have made the choice to cut off ties. But my mother won’t get help and I can’t recall a good memory of her in my life.

      • Sometimes your so sick of being a punching bag. The words that could come from their mouth is appalling. I got hurt too often and for far too long from my bipolar mother and sister. It comes a time in your life when you realize you can’t help them any longer. I needed a break, and although I felt some guilt, I had to cut them out of my life. I know they don’t want to be like this but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to be around them. Although they can’t cure their disease they can help themselves control it. I want to surround myself with positive, respectful people>.

      • I hope that anyone who knows they are bipolar or have a history of it will simply stop having children. It seems like a horrible affliction why put someone else through it, that’s what I call selfish.

      • I’m not sure of what to do… I’ve been for 5 years and working most of my life because my mother would tell strangers that she worked- even though we knew that she didn’t… She just yells “You hate me!” Every time she sees me now and I think she’s nuts because I let her see my kid one week ago. And she showed up at my job yelling at me. Should I just cut her off???? I’m a private person and I don’t appreciate her immature behavior.

    • I’m a 34yr old, married, mother of two and my mother was recently diagnosed with bipolar (although I’ve known since childhood and NO ONE believed me until her wrath was finally directed toward them). My mother to, thrives off of drama and often enjoys hurting others (while in her manic stage). Shes also EXTREMLY loving and kind when shes “well” which made my childhood AND my decision to completely cut her off, VERY confusing. I was often verbally and physically abused as a child an was lead to believe I “deserved” it because I was fresh. Family members would say, “well, you’ve MUST’VE done SOMETHING,” and yeah, I WAS FRESH, but it took me a LONG time to realize, JUST cause was fresh, DOES NOT, give you the right, to bite, chock, kick, punch, call me stupid, or a whore.

      Anyway, this year it all came to a head when I had to have her hospitalized numerous times because of EXTREME mania. Even with her looking like a strung out crack head, I STILL received absolutely NO support from my ANYONE in my family. As a matter of fact, they acted as if I WAS THE BAD GUY!!

      I finally had enough and threw up my hands. Let THEM deal with my “NON” bipolar mother themselves. Isn’t it enough that I stuck around all these years and for the most of it, I was a piece of crap who didn’t deserve ANY happiness (according to how my “mother” acts)?? Well, now according to them, I’ve abandoned my mother! Ha! So, I SHOULD ALLOW her to continue to treat me like I’m the scum on the bottom of her shoe……….because…………she gave birth to me?????

      One family member said that if my mom is bipolar it means that I could be and she hopes that my children don’t end up abandoning me. Well, ya know what? If I’m abusive to my kids………then BY ALLLLLL MEANS!!! Run!!! Run like HELL girls! Cause NO CHILD deserves to be abused, EVER. BY ANYONE. Under ANY circumstances.

      Sounds logical. Feels logical. I KNOW im right. But it STILL HURTS LIKE HELL to have NO ONE in your corner.

      • I am bi-polar, since i was 19, 43 now, have 2 kids and 3 grandkids, not only am i so called nuts but ive been molested, raped, had abortions, lost both my parents trajically, been robbed, any negative thing that can happen to a person has happened to me, and in spite of it all, i have my wits about me, am a good mother, and take care of everybodys problems while no-one takes care of mine and i have become incresingly more bitter with every passing day cuz cuz i ge3t no credit for what i do just bitched at for not doin enough, when i want to do something for me then its all about me and i dont carfe bout nobody, my husband can treat me like s*** and if i dont lay there and take it its cuz im not on my meds. bi-polar people have more wit in thier pinkies then most people have their whole lifes, if a bi-polar person is mad at you its most likely cuz ur not understanding or even care to understandthe underlying cause of the drama and its not to hard to c when someone doesnt really care or want to deal with you which causes the rage, both of my children r spoiled rotten and dont know what abuse is and ive grown to not be able to stand them, ill be the one disowning them until they get a clue!

      • Hi,

        I understand 100% what you are saying. I made the decision last year to leave my family. My mother can be labelled as a narcacist, bipolar, codependent or quite simply, totally screwed up!

        She lives in a fantasy world of self denial and lies. She lives a life of Jeckel & Hyde. She is unable to communicate with me without trying to hurt me. So I’ve walked away – it’s the only solution. Mothers of this nature chose not to see the damage they gave inflicted and never will, she almost ruined my life, she will NEVER get close to me again. As for my dad, he lives in sweet denial.

      • I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL! Dealing with a bipolar mother is devastating enough, let alone having family always blaming you for her behaviour!!!!

        I’m starting to think the same thing, maybe I should move out and leave her to her miserable life, and leave her family to see the real her, since they ‘love’ her so much.

      • I’m in your corner! You may never read this response & I may never be back here again, but I KNOW what you went through & how it feels to be alone in your knowledge of the TRUTH! I endured more than 20 yrs w/ my husband/my one & only love who had undiagnosed bi-polar. I searched for yrs trying to figure out the cause of his behavior- was it a sugar imbalance??? When I finally saw “maniac depression/bi-polar” for the 1st time in a library research manual I couldn’t believe my eyes! It sounded as if they were speaking directly about him- every detail! I tried to get him help but he insisted I was the one who was crazy…you know the routine. So it went for several more yrs- he had a “spell” about every 6 months. Finally, 10 yrs ago I realized if I din’t get out he would kill me; not because he really wanted to but because he was violent with uncontrolled anger. My then 15 yr old daughter sd she was leaving, with or without me. Me & my 2 kids left that p.m. with the clothes on our back. Very long story- stressful, scarey,… but he is still alive & called me last weekend just wanting to talk (which I don’t want to do at this point). But now, my daughter, is the one who lashes out in anger, refuses help, doesn’t work, won’t clean up after herself & the important part- the reason I came here today- is she is the mother of a precious 2 yr old daughter who is now stuck on the hip of a cazed lunatic & there is nothing I can do! She’s been living with me up until 2 wks ago when she flew off, cussing me, snatching the baby off my lap & disappearing. I am so beside myself- praying over that baby & my daughter too, but prayers didn’t help me in the past.

      • My mother got bi-polar, shes exactly the same. She was diagnosed about 3 years ago. I am 18 years old and for the first 14 years of my life I had no idea she had it, she was the best mother anyone could EVER ask for, I love her to bits I really do, which is the thing that makes it the hardest. At 16 it started to get back, she would have episodes about once a month and they would last maybe 2 days, mostly brought on by alcohol but she would wake up feeling depressed and deeply sorry after knowing what she had done wrong, so although it was horrible at the time it was copeable. Now I am 18 and she has been an alcoholic for 2 years. Her episodes got a lot more frequent, maybe once every 2 weeks. She has now recently in the last 2 months had a complete breakdown and her episodes are about once every 3 days and now shes starting to believe the lies she has twisted and forgetting the horrible and destroying names she has called me. She is another country at the moment, trying to get help, but all I get is calls telling me how shes hates me, how I’m a dis loyal c***, even though all I’ve ever done is care about her more than anyone and want to help her. She was meant to come home but hasn’t and she wont tell anyone what shes doing, shes just abusing us down the phone but I feel I have to stay on because I don’t want her to harm herself or do anything stupid in that way. It is really really getting to me at the moment, I have my exams but every day I am getting repeat phone calls of her getting HARSH abuse, which now she can barely even remember the next day and isn’t even sorry. For the past 10 days all I’ve had is abuse, complete abuse and not even one apology, I’m sure shes starting to belief now that I’m the bad person. It is absolutely draining me and hurting me inside but she doesn’t realise, she thinks I couldn’t give a s*** because every time I tell her how much she means to me, what I can do to help her, what she needs to do, shes talking about something else from the past thats wound her up, I can not get one ounce of sense out of her or one normal conversation anymore. I am SO SO SO distraught and broken hearted, I just want my old mum back, the amazing mum I had but she doenst even seem to want help, she seems to be enjoying the fact she can abuse me when she likes and loves getting in arguments. She doesn’t realise how much shes hurting me. Theres nothing I can do, she won’t listen to anything I say or won’t answer any of my questions. what do I do, its really really getting me down now.

        *edited for profanity

      • Hello. Oh reading your blog makes me swell with pain. My mum is bi polar but the guilt eats me as I cut myself off. I give her money. She could be living in a shelter but the pain to go back to her lies is un bearable. Thanks for this sitrm I am not alone

      • Amen

      • Hi i feel so much the same as you im 20 years old and still having to live at home i feel guilty at the thought of going away and leaving them in a down hill spiral but i always am the bad guy even wen im tryin to help or just eat and no one in my family will help and have her take some of it out on them they would rather stand well away. My brother once refered to it as she bullies me and i suppose its because i shout back i no i get told not too but the things she says i struggle to keep quiet. How did you cope when you were young. Does it ever scare you the thought that wen people say you could have bipola that it culd b true, mum says it soo much i might end up believing it

      • I’ve got to deal with my mother who try’s to turn all my family against me when all I do is try to help, every time I go home I get shouted at and told to leave the house, then get told I am abandoning her by others in the family and herself, so frustrating it hurts guys and you all know what I’m going through, a million words can’t describe the feeling of the affects of bipolar on the sufferers child

      • It does hurt like hell! I feel your pain, as your story reminds me of my childhood, BUT now I’m the one making life miserable for my teen and it disgusts me! My goal in life was to break the chain. Through twenty years of Montessori, Autism and BD training and a life long empathetic persona I was positive, kind, available, compassionate, giving and just to hundreds of children and parents. I knew I struggled with something all my life but didn’t know what . Sadly, it wasn’t until my beautiful daughter was born that my bipolar monster exploded. I have sickened myself AS the words are coming out of my mouth, usually intending quite the opposite, yet some bizarre defense mechanism wins out and continues a flow of hurtful, untrue words that cannot be taken back. It still hurts, whether it was meant or not, like an electric punch to your heart — I remember ( my siblings have either returned beatings and then disowned my mother or are in as much denial as she is and NO support) I am not physically abusive. However, I have vomited appalling things not deserved. I fear she replays this, internalizes it, loses self-esteem, feels trapped, confused, scared and alone — at least I did. Being on both sides causes pity parties now and again and I unintentionally use my teen as a sounding board causing her to be the adult just as I hated as a child. I am aware, and fully admit the pain my severe disorder has caused. I am disgusted and frustrated. I swirl in guilt, shame and fear. I love my daughter more than anything in the world and I will never give up, but words are not actions… sorry only helps once and still doesn’t erase the pain. –guilt causes resentment causes selfish- self pity causes shame causes fear causes pain and the vicious cycle continues :-0
        I am now actively seeking therapy and medication, yet still sometimes falter. I don’t want to lose my daughter but manic episodes may push her away if I can’t manage my illness better. I feel for all of us that grew up in chaotic fear, and apologize for allowing my bipolar disorder to cause depression and pain for family and friends.
        A bit unorganized as I’m fighting mania, but heartfelt none the less.
        Happy, healthy wishes

      • They are just guilt tripping you so they don’t have to take care of her. My family tried this on me when my mom was committed. My older sibling (by 8 years) tried to get me to get my mom out and move her in with me. No thank you!

      • My obese super messy best friend Martha, 30F, and I, 35M, are Bipolar. She divorced an angry alcoholic batterer who spits on her while she swaps the 5 yo autistic boy with him. [[ We share rent and have a lot of space luckily. I make software, smoke weed, lift weights and run because it makes me really feel great and if you are bipolar you should try it sometime! ]]

        She is never mean to her son to my knowing, but her is sure a jerk to her. She also hate and/or is terrified of everyone behind their backs — especially her own family who support her financially. Nothing is good enough for her: food, town services, products she constantly buys with dad’s money.

        OPINION: The problem is her. She needs to fight the illness, as their is no other hope for Bipolar — either you decide you want to live and you want to aid your children, or you decide you want to die and maybe take your children with you.

      • This sound eerily familiar! As a child growing up my Mother went job to job and drank excessively, partying whenever. She would come home literally three days later or so after a partying binge. My grandmother would take of care of me and my sister during these times. This happened all through my childhood and teenage years, watching my mother go from a manic phase to a depression during the course of a year. Granted my mom had severe issues of sexual abuse from her dad as a youngster ; and she tried to report it, but nobody believed her during the 1950’s era. She would get a break from this when her dad was killed in a hunting accident in Alaska. However I’m just speculating that all this abuse has fractured her mind for life and manifested it into this bipolar being. Well I went through my own physical torture emotional abuse growing up as a child from this woman. She has absolutely no feelings what so ever and a hatred towards men in general. It took years to put the pieces together of what’s going on with my mother, it just does not stop either. This woman is extremely intelligent and highly manipulative when in her manic phase and folks lookout! Usually high stress long term situations can bring this out of dormant.

        Well it does not stop here! Two and a half years ago one my of niece was tragically murdered in June 22nd 2012, by a man, stranger, and a nobody. This has singled me out for her punching bag for this crime. I suppose cause I’m a male and an easy target. My mom has always been in the heat of the drama, stirring the pot so to speak when in her manic phase. Here’s where her manipulation of people and believe ability factor comes in. My Mother does have friends that know friends that are retired police and an FBI agent. Well Well she has convinced her friends that I’m some type of genius terrorist, and when in conversations with her has mentioned NSA will be watching you like they did Black Panthers. She brings up in conversation with her, she new exactly how much I’ve got in my bank account, to my last transaction on my debit card. Currently I have a cop that will wait outside my residence a few times a week. When I get in my car and go to work in the morning the cop follows me for no reason. When I talk to my mother on the phone she sarcastically says what a genius I am. I didn’t get it at first, but she’s got me in a government sting! My co-workers at work have being bringing up terrorist attack incidents during conversations with them. Big brother is watching. Oh well! I’m really at the stage of suing my Mother civilly into the dirt period! I need to cut all ties from this woman! Monster! She has no conscious! She feeds her own manic drama drive. Completely f’d in America!

        * edited for profanity

      • Describes my life to a T!!! My grandmother constantly “smooths” things out for my extremely manic dad who ten years ago after taking a very strong medication for his bipolar was “misdiagnosed”. Yeah… He sure was says everyone but me & my mother (finally got guts to leave after yrs of his threats/intimidation) who is no longer with me after a freak car accident 5 yrs ago. I had to handle the death BY myself at 20 yrs old thankfully I had my mother in law to help me with the lawsuit or my other side would’ve took everything. My father didn’t show to my sons birth still treated me at 23 like I should be ashamed!! He hasn’t been present to a single bday/ holiday. He doesn’t have a clue who he is… But when I do talk to him I get a lecture about respecting my family, listen to lies about my mother downing her (infuriates me!! She was amazing & would’ve been here for my baby every second), or hearing from other members how he wants a relationship. Really?!!!! It’s too late!!

      • Your story is.exactly.like mine.i.want to.cry reading this i.know.how.much pain and suffering this causes on.a person my bipolar mother.is also abusive to me physically verbally and mentally she.is mean to me because.the term fresh fits perfectly By the way i dont think.i could have said it better she is discusted in my beauty and also calls me whore.a devil spawn.has said she cant stand her parents love me no matter what so told family lies to Make them not want to be aroumd me she also has tried.to keep me.away from my none.year old daughter has.told her i dont lovw her.that im.sick in the head i am.scary.and told.her.to.be afraid.of me.my.daughter.and i have.always.lived at home.to.keep my mother.as sane as.posSible She had kicked me from the home spent all my money amd has stopped.at nothing to ruin.everything.good.in my life she.cant stand to even.look.at me.everyone pretends shes.right.so they dont.have to.hear.or.deal with her they believe her manipulative acts im so.xonfused

      • I am a bipolar mother. I do not abuse my children. I do not drink nor do illegal substances or abuse prescription drugs.Not all of us are evil. Some of us get blood tested frequently to make sure our medz is working. However it hard to be a disabled person and try to be good citizen when people abuse their kids or say I poured bleach down my kids throat or harm there kids that is not bipolar that is evil. If anything most of us over try to be normal. We really want a quiet life with little drama. Not all of us belong in a home. Give some of us a break.

      • This sounds like my story. I may not know you, but I fully understand you, and if no else supports your decision, I DO! I’ve made the same decision recently. Dealing with a person like this, is like being on a non stop rollercoaster with no specific pattern of travel, just back & forth mental & physical torture. Take care of yourself and your children. They don’t need the exposure of her unstable behavior. My mother just recently slit her wrists while my 14 yr old was in the next room sleep, so this just showed me that there’s no limit to what a bi-polar person will do, especially if they’re not taking their meds, or they’re thriving for that attention, or drama fulfillment. Protect those babies by any means, find your joy. All children of a bi-polar parent deserves to live, instead of being made to feel guilty & believe we’re wrong for walking off from the dysfunctionalism. Take care!

      • I am 48 yrs old bipolar woman I try so hard to be there for my daughters needs & her dad my husband. She takes me & him for granted it is hurtfull she wants me to babysit her & boyfriends kids every day & when they go out
        Helps herself to my things without asking. Yes i identity so much how people abandon you for how I am but are to selfish to sit talk with me show they care . it hurts a lot cause I’ve given up a lot for her been there through her teen pregnancy 2nd pregnancy ect I don’t want her to mother me
        Even though I never had what she’s had with me . I just need an understanding loving caring female friend don’t feel this exists . my husband is so wonderful amazing man with me I know my manic moods are hard on people but if they could just understand kindness & willingness of genuine time talking listening & respect would help me so much. I just feel alone . people I feel like are becoming more distant in these times were living in Doesent leave much room for healing & compassion

        without asking but Doesent want to give me the time of day all I would love is her concern friendship without everything always on her minipulitive control so it benefits her. I’m disabled now & also in menipause she is distancing from me slowly unless its to benifit her. I also have a mother that is so mean & cruel a year ago for the second time had to stop all contact I love her but she’s also very mean minipulitive with my hubby & kids

      • I’m 27 and almost at a point of cutting off all ties with my mother. This is exactly everything I’ve been through to a T. No one believes you and everyone makes you feel like you are crazy until they have to deal with it. How nice they are when they aren’t manic does get very confusing. I currently live with my mother so my situation is a bit more complex but having to quit your job because you mother’s verbal abuse has you emotionally drained

      • don’t feel bad about the decision to cut your mom out of your life. No one else knows, understands, or sees what she has done to you or how she has treated you in the past. I have also cut my mom out of my life and it has been very freeing. I no longer feel stress about having to see or talk to her. She still trys to make contact with letters and cards that are dripping in guilt for not talking to her, but I know that is another one of her manipulation tricks. her family has finally seen what she has done to my sister and I for years now that we are no longer talking to her she directs her rage at them. They are also distancing themselves from her. I truly feel the only thing that will get to seek help will be to really hit rock bottom. I know that she is alone but she has put herself in this position after 20 years of abusing, lying to, and manipulating everyone close to her.

      • Hi there
        I read your post and and know its been a while but that is just exacty what I am going thru now. This weekend I was once again attacked by my mother and she she actualy went for my throat like a dog. My arms broken and I’m all banged up. I’m 29 now and this has been my life. Up untill two days ago I continued to support my mother with my fathers death and her ilness but no more. And the rest of the family still sees me as the bad sheep because I’m gay as well. I feel broken but I have to turn my back on her befor I don’t have the strengh to.

      • This sounds exactly like my life! Stay strong!

      • Thank you thank you thank you. I am the black sheep of the family for not accepting my mothers madness and just this week she told me I have imagined the abuse she put me through as a child. They seriously do use us and then wonder why as adults we struggle to have any type of relationship. After 25 years of this, NOW my mother apologizes, but her words are empty.

      • Hearing your circumstances reminds me of the way my mother used to take advantage of my weaknesses to make me feel isolated and helpless. I remember her saying, ” Who do you think they will believe?Me or a 13 year old druggie?” and ” what do you think your dad will say if he finds out you failed math?” These things may sound silly now that i’m an adult, but, they were very effective in making me look the other way when her behavior got crazy. What kind of parent wants to make their child feel isolated and helpless?

      • I am in your court! I totally hear your pain and hurt. My prayers this morning will be for you. Hang tough. Jesus Christ is the prime example of having no one is HIS court and was crucified for healing others. How’s that for pain both physically and emotionally and soulfully?! But how did Christ handle the pain…HE forgave all. And called them “ignorant”…”they know not what they do”. xo

      • You are not alone.

      • I’m in your corner, I feel you I’m dealing with a bipolar mom, she does messed up shit all the time and blames every body else,when it goes wrong or not her way. Always plays victim. Always says just cause your grown im still your mother. Just lost her car do to her just not wanti g to pay the bill so she can buy dumn shit and instead of saving the money that she would of paid on her car to put down on a cheap one so she would have somthing,she just blew it all ,cause she think brother and I should buy here one cause she’s the mother and 60 &can’t do it all on her own which I crap,she just want everything handed to her so she can spend her money on what she wants and screw what we are going through.she say after all I’ve done for you,caring for changing your diaper carrying you for 9 months, etc. And always acts like I owe her.and if I don’t have it I don’t have.I didn’t ask for shit when I was younger or as a adult,she always say sorry to hear that wish I could help you,but when it’s reversed , she says I’ll be. There way more going on I’m just saving you the drama.and she’s tried to commit suicide a few times then ant a positive reaction, and cry and be well I almost died.well no shit you tried to kill yourself,but if she wanted to really it would happen it just for attention and every one has gotten over it. Now the leer she gets the harder it is to be around her,always negative,always well what about me,and it like walk I g on eggshells. And she kind of jealous how close me and my fiance are.like I’m pose to be in some kind of relationship with her, I don’t no sorry to keep rambling I really have no one to vent any more cause my fiance is beside himself with it all and it put to g a strain on us. Please don’t think I’m a awfull person ,I just feel well I don’t know how I really feel😩.Thanks for letting me vent on your story. Denise

      • Im totally in your corner, mine is still on deepend & left nasty letter at my house cause she wont understand no tresspassing unless shes arrested i guess. She wants everyone to be miserable like she is.

    • Hello,
      I have just come across this blog. I dont know how active it is, so Im not sure I will get any feedback or not. I do hope so.
      My mother is bipolar. I have known this for years. I believe she has received an official diagnosis, although she will not admit to it. She tells people she has PTSD because everyone from her own mother, father, siblings, husband and her own children have physically and emotionally abused her. However, I do not think that statement is true. She has accused me of terrible things over the years, and I know they are not true. So it is difficult for me to believe her when she tells me someone else did the outlandish things she tells me.
      My earliest memories of my mother include days of sleeping other days of going out of her way to make our time fun and exciting. Never knowing when or what would make her explode with anger. The way she would spend hours yelling, saying very hurtful things to me and my siblings. Telling us that if it wasnt for us, she would kill herself. It was some times a very scary childhood. But usually these times were infrequent and I mostly had a safe happy childhood, but I do know I tried very hard to please my mother.
      In the last 15 years, she had really bad episodes. she and my father moved across the country, he thought that would help her, by having some distance. She would call me (and my brothers) out of the blue and scream over the phone, loud enough that that my children hear her screams and are fearful of her. She rarely comes to visit, but when she does, they keep their distance.
      Eight years ago she divorced my father (stating he abused her, i never witnessed such behavior, but whatever), and is very angry that we still have contact with him. Sometimes she is fine, will come for a visit, and be ok, other times, calling and screaming demanding I have no contact with him.
      I try to reason with her, tell her its ok if she wants him out of her life, but he has never been abusive to me, so therefore I choose to still have a father and my children a grandfather. My father visits often. He encourages us to have contact with our mother, tells us not to be upset about her episodes, that she loves us, that it is just an illness.
      Just today, she called after not answering my phone calls for over 3 months. I knew she was in a bad state. She was so angry that my father came to visit, angry that i dont “believe” her that he abused her, (today she claimed he was trying to hire someone to kill her, I dont want to use the word crazy, but i guess I will just stick with outlandish). Told me that she I stole things of hers, that I dont love her, I never call….all untruths. But I know she believes them…and I so sad she believes these things, even if it just for this time, that when this depressive lifts she will no longer believe, if she even remembers. This is certainly not the first time she accuses me of things, I guess she forgets, because in a few months she will call. Her voice will be happy, and she will talk as if nothing happened and it has only been a few days since we talked.
      If I did not love my mother I would just let her go. But I love her. I want her, however she will come to me. I still want her.
      Over the years I think I come to the point when I balance, I can take what she can give, accept it. But not today, today Im hurt.
      Should I try counseling? Should I just let go (as one as my brother has) and cut off contact?
      Sorry for rambling.

      • I know exactly how you feel. My mother is bi-polar as well and I tried to take the love when she could give and absorb the abuse when that cycle came around. Two years ago that changed. She had an episode the week of my wedding and just went off the rails. Drinking, mixing up her meds which led to her drunk and slobbering over my new family and insulting my new husband enough he cried on our wedding night. That night I decided enough is enough and I broke off all contact.

        My husband and I moved across the country and I started therapy. I really struggled about what to do, to call or to just close the door for good. My therapist was a really amazing lady very straight forward and we started going through bi-polar and borderline personality disorder and what it is and how it affects people. Understanding the illness really helped me start the process of coming to grips with how crazy my childhood really was.

        After a while I started to understand that what I thought was normal and everything I thought was true was not. I wanted a parent so badly that any time my mom was remotely normal I kept a hold of that and told myself that she did love me. Now that I have had time to look back and be more objective I realized she is just not capable of love. Not the kind of love kids want from their parents. I wanted to believe that was the case and I did everything from buy her a house, car, computer to try and make her life better. All she was doing was manipulating me in to getting the things that she wanted.

        Long story short, counseling helped me a lot but I think my therapist was very much on the side of the children of mentally ill parents. I found other groups try very hard to make you feel guilty and try to get you to take care of mentally ill family members. Sometimes this can work but sometimes cutting off contact is the best option. My therapist worked with me to help me figure out what is best for me and my well being. I came to the conclusion that cutting off all contact for good was the best thing for me. She was destroying my life, my new family and my sanity. A bit dramatic I know but all the drama from her life took a huge tole on me and how I was able to live my life. I think counseling is a great idea but just make sure the person or group you go to talk to is a good fit for you.

      • I just came across this site after having a huge blowout with my bi polar mother…she basically carried on how much of a terrible person i am i am 27 and have dealt with her highs and lows since i was 14 one minutes she loves me with all her heart and 4 hours later she cant believe i am her child because of how selfish and mean i am i know that she does not mean it but it does not hurt any less she has attempted sucide at least 10 times and im the one who calls 911 and runs to the hospital i would think i would be used to this by now but im not each time she has an episode she finds something more hurtful to say i would love to be able to walk away but fear this would be the episode that puts her over the edge of no return and i would not want that guilt on my shoulders for life its nice to know other people know how i feel and im not alone

      • At Ashley and all the children that have bipolar mothers. I have been having a terrible time with my abusive mother. The worst part is that I’m adopted and took my parents in with me and my husband and children when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. He passed away right before hurricane sandy. I’m having a terrible time with her now. She is terrible and I almost feel like I hate her. She is still here with me and she was also terrible to my father in his last dying days. I am in therapy and would welcome a connection with someone who would like to share some dialog and even chat about this. I am ready to have her move out. I can no longer look after her as whatever I do is never enough. I’m the terrible daughter.

      • I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate reading your post about your mom sometimes I feel like I’m the only one going through this a lot of the same.. things you talk about with your mom I have also went through I have really had a hard time dealing with this please feel free to email me if you would like to talk

      • I have a very similar story, except that my stepdad wanted a divorce and my younger sister stayed behind with him while my bipolar mom moved to New Mexico so that they wouldn’t take the car away from her. My ex stepdad was a jerk too. More of an idiot. Not the brightest guy. But my sister was the product of a seriously messed up house hold. Our mother is abusive verbally, delusional, unfair, etc. Everything a bipolar person is. Some of the bipolar people who vented on this blog sound like my mother. So, when my mom left, not only did she blame my stepdad for wanted to divorce her but she also blamed my sister. She said my sister sided with her dad and that it meant she was a “little bitch who manipulated her dad so she could be the woman of the house.” I see that she was a messed up girl from the neglect of her dad and the abuse from our mother. I have no idea sometimes if it’s the illness or if my mom is just a selfish jerk. She wanted me to cut my sister off. Was furious that we were still in touch. Said she wouldn’t come To my wedding and also threatened to cut me off. I told her that if she threatened me, I’D cut her off. I just had a baby. He’s five months old and she has no date set to visit. She keeps saying how she’s homeless and has no money…she chose to live in a homeless shelter even though she has a place to stay. She chose to go to school full time instead of get a job. She gets disability money, although it’s not much. It would cost her 200 dollars to visit. That’s it. She has known the baby was coming for over a year and made no arrangements. I am hurt by her but I also sort of don’t like her. I have some good memories with her (when she’s well, she has a great sense of humor). I am filled with anxiety and she is often at the root of it. I have had years of therapy for my childhood trauma. The ONLY thing that has worked at all is limiting my contact with her. I start to feel guilty if I don’t try and keep her in my life. I also get anxious the more we are in contact. I should mention, I live in CA. She lives in NM. My advice, if you can do it, limit her presence…if you can find the strength, cut her off. I keep thinking that I’d be more sad and distraught if I cut her off completely…but I wouldn’t be disappointed and upset anymore. I don’t know what’s worse. I’m thinking of joining a support group for family members of people with bipolar disorder. It’s good to talk to people who are going through it.

      • I just came across this website and almost cried while reading your story because it could just as easily have been written by me. It makes me feel better knowing that there are other people out there who know what I have been going through. I love my bipolar mother very much (obviously, she’s my mom), but I have been dealing with her ups and downs for almost 20 years now. She can be so fun to be around when she takes her medication, but like so many bipolar people, she goes off of it as soon as she starts to feel better, and then the cycle starts all over again. This last time has been the worst. Last May she told me she was going to go off her meds (after we had been getting along really well with her back on them) because they made her gain 5 lbs (she also battles anorexia). I begged her to stay on the medication and even said, “You drive me crazy when you go off your meds and crash.” and she said to me, “I would rather drive everyone around me crazy than get fat.” I realized by that statement that she had already gone off the meds. The next month, the bad time started up again. She kept asking me if she could go with me and my husband on our vacation for our wedding anniversary on the 4th of July. After the 3rd time of telling her that she can’t go with me on a romantic vacation with my husband, she went off the deep end. She called me a bad mother because I was taking my kids to my dad and his new wife’s house to watch the kids while I went out of town. My dad happened to live in the state my husband and I were vacationing in, and my kids only get to see their grandpa about twice a year. My mom insists that my dad beat her when they were married, but I never witnessed any of that. My mother gets these ideas in her head, and then the more she thinks about them, the more they become real to her. Some of the things she says to me are so hurtful. She recently told me that she is ashamed of me and she feels sorry for me, while quoting scripture to me at the same time, because I had the nerve to tell her that she needs to go back on her medication. I don’t understand why they don’t stay on the medication that makes them feel better? She’s really digging in her heels this time about refusing to take her medication. It’s been 6 months since she’s been off of them and she’s getting worse. I think I have to cut ties with her and it’s breaking my heart. I can’t imagine what my stepfather goes through with her on a daily basis. He is absolutely the most patient man I’ve ever met. I feel so guilty, I feel like I’m turning my back on my mother, but I’m so sick, physically sick, from being treated so meanly by her. I can’t understand what would bring a mother to say such mean things to her own daughter. I could go on and on here but I’ll stop now. I just want to say that I’m also terrified that my daughter might one day feel about me the way I feel about my own mother. I think I need to break away from my mother so that I can feel better and maybe my husband and kids can finally have a calm and drama-free life (to the point that that’s possible in any home). It’s not good for my kids to see me upset like this. A friend of mine told me that I need to get better so I can take care of my family, the way you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first in an airplane before you put it on your kids. If anyone reads this and has any insight or advice, I would welcome it very much.

    • I am a bipolar mother of two, and it is very hurtful to read your story. My kids r my world, and yes its very hard at times, I have a wonderful husband that understands and I hope my kids will to. But to have your mother locked up every to years is just crazy, u need to be there for your mom. This is a condition that most people can’t control and I think your the one that needs to be a little education about being bipolar.

      • Thank You..Anonymous. The value of education, is understated tremendously. There, are so many factors, triggers, and life woes that attribute to a diagnosis. Bipolar Disorder, is no exception. My Mother, was a wonderful person before diagnosis and she is a wonderful person, over fifteenpersonhope, your children will understand

      • You’re kidding me, right? She’s wrong for feeling the way she feels about her mom? Bi-polar mothers blow me away thinking EVERYTHING is about them. Yeah, you have the disorder but guess what? Us kids suffer through it right along with you. Try to have some compassion for the unbelievable we experience. Unbelievable!

      • You are the one who has no compassion. I chose not to have children because i don’t want them to go through the absolute HELL i went through with a rageful hateful person who took her rage out on 3 innocent children their entire lives. Children who go through that deserve peace and finding it is hard enough without people like you telling them they need to take care of their parent who delivered a hellish life onto them. Many of us will never find that peace, but we need to do whatever we can to attain just a little part of it. Not that you care. lol.

      • I agree I have been bipolar for years and a mom of 3 grown children.
        I know my illness affected my kids but
        it sure didn’t bother them enough that they could pretend to love me
        I was the one they turned to when they needed money or a place to live for free.
        I do not regret helping them but they would get angry and blame everything on my bipolar mood swings . my husband if 20 yrs knew about my illness. Before we married .he seemed fine but now has cut me off emotionally and physically.he told me he can treat me how he wants and I never thought that a bipolar person could be abused and it is ok no one believes them !i consider bipolar a curse.i am under a dr scare and stable yet I am nothing more than a doormat for my husband and I’m. Just ignored and screamed at no matter what I say or do! my whole family has cut ties with me and I begged them to educate themselves on bipolar disorder but no one bothered I am sick I’m not a monster I am human and I have real feelings I bleed just like everyone else.i don’t feel sorry for myself but I do feel sorry for the shallow ppl in my life that bailed on me. I am a survivor and I will be fine but to turn your back on a family member is just wrong and I hope the day never comes that them or their children are diagnosed with this curse.
        I am a true believer in karma what comes around goes around
        And btw I am 2 classes away from an associates degree in criminal justice with a 3.9 gpa!
        bipolar but intelligent
        I feel for anyone witth BPD!

      • So selfish of you to say that.

      • And the Bi-Polar mothers replying in this blog are exhibiting the VERY behaviour that drives their loved ones away people come to this blog to support each other in dealing with their bi-polar family members and in typical bipolar fashion the bipolar affected person stalks these blogs and forums to abuse anyone that shares their experiences with this disorder and to try and blame others to justify THEIR BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS …….. and they wonder why we shut them out ????? BI-POLAR affected people will sometimes NEVER accept that THEIR behaviour is the problem!!!! they suffer from POOR ME syndrome also and will use any excuse to EXCUSE THEIR behaviour medicated or un-medicated SAD SAD SAD disorder I QUESTION the excuses made for the S&*T you put your families through and NOW complete strangers on blogs???? GET AWAY with ya!!! GET HELP!!! I now no longer take any crap from my bipolar mother in-law because she feeds off the drama LOVES IT because she is so ridden with guilt and rage and self-pity for HER BEHAVIOUR that she tries to draw you into her false reality…….. just shut them off only way to get rid of the BULL and i don’t apologise for having this approach YOUR HEALTH and YOUR CHILDRENS health depend on it don’t waste your time let them know i no longer wish to be in contact with you until you sort out your mental health problems we love you but WE ARE IMPORTANT TOO!!! LIFE is too short GET ON with your life let the bi-polar affected person wallow in their self-loathing and get shot of them SIMPLE !!! maybe one day they may be recovered enough to be a part of your life again maybe not i know my MIL won’t because she is in denial and un-medicated you cannot help someone who won’t help themselves 🙂

      • Just to be clear, I don’t discourage bipolar people from commenting here.

        Those getting treatment and seeking support for it will find advice here on how their illness affects others.

        Those wishing to complain about their treatment elsewhere who voluntarily post here usually serve as an example of typical behavior for those not familiar with bipolar.

    • I am a bipolar mother (diagnosed 5 years ago). I take my medications, go to therapy on a regular basis, and see a psychiatrist monthly. The anger part of being bipolar represents as anxiety with me. I grew up in constant conflict, so I, by all means, avoid it and I can not stand drama. Dear God, I have only read a few of your comments and they are horrible. Both of my parents were bipolar and I took care of them. They brought me into this world. I didn’t allow them to abuse me (when I got older), but I sure didn’t abandon them. What a selfish lot of you. May your kids abandon you when you need them. This page is horrible and so are all of you that treat your parents this way.

      • Karen,

        I agree with Megan that you should be proud that you recognize you have the disease and you are taking steps to address it with medication and seeing a psychiatrist regularly. However, your comment that we are all selfish for “abandoning” our mothers shows that you are not able to understand the hurt and pain that your disease can cause others. A lack of empathy is a clear symptom of the disease, and if you aren’t able to develop this, you are at risk of damaging your children. You simply won’t be able to understand when you are crossing the line into a world of hurt for others.

        I hope you don’t take offense to this reply as I’m afraid you will. Why don’t you talk over your reaction with your psychiatrist? Your children’s well-being is at stake, so I hope that provides motivation for you.

        And for everyone else, I hope Karen’s comments provide context for the guilt our bipolar mothers often place on us. It’s always “our fault” in their eyes. It’s so important to remember that it’s not.

      • Oh my what would you do if you saw your children locked in a room with a hateful rageful person for 18 years. The fact that you would call them selfish for doing whatever they could to save their sanity after that shows what kind of mother you really are. I feel for your kids.

      • I’m 1000 percent with you Karen. God help all of you that abandon your parents with this terrible disease, or any disease. Oh and may you all be reminded that it is capable of jumping generations. What a selfish generation this is. I gave my son everything, and he turned on me in my time of need. But God help him, maybe his children will do the same to him. Funny how life works out. We all think the grass is greener on the other side. Nobody is perfect, and we all have faults. I’m sure your mother did the best she could. You are lucky you even had a mom. There are girls/boys out there that would give anything to have their moms again, even if they were bipolar. Yes, i am aware of what bipolar is. Remember you reap
        what you sow, and forgiveness is hard, but, I’m sure your mom would forgive you. I’m sure she did whatever she could for you, but I’m sure you forgot about that. I’m not writing this to anger you, and I’m sure you carry anger that is deserving, but not enough for you to actually hate her. This generation is so sad. Nobody is perfect. Remember your child might just find faults in you one day, and decide to leave you in heartbreak. What comes around goes around. Your mom did not ask for that disease, it picked her.

      • I so agree with you!

      • I first remember my mum having an episode when I was ten. She divorced my dad and I have lived with and supported her ever since. I have been truly shocked by the way some of the people here feel. However I understand that living with a bipolar parent can be like living with an alcoholic or drug addict, I am lucky enough to say that I have never been physically abused. Although everybodys situation is different, and if I’m honest of course iv thought abouthow my life wwould be so much more simple if I just disappeared abd started fresh but fundamentally I share a huge bond with my mum and am very close to the person that she is when not in the grips of her illness. I find mania almost easier to deal with than depression. The illness is almost tangible with mania. But seeing what my wonderful mother has been reduced to when the depression comes breaks my heart and I can’t bear to leave her. She has been through so much in her life I can’t let her give up now. I feel desperately trapped as I basically live the life of a bipolar sufferers but through the eyes of sanity. There’s so much I want to do withmy life but i can’t. But I can’t live with the guilt of knowing I didn’t help when I could.

      • How dare you make me feel selfish for abandoning my mother..
        My mom has been bipolar all her life and I’m he third son. He oldest son is 6 years older than me and SHE abandoned him in Denmark and went to Sweden. She has not been seeking contact with him at all for the latest fifteen years. Even not to say cheers on his birthdays.

        I got beaten up with sticks as a kid, but thought this was normal. I went to school as a ten year old and took a knife to scare a girl with, since I grew up seeing my mom do dad to my father.

        As a 20 year old I moved about a 6 our drive away for studies. I then cancelled my studies after a year and came back to work up some money before studying again.

        As a 21 year old I thought about taking my own life every day for at least 6 months. My eyes started squinting from the depression and then one night I woke up in an ambulance. It seems that I got epileptic seizures due to my anxiety… And this happened twice.
        She lit fire under cars outside my window and I was the one having to run there to let the fire out, afraid of it exploding.
        The police got to come and get her one day when she was screaming at my dad’s employees and threw thing to crash the window of a car. The feeling of holding your own mom around the neck until a police comes to get her is quite destroying to you as a person.
        The crash of them later saying that there’s no problem with her or her doctor who’s saying that she isn’t manic and the problem is me and my dad, not her illness. The feeling of hearing my mom screaming at me that it’s a shame that I did not dare to kill myself, when I told her how depressed I was…

        It all made me move to another country. I wanted to be too far away to be able to help her and my depressed father. Still I’m feeling guilt.. not for her much more, but for my father who can’t find the strength to do the same as me and my brother has done. My father who came me when he tried to kill himself. My father who none of his five children has the strength too keep in touch with because of his screwed up life dragging us down into a young life of misery.
        He does not want to take help and thereby change.

        But thanks, for making me feel guilt for leaving my mother as she left her son. Thanks. I should have stayed there until my depression made me stick that knife thorough my stomach like I tried not to for six months.

    • Good. advice very true and helpful. thanks for the sincerity. in time i look forward to posting a better more fufilled educated me. wishing you only the best. unknown dough

    • I’ve had this illness for 15+ years , I was in denial though and said it was wrong they ad made a mistake . I was put on lithium and I still couldn’t think they got it wrong . I started to self medicate with illegal heavy drugs made the worst choices of my life’ when ever I put the drugs down I noticed it was back the madness I’d be manic doing the maddest but normal to me ‘ cut along story short ‘ I didn’t realize it was worse than ever ‘ I thought I was in a good place , I got back with an ex from 15ye ago he was brill with me when I was on the units , and when I finally came home. Xmas time he was horrible to me ( cruel infact ) he would kick me out of the house bringing up all my past. I thought and felt it was ok and brill to be bk with him , no one else thought So he as changed I said . That was the first thing is done to know it wasn’t what I do . I believed him . I’ve managed it well for years an it at it’s worse now , I’m living with my daughter at present . I do get on her nerves , he wants me to go bk , I feel alone lost hopeless . Help

      • I speak from experience telling you that your daughter will probably do anything to help you be healthy, normal, and balanced. Physically , mentally , and emotionally. Leave men alone, and get yourself together. Stop distracting yourself with bull drama, and care about what and who are important . You and your daughter . Be the kind of mom that she can go shopping with . Be the kind of mom she can lean on when she had a bad day, not the other way around. You can do it. A step at a time. Stay focused and you can truly begin living life. Trust in God. He WILL help you.

    • I am the adult daughter of a Bipolar mother. Mostly I feel motherless. Some of the memories from my childhood are emotionally and mentally horrific although thank goodness I was never physically abused. I think as a young child I suffered in lonely silence because I was terrified and confused and needed a mother and had to not only raise myself starting at a young age, but be the person for my mother to lean on. I left home at 18 for college which I paid for myself and I never returned. The pain and scars are deep and if you haven’t experienced it, it is difficult to understand. I have 4 young children and I keep a long distance between them and my mother. I try to be everything to them that I never had.

      • I feel we had the same childhood had some physical abuse mostly when I became a teen… .. Lack of both a mother and father …. It’s amazing how strong and resilient we can be… I’m proud of you….. We must break the cycle… Be better mothers… For our children… And never forget for yourself

      • I know exactly how u feel, i’m 45, and my mother has been bipolar since as far back as i can remember about 3 i was, i have always felt motherless, and all that goes with it, so much to say, would take a lifetime. pauline 29th august 14

    • Hello there friend, I am 19 and have a bipolar mother is well. It was not until recently that i fully understood the gravity of this and how it weighed in on my experience with her. My mother only contacts me over text message, occasionally, and most always because she is drunk. I recently had a fallout with my mother over text messaging in which she told me that i was not her son anymore and never to contact her again. During this fallout I told her that i wanted to have a rational conversation in which we communicated our respective understanding of our relationship and through that, achieved some mutual understanding. The entire time she just attacked my character, my father’s character, and in no way contributed anything constructive to the problem at hand. I explained to her that i felt a mother should love her child unconditionally and regard from her should reflect that, and that i did not feel we had that kind of relationship. She completely ignored what i said and continued to have some petty argument with me while i was continued to think critically in order to find some wholesome concordance. I do not think that that concordance exists.

      • Yeah, it just happened with me… again… i hate having these nonsense conversations, its useless, she just can’t understand my point of view, it seems like she even hear ou read what I say, she build a wall aroud her with her way to see the world and people around her. She aways says that I want her to be a perfect mother or says that I’m judging her lifestyle, things like that… but I never sayd that, actually I aways hear her trying to understand what’s going on… but it’s a one way road and I really wanted to be heard too 😦

      • @michelle Yeah, same thing is happpening with me. I got into a fight w my mom about something stupid ( the usual) where she had to have a complete tantrum and yell at me for. I stupidly defended myself and yelled back only making the fight worse instead of just giving her the point. My dad says to let her win because bpd is a mental illness but its not as easy as it seems to tell her shes right when she just keeps hurting me verbally. She changed the complete topic of the fight and just started saying how I always compare her with other moms and how I make her feel like an embaressment and that I hate who she is. It made me sortav laugh the way she manipulated me. Firstly, shes the one who constantly is comparing me to everyone and yelling at me all day never really listening to what I have to say. When I tried to tell her that all I want from her is to stop yelling at me, she just said “IM NOT YELLING!” and kept on going with her criticism. Honestly, sometimes I do compare her w other moms ( i dont tell her though).. how could i not? I start to feel jealous of my friends who have such a close blond w their moms and can tell them anything. My mom probobly can tell that i feel this way and for that reason she makes me feel bad about it. I know this is something my mom cant control, and I do love her, but I just dont know what to do anymore.

    • I have posted on here before, but I still keep up with it and read all the comments and such because it is a continuing help to know that there are always others out there going through the same thing.
      A week ago, my mom was apparently trying to kill herself again. She was having issues with her boyfriend (knowing her and him, I’m sure that they were issues that she made up in her own head). She went to our neighbors (we live right by each other) and stayed there and talked to her. She brought a bunch of her stuff and my neighbor had to wrestle many sharp objects away from her. I’m sure she was up for days and majorly screwed up. As usual. I had to hear this from my neighbor. My mother didn’t contact me at all, and hasn’t since. I made the decision not to contact her, because I highly doubted I wanted to be a part of the situation, and she didn’t seem to want me to be either.
      I just never know what to do with her. She won’t accept any of her problems. She is always self-medicating. All she can ever think about is herself.
      I’m about to graduate a college program I’ve worked my ass off on, and I don’t even know if I want to invite her. She could make it all about her. She could yell or start a fight or ANYTHING. I never know what she is capable of at any particular moment. I’m always fighting with myself about what is right and wrong when it comes to her. I love her so much, and she will always be my mother. But I can’t let her ruin all the good I’ve done in my life.
      I followed in her footsteps for a long time. I did drugs, I screwed up, I got in trouble with the law.
      Now I’m completely sober, going to school, and doing great.
      I can’t let her mess this up. But I want her to get help, not try and kill herself every chance she gets. I never know what to do with her.
      One day she is either going to finally commit suicide or die of a drug overdose. And I want her to get the help she needs before then.
      But she’s too busy pointing the finger at anyone and everyone else to ever look in the mirror and realize that SHE is the problem, not anyone else.

      *edited for profanity

    • I’m 24 years old and I have a 4 year old son. We live at home with mother, who is mentally ill. I couldn’t help but reach out to you for advice or guidance on what to do. Besides the suicidal act; everything else that you described how your mother is, that’s how my mother. I don’t know what to do. The drama, false accusations, the denial, the manipulation, the threatening. I can keep going. I’ve tried helping my mother so much financially and emotionally, I’ve tried making sense to her irrational behaviors like you had said, but I can’t. I know she needs help and have accepted that I can’t help her, help herself. This has taken a tole on me and my son, he’s so young, innocent, happy and I feel so helpless and lost. I know that I need to move out and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m seeking all the correct ways; I don’t know what steps I need to take that doesn’t involve me loosing my son. I have a bit of money saved up but it’s not enough to make it on my own. Tonight, we argued and she told me ever since I came into her life I’ve messed it up and she wants me out. I don’t take her words to heart, I’m numb to it. I’m more so worried about my son and just feel the pressure building up and afraid that my mothers actions are just going to escalate.

      I’ve been trying to describe what it is I’m dealing with for about a year and you are the first person that has said and described everything I’m going through so simple and understanding. Thank you so much. I hope to hear from you.

      • Hi there, your my PST is some time ago but I wanted to reply,
        I am a Mother if a now adult Daughter with BPD, I also have a Son, when she was a Teenager the whole family suffered with her horrific lies and constant trouble to the door, As an adult
        Now with 3 children from 6-18 yrs she has made their upbringing hell, my eldest G.Daughter self harms, it’s heartbreaking, those of us who suffer from a family member with BPD live a life of hell from massive accusations and it eventually drags You down to not not coping, we are the ones who suffer from all their me, me, me drama and they feel NO empathy for the life they throw you,

    • Khayla , don’t feel bad for protecting your family…I’ve done the same.. It’s not easy…
      My mother was diagnosed as bipolar when I was 17… She was a single mother I will never deny all she went thru to give me a financially stable childhood.. But children need more than money… My mother never understood that.. I would have given anything just to have her nurturing side.. Like other mothers.. One who listens.. Gives Advice… Who shares joy.. Someone I could trust… Not my mother .. .my sister and I were removed by child services… She is incredibly smart and uses it to manipulate without care… It has taken much to grow part the emotional aspect of growing up with her… I wished many times I would have been removed sooner… She made me feel a if it was me always lying… Mood swings… In school I was an emotional wreck… I grew…. I still deal with anxiety… Migraines..yet found now 30 and have found thru creative releases .. Living a peaceful life…on my own.

      My sister from a distance(she was smart to distance her self) I can see she has grown healthy.. Happy and stable.. With her new family… I’m glad she didn’t endure what our mother put me thru

      My mother abandoned my grandmother.. (her mother) when she became a widow and left her at my home when I was 19 I proudly.. And with much strife took and continue to care for her…I owe My grandmother my life… I am sane because of her influence her affection throughout my childhood.. Iwas sent to her when my mother had enough… And back and forth all my life… New schools every year… No father at home… No real family… No culture.. No one to trust

      I now have a family of my own.. And have tried to have mother in my life… Especially after finding out she has cancer… In remission now… It has been…. I have no words to describe… Trying to be there for someone.. Who always wants more… Who yells.. Insults.. Threats… … But like you . I got used to it I managed to ignore or walk away.. . She has no care for the damage she causes…

      When she threatened to call the police… During a stay at my home… When she acted up in front of my son… When I had to leave my home to finish his homework.. It was the last straw..
      I couldn’t just ask her to leave… Although I did… She never listened… I had to pack her bags and send her on her way…. In the past I had… Placed her in a hote… Rent her a car.. If needed…I’m not rich… But I couldn’t just leave her….
      But this time… I just had to walk away… It has been a year now….
      I think if her often… I hear she still has hatred in her heart… I don’t believe in possession but it is like she is taken over… Full of envy… She is jelous of my grandmother… Says I should take care of her… How could I do it all….

      I’m glad to have found this blog and this summarized version of my life with a bipolar mother… Has many gaps… But you are not alone… I feel strong… I feel I have to be …. We can only do what we can and if she finds a way to try to ruin your life… Walking away will allow you to heal… I will always love her and if she finds humility…. I will be here with open arms… Until that day…. I will protect my family.. From her influence… Even though she is my mother….

      • I read this last night and i got to the part of this and i dont who had sent. Uthis to me i have a few friends that have the thing. And first thing i ask is does she have a. Urinary. Infection? When my my turned into a monster. Right away that was the first thing. I had checked. If your Mom is bi- polar is she taking her meds? I went thru it bad and it was so sad when something takes over her. Brain.ill read it for my answer! K?

    • This is the first time I have ever replied to any blog, reading this I had to stop and think if I had wrote this. I constantly feel guilty because i can barely take a 5 minute call before we are screaming at each other. Thank you so much!

    • I have been dealing with a mother with bipola for 9 years and it has been the most draining time of my life, i am only 21 and i always feel like i am in the wrong. though i know shes over reacted or what she has said doesnt make sense i jsut dont know how to deal with her but i dont want to leave her because she does become so self inflictant and suicidle.

    • My mother is the same way and I don’t like it because one minute her actions towards me can be really nice and the next she can be mean and abusive and have a very nasty attitude towards my grandma who is 95 years old and towards me and i just turned 34 two weeks ago. and then when we are around other people she has a nerve to be nice and show the good side of her but when we are at home all hell breaks loose. and she accuses me for arguing cursing and fighting and i don’t do none of those ungodly things and ther was times that she threatened to call the police on me and i didn’t even do nothing to her. Her attitude towards me is causing my self esteem to just go down hill it has caused me to feel like as if i am worth nothing and there was times that it caused me have a lack of confidence and giving up in everything not only just school but other things too like babysitting my grandma just this past week my mother was acting very childish and immature and she really doesn’t love me and she never uses her inside voice when it comes to talking to me instead she yells and screams at me.

    • im 48 years old abd have bipolar depression now divorced w 3 children and i wouldnt wish this illness on any living person,It ruined my marriage kids and entire family.I think they should have a group or meetings for adults having this illness,I recently just learned the computer because of this illness…theres so much more to say so i wish someone can respond to me soon.

      • I am glad that you are on here. It is a shock for me to see such a post. A bipolar person admitting their wrongs. I’m sorry if this offends you. My mother is bipolar, and I believe sometiems she uses it as an excuse for everything she has ever done or said to me. I know sometimes she knows what she’s doing. My sister and I have watched her, as she speaks with one of us, she looks at the other, as if she wants them to be jealous that she’s giving them attention and not the other. She is so mean. I am 32 years old and have put up with this my entire life. I cannot take it anymore. I do not understand the whole bipolar thing, so please forgive me if I hurt your feelings. I am just trying to get all of this out of me, because I have held it in for all of my life. I never knew anyone else was going through this. I thought I was the only one being abuse, and mistreated. I thought I was such a bad child, and such a bad person. And I haven’t even done anything. So…..if you can keep from hurting your kids through your illness, please try to do so. And if you can’t, then tell them you are having a bad day and need to take some time for yourself or something. I understand that people who are bipolar are sick it is and illness. But I do not understand, how it is fair for the doctors and whoever to take up with the ill person, when there are two sides. What about the people that are hurting and being destroyed? What about there mentality. Doesn’t it mean anything to anyone? Aren’t they just as important as the ill person? I have so many questions. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing, and again I apologize if I have hurt anyone’s feelings. 🙂 ❤

    • I just read your post and came into tears because I felt as if I were reading my own story. I did not know any other person with a mother like mine. I made a post toward the bottom of this page if you would like to read some of my story. I’m so sorry you have had to live this way. I have no children and my mom has not been committed anywhere. I have went a few times not talking to her. twice was a year each time. It bothered so much not to have her in my life, so as usual I would always go back to her. Taking all the blame for whatever had happened. I’ve always had to be the strong person for my entire family. I am 32 years old, and I feel as if I have had no life at all. My life has been totally surrounded by all the drama from my mother. She has done so many thing to me and said thing that I have never heard another mother say to her children, even as adults. I am so sick and tired of all of it. I have held this in all of my life. I feel as if there is something in me that just wants to come out. Because of my holding all this in for so long. I can’t even truly enjoy my marriage, because my mother makes our lives so miserable. She told me once that she went to see a psychiatrist and he told her, she could have me and my baby sister arrested for mentally abusing her. We have not done anything except try to stay away from her, for fear of what she might say or do. My niece and two nephews have experienced a few things from my mother, and they are only 9, 5, and 4. I told my sister, if that were me, our mother would not see my children. My husband already said if we ever have children that my mother would not be allowed to see them. I am terrified and petrified of my mother. And the worst part is, my step dad holds her up. And when she comes at us, my sisters and myself, he tells us he will hit us, or call the law on us if we talk to her in a bad way. And we don’t, we just try and defend ourselves. But it’s hopeless. I’m also scared to let her know when I’m having a happy day. Or, when something good happens to me. Because she is constantly putting me down and calling me names. She makes me feel like I should have never been born. I am a christian, and I have been praying about this for a long, long time. I almost feel as if I am supposed to just walk away and not turn back. But a huge part of me is saying hang on, because she just might come around. I don’t know what to do. So much has been done and said to me, that I don’t even know what kind of person I am, or what kind of things I truly like. I feel so messed up, and so damaged, and so broken. Thank you reading this. Thank you for sharing you story. HUGS to you and your family. ❤

    • Bipolar is not a character flaw it is an actual physiologic disease. I am a medical professional. I have bipolar. Blaming the person with bipolar for their mood swings is like blaming a diabetic because their pancreas does not produce insulin. We are all entitled to our feelings. We are not entitled to be ignorant.

      • UNLESS they are not getting help with it, or deny that they have it. Then it is a character flaw.

      • I don’t think anyone on here thinks that bipolar is a character flaw. We all recognize that it’s a terrible disease that has taken away a precious relationship. However, just as no one should take abuse from an alcoholic (even though they have a disease), no one should take abuse from someone who suffers from bipolar. I’m betting your statement is the result of knowing deep down that you cause hurt to others but don’t want to take responsibility for it. Rather, it’s easier to say (and believe) that others are “ignorant.”

      • Oh? I have been responsible for getting “sensitive” when my mom treats me as inferior. She has been put on the pedestal of never having to take responsibility. I was always placed on the lower end of the pedestal while she distorts reality and likes to paint pictures rather than face reality.

        She always has to say hurtful things. If anyone says anything nice about me, she zones out and it will not register as if she’s already had her views distorted and twisted and I’m not intelligent or worth as much as her boys. I’m a girl and in her delusional world im not good enough not worth listening to. It’s frustrating and I’ve had PTSD over it. Used to want to kill myself.

        Has anyone ever thought that perhaps putting people on this realm of not being held responsible for what they say and do instead appointing someone else as their voodoo doll to be held responsible it’s holding the person with bi-polar back?

        My mother doesn’t seem like she’s even there. Like she’s floating on a cloud and her eyes seem far away when someone talks. She was diagnosed with bi-polar.

        How about this. You think your feelings are hurt? How many people come in to defend you because of your bi-polar? Now think how it must feel if you have someone belittling you, treating you as your feelings don’t matter, hurting you, telling you they are sending you to an orphanage, coming up with lies about you and it’s all your fault because you’re upset while the person doing this to you isn’t held accountable and you are held accountable for it.

        How about, do something. Stop pretending you cannot do anything when you can. Awareness is key. If nobody is making you aware at that time and instead treating other people you are hurting as though it’s their fault, you will never feel any need to change yourself.

        Yes, you can do it. You need help stop blaming people that you are hurting.

    • I am just begining the life as the daughter of a bipolar mother. Im 25 and for the last nine months my mother has been manic. She filed for divorce from my father a man devoted to her for 26 years, she spent thier life savings, she stole money out of my bank account by forging my signature, she told people that my brother was a drug addict ( a lie) and that my dad was a cheater (another lie) she has meddled in my relationship way past the point of normal parent meddling accused me of stealing and threatened to sue me. My mother and I were very close and talked every day before she started her episode. Now I cringe when I see her name flash across my phone, my stomach turns when I get an email. I morn her like she is dead, and sometime as horrible as this sounds I wish she were. Every day is a new emotional or financial blow I fluctuate between anger and cold indifference towards her. Its the most upsetting thing to face she is my mom and for 25 years she was a good mom now I feel like she is a monster. I have known other bipolar people and have a close friendship with one of them. I never had these feelings towards her even when she was manic. She has been so supportive through everything and gives me hope that maybe ill get my mother back. But I agree with you, sometimes you need to pull away, I cant help my mom, all attempts at a commitment have failed, only she can make the decision to get help and until that happens I dont have a mother andim getting ready to accept that I might not get her back.

    • I am a psychotherapist and totally relate to your story; I have the same one..my mother also has borderline traits with the bipolar d. Good luck to you and your family..fill your life with the peace you deserve. Big hugs..

    • This is such an old post but need to thank you. I have tried my best with my bipolar mom and she has exactly everything you have listed here. I need to move on cut her off for my own health. Thank you

    • I’m not sure if you still are reading this post, but I have a bi-polar mother who was recently diagnosed and she is incredibly mean and malicious. She tried to commit suicide in March 2015 and now October, 2015, she is manic, spent over $100,000.00 in two months and is abusive to me and my family. I am a lawyer and she constantly yells at me telling me that I am the worst lawyer and mother (I have 3 small children). She calls my inlaws telling them that I am horrible and also telling them that I am a criminal and that unless they speak with me about my behavior, she will get me disbarred which will mean that my husband will have to work twice as hard to support my family. I know she is sick, but I cannot take her abuse anymore and have decided to stop all contact with her. If anyone is going through something similar, I would love to speak with you. Thank you. Polina R.

    • to: Diane H.
      I just googled how to live with a bipolar Mom and your words are the first I’ve read. I am thankful for your honesty. Everything you said is exactly how I feel and have been through to the t. It helped me to not feel so alone.
      Thank you

    • There’s nothing I can say about my experiences with my bipolar mother that hasn’t already been said here. I grew up with a mother either laying on the coach on lithium and Valium, with various other “wack” meds, or the other extreme of running up behind me and kicking me in the back or trying to yank chunks of hair out of my head. The “me, me, me, & I, I, I attitude, the “shopping addiction”, excuses, debates, nothing being good enough, jealousy & revenge tactics & every single dime available bursting into flames in her pocket. Add to that a psycho father who was in & out of jail for literally trying to murder us constantly and threatening to kill my mother and keep me as a “sex slave”. He would also tear up the house & say he didn’t do it, that “Robin did”. (My name is Robin, however the Robin he was referring to was his male “alter ego”) Yeah. And yet, I went to nationals in dressage at the age of 12, was always on the honor roll with straight A’s during my school years, and I am “okay”. (Pissed off usually, but “okay”) I may not remember entire chunks or years of my life due to blocking them out, but it is what it is, and probably for the better. The point is…you’re stuck with it for the most part. Focus on yourself, and the ones you hold close who actually ARE able to carry on coherent conversations, and just try to keep the “problem” from shaving its damn fool head in the bathtub one day, or something…really it’s a day-to-day basis with them because you never know what the next day will bring. My mom is near 70 now, and yes, I do live with her because I doubt that she could live alone. I’ve been either living with or within walking distance of her my entire life. I love my mother and I treat her well and with respect, but you can love someone and still stand there looking at them while fantasizing that you’re really ripping their head off. However, I will never “dump” my mother and leave, because I “just can’t handle it”; a statement of which I’ve seen made in comments in this thread. If you have children that are exposed to it, I would think that you could attempt to educate them and put them into a state of mind to better deal with it, unless you’re just lazy and don’t give a damn. Due to my history and our culture and system of “sink or swim” in the States, (I’m not sorry that this is solely my opinion and you can get angry if you want, I don’t care), most of us are messed up in some form or another. It’s called “life”. You are in complete control of how YOU feel.

    • I totally feel you. I’m 33 years old living with my bipolar mother who refuses to accept she’s bipolar even if 4 of her brothers & sisters are severely ill & her father as well.
      I was married for 3 years & she couldn’t accept that. She told me everything she could think off to destroy me & eventually my ex husband saw how much she put me down & he asked me to cut her off or leave him! I ended up leaving him & I honestly regret it.
      My mother cheats on my dad & make me be quiet about it or she gets aggressive & bullies me. I’m an immigrant who moved to the U.S 12 years ago, my father obliged me to move & not knowing what was there for me or not. I recently got my green card & im looking for a job just to move out because honestly I want to
      Kill myself thinking I’m stuck with such a crazy woman. Sometimes it hurts because it’s my
      Mother & I can’t get another one, but then I see how much she’s hurting me & she does not care or see how sick she is. I’m 33 & I weight 103 lb because I
      Just can’t eat I feel so anxious & scared the whole time. My mother destroyed me & ruined my personality, my hopes, my imagination, the “me” in me does not exist anymore. If you are already far from her & can cut her off do it for you & for your children. They don’t deserve to see that & you’ve seen enough.

      I wish you the best

    i’ve been recentley trying all these sites for someone to leave me with some feedback thats going through what im going through, im 24.

    • Hi, Vita –
      My mother is bipolar also, and though she is not dying (that I know of), so far in the past seven years she has pretended to have camcer twice and Alzheimer’s, once. The cancer scares were obvious hoaxes, but she really had me believing the Alzheimers one. I know about the guilt you speak of. I’m her only child, and she’s widowed…..plus if the time ever comes that I need to put her in a nursing home, I fear my own three grown children will hate me or at the very least resent me for it. (If I can even do it. I don’t know. Thankfully, that time hasn’t come yet.)
      I also can very much relate to your saying you just seem to run away. I do too. It makes it a little easier that I was advised to do so, by two psychiatrists and a medical doctor, plus a handful of therapists.
      I get the impression that you’ve simply done all you can do, and that you’re at the end of your rope. I think it’s all right to retreat under those circumstances…..my God, even the Army retreats when it has nothing left to fight with! And this truly is a fight, isn’t it – trying to stay sane and rational, and know which end is up, while dealing with a bipolar loved one.

      It sounds to me like you’ve done your best to see to it that your mother is safe and in good care. (She’s very lucky in that respect. Not all mentally ill parents have children who care that much about them. Please give yourself a pat on the back for that, you deserve it.)
      I’m wondering, does it help to picture someone else in your shoes, being faced with the same decisions you have to face every day > I mean *all* the decisions. This person does not get more strenth or stamina or support than you – they get a level playing field. They must do this with the resources you have, both inner and outer, and nothing more. Would you be as hard on them, if it was, say, a close friemd, and not you >
      I think sometimes we tend to be more merciful toward others, than we do to ourselves. But we need that mercy too, and you can only do so much and take so much.
      It sounds like you’re really trying to be there for your mother, when you find those moments of strength….and then only if she’ll let you.
      YOu deserve (and I’m guessing desperately need) some time for yourself. My God, you’re only 24….? Wow. That makes me really sad. I have a daughter who’s 24. I can only imagine what it would do to her, to have all this impossible responsibility on her shoulders.

      You didn’t make your mom this way, and you can’t make her well. Nor can you make her happy, not if she’s anything like my own mom and the other bipolar peole I know. Being unhappy and unsatisfies is just another very sad part of the disease, and there is nothing you can do.

      I hoep you can find a way to set down that bag of guilt long enough to get a good night’s sleep, and go as long as you can tomorrow without picking it up.
      I’m guessing it looks a lot like mine, and the damn things are just too heavy to carry.
      Give yourself a hug for me if you want one, because I’m sending you one – and just for this one night, give yourself a break.
      God bless.
      – Forestchild

      • i have had bi polar since age of 16 .i would rather feel physical pain than suffer this debilitating illness .everyday i fight the demons in my head constantly terrified of going over the edge. feelings of paranioa anxieties not knowing how i will feel tmorro will i feel happy or maybe suicidal the thoughts in youre head become all jumbled up becoming isolated from people of course everyone has different degrees of bi polar unfortunately i have a severe form.i blame myself everyday for my teenage sons upbringing his father was abusive and i was never consistant in setting out bounderies so he grew up without having any consequences i screamed at him like a mad woman his life was totally chaotic i failed him as a mother and i will live with the guilt for the rest og my life i caused his pain and suffering and i will and everytime i look at him its a constant reminder of what i put him through .i love my son from the bottom of my heart and i will try each day to make amends.

      • dear forest child, i understand what your dealing with. for i have been stressed out my entire life trying to deal with my mothers bi polar sickness. what we need is a support group where we can go and try and to comfort each other and where we can feel we are not alone to deal with it.

    • I understand to a degree what you’re going through aside from the breast cancer issue. I’m 22 and my mother has been bipolar for as long as I can remember. My parents divorced when I was 7 & ever since then my life has been a living hell with her. She is outrageously jealous of me and always was because my father cared for me & not her. She would threaten to kill me in my sleep, call me stupid all of the time, every name imagineable, prevent me from talking to my father etc. She screamed and yelled at me everyday for absolutely nothing. She would threaten to kick me out of the house all through high school, tell lies to my friends & boyfriend about me.. to say the least. One wrong sentence would set her off off on a war path. When I finally moved to university she threatened to post signs of me all over my school saying that I was a s**t and w***e, drop into my apartment unexpectedly all the time & the final straw occured when she dropped every belonging I had left at home on my front step in the rain. I’m ready to move in with my fiance now & away from her forever. I asked her to call before she comes to visit… bad idea… she thinks she has the right to stop by whenever she wants & is planning on moving to my neighborhood, stalk my house & make sure to tell my fiance about the “men” that come and go apparently. She threatens to kill herself on account of my all of the time. She used to hit me.

      All I can say to you is that some people will never get better. My mother feeds of the drama she causes and enjoys my pain. I wish I could tell you to feel sympathy for your mother. But words cannot describe how much I hate my mother for ruining my childhood. I am getting a restraining order against her when I move out. & I will not be at her funeral.

      • I’m 35 now with a family of my own…my mother was bipolar as long as I can remember, but undiagnosed til I went to college. And like you, I cannot express how much I despise her for ruining my childhood and ,despite never talking to her anymore, she has ruined my adulthood as well. The older I get, the more anxious and depressed I become, and that is because she didn’t provide me with the tools I needed to be a complete person. I understand she has a biological illness…but she never tried to get treatment despite being a nasty irrational b**** my whole childhood. And underneath her illness, she is a selfish thing. I wish I could forgive her, but I am still not able to….I basically hate her and get so ANGRY that I was robbed of a mother/daughter relationship, because I was a damn good daughter and deserved better.

      • I’m sorry if this is weird. I don’t ever go on these blog things but I just watched Shutter Island and it brought up thoughts about my mother that I had been trying to evade for a while. I currently have a restraining order against my mom after she had me arrested for attempted assault after I threw a remote control at her in one of our heated arguments about nothing. What you just described seems to be my life in a nutshell and it was just amazing to see it coming from someone else. My mom also threatened to drive to my campus and yell about how I’m a s*** and w****. I was just wondering if you ever tried going to therapy at all because I haven’t but am starting to think that its necessary for me to be healthy about the trauma. By the way, I chose to respond to you because I’ll be 20 later this year and saw we were around the same age. Feel free to email me privately.

      • Heartbreaking.

      • Wow. I suddently don’t feel so alone. As terrible as it is, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who had this kind of childhood.

        My mom plays the “I’m dying” card regularly…I think she’s had cancer a couple different times now. Every man she meets “rapes” her. She tried to have my ex boyfriend arrested for beating her up and pointing a gun at her. Many many suicide attempts (my first memory to stopping mom from killing heself was age 9).

        So here we are in present day. I have a beautiful 4-year-old daughter. I’ve made the decision to remove myself and my daughter from my mothers life. I can NOT take it anymore. From the moment I got pregnant, I swore to God that I wouldn’t let my daughter go through the hell I did. I wouldn’t let my mother damage her like she did me.

        Mom has acted up many, MANY times in the past 4 years. But it was geared towards me. I’m used to it. I can handle it. In the fall, she pulled my daughter into her drama. I pulled away. GUILT brought me back…for Christmas. I told her on Christmas that this is the absolute LAST chance. One more psychotic episode and we are gone for GOOD.

        She did it again. So I’m done with her. I can’t put my daughter through that mind boggling crap. I feel GOOD about my decision but there is one family memeber throwing GUILT on me. Constant guilt. The guilt is so hard sometimes. Mom used/uses guilt to reel people in, but I’m not talking to her so she’s using a mule to pass the messages of guilt onto me.

        I struggle as a parent. I struggle NOT to be that horrible mother that my mother was. She’s the only mother I’ve known. We never had any friends when I was a kid–no aunt to model her mothering or mom’s best friend. Mom fought with everyone. Could/can never keep a friend….she’s down right hateful to people. Every day I pray to God to help me be like HIM and not my mother. Being a mom is so hard sometimes, when all you’ve ever known is conditional love, hateful words, name calling and belittling. It’s hard.

        I’m also trying to seek and order of protection or a restraining order. She won’t stay away otherwise. It’s sad. But to protect my daughter and hold onto whatever sanity I have left, this has to be done.

      • at least i can say all who have visited this site ur actions of trying to find help and support to understand the illness is more then my familys done for me , im definetly bi-polar but im not stupid or crazy and if my children want to blame me for all their problems when all ive ever done was the right thing then so be it, my life will be much better off too. honestly if it wasnt for my grandaughter i would have wrote my 22 year old off 4 yrs ago cuz of the garbage lowlifes wshe dates, and im crazy cuz i have a problem with my daughter being used and mistreated by a grown man that should be takin care of her not the othe way around when she has three kids , i know ive made mistakes with her being a single mother and “ill” but there was always love and she knows it, why is it children only want to remember the bad but not the good, ever. Shes fixin to be evicted again, i guess if im so worthless and bi-polR I SHOULD JUST LET HER LIVE IN THE ST. cuz the condition is she has to get rid of that albatross thats bringin her down, does that maqke me sick!gee maybe i should take a pill so it doesnt bother me to be mistreated and used,

      • Christine:
        People, especially children remember events with higher emotional content than others. I can reasonably guess that in a house with a bipolar mother, the most memorable events would be what you called ‘bad’.
        As to your daughter’s relationships, I can think of two possibilities. The first is that she learned from your example, and is only doing what she was taught (intentionally or not). The other is that she used anyone she could to escape your house, and that the problems she has now are nothing compared to what she had while she was at home.
        If the pills you are talking about are for treating bipolar, and taking them makes you not mind being ‘mistreated and used’, then perhaps your perception of mistreatment while unmedicated is skewed.

      • hi i just turned 25 last week in ive just realized hate that has clung to me an manifested over time is controlling my life.Ive just decided to challange this buy helping my mother GROW UP .Therse only so much u can do but aslong as ur have do your bit and there is forgivness its the right step.If i dont ill never be able to completley grow as my owne person an move on be a strong adult one day instead of a sorry sad little girl.I WANT MY LIFE. Therapy is expensive an a waste if youve gotten this far ur doing ok (I know that the bright side lol):) really infest your friendships amongst everything if u dont have a supportive family ur going to need them its hard but be proud of urselfyour and its abit ao hurdal but stop felling sorry for urself its POISON im still geting there no one helped me dispite meny setback in differnt areas of my life good advice is like oreing for gold . Look for the opportunities .UR HAPPINESS IS EVERYTING

    • I will reply to you with the same comment I made on the post “Mom’s access to kids”

      I hope you can take something from it.

      I shall add this: I have lived with that guilt and sense of responsibility for everything that happens to my mother all my life. I have chosen, now, to live with the sense of responsibility I have to myself. To protect myself, and take care of myself.
      I adored my mother. But she would do horrendous things to me if that was necessary to keep me close. That is not love. Protect yourself first, please.

      I am the 23 year old daughter of a bipolar mother. My father was gone and disappeared and I have lived with her and my sister (2 years older) all my life.
      We took care of her as we were children and through our entire lives. As in, we were 6/7 years old and cooking for her, cleaning the house, finding her passed out in the hallway from taking too many pills while trying to kill herself.
      Two or three years ago she was finally diagnosed with the disease (she was diagnosed as chronically depressed until then), and been in mental institutions many, many times since that (and before). An average of two times a year, at this point, and for very long periods.
      Fortunately both my sister and I have grown to be smart, lucid young adults, and try to proceed with our lives as we can, even amongst all this chaos we still live with. I guess all of this made us grow up and learn A LOT.
      Since a few years back, I slowly stopped idolizing my mother (which I did until then, as a child and a teenager who was exposed to that all her life, and felt I had the responsibility to take care of that person). I have been realizing how much she does not care how much she harms others while indulging in her maniac / depressed crises. Yes, indulging. Because while she is offering herself to those moods, super high and blissful when maniac, depressed and not making the *slightest* effort to be better, all her family, and her two daughters clean up after her mess.
      Nothing in my life (and I have seen plenty) has traumatized me the way all of this has – the things I’ve lived because of her, and what she does to us.
      I have actually seen many depressed crises arrise in her which begin as fake (to stop us from going away on vacation, or from completing semestres in college – this is the time when all of her crises usually happen), and then evolved to something real, because she is so commited to faking it that eventually it turns into the real thing.
      Both my sister and I have failed many years of college because of her. All I have is uncertainty about my future, and my possibility to make plans (long or short term) she won’t intentionally screw up to keep us around her.

      I will be completely honest with you. I am absolutely, one hundred percent positive that when I have children she will not be allowed anywhere near them without my strict supervision – that is, if she is even allowed at all, which I very much doubt. I know what that person is capable of. She is the most deceitful person I know, and she is capable of doing *whatever it takes* to get attention and draw people close to her at ALL TIMES. Even strangers if she must. A few days ago, she tricked her doctor to release her from the hospital, while still being on a full blown maniac crises. She sits in front of me babbling absurdities as I type and wait for someone to help me get her into the hospital again.

      Be very careful when allowing your children to be with her. Try to explain something to them in ways they can understand.. But be careful not to turn them against you in her defense. From what I have seen, through talking with different people who have bipolar people in their families as well, there are many many things they all do.
      If your mother is like mine, and many others I have known about are, she will have few reservations in playing the victim to your children, if she feels that is what will bring them near.
      Show them, by example, through your own interactions, how to deal with her. That is of course if you choose to allow this.

      I understand how all of this must feel for you. How confusing and full of contradictory feelings. Do what you must, that is the most important thing I have learned. Don’t care about what others will think of you if you must protect yourself and turn away. They have no idea what this is really like. You job is to protect both yourself (physically, psychologically) and your children.

      • all of u children w/ bi-polar mothers, theres worse things in life youll find out after ur married awhile and who will u turn to

      • A significant number of problems in my marriage were CAUSED by being brought up in a house with a bipolar mother.

        Your ‘who will u turn to’ sounds a lot like my mother, constantly watching for me to stumble in the slightest to that ‘mommy dearest’ can be there to save me from my foolishness. It’s manipulation at it’s worst, and you seem to be quite practiced in it.

      • Christine, my mother is a bi-polar, I’ve never run to her for anything, I’ve been married for 10 years. The thing I believe this women is trying to express is that when you have a bi-polar mother – YOU are the MOTHER. That’s why the children of bi-polar parents are more prone to produce excess cholesterol, then children who don’t have bi-polar parents, which is a stress hormone that can eventually lead to early death. tell you what though, I think I produce less of that hormone now that I don’t talk to my mom.

      • So much of what is said on this page relates to me. I never knew how to put my relationship with my mother into words, until i saw this and so many people have done it for me. I am only 20 years old but i am on the verge of cutting my mother out of my life despite how desperately I want to a good relationship with her. Incident after incident rolls out and pushes me farther away.

        As long as i can remember she has always been sick. But her hate and destruction was only aimed at me once i became a teenager and my father divorced her. I was under constant threat to be kicked out from the age of seventeen. Living at home was a nightmare. I was a slave to her, cleaning cooking, being an emotional support for my younger sisters. I had no life separate to my Mother. It became a nightmare and i became miserable ( not surprised I got in as much trouble as i did, i rebelled every way i could). She told me inappropriate things about who she had sex with or who she was dating and was constantly introducing us to men who she considered boyfriends after mere weeks. I was ashamed of the home i came from but i had no choice but to stay. She made me feel stupid and insignificant. She would try her hardest to turn the family on me, convincing me nobody wanted me around and after time i started to believe it. While all this was going on i was trying to finish school and apply for college and i will never forgive her for making my life such a living hell. I have been forced to grow up faster then anyone should have to. My maturity is miles beyond her own and i feel thank full everyday that i have turned out reasonably OK (despite the mental pain it makes me feel)

        Everything came to a head when i was 18. I was hit by one of her friends. One night her friend came over and drunkenly attacked me. She hit me in the face, and my friend who was currently over at the time was hit as well. This friend of my mothers wrapped her hands around my friends throat and pushed me on top of a pile of building tools and grabbed me by my hair. After ringing the police my mother turned up and for months did not believe me. She said “Go to the doctor and get proof of bruises”. They even mentioned bringing me to court because i blabbed about it to my dad (Why do people with bi-polar so quickly bring court into the situation?)

        I was broken hearted and terrified. My mothers, mother, then sent me money to move me out immediately because i was in danger, and i have been living on my own since, somehow she still manages to sneak in and break me down and hurt me and i am sick of it. The woman is desperate to ruin anything good i have going. I am no longer welcome in my family home, and i have been pushed out of her sick little circle of people she cares about.

        I cannot take it anymore, i want to cut her out.

    • I completely understand how you feel. My mother has been doing well on her medication but as of last night she has done a 180. She called my brother and I yesterday afternoon and yelled at us and said all the inappropriate things she could think of. I do not know what to say to her. I had finally had enough and told her I was not mad at her and I was getting off the phone now. I told her I loved her and when she was ready to talk to me in a nice way to call me back. She cycles regularly and often we weather it together but this time she went too far. I completely understand where you are at.
      My advice to you is to be civil to her and not yell back at her. She is probably only going to be on this earth for 6 more months and I don’t want you to feel guilty for things you said to her. It is not worth it. Be kind to her and that is all you can do. Other than that I don’t have any words of encouragement. They are bipolar and this is part of the illness talking. I hope I have helped you.
      If you would like to talk to email me my email is iluvpooh_@msn.com.

      • namegoeshere, omg, ur funny, theres such a thing as helping and enabling, my daughters constantly screwin up cuz shes young ans tupid and refuses to listen to me cuz what do i know im CRAZY, I have left her live her life of reckless abandon more than once and did not interfere and her constant need to call me when the s*** hit the fan only leaves me to believe she does need me and always will and i will always be here for her and theres nothing wrong w/ holding out and waiting for ur child to realize the error in her ways so when they do come back for help it might be for the last time because their finally getting the picture, not that mommy needs to be bow downed to but respected for the wisdom she possess and shares for the betterment of hr children and grandchildren, not all bi-polar people r the same and stereotyping them all is barbaric

      • Christine:
        First, figure out how the commenting threads work and use it. Post randomly again & I get out the ban-stick.

        There is a difference between helping and enabling. It is your choice to help or not, and set conditions on that help. Requiring respect from a child (because if they still need help, they are a child regardless of age) is fine.
        One of the symptoms of bipolar is grandiosity, and with your superior attitude, I can only imagine how that comes across to her. It’s not a stereotype, but a fact.

        So to recap, you don’t need to be worshiped, only respected because of your wisdom and grace in sharing it with your immature, stupid, screw-up of a daughter. Your words paraphrased, not mine.

    • hi, my mother is bipolar, and I feel guilty all the time. I really need a friend too, I am 34 years old, have a son that is 11 years, and I have to separate her from him, because she costed me my custody of my son. It has hurt my life in childhood and adulthood, I feel guilt abandoning her, but if I do not talk to her, I feel better and guilty. I worry about my mind, I try to meditate, or relax, but I feel stuck with the situation, she has ruined my father’s and sister’s lives. I wish there was a way to make this go away. I tried to help her in many ways, but I want to just run away, it is difficult for me, I lost friends, I feel socially akward, because I am shy and afraid, I had a great dad, but I feel my family has been damaged by her moods. I know she is not well, I cannot blame her, but I feel like I need someone to take over for me.

    • I’m so sorry that you are going through this. My Motherr was also Bipolar and had cancer – her third episode. She died two weeks ago. Prior to her death I had to have her involunarially committed because she was drinking and driving, missing all her medical appointments and basically in danger of killing herself or someone else. I had cared for her for the previous ten years and could do nothing to help her because she was completely off her meds and totally irrational and abusive not only to me, but to my children as well. The hardest thing I ever did in my life was to quit communicating with her for the month prior to her death. As difficult as it was, it was the correct decision for my mental health and the stability of my family whom I love.

      I would encourage you to find someone to talk to who will support and advise you. I sounds as if you love your Motherr as difficult as that sometimes is. I based my decisions on what my Mother would have wanted for me and her grandchildren had she been in her right mind. In her “good” phases she was a very loving woman. I knew she would not want us to be damaged by anyone and would carry the remorse of having done that herself if she was not manic. If your Mom has a better side than she is showing you now ask yourseelf what she would want for you. Would she choose for you to agree to be abused by anyone?

      It is my belief that Mom is in heaven now with a perfect mind and body. She is no longer in pain and has capacity to love and nurture that she always wanted while here. I know she wasn’t capable of understanding my decisions during the last months of her life, but believe that she sees clearly now and forgives what she saw as my failings during her last days.

      Give yourself room to go on. If, like me, you can not help her because she will not help herself then let her make her decisions and you do the same.

      • I really like the idea of making your decisions based on what your “healthy” mom would have wanted for you as opposed to what the “unhealthy” mom may be demanding. It’s a good way of being able to separate the illness from the person. Sometimes I get so frustrated/angry/bewildered by my mother’s interactions with me. The intellectual side of me says that her actions are the disease talking, but the emotional side of me says I don’t care – what she does hurts. I’m still resolved to keep my distance from her because right now she’s going through an “evil” period (she’s definitely trying to stir the pot with my father-in-law – thank goodness he witnessed first-hand her behaviour in Mexico last spring and knows that what she says doesn’t match reality). But thinking of what her healthy self would want for me makes me feel less guilty about maintaining that distance, and helps me remember periods when she acted like a caring human being.

    • First of all,let me say I am so very sorry to hear that you are going through this. Not only did you have to grieve the loss of a mom in her pre-cancer days, now you faced with additional grief. For that, I just hate it for you. I will keep you in my prayers. But, I do want to make one thing clear, her life is not for you to fix. I have been grappling with this and it’s a struggle. Because, you see someone who obviously would be “okay” with the proper treatment, medicine and care. You really have to put your own mental health first. I don’t think that is a selfish thing to do at all. Just because she is sick doesn’t give her free reign to abuse you. My mom is not technically diagnosed bi-polar but sure does fit into being in a “manic” stage now….it’s almost textbook. Anytime, I have wanted to put my needs first (or if anyone says that to her) she will play the victim card. “Poor me, no one cares for me….look what you are doing to me….poor me….you are a bad person for saying no to me.” Either way with a bi polar, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I would suggest to work with a good therapist. It’s good you are sick of the abuse. After setting boundaries with her (even though she got ticked at first), my life is peaceful; actually there is some resemblance of “sanity”. There is no drama. No walking on eggshells and wondering what mood she is in today.I much happier. I realize my identity is not wrapped up in receiving her love and acceptance. Neither is yours. You will still be a wonderful human being regardless of whether or not you receive her love. I hope things get better for you. Seek the help of a counselor. Surround yourself with people who care and uplift you. Hang in there. You will be in my thoughts.

      • I never thought that sites like this existed. I am 21 years old, and I have a mother that has had Bipolar since I was in 6th grade. For years i felt as if i were alone in this messed up thing called a family. I never got the opportunity to learn about the disorder until now that i’m in school studying to be a Psychologist. I was “told” by my mother that she had it. I didn’t have a mother for about 3 years because she was so drugged up on medication, she would sleep all day, and stay up all night. All of my childhood she has pushed me into believing that I was not as smart as my brother or not good enough to be anything that I wanted to be. She made me believe that every headache or something that I had led to a disease. It got to the point to where I was on all these medications for no reason. In college, I met my boyfriend, who i have dated for 3 years, and I moved in with him. As soon as I left my mothers house, I was not ” sick ” anymore. I was a completely normal person!! My boyfriend has become my saving grace because even though I have the most messed up family, he still loves me and supports me in every way imaginable. I started to become angry and resentful as she tried to manipulate me into getting what she wanted. It got to the point to where everytime I came in contact with her, I felt more used, empty, angry, and less confident. She would always use the suicide card, and threatened it to me many times.. it got so bad to the point where I was like ” so when are you going to do it? ” For years, she pushed guilt on me, and it got to the point in years and several therapists later, that I needed to stop looking behind me hoping for my mom to be normal again, and move on with my life. Unfortunately i don’t have a relationship with either of my parents, because she controls my dad with her manipulation, to where he is basically like her. I read all of your stories and i just cry because it’s all the unspoken words and feelings i’ve had on my heart for years, like a thousand bricks on my back that I haul around everyday. Being in a relationship with her is impossible, and I hate that it took so many damn years for me to realize that and not feel guilty for that, but at the same time, i’m glad that I didn’t wait until i’m 40 or 50 and so full of anger that I damage my future children. Thank you everybody for your stories. I understand your pain, and I hope you see that through you expressing years of pain, resentment, anger… you have helped someone else.

      • Hi my daughter has been engaged for about 16 months and was to wed in 2 months time…. however her future mother in law has now destroyed all hope of them ever getting married. Her Fiance who is 34 years old claims he did not know that his mom was bipolar…. His mother has called our family awfull names as well as carjacked her own son holding a gun to his head and taking all his valuables as well as cell phone and abandoning him on the highway…. It seems just so sick!!
        We have begged our daughter not to go through with marriage!!
        PLEASE HELP!!!

    • Vita,

      Reading your post was like reading my life. My mother is undiagnosed, however, at her cancer hospital, the mind and body specialist has told us to find her a psychiatrist because she believes my mother is bipolar. My mother is also diagnosed with cancer. It started around her urethra and now, 3 years later, has spread to her bladder, lymph nodes, and lung. She finally started to get treatment after she was bedridden from the swelling of the tumors in her lymph nodes in her groin. She went through with radiation, but is now refusing chemotherapy. I moved home to help my sister care for and deal with her mood swings and illnesses. She’s run both her health and finances into the ground, and is in the processes of running my sister and I away (my brother left years ago and has not been around much at all). I desperately want to run away to maintain my own mental health. I am back in the house I grew up in, after being gone for 6 years. I have found a vast difference in the quality of my life since being home. I’m also started to recognize I am becoming depressed from the situation. After much debating, I have decided to move in August to save my life being ruined by my mother’s mental illness. I am plagued with guilt, not just from abandoning my mother, but from leaving my sister to deal with my mother by herself. I have advised my sister to move on with her life (my mother hates my sister’s boyfriend of 5 years and the father of her 4 year old daughter, and tries to keep them apart and makes their relationship very difficult). My sister refuses to leave my mom to fall on her ass, but I just don’t even know what to do anymore. My mom refuses to go to a psychiatrist because “she’s not crazy, only crazy people go to psychiatrists”. Vita, stay strong. I just turned 25 a week ago. You are not the only one going through this. I do not have any sage advice, as I am going through the same thing and am still unsure what to do. But please, put your own mental health above your mother’s. And please realize that there are others out there like you. I am just realizing that myself and I’m finding great comfort in that fact.

      • maybe her son deserved it, sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, uptight people cant handle reality, oh my god somebody cussed or called me a name , mentally ill people? ambassadors of the new age, only ones with a clue

      • Christine:
        Comments like that are why I’m surprised that ALL unmedicated bipolar people don’t end up dying alone.

        And whoever told you that mentally ill people are ambassadors of the new age needs to be slapped. Repeatedly and hard.

    • hey vita
      im 26 year old female, my mother is bipolar, and my father is diceased, i cut my mother out of my life 6 months ago, it was hard at first because i felt guilty but after awhile i became alot stronger and didnt play her games, when she txt me i just ignore it as there is nothing i can say that will make her see my side as to how she has treated me etc,eventually it became alot easier and the guilt went away and i felt happier. im not saying you should cut her off yourself, but ask yourself this question, If you had a bad friend that treated you badly would you still stay there friend? Just because your mother gave birth to you it does not mean she can treat you the way she has, you have the right to live your life and be happy, its not your fault your mother is unwell and its not your responsibility to “fix it”
      My mother chose to give birth to me so therefore she had a responsibility to look after me and she failed that due to her own choices, she made the choice to treat me badly and therefore there was consequences for her actions
      Bipolar people mostly have a pitty me attitude and blame everybody else for there problems, some bipolar people choose to get the help and work hard to control there mind set and do things they know keep them healty and those are the people that should be given a break, my mother is not one of those people so why should she just be able to do and treat people as she pleases…..im hoping you get my drift lol
      i also understand that ur mum is unwell and that makes it hard for you, when i cut my mum off i wondered if i would feel guilty if she passed away…then i revesed the situation and thought i could also pass away at any stage and how would my mum feel the reality was harsh for me but i realsied my mum wouldnt feel any guilt she would only “pitty herself”
      i still love my mother very much and at times i miss her alot because it is natural to feel that way, i dont shut this part out i let myself greive for that but i know i deserve a happy life and my mum makes my life unhealthy, unbalanced, unhappy so it just ment for me we had to to go down differant paths
      i hope this helps you

      • okay, namegoeshere, if my daughter lived by my example she wouldnt be with a lowlife, i never once suscepted her to garbage pail men when i was raising her alone for the 1st 11 yrs of her life, i worked 2 jobs , and she had everything and went everywhere, i was married when she was 11 to a good decent man, that i held out for cuz im not co-dependent and would be with a man just for the sake of not being alone, her co-dependency is inherent, from my mother and now little sister, i learnrd from their mistakes and vowed not to be the same, and as far as the ambassadors of the new age comment it came from very well known author who wrote the book, interdimensional universes, not some country bumpkin.

      • Christine:
        First, figure out how the commenting threads work and use it. Post randomly again & I get out the ban-stick.

        So her first 11 years, you raised her alone. Obviously your choice of men prior hadn’t been good.
        You worked two jobs, gave her freedom, and provided anything she wanted. EXCEPT an attentive, stable parent who set proper boundaries and enforced them with CONSISTENCY. And inconsistency is also a facet of bipolar. Not a stereotype, but a symptom.
        And anyone who writes on ‘interdimensional universes’ could learn a lot from any 3rd rate country bumpkin – excepting of course Stephen Hawking, Nima Hamed, Brian Greene, et al.

    • Hi, I think we have the same mother. I am 47 with two teenagers daughters doing socially and accademically well. I have been through the hell that you explain you have gone through and more. There is a book entitled “My Mother’s Bipolar, So What Am I?” by Angela Grett. I hope it helps you. Take care and think positive thoughts, the ones that really matter. Christel

    • If you need someone to talk to let know. I too have suffered from bipolar but I have a good listening ear.

    • http://twotreesmedia.com/parents_with_bipolar.htm I came across this useful website, hope you find it helpful:) love and light to all that suffer:)

    • Hey 🙂
      Well..yea. I do get wat ur goin thru.. My only suggestion.neva go thru it alone..really. Plz..make ammends wid ur partner and ur friends.. Tke their support. It helps. And he wil be there for u.

    • My mother is nasty the cruelest words come out of her mouth. I’m bipolar also since I was in my early twenties I wAs diagnosed with it . I hid it from everyone , I was happy mad in the early days now I’m a night mare when I’m manic , i wouldn’t puty daughter through it . It’s only now that I don’t entertains my mum I hate her it’s a strong word to use . I’ve worked so hard to keep it under control and manage it . She as stRted this off again . I’m staying well clear of mine she was in hospital not long bk poorly with her chest I didn’t go and see. Her even , she is not abusing me anymore . Hope this does put a few of it fears in perspective . Just take care of your family don’t let her ruin what you have , she asnt helped herself fr what you have said she took
      Your childhood Don’t let her take anything else from you . You deserve to be at peace now and enjoying it fam

    • I am 32 and have lived with a mother just like this my entire life. Even now that I am an adult and married. She still treats me the same. She has caused nothing but problems in my life. I love my mother. As I know you do yours. I know you run because you are tired of going through it. I know I am. I am at the place now, where I’m ready to just tell my mother what I think. I am so terrified of her, petrified even. She scares the living daylights outta me. I have not clue what to do anymore. She was diagnosed bipolar about 2 or 3 years ago. But, she’s been like this my whole life. I remember being 14, I had, had the same boyfriend since I was 12. I so thought we would be one of those couples who dated all through high school and then get married. Anyway, one day my boyfriend’s mother, who always worked and was hardly ever home, because of no father being around, planned a camping trip with my boyfriend and his two younger siblings. She asked me to come along, because out of the entire 2 years her son and I were together, she had only met me once. She wanted to get to know me. I asked my mom if I could go. All of a sudden, she started screaming at the top of her lungs, “You little Whore, you just want to go so you can get f*****! You are going to grow up and be just like your aunt and have 20 diff kids my 20 diff daddies.” I started bawling. I was still a virgin. My boyfriend had never even touched me other than a peck and holding hands. After that, any boyfriend I had, ended up breaking up with me because they couldn’t take the pressure of my mother. I never had any friends outside of school except for one. Who lived on her own. I stayed with her a lot. But even she ended up leaving me because of my mother. My mother even came to my church a few weeks ago. Got in my pastors face, and threatened to “tap her out” because she loves me. Noone in the church knew what to do. I think it scared everyone. Now she’s been coming to church, and I cannot enjoy myself, or even be myself. I go to one of those churches that people call ‘HOLY ROLLERS’ Anyway, I’m not sure what advise to give to you other than to pray to God. That’s the only way I have been able to make it. Other wise I would not be here. I have had to pray for my own safety many times. I’m constantly looking out my windows, making sure my mother isn’t here to destroy my car, or break one of my windows out. She did that to my little sisters’ care a few years ago. And now that my pastor has gotten to see that side of my mom, she is worried that her tires will get slashed. Sounds like a horrific movie, but I promise, it’s all true and very real. I live in fear every single day of my life. I can’t even work because of all of this. I’m so shy it’s not even funny. Seems like I’m not because of the book I just wrote, LOL, but I promise I am so shy and so scared of people. My advise to you is, just keep posting on here, get it all out of you. The more I type, the more I feel relief. I want to go see a psychiatrist, but It’s too expensive. So maybe even write in a journal or something. Find people to talk too. Just keep trying to get it out of you!!!! God bless you and yours!!! ❤

  3. Vita….I am going to let my wife respond to this. She would be the one who could really help you. She has been in your shoes in more way then one.

    If you come back and leave a comment with your email…they are private. If you would like she could respond to you personally in an email. None of the information provided goes any further than me.

    She wants to think for a day or two before she responds. She does empathize with you.

  4. Thank you so much for replying, you have no idea!, yea my email is********* and again thank you so much!!

  5. She said to expect an email by either tonight (late..knowing her..lol) or tomorrow.

  6. Hi Vita,

    I, too, am in a similar situation with my mother. I am 27 and have distanced myself from my bipolar mother. However, she is filing for bankruptcy and hitting rock bottom mentally and physically. When we talk on the phone she is angry when I am not pitying her and trying to enable her. One minute she is using her mental illness as an excuse for why she can’t get a job or take care of herself and the next minute she is angry if I mention it and says that I am judging her. I’m so tired after all of the years of playing her therapist and parent that I just don’t have anything emotionally left to give to her. She just turned 49 on Saturday and has no savings and no retirement. She also has my sixteen year old learning disabled brother living with her and completely smothers him and has crippled him socially. I feel guilty for not being able to help her and while I could have her live with me she would drive my husband and I up the wall. I don’t know what is going to happen to her and like I said I am tired of trying to always fix her life. I wish you the best Vita and I am very sorry to hear about what you are going through. Please consider seeing a therapist and getting some medication to help with your situation. Both of these options has helped me move on with my life. You deserve a good life. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • JMG-I read your blog, needless to say I felt like you were describing how my mom interacts with me. My mom has, for years get mad at any boundaries set with her. She has no savings or retirement, but has come into a large inheritance and is manic right now. Isn’t that just a scary ????? When me and my sister do not pity, indulge and enable her she gets really upset. We are just so tired of being played, manipulated and treated like crap. We have gotten to the point of loving her from afar but not allowing the madness to infiltrate our lives. I refuse to let that level of toxicity into my life. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Keep the faith!

      • I have been reading this site for a couple hours off and on I dont feel as crazy or wrong for being resentful to my mom whos sick its not a choice to be neglagent or is it ?> I start therepy this week kind of nervous but it has to be done and my son deserves a healthy mom my biggest fear is doing to my son as my mom did to us.
        im 26 yrs old i have a 7yr old son and one sister. I have a kinda messed up long story ill try to sum up. I was born in one of the provences with all my family there. it was rough for my mom shes had a horendous past I cant think of enduring she was a single mom of my sister and I and a full time most of the time multiple or split shifts as a waitress holidays included she divorced my abusive from what i heard and alcoholic father .then she met a a**hole and she married him and this is where my memorys start I remember her always always sleeping if not chain smoking in books in auto pilot thank god for my sister who took on role of mom so I heard this was during a breakdown and hospitalization of my mom so while shes married to this beep he takes on abusing my sister and I more ways then one .then the a**hole got a new job offer but its across canada im in ns and now to van so what does my mom do stands by her man … and we sell everything we own other then what we can fit in two suitcases and away she took us from everything we knew and loved ,our ENTIRE family to move to vancouver so we arrive hes cheating on her go figure they get divorced so mom has anotherbreak down but as this happeneds shes doing nothing but working i remember taking busses far way father then a 9yr old kid should be going on a bus to meet her at work so i wasnt home alone i spent alot of time in the kitchens of resturants and ALOT ALOT od time alone so while this is happen my sister whos older and now a teen starts acting up and gets pregnant at 15.. mom flips out says she needs to be with her family and picks up and LEAVES MY SISTER AT 15 WITH A NEWBORN i was 11 …….. so we leave my sister(mom) life support/protector from our moms bf abusing us and our dad and leave her to strugglein vancouver with NO family no NOTHING !!! for her we get to quebec not only do I not speak french (my sis and I are the only ones in fam who dont……) but im 11yrs old lost everything and my mom has her regu;lar 2 jobs or 3 and her bf ….. so I was left to fend for my self i remember it being days i hadent seen her and when i did i wish i hadnt cause if she wasnt screaming at me i felt guilty for making her hurt more then she alrady did for ditching my sister ……….f***** up ! then the drug use and relations etc started….. Ive been on eggshells my whole life was always alone and when i did see her we fought shes slapped me numerous times called me plenty of names shes been soo nasty just nasty for no reason to everyone anyone im suprised someone hasnt banged her out for her comments she makes oh so loudly but will never man up to. I was pretty much living with my 19yrold bf at 13yrs old…. who get this is bipolar too not medicated then we moved back in at my moms two bi polars and me….and well i dont know how i made it out alive i moved out at 16 and dropped out etc sever drug habbits etc complete disregard for my self or my future when i was 15 right before i moved out i came home to a suicide letter and that she would fly me bck to my sister to take care of me cause she tried to kill her self because her and her bf broke up ……. also her bf are more valuable to her then her own kids or her own life shes always had many partner s and also didnt care if i was home while she was having sex and no effort to be quiet if anything she was louder ……screwed me up …..also teadering between gay not gay and hitting on me and my sisters friends male or female or over 20yrs younger…….. still to this day her bf come first shes still a sex addict and an alcoholic (wino)whos completley neglegent to her health her body will be deteriated before she agrees to get help im the only one here with her we are all we have a and its become to much i cant ever express my self cause shell pull im so sorry im so guilty im a bad mom i shouldnt have had kids etc i feel a rage in me intensifying I also have a son with special needs ….im a single mom i fight with depression a retched ex inlaw family who hates me and my mom whos sex life is more important ,in the last 8 month my luggage of serious hoarded issues is just seeping out i dont want to hate my mom shes my mom and were all we have ive stayed in the provence causei was scared to leave her and now i have a messed up ex and cant leave …also the family ive made (friends) those are hard to come by does anyone else have a manic depressive compulsive spending /raging vicious mom who cowards when shes confronted in her sharp tounge who lies tells two dif sides to my sis and I .and when i say vicious i mean just damn cruel at times so judgemental just so much hate and disgust with the world,also says these purple fuzzy things talk to her and have always been there??/ and she acts like a child literally ……but then shes funny artistic affectionate crazy happy loves to danceand cook so full of life and learn about people the jeckle and hyde is perfect it feels like two dif people how do you differentiate sick mom versus normal mom how can u tell if its a chemical or intentional neglect or lashing ???i can apparently continue typeing for ever i just realized latley i do not have daddy issues i have sever sever mommy issues and i dont connect with women well ive been permiscuous my hole life and also seems to have no self esteem or respect for my self im so messed latley am I ever going to be ok does the s*** storm end and will i have to put my mom in a home or wash my hands of her eventually???? is that the only way? is this illness really that brutal that you have to just come to terms your mom will never be ok and eventually you will have to find arrangements and visit only rarely cause i cant handle it ???? i cry for my son he doesnt have family the one he does is f***** up and ive been preocupied with my past biting my assand interfering with me being a awesome mom I cant have my late 20s early 30s and the biggining of my sons lifelike this cause ill never get it back and i will not be having more kids i didnt have a child hood i was never a teen now i cant be a healthy adult? what else can be thrown at me and due to all this and a bucket more i was diagnoised with ptsd /a big hot mess ……… anyone have a way to feel sane and in control again i dont want to be an unstable mom with no retirement no back up cash no dreams for later no stabilitieor a home for my kids to come to when grown or have fall back at alll its my biggest fear ..i think im rambling ….. so ya until my next session .. sincerly nay26

        whys it so hard to find resources for the children of bipolar parents its a pretty serious deal wheres the resources ?

  7. Vita,

    I wish you the best. My situation is just like JMG’s and yours. I just really don’t know how to help my mother. My dad is 67 and my mom is 61. She sits in her car all day long listening to the chime from the key in the ignition. She says that someone is talking to her. I have my own family and don’t live anywhere close to home. But my dad calls all the time and tells me about her condition. He had heart surgery in January, a triple bypass. I don’t know how much more he can take of her. A couple of years ago when my dad had a job and health insurance, through his blessing I had the DA’s office file and pick her up to take her to a treatment facility. That cost my dad a pretty penny even with insurance. But it did not do any good. She wouldn’t take the medicine and she guilts everyone in our family for sending her there. Now shes not doing good again, my dad lost his job sometime back. I just don’t know how to help. The Da’s office said unless she tries to harm someone or herself there is nothing they can do. I feel so sad for my father. He is such a good hearted man and she doesn’t deserve him. They too don’t have any retirement or a burial space. I am so worried about what to do if my father passes on first. She can’t take care of herself or anyone else. It is so sad. If I do find out anything that could help I will pass on to you. Hang in there. Just always remeber it is not your fault. You will be blamed for everything. But its not your fault.

  8. CA,
    If your father passes first, and you are REALLY sure, you could try to have your mother declared incompetent. That would place her care and finances in someone else’s (read your) hands. Basically she would become a dependent, like a child under 18.

  9. oh my goodness i am just accepting this as an illness as i could be reading about my mum. At the minute im in the process of trying to get a conviction against my mum for abuse against me and my 2 sisters and father (who died of lung cancer on xx/xx/xx). Her own mother my grandmother died on xx/xx/xx and her father is currently in a secure mental hospital since the death of my grandmother as my mother has told very serious lies about him. The fact that she can cause so much hurt and pain and still convince others that she is a lovely person i wonder is she a psychopath. I live very close to her and keep my doors locked at all times and don’t answer the door to her. This sounds so awful but i imagine her funeral and the peace i will finally have as she has tortured me my all my life i am 29 and am so sick of her when i think of her my heart races and i feel bad and nervous and afraid. Its great to hear from others and we thankfully are not all nutters like our mothers but just human beings suffering and we should feel no quilt i think she should be locked up indefinitely sorry for being so angry but you have all been here. i must say i noticed in all your blog the paranoia and having to constantly explain yourself and verify im exactly the same i think they have you that way as your constantly battling lies.

    Edited to remove names & dates – upon request

  10. I don’t know how it is to grow up with this type of illness but, I do know how it is to be married to a man whose mother is bipolar and has post traumatic stress disorder.!!! I couldn’t understand how someone could be so moody for no reason. This past weekend my sisters-in-law experience the instrument of guilt by their mother for going out to dinner with me and my husband. Apparently my mother -in-law is mad at me because when my husband was in a car accident a week ago and at the hospital he soley leaned on me for support and never asked her to do anything for him. I am his wife and I thought that was my job. She decided that I was taking him away from her or whatever her excuse was to have an episode but she told them they didn’t love her because they knew how she felt. Get a gripp!!! So they called us up asking me to apologize just so she can stop being upset with them. Maddness!!! I feel for them because I refuse to be subject to anyone’s abuse and I did nothing wrong so no apology from me. My husband is supporting me 100%. it will continue as long as they allow it too. After talking with them for hours, one of them disclosed what is actually wrong with her and that’s the illnesses above. So I pray for all. This has affected my marriage for eight years I refuse to continue after this point to allow her illnesses to destroy my family. I decided to study first before I approach my husband about it. Even though he is aware to some degree she is still his mother and he has to accepted within his own time. Be encouraged and set boundaries!!!

    • Dear Anonymous,

      I read through so many of these posts and when I discovered yours- I thought- oh my goodness that’s my life! Right down to the foolish apologies and time married. I’m really hoping that you have notices of replies linking to you. I would really like to talk to you and see how things have panned out over the last few years.

      I too have a MIL with Bipolar (though only “officially” diagnosed with major depression). The mood swings are tremendous and burdensome on myself, my husband, and my children. She barely recognizes her own problem, and generally blames others for her sorrows. She is manic- spending, spending, spending, and then depressed, angry and volatile.

      I really need to talk to someone else in the same situation. I have tried for years to be supportive and helpful. My husband is very protective of his mother- for fear that making her responsible for her own decisions (illness or not) that she might chose to commit suicide or end up in a mental hospital- and that it may be even more difficult to deal with the consequences of that.

      Please respond if you receive this message. I too wish to be more educated and have the confidence to set appropriate boundaries. Anything you can offer would be deeply appreciated

  11. I’m sure that my Wife could sympathize with you. I had been ‘tuning out’ my Mother for quite some time, and it took a lot of work for me to finally start hearing what she was saying.

    Your husband and his family aren’t the first to decide to just give Mom what she wants, hopefully to quiet her down for a little while. The term for that is APPEASEMENT, and it has the opposite of the desired effect. Giving in just produces more of the same behavior – like a 4 year old throwing a tantrum in a store. Unfortunately, when dealing with the mentally ill, ‘teaching’ her appropriate behavior is probably not going to happen. At least not without a tazer – not that the thought hasn’t crossed my mind.

    You mentioned boundaries – your situation is different than mine, but the boundary that I’ve set (and everyone here seems to be OK with) is that she has NO contact with anyone other than me – and that is ONLY on my cell phone or work phone.

    • I had never thought of appeasement as being counterproductive. But I can see how it could be. As a kid though it’s a very necessary survival technique. Appeasing my mother has always been the best option.

      As an adult I expect that may change. At the very least, I will have more leeway and options. Essentially, thank you for bringing the negative effects to mind.

  12. I am also afraid as I have begun reading and studying about this disorder that my husband may inherit this illness. Am I ahead of myself on this one or on the right path? He does what you use to do-he “tunes” her out and keeps his distance majority of the time. We have two children who love their grandma very much and I am at a point of keeping them away but he doesn’t think it will effect them because they are still young. But I just can’t let them be around her so much anymore because they ask questions and I don’t have the answers. This is harder than I thought, when I am mad it is easier to stay away but when I’m not, my children wants to visit her…I am confused but determined to have sanity!

  13. Bipolar disorder isn’t always inherited. Statistically, if one parent has it, there is a 15-30% chance of a child having it. If both parents have it, that risk rises to 50-75%.
    Statistics provided by http://www.bipolarhelpcenter.com/

    Initial onset of symptoms of bipolar can vary widely. Sometimes the first episode occurs at puberty, other times the first episode is in the 20s – 30s.

    Psychology isn’t an exact science, and anything they label is merely a collection of symptoms. Not all bipolar disorder is genetic, some cases are environmental. There is no good research to say which is more prevalent.

    If her behavior sounds like my Mom, then there are quite a few other possibilities, not just bipolar. It can only be bipolar if there has been a manic or hypo-manic episode. Otherwise, it is probably a different personality disorder.

    Tuning out someone is easy, especially if your mother-in-law’s behavior has been consistent throughout your husband’s life. It will probably take something major to snap him out of it – it did for me.

    If your kids are asking questions, and you don’t have the answers, have them ask your husband. Most of all, be honest with them. One of the things I remember telling my daughter when she was about 4 was that ‘nice people don’t say things like that’.

    Your kids probably still want to visit because they have a good time – sometimes. I don’t think that I was right when I continued allowing visits when they were younger. It would have caused all sorts of problems, but YOU are the adult, they are just kids. You wouldn’t let them play with a dog or cat that only bit them once in a while, even if they wanted to.

  14. Where to start…………..

    Here is a story for you. Ever since I was a small child around the age of 5 I remember my mother having very violent outbursts toward me and my younger sister. I also remember a man that would come over and “visit” while my dad was at work. I was always told and threatened not to tell my father that this person was at the house. I remember one time I told the guy I was going to tell my father and I remember limping away with bruising on my shins from being kicked by his boots. I remember my mother and grandmother always being on the outs with one another. These sometimes would be violent or non-violent episodes. I always remember my stomach being upset growing up. My mother was always in some sort of an altercation

    • my moms the same in and out with her parents/rest of family ,its weird my sister and I live in different provence, so we know different versions of her but same person? so we all question everything thats going on as for the men its still screwed up i need to know learn to except my sister and I and our children arent a priority if it interfers with her life things schedual and mainly her sex life u will be put on the sidelines ….im trying to except these things cause its not going to change do you ever wonder what part of mom did these things normal mom or was it bipolar .. screwd up eh trying to figure out the things shes done. have they been episodes or her just being mean ?have u figured out how to seperate it or isit even possible >?

  15. I lived with a mother that has this disorder and refuses to this day to get help she needs. I cut her off about 4 years ago after she and my dad divorced. She thinks that because we havent spoken in a very long time that she can all of a sudden start a dialogue with me. It all started about 3 weeks ago, I came into my office and noticed she had tried to call my work phone. I sent her an email to ask her what she needed. This eneded up for her a dialogue and I fell for it for a few days. I responded to some of her emails and let her see a picture of her grandchild, then she started to call my cell phone wanting to come by my home. I wrote her a new email that said “I still am recovering from the abuse and the hurt and am not ready for a full on relationship with you” I need my space. This has sent her off of the edge again with me. Now I am dead to her again. When she gets pissed your either dead to her or she will cry, most of the time she is very destructive, I have seen her throw things threw walls, i have seen her get into physical altercations over someone driving too close to her. She displays her emotions not rationally. I have seen her get worse over the years and I think it has to do with her divorce to my dad ( I know he has issues too). I dont have a relationship with either of my parents, I am 35 years old, happily married and am on Geodon to treat the elements that have been passed down to me from my parents. The sad part is that My mother still denies a lot of the things she has done in the past. Is this part of being delusional? She moved about 7 years ago to a different state to be with a married man, when she found out he wasnt leaving his wife and kids she lost it, calling me from a field 3000 miles away telling me she was going to end her life. Crying to me daily , telling me and my children at that time what a horrible man my dad has been, meanwhile she sneaks into the married mans house and rearranges his furniture while he , his wife, and kids are out of town for a weekend. This was a while ago and now she has moved back into the same part of town i am in. I told her when she moved her that i wanted to set some boundries, since then i was an ass**** prick and dead to her, she said nobody tells me when or when i can come to their house. I will never call my kids house before i come over. so it was then that i made the choice you just wont come around at all. I feel guilt sometimes to this day , not letting her in my kids life or mine and my wifes.there is always a pit in my stomach when i hear her name or even think i see her. Her divorce was nasty, it didnt have to be but because my dad found someone new, she had to make it hard on everyone. She took him to court for things that a judge even said to her “your wasting the courts time and money, you need to move on”. So she has one restraining order against her ina different state for stalking harrassing and then she has 2 in the state i live in now. Am i alone for feeling sorry for her or guilt that I have at times. Is this normal? When i mean stalk or harrass she will drive down your street 10 times day, email you, crank call you, call your employer. She is really off her rocker. I know i was going down the same path and have never felt better being on meds that I am on now. What do you guys think……….

    • I am going through the exact same thing right now.My mother has sever bipolar disorder & has ruined my childhood. I am finally moving in with my fiance & getting away from her & she is claiming that she will drop by my new house whenever she pleases & I cannot tell her when she can and cant come over because I am her daughter. All I asked was that she call first and it set her over the edge. They need to hang on to any control they can – knowing that you have your own life & there is minimal ways she can control you will lead to her grasping onto to anything she can. My mother knows how happy my life will be away from her & that angers her because she feeds of my pain… she absolutely enjoys it. She has stated that she will move into my neighborhood & watch my house, who comes in and out & report back to my partner about the “men” that i will apparently be having over. I am scared of this woman. I am afraid she will burn my house down or slash my tires or break my windows. I feel like my only option is a restraining order. I am so glad to stumble upon this website & hear stories similar to my life stories. I fully agree with you having a restraining order. WE SHOULD NOT be prevented from having a peaceful life.

  16. P.S……..
    She also says she will go after her grandparent rights?

  17. If the meds are working for you, great. Keep up with your pdoc about any changes.

    Were I in your position (and I am, sortof) I wouldn’t permit her around. Your primary responsibility is to your kids. If she is destructive, prone to violent moods, and verbally or physically abusive, then you have no choice but to keep her away from you and your family.

    You shouldn’t feel guilty about not letting her see your kids – she would only end up hurting them the same way that she did you. And since they haven’t grown up in that volatile atmosphere, it probably wouldn’t take as much to bother them.

    If you’re concerned that she may actually sue for grandparents rights, the AARP had a table on their site showing what the general guidelines were in the different states. It has since been taken down, but is available from the wayback machine at http://web.archive.org/web/20011123050411/http://www.aarp.org/litigation/table.html

    Feeling guilty is a good thing – it means that you are aware of how your actions impact other people. If I had to guess, your mother has NEVER felt guilty over anything. I pity your mother, and mine as well. It is a shame that they have such a great desire for what THEY have made impossible. But, it was all her doing.

    I feel sorry for my mother at times too. Unfortunately the change needed MUST come from within. Until they recognize that THEY are the problem, it will never happen.

  18. Ok I just stumbled on this web site. But it seems as if my story fits very well with the other posts on here.

    My mom (62) has always been high drama. Very emotional, unstable, spends every penny she has, has no retirement etc. She has always been with a man that beats her (every man has done this including my latest step dad). I am an adult (happily married) that lives as far away from her as I can. When I try to tell her to kick out my step dad she says she is afraid to be alone (rather be beaten than sleep alone very crazy). When I tell her that she needs counseling she just laughs. When I say she should get financial help and debt consolidation well you get the picture. She can be very violent and I’m afraid that these two will kill each other someday.

    Is there any thing that I can do to help this situation? I’m at a loss. Thank you for any advice.

  19. Your Mom is an adult, and is free to make her own poor choices. If she is violent and unstable, then keeping her from your family is probably the best. Realize that she will probably never change, and any external influence really won’t do any good. Most people have to hit rock bottom before they have enough will to make changes.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t separate completely from her – leave lines of communication available if she needs it. If she does express some desire to change, be as supportive as you can. And pray for her too.

  20. Thank you for your kind response. Yes I pray for her. I am afraid for her too. The whole situation just makes me sad.

  21. The guilt comes and goes but you are right in saying that my children do not need to see her destructive ways. She was physically and very mentally abusive and to this day still is. the last thing i got from her was an email with a link in it. when i went to it it was her blog , she was destroying my younger sister online since they had a falling out, telling the public what a looser she is, how she doesnt pay her bills and that she accidentally went into their home when they were not home and mmy sister was upset with her. I guess when it angered her she went on the blog and really hammered everyone in her way. she is up and down so much i am so glad i found and accepted the help i needed. For those that say it may or may not run in your family, please keep an eye on your loved ones, both of my parents are bipolar and my dad is also schizo. i was born into what i think is an illness however i choose to get help and to better myself. i would hate to die alone or to be alone, granted i used to not care but what a difference a small pill can make in ones life. i have never been happier. along with the pill of course comes group therapy and one on one as well but in the end it is so worth it. I am happy for myself and have stopped destrutcive ways that i once endured. I used to be horrible with money and always broke not knowing where it went, today i can account for every dime, i used to pratice risky sexual behavior (lots of different people) and from what i understand is a condition that could be started from this illness. I used to think it was from watching my mother have multiple partners while my father was at work. you learn what you see and pratixce what you are shown so i thought it was just that but all in all it was a product of both. I wish anyone out there the strength and courage it takes to deal with and to stay away from any person that refuses to get help. It is hard but your life becomes so much more simple and no drama. everyday my mother has some sort of drama going on in her life, i mean everyday there is something going on . i wish you all luck.

  22. i sympathise with you all. i have a mum whose bi-polar, im 21 and was put into care at the age of 12 when my mum had her first manic episode. i cut my mum off when i was 15 and when i was 17 have regained contact. i love her to pieces as if she didnt have this illness shes an intelligent, loving and attentive mum but over the past few years the illness has consumed her. she is now on a spiral and is so low that i cant see her getting over this one very quickly. she also told me that she might have breast cancer and wont do anything about it as she says there is no point. shes losing weight rapidly and over the last few months has had chest and kidney infections. i dont know what to do i feel like i have already lost my mum to this horrible illness already, i share all your pain and wish you all luck in coping.

  23. i am seeing this site for the first time, searching for any answers to what seems like a hopeless situation w/ my mom. I feel everyone’s pain so much- I’m 26, an only child of a relationship my dad tried sadly to keep with my mom until I was about 10- after that I saw her on weekends, never wanting to since I was so relieved to be away from her hurtful,scary, and embarrassing episodes. By my 20s, my dad remarried and my mom’s family put full guilt and responsibility on me to maintain the sole connection with my mom, who has, since being out of my dad’s care, been homeless, arrested, remarried, divorced… .I remember 8th grade, my dad dropping me off for a afternoon visit outside the homeless shelter…Over the past 5 years, I have struggled with my new role with her. She’s never been there for me, yet I’ve felt obligated to love her and help her. She lives 30 minutes away & calls me many times a week (I hate when my phone rings & screen my calls). She knows nothing about my life yet tries to tell me what to do, she truly sees me as the ten year old she left. A couple months ago, she called from the psych hospital (a common thing), and said the most disturbing, hurtful things ever- I fell on the floor and cried. For the first time something snapped in me- I was done. I feel like it’s always been about her and never about me. But I know it is selfish to turn my back on her when the illness is not her fault and I am the only family she has. She has zero insite into her illness or her destructive influence on my life. I realize that the guilt I feel about wanting to erase her from my life has contributed to my push-over personality. I really haven’t written any of this before & look forward to reading more about how other people cope. I can’t believe how much you all must relate.

  24. Alicia:
    The illness is not your mother’s fault, BUT she has chosen that she prefers the way she is to treatment that could normalize her relationships with others. Don’t feel bad about removing yourself as far as you need to in order to maintain your own mental stability. That may mean occasional phone calls, or none at all. I really do think that some types of mental illness are contagious.

  25. Your response is really affirming… I feel good about having found your site and look forward to reading through it.

    • Thanks everyone for sharing I’m glad to have found this site… We are not alone.. We are not bad children for walking away…. Occasional emails.. Or none .. Keep your heads high one foot in front of the other.. For today is a new day full of possibilities

  26. I have rarely talked about my mother’s condition. She is bipolar and a recovering alcoholic. I can’t honestly say whether or not she is taking medication for her bipolar disorder as she never gives me a straight answer. I will be 28 soon and have lived all of my life as my mother’s crutch. I have always been aware that my mother was not like other mothers I knew. At a young age I became my mother’s therapist, friend, and at times a substitute husband. And I realize now that I suffer from many control issues in my adult life due to her lack of boundaries. I cringe when I watch her interact with people in public. I have so much guilt for the way I feel. I love her so much, but she appears to be in a constant state of mania. I get easily agitated around her and often avoid situations where I have to introduce her to friends or co-workers. I actually feel panic when I am with her in public for fear I will run into someone I know and will have to introduce her. I am so ashamed to admit this, as I have never admitted this to anyone before, not even my husband who has seen his share of her erratic behavior. I live with so much guilt and humiliation that I struggle with. She urges me to have a baby as she says she needs purpose in her life again. But a part of me wonders if there will be a point when, like many of you, I will have to limit her interaction with my children. My sister, who is 9 years older than me, has basically disassociated her and her kids from our family. Since my mother does not get the attention she craves from her, she says things to me that my sister doesn’t like us, or doesn’t want a relationship with us. I would say my relationship with my sister has suffered because of my mother. I would love to find a way to get past all of the shame I feel. Thank you for the outlet to share. I am hoping to find a coping method that will allow me to be my authentic self, not someone always holding their breath.

    • Wow…..can I say that my birthday sounds like your post??!!!!!! Honestly, my mom was so agitated and seething but acted all sweet and nice to me I just wanted to puke. I felt so bad, just as you have. But it all came to a head a couple of days later when I asked her not to drink around my daughter and she got mad and left-said I kicked her out. I didn’t just asked her not to drink. She couldn’t pick her grand daughter over drinking. I realized then I had a responsibility to my daughter, first and foremost, and to myself. I realized that I can control myself and what happens around my daughter. I don’t have to allow myself and my daughter to be put in that situation. I am responsible for me and my daughter, not her. That doesn’t mean I am not praying for her daily. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her, I do. But you can love someone from afar, but not allow the drama in your life and the lives of your family. Strict boundaries are not appreciated by the “boundary buster!” But it is good for you! Stay strong!

  27. That your mother ‘needs’ you to have a child to give her ‘purpose’ is troubling. It guarantees that eventually you will have to break off contact with her – assuming that you are emotionally strong enough to do it.
    Since your sister has already been dealing with it, perhaps you should talk to her about your concerns and see what has been said/done to her. You’ll probably be surprised just how mean your Mom has been to her.
    Your guilt, self doubt, shame, etc is what I mean when I say that mental illness can be contagious. You’ve ‘caught’ and are continuing to be exposed to your mother’s mental illness. Until you recognize it and can manage to inoculate yourself against it, your best choice may be to just separate yourself both emotionally and physically until you can.

  28. In response to anonymous:
    I too feel like I am holding my breath; during my limited time with my mother in public, I am in constant fear of seeing someone I know. I’ve felt this shame since I was a kid so I understand the hold it can have on all realms of your life.
    Take namegoshere’s advice; 13 days ago I recieved a call from my mom, she told me she wasn’t taking a single med anymore and doing great, and proceeded with a slew of manic, strange statements. Because of the feedback I recieved from namegoshere and through other statements I read, I told my mother that I loved her and asked her not to contact me anymore until she was willing to take medication. Since then, she’s only called once at 6am, another time with a manic message asking me to bring her beer, and has also left a manic message on my aunt (her ex- sister in law)’s voicemail, having had no contact with my aunt for over 15 years. But, I haven’t called her back. This is big for me. I feel very guilty and nervous for her safety, and it’s been affecting my relationship with my boyfriend as well. But it’s a start. I think you should do it too- shouldn’t your own happiness come first at some point?

  29. Thank you namegoeshere and Ali for your feedback. I am sorry I have not been able to respond, as my husband and I have been moving into a new home. I have been trying very hard to process all of the changes going on in my life at the moment.

    As an update, after my posting on March 29th I had a very long talk with my mother. I told her that I can no longer pretend there is nothing wrong with our family. I told her that although she has disassociated herself with the term “bi-polar”, that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. I told her that I can no longer live my life pretending that our family is not suffering from this illness. She broke down and cried and thanked me for my courage for bring this up. She said she has noticed that her mania has been getting worse the last several years, but didn’t know who to turn to. She said that every time in her life she has tried to get help, people have put her in hospitals and threatened to take her children from her. This I know to be true as my father has tried to leave her many times. I can’t say that I blame him, but I’m sure this did not create much of a safe environment for my mother.

    I had to admit to myself that, just like my father, I did not want to see the truth. I told my mother that I loved her and that I was worried about her, that I think she should see her doctor, or find a doctor she can trust if she doesn’t like the one she has been seeing.

    So she has been going to the doctor twice a week for the last 2 weeks or so. She is working on cleaning out her house and stabilizing. She said the doctor has been taking her slowly off of the meds she has been taking, and I’m not sure what the purpose of this is. My husband, who is also bi polar, mentioned that the doctor may be trying to get a baseline for her to properly assess what stage she is in and what type of meds she needs. I am still uncomfortable asking my mother these questions so I haven’t asked. She is noticeably higher than normal, but she seems to be trying very hard to respect boundaries.

    She has been calling at least once a day, or every other day and leaving messages. I call her back just to say hello and listen to her. I don’t know if I am being naive that maybe she will be able to get help. I’m scared.

    Ali, I empathize with your feelings of guilt and nervousness. But try not to let it affect your relationship with your boyfriend. Practice communicating with him so that he will understand where you are coming from. I have been very lucky to find a partner who is very supportive in my struggle with my mother. But I learned very early on that if I am up front about my feelings to him, it is easier for him to support me when he knows what is going on. Just a suggestion. And I commend you on your strength to take a step towards protecting your boundaries.

  30. Anonymous-
    It is positive to hear that your mother has been responsive to your confrontation- I admire your bravery in spelling out the situation to her. I know it must be hard for you to feel optimism for her health, when the other side of you is expecting for things to turn sour. Try to stay positive- I hope there is peace in your life while she agrees to treatment.
    As for my own venting:
    My mom has been hospitalized 2 more times since my last posting on 4/2. She admits herself when she gets to the breaking point, yet she is uncooperative there and does not take her meds once she is released. Its become a terrible cycle- possibly the worst I’ve seen. Last weekend, she called and left a message from the hospital asking if she could come stay with me and my boyfriend, as she had nowhere to go. Upset over the situation, I called her back; she casually laughed about how the whole thing was cleared up with her boyfriend- she had “run away from home” but now she would be returning. Just 2 days ago, I got another message leaving me a new phone number- she has moved in with yet a new boyfriend and is “getting married”- one of her frequent claims. In her moving around over the years, my mom has managed to reduce her belongings to a trash bag, which eventually gets lost as well. She has apologized for again losing my photograph (which I resupply once or twice a year). As her lifestyle hits rock bottom, I find myself again feeling guilty. I haven’t returned the call to the new residence. But where do I draw the line between “this is the way she chooses to live”-which I can’t be a part of- and feeling like I’m selfish for not intervening?

  31. Hi – I have read many of the blogs here and can feel the pain. I wish I had advice or recommendations, but I simply don’t. My situation is a little different. My ex-wife exhibits all the symptoms of a bi-polar person and the manic episodes are what drove me to divorce. Mind you, I went to many marriage counselling sessions which all ended the same. As soon as the therapists were on to her, she would clam up and stop going. One told me she was sick and should be hospitalized. I thought that was a little overboard at the time, but looking back it would have been the best thing. We have children (twins) and now they are in their early teens. I am re-married. When my ex is in a manic state, there is no reasoning, and she convinces my children that my house, marriage, etc. are all horrible things. I could go on and on (my stories are very similar to the ones I read hear). The worst part is that she is in denial (about the illness) and refuses to be seen by a therapist. Does anyone know of way to force her into an evaluation? I am at the end of my rope and the damage she is doing to our children is worstening!

  32. I am grateful to have found this website. I am the Adult daughter of a mother with Bi-polar. Sigh – ” Don’t tell anyone about your Mother” my Father would always say. As a child I have been in 2 foster homes and one orphanage. I was born in 1965 and am still reminded that ” the Dr’s didn’t expect to see Mother alive after the tulmultuous ordeal I put her through”. To cut a long saga short I have been caught up in the cycle of being lulled into feeling safe with my mother only to be chewed up and spat out shortly thereafter. I am emotionally recovering from being kicked out of my mother’s house after my 4 year old was berated for not eating his dinner. I was suppose to stay the night in order to go to work as a get this – a psychiatrc registered nurse. My son and I slept in the guest room and everytime my son woke up and remembered why he was unhappy and cried my mother would storm in and scream at me for not keeping him quiet and for being an “ineffectual” Mother. This all eventuated in being asked to leave after being told my son was not ‘normal’. My 15 yr old daughter has been called a illegitimate so and so and deemed to be pregnant as I was told also by the time she is 16. This time I have decided to cut the ties as I feel so much ‘hate’ toward her. Am I allowed to use that word withou following up with disclaimers. I suppose I could say I have had enough and am so angry. I have helped this woman as one does only to have her complain bitterly about me to her Dr,s. The latest is I am the blame for her scarred kidneys ( years of Li use). The Doctors apparently put it down to her conflict with me or so I am told. I don’t think so. Anyway, I feel better for the vent. I take responsibility for remaining in this relationship and now for the sake of my children and myself it’s time to get out. She usually acts out around ‘Mother’s Day’ or other events of significance in order to bid for the empathy of others about how ‘bad’ her daughter is. Sigh.

    In response to the above query about forced evaluation. What country are you in? Most Mental Health Acts have provision for compulsory examination if it is deemed in the interests of minimising harm to the Pt or their significant others or if their symptoms may result in vulnerability of self. Often there is paperwork where concerned significant others or the police can request an examination order. Phone your local facility and ask about examination orders.

  33. Thank goodness I found this website. I am not alone. I wish I could say my mother is bipolar, but I think it is worse. I think she is bipolar, manic depressive, dual personality disorder and possibly has Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy just to name a few things. I really thought no one else would understand my issues with my mother. When I was young she was into Heroin (to hind the mental issues, I think) so I raised my younger (by 3.5 years) brother. I am now 29 with a daughter of my own, a loving husband, and a wonderful life. Mom lives 1200 miles away (thank god!), but last night was the straw that broke the camels back. I truly didn’t think I would ever witness something worse than her trying to choke my brother, but I did. She called me while I was out with the girls (like every other Tuesday night) and told me I needed to get home. She said she had talked to my three year old and she was worried my husband was abusing her. She kept telling me over and over that my daughter had told her she was scared and wanted her mommy and I should go home and kick the son of a *(#$^ out of the house. Can anyone tell me how to deal with the guilt I feel? I think about how much easier life will be when I get the phone call about the police finding her dead (she goes missing for weeks at a time). She will not get tested or take any meds, is OK for me to shut her out of my life? How do I deal with the back lash from my grandparents? I am just so glad I am not the only one who has a mother who is not a mother, but a bother!

  34. Feeling the Pain:
    I’m sorry for your situation, and especially for your girls. My daughter is in her mid-teens and has occasionally had a hard time dealing with it – and it’s her grandmother.
    As to your question, the law varies from place to place. I know that where I am, there has to be a significant potential for harm to themselves or others before they can be involuntarily committed.
    If you’re interested in getting custody of your daughters, that would probably be the simpler and easier route.

    It sounds like you figured out already that you need to separate yourself physically and emotionally from your mother. In light of what she is doing to your kids, hate isn’t too strong a word at all.

    Bipolar and manic-depression are the same thing. And that’s quite a laundry list of things you’ve stuck her with. Bipolar is known to cause a host of other issues that can easily appear as distinct disorders, but are actually the result of bipolar. I think that when the brain runs too hot for too long, all sorts of weird stuff happens to it.
    If your mother is telling you those things, do you have any idea what she is telling your kids? One of the early steps that we took was to make sure that all phone calls with her were monitored.
    I think you could make your life much easier by limiting (or eliminating) contact with her, but that’s a choice that only you can make. As to the guilt… I have dealt with the same thing. Grieve for the person that she used to be that is no longer, but realize that what inhabits her body is no longer the same as it used to be. Think of it like a zombie movie, where one of the infected people calls out for someone to help them. It’s just a ploy to give them the extra seconds they need to get within striking distance.
    Do your grandparents (her parents, I assume) have any clue as to what is going on? Does she ever call and rant to them? If so, they may have a decent understanding of your decision. If not, collect a few voicemails that will illustrate your point and play it for them if necessary. And remember, your primary responsibility is to your kids and their current and future wellbeing. Can you honestly say that continuing contact is worth the damage that’s occurring?

  35. Thanks again for pioneering this awesome venue to connect. To Struggling – I have found that often some people in the midst of or managing Bipolar Affective Disorder (BPAD) tend to sexualise many areas in their life. From direct experience with my Mother, I was told from a young age that I would be pregnant before I reached 16 and often asked as a child; ‘ Has your Father done anything ‘untoward’ to you? Whether I said Yes or No was irrelevant, she had concluded he had. I was told by Mother that my daughter ( even as young as 3 ) was promiscuous or the other favourite word was ‘ precocious’. I remembered thinking how the heck could you label a 3 yr old as promiscuous? Then it became collectively apparent that Mother beleived ALL Males were after the one thing albeit at times she beleived that to be her mostly! It is also extremely difficult if your loved one lacks insight – another common thread that is interwoven with non-compliance of medications. I too remember and miss the image and scarce memories of my hilarious, spontaneous, energetic Mother. I have apportioned and archived those memories but also at the grand age of 42 realise that I am NOT responsible for her demeanour nor do I have to continually make allowances because of “the illness”. Sometimes this means lengthy stand offs because setting boundaries with a control merchant reaps repercussions. There are better life force fuels to run our tank on than those mixed with guilt, shame & blame.

  36. Sleepless:
    Many people with bipolar tend towards addictions (or struggle against them). Sexual addiction & promiscuity seem to be one manifestation of the ‘boundless energy’ that they have. Even if it is not acted upon, the drive is there.
    All of us, not just people that are bipolar, tend to apply our own motives to others. It is much more obvious when someone is in a manic phase.
    Guilt, shame, and blame seem to be common threads running through many of the experiences that people have with relatives with bipolar. I really wonder why this disorder seems to create such manipulative behavior – or is that backwards?

  37. My mother in law is bipolar. She’s not to the same degree as your mother but still creates enough drama and conflict. When my husband and I first got married he couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just ignore her swings and the things she would say about me to him and others. “It’s just how my mom is” was something he would often say. Our situation has an additional complication factor as my husband was previously married and has two children from the marriage. My mother in law used to tell me she never really liked his ex. However, experience over the last three years has proven otherwise as she is “friends” with his ex. She has even put herself in the middle of situations between my husband and the ex due to the “best interests of the children” to the point my husband finally saw the need to put boundaries in place. I cannot begin to describe the number of disagreements we used to have concerning his mother. She has told his ex that I’m the reason he’s mean now, that I hate her and am keeping her from the child my husband and I have together. She always has a list of wrongs I’ve done when she is arguing with him about me. The true point is she has a fit when she doesn’t get her way and for some reason I am the person she chooses to focus on for attack. It’s escalated to the point that I have nothing to do with her unless they are visiting us (a few hours each visit about 4 times a year) and then I am polite and say as little as possible.

    My father in law used to make up excuses for her and defend her behavior. Now even he is tired of her explosive dramas which occur every four to six months. She can’t hold onto money to the point father in law separated their accounts several years ago so he can control the flow of money to her. It doesn’t keep her from complaining about how deprived she is of things and heaven help you if she finds out you have something she doesn’t. She’ll nag you about it, how it works, do you like it, etc until she buys the same thing, which is quickly discarded out of boredom. If she gives you a present you hear about it for at least a year, she’ll tell you how thoughtful she is, how she does things like that from time to time and she’ll also bring it up as something to hold over your head when she wants something from you.

    My mother in law seems to have some new illness every few months and will go from doctor to doctor until one tells her what she wants to hear or tells her enough she twists it to be what she wants. We tend to roll our eyes when she calls with her “devastating” diagnosis.

    My mother and father thought I was exaggerating the things I was going through in the beginning. My mother told me I was overreacting and blowing things out of proportion and I needed to be more understanding. About a year ago my mother finally told me she thought my mother in law was crazy and she didn’t know how I had dealt with the things I had so far.

    The latest drama erupted earlier this month. My husband finally told his mother he’d had enough. He told her his wife and children were his priority and she’d better learn to accept it or else she would find herself with very limited access to him and his family.

    My challenge is finding a way to come to terms with the situation, how to handle the limited interactions I have with her and not let bitterness consume my heart in regards to her. I want my daughter to form her own opinions of her grandmother, what limited contact she has with her, without my opinion being what drives her opinion.

    I know I rambled. I’m sorry for that. It’s just this is the first blog I’ve come across where I finally feel like there is someone out there who can understand what I’ve gone through and what faces me in the future. It’s a sad state when I’ve already thought of how I could counter any claims for grandparent’s rights to unsupervised visitation should something ever happen to my husband. Thank you for your blog and for the relief it is to know someone else understands.

  38. Namegoeshere = That is a very good question. Has had me pondering for a few days. Is it because the mania is mostly underlying (ie not ever medicated correctly either by script or by non compliance) simmering until life stressors cause overflow? Is the sufferrer (the Adult child ) stuck at the emotional age where they encountered the abuse/triggering event? Is it because self responsibility is a rarity even in those of us not managing mania? Therefore it’s easier to blame others for personality & value deficits. This rescues the sufferrer from the embarrassment they may take on when they reflect on their behaviours during relapse. Or does this mood disorder inflict feelings of raging turbulence. I think that medication is only part of the treatment. Treatment combined with DBT and anger management may exist but from my experience as a mental health nurse I am yet to see such a treatment plan. Thanks for such a stimulating question on which I will keep pondering. Sincere Regards.

  39. I have just recently been sucked back into an episode with my bipolar mother. I had broken off contact with her for 3 years which in turn created a distance between myself and other family members. After pressure from one of my family members, I agreed to let my mother back in my life only if she agreed to counseling. That was a year ago. Initially things were well. I laid down boundaries and she agreed to them. Gradually she began testing those boundaries. It became more difficult to enforce them, and it was becoming exhausting. What made matters worse is as I was trying to enforce boundaries, she would lie to other members of my family and they would become upset about the boundaries I was trying to enforce and about the lies she would tell them about me. She twists things and manipulates situations to set me up to be the bad guy. For instance, I told her I thought we should go to therapy and she told me absolutely not and then turned around and told other family members that she agreed to go to counseling. She lies and manipulates but since our stories are similiar, but just the roles are reversed, my family has told me that they think I am the problem and I am the one who is twisting and warping the truth. She is the one with bipolar and has not been in consistent therapy for about 3 years and has not had her meds checked since then. I am not even sure she is still taking her meds(I’ve asked and she says she is). I have been the one to be in therapy for the last 2 1/2 years with the same therapist. I have been criticized by my family for “running away” from her and I am at the point of that again b/c nothing I have tried changes the way she treats me. I seem to be the main recipient of her illness and projections as the rest of the family thinks the problem is just with me. I have even witnessed her reversing roles in her relays of situations so this does not surprise me but the rest of the family thinks I am the one who is crazy for suggesting it. They just can’t believe it I guess, but then, they are quick to believe these things of me. It is b/c she has done this to me my entire life and I think she has worked hard to discredit me so no one would believe me. It is frustrating and crazy-making. When she is not in my life, my life is peaceful and calm. When she is in my life, things are chaotic and turbulent with lots of drama. What is worse is she has been bad mouthing me to my teenager. This has put an incredible strain on my authority as a parent. I regret ever letting my mother back into our lives but it was done in good faith and hope. Now I am faced with having to seperate from her again and I worry about the impact this will have on my teenager as this seperation will also mean from the entire family.

  40. I just wanted to clarify something in the above message. Initially my mom did agree to counseling. We went to 2 sessions. Boundaries were established, she agreed to them. After a year she was violating those boundaries. I suggested counseling again (a year later) and it was the second time she rufused and then told other members of the family that she had agreed to counseling.

  41. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this site and for sharing your stories – so similar to my own.
    I was recently very nearly sucked in to trying to reconnect (out of guilt) with my mother. The guilt over ‘abandoning’ her, as I am her only child (and I did not abandon her – the truth is she finally succeeded in driving me away, and it took a lot, which I won’t go into here because the story doesn’t sound believable, but it’s true, the people that know me and her know it’s all true)…just this afternoon I was thinking, maybe I could get away with sending her a card and a gift on her birthday and holidays. Yeah. Then I’d be doing my ‘duty’ as a good daughter. But the truth is, ‘out of sight,out of mind’ is my only hope for safety from her. If she is thinking of me, she will start plotting…and unfortunately my stepdad left her with enough money to hire lawyers. (On teh plus side, she has already alienated several lawyers where she lives, as she is gaining a reputation for suing people for no reason.)
    I especially appreciate being reminded that there is the danger of *her* trying to have *me* committed, as my mental health history (I have severe PTSD – go figure) is documented, while hers is not. I was also relieved to hear that my mother is not the only one who has done the Munchausen-by-prxy thing (again, I won’t go into the details, but it was quite horrible.)

    Thank you all so, so much for sharing your stories. I so needed to be reminded that no, I don’t need to feel guilty for doing what I know I must do. Complete strangers lay guilt trips on me for not neing in contact with my ‘elderly’ (age 77) mother….but the people who know both of us, including my own children (who do love their grandmother), no longer blame me for not calling her.

    Now I just need to srop blaming myself. The truth is, if I wasn’t scared to freaking death to contact her, I would contact her. I love her, and I miss her. But the ‘zombie’ thing, absolutely hits the nail on the head. It’s like, whoever my *real* mother is or ever was, she’s not in that body any more. The person who does inhabit that body, is (because she refuses to be treated for her illness), nothing less than a monster. (Aplogy for the strong term – but again, if I went into the details, you might not even believe it. Then again, sadly, some of you might.

    I hope that now, I (and everyone posting here, or reading this) can rest easy in the knowledge that sometimes in life, we simply have to do what we have to do.
    I hopemy mother finds some happiness. The logical part of me thinks she will actually be more likely to do that if she is not thinking about me, as she won’t go off plotting about me and my husband and our kids. (Our kids are grown, by the way – all are in contact with their grandmother and love her dearly, but they know now what she’s capable of, so they tend to keep their distance and not feel guilty about it.)

    God bless.

  42. Forestchild……

    Wife of NGH…..I am sorry for your situation but you are in the best place now and don’t allow yourself to get sucked back into that other place.

    If I were you….I would run and never look back. You do not owe your mother anything. Don’t allow anyone to guilt you into something you know would be destructive to your peace of mind. I seriously doubt there is anything you could tell any of us who have dealt with family members like this…..that wouldn’t be believable. YOU are not alone…..as you can tell. We understand the length and depth of malicious behavior that can be exhibited. The manipulations. The accusations.

    It’s great that your children can be involved and recognize the dangers of too much with your mother. As of right now….our children are saying they want nothing to do with their grandmother, ever. They have been just as much a victim as my husband and I, my FIL and even my MIL. She is a victim of her own creation as is your mother. She has made herself the victim and is accusing you of being the victimizer. Don’t fall back into that trap. You wouldn’t go looking for a used needle off the streets to stick yourself with knowing the dangers of such an act. It’s like dodging a bullet. You’re not going to step into the line of fire if you have a perfectly good fox hole to lay low in….She’s the bullet….you’re the target.

    The person you love and miss…..no longer exists. She is gone. You cannot blame yourself for her refusal to get treatment or for her bad behavior. If you feel you have to love this person…love her from a distance and love her as far away from her as you have to be.

  43. Thank you for the encouragement. I need it so badly right now. Sometimes it’s all I can do not to call her….than it will be the bext day, and I can’t stand to look at her picture, for what it brings back.
    (I am currently working on going back to school online to become a medical transcriptionost, as this sounds like something I could actually do in spite of my severe insomnia nad PTSD. I will probably have to work around those for the rest of my life.)

    I wish her all the best – but please , away from me and my family.
    I just don’t ant any more drama and pain from her.

    God bless.

  44. I’m laughing to myself right now, that you said ‘love her from as far away as you have to be’. I used to fantasize (and then it became plan) about putting a camper on my truck, and running away to Canada, because she wouldn’t be able to find me there.
    I actually made it as far as putting a camper shell on the truck, just in case. (Couldn’t afford the whole camper.)
    It got pretty extreme.
    So weird to say that while us not being in contact breaks my heart – at the same time, not seeing her or talking ot her on the phone, has been nice. I never thought I’d have to say that….it’s just all very strange.
    People just don’t talk about stuff like this, do they ?

    • I feel the exact same. As soon as I finish college and get a job, I’m running away from my mother faster than I would from someone pointing a gun at me.
      It’s nice to say it to people who understand all the implications of this statement and do not judge at all.

  45. To Forestchild – It’s a bit like ” Run Forest Run. Sounds like despite all your trauma you have maintained your sense of humour. I was told by Mother on the phone yesterday that after numerous investigations by Doctors for recent physical ailments, they and her have narrowed it down to quite simply ‘ conflict with the daughter’. Thats me btw. Yes the most recent bout of ulcers are my fault nothing to do with the ingestion of 30-40 nicobates per day. After hearing this remarkable news I told Mother that I was not prepared to take this on – I would not wear it and asked if she had ever heard of self-responsibility. She launched into this all stemming from me not calling on Mother’s day. Subsequently I terminated the call. I hear ghasps from the gallery lol. Three weeks ago my father’s second wife of 27 years was told she has advanced cancer with a dismal prognosis of 1-6 months. So I have been assisting with her cares. After I hung up on Mother I expected the usual mexican stand off or her partner to call and diss on me as he earns respite points from her wrath if he supports her in the denegration of myself. Mother not to be out done by someone who is genuinely physically unwell ( step mom) left a message on the answer machine saying she will be getting a camera down into her heart for further investigations and she ‘just thought I should know’. Perhaps this is because I terminated the call – will this latest ailment be put down to conflict with daughter? sigh. Interestingly my step-mom who is 62 had a mother similiar in behaviours and during our time recently when she discusses passing over her biggest concern was ” How will I cope with Mother when I get there?” Thats some trauma huh? I think I explained it when I said I am most certain behaviours like this are non-existant in the land of milk and honey. Anyway sorry for waffling and thanks again again for facilitating this site – it is unique and so therapeutic.

  46. Wow. That’s heavy – not wnating to die because Mom will be on the other side. Whoa.
    (Guess I’ve never really feared that one, because my dad’s already on the other side – and boy is he pissed at my mom.)
    So, is your stepmom still with you ? Maybe it would help her, if she can think of other familiy members who ahve already passed – and are ‘normies’. (?)
    I’ve also always assumed I was going to hell for being bad, while mom was going to heaven for being Baptist. (Not completely joking there.) I’ve had to completely re-learn faith and religion (or spirituality or whatever – these days I don’t really have a religion any more, which is a relief.) That falls under spiritual abuse, which is partly behind the reason I still feel like I should ‘be there’ for my mom. (Right. But do it from Canada, I guess.) (?)

    I *have* feared in the past that if my mother dies before I do, she will try to haunt me. No joke there at all. (Kind of a moot point, though….as she’s doing a pretty good job of haunting me now, and she’s still alive.)
    That’s what this feels like, really. Being haunted. It felt like a haunting while we were still in touch, and it feels like a haunting now. Cutting off contact, has given me some better days than I was having….but it hasn’t taken away this feeling of being haunted, hounded, and I don’t know if anything ever will.

    But again….that’s really heavy, for your stepmom to fear passing on, for fear of meeting her mother again. WOW.
    Thank you for sharing that – it was really validating somehow. (Apologies for the pop-psych terms, but I don’t know any better way to say that.)

  47. Wife of NGH here….

    Forestchild…maybe they should talk about it. The more you can get out the less you are holding in…..I can understand extreme…I’ve been pushing for Alaska or Europe myself…:-)

    Being Baptist won’t get your mom to heaven. You are not commanded to be there for your mom….I know and my husband would tell you the same thing. Our Pastor helped him to see the difference between honoring his parents and screwing up our family because his mother felt she should come first. I don’t think you want to hear me preaching…..There is only one way to heaven and unless your mom’s done that…She won’t be there….

    My husband’s mom left us a message once that she was a Christian and since we didn’t want to see her and she was going to heaven…where did that mean we were going to be….LOL. I had to laugh at that one…..

    It does feel like you are being haunted at times…..So…when are you moving to Canada…:-)

  48. Forest I really get a good chuckle from your input. Thats without disrespect. I too have often wondered if Mother would come back and haunt me, I am sure she will and I wonder if she is looking forward to it? I think Step Mom from my previous post is looking forward to catching up with her cat who died – Now lets not go there. I am trying to mentally prepare myself to ring mum back and offer her a spot on my daughters Bebo page for the pictures of her heart. One does tend to develop a cynical humour after encountering years of non sensical chaos. Thanks again all. Warm regards and I look forward to reading more posts.

  49. Wife of NGH….

    Sleepless….I would strongly encourage you to not talk to your mother anymore at all….period. Don’t do it to yourself.

    I have started back to counseling. I had my own issues with childhood abuse. Sexually molested beginning at age 3-13, physically abused growing up with a stepmother. A few other things to throw in the mix. For the most part I have done my healing. It was solely due to my faith that I came out of it as strong as I did. My MIL is a trigger for me. I have talked with my counselor about my insane “moth to the flame” need to hear her repulsive messages. How upset I get and how I take them to heart. No matter what we KNOW…intellectually…what they say to us is pure and utter rubbish….there is just enough…a grain, molecule or atom of truth that we believe it. SMACK me now!!!

    I have promised my self that I won’t go out to the youtube link and listen to anymore of those messages. I hadn’t heard them…

    The counselor said to me that I go out to listen because I need to hear how bad I think I am. Because of the years of being beat down…even though part of me knows it isn’t the truth…I can’t believe that it isn’t so I must be as bad as she says I am. Hence the need to listen. I am NOT listening anymore and I am not even close to the person she describes….my hubby can vouch for that one…:-) Don’t fall into that trap…..

    Your poor step mom to fear death thinking she would have to face someone like that…..I am so sorry….Tell her to remember that we are given the promise of a new body…not one that is diseased whether it be mentally or physically. “We shall all be changed…I Corinthians 15:51,53” If this person did find themselves in heaven…according to that, they won’t be the same.

    I am sorry for this dear women and hope that one day you will be able to not pick up the phone and not feel guilty over not answering.

    I will be thinking of both of you……..

  50. Wow Wifeofngh – powerful words that actually take shape to fit the puzzle. I believe to endure life connected to someone with these mood disorders either directly as in Mother or MIL fosters resilience. You are resilient and faith I think, personally, strengthens this resilience. You know I am sick literally of picking up a ‘private’ number on caller ID – can’t even screen her calls, quite comical really I even get blamed for the cost I incur her when I am not home and my phone goes to message bank. Usually the message goes ” WHERE THE @#*% ARE YOU”?. I have described Mother as the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead when she was nice she was very very nice when she was not she was horrid. Wifeofngh, I am 42 years old and sometimes still feel she has the power to reduce me to a child ego state which of course I am working on. I know the power lies with me. My Mother has so much hate toward me that I often wonder why she bothers.
    I am sorry to hear that your journey was turbulent during childhood and think your marvellous for rediscovering and repositioning yourself with faith and counselling. Your MIL like my Mother are awesome projectionists – they feel so badly about themselves that they want to project onto us their own distorted sense of self and tenacious at it they are! Sometimes I have felt like I was living in some kind of psychological thriller not unlike the bold and the beautiful. Mother’s version – Let’s scold and you’re not beautiful! Sigh. The sigh is to remember to breath.
    Moth to the flame is a good description also like a rabbit stunned by the headlights – I knew the car was coming but I just had to go check. *smile*. Good for you for not listening – I went to the tube and it was disturbingly familiar to listen to. Isnt it funny – it is guilt – somewhere in me – well quite locatable really – Is this thought process – ” You are a bad person if you don’t ring, there you are giving your daughterly love to a step mom not your birth mother, when she needs you too, what kind of a person are you. Mother: See I told you all she was dispicable rah rah rah..sigh. I guess I just have to remind myself to be authentic, that I am not such a bad person as much as I am not a puppet on her strings. Wifeofngt, I think the grain, atom and molecule are merely their radars honing in on our vulnerable bits. Hey and I am here to remind you – no more SMACKING of self.
    I am happy for you and your husband that you have each other to share the load. I tell you it was so empowering and frightening to tell Mother I totally deflect myself as the cause of your illness. Perhaps I should remind her to read more ‘Louise Hayes’? Self responsibility and all that Jazz. Well my comrades – well it is a bit like the Russian front at times – thanks again for this site. I believe God thought ok here is some respite when he guided me here. Warmest regards and hey – Keep Breathing All.

  51. Dear WifeofNGH –
    I do hope there comes a day when people talk about what it’s really like to live with someone who is mentally ill – and what the symptoms of mental illness look like, whether or not there has been a diagnosis (yet – or ever). As a child, I didn’t realize that my mom, and also her sister who helped raise me, were both mentally ill. I just thought my family was weird, and I was bad.
    It’s good to be able to share these stories now. Not good to *dwell* on them, there’s a difference….these days I’m working on a mantra for when my thoughts wander back to my childhood, or to my earlier adulthood…..back to bad places. Hoping to do some further work on bringing myself back to more positive things. (It takes a while. But, living htorugh all that, also took a while.)
    It’s very helpful to talk about it here….and kind of leave it here, or leave it in my art therapy notebook. I’m getting into meditation, and (slowly) into yoga and a big of martial arts these days. Also way into studying nature…..well let’s just tell the truth, I’m turning n to a big hippie (minus the pot). 🙂
    Don’t know if I’ll ever get to Canada (although visiting there is still a goal, I hear it’s very beautiful). My husband and I do have a daughter in Portland, Or., however….so maybe when he retires in four years, we’ll be moving there, or at least close. (It’s also very beautiful countryside up there.)
    The camper, or else a small RV, is still a definite goal, by the way. No better way to clear my head of mom, than get out in the woods and sleep under the stars. Of all the places in my life where she hangs around and haunts me, the woods is not one of them. 🙂
    (Sent her a small book for her birthday, with a note in it. I had to, to get some relief from my own insides. That moth to the flame thing. Funny we’re talking about flame, and the only way I feel safe contacting her, is on paper. Maybe there’s something to that.)
    Our youngest son was living with her recently (yeeek), but we heard tonight that he’s back in town. I’m relieved for him….and certain that he learned a lot while he was there. Out of my three children, he was the one who didn’t understand why I coudln’t be in touch with Gramma. Then he moved in with her to “help take care of her” (she’s 77 and in perfect health, regularly drives cross-country and flies to Alaska and Hawaii….which puts Alaska out of my fantasies). Anyway, the whole time my son was “living’ there, he spent almost every night and day couch-surfing at friends’ houses. He found out Gramma isn’t so easy to be around, after all.
    I’m sure he still loves her, and rightly so (in fact, if nothing’s changed too drastically, he adores her – like many bipolars, when she’s not in one of her moods, she can be fascinating)….but he found out that living with her is a whole different can of worms.
    It’s exhausting, writing this stuff. I’ve so needed to get it out….but it’s like having teeth pulled.
    Thank you, all on the group, for letting me write it, though.

  52. Dear Sleepless –
    I can relate about not being able to screen your calls. When my husband and I had a landline, we tried getting caller ID…so my mom took to buying phone cards that would show up as coming from a different state. I’m remembering one in particular that said ‘Colorado’. She hadn’t even been to Colorado in years, so I don’t know how she pulled that one off, but she did it.
    Nowdays we have cell phones. My mom calls our kids, and they call her, but she doesn’t have my husband’s number or mine. Our phones are pre-paid, so if she gets our number’s we’ll be able to get new phones.

    I’ve been to a few support groups, and read some books, about how to deal with a mentally ill relative…..but I never heard it mentioned that it might be perfectly necessary to go to these lengths for emotional safety. And the (uninvited) reactions of acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers, who don’t know the whole story but who want to add their two cents’ worth, is *very* unhelpful.
    People need to know that, sometimes it just takes what it takes, and extreme situations absolutely can call for extreme measures. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about not speaking to my mother on the phone or seeing her in person, as it gives me Viet Nam-style flashbacks to do so. I do still feel guilty if I don’t send her cards and gifts (obviously, as I just sent her a gift)…..but who knows where that will go. Meanwhile, it just is what it is.
    Incidentally, I joined the Army at age 20….and it was there that I learned I had post-traumatic stress. Kind of ironic, that a soldier’s disorder kept me from actually being a soldier. It was a good experience, though….and it was there that I received my first diagnosis, and the only one that has continued to fit me throughout the years. I was later diagnosed as bipolar myself – but it turned out to be incorrect, that the mania I was experiencing was due to the antidepressant drug Effexor. I will *never* touch that stuff again, if I have anything at all to say about it!
    Anyway. That’s the scoop. Good luck with the phone thing…..and with every other one of those “things” that family members of the mentally ill get to deal with.

  53. Hey, guys, I might have to leave this group for a while. I had a steady stream of horrible nightmares last night (and this morning, after moving out onto the couch) – all ivbolved my mother, and toys.
    Don’t know if it’s the fact that I sent her a gift, or that I’ve been talking about her so much. (Or that I wore a nicotine patch to bed – but I’ve done that before.) If it turns out to be this site, I’m going ot have to back off for a while, becuase I’m simply thinking about her too much. (Which is to day, differently – as I think about her all the time anyway. Ther’s no getting around that.)
    If any of you have the same problem, there’s medication called Prazocin that helps with nightmares, It’s a hi8gh blood pressure med – they discovered this side-effect in a hospital for Viet Nam vets. I’ve been off it a while, but if this keeps up, I’m going ot ask the doc for some more. Just thought I’d share that with you.

    If you don’t hear from me for a while, I send you all my best. If I figure it out that the mightmares weren’t triggered by this
    site, I’ll be back.
    (This PTSD thing is very real. They don’t really discuss that in those books and groups about how to deal with a mentally ill relative, either – not unless someting has changed. I hope it’s changed. The best I got was the ususal, “Nurture yourself, take care of yourself, long walks, bubble baths,” type thing, and some vague “set boundaries and enforce them.” That asn’t good enough. This stuff is real, PTSD requires more than walks and bubble baths, and the mentally could usually give a hoot about boundaries.
    (When I do come back, let’s write a book, if somebody isn’t already. Not kidding.)

    Much love, Forestchild

  54. Boy, did I almost make a mistake there.
    I know now, that the nightmares are about my having sent my mother a birthday present. (We’ve been out of contact for over five years, save one or maybe two phone conversations and one exchange of threatening legal letters.)
    Now, I’m in conflict….it’s like, almost all of me knows not to get in any closer contact with her. (My conscience, is certainly salved.) But there’s this one part of myself still holding on to this fantasy….in the eighties, someone would probably have called it my Inner Chiild (remember that…?), that keeps dreaming of letting bygones be bygones, and spending time with mom while she’s still with me here on earth.
    The only trouble with that is, bygones are not bygones. I’m not talking about past abuse here (and boy, there is some….but it is past)….I’m talking present day mental and emotional (and possibly even physical) danger. (Certainly, my own former suicidality was a physical danger….one could argue that many ways, but I am no longer in contact with mom, and I no longer wish for death, go figure).
    I do think I need to keep reading and posting here, so I don’t forget that, in her illness, mom still likes to torment me. Not being a smart-aleck there, either…..it’s a you’d-have-to-be-there thing, but I’ve seen and heard her plainly take some delight in saying very upsetting things to me, lying to me…..just, managing to get me upset. I need to remember that, for my own health – as I *am* human, and can only take so much.

    Of course, it makes sense that I’m having nightmares right now. Every logical part of my brain, is going “oh God no please not this again!”
    I can’t let myself go there, thinking that I could have a relationship with her. Not the way she is, not as abusive as she is. (She once lied and told me she’d had surgery for bladder cancer, when what she’d had was a bladder tuck. That sort of thing. Constantly. Don’t need to go into further details – but I needed to write that, remind myself. That kind of thing, is every day, in and out.)
    I have a cousin, the daughter of my (also mentally ill) aunt who helped raise me when my mom was working. My cousin lived with her mother, up until her mother died. Then she promptly married a physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually very abusive youth pastor. My cousin seems to not know when she is being abused. Hanging on to that relationship with her mother, my aunt, so deeply affected the rest of her life.
    And as I sit here, I’m looking at three photos of myself right now, so drugged out on psych meds that in them, I look like a zombie…in fact, in one, I look dead. If I got back into a relationship with my mother again, I would have to take those kinds of meds again, to deal with the depression and the flashbacks.
    It’s a hell of a choice to have to make, but it really did come down to me or her, and I chose to save myself. Tht’s still the choice I have to make, realistically. I know we’re often told to “detach”….but as human beings there is a certain amount of detachment from loved ones, that I think it’s unrealistic to expect. I simply can not take that constant emotional pounding from my mother, and be unaffected by it between our conversations.

    I need to rememebr that, really get it all the way down inside. Then the nightmares will slow down and stop, I won’t have to take medication for them….it’s happened before. Having had time to think about it (and read earlier journal entries), those nightmares were simply my brain sending me a distress signal, that I was putting myself in danger.

    Time I got my life and health back and kept them, instead of shoving more pill down my throat in order to appease the illness that is not mine, but my mother’s.

    On a much healthier note, I finished writing a novel today, my husband is very excited for me around this, and we plan to go camping this weekend.
    I need to get a good plan going to deal with flashbacks and intrusive disturbing memories – and get on with life. My mother’s illness has taken the front half of my life, but the second act can still be mine, there’s still a chance.

  55. Just a quick note to say Hi to all. Forest, thanks for sharing. Knowing that others can genuinely empathise is a significant relief. As I mentioned in earlier posts my step mom is fighting cancer now and each day I do lymphatic drainage, change dressings, maintain picc lines etc and she mostly says the same things to me such as – Thank you, appreciate this, when you can etc. Well on the other branch of the family tree, Mother has logged the number of Drs appts since January – 18 in total. She is in the public system and one Dr checks the kidneys, one the mental state, one the colon, one the endoscopy, the GP is included etc. Well the camera went into the heart today- actually later I find out it’s an endoscopy but “camera in the heart sounds way more dramatic. She had left me a message saying she was ‘ depressed’. So I call back saying why are you depressed – Well whoa..YOU WOULD BE TOO IF YOU HAD BEEN THROUGH WHAT I HAVE BEEN THROUGH….rah rah rah so suddenly again it became my problem. Now after the multi million itrusive investigations Mother has had, she tells me she is FINE – which in other terms has been known as an annogram for F = F^%#@ ed Up, I = Insecure, N = Neurotic and E = emotionally unstable. So when she said she was fine I smiled – bad but I smiled. But even after finding out she is fine and that 3 Doctors have confirmed that her daughter (me) is the primary contributing factor she must still carry on with the worry of it all. So her behaviours really stand out compared to my step mom who has a gravely serious illness, and is gracious about it. Step mom has not whined, self-pitied, nothing whereas Mother cannot stop complaining about NOTHING. sigh.

    Forest – I describe dreams as daily events and thoughts that when we slumber go into a huge sieve and the sieve is shaken so all those thoughts come out jumbled up and take the form as they fall. So usually if we think about it we can trace weird dreams back to something we processed within the last 24-72 hours. In saying that there is significant research that says nicotine patches give people rather vivid & disturbing dreams. Remember though that you have been traumatised and within the healing is confrontation – reminds me of a Joyce Myer saying – ” Pruned if you do and Pruned if you don’t”. Venting safely is healing. It’s also in reminding ouselves that even though our Mothers have endeavoured to control us as extensions of themselves -remember this – OUR MOTHERS PROJECTIONS, COMMENTS ETC DO NOT DEFINE US NOR CAN THEY ALTER OUR ESSENCE. In caps sorry just to emphasise that.
    We are authentically individual just that a significant caregiver has misused their power over us. But now as Women we are free when we recognise that as an Adult the power now lies with us. Yes it hurt and not the most colourful kalaidescope of images to reflect on but we can make choices now of self preservation.

    To Mother I say ;

    ” Yes you say you did the best you could and I believe that for you, we got through it, and now Mum you know what? I forgive myself for thinking I did anything wrong. I forgive you for saying I did. I am sorry that like any other teenager I may have been a right so and so but I was on cue with my developing age. Thanks for an interesting childhood, I am sorry you did not believe in yourself enough to accept and embrace me as a beautiful developing young woman but rather as a threat to your femininity. I have apportioned a compartment in my heart for you where I remember fun times, moments of sanity and random acts of love. Thank you for your maternal intentions. Mother I love you but I choose to disengage for now as I am not the blame nor the cause and will never be the cure.”

    Not quite sure how the rest of that goes just yet but it will come.
    Congrats Forest for finishing your novel – have a wonderful time camping. Choose a word for the flashbacks like one word eg Enough, out, or a few words like ” I am having a flashback and this is in accordance with my trauma but now I am ready to file you in an album and archive you. If you reappear that’s ok but I will remind you, you now belong in the archives of experiences that have enhanced and formed my most marvellous character today”
    Onwards and upwards I say. Live Love and Laugh…and most of all keep breathing!
    Warm regards

  56. I meant to say – Thanks again to the facilitators of this site. This site has been gounds for a turning point for me. Much Love and appreciation.

  57. If this isn’t misuse of this site, amy I make a prayer request for my son, Ross Redfield, age 21 ? He’s very depressd, and I’m afraid he will commit suicide.
    (If this *is* a misuse of this site, I apologize, and will certainly understand if this doesn’t get posted. I value this site, and don’t want to misuse it.)
    Thank you

  58. Dear Sleepless –
    I have just read your post, and will read it agiin in the morning when I can better respond to it.
    Your step mom does sound so gracious – I don’t think you could have picked a better word. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through all this with her right now…..thinking she’s very lucky to have you there.
    I hope you are giving yourself some points for graciousness, as you are at her side when you have every excuse not to be up to the challenge. May God, whoever or whatever God really is, bless you for it.
    It is amazing, the stark differences in people sometimes, dealing with them both at the same time.
    It sounds as if you may have chosen your role model, as far as graciousness goes. That’s a trait I myself aspire to.
    Will answer your post more tomorrow, right now it’s about three a.m. and I’m pretty fuzzy in the head.

    I hope you’re getting enough rest, and things are going as smoothly for you as possible.
    I hope your mother leaves you alone for a while, and gives you a break – hope that wasn’t put wrongly. (Thinking of waht I would need from my own mother, in a similar situation. A break, would definitely be it.)
    God bless you for what you’re dooing, being there for your step mom right now. I hope that when my time comes, I’m so lucky as to have someone at my side like that.

  59. Forest I am happy for wife of namegoeshere to give you my email address if you need some further ventilation about your son. He was most certainly in my prayers tonight.


  60. Dear Sleepless –
    Thank you. I would love some e-mailcontacts, people I can keepin touch with, and reserve tis site for staying more on topic….I am so thankful to whoever started this site.

    Thank you for the offer. Should I post my e-mail address here, do you think ? Or, how is this going to happen ? Not quite understanding the logistics of it all. My brain is in a fog this morning.)
    However it works out, thank you for the offer.

  61. Thank you, any and every one, who prays for my son. I appreciate it so much. In feeling so helpless to do anything for him, praying and asking others to pray makes me able to tell myself that there is still some hope.
    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your prayers. Thank you.

  62. Wife of NGH…..

    Sleepless and Forestchild…..
    I just sent you both an email with the other’s email address…. 🙂

    It would be best to not post it publicly unless you want the rest of the World Wide Web to know it….. 🙂

    Remember this is not private but open to the public…..Just so you don’t accidentally put something in you don’t want made public.

    Oh…and I added your son’s name to my prayer journal….(((hugs)))

  63. Thank you, wifeofNHG. Appreciate it very much.
    God bless.

  64. As of yesterday afternoon, my son seemed to be doing better. (thanks to all for prayers.)

    My husband just admitted he thinks my son ‘may be bipolar’. I don’t think it’s a maybe. I’ve thought this about him since right after he graduated high school.
    If he is, I just hope somebody catches it and he gets on medication.
    I’ve been diagnosed bipolar myself – but also been diagnosed a lot of other things. Don’t think bipolar really fits – as when I was manic, I was on (and then coming off) Effexor. (Which will make anybody crazy.) But, after watching mom, if it turns out I really am bipolar, I’ll take the medications even though I hate them, rather than wreck everybody’s life that gets near me.
    So, we’ll see how this goes.

    My husband and I are going to move to a 3-bedroom apartment, so we will always have a ‘guest room.” That’s spelled home base for our son. (Of course, if his brother or sister or both need to crash here also, he’ll just have to scoot over and hang up a blanket.)

  65. Dear Sleepless –
    Thinking of you, hope to hear soon how your step mom is doing and how you’re doing.
    May the gods of happy sedation send a big dose to your mother, so she’ll be nice and happy and okay, but give you a break. Maybe the gods of nitrous oxide, or something. (?)
    (Well it’s a thought.)
    May they send a dose to my mother while they’re at it. Make her all sparkly-happy, only thinking about good stuff. That would be nice.
    (I wouldn’t mind a whiff of that myself. Not the real stuff – but the fantasy stuff I’m picturing. Just some happy air full of positive vibes, if it came floating by, I’d take it.)

  66. Forestchild:
    I’ve often mentioned the unfortunate lack of tranquilizer darts loaded with thorazine. You didn’t hear it from me, but canned whipped cream is pressurized with nitrous oxide….

  67. Already knew about the whipped cream. (Never done it – only had nitrous when there was a dentist involved.)
    Hm…how to put together the dart thing and the wipped cream thing. (Whipped cream is not that expensive, and I’ve got pretty good aim….)
    Not a bad idea. 🙂

    Just saw my son, at my older son’s house….reminding me very much of mom. He’s in no way despondent (at the moment)….standoffish and somewhat hostile to everybody, talking about his next road trip. (The solution to most then when I was growing up was to move, sometimes cross country…..and mom has wondered why I feel like she hates me, during her moments when she wasn’t acting like she hated me.)
    This is giving me second thoughts about housing this kid. I could live with a depressed person. I can not live with that smouldering manic hostility. Wondering now, if he moved in, would I always be waiting for the next bad thing that he arranged to happen.
    Going to talk to Rusty about this, then get back on here and listen to my brain rattle until I start making sense.

  68. Okay, more brainrattle.
    Does anybody on this group have a bipolar child…?
    (Might not be what’s up with this boy…but it’s really looking like it.)
    Thing that scares me…I’ve heard him come home all hostile towards somebody else…and sound like mom. (No. No no no.) I mean…I make sarcastic jokes. I don’t go out and get in fights. My son does – and my mother does. (Did. Does. She’s in her seventies, and recently chased a neighbor out of her house. Then the story circulated that she pulled a gun on the neighbor. Don’t know whether to think she really pulled the gun…or just started the rumor. Either, would be absolutely like her.)
    People that don’t know me (and her), don’t believe me when I say things like that. Getting the feeling I’ll be believed on this group….
    Where I’m going is, my depressed son is also violent at times.

    I need to stop with him, at this point. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts….this is the condition the boy is in, which feels better to me than having him suicidal….but only because I can get away from him and not watch him systematically destroy himself. Again, like his grandmother. Only she tends to avoid self-destruction, by finding ways to harm others. (People who are still in her life are starting to take me a little more seriously about that, now that I have withdrawn from the picture. When I’m not her target, somebody else is.)
    If this kid is like mom, please God I hope he doesn’t ahve my grandchild and then treat it badly, I couldn’t watch that….
    But hey. I don’t have any grandchildren. What I’ve got is the co-bipolar headspin (for lack of a better term.) That’s when you’ve been around a loved one who is just so out there, that you end up sounding like I sound right now.

    Going to go take a bath. And buy osme canned whip cream. (Joking. That was a joke. No whipped cream – jsut the bath. Please pardon the sarcasm)

    I don’t think that third bedroom is happening right away. I think me back in reality, is happening.
    Thank you all for letting me rant, I owe you about eight hundred dollars in therapy bills jsut for today. You’re the best, God bless you.

  69. Sorry, I’m not done. But I’m back on topic.
    Remembering mom’s latest suicide threats (that I knwo of – this was when my stepdad was still alive. Right after he died and I didn’t have to worry about him, was when I cut ties with her, because I had to.)
    She told me she had made a suicide pact with my stepdad, that if they had to go in a nursing home they would kill each other, die together, they had it all planned.
    My stepdad was a very nice Mormon gentleman – always say (lightly but not really joking here) that if he didn’t get into heaven, nobody’s going. (Think he was the most deserving adult human male I’ve ever met. I was taught that Mormons don’t go to heaven…but I was taught a lot of things I don’t buy.)
    Anyway. I mentioned this to my stepdad and he totally freaked, said there was no way he would ever kill anyone including himself and what was I talking about, so I knew then that this was another one of mom’s….well, they’re called lies, aren’t they ? It might have been true in her head…but I really don’t think so, as she instantly dropped it.
    The corker is, earlier that same month, might have been the same week, she was telling me my stepdad was going downhill mentally and it was “getting time to put him in a home”.
    Also around that time….and after I had overdosed three times and finally had my stomach pumped (which got my attention – I never went there again!), mom was showing me all the pills that were either his and hers or just his, anyway, she said, “Sometimes I feel like just taking all of them.” I said, “Ever had your stomach pumped, mom ? Why don’t you go ahead and try that.” She said, “I was only kidding – but you know, sometimes you feel like it.” (She had played the sympathy card one too many times – the game was over at that point.)
    I *hope* this suicide thing is just my son playing the sympathy card. From the looks of him today, it might be – again, I hope so. Because I know how to get away from people if I have to – and I do run out of sympathy at some point. Don’t run out of love….but sympathy thing, has its bottom.
    Just another story about mom – another concrete reminder of exactly why I can’t be around her at this point. (Most people can’t be around her. She’s quite lonely, and complains about it. Nothing I can do about this….it got to the point of, jump ship and save myself.)
    If I actually am bipolar, I’ll be happy to take Lithium and be sluggish and gain weight. No problem.

  70. Forestchild:
    If you ever have legal proof that your son wanted to commit suicide (voicemail, email, papers, etc.) then you should take that to social services or the hospital. They will put you in contact with the right people. Once the legal system is involved, they might force him into counseling and treatment. Of course you would be hated for that, but I don’t think that’s anything new.
    I know that if my Mom ever said that she was planning on hurting herself or someone else, I’d have no problem turning the evidence over. It would help Dad much more than it would me.

  71. Thank you. Point taken.
    As far as mom – she has always been *very* careful about leaving evidence of her real intentions.
    Examples: I told an aunt I couldn’t stand to talk to her, was thinking of writing instead, shortly before I stopped contact. My mother called me and said, “If you can’t call, don’t write.” (With good reason! She might get caught up with!) It came down to my husband and myself considering getting (mind blank) oh, loudspeaker on our phone – also tapping the phone line. So someone would be aware of what she was saying, besides me.

    As a child, of course, this was worse. My mother would regularly tell me things, and when I repeated what I had just heard her say, demand to know where I heard such a thing. (She also did this to my father, who had quit drinking many years earlier. He started sipping a lot of cough syrup.)
    One particular beating was due to catching her in a bold-faced lie.
    My point is, if I were in contact with my mother, I doubt I would ever be a good enough detective to prove some of the things she would tell *only* me. (I suppose it was a special privelege in reverse.)
    My son, is an internet junkie – so I doubt he would be as slippery.
    If it comes to this kind of crisis again, I may go investigating. At this point, I think he may have been having bouts of the kind of depression that involve much self-pity…..and laying it on very thick to my daughter, who then passed it on to me, and also laying it on thick to me when we spoke on the phone. (There’s that phone thing again. That lost tome of voice.)
    My older son, never bought it. He’s immune to “the voice”. (Maybe I should learn to text-message my yougest….?)
    I still only feel safe contacting my mother, if it’s in writing. She still doesn’t want to write.
    What you just told me, I think she has known for a long time.

    (Then there was her stealing and saving my letters to and from other people, diary entries….but I’ve been on here quite a bit, so will save that for another time. But there *is* a great deal of irony there….)

    Thank you for the sugestion. Especially where my son is concerned. It’s much appreciated – can’t tell you how appreciated it is.

  72. Forestchild:
    Sounds like you have enough material for a blog of your own! Why don’t you start one? It can be done anonymously, as this one is.
    It’s not very hard to record conversations, most MP3 players have that feature.
    Recording phone calls is a bit more difficult and can cost $50-150 to do. Laws differ from state to state as well, and if you live in a 2-party state, you’re better off not doing it. However, the law just means that cocnversations aren’t legal as evidence, but they can be used to ‘help’ someone who is suicidal.

  73. (Embarrassed) I do have a blog, elsewhere.
    Wrote a bit much, didn’t I ? Sorry.

    Won’t be doing any telephone wiretapping now – as I no talk to mom on the phone, so don’t have to go into that kind of thinking. (Big relief from what it used to be.)

  74. This will be my last July 7 post here – apologize for monopilzing. Thank all for your graciousness.
    Experience with mom: I realized today, while blogging, how scared I am that she’ll write now that I sent her a birthday gift…and gave her my PO box. I may change PO boxes. (I’m afraid of being sucked back in, by way of sympathy for her….whcih I do have. If she feels unloved by me, it’s not my fault – she is not unloved. I’m just scared, and for good reason.)
    Had been thinking of trying out sending her three gifts a year, and allowing her to write, writing briefly back just to give her some attention. Thinking, Mother’s Day, her birthday, and Christmas…maybe she’d let me get away with that, and not hone in on me as a target.
    Now I’m thinking, two gifts a year. Christmas, and Mothers Day/birhday. (They’re close together.) Also thinking of something I almost never do, because it’s a form of lying….renting a mail box temporarily, sending her gifts from there, telling her this is my new address…..and then if she wtites to my regular PO box, not reading her letters. Keeping them unopened. (Think paper trail here.)
    This bipolar thing, is sad. I’d like to give her what she wants, some contact….but I know what I’m in for if I do. If she’d back off at all, if I could trust her even a little, I’d give her what she wants….not *as much* as she wants (there’s never enough) or the *way* she wants is (daughter equals target), but I would stay in touch.
    Part of what has led to the gift-giving urge, is being exposed to twelve-step programs, wanting to have my amends made. (And, I have done some emotional harm to her.) Unexpectedly, right now I feel relieved around that. I’m making all the amends I can safely make. Unsafe amends are not reasonable – as far as I’m concerned. Other people that I know, feel differently around that amends thing…..and you know what, they’re just going to have to feel differently. I get to feel safe.

  75. Forestchild:
    It sounds like your mother is like my mother, and you said ‘nothing is ever good enough’. I realized that fairly early (middle school age) and stopped trying to please her at all. If what I did was good, then her opinion of it really didn’t matter.
    One of the examples I have is in 10th grade science class. I enjoyed biology, and nearly always made the highest grade on the tests. I never studied for them, it just made sense. On one occasion, I got an 89. Mom spent an hour telling me that I could obviously do better and was a real disappointment to her, but I just blew her off. What she didn’t know is that my 89 was the highest grade on that test, and the next highest was an 83. I didn’t tell her that, I knew by then that it really wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
    A quote I heard recently really sums up what you need to internalize – ‘I will never live for the sake of another, or require that another live for me’. Probably a poor paraphrase, but it works. You are responsible for yourself, and can not pass that responsibility off. If married, you may (and should, IMHO) voluntarily place your spouse’s benefit above your own. The same applies to minor dependent children, with the caveat that what they ‘want’ and what they ‘need’ are not the same thing. Your job as parent is to raise them, not to make them happy.
    Another quote, I think from the same book, is ‘guilt is a rope that wears thin’. Mom’s guilt rope frayed and broke long ago, mostly due to overuse. I’m sure your mother’s is at or near that point.

  76. I am at work so do not have time to read all of the posts. Can someone help me? I am the child of a bipolar mother who died a few years ago from a brain hemorrhage at 63 after taking a fall. Anyhow, I am married 19 years with 2 kids. My problem: (yes, I have seen a therapist for years) Whenever my husband’s attention is diverted from me by some other type of relationship with others (union meeting, long talks on phone re: hobby, etc.) I feel abandoned and threatened. I complain, we fight, I cry. I cannot control this. It is a feeling deep inside like I am going to lose him. It has made for some stormy times in our marriage, believe me. It is a deep-seated insecurity. I can try to do something rational like go outside and garden, talk a walk, or drive, but I am miserable the whole time and feel like I have to cling to him. I would rather be in his arms. If he is mad at me and needs some time to be alone, I bother him and bother him. I know this is related to abandonment when my mom was hospitalized and I would come home as a small child and she would not be there for a month. Later, my sisters and I would be hypersensitive to her moods (uh-oh…why is she writing us notes in capital letters with colorful pens? Why is she waking up really early in the morning?) I need some kind of solution but doubt there is one. My therapist knows all of this and gives me suggestions. My husband loves me but this really affects us. What do I do? Again, it feels like a primal feeling of loss when he is gone doing something else (other than working) with someone else. He has probably become the substitute for my mother, etc. who knows. What do I do?

  77. From my recent experience – make sure it’s not all you that’s the problem!
    This could be bunk – but here goes.
    I spent 26 years marrid to a compulsive gambler, cheat, sexaholic, and liar. But he put up an excellent front (and the man does have his good qualities – he’s just an addict), he was an active alcoholic when we met but he quit drinking, at which point all the other stuff got worse.
    Problem,,,,? I thought it was all my fault. I was causing this wonderful man to behave this way. Therapy was no help there, as I was cast in the role of family problem child…..which I had been growing up.

    One good thing has come out of finally getting it deep down inside that my mother (and her sister, my aunt) ‘s problem(s) had nothing to do with me. I slowly have been able to get that about my (as of tonight) former husband as well.
    After six years in and out of women’s shelters (and the psych ward), I finally started questioning *his* behavior. (The women’s shelters helped. The intake questions. I really had to look at some problems….of his, not mine. They also helped me break off contact with my mother, as many of their intake questions applied to her.)
    Anyway. Tonight my (now former) husband came home one more time saying the i r s has caught up with him, he has no money for rent or anything else, (I don;t know whether it;s the i r s or a loan shark)…..but it was one too many times. I told him to leave, tomorrow is restraining order day, and Monday is file for divorce day.
    You and your husband being both adults, rather than a parent/child…are you sure none of it’s him, it’s all you ? (I may be way off here. But I spent so many years thinkingmy former husaband was such a hero to put up with my problems from my childhood, when the truth is we both had bad childhoods, and we both took quite a bit of bunk from each other. I just got the labesls, and he didn;t – which I accepted readily, as I was used to playing problem child due to upbringing.

    Again, just a question. Icould be way off.

    (Incidentally, irony here – former husband is now back living in my mother;s house at this point. This should be interesting – but by no means in any good way,)

  78. To ‘A’ – Emotional abandonment is terrifying and experiencing this as a child can trigger major responses as Adults. I was 5 years old when my Mother picked me up from school and through her flood of tears announced to me that “they” were coming for her and that I wouldn’t see her for a long time. I remember showing her a painting I had drawn thinking at the time if persisted in her looking at it that her story of being abducted might change – but it didn’t. Sure enough the ambulance arrived a few days later and “they’ took her away.

    There were more hospitalisations after that, foster homes and an orphanage. My point is, as a child missing a significant caregiver is threatening to a child’s survival. We archive these feelings but we don’t put the lid on them so hence any sense of potential abandonment triggers the release lever and whoa terror sets in. I would like to share with you an exercise that has helped me over the years.

    Find somewhere alone to sit where you won’t be interrupted for a few moments and close your eyes. Picture in your mind’s eye yourself as a child – when you were a child and your significant caregiver left how you remember feeling – what were you doing, wearing etc. For example, were you crying, were you curled up with your hands cupping your face? Can you see yourself looking frightened? Hold this image in your mind for a moment. Now as the Adult you are today what would you like to say and do to comfort this child. In your mind, go to the mini you and pick her up, embrace her, tell her that “ it’s ok now, you will look after her and no one is going to hurt her again.

    This is self-parenting, nurturing the wounded child within. Also it is ok in your current situation with your husband to let go, just let go of the need to control. I don’t say the word ‘just’ lightly as if it is easy but in letting go you are releasing yourself from reliving the trauma. When you feel the knot in your abdomen, the terror, go back to the child within and embrace her, acknowledge her fear and continue to reassure her. The world will not stop if you let go and remember ‘what’s for you won’t go by you.

    Self-talk is good too. For example when you feel the fear or a trigger say to yourself “ I love myself enough not to put myself through this” “ I am nurturing my wounded self and there is healing and I no longer need to be right or impinge upon the basic right of another’s freedom of movement. Again “ I love myself enough to let go and let things unfold naturally”
    There are many more strategies and I hope you may find some comfort in trying this. We are all a work in progress. Don’t be so hard on yourself, forgive yourself for thinking that as a child you did anything wrong. Just remember to breathe and let go.

    Warm regards

  79. A:
    It is really amazing to me the variety of problems that people have that were (at least partially) caused by their bipolar mothers. Makes me thankful that I got off relatively easily in that respect.
    A few questions for you about your abandonment problems:
    Does your husband know the cause and scope of these problems? If not, then you need to explain it to him until he understands.
    You said that when he needs some alone time you bother him. How far does your husband have to be for you to get those feelings? Does he have to be in the same room, somewhere in the immediate vicinity? I
    How do you deal with him going to work, which I assume he does every day? Is it just a problem when he is somewhere unscheduled?
    Have you made progress with your counselor? If so, great. I would make sure that they understand just how much of a problem this is causing, and that it really needs to be worked on. If you haven’t made progress, then it may be time to find a different one.

  80. Yes, my husband knows the reason for my separation anxiety. It is rearing its head right now in a horrible way. He just retired (he is only 44) from a public safety position that allows you to retire with a good pension and free health plan after 20 years. He was going to do a mindless job that he enjoys but instead, has an former coworker who is organizing an effort to overthrow the current union representation in my husband’s workplace to start up with a new one. My husband is talking on the phone alot with these guys, leaving to go visit the workplaces to pass out info, etc. I am SOOOOO feeling anxiety. I never felt separation anxiety with him when he went to work, and believe me, he worked a lot (weekends, holidays including Christmas, and a ton of overtime). I would get boo-hooey if in one period he worked excessive amounts of overtime (live more than 5 extra shifts). When he is doing this union organization work (p.s. he is not getting paid for this) and he is on the phone in the same room, I feel threatened and anxious. He told the kids and me that he was going to retire and spend more time with them fishing, etc. and instead he is enmeshed in this union effort so hasn’t started spending more time with them (he has been retired for two months). I think that the difference between work is this…he HAD to work. He is CHOOSING to spend time with these people to organize the effort and not getting paid. In other words, he wants to do it. It is not like a job where he HAS to go. Sigh. I am acting nuts re: this. The guy that is the head organizer is an overachiever and is spending all of his time on the phone and driving around the state passing on the word about this new effort. He is spending hardly any time with his family. This guy LOVES calling my husband and talking and loves to talk. I guess I am afraid that my husband will become like him. I just found out last night that if this effort is successful, my husband will be offered a job with them. Again, we are fighting every day and I am crying and miserable. I do not want him to do this job. I stuck with him through 4 years in the Navy, and 20 years in a public safety job. This job seems worse to me (meaning that when he is home, is will be busy on the phone and computer all the time and his full attention will not be with us (I am sure that my fears are really that his attention will not be with ME). I am going to try to move up my appt. with my therapist to this week instead of next. I may have convinced him to go with me to a marriage counselor last night. While he understand this is about my mom, we have known each other for 26 years (since we were 18) and have been married for 19 of them (married when we were 25). He somewhat understands but after all these years sees it as more of an excuse. He is not close to his mom (an alcoholic) though he used to be until he got tired of her drinking too much. When he goes somewhere unexpected it throws me into a crying/whining state and we have a fight. RE: my therapist…she is great and I have seen her for years. She has given me ways to deal with them but these separation feelings are SO strong (it feels like they are coming from my gut) that I feel like I cannot do the things she tells me to do and I resort to my old behaviors. If she tells me to leave the house to take a ride, go in the pool, go out back and garden and that he loves me and will be back, I try, but I am right back to bothering him in a minute or two (why do you have to go? when will you be back? when are you getting off the phone? when is your next meeting?) Yeah, I know I sound nuts now. I am not bipolar per many therapists and I am fine when he and I are getting along, or has no other things he is doing outside the home, but now that this other thing has come up, I am a mess. Another thing about me…I am not good with change and yes, this is a change to the life I have known for 20 years. Also, there are things about the extent of the way I act with him that I have not entirely told my therapist because I am embarassed about the way I have acted. I have a degree and am successful in what I do. I know she respects for a not being a dummy but I am too embarassed to tell her that when he tried to leave the house to go for ride, I followed him, or something similar. I wish that I was able to get over this and be a normal person when in every other way, I am.

  81. To Sleepless, thanks for the post. Some of the things you said hit home so much that I have tears in my eyes. I will try the exercise you mentioned though I have tried many times to reason with my feelings and convince myself about my husband loving me…and I still have these anxious, unreasonable feelings no matter how hard I try. Again, I will try your exercise and thanks…

  82. To Forestchild…thanks for getting back to me. There are indeed many times my husband is not easy to get along with. After 20 years in a public safely position, he has changed. He is easy to anger and even if he is in a bad mood about something that has nothing to do with me, I feel like he is mad at me and keep asking “Why are you mad at me?” It makes no sense. We had a huge fight the other day. He came home from chopping wood in 90 degree humid weather, was tired, and had nothing to eat. He had the worst look on his face. I made the mistake of complaining about someone/something. His patience was low because of his previous few hours and he is grumpy when hungry, etc. so he made a comment about me being dense. That set me off and it made for a horrible afternoon…fight, etc. You are right…he is no saint but oftentimes, can be one. I am not holding him up as a hero because I know that he has a lot of flaws. Wonder sometimes why I chose him (again, his negative career in public safety changed him) but also am amazed at how great he can be sometimes.

  83. To A:
    Having read only part of your post. I don’t think you’re acting nuts.
    I thinkyour husband knows how you feel – and is acting like he doesn’t care, and that is emotional abandonment.
    Sounds to me like if he spent more time with you, *and was really emotionally there with you*, you might find it easier to allow him a reasonable amount of personal time.
    Sounds to me like you’re feeling abandoned – because you’re being abandoned.
    Just my opinion. But it’s from experience.

  84. To all on group:
    Just had an experience with my bipolar mother.
    I called her.
    My husband is contesting a restraining order (won’t go into the other weird b****llsh****t he’s been pulling), and I feel real threatened without that restraining order. (For good reason.)

    So yeah, I called my mother. She *is* bipolar, and I *do* know I’m choosing to have to deal with that again….
    But she’s also heavily Irish. We’re an Irish family. And we have a loooong history of closing ranks when someone’s personal safety is threatened, and resuming the family feud later. Had it before I was born, and I hope my children will carry it on.
    Bipolar or not, the deal in my family (at least on my mother’s side) has always been: you threaten one of us, you threaten the whole crazy bipolar Irish team. Oh, yeah.

    So….I don’t expect sympathy from the group about this, if it turns hard to deal with. Just wanted to say, my upbringing was not all bad.
    One maybe hypomanic, maybe just Irish story (hard to tell apart sometimes)….once in my teens, I had moved two states away, my mother and I were fighting….and it got dangerous. I called her – and she drove through one state and into the other, picked me up, had a cup of coffee, turned around and drove home, and then went to work and worked a whole shift, without sleeping.
    I have several stories like that.

    Right now I feel much more threatened by my husband, than by my mother.
    And she’s mad at him – he (addictive gambler) owes her a lot of money.

    So…that’s the scoop.
    Do know I need to deal with some childhood (codependent, it’s called) issues, if it weren’t for those childhood issues I would have gotten out of this marriage long ago.
    But for today….mom and I have reconnected.

  85. Just heard (didn’t ask – neighbor called)…

    My bipolar mother just kicked my former husband out of our former house. Said either he goes, or *the whole family* goes, including grandson.
    (Seems she does still own the house.)
    Former husband had to move. Son, didn’t.

    (My job now, is to not end up back in that house. I did feel like that was held over my head, the constant threat of losing it. losing my home. I need to keep a home that nobody can make me lose now. Hoping I’m in it….we’ll see.)

  86. Wow so what’s the go there? Does she now think you will move back in? It’s ok to reconnect if it feels safe be it only temporary. I too get lulled back into safetybut then oft curse myself for thinking things might be ok. But you never know what’s around every corner – It might not be fire breathing Mommy Dearest everytime. Sleepless slowly slinks out of the room…..

    Oh yeah and remember to keep breathing everyone

    warm regards

  87. Hi Sleepless. (Still breathing)
    I don’t know what my mother thinks as far as that house (Gotten too convoluted in the past to go into here)….just know my job is to STAY OUT OF IT. Might get hard, if former husband wants to deny me support, if I end up back in a shelter. Hope I can take shelter living over going back to that house. Because again…my mother might swear to something one day, and go completely back on it the next.
    Would be *easier* if she was a straight up monster….but she’s not. She has almost always come to my rescue if I was in danger…(just had a repressed memory come back. The one time I was in danger, first marriage, age 18. I asked to move home, and she told me, “You’ve got a home, now you go to it.” I had totally forgotten about that….those people who say there;s no such thing as repressed memory, are full of horsesh*******t.

    Wow, I need to remember that.

    It feels good to be reconnected with my mother…..but I need to remember that.

    Did you ever watch Lord of the Rings ? My mother is *so* like Smeagol/Gollum. Smeagol’s a sweetheart who made a mistake, that’s all. Problem with Smeagol is….you never actually know when you’re really dealing with Gollum. And Gollum, is *not* a sweetheart.
    Throw that in with those parent-child heart ties of a mother situation. Having a bipolar mother, I think for probably more people than just myself, is a bit like having Smeagol/Gollum for a mother. (It’s a b*****tch.)
    But yeah. God, do I need to stay out of that (evil) house.

    Hope you guys won’t write me off as a drama queen – not just yet. I swear, my life is ordinarily not all drama and trauma. This month, has been very unusual……and I don’t know why I’m not having a nervous breakdown, because I’m not used to this.

  88. Head back on my shoulders a bit now. Thinking, mom (if she’s in the wrong mood) could very easily say just the right (wrong) thing to the landlord, to get me evicted. It would be her old pattern, to decide she *wants* me bakc in her house – event that *she* will decide whether I get this divorce.
    I owe it to her to be the best daughter she will let me be. (Because I sure don’t mind calling on her to defend me, now do I ?) But I also owe it to myself, to take caree of myself. (Also do owe my son some amends. If he *can’t* work, and it;s not due to drugs – it’s due to my past behavior. Won’t go into it here – but htere’s no way this kid doesn’t have PTSD, and there’s no way it wasn’t me that gave it to him. My guilt here, is quite justified.)
    Anyway. Mom.
    Now the door is open for me to write once a week , as she’s wanted me to resume calling once a week….whether she wants to write back or not. (I do not owe her that weekly call. I know what that would do to me. Dammit, if it wasn’t for that, I’d gladly do it!)
    If she’s in town and wants to meet up…..I do owe her some contact, if I can stand it.
    I do not owe it to her, to have her at this apartment right now. It really *is* not a good time. I really *do* feel the landlord is looking for any excuse to evict me.
    That second part, she doesn’t need to know. All the explanation I owe her, is, it’s a *really* bad time right now. Let’s meet at Russell’s, or in town.

  89. Amend that! (What am I doing……again?”
    If she’s in town, I need to out of town or NOT ANSWERING THE DOOR that day! I do NOT owe it to her, to let her come to this apartment – and get me evicted!
    (Kepte believing, kept wanting to believe.)
    Well. Thank God/the Creator, for info blogs! They can really jog one’s memory sopmetimes!

    The avoidance – outright lying. all through my childhood. This is what my whole family did. No one ever just said no,,,,becuase no one ever just heard no, and respected it.

    First no I said to one of my parents, I felt so scared afterwards, shking. Mom was having an affair, asked me if I would babysit dad….and tell him she’d gone to Reno with ‘some of the girls’, to ‘get a break.” I told her a straight up no that time….and suffered emotional fallout for it, even though (for once) she respected it and even apologized, because she knew and admitted it was wrong of her to ask me that.
    The apology, was unususal. Most often in my upbringing, a straight no without a good excuse might very well start a full-on feud, a rant that would go on for days….well, don’t need to tell you guys about rants, do I ?
    But. My memory returns.
    And some god news. Former husband left owrd he is not contesting hte restraining order. Need to call the courthouse and make sure he’s telling hte truth….but if that’s true, then it’s also wonderful.
    My calling out mom (which I’d rather take a beating than do), shook him up some. Thought it would.

    I do owe her that contact by mail, though. Not okay with myself, using her for my own purposes, not showing her any love. and I do love her, I’m just always afraid of her, what bas things might happen if she comes around. (Repeating myself here. Sorry.)

  90. That’s ok Forest. It’s great reading. We can love them and loathe them (jokes) Ahem we can love them but not love their choice of behaviours. My Mother is being nice right now – well on my message machine. It scares me so when she is being pleasant because you never know what the polarity will bring. The calm before the perform. hmm we shall see….


  91. Can relate to that one!
    Hope her bout of niceness is a long one…..and that other shoe either dosn’t drop, or falls somewhere besides on you.

    Let’s you and I both keep our radars up, shall we ? 🙂

  92. P.S. to Sleepless: Nice save there, getting that “ahem” thing out of your throat. It’s hard not to choke sometimes, on those things… 🙂

  93. Indeed hard not to choke – I have a frog in my throat and I think he just crossed his legs. Yes well 2 days gone by and no missiles launched from either camp. I could be rather bold and say I think I am processing her input into my life more responsibly these days or perhaps age is slowing down my response time lol.

  94. The bad dreams come now. In all this, leaving husband….dreamed I was living in a ratty hotel. Only one shower in the building. a mother and daughter lived there….mother got a shower every morning. Daughter hadn’t gotten a shower in 19 years, but every morning she got her hopes up and got ready, just in case.
    This was so hard for me to watch, that I went back to old house that mom owns….but husband pulled up so I had to leave there, otherwise it would break the restraining order.

    Know the dream means I am scared to alienate him too far, scared of ending up depending on mom again for anything.

    (Yuck. Hate this….)

  95. My goal now is to write my mom briefly once a week. Her wishes start at a call once a week. We’ll see how the writing goes.
    Friend who’s a therapist suggested I visualize putting flshbacks on inner DVDs, to store and watch later. Mom is already getting her own series. (But, that seems to be helping, at this point.)

  96. Estranged husband just had me a landline phone hooked up, so we can speak….
    Happy, but then got a chill, thinking, “If mom gets my phone number, she can call.”
    Taking number off hte wall. Not going to give it to son. He can call out, and get calls back on his cell. That way he won’t be put in that position of screening calls/keeping secret numbers again, which was how he grew up.
    Poor kid. All three of my kids. Geez.

  97. So now (once again) my relationship with my (now former) husband, is affected by my mother’s illness.
    Even though she rallied to my side with some support that I didn’t expect (it was like the person shining through the sickness for a moment, it was wonderful to get a glimpse of my real mother again) – what I actually asked her to do, was stnd by me as a witness in court. She said she couldn’t get to town due to her health….then told me the next time she planned to be in town for a doctor’s appointment. (Sorry if I already wrote that – and thank you that for this site, where I am finally learning that other bipolar people behave this way, this is not unique to my mother.) Bit of resentment on my part, as a few years ago mom accused me of not being able to tell fantasy from reality…..well duh, considering I grew up contantly hearing bunk like “I can’t comne to town/this is when I will be in town”, I wonder how I ended up out of reality ??? Go figure.
    Anyway, the thing with the house….I did *not* ask my mom to kick anybody out of anything. At first it felt good that she would defend me, in any way. But now it will be better for me when former hubby gets a room rented somewhere, as he won’t be trying to move back in with me….and he can’t rent a room from my son because Gramma will kick everybody out. (He *is* still sleeping at my son’s, anyway, his other room situation didn’t work out….sigh.)
    Have decided to write mom briefly every *two* weeks, maybe once a month. Thinking once a month would be better – safer. It’s a sad thing, I’d love to be of some comfort to her….but I know from experience that if she gets to thinking about me, she will find out where I live, and she’ll be over here talking sh*********t to the landlord….and the next thing I know, I’ll be evicted. This has been Life With Mom – And Her Illness.
    (Yeah. Once a month, I should write. Not every two weeks….)

  98. Well, my son has the house phone number now. He needed it for work reasons. I asked him not to give it out to anyone other than prospective employers – not even other family members. If mom gets ahold of it and calls, I’ll just have to buck up and get off the phone immediately, and risk her wrath.
    The landlord seems to be wanting me here now, knows I’m a good tenant and the rest will be paid on time, all of that stuff….
    I have marked on the calendar one day a month two write to mom whether I hear from her or not, so I do feel like I’m doing my duty as a daughter (lot of D’s in there…..say *that* three times fast whydontcha!)
    On the bipolar front….I know that I’m at least a potential bipolar myself. I’m on meds for PTSD, which I have in spades, go figure….know if I feel myself running on an adrenaline rush for very long, I need to slow down and take my antianxiety meds, because I do know that there’s a thin line between “poential” and “you are there”, and if I haven’t already crossed it I sure don’t *want* to cross it.
    Don’t think I’ve already crossed it. Think if I had, I would not or could not put on the brakes and slow down and mellow out.
    Hope everyone out there is well, all things considered. Much love to all.

  99. Sorry, me again….but this is important.
    At this point, if being in contact with mom through the mail triggers my AlAnon disease, I will have to stop. (I hope it doesn’t….we’ll see. But I have to be careful.)
    Just kicked my gambling-and-sex addict husband back out of the house, and cut off *all* contact with him this time, because he is still deep in his disease. (He’s going to harm himself or someone else or both if he doesn’t turn around.)
    Realized my own Al Anon (codependent, re/bipolar alcholic mother) disease was totally behind my letting him come back…..he played the health card, and I “couldn’t let him die”.
    That “couldn’t let them die” thing, is part of my disease, re/alcoholic bipolar mother.
    (I’m safe now. My son is safe now. My home is safe now. One day at a time, six hours at a time.)
    Think this falls under an Al Anon twelfth step….thank you for letting me do it.
    Sleepless, you are very much in my thoughts.

  100. NGH,
    I just wanted to share with you something about my BP mom. I have tried to tell people about her before and they don’t believe me or they think I just must be exaggerating. It has been so frustrating but I think you will totally understand.
    When I was a kid, she said to me out of the blue that she was starting to sleep with her bedroom door shut and locked b/c she was afraid that I would come into her room in the middle of the night and kill her. I was very shocked, disturbed and hurt that my mother would think such a thing and I never understood it. I think it is as you have described…projection and role-reversal. I have just recently had a repressed memory come back to me about one night I woke up and she was standing over my bed with a knife. I asked her what she was doing and she said nothing and walked out. I went back to sleep and asked her the next day if she had come into my room the night before and she said no. I wrote it off to having a bad dream b/c I couldn’t understand it. Now I understand it and it scares the daylights out of me. It is so crazy that I don’t think anyone else would believe me but unfortunately, I have a feeling that the people on this site might. Needless to say, we are staying far, far away from her.

  101. Hey, it’s been a while. Lots goin on right now. Anyway I just wanted to type to say I am still breathing – sigh — Peace and Love

  102. Oh My Goodness,
    I just found this blog, and I cannot believe how many others are dealing with the same situation I am. My 60 year old BP mother is filing for bankruptcy and I am facing the prospect of having to support her for the rest of her life. I am just finising grad school with an embarrasing amount of student loans and I also have a chronic illness which is expensive to treat and sometimes limits my ability to work. I have been so depressed over this situation that I was suicidal last week. I have a wonderful therapist who helped me through those thoughts, but I would not be sad if my Mom passed away tomorrow. I would be reliveed. She is a blackhole- I have let her drain me of money, my physical health, and now I fear that I am also showing signs of being bi-polar. My therapist thinks I am just reacting normally to a LOT of stress. I hope she is right. I desperately want to cut my Mom out of my life and have been praying over the prospect for most of the evening.
    I guess I just feel obligated to care for her because I know she has an illness. My heart goes out to everyone here- I am so
    sorry that you are all dealing with this too.

  103. I’m so glad I found your site. My mother acts as if she is bipolar, though she has not been diagnosed. It isn’t something she would agree to look into, but all the signs are there of a low-level bipolar disorder, maybe hypo mania. I could go on for lines and lines about her history, which included a few years of alcholism (when I was a child) that won’t or can’t be admitted to, though thankfully they are passed, and the effects her bipolar behavior has had on me and my brother, who is estranged from the family no doubt in large measure because of her behavior (I sometimes think he was pushed out of the house by the elephant in the room, sometimes he poked the elephant and was the worse for it), and so on. These past two weeks have seen her tell me to get lost, as in permanently, estranging herself from me and asking me not to attend a family funeral. Part of me feels relieved to have this distance, because it’s otherwise walking on eggshells or having them thrown at me, and part of me is both sad and angry because she can’t leave this between us, or among herself, me, and my father, but has begun forming sides: if I go to the funeral, she won’t, and what havoc that will cause among the extended family, &c., &c. She is maniuplative on top of manic depressive, and I am doing all I can to remember I’m not the cause of it, and to not feel guilty for feeling relieved. Yet I don’t know what to expect next; she is not one to be ignored, even if it is to stoke up the fires of all that is unpleasant. I’m so grateful to have found your site.

  104. To Sick/Tired, and Sleepless –

    Sleepless, it’s very good to hear from you. My thoughts have been with you a lot these days.

    S&T…..I’m so glad you didn’t commit suicide! Please don’t do that.
    Boy, can I relate about your mother. Only difference is, I guess I’m lucky in one way, as my stepdad left my mother well off so now the person she keeps trying to bankrupt is me, ha ha. (Not funny….that was a laugh of insanity. You know, with the crossed eyes and all.)
    Best of luck on turning out to be not bipolar yourself….my new shrink just pronounced me not bipolar, though an earlier one gave me the diagnosis. Those of us who grow up with mentally ill parents, learn to imitate our parents the same way other children do, it just makes sense.

    YOu are so completely not the only person who has ever expressed the thought that it would not be sad if your mother would just die and leave you alone. That’s a desperate thought that many of us find ourselves thinking…..it’s an effect of our parent’s illness. It’s only natural to wish that a source of constant torment, would just go away.

    Someone recently defined stress to me as a demand that one does not have the resources to meet. For me, that definition made sense.

    Where I’m at with my B.M. (haha – that’s funny!) 🙂 is this: I decided earlier this year to wtite to her once a month, to assuage my guilt. This week I bought her a card….and I haven’t been able to write anything on it. I’m hurt that she won’t write back, not even a few lines…..but at the same time it would scare me if she did write back, because she scares me. I can’r very well fill her in on the grandkids’ lives, as she calls them all the time. Can’t ask about her health, as she won’t write me back, and I couldn’t trust her to tell me the truth if she did….well, I’m sure you know how it goes.
    Actually, I don’t think she calls my youngest son….because he doesn’t call her. Because she gave my oldest son the family home, my daughter an ongoing amount of money….and my youngest son nothing as she disapproves of how he behaves.
    Giving myself a headache writing this, so I’m going to stop….will probably just send her the card, write Thinking Of You or something, and leave it like that. I could really relate to what you said about that black hole thing…..it’s just never enough.
    So self-defeating on the part of the bipolars who do this. If they would just let it ever be enough, they would probably get so much of what they want in life. But after a while, people around them give up, because they just can’t take it any more.

    All my best wishes to you with this. Hope you can take good care of yourself, concentrate on *you* and *your* life, give yourself the attention you’ve probably needed for a very long time.

  105. Like many others that have posted here, I am also very glad I came across this site. I’m twenty years old and my mother’s disorder has led to a complete lack of a stable relationship between us. My parents divorced when I was four and I lived with my mom, which was none to happy to say the least. My mother has also used her illness to manipulate those around her and place blame for her problems. I’ve tried very hard to keep a relationship with her, but I have pretty much given up, seeing as how she has cut me out of her life almost completely. After leaving for college, our relationship further deteriorated as she believed that although I must make my own decisions, apparently I wasn’t allowed unless she gave me permission. After a disagreement (a very small one, but i guess bipolar disorder can warp things), she cut me off when I was nineteen, now that I am living on my own two feet I’ve have found out alot that I never knew about my mother, including how her control over my finances until now has meant that now I seemingly have no money in any of my accounts…..interesting to say the least. I love my mother like any child does, but it hurts alot because it just doesn’t feel like the feeling is mutual when she won’t even talk to you anymore. Anytime I try and talk to her about our relationship she pretends nothing is wrong, and she won’t be honest, but I guess we all now that comes with the territory. I email, I call and leave messages, but she never responds 😦
    Much like forestchild wrote, “Actually, I don’t think she calls my youngest son….because he doesn’t call her. Because she gave my oldest son the family home, my daughter an ongoing amount of money….and my youngest son nothing as she disapproves of how he behaves.”, I am like her youngest son, and I deeply understand how much that hurts. My mother got remarried after she divorced my father and two more children. My brother and sister receive ongoing amounts of money and attention and then there’s me, the struggling college student, who’s mother occasionally gave her 30 dollars to last me a month for food (at least I never gained the freshmen 15, lol). It’s not like a Im a bad kid, I graduated with honors. I guess I find myself asking “What did I do wrong?”, but I have come to find out from the support of my father, and many of my friends, that I didn’t do anything wrong, but that mother is just a little bit crazy, haha.

    Oh, and for Diane H, you may be interested in the book, “My Mother’s Bipolar; So What Am I?” I plan on buying it immediately myself, it’s had great reviews, and has helped alot of people understand they’re parent’s problems and offer some little bit of forgiveness

  106. At middle age, I’m experiencing a new thing, and my mother has a lot to do with it.
    For the first time in my life (that I know of), I cry in my sleep on a regular basis, and wake up crying.
    I suppose it’s healthy. I’m experiencing my own grief. (And, I’d rather do my crying asleep than awake.)
    Also, it’s helped me come to a decision about writing to my mother at this time.

    Recently, I was able to put into words for the first time that my husband and I lost our home last year. This admission was in a social setting, so I didn’t include the story about my mother being the landlord….but it was the first time my brain ever put together the reality of those words, ‘we lost our home’. (After fifteen years there, I’ve been very homesick lately, still haven’t adjusted to this apartment.)
    This afternoon I took a nap, and started weeping in my sleep over how much I miss my backyard and my trees, and the home I had such dreams for, where I mostly watched my children grow up. In the dream I was having, I called mom up and asked her, “Why did you have to do that to us ?”
    When I woke up, I realized it doesn’t make sense for me to continue writing to her out of daughterly duty, on several levels. One, she makes no effort to reply to my letters, even though when I dont’ write she cries to other people that she misses me “so much” and wishes she would hear from me. (She wants me to go back to calling her. I used to down six shots of Jaegermeitster before calling her, so I wouldn’t remember the awful things she said.)
    But more importantly than this, there’s a big chunk of reality I need to face about my mother’s behavior.
    This last time she threatened to sue us or evict us for being two payments behind on the house, we were actively making extra payments each month to catch up on the money we owed. Which was originally two thousand dollars….that was the amount of the two payments we missed. We gave us permission to miss them, when my husband’s father was dying of cancer. She told us she would simply add two extra payments at the end of our purchase of the house. Then after my father in law died, the threats to sue us started.
    The last threat to sue us or evict us came when she demanded two thousand dollard in full immediately, ignoring what we had already paid *on* the two thousand. She told my son we owed her *twenty* thousand! (He knew better.) She never needed the money, and still doesn’t. She’s quite well off financially. She recently wnet on a spending spree….to buy our son new clothes for his job, clothes he didn’t ask for, and accepted in order not to hurt her feelings.
    Last week I bought her a card, but I haven’t been able to make myself write anything in it. There’s no point sharing news about the kids….she’s in touch with the kids. I can’t ask her about her health, since our letters are one-way only. If I send her news about myself, she gets mad because it’s all about me and I’m not interested in her.
    The truth is, my mom has treated me atrociously. I’m not sure I can blame it all on her illness at this point….but illness or not, for now I’m able to give myself permission not to write to her. I’ve written to her three times and gotten no reply…..I think after teh way she’s treated me, I’ve more than done my duty as a daughter.

    Somehow, this weeping in my sleep thing makes me feel much clearer afterwards, in the waking world.

  107. Forestchild:
    Two questions that helped me when I answered them honestly were:
    If she weren’t related, what would your relationship be?
    If your positions were reversed, what would you do?

    What you will find, no doubt, is that your mother is a devious, manipulative, and cruel person. What she does to you is done to keep you in an inferior position, so that she can use you as a toy. It is her decision to remain like that, illness or not. And if she is like my mother, it’s way too late for any meaningful treatment.

  108. Well, this is really setting in–the fact that my mother has severed our relationship. On a moment-by-moment basis, I continue to feel relieved that I don’t have to call just so she can say hurtful things about me and my husband and speak nonstop for the entire duration. But it is also dawning on me that this is really a break that I haven’t figured out entirely–how it will affect my relationship with my dad. Last I heard I was being called dangerous–she was afraid of me–and that any attempt to be rational was a sign of his siding with me. I have always wondered how he dealt with things, but now I wonder what toll this is taking on him. I have have a feeling of dread that this is going to blow up on me in the worst way over the coming holidays. I think this feeling must be a product of living with her manipulative behavior for a long time and being a generally dutiful person–hence an unshakeable guilt when I am not responsible for this. I just don’t like the foreboding.

  109. I’m a 6l yr. old MOTHER (who did a pretty good job of being
    everything I could for my 3 boys) I’ve been told my bipolar
    disease is minor, but when it hits it is very difficult to live
    with me. Until about 1989 I handled it well, by self-medicating
    myself. No one knew I was using prescription drugs or drinking
    at night until I got out of hand. I’ve been in 5 treatment
    centers (most did not help) It did get me out of their lives.
    I have the type of bipolar that just comes & goes with no warning.
    Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’d live with myself, but have been
    married to the same man for 34 yrs.—so sometimes I must be o.k. and great to be with or maybe something is wrong with him for
    staying with me. My three sons, other than one who lives near are doing well & other than worrying about me every now & then
    they have their own lives & seem pretty happy. The oldest is
    living with a woman who is much worse than I am, but has two
    children and a super father. The middle son lives in Atlanta
    with his partner, both of them are attorneys & have a very happy life with a group of good friends. The youngest took after me
    & is artistic. I took him to the College of Art every Sat. from the time he was in Kindergarden. They are all very intellectual
    The youngest is an adjunct professor in California. He is a bit
    strange, as most artists are, & O.C.D. but also enjoys his life. Of course, they don’t have to live with me & I have become worse
    in my old age. What worries me most is how much I hurt my husband, as they have their own lives (not that they don’t worry)
    but it’s different. I have changed Phychiatrists (as of last
    week) & have a new psycologist/therapist I will see again tomorrow
    hoping for help that isn’t the same old (stick her away) nut ward
    I even went to John’s Hopkins, & a dual diagnosis place well
    thought of in Malibu. I stay clean for a while & then bam–back
    it comes. Well enough of this—-Just want to point out that
    this is NO FUN for us either, & more testing & trials should be

  110. To “Also Tired” –

    I can so completely feel for you.
    The hoidays are so hard.

    Maybe talking on this group will at least be of some comfort – I really do hope so.

    If I get my way (ha ha), I plan to volunteer at a hoeless shelter of the holidays, not sit around with family and long for the old times.
    Although I do. Long for them, I mean. But, the way I choose to remember them….which is through rose tinted glasses with very thick lenses. In reality, I spent most holidays crying in the bedroom. So my famlily is already quite used to Mom not being there.

  111. I was just diagnosed with bipolar-hypomania. Don’t know if I’ve ever been fully manic. I’d say my brother, mom and dad are on my “level” of crazy. One of my sister’s is off the damn charts in her personal life, but a great Kindergarten teacher. So weird.

    My husband is in Iraq. I had to tell him over the phone. He said, I already knew that, and I love you anyways. But he couldn’t hold me. I am so scared. I have intentionally kept things from my doctors before in order to “avoid” this disease. I was diagnosed ADHD-Inattentive, Anxiety and Depression for four years. Ha. I’m so scared.

    I’m 30, childless. And with this diagnosis, should obviously stay that way. Thats how I found this post…googled “should I have children if I am bipolar?” Crazy to find this site, the flip side of the coin. It’s like a sign or something. I wonder if I’ll be able to keep myself from having children (I can talk myself into or out of almost anything). I have never been so honest in my life, how am I doing?

  112. Dear cb :
    There *is* another side to my mother, besides her sickness. I wouldn’t trade her for another mother, for all the world.

    Of course you have a right to make your own decisions….but I’d like to ask, is this the time to decide that permanently ?

    My mother was never treated for her illness. There is treatment.

    I’d like to also point out…I don’t know if you’re familiar with the actor Sean Astin, but he is also the child of a bipolar mother. His mother is Patty Duke Astin. Both of them are brilliant, and from what I gather by way of the media, today they have a warm and close relationship. Sean Astin certainly has a successful life, not only as an actor, but in his own family life…and he is also highly educated, though I forget which university he graduated from.
    Please don’t sell yourself short. All this information, can be used for something positive.
    My mother never realized how her behavior affected me, and she continues to not see how her behavior affects others. You have an opportunity here, to look at these things, and realize it if you catch yourself behaving in these ways.
    Also, you said you don’t know if you’ve ever been fully manic. Now you’ve read about what ‘fully manic’ looks like. Hopefully you have a chance to avoid going there, whether you decide to have children one day, or not.
    Best of luck to you.
    (P.S. – I have been diagnosed as bipolar myself. My psychiatrist now, feels it was probably a misdiagnosis. If I have any choice in the matter, of course I choose not to be bipolar, and of course I don’t want to take the medications for it. But if it turns out I am bipolar, my psychiatrist and I have agreed that I will start taking Lithium. I’ve taken it in the past, and out of all the meds for bipolar disorder, it’s really not so bad….at least, I didn’t find it to be so bad.)

  113. Hi Everyone, Sleepless here. Just writing to say Hi. Miss writing to ya Forest. Forest what is a ‘hoeless’ shelter? The mind boggles. I would like to encourage everyone who is affected in some way that mental illness does not define the individual. Rather that there are individuals managing a mental illness. Some have insight where as other’s insight is grossly impaired. Support groups like this ( I call it that) provide clarity and comradeship – I thought I was the only one dealing with ‘mum’ . Anyway enough waffle for now..Peace and love and most of all sanity! SMILE & HUGS

  114. To Diane H… In regard to the book you asked about. My mother has borderline personality disorder and my stepmother is bipolar. I got a book called “Surviving a Borderline Parent” it is by Kimberlee Roth and Freda B. Friedman, Ph.D., LCSW. It is all about how the children are affected, the chilren like me. And like you. Although the book is specifically for kids from Borderline parents, it has been enormously helpful for me for dealing with the hurt from both of their disorders. Check it out. You can purchase on Amazon, or at Borders.

    Peace to you along your journey of unlearning.


  115. Hi, Sleepless – been thinking about you, hope you are doing well.
    Er, I think I meant to write ‘homeless shelter’. Ha ha. Guess a hoeless shelter would be place where they don’t allow ho’s. (?)
    (I’m a lousy typist without my glasses these days. Middle age, you know.)

    At this point my husband and I are back living under the same roof and trying to find some semblance of working things out, but I’m going back to school just in case it doesn’t.
    I write to my mother once a month, and she doesn’t write back, which I’m perfectly comfortable with. She sent me a hundred dollars and a potted plant for Christmas though….money and gifts have always been her way of communicating any kind of….affection or whatever it is she feels. I feel bad for her, I can only imagine what it must be like to live in her head, I know it’s hard enough just to live in my own. But that’s the peace we’ve made. (I was very tempted to send back the money, I don’t want to take money from her, but I think she would have been hurt if I’d done that. If that’s how she’s comfortable communicating with me, then so be it, as long as it’s not a loan.)

    My onw psych doc has pronounced me officially not bipolar, which is a huge relief. He’s treating me for PTSD, and I feel like the diagnosis fits.

    Mostly I think being a member of a twelve-step group (won’t say which one due to anonymity) has helped me tremendously in this area. Also finding this group, and discovering there were others out there like me, has been a life saver.

    My computer has been on the fritz, but I do think about you often. Your friendship has been a blessing to me. I do hope good things are coming your way in life.

    Sending you a big hug!

  116. I am a 37 year old mother of 3 with bipolar disorder. I believe now that my adoptive mother, in addition to having the congenital heart defect that killed her, was also bipolar. Around the time she left my father for his alcoholism (something I’d never, ever seen) she left our house and thus also left me there, supposedly with this alcoholic dad. I was only 15 at the time and she would call and harangue me about why I wouldn’t come live with her where she was staying in a one bedroom suite in a friend’s house. Then she moved into the basement of our home, giving my father a note that said she was just exercising her property rights and would not be bothering him. However, he found her standing over him on a few different nights, and sometimes she’d make herself at home on the main floor while we were out (there was a bedroom, bathroom, living area with fireplace, the laundry room and a kitchenette with full size fridge and freezer in the basement — it was nicer than any of the apartments she lived in later).

    At Thanksgiving, I went with her to visit some relatives — her stepbrother was a lawyer. She made a point to ask me to leave the room while she discussed some legal and estate matters with her stepbrother. Later, she called out to my (step) cousins and me that we could go into the kitchen and fix a snack. At that point she loudly discussed how to guarantee my father would never get his hands on any of her money (which was all going to be settlement money from him for the divorce) and that she wanted her father, brother, nephews and even friends to inherit before I got a penny.

    At Christmas I chose to go with my dad to visit my paternal grandparents. She screamed and cried from the basement and sent disturbing voicemail messages. Then she went to visit family in NYC and sent back photos of her having obviously been crying, or even crying in the photo, but dressed to the nines for elegant holiday gatherings.

    She picked fights with me the few times we were together, then told everyone my father and I must be having a sexual affair. Then she wondered why I didn’t spend more time with her.

    She died after the long, contentious divorce was finalized, between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I’ve come to peace with a lot of things now and remember the great times that did exist.

    My point, more than 20 years later, is that I hadn’t realized before reading all these posts how much of the manipulative relationship tools came into play with bipolar disorder. My kids, ages 16, 13 and 5, all tell me that I’m the best mom ever and give me hugs, etc. Now I’m starting to wonder if I manipulate that behavior from them. I don’t think I do. I don’t see myself as pushy. But what if I don’t see it?

    My life with my kids has not been perfect, but I feel I relate well with my children and create an atmosphere of love and respect. I know there are times I get angry and can’t stop my mouth, but I have improved a lot at removing myself from those situations before they get really out of whack.

    Thank you for this blog and all your candid posts. I am a writer and am hoping to earn a fellowship from the Carter Center for mental health journalism and have been considering exploring myths and attitudes about mothers with mental illness.

  117. Amy:
    As you’ve described, and seen from my descriptions and others here, it’s not uncommon to see manipulative or paranoid behavior.

    The pictures from Christmas are probably the best example of that, because only a sadistic person would try to manipulate you with guilt like that. At least she is now permanently out of your life, and that of your kids.

    Recognizing that you may have learned some undesirable behavior from her is the first step.

    Talk with your husband about your relationship with your kids. Make sure that he knows how you grew up, and what your concerns are for making sure that you don’t perpetuate that cycle. He should be able to tell you if your interactions use any of those manipulative tools.

    Keep in mind also that good parenting will use manipulative tools to an extent to encourage or discourage behavior. What you are really looking for is the level or appropriateness of them.

    A silly example would be telling a child that ‘everyone likes people with nice smiles’ to get them to brush their teeth. Not true, and definitely manipulative, but not unhealthy. An unhealthy example would be telling the child that ‘Mommies only love children with clean teeth.’ The difference should be clear.

    No parent is perfect, and kids seem to be built to handle it fairly well. What you are trying to do is be as consistent as possible, and let them know when you mess up.

    One of my favorite myths about mental health is that these disorders are caused by a chemical imbalance. The exact opposite appears to be the case. As to people’s attitudes, people who haven’t experienced it first hand have no basis for comparison. ‘You must be over reacting’ is a common response that I got. After hearing some of the messages, that usually changes.

  118. I am a adult and my mother is a undiagnosed bipolar case. Its always been there laying close to the surface showing its ugly head now and again, but over the past 10 years it has gone into a full downward spiral. After cutting out every relative, parent , sibling, and friend she ever had , my mother is now focusing all her anger agression and mean spirit toward my father (he is disabled). She threatens him and verbally abuses him. She is off the deep end so to speak. She is emotinally and verbally abusive to my siblings as well as myself, although i seem to have the “best” relationship with her in part because i see the illness and have studied it, and also because i am a christian and feel that God made me her daughter for a reason, therefore i try like heck to keep her at least talking to me and not cutting me out of her life. Its amazing, she holds down a full time job, i am almsot certain that others see her ill manner but because she is highly productive (mania) and almost a workoholic it suits the company just fine as long as she is producing. She calls me in a state of mania and she will be cussing and angry and the next minute she is crying and sobbing. She is addicted to pain meds and I am certain it is because she is in so much pain and i mean emotionally and physically from her illness. She is exhasuted and i dont know how much longer she will go on before probably having either a breakdown or getting fired for lashing out at somebody. She screams all the time, she hates everybody and says so on a regular basis. You cant eat out with her because every waitress is stupid or a idiot, every store clerk is “rude” to her and every doctor is a bafoon. If i were to bring up that she has even a slight”problem ” and should seek help she would cut me off from her life in a heartbeat. She causes family drama and for a small spell starting telling “lies” within the family structure till she got caught and it backfired. HOWEVER in true form she managed to make everybody else apologise and controlled when and how she would communicate with us all again. Its a neverending cycle of pain fo me. This is the woman who gave birth to me , who put bandaids on my boo boo’s and threw me amazing birthday parties. I know most would say its too dangerous destructive etc and that i should cut ties. But i just cant. My heart wont let me. If nothing else i am a stabilizing force , even if it is small. I pray all the time that the Lord will come down and help her, that somehow she will seek help. But its never her, its everybody else. Her doctors cannot see it because she puts on a normal facade and acts like she is on top of her game. However recently i think she has had some runs ins at the clinic that is treating her for pain, she flashed on some nurses and doctors who basically warned her they wont treat her if she acts like that. Yet none of them seem to see a mentally ill individual who clearly needs help. I know she knows there is something wrong. And as i said lately it seems to be almost on verge of total meltdown. I know that most of who i see and talk to is the illness. My mother has been gone a long time now. But she held me when i was young, and I feel as if i have to uphold her as she turns old. Thank you for giving me a chance to express my sorrow. I will never stop hoping that someday it will get better.

  119. I am Bipolar NOS. Anyone who thinks this disorder is not caused by a chemical imbalance is way way off base. I have been treated since I was 10 years old. I will be 50 this year with a 22 year marriage and two wonderful sons ages 19 and 12. Amazing how life can turn out with competent mental health treatment.

    • Bipolars always think that there way is p-erfect and that everyone else is the problem. I feel sorry for your children who are just now begining to realize that their mother is imbalanced and will spend their adult life dealing with the trauma of a mentally ill parent. I know this because my own bipolar mother thinks she has done a great job as a parent and wife. My brother and I are both successful and my mother loves to credit herself. She and my father have been married 54 years and she thinks she has had a great marriage also. My father has had a miserable life and she has been the worst example of a wife and mother. To hear my mothers side she has been fine and everyone else has a problem I see her in your proud posting. SICK!!!!

  120. I am the daughter of a bi-polar mother. My father left her for another woman when I was three years old. My mother was committed to a state hospital at that time for hallucinations and expressing that she wanted to kill me. That was in 1957. The word bi-polar did not exist then; she was diagnosed with a schizoid personality disorder. Upon release from the hospital she never took any medication or went to any counseling. I, alone, had to cope with her rages. For any little thing I was slapped and screamed at. At worst she would humiliate me by pulling down my pants and spank me in front of others. Once she made me strip, spanked me and told me she hated me – for wearing a $2.00 pair of cotton tennis shoes out to play. She did apologize for saying she hated me. Big deal.

    When I turned 18 I joined the WAC and moved 2,000 miles away. I only saw her once or twice a year and even then she had a hard time being civil. She was finally diagnosed with bi-polar in her 60’s after a stroke: a doctor at her rehab center was concerned about her behavior because she had kicked a therapist in the stomach and was refusing to do her therapy – in her usual rageful way.

    If that wasn’t enough hell to go through, one of my daughters has been diagnosed as bi-polar after being verbally and emotionally abusive with her little toddler. I tried to get her to get help for almost two years and when nothing worked I told her that I would call CPS if she ever mistreated the child again. [I had cared for and homeschooled this lovely child for 2 years while her parents worked long hours]. For me and her papa, she was the heart of our hearts. When I made this stand to protect the child from further verbal and emotional abuse the parents found another caregiver and went into hiding. The father allowed me a one 1 1/2 hour visit with her during the past 8 months. It feels like she died; it is the cruelest thing anyone has ever done to me, not to mention the loss for my granddaughter, who LOVED me and her papa so much. I can do nothing because CPS and the Texas courts are over loaded with physical and sexual abuse child victims. I was told I’d have to wait until the abuse escalated before I could legally intervene. Sickening!

    The state legislatures of this country need to support grandparents and family members when they see mentally ill parents abusing their children and are willing to intervene and take those children in while the parents get psychiatric help!

  121. I wanted to leave a general reply to many of the responders… that much of what is being described by many of the posters sounds a lot like “borderline personality disorder.” BPD is often misdiagnosed as Bi-Polar by therapists who cannot tell the difference. Though Bi-polar can definitely wreak havoc in relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder is in many ways more insidious. For one, it often exists alongside other disorders that mask it. In addition, a portion of the borderline population are able to live normal and successful lives, but are abusive at home, often with only their closest relationship knowing what they really are like. They blame others for their problems and manipulate them through guilt and are often sweet enough to fool even therapists that it is their spouses who are mentally ill. If the phrase “walking on eggshells” has special meaning to you, then this may be worth looking into.

    For general descriptions, check out: http://www.pdan.org/bpd.php
    For resources, including an online community of victimized loved-ones, see http://www.bpdcentral.com/resources/basics/main.shtml
    And for a starting place for reading, find “Stop Walking On Eggshells” by Randi Kreger in your bookstore or Amazon.

  122. Can someone recommend books to me regarding growing up with a bi-polar mother. I am 50 now.

  123. My mom is almost 70! She has never been diagnosed with bipolar but I really think she has it! Her older sister does! As a child growing up when she was in her down moments for weeks on end I would always try to cheer her up or try to maker her happy. Then one day she would be all WONDERFUL again and life was good! Over and over again. I just thought she had a bad temper when she would get so mad and say such hurtful things. As an adult I now look back and know she has bipolar! Everyone loves my mom she has lots of friends and no one even knows her down side! No one sees this side of her unless you live with her! She seems to hide it well. Not even my cousins they have no clue what she really is like! I am in fear of saying anything because if I do she will lash out at me and cut me out of her life! I love her so much but have learned to keep my distance from her and I only see her now when I know she is in a UP mood. I can no longer handle the down mood with her! I can tell by her voice on the phone what kind of mood she is in or if she is starting to go in a down mood. I want her to get help but she will be in denial I just know it! Not to mention she will lash out at me! That really hurts because I love her so much! WHAT can I do to try and get her help and on medication IF she would even take it!!?

    • This is exactly my life with my bipolar mother who is 91. It is painful. I don’t think I’ll ever get past how it has affected my life. In every other sense of the word, I am a 52 year old woman. When it comes to my mom, I’m like a little baby. I long for something I will never have. I despise the disease but despise even more, the fact that she can somehow transform out of the disease and be normal when it’s around a select group of people, but trash and thrash and leash out at me without second thought. And then the cycle of being loving begins. God, it just hurts so much.

  124. Palma: So basically she’s approaching the point that she won’t be able to hide her illness any more. Stop enabling her. Smoothing things over isn’t helping, and by helping I mean convincing her and others around her that she needs help.

    Anonymous: There is very strong evidence that the chemical imbalance is a symptom of something else, not the root of the problem.

    A.R.: BPD is a mood disorder as well, and can have many similarities with bipolar disorder. Psychology isn’t an exact science, so it is not surprising that the same symptoms can result in two different diagnosis. It depends on the importance assigned to different behaviors.

    Kara: Until SHE feels that treatment is needed, there is nothing you can do that will make any difference. And it’s NOT your responsibility. To my mother, NOTHING is more important than believing that she doesn’t have a problem. Not even her grandchildren.

  125. Replying to above: Borderline Personality Disorder isn’t a mood disorder — it’s one of the personality disorders, which are on an entirely separate axis of the DSM. The trouble with personality disorders is that they don’t respond to traditional treatments and medications, b/c they are embedded in the personality — those suffering often believe there is nothing wrong with them, as that’s just the way they are, and they’ll manipulate their social world to uphold that belief in themselves. They are not so well understood, and when confronted by a person with an “untreatable” disorder, therapists have been known even to intentionally misdiagnose. In the case of borderlines, who exhibit the most erratic behavior, they often are diagnosed as BiPolar. But bipolar treatments will not work on someone who does not have bipolar, and it’s potentially dangerous. So be careful. If the medication doesn’t help over time (and a borderline will fake like it’s working, or even fake taking the medication), and/or there seems to be a strongly manipulative and even abusive element to it, check the resources above. There are treatments, but they are new, and not well known.

  126. Namegoeshere-
    I do the “smoothing” because my dad is disabled and he wont leave her no matter what. trying to make it easier on him but not always having to be the one on the end of the battering ram. I am at a loss, finally a doc saw she nneded help and set her up to receive counseling servies and she has basically refused and told them she doesnt need counseling, and cant understand why she was reccomemded for that kind of treatment, she was mad and offended as usual and is currently lodging a complaint against them….she has been crying nonstop over everything and cant seem to go through a day without having a million little meltdowns. She also has ocd and when last i visited her house i noticed her organization was waaaay out of control, overkill on the lining things up etc…she doesnt want help and i fear something bad will have to happen before she will be able to be forced to be admitted. 😦

  127. It is amazing to read these stories and I already feel so much better knowing that I am not alone. I feel that my mother has suffered from bipolar since I cant even remember when. When I was growing up she would love me one moment and start screaming and ranting the next, so I literelly never knew where I stood and was always trying to please her as I was soooo terrified of her and her moods. I am now nearly 37 with 3 beautiful children and she still manages to push the limits all the time. I have had to deal with her being downright nasty and manipulating to my close friends and my children when she is on a down. This in itself has pulled me down emotionally for most of my life. She has spent each and every last dime and is always asking to borrow money saying that she will pay it back but lies as to when she can. She is always putting my dad down (the saint he is has always stayed married to her) I have always allowed her into my space thinking I only need to keep her informed of big goings on and not my day to day living but she is so nosy wanting to know everything and will even ask my sister whats happening…..with no luck there either!! My mother has always tried to cause hassles between my sister and myself and will put the one sister down to the other on a regular basis. One of us is either in her good books or vice versa. I am undergoing therepy at the moment and have decided that the only thing to do to get myself feeling better about her is to totally cut her out of my life. She is a nasty, manipulating woman and I need to start moving on without her in my life. My sister and I dread any family occasions as she always manages to totally mess things up for us and our families. As a child I trusted my mother only to have the trust broken all the time and the same applies today although I trust her with nothing and have even warned my children about her and her behaviour. It is about time she accepts she has a problem(she never will) but now she is going to lose half of her family and I am going to be strong against her critisisms, lies and manipulating ways once and for all!!!! Or at least start my process to a happier bipolar free life for my beautiful family who I need to protect from her!! We all need to support and be here for one another wherever we are on this wonderful planet!! let me know your stories

  128. I am so grateful to have found this site. I too thought I was alone. My mother has bi-polar her first episode was when I was 6. I am an only child to a single mother. I knew from an early age that she was different. I too have felt imense guilt, shame and anger. I have seen my mother try and kill herself twice. It makes me feel better to know I am not the only one out there that has gone through some similar experiences of this horrible illness. There has come a point in my life I am 22 that I have decided to cut her out of my life. I am done. I love my mum very much, but I am sick of worrying about her, if she will take her medication on time etc. She put me through hell and never put me first. I feel like the roles were reversed growing up. I don’t feel like she is my mother. A lot of things growing up I thought was normal but it became apparent it wasn’t. I was so scared growing up. I also feel my mother is jealous and competitive towards me. My mum has been in and out of hospital since I was 6. A common theme yes is talking about sex and being promiscuos. She would blame her illness on not being able to get a job. I remember being in grade 5 and waiting for her to leave the house after getting no sleep because she was manic, had turned the house upside down. I called the police because she went for a walk and was stomping around and looking at the house. She was put into hospital and she hated me for it. she called me the devil for putting her in there. Often times my mother i do believe would bring on the illness herself by going away on her art socirty trips and smoking dope. the final straw for me was after 10years of not working she finally gets a job only to tell me she earns more money than me. not once since i have moved out of home has she helped me out or even offered to. Growing up primary school was just an escape for me because I didn’t want to go home to face that. I remember the stigma attached with mental illness and quickly learned that you don’t go around telling people your mum is in a mental hospital especially kids. i would often have to live with my grandparents when mum was sick and it wasn’t any better there either. i remember mum calling from hospital 7 times a day for cigarettes. i remember her taking my skirt for drama and turning the house upsidee down. for calling my great uncle a pedophile. for telling me to get on the ground when i was 10. stomping around the house. acusing me of hiding the pepsi max. for coming into my room and flicking the switch really fast. telling me that without make up i wouldn’t be pretty anymore. the verbal abuse was hard. it was hard explaining to my friends that would come to my door after a night of sleeplessness of her manic episode and me just having to go to school and act as though nothing was going on, to explain why my mother had left bobby pins in the door and the ladder infront of it. my mum would always take out all the photo’s and was very destructive. she would often ruin things. she got charged for pouring oil onto someone else’s car during a manic episode. she would miss dr’s appointments because of her course or sometimes i believe she wanted to be manic as she was more creative when she was. mothers day was never fun always being told i was nearly put up for adoption. sometimes i wish i was. i felt my family wanted me to take care of her. i felt robbed of a childhood. my only dreams growing up was moving out of home because i was so unhappy. i dont know whats worse the depression or the mania. some days my mum wouldn’t even get out of bed, it was frustrating, yet she could still smoke like a chimney. she claimed to have no money yet was receiving my youth allowence into her bank account which did not go on my education. i remember she had a drugo boyfriend and i was an impressionable kid and very guilable and would believe a lot of what she would say. she said if i told granny and papa we were going to bali she’d strangle me. my family didn’t offer me much support and most of the attention was focused on mum. mental illness does run in our family but before i was born my mother was heading down a bad path on drugs. i had no guidence of my mother. i remember when i was in grade 6 and thats when i started getting angry at my mother and that i realised i didn’t want to become like her. my mother has taught me nothing. i feel guilt because i do love her but another part of me thinks what kind of parent has she been to me. i remember being 8yrs old and we had $40 to live off for the weekend and she spent it on cigareetes. i remember nagging her to pay my school fees. i am scared of becoming like her and that i may have picked up on some of her moody behaviours. everyone gives into her. she has failed to protect me. i’m just so angry.

  129. I have struggled with officially labeling my insane mother as “bi-polar.” She refuses treatment, and says she only has “emotional disorders.” Today I googled “is my mother bi-polar” and I came across your blog. It was as though I was reading my own blog posts. I cannot believe the parrallels between your experiences and my own. She has put so much doubt in my mind, my entire life, because she is such a master manipulator. After reading your blog posts I feel so much more at ease with my diagnosis of her condition. It has been nearly 9 months since I stopped all communication and contact with her in an attempt to protect my child from her negative and unstable influence. I see that you have not posted since January, and I hope that you are well. Thank you for sharing your story.

  130. Hi. I’m an 18 year old girl whose mother has bipolar disorder. Right now I’m pretty sure she’s hypomanic – probably turn into real mania next week when I move out for good. I understand she is feeling hysteric because I’m leaving the nest.. But I just want to get away from her. I feel like I’m finally ‘free’ of my obligations to look after her. Tonight I had to ring the police because I was unaware of where she was and had reason to believe she was drink driving. Manic episodes always seem to happen at the most important parts of my life but this time I’m just going to get away… I am the child and it is not my job to do this any more. Rant, but getting it off my chest. Nice to have found this blog.

  131. I am absolutely sick of my mother and done with all the pain she put me through my entire life. As a child, I never knew who I was coming home to. She ashed a cigarette in my father’s eye, would show up drunk or delusional to most of my sporting events. One way or another, she always found a way to make a circus out of my life and no matter what HER actions were, it was always her children’s fault or her husband’s fault. I have brothers and sisters who have ended up with severe drug and alcohol problems. I’m sure a lot of it was due to the terror they endured growing up. How many times can a mother threaten to kick you out of your house or send you to foster care for ridiculous reasons. I will never know what it means to have a strong foundation but I have learned from my past. I have learned NOT to let her make me feel guilty anymore, to have boundaries when she gets out of control. The sad part is that children have no where else to go when they are young and have no choice but to be subjected to the pain and confusion that their parent causes. It really is a form of abuse and I don’t think any child should have to grow up like that. I recall bringing boyfriends home just to gasp when I would find her drunk with her robe zipper down to her belly button, trying to show off for my HIGH SCHOOL boyfriend. There are so many horror stories. These people are really sick and they need help but the children need help as well. Luckily, I was able to pull myself out of the fire but I only learned after years of running to the wrong men that I thought would marry me and “fix my instability”. I finally sought conseling and moved on with my life. The best piece of advice I can live by is DONT FEEL GUILTY for having boundaries. My mother wouldn’t take her medication many times. It was like living in a black hole that was sucking me lower and lower. There was no rational reason for any of her rants and they would just come out of nowhere! I was a popular girl but I eventually became introverted because I was so confused about my life and tired of crying to my friends. Why did my own mother keep telling me I was a bad person when others liked me and believed in me? It’s sad that my father was too weak to take us away from that enviorment. He too, would participate in putting down his children and abusing them when my mother was upset with him. It was sick and we were the whipping posts. I’m a grown woman now and I look at them with such disgust. I rarely see them and when I do, there is always some crazy, nonproductive nonsense going on with them. Now that my mother doesn’t have children to abuse any longer, she is slowing killing my father with her psychological torture and there is nothing I can do about it. They are grown adults, they have made their own choices, I am not their parent. I’m DONE.

    • Words cannot describe how happy I am to find this website & read your story. I went through the same things growing up & will soon be finally moving out of my mothers for good. She had such an impact on my childhood. Threatening to kill me, kick me out of the house all of the time, send me to foster care, physically and mentally abuse me, Threaten to call my employer, post signs of my at my university saying i was sleezy,she has called my boyfriend leaving him messages saying that I cheat on him the list goes on. The worst part of all of this is that she takes credit for my success. I’ve went to university & have a career & she thinks its because she raised me so well & was always there for me. My father lived in another province my entire life – i have alaways wanted to live with him but my mother had custody of my brother (who she has never subjected to her torture) so I chose to be around him. It has really affected me. I’m moving out & she is now threatening to stalk me and move to my neighborhood. Soon i will be cutting her out of my life completely. I can’t say I feel bad that she hasn’t enough income to survive, no job, no parter, no assets or retirement…no sanity. I hate this woman more than words can describe. I look forward to the day I no longer have to worry about what manipulative scheme she will come up with next. I have no one to talk to about this. Nobody understands what I go through because words cant describe the mental toll it takes on you. I feel like I’m going crazy. I think to myself everyday….why me god. IM DONE AS WELL.

  132. Namegoeshere,
    Thank you for starting this site. Kudos to you and your family for your courage and forthrightness! I found this site at a time when I really needed it and have spent some time reading through all of the posts, to find that while the details might be different, the essence of my story with my mother has been repeated over and over again in previous posts.
    Nevertheless, as I find this site cathartic, I would still like to share my story. My mother was diagnosed bipolar when I was a teenager, as was my sister. My biological father has been in and out of my life with little consistency. My step-father, until recently, has been the only stable influence in my life. I am married now and my husband, who is wonderful and very stable, and I are planning to start a family in the near future. When my husband and I were dating and throughout our engagement, my mother was her most charming self. I was honest with him about hers and my sister’s bipolar illness—but it was incredibly hard for him, at the time, to fathom that this charismatic woman could be so destructive. I grew up experiencing her rages against me, her depression, and caring for her to the point of feeling drained of any feelings other than guilt. She had frequently cut me out of her life in various ways, but always came around. I have been called every name in the book and she has spread rumors and lies about me to such a point that I strive not to have common associations with her. Until I was in my late 20’s, I really believed that because I was strong and rational, I could handle her. I have always stood up to her behaviors and set boundaries with her. I have been in contact with her doctors, to the extent that I was able, and helped her through suicide ideation by contacting her medical support team and being available for her as she needed. I have been the daughter who has been stable and has worked hard. As I started to become successful in my adult life, she seemed to resent it. She has always expected me to be successful, but as time passes and what she wished has slowly occurred, I think she feels jealousy. She has so much intelligence and creativity—and were it not for the bipolar, I do not doubt her capacity for success. I have noticed that her bipolar has become worse in recent years since my maternal grandmother died and it seems to me that the event of my wedding somehow triggered a point of no return in our relationship. My husband and I paid for and planned out our wedding on our own, but somehow my mother still managed to attempt to make it all about her and my sister. Since the wedding, she has been nearly impossible to please and has manipulated the rest of the family into thinking that my husband and I have no inclination to be a real part of the family. This is not true—or at least was not true until recent events occurred. I have done my best to encourage a distance between my mother and my husband, because in previous relationships, I have discovered that letting my mom get close to my significant others usually causes a lot of unwanted drama, such as loose boundaries (i.e. mom showing up at past boyfriend’s work with gifts or mom trying to befriend past boyfriends to such a point that they would never believe she could treat me so poorly).
    In the case of my husband, I told him early on about the bipolar and he was able to see some evidence of it behind the scenes in written communication she would send me. However, even the plan to distance him from my mother backfired. Recently, she went completely manic on both him and me, berating us over the phone and over email for such things as having a clean house, wanting to enjoy the outdoors, not showing enough care and concern to my stepfather when his mother passed on, etc… . None of her arguments held water. My husband and I both replied rationally, but firmly. In response, my mother played the victim card and convinced my stepfather and sister that my husband and I were at fault and that we attacker her. Talk about projection! We have now been cut off from the entire family on my side. This is heartbreaking, as I am extremely close with my nieces and nephews and have now been told by my sister that she will never speak to me again. As an aunt, I really have no recourse for visitation rights. It really hurts to think that an entire family could be so seduced by my mother’s manipulation that they make decisions which negatively affect the kids. The sad thing is that my mother does respond to boundaries—if they are set firmly and maintained. When she had burned all of her bridges and I was the only one left who would speak to her several years ago, I set clear boundaries and was able to get her some help. She came out of her depression and did not rapid cycle for quite a while. Once the rest of the family saw that she had normalized, they all came back. However, none of them ever set true boundaries with her and so the bipolar in her is fed and the fun, creative, loving mother I remember from before the bipolar became really bad is being slowly starved out of existence. Thank you for letting me get this out of my system.

  133. This has been a great find for me. I am a 46 year old child of a bipolar mother. My parents have been married for 53 years. Very very unhappily married. I am sure my father thought he was doing the right thing by keeping the family together but it would have been much better for my brother and I if we had not been exposed to our crazy mother while growing up. I have been through 11 hospitalizations with my mother. She is a horrible , horrible person. She goes to church and is such a hipocrite that it has turned my brother and myself against religion. She has been well medicated for 35 years now. The medication only serves to keep her out of the hospital for a short amount of time and then it is another long hospital stay to adjust medication. I truly do not know if the medication does any good. Now that she is older she has lost most cognative ability. She cannot have a creative thought. She is just plain dumb. I think the bipolar has eaten her brain and she has nothing left but ugliness. Maybe as they age bipolars just can’t hide there true selves anylonger and all the bad comes out. All I know is that she has ruined my life and that of my fathers. She is the worst example of a wife and mother anyone could have.
    Thanks for letting me vent

  134. My husband is 49. We have a great 24-year relationship and a beautiful 7 year old daughter. His 81 year old mother is clearly undiagnosed bipolar. She has made his (and his brother’s) life a living hell since forever. There was always mean-spirited drama, chaos, put-downs and the fear that she would abandon them as little children. Recent quote: “I should have brought you and your brother to a river and drown you when you were babies.” I’ve met no one on her side of the family — all relations ended with people not speaking to one another, which, coming from a large, loving family, I never understood. We always joked that she couldn’t even fill one table at our wedding. She also always pitted her two sons against each other. We moved 3000 miles aways 16 years ago (fantasic decision!!). My husband is very gentle and kind. In fact, his 86 year old father lives near us and is a big part of our life, in a good way (parents divorced). He is in lovely assisted living adn we handle all his medical and financial needs. His ganddaughter adores him. My husband’s brother is horribly mean-spirited, angry and most likely undiagnosed bipolar, too. Anyway, to get to my real point, relations are horribly strained between my husband, and his brother and mother. This summer, at age 81, mom was evicted from her apartment and had to be moved to a nursing home. Within a month they kicked her out for beligerance & attack on staff. She spent a month in a hospital’s psych ward where one Dr. said she was the most manipulative woman he’s ever met. She was moved to a different nursing home and now is back in ICU for about a month now, due to failed breathing and not eating. Also has pneumonia and infections. She has lost her will to live. My husband had not been back to see her in 3 years. I urged him to go. He said he was not sure that’s how he wants to last see/remember her. I said, this is not about you. She has 2 sons, and the good one does not care to see her as she’s dying. We did fly in & visit last week. Yesterday my husband’s brother called to say that the doctor thinks they should consider hospice care for her, with less than 6 months to live. Brother does not know what to do (never could make a decision), and my husband has no interest in getting involved. My husband is silently punishing his brother by making him deal with all this. There’s a whole long brother story that I will not go into. Just trust me that it’s a doozie. Although I do not particularly like mom, I am having a hard time not getting involved with this hospice decision. It would be easy to turn a blind eye and let her just die. But this hospice decision is tricky — it requires proactively providing love and care to someone who never earned it. What do you make of all this????

  135. I think if you have compassion for her, you will feel better about it in the end and your husband will feel better after she dies. I understand because of what my father is going through with his mother (my grandmother) who was always so cruel to him and has been kicked out of many assisted livings for behavior issues. I think you are probably in a better place to help her than he is, just like I can help a lot more with my grandmother than my dad can. It is so hard and delicate and painful.

  136. Hello, my name is Julie. I am the step-mother to a 11 year old child who’s mother has Bi-polar disorder. My husband and I received custody of “J” 5 years ago when her mother was constantly high on meth. She has 3 children by 3 different men and voluntarily gave up custody with a smile on her face and was literally high when she did it. from what I know of her and unfortunately had the experience of having to clean up many of her lies, tall tales, empty promises, etc. that she would subject J to. J and her mother had/have a very unhealthy relationship, as her mother would and still does treat her more like a best friend, versus a child. J pretty much mothered her (at the age of 7) mother during her drug induced states, was dragged around to the crack houses and God knows what else. Her mother took J out of school, telling family members that she was being home schooled. This was after she already gave up custody of the two other siblings. When we received J she was a physical and emotional wreck. She would barely speak to anyone, as she was so fearful, and would only eat chicken nuggets and milk. It took lots of counseling, medical attention, hygiene, (she had several teeth pulled due to a severe lack of hygiene). She needed counseling, patience, lots of love, re-teaching of good personal hygiene, a home with a positive environment and structure, healthy meals and positive interaction. My heart when out to J and I was horrified at what her mother would continually put her through. Poor J, she always and kept wanting to believe that her mother would follow through with her promises but alas, she never does. We finally told J that her mother was Bi-polar and I have tried to inform and educate her about her mother’s illness. I have always tried to be supportive and let her know that she should love her mother but not enable her. She is just now understanding that her mother still lies to her and went from one addiction to another(alcohol). J is still angry about her mothers drug addiction and has tried to get her mother to answer her many questions but again they are met with lies. I have tried to reach out to her mother, but she is so jealous of me and the relationship that I have with J. J is so worried about offending her mother that she won’t hardly even speak of me when talking to her mother. J’s father doesn’t ever want to deal with any confrontations so he never puts any constraints on her mothers visitations. J goes to visit her mother every summer and I hold my breath every time she comes back because her mother manipulates her and I get treated like, well, you know. Anyway, I need to know how to keep J safe from continual pain, or should I let her experience it, so she can finally understand that her mother won’t change until she confronts her diagnosis and gets on medications. Suggestions, help, anything please.

    • hi julie, im 25 and have been through alot with my mum, my adviceis shelter j in the ways that you can, and give her th needs that her mother cant, that way she will have the stability she needs with you, but yes let her experience what her mother has to do to her, it will make her realise when she is a bit older that she doesnt need her mothers crap and she will be able to move on. hope this helps, take care

  137. why do adult children of bipolar mothers have panic attacks at the mention of their name or when they have to speak to them? How do they move past this?

    • It’s a flinch, nothing more. A conditioned reaction that took years to develop. It gets a bit better once you realize that YOU are the adult, dealing with your parent who behaves like a child.

  138. I believe my mother has undiagnosed bi-polar disorder,

    I am a 25 year old college graduate, living independently, with a full time career, someone most people would consider successful. In high school i was president of my class, captain of the swim team, secretary of the arts honor society, involved with theater, choir and marching band. Despite all of these things my mom has insisted i would become a failure. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when i was 7 years old and from that point on i had to learn to take care of her and myself, making her lunch, doing things to make her happy, keeping the house quiet. I have a very supportive father but i was forced to grow up too fast. When she went into remission she wanted to assume her role of mother and tried to control every aspect of my life, even though i was 11 and had been independent for 4 years. I was not allowed to join my friends at parties, i was forced to stay at home locked in my room while she screamed at me about something i “did” wrong. By the time i was in 8th grade i had begun to have suicidal thoughts, my teachers and school counsellors sent me to therapy where i learned to pretend that nothing was wrong. It was important to my mother that we appeared normal. throughout high school we would have blow out arguments where she would drive me to the police station screaming for help because i told her i wanted to get out of the car she was holding me hostage in. i ran away several times sometimes wearing no shoes because she had taken them from me. My dad left her when i was a sophomore and told me i could always come with him but i was afraid to leave her. He had to rescue me several times because she had hit me… or had trapped me in a corner screaming telling me that i wanted her to die. The last straw was when I was 17, she told me she hated me and i ran away for the last time. Though i spent the last of my senior year sleeping on my grandmas couch in a crowded house, i had hope in my heart for the first time ever. I finally was able to see the beauty in life, and everyday was better then before.
    It isn’t until now that i can honestly admit how abusive this relationship was… and still is, at 25 she is still telling me i will never succeed because i have tattoos, asking me why i didn’t kill her (I would never want to harm another person or animal, i am even vegetarian). What i don’t understand is why i cannot cut her out of my life completely.. why that sounds so much more painful then trying to understand her illness. For some reason i would rather have a crazy mom then none at all. I am worried about her right now… which is why i have been doing research… her actions have had a negative impact on everything in my life. I don’t want to let her go. I am terrified about ending up like her.

    but i feel everything i have accomplished in life… i have done to prove her wrong.

  139. First and foremost, my gratefulness for this site goes without saying. It is shocking to see how many people have dealt with the same thing as I have, in varying degrees of severity. Reading this blog is like reading pages out of a diary of my life. I think I am in a semi-unique situation given that both my mother and her twin sister are without a doubt MANIC. The odd thing is that they feed off each other’s energy. And they are so alike, it is kind of scary. They will talk like best buddies on the phone, and then bad mouth each other to me, when I am in the unfortunate position of facing them without an escape route. To get to the nuts and bolts, for the longest time I thought I was the crazy one. I thought from a young age that I was the person causing her anguish, either me or my father, or stepfather. As I grew older, I realized that my dad, stepdad and myself were not the ones to blame. We were the sane people and because we actually cared about her, we inadvertently fed the fuel into the fire and gave her more ammunition to come at us with. Like many people here, I have dealt with the trauma and embarrassment of having my mother and aunt pull their antics on me at any possible occasion. There have even been a few situations where I have had friends over, when I felt it was safe enough and my mother would behave, only to have her go through outbursts and humiliating insults and downright lies. She would start these insane arguments with me, saying things that made no sense and no proof, like I was on meth and I’m a thief, arguments that held no clout whatsoever. My friends and I would sit there traumatized when all was said and done, and I would explain to them that she has a mental problem and that I am sorry they had to witness that. I explained this is the reason why I would not invite them over and it is nothing personal so please do not take anything she says seriously. Thank god I have good and supportive friends who understand and see me for the person I am. I would have been just as easy for them to walk away and oust me from what little social circle I had. I realized this is not normal from a young age, while spending what little time I could at a friends house and seeing a mother who could love and care and clean and cook. A mother who would unconditionally love her family without being so enveloped in what wasn’t done for her. I realized that other mothers do not go from states of rage and frenzy regardless of who it might affect, to states of catatonia. My mother has never been formally diagnosed nor treated with anything, but I cannot help but believe that some ill fated neurological force is at work here.
    Over the years, her abuse, in conjunction with my fathers denial have thrown my sister and I into varying degrees of depression. I am a 22 year old recent college graduate and my sister is a 17 year old high school shining star. I grew up with my mother most of the time, along with my sister. I am delighted in the fact that my sister has been a witness to what I have been through, and has taken it upon herself to live with my father who is a role model for what a single divorced father should be. In all reality, he was not there for us most of the time, but with good cause. He has, over the years, built a very successful and fruitful business that provided for my college and my sisters private education and the like. Unfortunately, even though he divorced my mother, he just thinks she is “nuts” and not legitimately ill. His view on the matter is funny at times, things like putting a magnet on his refrigerator that says “It is better to have loved and lost than to be married to a crazy b**** for the rest of my life.” All has not been bad, contrary to what one may think. I have an awesome girlfriend who has learned to talk about her fathers alcoholism because of how open I am about my mother’s problem. We have developed a no questions asked understanding of each other when we go through our respective parents episodes. I have gotten her to understand that she has to be in control of her own life and not let her father bring her down. She would bottle up her fear and aggression and beat herself up for it. She would not be up front and open with me until I could help her get out from under the shell.
    Ultimately, when I went to college and got out from under my mothers tyranny, I kinda broke loose. I started running with the wrong people and began to get into hard drugs. There were nights that the combination of chemicals in my body would probably kill a normal person. I developed a blatant disregard for my own well being in order to make the subconscious pain and anger go numb. After a while I found my favorite drug, Oxycodone, the super potent narcotic pain killer that is disturbingly similar to heroin. Any time I came home for a school break, I would inadvertently have to deal with my mother’s warpath, when this happened, I would turn to my pill and all would go away. It became a coping mechanism for me, until I realized that I was slowly killing myself. Under the wing of my loving girlfriend, I sought help, and now 2 years clean. I have developed a thick skin towards my mothers slander and threats, and am very close to being rid of it forever. She has this nasty method of lulling people into a false sense of security, then spewing venom that would make Osama bin Ladin shiver in his little boots. The best part is that she doesn’t have a drinking problem, but she certainly has a problem when she drinks. The outbursts and lashing out becomes even more untamable and there is no point in trying to do anything about the situation other than putting her in a straight jacket, if we had one. I guess the bright light at the end of the tunnel is the fact that I will be getting out of this tyranny soon, I am very close to getting a good job and being able to support myself without having to comply with her insane demands. Unfortunately because of this horrible economy, I have been subjected to this horrid environment for much longer than I had anticipated and finally I will be able to start my life with my beautiful girlfriend and an move on.
    There are millions of other antics that I could have mentioned here, but I am sure that most of you have been there and done that. Thank you for listening to me. Even though I would not wish this way of life on anyone, it is nice to see there are other people in my shoes and who can understand what it is like to live in these circumstances and not have gone crazy themselves. To quote one of the other replies on this board, “I never knew what I was coming home to”, I think that sums it up.

  140. My mom has bipolar and schizophrenia; had it since before I was born. I am young…but I feel like an old parent. She has a severe case, and moves from depression to yelling in seconds; there is no happiness. My father was abusive and even took my sister and I away from our mom…I came back to her, but it didn’t last. My family expects me to turn bipolar…and I try SO hard to prove them wrong that I think I might drive myself to it.
    I’m in college…and I worry about her all the time.
    I contact her weekly (email)…but I’d do it less if I could.
    I resent her, but I love her!
    I feel so guilty. She’s in such pain and it seems to go away when I’m there.
    I’ve moved out more times than I can count.
    She wakes me up b yelling.
    She calls me names…tells me I’m useless…says she hates me..
    I cry out, “I’m sorry!” and she throws cat litter in my face.

    Then later tells me she misses me. “Please come home, I made dinner!”, she says.

    I tell her no, that I will never live there again. But, I will visit.
    It isn’t enough…and she lives alone.

    What do I do?
    I’d honestly rather have never known her…

    • hi anonymous
      i found this website last night and wrote a message, but i wanted to write to you as yours stands out to me, you are asking what to do…. heres my advice, cut the strings with your mum and live your life, i have just found the strength to do that and my life is going much better, your mother will feed off you your entire life if you let her. and like you say you dont want your mum to drive you to have depression. i understand you love her as i love my mum and it is hard.
      my aunt told me a few years ago to cut my mum off, i didnt heve the strengh then, but she said to me ” your mum will find someone else to feed off” and its true i cut my mum off and she has found other people to “harass”
      also ask yourself would you let a friend treat you like that? i know i wouldnt…
      i hope this helps a wee bit, but its nice to know other people share your pain, take care

    • You have to set boundaries, and enforce them. It’s not easy, but it is the only way. Her pain isn’t your fault, and isn’t your responsibility to resolve. You have to be careful not to make it worse out of spite or revenge.

      For starters, don’t appologize for something that you haven’t done. If you call or visit, and she gets nasty, tell her you’re sorry it didn’t work out this time and that you might try again next week. Then don’t answer the phone. Once the messages (and you’ll get some good ones) calm down, you can try again if you like.

      With my mother, it got to the point that my ONE condition was that she be under the care of a doctor for her bipolar and following his instructions – including taking meds.

    • Hi there… I don’t know if you read my earlier posing from march (up Above) but i can totally feel for you. its soo difficult, and people that do not deal with this, really have absolutely no idea what it’s like.
      The worst of it is not the names, or emotional trauma, or embarrassment… we all get a thick skin towards that by the age of 16 (even though it still stings deep down)… The worst is when it affects your life to the degree where academic or work performance begins to suffer. If it gets bad enough, we might use a coping mechanism like booze or drugs (oxys for me) to make the hurt and frustration and bottled up rage go away. Eventually one does not even recognize. The bi-polar mind does not have this self recognition and therefore justifies what it does to harm others as a defense mechanism.
      I feel the most effective way to deal with the “venomous” outbursts is to simply ignore them… i didnt think it would work either… not to say if you might be physically/socially/professionally harmed, you have the right to defend your self against her, but otherwise, just ignore it/her, ive learned the bipolar mother feeds off of attention.. if you can help it (which is tough but remember you not dealing with a rational person), just take the fuel away from the fire and let is smoulder out.The silent treatment works fine, but you must be present. eventually the mania subsides becuase nothing is feeding and stimulating it. Because they still crave attention and dont get it thru negative means they have no choice but to fizzle out and revert to being the nice person we see once in a blue moon. If you scream back at her or return the argument, its like trying to put out a fire with gasoline and there are no limits to the damage a bi-polar woman can do.

      • johnnyboy:
        While ignoring the venom & outbursts may ‘work’ in the sense that they no longer bother you, it really does nothing to fix the problem. Bipolar people are fueled internally, and no external risk/reward scheme even applies. Like I told Dad on many occasions, you can make it as much worse as you like, but there is nothing you can do to make it any better.

        Children of bipolars are the ones that grow thick skins. Anyone else exposed to them without that history won’t handle it well. Think spouses & children. The only reasonable choice for many is to cut contact entirely.

  141. I am 31 years old and my Husband and I recently had to seperate ourselves from my mother. She is Bipolar, and doesnt take her medication all the time. I work for my Grandparents Business(my mothers parents) and when ever she gets mad at me for little things like going out with one of her friends for dinner and done invite her to come along she flips out and takes it out on my Grandparents and there fore at work they take their mood out on me. The stress all my life has been horrible, and I have really bad anxiety from the stress my mother has caused me. She never has ever appologized, and it is always her way, and she tells everyone I treat her aweful, and how I should appologize when she is the one in the wrong. She flips out if you dont tell her everything, or invite her along to places. No matter when she is in the wrong my Grandparents take her side and take it out on me. I always have terrible anxiety, and from my nerves getting so bad I shake. I have had to deal with this all my life, and it has gotten worse each time. Most recently a guy that works with my mother, well his girlfriend bought my father in laws house and we didnt say anything to her about who bought the house cause we knew she would bother him about it, and it was confidential. Well when she found out about it she asked me if I knew and I said yes and she flipped she said I have been making it a habit to not tell her things. Well we didnt talk for a month then we slowly started talking again and we went out to eat with one of her friends and her fiancee and she freaked out when she found out cause we didnt invite her and she told me I do these things just to hurt her and how I treat her aweful. She also buys us things constantly, she is a compulsive shopper and when she gets mad she use’s the fact that she did somthing nice for us and it is always about what she did for us. I cant never talk to her about anything cause she will tell people cause she cant keep things to herself. Her and my Grandmother tell people I treat them aweful. I just have had enough and have had to come to a choice to cut my mom out of my life and she has told people I am dead to her and how she is done with us. The stress has gone away and I am getting happiness back into my life daily.

  142. I am the adult child of a second generation bipolar mother. My grandmother was bipolar and though she never outbursted on her grandchildren, I remember the guilt tripping and irrationality she imposed on my mother and her husband (my grandfather). My mom had a crap childhood and I know it, she also suffers from bipolar and while not as severe as my grandmother (as far as I know my mother has never tried to commit suicide) the moodiness, extreme irrationality, and escapism she performed on my childhood has certainly left its mark. My father left emotionally, not physically thank goodness, although looking back I’m not sure it would have made much of a difference. I remember having to console my mother on several occasions throughout my childhood and the feeling of awkwardness this brought on. No child should have to take care of an adult. While I was filling a role I shouldn’t have been, she wasn’t fulfilling her role. She was never there for me, not in the little things, the things that seem insignificant but build that relationship. There was and is always some meeting to go to, something in her schedule she just can’t miss. I am so mad at her right now because the things that really bug me about growing up with her, she is now doing to my son. She called last night shortly after 9pm to ask me what time I am planning for my son’s FIRST birthday party. I told her I wasn’t sure but probably sometime in the morning, her response to me was “oh good, I have such and such in the afternoon, it was in my pda for a while now, blah blah blah” I said “what would you have said if I told you it was in the afternoon?” Mom: “oh, well, I guess they would have to get someone else to fill in for me” (in a tone that said she really didn’t want to have to do that). After I hung up the phone my thought was, “You know, sorry your only grandson’s First birthday party is such a frieken inconvenience for you.” In not so many words and fill in the expletives where you like.
    It has been that way ever since I was a child, some meeting or friend taking precedence over family. I specifically remember one incidence where I asked my mother to stay home one night from a meeting to just hang out with me and she flat out refused. She will only visit with us if it is convenient for her. It is beyond me why she would want to hang out with strange people over her own family. Just to be clear, the meetings I refer to were/are: weight loss meetings, sorority meetings, church meetings, spiritual meetings… These aren’t work related, once in a while, oh I really shouldn’t miss this one, kind of meetings.
    If she feels like she has made me mad or upset me she will probably get someone else to take her place, but the fact that she had to call me and check that we fit into her schedule really gets me. And what is my problem? Why don’t I just stand up to her, tell her off? Because I know what it will do, it will send her over the edge and the non-stop emotional rollercoaster until she knows I am not mad at her anymore. Instead of throwing the guilt onto others she takes it on herself, she’ll quit her job, scale back on commitments, land in the valley of depression until she goes to the doctor to have her medication changed again. And then all will be “well” for a time. So I avoid it, I don’t want to piss her off and feel like I need to pick up the pieces or forgive her, again.
    I’m tired. Tired of walking on eggshells all the time with her, tired of the fallouts, tired of the anticipation of the fallouts (it will happen again, it’s just a matter of when). Thanks for having a place like this where people like me can vent our frustrations.

  143. I am in my late twenties. My mom had her first episode when she was 16; 16 yrs before I was born then when she was 41 she started to have episodes when I was 9. Life was perfect up until then. All of my teenage yrs were spent visiting her in and out of mental facilities. She would disappear for nights or get drunk and pass out. She tried to kill herself withh pills several times. She was delusional. My familys sadness would turn into anger once we seen the pattern of her taking her meds and doing so well then stop taking them and start the maddness alll over again. It was a nightare. It was stressful hiding this huge secret as a teen. I have 3 other siblings and we are very close and greatful we made it out that mess. One huge thing I am greatful for is when my mom was sane she gave us a christian foundation. We stayed grounded because of our belief. When I had my first child coming out of high school my mom was there but like I said never consistent.

  144. I told her if she doesn’t take her meds she will never be a part of my childs life and from that day(10yrs ago) she never had an episode since. Even though she is taking her meds and is a great grandmother it wows me how stable she is. In a lot of ways it kind of makes me mad sometimes too. How come she couldn’t make that decesion then? All of us siblings are saved in Christ Jesus. My dad who resents her to this day because what she put him and us kids through(but what I found out later in life cheated on her before she flipped) was also baptized. In the end we all came out pretty tough . I also learned my mom was abused my her mother who was bipolar. How my story unfolded is a miracle to me. I guess the hardest part of having a bipolar parent as a child and then being an adult is not knowing exactly how this has effected myself as an indivisual. Now my mom at least once a yr apologizes for her past. She can’t hold a job and is a little slow in some areas but I’m thankful for her.

    • I’m truly happy for you. My mother was given the same choice, and unfortunately took the other path. We still pray for her, but it will take a miracle to change her.

  145. Today, I goggled “I hate my bipolar mother” and found this site. Thank you for creating a place where I can express myself and share my feelings. I am 58 years old and my bipolar mother is 80. I severed the relationship with her about 2 years ago. It took me over fifty years of therapy, meditation, and her toxic behavior to finally come to terms with the fact that I don’t want to give her the next 20 years of my life. I spent most of my life being the dutiful daughter and excusing her behavior that it was due to her illness. Sometimes I just feel so sad and other times so angry that I didn’t walk away years ago and I let her manipulate me. From all that I read about psychology, I understand I was striving for a mother’s love that is not available. My father abandoned our family at the age of 2. I often referred to my mother as mean and evil. One day, one of the counselor’s that I was working with commented, “You are always speaking about your mother’s illness, what about your wellness?” It was one of the most profound statements I had heard and at that moment I realized, I had rights too. So, I wish all of you suffering and still battling this terrible scene the strength and courage to do what is best for you. I am angry with myself that if took so long to get to this place. Even though I have moved on the scars and wounds are deep. I must try and remember just to be good to myself.

  146. Hi – I just wanted to say that finding your blog and reading both your story and those of others in the same situation has been one of the best things that has happened in my coming to terms with my mothers illness.

    I’m 38, and my mother confided in me that she has been diagnosed with bipolar about two years ago. I think that, at that moment, she was looking for forgiveness about her behaviour (yelling irrationally, controlling, chastising, the list goes on – those who read your blog can relate). Her seeking forgiveness (but never apologizing) has happened thrice in my life, each about ten years apart, but when weighed against the abuse it is small change – her behaviour seldom changes. When I have asked her not to speak to me (or yell at me, or say the nastiest things) – it is met with an increase in her abuse. Even living 1000km from her, she still found reasons to call and bully, coerce, and manipulate. I had to move even further. I have been on the other side of the planet for nearly a year, and it has been liberating, and I feel like I am coming to terms with her behaviour. Unfortunately, I am trying very hard to forgive (I don’t think I’m there yet), as I do not believe anyone truly in the driver’s seat would choose to behave that way. I am returning, and although I will be 500km from her, I think I have reflected and healed enough to keep her at a distance and not let her words affect me (incidentally, I work in a high stress environment, and while I lived closer to my mother she still found reason to wake me up in the middle of much needed sleep to chastise me).

    I’m also afraid that as she gets older, her behaviour is deteriorating, from yelling to character assassination (accusing me of using loved ones – and again it’s unfortunate, but the thought of those words get my hackles up – I have to remind myself that they are words of a mad-person – but perhaps it’s the fact that they come from your mother that still make them hurtful).

    Upon my return, I will have to tell my mother outright that I cannot tolerate her abuse. It is sad, and it is truly not done out of spite, but distance seems to be the best thing for me (and I should add, my new family).

    Your situation has provided some very helpful advice to me and others. I will continue following your blog. Thank you.

  147. my mother has borderline personality disorder and those phone messages on youtube sound just like my mom when I ignore her or am too busy to answer the phone every time she calls, I just avoid her.

  148. this site has been so helpful…i haven’t even read half of the entries posted here but it just feels better knowing that there are other people struggling with the same issues. my mother was dianosed with bipolar disorder when i was about 9 or 10 years old and my family has been torn apart by her illness since. i’m currently 21 years old and still having a hard time dealing with the stresses of it all. i will write more eventually but i just don’t have time to organize my thoughts here and now…i wish you all luck.

  149. Dutiful son here, 46. Only person in the world who can understand her, apparently. Mother from screwed up but respectable family. Nasty childhood for me, now a fairly lousy adulthood masked by humour and a genteel stoicism. Probablem is, you cant separate the person from the illness, right? . Fortunately, lithium came along and a new shrink, too; not to take anything away from the old shrinks—diagnosis cant be easy, given the mutability of what they deal with. Nevertheless, I wish for my sake that they had reached an accurate diagnosis sooner.
    I also, sometimes, wish she had succeeded in that suicide attempt a decade ago.

  150. I agree with much of what has been said before. Basically, I am 44 years old and accepting the fact that I hate my mother and think she is one of the most selfish people on the planet. I also hate my father. He is a doctor, yet denied for decades that she had any mental health issues, and so she suffered, we kids suffered. He left the house early every morning for work, and came home well after dinner. Saved by the sanity of the workplace. But now, he’s been retired for 8 years and spending most of his time with her, and he is losing it. Mentally declining. I should feel pity and compassion and all of that, but I don’t. You made your bed – you 2 super smart overly educated people – lie in it.

    I now have 2 kids, and am cutting myself off emotionally from them. Just spent a week at there house – on the surface, it was fine – but in my heart, I know we won’t be going back any time soon. I could deal with the stress of constantly walking on egg shells and trying to keep my 2 little boys in line and following all of the screwed up rules of the household that were establised so long ago because of mother dearest.

    I’m sorry but if someone had cancer or a broken arm, and didn’t seek treatment – do we pith them? Do we offer them compassion? She and my father DID NOTHING. ANd blamed us and forced all of these ridiculous rules and blame on us kids.

    • While it is true that your mother must take ownership of her own problems, it’s not as simple as that. For a very long time, especially when they were growing up, mental illness wasn’t ‘real’. Some few crazy people had it, but not people outside institutions.

      Your father dealt with it by avoidance, and I’m sure you had some coping mechanism as well. Bipolar isn’t something that you have, like a broken arm. The symptoms come and go, and sometimes they will emotionally remain within a ‘norman’ range for quite some time.

      Also, from what I now know, the manic phase of bipolar can be addictive. Effective treatment makes them feel like their brain is running too slowly. And like addicts, they have to be convinced that the ‘high’ comes at a cost that is extreme. Until the cost is high enough, treatment will be avoided.

  151. wow, this is the first time i have looked for information on the internet about bipolar, my m

  152. i am 25 and my mother is bipolar, my father was also mentally unstable and commited suicide when i was 3, my mother told me and my brother that our father was going to kill us as well. i have had that thought in my head for as long as i can remember…i am currently seeking help for this from a counciller which has helped me hugely
    my brother lives in a differant country and has been stronger in not letting our mum wear him down, i on the other hand have spent my life being her puppet and emotional puching bag.i have just realised that enough is enough and i have to cut her off, my mother has emotionally abused me in so many ways, being jelous of me, always telling me i havent done enough for her, finacially ane emotionally depended on me then cut me off when she felt like it if things wernt going her way.she is currently onto her 3rd marrige, her poor husband has no idea what he is in for. she always put men before me, she remarried to another depressed man 1 year after my father died,which ment her children missed out on so much as she was to busy tending to her “new man”. i have constantly had to bear the brunt of her messed up decisions. her own parents have even cut her off at times, which i now understand they did it to protect themselves from her poisen. she never takes responsibility for what she has done to me and my bro, its always about her. for alot of my life i have felt sorry for her, but now i am asking my self, what about me?? when i read everybodys experiences i feel like im reading about my own mother, i feel better now about being able to cut her off, and not feel so guilty. i have to do it or she will destroy me. i feel like i am greiving the death of another parent as she has never and will never be the mother i desperatly wanted and needed. thankfully i have a great network of support from friends and feel lucky that after everything i have been through me and my bro have turned out well!

  153. I know this thread is kinda dead but I need some help. (Also, intriguingly, the last two posts were made on my boyfriend’s brthdate and my sister’s, a sign I hope.)

    I’m 19 and am 99% sure my mother has bipolar. I found out a couple of years ago after my Nana got admitted to hospital and we found out she was bipolar. She had kept it well under wraps and claimed the drugs she was on were to deal with the grief of my aunty, her daughter, committing suicide a number of years ago. She mucked up her pills and spun out and was in hospital for 4 months before they let her out.

    Curious, I looked up the disorder and found in it my entire childhood; from the crying and helplessness to the manic non-stop chatter, money spending, grandiose plans and insomnia. My mother has been through two mental institutions but was never diagnosed and has no idea of her own condition. I have looked after her my entire life, my 18 year old sister is totally oblivious and lives at home with my mum while I live about an hour away and am studying at university while my sister leeches off my mother. I visit almost every weekend.

    As a child I remember holding her countless times as she wept and begged for the world to end. And I remember being woken up in the middle of the night, being told to pack up my things as we were “going on an adventure.” Typically the adventures involved driving hours through the night with no real destination, deciding on somewhere and mum spending copious amounts of money she didn’t have for the next week or so. And that’s how it went for my whole childhood right through till now.

    But my mum has never been violent towards us kids, we don’t see much of my dad and when I confronted him about it a year or so ago, (why did he do nothing and leave us all?) he just said if he took us he would be taking her last sliver of sanity. They had a violent relationship but all my mum told me was that he would beat her, I tend to believe that it was provoked and that she was violent towards him. My father is a very weak man but no amount of provocation should result in that sort of behaviour.

    Now I am at a cross-roads. I want to move about 8 hours away to be with someone I care very deeply about. But of course mum doesn’t want me to go. I don’t know how (or if) I should broach the subject of bipolar and of her getting help because she really doesn’t see it. I have a feeling she may sway me to stay and I couldn’t bear making a decision I’d live to regret.

    Please give me some advice, she is very low and in debt at the moment as she just had a manic episode and flew herself and my sister to Australia on her credit card. I haven’t seen her quite this bad for a few years and it scares me because I can see she feels she is losing us, that we have grown up and don’t need her anymore and thst, to her, deems her purposeless. I love her so much, more than anything and she has been an amazing, caring mother to me who would give me the world if she could. As long as she can keep me that is.

    • Seeing your age, I think I would caution you against moving in with someone. You have only recently realized that your relationship with your mother is ‘different’. Do you have a ‘good’ example of what relationships should look like? Not a fairy tale one, but a real idea of how people can cope with disagreements and difficulties. One where manipulation or coercion aren’t normal?

      I would suggest that you distance yourself from your mother, and concentrate on repairing damage that was done to you BEFORE you start a serious relationship. If you don’t you run a serious risk of becoming co-dependent or enabling.

    • I think you should get away from your mom if you live with her, but be careful, you need to make sure you do not affect yourself or person you care for with your mom’s behavior, or trauma she caused you, I know exactly how you feel, extracting yourself, may be the best choice.

      • Thank you both so much, sorry I have taken so long to reply but I figured that any thanks was better late than never. I am going to move but I have decided to do it alone. As much as the idea of living with someone who is always there for me is comforting I know that it wont be beneficial in the long run, he’ll become my crutch and that isn’t fair. I need to sort myself out on my own first and you both helped me to see that. Of course I still have a long road ahead of me in terms of putting myself before my mother but I am feeling positive about it. For the first time ever I feel like it is not only okay but for the best to put myself first.
        Many thanks to you both.

  154. This website is very interesting to me. I am not the child of a bipolar parent, though my own family is disfunctional in their own ways. My sweet stepson is the one with a bipolar mother. I often wonder how this will affect him in his future.

    He’s 9 now – just a great kid. His mother is recently out of rehab again and on her meds once more. I’ve been a full time custodial step mom for three years now, and the cycle seems to be about every two years her mental health takes a dive, and so does her life. Unfortunately, so does the life of this precious child. He is so defensive and protective of her that he has a hard time talking about how her behaviour affects him. I was trying to decide whether or not he’s REALLY ok, or just saying he’s ok, and stumbled accross this page. I think it’s time for him to be able to talk to someone – and be able to express his feelings without defensiveness or any other protective emotions. I’ll get him into therapy ASAP.

    My best wishes and sympathy for all of you and the expiriences you’ve lived through. The best I can do is try to have one less life effected as negatively as some have been.


  155. Eh, I’m 14, and currently living with my bi-polar mother. She wasn’t so bad until now, and she’s made me so angry, and frustrated that I pushed her pretty hard and she nearly fell. She cut herself several times when I pushed her.
    She responded by punching me twice, of course, it didn’t hurt at all. I have a pretty high pain thresh-hold.
    I try not to get angry because I know of her condition, and I’m not sure, but it may be my teenage hormones or something that makes me so angry with her. Right now, she talks to herself and speaks gibberish and yells for no particular reason. I just sit in my room, and she yells and says “WHY IS THIS HERE?” She spent the entire morning today taking everything out of the kitchen cupboards and putting them back in. She neglected my sister and me and left us with no lunch or dinner until 11 PM.
    My dad tells me to just deal with it until I move out, but I don’t think I can handle her much longer. What I’m asking is for advice. What should I do? I don’t really want to call for authorities or any help because I know she means well, but she does it all in a terrible manner.
    Trying to get her for help was not possible for me. I tried, and she just yells and says we’re the one with a problem, and my dad does nothing. He’s nice and all, but a push-over. I just need advice on what to do, and if this site is dead, so be it. I’ll try to handle it myself, but I may finally snap one day and beat her. I’ve already had thoughts about it, but at night is when I cool down and can reconsider my thoughts.

    • Ah, I forgot to mention. She tries to sue anyone she thinks is wrong, and my family may be in a financial issue if she actually goes through with what she says.
      If a guy comes in to fix the furnace and she says it’s too hot, she says “I’M GONNA SUE THEIR COMPANY!” and swears and slanders their name. She also cheated on my dad before, which I was reluctant to believe as I was 8 when I was told so. She wants to sue my dad too.

    • Frustrated is a normal reaction when dealing with someone who is bipolar. And your hormones probably aren’t helping any, either. You have to remember that YOU are the sane one, and try not to let her aggravate you. Don’t be too hard on your dad, it’s not easy for him either.

      Unless you are in danger of being physically injured, I wouldn’t suggest calling the authorities. Even if they do get involved, it rarely makes things better.

      Until you are able to leave, ‘just deal with it’ is probably the best thing. How is the question. I’d suggest journaling events, and your reactions to them. Writing can be cathartic, and it allows you to go back and review events and your reactions. Both can be helpful. It is sometimes possible to detect a pattern of behavior and predict when she will go off. It also lets you come up with better and more planned responses.

      Don’t underestimate the power of humor. Seeing the absurd side of events quickly removes the stress from them. It might even be profitable later on. There is a guy who wrote down strange things his father said, and it has become a book and TV show starring William Shatner.

      If you do decide to blog or journal online, I would recommend making everything as anonymous as possible. Employers regularly check applicants names online, and something like that might cause problems for you later on.

      I don’t know your mother, but my mother threatens legal action at the drop of a hat. She would never follow through with any of it, because at some level she knows that exposing herself to authority wouldn’t end well for her.

    • First, I want to say that I am sorry about your mother. I, too, had to deal with a bipolar mother and my teenage years.. I understand that it is a lot to handle. I agree with ‘namegoeshere’ in that alerting the authorities will not remedy the situation unless she causes observable physical harm.. and even then, they are limited in subsequent action. My advice, which I dearly wish was given to me at your age:

      Excel in your school activities. If the situation at home is particularly difficult, head to the library or a friend’s house to study. Join in after school activities, play sports. The less exposure you have to the environment, the less you can be utilized as a target. I would start speaking to counselors about college.. I know it sounds early, but looking forward to a bright future can help you through the rough times. You could also look into living on campus.. so that you wouldn’t have to live and home and attend college.

      Most importantly, find positive outlets. I know that this time in your life may be the most confusing.. it’s the time when you need parents the most. Listen to your teachers, your counselors, and good friends. No matter what, believe in yourself.

    • Woah, seems like we have alot in common. I’m 14 too with a mother who I’m almost positive has bpd(borderline personality disorder). We are currently in a huge fight right now because I kept standing up for myself instead of just telling her she’s right even though shes not. What my dad made me realize is that I need to realize that she has a mental illness, and if I don’t want to get hurt.. I have to try my hardest to not let her win. If I keep telling her that she’s wrong, her anger only gets worse and causes more problems. My mo wont admit she’s ill and i’ve stopped telling her because she yells and denies it. My dad knows it too but he said she wont admit it so we’re going to have to learn to live with it. I wouldn’t exactly call my dad a pushover, I just think he wants to be by my moms side because he knows that this illness isnt the real her… he knows deep down shes a good person and I sometimes see it too. Its still dificult being around her because I’m scared that at any moment shes going to have a tantrum or critizize me. Its hard for me to keep my anger in but thats what im learning to do with her. Last night I yelled back and made her feel horrible but what about how she keeps making me feel? I hate having to feel guilty for feeling what I do which is an immense hatred for my mom sometimes. i love her.. i really do… but i know shes completly clueless to the way she causes almost every problem in my house. Just like you, my mom started yelling at me for leaving my shoes in the kitchen and made me feel like crap. She’s like ” I TOLD YOU TO TAKE THESE UP 4 DAYS AGO!!” … which she never did! I know i shouldnt of left my shoes there but the way she reacts to things like that have scard me since I was a child. Every trip we go on there’s fights.. CONSTANTLY. I dont know what to do anymore. im not as strong as my dad who has learned to tolerate my moms behavior. I dont want to turn my back on her because I know she loves me and would do anything for her family but the way she acts violently and critizes me for everything and comparing me to my siblings all the time just keeps lowering my self esteem. Its getting hard to pretend im okay around my friends. When i was younger i always knew there was something off about my mom but I wasnt a depressed kid.. I was always pretty oblivious to all the bad in the world. Why cant it be like that now? Why does it keep getting harder to be w her. Im always comparing myself to everyone and im having trust issues because of my mom. It was a big relief to find this page… knowing that im not the only one makes me feel a little less alone. I’m lost and I dont know what to do w my mom anymore. Im always making plans so I dont have to be at my house or I’ll be locked in my room. My mom sences that i push her away but what else am i supposed to do? i cant be near her.. I only keep feeling worse about myself.

  156. I too am full time step Mom. I have been for just over five years to my 8 year old daughter. Let me start by telling you that yes therapy is a must at this young age. However, you need to understand that like my daughter; confiding is not somthing a child with a bipolar mother does. I’m not sure how often your son visits his mother; Brianna visits her’s every other weekend and every other Thurs when it’s not Mom’s weekend. Like you said Mom used to go about two years without; what we now call a melt down. I would love to chat with you either by phone or e-mail. Outside of my husband (who was with her mother for 2 years) and our wonderful therapist, I can not talk to anybody about this, nobody understands. I hope to hear from you.

  157. I am so happy to find this blog, in fact i have never wrote on a blog before. I struggling with the guilt my mom puts on me regarding my behavior towards her. i am 22 years old living with my boyfriend. She has recently started a very dramatic slew of emails regarding how mean i am to her and how wonderful of an upbringing i had that she has no clue how i treat her this way. My mother has been bi-polar/manic depressive since she was my age. When i was 16 my parents got divorced due to her leaving him for another man. This started the spiral down of our relationship. I will be the first to admit that i had a wonderful childhood but now everything is different. Her current husband is a drug addicted felon and she has began self medicating with alcohol. i worry for my younger siblings that live with her part time (age 16, 18). she can fake normalcy SO well that its hard for other to see where i’m coming from. She has called me numerous times in manic states telling me that she is going to kill herself, how horrible her life is and constant BLAME BLAME BLAME…. She recently got her second DUI and had to go to jail, you would think this would be a wake up call but she ended up blaming that all on the cop or whoever she can think of. All of these situations build inside of me… She called me about a bar fight and i honestly snapped and told her i thought it was trashy. She then guilted me about how i got drunk on my 21st bday (I rarely drink)…. I feel constant guilt and am so sick of her blame i just want her to take some accountability and stop drinking. i am looking for help in dealing with all of this because talking to her about how i feel only makes her blame others more and she states that she has “no clue” why i “hate” her. I recently graduated college and got a job, my performance there has suffered greatly and I hate it. I know she is proud of me and tells me all the time so i feel rude when bringing up other issues. I am trying to seek counseling but i don’t know if that’s going to do anything for her, i think it’s more for me…. There is obviously much more i could talk about but i think you guys get the gist….If anyone has any advice in how to effectively deal with a bi-polar mother’s rants, blame, and guilt it would be much appreciated!

  158. Hi there. Reading all of these posts and finding this blog has been one of many steps to recovery for me and cathartic, to say the least. I am 42, the eldest of four children, American, living in France, and my 67 year old mother was just diagnosed FINALLY with bipolar disorder in the past year. In retrospect, I believe her mother and her mother’s sister are also bipolar. I know my great aunt is and has been on meds and stable for years. While I have always known that something was off with my mother, the fact that she suffered a lobectomy for lung cancer and a shoulder replacement simultaneously sent her into a full-blown delusional meltdown and we had to call 911 and have her committed to a psychiatric ward for two weeks. But she managed to fool them all, though they got her off alcohol and prescription meds (“vitamins”), and she was released to the care of my stepfather without a diagnosis. It was only a few months ago that my sister (a nurse) who told me that she had finally been diagnosed and medicated. From what I understand from my family now, she has sort of a “flat personality”, very different from the vibrant, funny, attractive woman she used to be, at least in public. I’ve heard that bipolars can operate on a fairly normal social level for years until a major trauma triggers a full-blown melt-down episode. Is this true?

    Where to begin without making your eyes burst into flames? Until now, I have never had a name to put to why my mother and grandmother treated me the way they did. Luckily, I have a loving and supportive father, but even he after 30 years of marriage, finally had to divorce her. He stayed in the marriage until we were all in college to protect us. They have both since re-married, and that my stepfather is such a saint and is still around after the last few years is a miracle from God.

    From as long as my father has known her, a couple of years before I was born, she has always gone through these, what we called “phases”. First she was rabid to have children. Then when she had four fairly rapidly, didn’t want to take care of them. Granted, we were a handful, and my youngest brother and sister are dyslexic. Luckily, I came from an affluent family, so my mother just hired nannies. But she was constantly accusing them of stealing from her, so there was high turnover. She always was easy to flare to temper, and used to spank us with a yardstick, or a switch from a tree, and used to scream that we were lying to her when we weren’t. Other times, she would stay in bed all day until it was time for my father to come home and make dinner. She was always taking “vitamins”, and was and is still a terrible hypochondriac.

    Several phases:
    Religious – on and off until even now, but when we were kids, we were forced to go to ridiculous amounts of church, and everything was “Satanic”, we weren’t even allowed to watch cartoons on TV.

    Food – when it became apparent that my brother and sister had learning disabilities (they didn’t know how to diagnose dyslexia at the time), we were banned from having any food or drink with artificial colorings or preservatives in them, which meant a very restricted diet. Meanwhile, she hid Coca Cola and chocolate all over the house for herself.

    Allergies – she became convinced that she was allergic to almost everything, and incessantly had all of us children tested, until she found a doctor who agreed with her opinion. She spent well over $150k until my father put a stop to that one.

    Shopping – She was always a MAJOR shopper, and since she had money, it went largely unnoticed. She would take us out shopping for school clothes and sneak in a few expensive items for herself and just tell us “not to tell Daddy about it”. My father would come home from work and she would demand a check for $50k for new drapes she had ordered for the house. When he asked why didn’t we talk about this first? She just said “write the check. You just bought an airplane yesterday”, (after his company bought a plane). So frequently, he did just to avoid a fight.

    Jealousy – she was always very jealous of me and the close relationship my siblings and I shared with my father. He always told us we were the light of his life and could do anything we set our minds to. She told us that we were spoiled, retarded, would never amount to anything in life — even though I was a straight A student and excellent athlete. She was madder even at me because there wasn’t anything “wrong” with me. I found out later through direct experience that as the eldest of four herself, her mother had belittled her all her life, my father and subsequently us kids.

    Adolescence – Entering puberty, my mother began to accuse me of stealing money from her, and being a pathological liar. She also told all of my large family what a problem child I was. My little brother and sister had been put on Ritalin at the time, having been diagnosed with ADD. She accused me of stealing their medication, her “vitamins” and selling them in school. I didn’t even know what they were. She accused me of being on drugs (I wasn’t) and of being the “town slut”. There was always plenty of alcohol in the evenings between my parents throughout the years. I do not remember her ever drinking during the day that I was aware of.

    14 years old – The incessant fighting with my mother caused such stress and there was no rationality to it, that one day in high school I passed out. I was hospitalized for two weeks with colitis/irratable bowel syndrome. When I came home, my mother told me that at least she had had a 2 week breather. I told my school counselor that I wanted to go to family counselling. She called my parents, and my mother immediately found the most expensive (and appalling) doctor in town. We went to the first meeting, and after five minutes he told my parents that I was suicidal and needed to be committed. She signed on the dotted line right there and then, though my father was very reluctant. They locked me into a high-security psychiatric ward for juvenile criminals. I quickly heard from some of the other kids that this was also a place to “park” rich kids whose parents wanted to get rid of them, and that I would never get out. All the doctor had to do was sign a paper saying I needed continued psychiactric observation and I would stay in and the insurance companies would keep paying him. He has since been sent to prison. The second day I was there, my roommate threatened to kill me and told me how she would. So the next day at lunch, a ran from the cafeteria from the guards, evading them in the streets of Chicago and found a pay phone booth and called my father collect. He came and got me with his attorney immediately and took me home. When I got home, my mother went bananas screaming at my father that if he “didn’t get rid of me, she would divorce him”. He said go for it.

    15 – I asked my parents if I could go to private boarding school far away. My grades were excellent and I was immediately accepted. After one semester there, I had the bad fortune to get caught in a situation where my roommate was found hiding pot. I knew nothing about it. But my mother had signed over quardianship to her mother, so they called my grandparents. Even though the dean of the school insisted that I had nothing to do with it, they took me out of school to their home – they told my parents I had been expelled. Bad luck, I contracted mononucleosis simultaneously and was very ill for two weeks. During that time, my grandmother made me sleep on a sofa (in her well appointed multi-room home) and showed up every morning with the vodka tonic that never left her hand, and berated me all day long about what a “druggie” I was, that my mother was “unfit”, my father was and “idiot” and my brothers and sister were “retards”, and that they should have given me to her the minute I was born. Meanwhile, my grandfather was working with my father, his best friend, and was unaware of any of this.

    I finally got through to my father, and he flew down and brought me back home immediately. Again, rages from my mother. My father was the only one who ever listened to me. When I re-entered school after Xmas, I found that my mother had spread word around town that I had been sent away for a little “problem”, meaning pregnancy. I could stand no more. A couple of months later, I took my SATs early and scored great, and got my diploma 2 years early. I ditched school for several days and took my test scores to several universities in Chicago, 4 of 5 of which took me on early acceptance at 16. I came home to the rage of my drunk mother, who of course thought I was lying about starting university a couple months later, until she called the deans and got confirmation. Then she was all over the social circuit in Chicago talking about the fact that her little girl was “so gifted, that in fact they had figured out a way for to be accepted to university early”. My father bought me an apartment in Chicago, I moved out and started school, and shortly thereafter they moved back to Texas. I did well in school, and decided after a year to transfer to a university in Texas, though not in my home town — to keep the distance. While I was a freshman in Chicago, my father divorced my mother.

    College – While a sophomore in college with my roommate, my cousin, she told me she had heard about all the drug use, pregnancy stuff etc. I told her that was all a lie. She had had a feeling it was pretty out there. Meanwhile, my mother was draining my father’s bank accounts somehow. But again, being around my family and cousins brought up all these sinister lies that my mother had told the family, and I was not only mortified, but branded a “black sheep”.

    I graduated early, and had always been a language kid, particularly French. So the second I got out of school, I moved to France. Then back to the States and then back to France. I married my first husband, (good guy, but we were too young). I moved back to the US to Aspen, where I started a lucrative marketing firm, which I subsequently sold when my marriage failed. Then I moved back to Texas, not my home town, where I started another consulting firm that I did great on. I took my money and invested in a start-up in London, which failed in the crash of 2000. Then I was hired by a global telecom in Paris as a vice president, but they too were eventually hit by the crunch. I lost a lot of money, but met my current (10 years) French husband there. From Paris, we moved to the Cote d’Azur and now live in Brittany.

    Extremely long winded story short, I had to put an ocean between me and my mother. Which on the other hand had the sad result of isolating me from family I love. Though I am married to a wonderful man who knows all of the details of my family, I probably unconsciously chose someone who doesn’t speak English and my mother can’t poison. I am very close to my siblings and cousins who are now all aware of my mother’s illness. To be fair too, my siblings all had a DIFFERENT experience with her, mostly bad, but certainly different, which I would like to understand and embrace too. Thank God for being there, and also for Skype!

    But this experience f***ed me up horribly in adulthood. I even have not had children for fear of repeating the same behaviour and hurting a child. And It might now be too late for me. Feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacy, co-dependence, depression/being broken — all of the things that no therapist has been able to help me with until I found out about this diagnosis. So maybe now, I can find one with this in hand and say “AHA”, this is where this comes from!!! And here is how you deal with it. Bible Study has helped me a lot. And having just moved to a new town is pretty hard, but my logical brain knows how to deal with it. It’s just that little girl in me that was rejected by her Mommy, that is still in adult pain.

    I have one good remedy though, a little pug puppy. She is the love and light in my life. And a great husband.

    And guess who booked tickets to come over and visit for Xmas without even asking me first? My mother and stepfather. She isn’t drinking now, but I dread the first fireside chat when she will remind me of what a piece of s*** I am. If that happens, she is going to the nearest hotel. My sister won’t let her be around her girls without supervision. But maybe the meds and age have taken the edge off her now. Can’t say I’m looking forward to Xmas, but I definitely know who will be staying in our guesthouse as opposed to the main one.

    My BPMom

  159. Hello friends with your eyes burned off from reading my post, which was essentially a huge vomitosis! Really sorry for that, but it was freeing for me to tell someone except my diary about it.

    There is more to tell of course. But I think everyone has had enough for now. Thank you so much for letting me finally tell someone besides my husband, with my little cutie pug curled up in my lap. It really does help to know what the hell happened. I know my siblings are suffering from this aftermath also, but don’t know that they will do anything about it.

    I was so afraid, I went and had myself tested for every known thing on the planet from thyroid imbalance to schizophrenia, and certainly bipolar. I have nothing except a painful childhood to supercede.

    I know many of you must be thinking that because we had money, I shouldn’t be complaining. But on the other hand, I think it made it easier to hide from the public. I pretty much lost all of my money with the technology boom and crash. I just have to get my confidence back, which I was robbed of a long time ago.

    Pug kisses are great. I sent forth many, many pug kisses, which they have an endless supply of. It might smell like dog food, but it is so worth it!


    • I just want to tell you that I have pugs too and they get me through the worst of times. Whenever the family drama comes knocking, my pugs are there, wagging their little curly tails and are ready to shower me with love. They are the best family I’ve ever had.

  160. Other then it being very sad it was rather nice to know I’m not the only person sitting around dealing with all this craziness. Im 23 years old and Im married with a 10 month old baby Im also an only child. I dont even know where to begin with this I’ve really just recently started speaking to anyone about this. For as long as I can remember my mother has been emotionally abusive to me while my dad just sat back and pretended like everything was normal.All through highschool we would get into stupid fights over food (I think she has a slight anorexia thing also) & she would call me fat and yell at me until I cried and tell me if I wanted to be fat then I could be fat! Did I mention I wore a size 0-3. When she’s in a good mood things are great and we are like best friends, but 2 seconds later I could say just one tiny little thing wrong (to her) not in anyone else’s eyes and she will go off telling me I’m stupid and I’m a b**** or a peice of s*** … the worst daughter a huge disappointment a fatass you get the idea… Then its the silent treatment for hours while I sit there trying to figure out what I could’ve possibly done differently to not ruin our day & then I suck up until she starts being nice to me again. She constantly tried to tell me how to raise my daughter and how I know nothing about raising a child apparently she knows everything. On a normal basis she tells me she hates my husband and is so disappointed I married someone like him. Which is only because he doesnt sit around like my father and let her treat me horrible nor does he just take it like I do when she is rude or mean to him. Actually she has started gripping more about him to me because it hurts me more when she talks about him and she knows it. I try so hard to keep her happy but I just dont know what to do. Everyone keeps telling me that I just need to cut her out of my life as much as possible but I dont know how I have so many mixed feelings! She can make me absolutely hate her because she makes me feel so horrible about myself, but at the same time I want so badly for her to just be that sweet loving mother like many other people have!

    • RippedNtorn:
      The key is when you said you ‘try so hard to keep her happy’. You have never had that ability, and that was never your responsibility.

      You have a husband and child now, your responsibility belongs there. Cutting your mother out of your life is entirely your decision, and I feel for you in having to make it. You’re not just cutting your mother out of your life, but also that of your family. Would your family be better off?

      As with my mother, it sounds like yours uses guilt to manipulate you. It’s a powerful tool, because SHE isn’t the one that wields it, you are. Don’t let her have that control.

    • I find this site to be bitter-sweet.. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone, however, I would never wish having a bipolar parent on my worst enemy.

      My mother has had bipolar disorder since I was about 6 years old. She also self-medicates with alcohol.. bluntly, she is an emotional mess. My father knows she is mentally unstable, and rather than remove our family from her, he removes himself: staying late at work to avoid confrontation.. leaving his children at home to be her emotional punching bags. As the oldest, I took the brunt of her lashings.. She called me fat.. which led to boughts of anorexia, and bulimia.. ultimately I left home at 17 and dropped out of high school. Sadly, I would have graduated at the top of my class, as I am remarkably intelligent.. however, the lack of parenting and stable environment was altogether too much. My decision to leave came shortly after I ended up at the mental hospital.. for attempted suicide. Honestly, I wasn’t trying to end my life. I wanted people, professionals, to know what was going on.. That my mother was not who she portrayed herself to be.. sadly, there is no help for individuals with coexisting mental and substance abuse inflictions. Believe me, I have tried every avenue possible.. mobile response, social services, police, hospitals, and at the tender age of 14, I scheduled an appointment with her psychiatrist.. I was told that these individuals have found a loop hole in the system. The fact that a loophole exists is far crazier than my mother will ever be.

      My solution, which has worked for me thus far, is therapy and distance. I rarely attend family events, I screen her phone calls(she tends to leave long, crude, intentionally damaging messages), I refuse to tell my mother where I live..

      The result: She hardly calls anymore, and if she does, 8 out of 10 times she leaves kinder messages. When I do stop by, she is conscious of her behavior.. apologizes when she is getting “out-of-hand.” At times she is nasty, because she does not know where I live..but, during one of her “good spells” told me that she understood, and that it was for the best.

      With everyone else, who enable her to continue her lifestyle.. she is emotionally abusive, at times physically.. but because I chose not to endure and enable.. she knows that maintenance of OUR relationship requires vigilance on HER part. Ironically, I am the parent and she is the child in tantrum.

      It is emotionally hurtful, believe me, I know firsthand. As much as you love, and want her.. love and put yourself first.

  161. Hi there, I’m the daughter of a mother I presume is bipolar though she has never been diagnosed. The guilt, shame and difficulty I have with her is something I am finding very hard to deal with. But it makes me wonder if there is some other forum where families of bipolar individuals can discuss these things. While it was great to find this comment section I can imagine some sort of message board system would be far easier and more effective.

    • I’m sure there is a forum, chat room, or online support group available. The few that I have been involved in seem to work like Homeowners associations – smooth for a while until someone on a power trip decides to ‘improve’ things. I’ve got enough drama without the cyber version.

      If you don’t find one that you like, you could always set one up yourself.

      • Hey thanks a lot for the reply. Now that I think about it I have to competely agree, I’ve seen forums go to the dogs as a result of powertripping users. And often the moderators are a total liability. I guess I had a kind of idealised version of how a forum could work for people like us but now I think I’ll stick around here. Everyone has been polite and earnest and amiable. Agreed, I have enough real life drama and while this comments section isn’t custom built it is very effective and eliminates a lot of drama.

  162. Yes, please anyone that finds a site let us all know. It would be nice to chat or vent with others in my situation. Though I have enjoyed this site it would be nice…

    • Despite what I said back to namegoeshere I’m going to have a look around and see if I make any good discoveries because I’m still curious as to what is out there. And with namegoeshere’s input to think about I can be more selective with what I find. It’s worth a look anyway and I’ll report back here if I find anything that piques my interest 🙂

  163. If there is enough interest, I might consider creating a forum. I have done similar before, and it can be a LOT of work. If you are interested, let me know if you would be willing to help the running of it.

    If I do, some of the rules will be:
    No profanity
    No flame wars
    No selling, financial interests in products MUST be disclosed
    Everything must be anonymous – names, places, etc
    Reading will be open to anyone
    Posting/comments will require registration

  164. I would love a forum. I’ve felt so alone my whole life as a child of a bipolar parent. NOONE understands it unless they have been through it themselves.

    I am so thankful to have found your site.

  165. This is a great site. Feels weird to be adding a post, but tonight has been a breaking point of sorts for me and I would appreciate any advice or encouragement.

    I am a 27 year old child of a bipolar mother, the oldest of 5. The older four of us are biological (I have a 26 year old sister, 23 year old brother, and 15 year old sister). My youngest brother is our half-brother and is currently 8. My father died unexpectedly when I was 15 and life has been going downhill for my family since then. My mother has been bipolar as long as I can remember as well as an alcoholic which she refuses to admit. She was always so generous when she was well, active in our schools and churches, a stay-at-home mom until the oldest 3 of us were in school full-time. Intertwined with those memories are vivid memories of her getting drunk and attacking my father, coming after me with a knife (She was only “playing” she says), her inappropriate relationship with another man which resulted in a sister that was put up for adoption, etc. I now wonder if she was ever really that loving mother or if it was just an idolized version of her created in a child’s mind.

    After my father passed she predictably turned to the bottle and racked up two DUI’s in the first year while blowing through all of his life insurance money. I gave her the benefit of the doubt–she’d just lost her husband and was now a widow and single mother. I spent the last few years of high school taking care of her and my younger siblings until she kicked me out in the middle of the night during a fight when I was 17. Can’t remember the details of the fight except that to this day she insists she kicked me out because I was “out of control”. Odd, seeing as how I was missing school to pick HER up from jail and make sure the younger ones got to school while also babysitting the younger ones after school (no social life for me!) and helping her pay the bills. I never came back after that…until now.

    During the first years I was gone my mother met and got pregnant by a new boyfriend. I was graduating high school when my little half-brother was born. After high school I put myself through college while my other sister joined the Army. I wrongly assumed my mother and her boyfriend were taking care of themselves. I got a call about 4 years ago saying that the house was getting foreclosed on…in 7 days. I am still trying hard to figure out how two adults (my mother and my little brother’s father) could not pay a mortgage and utility bills between the two of them. Especially considering my mother was receiving survivor’s Social Security benefits for my younger sister and brother from my father’s death. She said she had a friend who was a loan officer and could sign the house over to me. In a year she would sign it back over to herself. I had two choices–say ‘No’ and leave the 5 of them to find a place to live in 7 days (I was living in a 2 BR apartment with a roommate at the time) or just sign the paper allowing them to stay in the house and let her have it back in a year. The answer seemed simple, I couldn’t just leave them homeless, so I did it.

    Fast forward 4 years. We received a lump sum of money from the “sale” which I now know was a horrible decision. Keep in mind I was 22 and in my last year of college when she asked me to do this, giving me 7 days to seal the deal. I had no idea she was off her meds and incapable of making responsible decisions. She blew through the money from the “sale” which would have helped put my little sister through college or been a nice cushion for the next several years. Two years ago, after my little brother’s father and her split because he was a complete deadbeat, she began dating a new man. This was around the time she had “lost” her job, stopped paying the mortgage on time (but didn’t let me know until I checked my credit report), and was having the utilities cut off for non-payment. My older brother was 20 at the time and still living at home with my younger sister and baby half-brother. I began receiving calls from him that Mom wasn’t coming home some nights, the heat had been cut off, there was no food in the house, etc. I would order food for them, buy groceries, catch up the bills while my brother took care of the kids because Mom was spending time with her new boyfriend. Not surprisingly my little brother developed behavioral problems at school and my little sister’s graders were dropping. I realized I wasn’t helping from after. I spoke with my older sister who was just getting out of the Army and we agreed to move back into the house to help get things back on track.

    We offered my mother to take care of the children and the house in exchange for her leaving. We wanted her to leave because there is never any compromise with her–it’s her way or no and nothing is EVER her fault. Plus, we owe her for all of the years that she took care of us. (Wait, isn’t that what mother’s are supposed to do?) It wasn’t her fault the house got foreclosed on, it wasn’t her fault she “lost” her job (she had another job after her long-time position was eliminated but she didn’t “like” it so she quit), it wasn’t her fault my little brother was getting in trouble at school (it’s because his father doesn’t discipline him), it wasn’t her fault my little sister failed 5th grade (that was my little sister’s fault because she was “lazy”). Her excuses are endless and she is always the victim. Most recently, her car got impounded because she put up the title for a cash loan. She called me and told me it was stolen. I lent her my car for the time being while the police did their “investigation” only to find out through a family friend that they had come to repossess the car because she never repaid the cash loan. When I confronted her about that she told me “there were some things I didn’t need to know” and that she didn’t even take out the loan, my brother’s father did. Imagine that, not her fault again.

    She agreed to leave and moved in with her new boyfriend. Life was great for us as things were stable and calm. That lasted about a month until she called me drunk and crying from a gas station in the middle of the night saying that her and the new boyfriend had gotten in a fight and he’d kicked her out. Since then she has hit rock bottom. She has no job, no car, no income. 3 months ago she got another DUI after she hit someone on a motorcycle. She landed in jail for a week, we paid to get her car out of impound only to find out that she had been driving this car without insurance since I refused to pay for hers any longer. She is currently serving a month-long stint in jail which I wish could be longer.

    She is taking a toll on my mental health and destroying this family. She doesn’t think she needs help and only goes to the doctor or to therapy if she thinks we’re going to kick her out. My youngest brother and her have developed sickeningly dependent relationship. She allows him to sleep with her at night (he is 8) and refuses to enforce any of the rules we impose on him. She helps him hide referrals from school because she doesn’t want us to reprimand him. She clearly favors him over my younger sister (who is 15 now) yet doesn’t understand why my sister hates her.

    I’m torn about what to do with her. I feel like I can’t kick her out without my younger siblings thinking I’m a horrible persona and resenting me, but the longer I take care of things the more she thinks it’s ok to do what she wants. Meanwhile, my little brother is turning into a monster and I feel like by maintaining this lifestyle for them I contribute to it. At one point am I helping versus enabling? What rights do I have to take custody of the younger two and be done with her?

    Additionally I own two businesses and feel like I am at a crossroads. Either I give up my own social and professional life at the expense of providing for this family or I wash my hands of the situation and forever live with the guilt. My youngest sister is at such an impressionable age and I could never forgive myself if I abandoned her in this situation. Not to mention if I abandon the house they have nowhere to live. I volley constantly between rage and guilt, but at what point do I get to start living my life?

    • Lesha,

      I too grew up with a bipolar mother and I understand the chaos and sacrifices that come with the whole ordeal. I really relate to a lot of what you have written. I can’t help but notice how young you are, yet your words make you sound so much older. I can tell you’ve been through a lot in this life. Sending you a giant hug Lesha!

      You talk a lot about feeling guilty and I really relate to that. I spent years feeling guilty about my mom’s illness and my families chaos. Partially because they would usually find a way to blame me for their poor choices. Eventually I started using drugs to help me cope with the pain of it all. I hit bottom at age 25 and one day woke up, realizing that something had to change so that I could live a successful life and accomplish my dreams. At the time, I was allowing their chaos and madness to destroy me, I knew if I didn’t take control of my life I was going to die.

      The advice I am giving you below is basically a summation of things I did to overcome my situation with a dysfunctional family and my bipolar parent. It may help, it may not, but I can say that these steps worked for me. I am now sober, happily married, financially secure, and I too am in the process of starting my own business. I can’t say that my family relationships are a whole lot better, but my methods for coping with them have increased dramatically.

      The first step is putting you first. Your feelings, your needs, and your dreams are the most important. You need to take time every day to make sure that you are healthy, nurtured and cared for. You owe nothing to anyone else and do not let others make you feel guilty for things that are completely out of your control. You can do this by creating an emotional wall between yourself and the person creating the chaos (whether it be your mother or anyone else). Stop letting these people into your heart and mind, until your needs have been addressed and you have some tools for coping with their chaos. You are #1 Lesha!

      Next, setup some healthy boundaries between you and your mom. Setting up healthy boundaries was the toughest thing for me because essentially you are undoing years of unhealthy interactions and expectations that have been laid upon your shoulders by that person. I set up my boundaries both verbally and in writing. Basically let that person know that you are creating a healthy life and space for yourself and you will no longer be feeding into negativity or bailing out people who have made poor decisions. Let them know that you will no longer be accountable for their poor choices and little emergencies.

      However, remember to tell your mom that you love her and that you will be supportive of positive things in her life. You want her to be happy and successful in life. You will help her with positive and supportive things. If your mom needs money for medication to help treat bipolar, drive to the pharmacy with her and pay for the pills yourself. Make sure she has her meds. If she needs something to eat, go pick her up a loaf of bread and some peanut butter and jelly. Don’t give her cash under any circumstances. Remember, support only the positive, and let her know she is on her own with anything the falls outside that category. I would also let her know that she is not allowed in your life unless she is sober and in compliance with treatment. She can make the choice not to comply with your demands or with treatment, but that means she is on her own.

      Once you have the boundaries setup, you need to learn to recognize when it’s appropriate to help someone and when it’s appropriate to practice tough love and turn your back. If mom drives drunk and ends up in jail, she needs to sit there without anyone bailing her out. You should have ZERO guilt on your end when things like this happen because she did this to herself and you had NOTHING to do with it. If she stops making payments and things get repossessed, do not bail her out. Let her lose those things…However, under no circumstances should you put yourself at risk by helping anyone. Remember you are #1 and your needs come first. Lie if you have to. I started lying to people about money as a way to protect myself form their poor choices. Why should I drain my hard earned money from a 401K or savings account, when their reckless behaviors with money are what put them in that position to begin with???

      Basically in doing these things you are letting your mom know that you will no longer be a VICTIM to her bad decisions in life. Your mom claims to be the victim, but in reality you and your siblings are victims to her poor choices and that needs to stop.

      To address the issue you mentioned with your siblings, if it were me, I would seek full guardianship of the siblings and move to a safe home where they can grow up free from the chaos of your mom. Do not abandon them. They need you and your mom should only be allowed in their life if she is compliant with treatment, making good choices and in a healthy space.

      Finally, seek counseling if you can afford it. A counselor is a great sounding board for day to day issues that can come up with your mom/family. The can be a great support for all of you.

      That’s all I have to say for now. I hope you come back and read my message. Feel free to email me if you want to chat more – janetdover @ gmail .com.

      Best wishes,

  166. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So good to seek out any individual with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is something that is needed on the net, somebody with a little bit originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the internet!

    *URL REMOVED & Email obfuscated for being suspected spam

  167. Hi, i am currently at university studying learning difficulties and disabilties. I am currently doing research into children with a parent who has bipolar and how it affects them, because as far as im aware and rsearched it seems there is not a lot information and help for the children of people with bipolar. I found your story very moving and was wondering if you would be willing to to participate. It would be completly confidental. If you would be willing to take part or would like more information you can email me anytime. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Kind regards Danielle Mc

  168. I am the adult child of a bi-polar parent as well. I have not been abused or traumatized to the degree of other people on this forum but I appreciate the exhaustion that comes with having a mentally ill family member.
    I think there is so much research done on the cause of the disease and developing medications. There should be MANDATORY behaviour therapy for each person diagnosed with this disease.
    There should also be contact between the psychiatrists, counselors and the children of these parents. We grow up in chaos and unpredictably. Everyone is so focused on the ‘sick’ person, no one sees that the children are falling apart, we are forced to become responsible for our parents when they are having an episode. We live with the constant guilt of growing up and trying to have our own lives and ‘leaving’ our parents. We get sucked into manipulative behaviour.
    It astonishes me how one person in my life can affect every part of my life, work, marriage, kids, school, friends.
    The bipolar is demanding and unreasonable, rarely gives children praise, at least in my case. It seems my mother prefers to me see me down and suffering like her. She is happiest when I am miserable and ‘need’ her but when I ‘need’ her she is unable to give me the love, attention and understanding I need.
    If I am having problems in my life and want to talk to her about how I feel it is always turned back to her. How her life was much harder. Its exhausting I love her when she is ‘normal’ but the depression and mania are unbearable and make me resent her and hide until she is back to ‘normal’.

  169. I would appreciate any advice. Many of you have been the situation my niece and nephew are in now. My sister is 45 and her children are 18 and 16. I have been aware for a long time that my sister is almost certainly bipolar – my mother’s cousin was, ‘manic depressive’ in those days and her behaviour is so similar. At Christmas time her 18 year old broke down crying to me. She has always been this unbelievably good, good daughter but she began to tell me what has actually been happening. I have known my sister was ill for a long time but I was very shocked a) at the level of abuse and b) at the basic complicity of her husband in letting the children go through this. Her 18 year still lives at home because my sister is very very controlling and threatens to withdraw her university funding if she makes any attempt to move out. Anyway to cut a long story short, I put my niece in touch with a therapist and gave her money for a session of counselling. I said to her she has got to understand that her mother is ill and that she has to move out and start to make her adult life away from all the drama. I don’t believe my sister’s husband will allow her to wreck her child’s life. He is basically a very good man but he has spent 20 years trying to cope with my sister and doing anything to placate and stabilize her and the children have fallen victim to that.
    My sister found out about the therapy yesterday and she is hysterically angry with me. She says I am ‘poisoning relationships’, ‘attempting to destroy the family etc’. Crazily, although I absolutely know my niece was desperate for help, I actually feel guilty for going behind her back. What further can I do for my niece and nephew? What should my role be here? Despite everything ( she is five years older than me and has pretty much been consistently nasty to me all my life) I do love my sister. But I am a mother myself and I want those two young people to be able to LIVE.

    • you basically explained my life iam a son of a bipolar

    • You don’t mention the type of abuse, so I assume it is exclusively verbal/emotional. If so, the ‘authorities’ are very unlikely to be of any assistance at all.

      Your sister’s husband is probably suffering from ‘learned helplessness’, and will most likely be no help to you or your nieces.

      As to what you can do… You could take them in yourself, and deal with all the drama that would cause, as well as possible legal ramifications. Other than that, be supportive, and make sure that she knows she isn’t the only one with an insane mother. You might even try having them over on weekends. You might have to make some excuse like cleaning out the yard, garage, etc. If you do, remember that NOTHING negative should ever get back to your sister. Any hint of a problem will get distorted and amplified – at least it did in my case.

      Just let her know that her mother’s behavior isn’t normal. Encourage her to have outside interaction, but be careful because if she is starved for affection it might put her in a worse situation. Stress that she has to grow and stabilize herself emotionally before she gets into any serious relationships.

      Also, don’t be surprised if your niece is angry with you as well, after all, you ’caused’ a big disturbance. If your niece blames you for it, so be it. Don’t get defensive or say that your niece confided in you. That little bit of guilt you felt is a tiny piece of what your niece deals with daily.

      She’s dealt with it (relatively) successfully for 18 years, and she’ll have to deal with it for a few more until she leaves home. She knows this, but so does her mother, and that is probably amplifying any kind of mood swing.

      Let me know how it turns out and if I can be of any help.

  170. hello,
    iam 21 years old my mother has bipolar.ive never spoke to anyone about this.she has had this condition all my life .she is controlling,moody,never wrong can be violent and takes all her problems out on my dad.i was never told what her condition intailed and i never found out because far as i knew she was normal,so i belived what she told me and it has caused me to make bad desisions. moving back to her address with my dad i realise she and my dad has been kidding me all my life .My dad isnt a lot of help he is hard work to talk to its like hes had enough.i have lots of examples of her blaming me her latest is .look at all this weight ive lost. surpose its had nothing to do with the major opperation she had.but i still dont no what it was for because im kept in the dark by my mum and dad about everything when i ask them things its so hard to get an answer it ends in arguments and they are happy blaiming me.i moved away had good jobs with a house and a very pretty girl friend who said she loves me.i never told my mum because in the past she has ruined my frienships as well as her own.but my dad used to phone me everyday bringing me down because of my mum but he hardly said unless i asked and i felt guilty.so i never fought i belonged to anything i wish i forgot all about them and carried on without them.now i have lost my job back home i realise what she has done.every time i do something positive she ruins it by making a drama shouting arguing.i dont have money to move out so i feel im stuck in a hole can you give me any advise how to controll her ive got to the point i need to ignore her which is hard.i feel that this paragragh dosent get my point across as i type she is shouting .its giving me i cant bebothered attitude.iam due to have a opparation on my back hopefully this will sort it and i can leave get a job im thinking army change my contact deatails and dissapear

  171. My 33year old daughter is bi-polar. She has 3 children. She is divorced. Her ex has their two sons. I have her daughter (age 13) living with me. My bi-polar daughter is adopted. Her bio-mom was bi-polar. I have all the feelings that y’all have expressed in this blog. My daughter is beautiful, smart, talented…and mentally ill. I am so afraid for my granddaughter’s future in dealing with her vampire mother. She will suck life right out of anyone who will let her. She abandoned these children to go live with another man and travel. That ended and her ex went and picked her up and let her move in with him again. She spent her ex husbands entire inheritance -about a quarter million dollars and then left him. She drinks, does drugs, tells unbelievable lies and (on Facebook) lives a completely fictitious life of travel and excitement. They are penniless. He lives in a run down
    rental. She pops in and out of our lives like a hurricane. I pray she finds salvation and that the Lord will take her home and thereby put her and us out of misery. I feel guilty for even thinking these thoughts. I am her mother. I am supposed to protect her, but how do I protect her from herself and how do I protect my family , myself and my grandchildren from her?

  172. I really see no end to any of our problems for any of us affected by this terrible condition!

  173. Hello,

    I am a young mother that has Bipolar and other disorders, and I trying to raise two children. I say this website and it made me sad. I am trying to get a better understanding of what I have. I can admit that I have a problem, and I do get help for it. Me as a parent I am over protective of my children, I care about the people she is around when she is with her father, I do not let her around kids that beat up other kids and swear. I do not like people having my daughters pictures blasted on the internet for everyone to see when it says where the person lives. This is me as a Bipolar parent that has many other things wrong and I that bad.

  174. I am 16 years old i have 2 little brothers and i took a psychology class that helped me realize my mom is bipolar well my grandma is to. i dont spend alot of time with my grandma but u can say she accuses everyone of stealing her things like blenders and dresses and stuff but they are there? when i was little i would belive the people she was accusing were bad people and id be scared to go around them in a way i was brain washed. My mom on the other hand would always ask me if my dad and granpa raped me and shed be soo paranoid that the sexually assulted me all the time! They never did! My dad is super nice and would neverr do that nor my grandpa! i was 5 6 yrs old and she made me really cautious about that like i shouldnt trust anybody and the whole worl was evil. my mom never gave me confidence i have lowww self esteem. Now she makes it worst and puts me down she thinks im a ho and calls me a prostitute (she thinks im in a prostitution ring) and thinks i do all the drugs in the world when in reality im a straight a student that is graduating early from high school.! She thinks my 14 yr old brother is in a GANG and goes to sniff coke with his friends. My youngest brother is 10 and she treats him liike gold …for now. He realizes she is sick. My dad has been married to her for 17 years and hes been knowing she is sick my mom is sooo mean to him i seriously dont know how she gets the crazy ideas that he cheats on her with a diffrent women every week she creates diffrent names every week like monica, maria, flor, benita! and now is acussing him of sleeping with men! On top of that she does not spend her money wisely she cannot be independent she has to depend on my dad otherwise she would be in a deep hole now…of course my dad has to get her out. My mom makes it impossible though she thinks she right all the time! she wants to lock us up in an asylum beacause we are the crazy ones!!!???? and she belives that witch craft thingys are going to make her rich in career health money etc. shes obsessed with psychics and will pay so much to order the nick nacks or whatever they sell! then i tell my mom speciffically not to do somthing and she does the oposite! shes always told me not to accept food from anyone not even friends because its all poisned and if we bring home somthing its possesed by the demoned or itss poisoned. My mom is supposed to be my role model when i was young i did belive her and i was a scared small little girl that didnt trust no one and cryed over anything thankfully i overcame some of that myself and nw i know what is right from wrong. im just worried for my youngest brother. My mom hurt me deep emotionally and even physically i hold so much hatred against her i try to runaway from her but shes right behind me all the time she doesnt accept she needs help and she cant be alone. i am scared to what shes capable of doing. i want a nice mom i envy my friends moms when i have troubles which i have alot of who do i go to! i cant trust my mom she will just be negative and make me feel like a delinquent.

    i love this website there is so much i can relate to!!:)

    • Diana – is there another woman in your family or your circle that you trust? My niece who is 18 finally opened up to me a few months ago about what was going on with her bipolar mom. The stupid thing is that I have been worried about her for so long, and she has been suffering for so long, but neither of us said anything because we were worried about upsetting my sister. When my niece finally said something, I got her into therapy. She is in therapy now – her dad has agreed to pay, like your dad he is a super guy – and she is working through all the crap from her childhood. My sister is incredibly angry with me but I know now that there isn’t anything I can do for my sister, if she continues to refuse treatment. The person I can be loyal to is my niece, who like you I suspect, is a wonderful, bright, young woman. I guess what I am saying is that if there is someone you like in your environment, particularly family, forget all your mom’s paranoid stuff. On the whole people are good. It’s very very tough to be the child of a bipolar mum but you still have your whole life ahead of you, and life is a wonderful gift.

      • sarah- well where i live there isnt really much family. My moms family doesn’t even live out here and im not really close to them. i’m planning to talk to them over the summer because things just keep getting worst. idk if therepy would help anything and if we have the money to pay it. i just learned to be strong and understand that my mom is sickk. it is tough but my plann is too movee out in less then a year and see what happens after that

  175. Oh dear – another day of you’re so deeply evil – I’m so righteous from my sister. I will do basicallly anything to help my niece and nephew but I have spent the day yelling at my own 5 yr old and 3 yr old as I processed my sister’ s crap. It would make the world of difference to me if someone said, yes, you did make things easier by intervening, even if it came at a cost. I know when I write this that I am so lucky my own mum wasn\t bipolar.

    *edited by NameGoesHere 04/03/11

  176. As a child of a bipolar parent it has been so difficult for me to sort out what is normal in our relationship and what is inappropriate. As I’ve grown older, I’ve gotten better at this ability.

    So recently I had another off-the-wall interaction with my bipolar father. He has no idea how to communicate normally with people about any kind of perceived issue without coming off abrupt, stressed out, and actually kind of rude.

    During the call he basically tells me he has decided to stop taking care of his health problems and is refusing medical treatment and monitoring from here on out. He was very insistent about the whole thing and also mentioned he was taking legal actions to prevent his doctors from forcing medications on him. I got so frustrated with the call, partially because of his tone with me and partially because his logic makes no sense.

    I tried talking some logic into him about the whole situation but he wouldnt listen. I finally gave up and basically told him that what he does from here on out is his decision and that I am going to remind him of this when the repurcussions start rolling around. I am not going to bare the brunt of these poor choices (ie I dont want to hear it) and listen to the bulls*** anymore.

    This is a tough road to take, but really for me it is the only road anymore. You make your bed in life, and you need to lay in it. Sometimes I think my father makes these calls to me just to get a reaction and upset me. Seriously. I would never EVER do this to my kids. EVER. It’s abuse.

  177. Father and the mother hade a child, whom is one of the finiest’s. He’s been in a split relationship sence he was born. We have been bypardision in the sence of partnership of the childs time with each parent. But as the father I have delt along with my child with the mothers drastick changes in the following – persioalit, levels of anger towerdes dicions to be delt,with our childs situation, losing intreast in the child when spending along period of time with him,never wanting to spend to much time with our child espehaliy when she is alone, she will constintly find baby siters for him wile she has him and without informing me. Now with her new child she dose the same.I have came to her side sinc the begening of our child life to take him home with me because of her panics and the seeminly scares of being a parent. Now my child is five years of age wile a great child he seems to be anger and not intreast in alout of what most five year olds would be intreasted in. I need help

  178. I’m so happy I came across this site! My mother is bipolar but no longer takes medicine because she believes she is “cured.” however I finally feel like I’m not crazy because so many of you have dealt with the Same thing I have. I amgetting married this coming august and decided not to invite my mother. I’d rather not deal with it. So it’s created a lot of drama a d her side of my family may not come. Yesterday I finally told her how I felt a d apparently the past 26 years of my life didn’t happen. She told me she didn’t attempt suicide, which I was the one that watched her go in the police car to the psychiatric ward. This blog has made me feel better about
    my choices.

    Thank you

  179. My mother is bipolar. As a child I was alone and afraid and as an adult I am angry. I am an only child and I grew up living alone with her – with a father and immediate family that decided not to deal with my mother’s illness and leave me to it from the time I could walk. Fortunately, agains the odds, I just became super ambitous in an effort to gain independence and get the hell out of there. Now, at 24 I’ve completed a BCom and a CA designation.

    I had to have her involuntarily committed over 15 times. Then I would live with my grandparents who would ask me “how did you let her get sick”….or the nurse at the Psych ward who said “I thought she had such a conscientious daughter – how did she get this bad”. No wonder as children we feel guilt!!!!! Suddenly it is on my shoulders and I’m accountable for your episodes>>>???. Thanks!

    Sometimes I think it would be easier (and less embarrassing) if she was gone but then I feel guilty for thinking it. NO ONE UNDERSTANDS!! – not friends, not boyfriends, NO ONE. I’m TOTALLY alienated and alone in dealing with this. It is frustrating because I feel like the only way I can fit in with people is if I hide my feelings and pretend everything is okay. Yay – let’s just pretend.

    My mother is acting strange again and all I can do is watch and wait until it gets bad enough to take her to the psych ward, wait 6 hours in the ER for a nurse’s (brilliant) assessment (like after 24 years I wouldn’t be able to tell when she is ill) and then go home alone.

    It sucks – but that’s life.
    You can’t choose your parents – or lack thereof.

  180. I just stumbled across this blog…not even something that I was looking for, maybe it was meant to be.

    It was interesting reading some of your stories, it was like someone was reading my mind and was writing down my experiences for me.

    I am an adult child of a mother with bipolar. She has never come out and said she has it, but once mentioned to me her doctor was diagnosing her with Bipolar.

    Earliest memories for me, was the irratic behaviour. Nice one minute, down right nasty the next. The names I was called, and didn’t even know what some of them meant, she called me fat, and would do in front of my friends. I was only 12 when she did this and very impressionable, so I started to starve myself, she still poked at my hips and called me fat and even had my younger brother taunting me. She could be physical with us and even told me stories about when I was a baby and she threw me on the couch and I bounced and hit the floor. My father even tells me stories about how he would come home through the door after working all day to cast iron pan coming at his head.

    My story is a bit of everyone’s that has written in this blog to share theirs. But to come right to the point, I had to severe the tie a few years ago due to her relationship with my son and the games she started to play with him, but my husband and I would not allow him to go through. As a parent we have the right to cut ties to people that are not safe for our children, whether it is family or not. I did not want to see my son go through what I had.

    She is now dying from emphysema and I have no plans to see her. I can and will only feel relief once she is gone. No more harrassing calls, or emails. And I can only hope that maybe she hasn’t damaged my brother’s and mine relationship by that time and that we can once again talk without interference.

    I wish you all luck, and just to know that you are not the only one out there. People will not understand what you are going through, unless they have walked in your shoes.

    • My mom is 91 years old. I am 52 but feel like I’m 5 years old. I still wish for, pray for, cry for, long for normal and consistent “mothering”. The ironic thing is that even at 91, I know my mom is able to give it to me……but her behavior is all dictated on which “side” of her behavior she is on. Loving one minute, cold and cruel the next. And sometimes the loving bahavior has to be forced or prodded and then it’s not authentic anyhow. The lifetime experience of irratic behavior has put a dark hole in my heart. It is so depressing for me. I feel especially sad today. I just wanted to respond to your post because I want you know I care.

  181. So, this mother’s day was difficult. After not speaking to my mom for the past 4 months, I thought it would be time to call. Initially, on Mother’s Day evening, I called my mom. My daughter mostly talked to her, but I did say via speaker phone “Happy Mother’s Day and I love you”. Next thing I know my brother sent me a text that I am a “selfish lameass”. Of course, he wouldn’t reply to my text back on what was wrong. (I am sure my mother called him and spun the situation around that I am a horrible daughter. My brother is such an enabler. His relationship is out of guilt. As he said, “She wiped my a** for so many years so it’s time I should wipe hers.” UGH) The next day, I decided it was time to actually speak to my mother. We had a civil and short conversation. The only time there was any tension (this was in my opinion) was when she tried to make me feel guilty for not talking with her. I told her I had to process and take some time for myself. She said “Well I know you have had a hard time because of your dad’s death.” I then said “It had nothing to do with dad’s death. It was about what went down in my house.” (During her visit, we got in an argument and she hit me. This was after I confronted her about her erratic behavior of drinking, gambling and her 40 year old boy toy-she is 70. I then kicked her out of my house.) She got very quiet. But then we got on another subject. No big deal, right? Wrong. The next morning I got a text that was received at 5 a.m. It was all over the place and was very angry. She accused me of trying to control her. Said that I broke her heart and how happy she has been these last 6 months. I just replied back and said that I only have control over my life and who is in it. But I did say that she would not make me feel guilty with that text message. So far I have not heard anything from her. I am at the point where I refuse to put myself and my daughter in a relationship with her. At this point, she will have to reap what she sows. I am confident in my self. I do not need her love and approval to validate myself as a person. I may forgive her in my heart, but there will not be a reconcilation. Forgiveness takes one. Reconcilation takes two people (two people who want change). Thanks for having this site. It really helps to know there are others out there who are experiencing the same situation.

  182. My father is bi-polar. I am 47 and for the first time, with the help of a great psychologist, am starting to talk about the mental, verbal and physical abuse that my sisters and I endured during our childhood.

    I am the youngest of the children. This week I wrote a letter to my sisters letting them know that I was getting help and that if they wanted to talk about the abuse we went through as children they could contact me. I waited for two days, worrying because we NEVER talk about what happened to us as children. Last night the oldest sister called me. The conversation at first was casual, but then she said she and my other sisters had read and discussed my email. We talked about one of the worst abuse situations, which was life-threatening. We are lucky that one of my sisters is not dead and my dad in prison, it was that close. We talked about why our mom didn’t defend us, why she had a function at church or with friends every night. After I hung up it was like a weight off of me! I am not alone and we can get through this together! So many issues I have as an adult are now making sense and I can move beyond them.

    You would think I would hate my parents, but I do not. I love them. My dad is sick, and when he decides he doesn’t need his meds it is a nightmare! He is no longer violent, he is very ill and dying from emphysema, so it is not so scary. He still plays his head games, but I tune them out now. He can only hurt me if I let him.

    My parents moved close to me so I could help take care of them. Because of the God awful guilt most of us know of, I became their caretaker. I am learning to make a little time each week on MY schedule to check in on them. In the past they would call almost daily with an emergency regarding my dad. I started telling them to call 911, I was not dropping everything or getting up in the middle of night ANY longer!

    Find a therapist that you don’t like, you love! I had to go through a few. I waited way too long to put myself first. I was depressed, having panic attacks, and physically ill from the stress.

    My daughter in-law’s mother is bi-polar. She really has very little to do with her mom. My son and her have had to change their phone numbers a few times. Writing to each other is the only accepted form of communication that my daughter in-law will accept.

    I hope this helps someone out there. Do what you need to do to make yourself whole and happy. As odd as this sounds, what I went through as a child dealing with a bi-polar parent also gave me some great abilities. Try to find those qualities in yourselves. Please don’t dwell on what could have been or what happened.

  183. I am gratefull that a blog like this exists, as painfull as it may be. As most everyone on this blog, I come from a bonified dysfunctional family. My dad used to beat the crap out of us as young children, my mom startet displaying symptoms of mental illness back then as well, but still kept it together. After my parents divorced when I was 8, my younger brother and I went with my mom, and my dad pretty much was out of the picture. My mom gradually went into a state of non-functioning, lost her job, was involuntarily hospitalized twice, inbetween would either be a zombie from all the meds, or once she quit taking them the rages would start again etc. It was hard for my brother and me, but we learned to cope and become our own little family. My mom often disappeard for weeks, leaving us to fend for ourselves as teenagers. In a way, it was easier when she was gone. Things turned out ok for us though thanks to one excellent social worker and several very supportive relatives. In the end, my mom became physically ill, in and out of hospitals (again), and died at age 59, when I was around 24 and just started grad school. However, I count myself lucky in that I still was able to maintain a loving relationship (of sorts) with both of my parents. My mom truely loved us when she had it together, and cared for us as much as she was able to. It nevertheless was almost a relief when she died. I still remember the night after she passed away, I had the Wizard of Oz song “Ding dong the witch is dead” going through my head over and over again, even though I did not hate her and was sad that she died. My dad interestingly made a total turn-around when I was in my twenties. He became a very supportive father and is now a loving grandfather. But there is another aspect to this story that has not been addressed as much in the other posts: This stuff often runs in families… I was diagnosed with “bipolar light” (aka bipolar II) in my early thirties, but am (so far) able to function quite well, and thus far have had a very successful career. My manic episodes are relatively benign, and if I time it right and maintain disciplined, I can use them to my advantage in terms of “hyperproductivity”. Depression can be the bigger problem. I have a very suportive husband (who is also depressive, but we are both working on our respective issues and are now both in treatment, which has helped tremendously). We have two kids and overall a happy, stable family, something I dreamed of as a kid but never thought would be possible. Although I don’t think I will go down the same route as my mom, there is always a bit of nagging anxiety in the background. The issue recently came to the front again due to my now 12 year old daughter. She is a great kid, we love her dearly, but she can be quite challenging. She has ADHD, and can be very moody. My husband, her, and I all share the same psychiatrist (which in itself is an interesting experience). We are also in individual and family counseling with a psychotherapist, which has helped a lot. I recently talked with our psychiatrist, and there is a chance that my daughter’s ADHD is really bipolar in disguise. Bipolar in kids is not fun, and I hope we don’t go down that route. However, I managed to deal with my mom’s and my situation thus far, and hope that by being honest and proactive this is something we can deal with in my daughter if it comes to it. It’s a roller coaster, we have our ups and downs, but thus far have managed to stay on the track.

  184. I’m a 33 year old single mum who googled “my mum’s twin sister is ruining all our lives” and came across this site. I didn’t realise so many of us are in the same boat. Although my mother is not bipolar, her toxic twin sister is. The toxic twin lives in my mums house for 14 years, for twelve of those years my mum cooked, cleaned, shopped…did everything for them both untill last year when mum had two major strokes, mum is left with memory loss, unable to read and cook safely, basically needs prompting for everything. The TT emotionally and mentally abuses mum, puts me down, and is insanely jelous of mine and mum’s relationship partly because the TT gave her 5 year old daughter to my mum and dad when i was one to start a new relationship and work with children. She takes money off my mum and jewellery has gone missing, she swears all the time, she shouts at mum when mum falls which is quite often bless her, once mum fell in the road and the TT shouted “oh what the f*****g hell are you doing now, get up” and this happened infront of my 7year old son. Since then my son is hardly ever around her, this also pleases my son! And i’m glad to say that my son who is now 8 said to me “she’s not normal mummy is she?” i said no darling she’s not and i’m very pleased that you feel that because i thought it was normal when i was young! I’m just so stressed with the situation, i wish she’d just move out but mum keeps changing her mind about her actually doing it, even the TT says she’ll move out and the hell out but never does…why? Because she lives rent free and has her own personal punch bag. When ever i intervene i just get shouted out by the TT .”THATS IT, i’ll move out then when she dies (meaning her sister) you’ll get all the money. (meaning me) she’s money obsessed and never opens any mail.The weird dynamics of identical twins, mum, the weak feminin wall flower and the the TT is the scary, intimidating, clever, devious, schemeing, meddling, controling, lying, abusive, chain smoking, big bully of an O.A.P needs to jog on her own little path in life and let me mum and my boy enjoy life but fear this will never happen due to there weirdness of there relationship even if it sucks the life out of my poor ol mum, i am at a loss and feel totally drained and exhausted although my spirits have been lifted by finding this website and reading all your stories. My thoughts are with you all and the one’s who have yet to stumble here, as diseases and disorders leave scars for the loved one’s closest to them. I struggle with feeling hate and contempt for the TT. My head is soooo full of this c**p, it’s always about her, when it should be about me, lil one and mum, any advice would be great .x.

  185. ps..please would anyone have information on how to evict bipolar twin from my mum’s house? She pay’s no rent and there is no tenancy agreement. Could i get her evicted on the grounds of metal and emotional abuse?? Mum doesn’t want to go back to her own home : [ so i’m keeping her with me untill i can get something sorted out.

    • It depends on where you live. In most places, you will have to provide them written notice. If they still don’t leave, you will take them to court. The local police or an attorney will be able to help. If you know someone who is a realtor, especially one that does property management, they may have advice for you.

  186. Hello. I am bipolar and 40yrs old today. I am a mother of two teenagers. I am frustrated because both of my daughters claim that I am losing it or crazy for that matter. They don’t seem to understand that they really push my buttons as if it was on purpose. I let them have many opportunities to be with their friends, and I am easy on them as far as chores. Yet they think their life is unfair, and that I am the worsest mother on earth. They have done a good job making me feel like one anyways. I am also deaf too so its hard to understand everything around me. I wish my girls would want to learn sign language but they just don’t care. My husband lives out of state temporarily and well, he is very verbal and controlling. For me to deal with all of this is too much at times. Its like I have to be perfect in order for them to be happy. What about me? When can I ever feel happy for myself? I love my girls to pieces. I don’t know what I’d do without them. They are my world. Yet I feel like despair cuz they remind me how I “failed” cuz I am not bold like the dad is. I could go on and on but to get to the point, I feel like breaking down. I already tried to be strong as I could. I don’t know. I don’t know what to think anymore.

  187. I have come to learn that once you have a bipolar parent the whole family basically becomes sick. I’m 30 yrs old and my mother has been bipolar since before I was born. I ask her all the time why on earth would you bring another child into this world knowing you have this illness?? I have two older brothers one looks like he is following right behind her with the behavior. My mother was never really violent when she would go Manic, But if you don’t give her what she wants it was the threatening of suicide or the you “don’t care about me” manipulative game. Oh and lets not forget, Your not my daughter or your just like your father. Who by the way divorced her due to this illness. There are medications that will stabilize them but only to a certain point. My mother feels she will do whatever she wants and doesn’t want to deal with the consequences. Financially I give her money each month and a good sum I might add only to get a call the electric bill is behind or she needs money for cigarettes. And if I cant provide that money I get about 10 calls a day of her begging and being relentless. Her behavior has become a strain on my marriage. She basically takes advantage and figures that I’m sorry makes up for it or that her being bipolar is an excuse to use. It is very hard, I come from a Italian family, And we don’t turn our backs. But This relationship with her is toxic to my well being I just may have to cut my ties.

  188. I came across this site searching for ‘ is it normal to want to rebuild a relationship with my bipolar mother?’ I find it very hard to speak to anyone about as so many people do not understand the illness and just think its all in their heads so writing this helps me feel like Im not alone and that there are other people who understand. Growing up my parents relationship was always rocky but they always stayed together. My mum has not always been manic but as she has gotten older things have spiralled down hill really bad, i think it has alot to do with her going through manopause, im not really sure. She is normally a very sweet, caring and loving person. A sook really but she says she cant cope with anything. So when her father died last year this set off 1 of many manic attacks. She is no one I recognise when this happens, she is mean, rude, talks smut and dillusional almost to the point like she is split personality. Its very scary to watch and hard to cope with especially when she wakes up and realises what she has done. Ive copped alot of abuse and my partner bares the brunt of it as she thinks he is keeping me from her, but honestly im just scared and want normality for my child and my own family. My father is in denial I think as why would someone living with a bipolar partner continue to drink and offer it to her, this is when things go bad and when she had a manic attack at my house I rang my dad for help and he refused to speak to me along with my 2 brothers who are 23 and 29 i myself am 26. I decided to shut them all out after this incident and they think im the bad one. I can accept this as i know im only doing what is best for me. She is getting help now and is on meds after being admitted to hospital, shes been to counselling and now seems to be settling. But how do i discuss making things right with my mum again with my partner. He is very hurt by everything she has said about him and i dont blame him i just want him to know i need to do this for myself not him. But then im confused what if he is right , what if this never changes? What if its always this hard and im always going to get hurt?

    • Hi — I just wanted to respond. My mom is bipolar and an alcoholic. She recently was hospitalized because of alcoholic liver disease, and watching her struggle and being a part of her struggle has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. I recently started a blog about some experiences (http://mymotherisbipolar.blogspot.com/) because I don’t know how else to cope.

      Anyway, it’s understandable that your partner feels hurt. If you could find a way to acknowledge how he feels, but also admit to him your feelings of wanting to try to mend things with your mom…that might be a start. Having compassion for someone who is acts like a total ass**** is hard, but if you try to encourage him to think of your mom as someone who was sick and not someone who is just mean/doesn’t like him, then maybe that could help him understand.

      In terms of if it’s the right thing for YOU to do, I’d say just go slow. And remember to ALWAYS take care of yourself first. You can’t be there for anyone else if you’re not in good shape yourself. Good luck and reach out for help if you need it!!

    • i was just going to write what mymomsbipolar wrote moreless your husband has everyright to be upset but same time it is your mom and she is ill .
      its a disease so hard to understand cause they all have different levels of severity I would keep my husband and mother seperate the damage that has been done or what ever hurt him is way harder for him to suck up then you and your first response is protect right ? im sure thats all hes trying to do but in reality until theyve been locked up, hospitalized or restaining orders,they are our moms and they are sick its just how do you endure and stay sane ?> you need to know once it is effecting your life, other then visits and 2 days after which ever episode they just had for people to boil off their anger until then just think your door closes and your back in your normal healthy world with your family and normality

  189. Thank heaven for this site. I have only recently realized that my mother is bipolar – undiagnosed and not properly medicated – and I have on one hand a sense relief that I have a name for this, and just as confounded as ever regarding how to deal with it. I am 39, and this began around the time I was 13 or 14. I won’t get into the details right now about her particular brand of mean and hostile, but she’s caused quite a bit of trauma in the last 25 years and it appears to be escalating. Termite’s post resonated with me, I have chosen not to have a family as I can’t imagine being in any sort of maternal relationship that wouldn’t drain me completely. And I don’t want to pass on this genetic illness.

    I ran across the term “guilt conditioning” in a previous post and it sounds like something I have suffered from…horrible, debilitating guilt over things that are out of my hands. Is there any literature out there about this? I have found precious little in terms of resources for people in these toxic relationships. I have moved into a more resigned stage of acceptance, which is an improvement, but I really need help processing the anger, resentment and defensiveness. I dread holidays, I struggle with anxiety any time I have to interact with her, and lately she has been on some kind of mission to get a response and it’s all I can do not to lose it with her and say things I know I will regret. With the help of therapy some years ago I adopted a “do no harm” stance in that I will just grin and bear the time I have to spend with her, and not react or play into the emotional violence, thus not contributing fuel to her fire. However, she has reached a point lately where she just doesn’t want to back off and not saying anything is starting to feel like I am allowing her to victimize me again. It is obvious that her ranting and manipulation have nothing to do with me and that there is nothing I can do help, influence, solve, calm or change the situation. I can’t seem to separate the illness from the person and am flirting with sincere hatred towards my mother. I don’t want to feel that towards her.

    I am exhausted from carrying around this burden and need some tools for dealing with the painful periods. Thankfully, my work requires me to be out of state most of the year, and I have a wonderful, supportive partner and a labrador mix that is the best therapy in the world. Pets are essential, I believe, in healing from all kinds of things.

    Thank you for providing a space to share and get strength from the stories of others who understand.

  190. Update: I have received three cards from my mother this past week (it was my birthday), and now have emotional whiplash.

    The first one was just sort of catty, not that bad, but not nice at all and no way to really say “Happy Birthday!” to your daughter (unless you are mentally ill….see, I still have a hard time accepting this some days).

    The second one came a few days later and cut me to the quick. It had a picture of her holding me as a baby and on the inside it said, “I choose to remember the good times with you.” And I was touched! I hadn’t gotten a nice letter from her in a long time. But when I closed the card, on the back she had written, “Because there haven’t been many since you’ve grown up.”

    I had decided after that not to open any mail from her or a while, or let my partner screen all her letters. The third one was addressed from my dad but in her handwriting. He works a lot so I thought maybe she mailed his birthday card to me on his behalf. No, she wrote the card and it said, “You are loved! – Mom and Dad.” And it had a picture of my dad holding me when I was a baby.

    Is it just me, or is this disturbing and manipulative on several levels? It has caused so much confusion, anger and pain that I couldn’t just stay silent.

    I decided to just call her and have it out. I asked what I was supposed to make of this little Hallmark campaign from hell and she sincerely did not understand what was wrong. In the catty and cruel cards, she stated she was just being honest. And the last one she insisted was sweet, which would have been had it been the ONLY CARD, but as part of this hat trick of abuse, it was just crazy-making. I don’t know why I decided to finally break my silence and confront her, but I do feel a sense of calm having defended myself, however ineffective. I let her know that yes, it was inappropriate. She half-heartedly apologized and insisted, all wide-eyed and innocent, that she never intended to hurt me and no, she didn’t see how any of this could be taken as insensitive or upsetting. In fact, she has been defending herself from ME, as I would like to be “treated like an adult and (she) doesn’t even know what that means.” (Before today, I have talked to her on the phone only twice and very briefly since I went home for Mother’s Day, where in the restaurant I took her to for lunch and she caused a scene. She screamed at me after I told her she could not move in to my guest house, reminded me I am going to hell for being a lesbian, and shouted that I should just leave her there at the restaurant. Which I did.)

    I’m sure this will invite more hate mail, but I have decided for every hateful letter I receive, I will make a donation in her name to PFLAG.

    • Don’t try to figure out why she sent those cards or what she was expecting. The intent was accomplished, she pushed a button and got a reaction from you.
      Don’t try to get into the mind of a crazy person. It will frustrate you, and drive you crazy.

  191. im glade I found this site and releaved that there is others like me that feel what I go threw, mentally, emotionally, psycologicly.

    I also wish I could remove my parents from my life. I also like many on here went threw the emotional and physical and psycological abuse, the things I’d get beat for were just as little as not being able to find a lost shoe, that would blow her over the edge! she would put on steal toe boots before she would get ready to hit me what she would call a bathroom visit, so that once I was down on the ground she would kick me in the stomach and the back of my head being carfull not to bruse my face and when ever she accidetly did I was forced to lie chase me around the house by the age of 7 with butcher knifes threating to kill me and get away with it by pleading insanity, she actually admitted to me that she would hear voices and they would tell her to drown me in the bath tub when iwas a kid and the lists of abuse just goes on and on

    but im glade im not a kid anymore because I remember I couldnt wait to grow up and get away from her, she too did meth and drank hevily, I rember as a kid in elementry bringing a friend home from school and she was so drunk she was trying to hold a conversation with him while throwing up all over the kitchen floor and counters. My dad really didnt say much he was alays out the house and was in hes own world all the time and left us three kids home alone with her and going to the store to do beer runs with her at the age of 6

    As a kid I was suicidal I and my sister would talk about suffocating eachother with pillows I rember a time at the age of 8 and my sister 7 crying and begging me to kill her cuz she couldnt bring herself to do it to herself all because she could handle the abuse and me crying asking her well who is going to kill me?? I do remember holding my hands around her throat and she told me not to let go no matter what and after about 15 seconds when I started to see the panic in her little eyes I had to let go, it was to much for me to handle.

    I moved out at age 14 the same day I threw my mother in jail for beating me in the face with her fist after she slammed me on a coffe table wich broke from under me, I had enough of the abuse and was old enough to call the police. Now at the age of 20 i had to move in with my parents because I was homless and in and out of random homless shelters and spening a few nights at friends houses and stuff.

    I havent been with them no longer then 3 months and im already having the most intense anxiety and panic attacts wich I never experianced in my life, Im already getting threats about getting kicked out and i getting depressed about not finding a job and beeing broke because im used to having some type of money income and my mother isnt helping me out in anyway and with the economy down in california drives me crazy! Im thinking the army and glade I got to vent I actually feel a little better I got to tell my story because I dont tell people these things I choose to walk around with a smile and try not to let suituations in life get to me beacause one thing I do know is im mentally strong!!

  192. That is good advice. Thank you. I have gotten some good insight on how to deal with the bipolar situation from your blog and other sources, and it seems a common theme that people ultimately just cut the person out of of their lives. This little card episode is really insignificant compared to previous attacks – reading my diary and sharing with family/friends (twice – both in my adult years, she’s no longer allowed in my home unsupervised), public meltdowns, physical abuse, hallucinations, etc. In spite of this history, I guess I have been in denial about it never getting better.

  193. Wow, I’m so glad I stumbled on this blog. I’m 24 and my mother has been Bi Polar my whole life, though in my mind she has always just been a crazy, manipulative, conniving, drama queen who loves misery. I’ve read up on BPD but the symptoms never really seem to fit my mom, she’s not just manic and then depressed, she’s an awful person, loves to start drama and is not happy unless she can get me to scream and cry, she loves pushing me and testing my sanity, it’s like she wants me to be as crazy as she is. And when I decide it’s best to step back from her and i keep her at a distance, somehow miraculously! she is cured, and the sanest supportive person you’ve ever met, and that’s how she weasels her way back in. At first it’s okay, and I think “this could be it, we might actually have a stable relationship”. But before I know it she’s sucked me back into the drama.

    She loves to play the victim (I honestly think she has Munchhausen and she’s definitely a hypochondriac, it took me years to realize she was not dying, and when I wouldn’t give her sympathy for her fake sickness she would threaten and/or feign suicide).

    She loves to call me crying about all the supposedly terrible things that are going on with her, and how everyone is mistreating her (including not being invited to my sisters wedding- which is 100% her fault). But when I become exhausted with playing her therapist, and push back a little when I literally run out of sympathy (she drains every ounce I have), suddenly I’m the one mistreating her, and I’m “just like the rest of awful people in her life abusing her and she’s not going to stand for it”. What’s worse is she will then tell all of my relatives nasty things about about me, and will use ANYTHING I’ve said to her against me.

    Anyway, my point was, I never realized this is just how some BP people act. They should list “being a miserable person” as a symptom in the medical books. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so torchored growing up, always trying to make sense of the irrational thoughts that spewed from my mother’s mouth.

    It’s kind of liberating knowing that she is really is crazy, and I no longer need to try to rationalize her insanity. There’s just no reasoning with her. It may seem harsh but going forward I think I will simply pacify her, not really ever letting her in, never giving her anything she can use against me. Not caring and not getting emotionally invested is really the only way to prevent getting hurt by her over and over. It’s sad that I can’t trust my own mother or even confide in her, but that’s just the way it is I guess. She has the emotional maturity, social skills and impulse control of a child, then I will treat her like a child.

  194. Hi Vita, sounds like we might have the same mother. There is a book entitled My Mother’s Bipolar, So What Am I? I hope this helps you. Christel

  195. i’m 22, and though undiagnosed, i think my mum is bipolar.
    my mum used to be a really caring mother when my parents marriage was still stable and intact for the first decade of their marriage.
    when i was 12, my mum suspected my dad’s having an external affair, true enough, when i was 14, my mum managed to gather enough evidence(credit card bills) that my dad was committing adultery.

    they nearly divorced, but didn’t for the sake of me.
    my parents relationship drifted apart quickly, and till date, they still haven’t seen each other for about a decade.
    my dad and i have maintained a healthy relationship, and i’m really close to him.

    however for my mum, she has depression when i was 14, and i think till now, she still has it, and her depression worsens as her closest bro passed away years ago.

    but i think now, my mum is bipolar, she keeps seeing my gf and i as my dad’s mistress and my dad(i resemble my dad a lot).
    she stole a huge sum of money from me, and kept stealing my other stuffs.
    she became really petty, and seems to bear grudges against everyone (including my grandma), and she blames everybody for everything.

    and we always get into huge fights, and whenever she feels that the outcome of our fights are unfair(towards her), she would bottle up till she couldn’t hold it any longer and call me in the middle of the night (4am) to pick another fight with me.
    now, i can’t be bothered to shout or argue back with her, because i know she’s looney up there.

    she kept lamenting how bad my dad is, seriously, although my dad is unfaithful to her, but he fulfilled his responsibility as a loving father, bringing the dough back home and giving us a roof over our heads.
    seriously, if its some other men committing adultery, some won’t even continue to provide for their own families.

    and she’s never satisfied with what she has.
    she doesn’t have to work, cos my dad’s providing for her, the bills are all covered by my dad.

    her mental state is really driving my gf and i nuts, and sometimes i really wish i can just end it all by committing suicide, but thank goodness i don’t have the courage to do it, and i thought about my dad, my gf and my friends.

    and to end it, dealing with her is like dealing with a moodswinging 3 yr old kid + 18 yr old teen + 53 yr old woman.
    i really hope she could get better, but i highly doubt it.

    thanks for reading my rant everybody, you guys aren’t alone.
    lets continue to live our lives strong, and healthy.

  196. Do these so called sick individuals ever show remorse???
    My daughters experience with a bipolar middle aged mother has left our daughter in distress having to call off her wedding 2 month prior to the date.

    We think that her family are using this sickness as an excuse for her recent actions and insults etc… why now can no one give my daughter and our family answers??? Why can we not call her and verbally abuse her as she did my daughter etc???
    Her son is as spineless as the father, they all just say nothing!!
    But I say she planned the whole set up as she said….”from day one … they refused to sit at the main table” which if only I had realised that she was telling our family that she did not accept us….

    I pity her son…. at the age of 34 will he ever be able to marry…as we believe this has happened to him before and WE ARE ANGRY THAT HE HAS NOT BEEN TRUTHFULL TO US FROM THE BEGINNING!!

    • I’ve never heard a moderately sincere apology from my mother to anyone, let alone anything like remorse. That would require her to take some responsibility for her actions.

      You could call and verbally abuse her as she did your daughter. You won’t because you’re sane – and that makes the difference.

      Keep in mind that her husband and children have been conditioned (think brainwashed) for years. If you read this blog from the beginning, as well as a lot of the comments here, you might begin to understand why her son and husband are that way.

      Just be glad that you encountered this problem two months before the wedding, instead of two months after.

      You also might want to reconsider being angry at her son, since it is quite likely that he blocks out quite a bit. Not that I’m suggesting any kind of reconciliation, just maybe a little compassion from a safe distance.

    • They have tried to pick up the pieces and carry on thier relationship, praying that they can continue thier usual life style.
      His family continue to send him sms messages of how proud they are of him and love him even more so now that the wedding is called off etc…and continue to manipulate him by threatening and forcing him to make a choice of material items orf his family

      My daughter can no longer handle it as he has never as yet appologised to my family or even to her for his parents (mothers) behaviour!!

      He claims he has done nothing to be sorry about as he did nothing out of line and still loves my daughter.
      He goes on about my daughter calling off the wedding … not his parents!!

      but how did he ever expect my daughter to be happy on her wedding day with all this drama with deadly weapons, insults etc.
      She was a bundle of nerves before all this drama took place and asked us, her parents if she could get a court order against her future mother in law, preventing her from attending thier wedding etc….

      I”m sorry but this is no way any future bride should be feeling or thinking…
      “if she is not No 1 in his life…. He will never be good enough for her”

      I say all of this is a blessing sent to us in disguise!!

  197. First it was manic depression and then it was a chemical imbalance and then it was bipolar disorder. Now, she’s just kind of de-evolved into scary crazy lady. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s sad. It hasn’t been scary in quite a while, probably since the first time I wished she would die. Just die, be gone, away. I haven’t really been scared of her since I realized that I wish she would finally hurt herself enough that she would no longer BE. That way we could repair some of the damage she’s done to us instead of just constantly doing maintenance work to ensure we’re all still functional enough to look like there is nothing wrong. . . . .
    Today was a bad day. . .

    MY Bipolar Mother showed up to my house when I was out shopping. My husband called me to say he’s been dealing with it for the last 20 minutes. THAT makes me laugh! TRY 32 #$%^& YEARS! But I digress.

    I get home to find my husband outside gardening, he immediately gives me the lowdown. “Your Mom’s inside. She came driving down the block honking her horn yelling EMERGENCY EMERGENCY. She’s bleeding and I tried to talk to her but she’s, you know your Mom. I tried to drive her home but she wouldn’t let me. I didn’t want her to drive and hurt someone. I’m sorry you rushed home, I just didn’t know what to do.”. God luv im!

    My Mother is sitting on my inside steps battered and bruised (black eye, bleeding chin, HUMUNGOUS bump on the side of her cheek bone under her left eye) with my 2 kids. She’s just acting like nothing is wrong and this is your normal everyday Grandma kinda stuff. My kids are giving her tomatoes that we just picked from the garden and drawing her pictures. Now, usually I can handle my Mom. She doesn’t bother me anymore. But something about seeing her with me kids, who are the same ages apart from each other that my little brother and I are. It just TERRIFIED me. I don’t mean I was scared about what I saw but more I was scared PERIOD. Like, when I was 5 and my Mom would pull this same stuff but I couldn’t feel it because that would break me and now I’m 32 and I can feel it so HERE. IT. COMES!
    Basically I gave her the old “you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here” routine. I offered to drive her home and then come back and drive her car to her house. It would seem to anyone who never grew up with a bipolar person like that was insensitive of me but, anything else allows her to hurt me. She would only lie to me about how she got hurt, she doesn’t actually want me to help her heal so why come to my house?
    Ahhhhhh, it doesn’t even matter.
    There is no one who can understand what this is like unless they have grown up with it.

    I thought I was done being hurt by her.
    I am hurt today.

    • I don’t like to admit it, even to myself, but when I see a car similar to Mom’s I get a cold sense of dread. It passes quickly, especially when I realize it isn’t her, but even so it is still there. Fear isn’t the right word, but I don’t know what is.

      I can deal with her, and do what needs to be done, but it would still be easier dealing with a rabid dog. Part of it, I think, is that the rest of the world (those without bipolar relatives) just can’t imaging a good person dealing with their mother like that. Everyone knows that you put down rabid dogs.

      As to why she went to your house, my guess would be for attention. She wanted people to care about her, and what was happening to her. Maybe even comfort her or show some love or compassion. Recognizing that, giving her anything emotionally similar would just lead to more attention seeking behavior. You did right.

      • “Recognizing her car” just totally hit home. I’ve done that for years since my mom abandoned me; I see the kind of car she had & it’s like it almost causes a mini-panic attack because part of me is thinking “oh God, what if she tracked me down to visit me so I can’t avoid her”. I hate it. I know it’s irrational but I can’t help it. Remembering her random crazy ideas, I wouldn’t be surprised if she showed up at my doorstep one day since I avoid all her emails & phonecalls. Therapy is slowing making things easier.

        Christmas was extremely hard for me this year though, knowing my mom’s current situation (forced into a battered women’s shelter &/or living out of her car). One good memory I do have is how extravagant my mom tried to make holidays, she would completely overdo it but my child mind just loved it all (minus outbursts, arguments that ensued). Remembering this & knowing where she is now breaks my heart. I think this has triggered my depression a little deeper. But just reading this site has been so mind-blowing, in finally realizing I’m not alone. Hope everyone had a blessed holiday!

  198. I am a grandmother of my son and his girlfriend daughter. She , I feel is abusive to my grandaughter, she takes medication for depression, but is always tired and complains about aches and pains all the time, and presently is taking more prescription drugs for hurting her elbo, Every meal time , she obsesses over my grandaughters eating, She says Eat your dinner, the other day at macdEonalds , she would not allow her to have a french fry, physically stopping her from picking up a french fry. The child is 4. 2 weeks before that , when I went to her house , she was sitting on a chair with the same clothes on from the day before, and telling me she had just had a 45 minute fight with my grandaugher who is 4, And she said my grandaugher bit her. I said nothing. I am at my wits end. I take them out because I want to be with my grandaughter to protect her when I can. When the baby was born she would stay out all night coming home at 3 the next day. I pay for ballet for my grandaugher, and it is Sat am, the first day of ballet , she had stayed out till 4 drinking, and had booze on her breath when I picked her up to take them. She seems angry at my grandaugher all the time, over nothing, and keeps saying she has to discipline her now before she becomes a teenager, The child has not gained weight in 6 months, I have her on Friday nights, and I keep her calm, and weight her every week. My son when I say anything , says it is his family. I at one time 2 years ago when she was raising her voice at my grandaugher at the table, said it is not pleasant to raise your voice at your daughter over meals. She flew into a rage, called me a mfsob, told me to leave her house, kept yelling at me. I am an educated woman, and work full time at the age of 64, this is killing me, I did call her doctor, and advise him she was smoking marijuans when the daughter was in bed, my son told me. She is 38, and at 18 she has a criminal record for physically hurting someone , as she had a black belt, and did community work as her punishement. I am afraid for my grandaughter. Her own mother I saw verbally mean to my grandaughter, If I say anything to my son, he tells me I will not be allowed to see my grandaughter. I could walk away, but I am bonded to her, and I feel so badly that she has to be yelled at constantly. She has been going to speech, since 2, , but I cannot imagine how a mother could fight with a child for 45 minutes. The child I do believe was afraid and protecting her self. I am thinking of going to a lawyer to obtain partial custody. I am not afraid of her, but I am afraid of what she will do to my grandaughter. She apparently is bipolar, but has had no help from any councelling. Her 40 year old sister just died from drugs. I feel that this person is taking drugs also, but my son is so quiet, and does all the grocery shopping and I would say cleaning. Her clothes are piled up in her room for 2 years. She puts dirty clothes on my grandaughter. I buy her nice things , she will not put them on her. I try to help her , she does not drive. and I take her and my grandaughter out at least 2 x a week and pay for everything. I feel it is value knowing that while my grandaughter is with me she will not die at least. I do not know if support will be on my side. or not if I go to authorites. I could not stand to see her go to a foster home. And the mother of this woman , has money for lawyers to support her daughter in any legal battles. Help

  199. After years of searching for a good book about growing up with a bipolar parent, I finally found this website today! I finally feel like I have place to go when I am feeling particularily helpless about having a bipolar mom. Every story I have read above sounds remarkably similar to my own experiences growing up.
    I am 32, have a twin sister, and my bipolar mother “raised” us as a single parent. Our dad left us for the second, and final time, when we were about 8. I truly think he just got fed up wth her paranoia and crazy mood swings. So he left without a word “goodbye” to us and we barely saw him after that, leaving us to basically deal with our mom on our own.
    Over the years, we were stuck watching and dealing with the following destructive behaviors:
    – she only dated alcoholic, abusive men (while laughing at and making fun of any nice man who came her way),
    -fight with her parents, and isolated us as children from the rest of our extended family
    -talk extremely negatively about EVERYONE behind their backs
    -get mad at us and everyone else in the extended family for no reason
    -accuse us and other people of things we hadn’t done,
    -clean the entire house loudly and violently in fits of rage while throwing and banging things around and screaming at us on a daily basis
    -or, during depressive episodes, not leave her bedroom for days on end
    -refusing to ever get to know about my sister and my lives/friends/school/sports
    -refusing to show any kind of affection towards us from the age of 6 onward
    -and she is a shopping addict and spends any money she gets immediately by going on ebay/craigslist/QVS/etc.
    -when her mother died, she made her mom change her will (on her literal deathbed) to give her the house…(she was going to leave it to my sister and me to pay for college)…when she sold the house this year, she spent all the money ($125,000 at least) immediately, on a new jeep, a new boat, repairs on her boyfriend’s house, a golf cart. who does that?!?
    -she hasn’t worked in the past 7 years or so, she has gotten disability for being “chronically depressed” and alimony from her ex-husband. but her main reason for not working, is some entitled belief of hers that she should “be taken care of” by everyone.
    -she refused to help my sister and I pay for college, but claimed on her taxes she was paying for it to get the child education credits, then bought herself a hot tub with the money.

    The worst was when she was married to her ex-husband (a raging alcoholic) for 8 years, and every single holiday for 8 years turned into a giant ,violent screaming and physical fight between the two of them that ruined the entire family’s holidays. She just doesn’t understand the destruction she has caused in multiple people’s lives. Mostly my sister and min, but also her brother’s and neice and nephew’s. We actually grew up and have very successful careers and lives now (far away from her), but we feel robbed of our childhood, too. We have both undergone therapy for anxiety issues and have learned that it is best to have VERY limited (if any) contact with her at all.

    I sincerely am happy to have found this website, and I can certainly empathize with everyone here. It is a daily struggle to not be overwhelmed in anger every time I hear from my mom. She is the emotional equivalent of a child, and really has no clue how bad she was/is. The worst part is that she has never tried to get help for herself…she self-medicates with xanax and pain pills, but will not go to therapy or take mood stabilizers. My sister and I both have reached the point where we are just done with her. I hope the rest of you can find peace, I know how hard it is.

    • I find it funny your bipolar mom “raised” you too… Not being mean, it’s just the fact that I wouldnt have a college degree or never had a car or clothes or doctors visit or anything that involved any/financial responsibility without my (our : sister and I) father- yet my mother claims to have “raised” us…

      It’s totally normal and sane to expect him alone to foot the entire cost of raising 2 bright kids, yet she managed to raise us… Somewhere in between the 3 day long knock-down drag-out fights fueled by booze and an unbridled hatred for all things related to my stepdad(‘s family) … And then the drunken sobbing on the sofa mumbling about how my father was such a great person and so respectable and so on… I think it has something to do with the fact he’s found a normal balance and moved on… And she’s stuck living in the past…

      One recent lesson I’ve learned is that it’s very easy to get stuck living in the past and wondering how you couldve done things differently- that is if you’re the child of a bipolar parent. It’s easy to get stuck in your own depression and not understand why or how to get out. I’ve learned that if you’re still stuck in ether a personal depression or under the influence of a Bipolar parent; set small attainable goals directed towards the ultimate goal of freedom.

      Anyway- just my 2 cents- best of luck!!

      • Johnnyboy, excellent point about not living in the past. My bipolar mom has been living in the past for the past 30-ish years. She can’t get over any, and I mean any, perceived wrong that anyone has dealt her. And I say “perceived” because she is just so paranoid that usually the accused person has not really done anything wrong. My dad left us, as I said when we were babies, and again when we were 8, (I am 32) and my mom still talks about it like it was yesterday. By having to walk on eggshells around my mom my entire life, I feel highly attuned to the emotions of everyone around me, some might call this being “overly sensitive.” But basically, my crazy detector is also very accurate.
        But I digress, your point about children of bipolar parents having to be careful about not getting stuck in the past is right on the mark, in my opinion. It is extremely hard to not resent my parents, especially when I see how normal parents treat their children. It’s hard not to hold onto a lot of anger about everything I missed out on growing up. I need to get better at not living in the past myself.

  200. I was re-reading some other people’s comments (it is so cathartic to read and write about this) and noted that one woman was getting married in August and had decided not to invite her bipolar mom “to avoid the drama.” I totally get it. I got married in June and didn’t invite my mom, either. It was, yet again, something about her that made me extremely angry. I had neither parent there that day…and try explaining that to other guests, co-workers, and in-laws about why my parents weren’t there. But I would rather explain away her absence than deal with her presence at major events.
    I made the mistake of inviting my mom to my graduate school graduation,, and she made the entire trip all about her. She brought along a bipolar friend I didn’t even know (whom she had met on a website), and that acted weird the entire day. My grandfather (my mom’s dad) drove over 12 hours to come and offered to take us all to dinner, and she and her friend refused to go…then she almost didn’t come to my graduation ceremony (despite me giving 2 of 4 tickets to her and her friend), then she sat at my sister’s house afterwards, refusing to celebrate with any of us. It was a disaster. She was mad at someone for something, but wouldn’t say why or what she was mad about. Ugh. It was just so typical of her. She does that sort of thing at funerals/weddings/any big event, if she even attends them. I was a pallbearer in her grandmother’s funeral because my mom and her brothers refused to go or help (one of her brothers has major anxiety and the other is a drug addict)…and I was upset about having to be a pallbearer, yet the only thing my mom asked when I got back from the funeral was what everyone was saying about HER. Umm, no one even mentioned her, she just thinks everyone is always talking about her.
    One of my exes just died unexpectedly 2 weeks ago, and when I told my mom, my mom just focused on HER sadness and how upset she was. In fact, she hasn’t asked how I am doing once, but she is finding my exes on facebook and emailing them asking how they are doing. Umm, hello… I just got married and don’t really need my mom digging up the past by emailing my exes!
    I am sure many of you can relate. Sorry for the long note again.

  201. Amy- thanks for your feedback… It’s wonderful to know I’m not going nuts and I’m NOT the ONLY one walking on eggshells being overly-sensitive to others. For the longest time I knew my personal/home life was different from that of my peers… For instance; my friends mothers were always kind and usually found me polite, respectful, and a good influence on their own kids- I’ve had many an insightful and intellectual conversation with moms 20-30 my elder. On the other hand, my mom would put usually put on her “normal” face during the rare occasions I would have a friend over. But she couldn’t help aggressively trying to chat with my guest beyond the point of pleasantries- stealing the limelight, if you will…. Being as shallow and judgmental as Ive come to expect, she would always have something negative to say about my peers- apparently everyone was “nice enough” but a bad influence. I managed to introduce 2 or 3 friends she approved of, that I began telling her I’d be hanging out at their houses, whether or not that was the truth.

    Wow now I digress: my point is that at 24 yrs old, I almost feel as Ive had to relearn basic social skills due to my constant eggshell walking. Unlike my peers, I would default to looking at most things in a negative light and being overly judgemental- not to mention constantly fighting the urge to defend myself at every turn, as was ingrained from an early age. I began finding myself worrying about silly little things that most would simply forget about. It’s almost surreal- more often than not I find myself, as an adult, realizing I need to relearn certain social skills from a sane POV. I doubt most people could comprehend relearning these types of things.

    Not all that long ago I felt like my little life was coming apart at the seams before it even got off the ground. The crappy economy certainly hasn’t helped, but I was on track (financially) to move away from “home” to share an apartment with my Girlfriend of 6 yrs and start our adult lives together. Then during one of The many blizzards this past winter, I managed to total my truck driving home late from work (loved that truck & it was all from my daily attempt to avoid contact with mommy dearest ). Then 2 weeks later after a couple glasses of wine during another blizzard and parked in front of my gf’s house, I managed to get charged with a dwi while smoking a cigarette in my vehicle, which served as shelter from the storm since I couldn’t smoke indoors(btw- completely bogus/super sketchy charge-still awaiting for discovery evidence from the prosecutor 6 mos later) —- all of this was just the beginning of a painfully slow spiraling depression. My oversensitivity to others opened the door for my previous employer to take absurd advantage of my irrational need to please my superiors regardless of the personal cost, and I worked myself into exhaustion physically and mentally. I walked away from that job and have yet to find substantial work even today… Finally 3 weeks ago it got to where I would sleep 1 or 2 full days at a time because I basically gave up trying to fix things and avoid my prior mistakes- and pretty much exhausted all savings since the job hunt is still currently hopeless. Then I read about “ruminating depression” or reliving past negative events over and over in the attempt of figuring out where it went wrong- which only sends that person further into depression. Reading this was like an epiphany – I basically snapped out of it then and there. It all finally made sense- the years of suppressed torment and insecurities based solely on the irrational verbal tirades and lashings from my own mother- the one person who everyone takes most seriously and has the greatest impact on most people. Sadly I also realized the better part of my last 15 years were wasted seeking approval from someone who simply can’t approve anything. Turns out my only mistake was not making my own mistakes- or living my own anything for that matter. Oh well- tomorrow’s another day and hopefully the weekly paper will have some promising job listings. Just gotta start all over again- all over again.

    Sorry to rant on and on- it’s just a breath of fresh air to know I’m not alone anymore in all this. You’ve probably dealt with all this already in one form or another.

  202. ~hi everyone. i’m so happy i found this website… because just minutes ago i felt so alone.
    ~i’m 15, just one month ago i found that my mom had bipolar.. since i was born my mom always had mental problems. everybody talked about after-birth metal problems (i’m sorry i don’t know the word for this in english ^^;).
    ~i remember when i was 5 she got out of our house completely nude or just in underwear (can’t remember well) and that’s when my father took her to the hospital and she stayed there months.. then my father signed some papers and she came home. we moved to my grandma’s house so she could help us to take care of my mom.
    ~during my childhood my grandma took care of me, she was like my mother ^__^ . my parents fought really often.. because my mom didn’t work, and my dad worked so much to give our family everything.. but my mom would spend ALL THE MONEY IN STUPID THINGS! my parents fought physically, and almost always in front of me. it was really bad, i remember i would cry so much and beg them to stop…as i grew older i could see them fight but i didn’t even bother anymore, i wouldn’t even worry. and with time they also stopped fighting ( now my dad doesn’t spend so much time at home – he’s working all week away from home – and i think they just got tired of fighting.. ).
    ~my mom and i are always fighting…it’s so tiring. right now she is in maniac-phase,… it’s really sad to see her like this. i love my mom, i love her so much that’s exactly why.. i cry everyday because of this disease..i would love to have my mom as my best friend.. i’m 15 and i have no one to talk to, i have no friends, i’m a extremely shy, i feel like a loser…sometimes i just wish i had someone i could talk too, someone who could understand me. i have no one to help me with my shyness.. i’m always afraid people will laugh at me. sometimes i wonder if my shyness and my problems has to do with my mom disease… for example, when i’m in a group of people or classroom, or just with a person, i have a really hard time expressing my feelings or opinions.. when i’m with my mom and i want to talk and express my opinion she doesn’t pay attention to me, or ignore me.. so i feel like.. maybe it’s better shut up, my opinion doesn’t matter… when my mom is maniac she talks NON-STOP! it’s so tiring.. i get headache T.T she’s taking medication but i guess it’s not working?? … i don’t know i just need a friend!
    ~i still feel blessed somehow because i still have my two grandma’s that helped and still help me so much, and my father that right now must be working so hard, just to give me everything i need … it’s really sad, really sad.. i love my dad, i see he works so hard every week, he is getting old.. and MY FAMILY DOESN’T HAVE ANY SAVED MONEY ( i do have some money i started to save some months ago ) because if i didn’t no one would do that. i feel really sorry reading some stories here, i can see there is much worse situations then mine.
    another thing that left me really sad, was reading that a lot of people here.. lost contact with their moms.. this makes me cry so hard T.T it’s so sad…! i just wish my mom could be HERSELF, SHE’S a wonderful person.. but the disease………. …
    sorry for this huge text. i feel a little bit lighter now that i wrote it… even though i feel like “why am i writing this, will anybody read this, does my story matter” >.< ok but i did it.
    :)kisses to everyone, and be patient ( i will try my best too)

    • Hi YanRan,

      I’m Cheryl. My sister, Gina, read your profile and we are responding together right now. We know you love your mom. We love our mom also and we are older than you. This is something we’ve been dealing with a long, long time. You have many similar problems we had when we were younger and we felt and still feel a lot of the hurt, loss, pain, and wishing for a closer relationship with our mom. If you have any questions about how we are “trying” to deal with it, please let us know. Just know that “you” and everyone on this site are not alone. Just know there are things you can do, but first, is to NOT feel like you don’t matter. We our sure you are loved. It just feels like your mom and our mom consume ALL of the attention. Find someone to talk to, whether it be your Grandmas or Dad or counselor/social worker at school. Me and my sister have struggled for years and finally decided to get help through counseling. It does heal some pain and I guarantee someone will listen! Contact us if you need ANY advice or an ear to listen.

      • Thank you so much for replying 🙂 I’ll try to follow your advice~ and yes, i would like to know more about how you deal with your mom.. because, sometimes i wonder, if i should compliment her all the time or just say the true(when she’s maniac and her self-esteem is oh-so-high)…

    • I know exactly what you mean with the public thing even though im a lil firecracker im too social im intelligent even though i havent finished school but this month ive been starting to notice the extents I go to avoid confrontations anyone angry at all everyone says they dont hear me so during discussions that I know alot about or really good points and facts to add noone hears me i cant raise my voice i feel like im yelling so i just sufice to be unheard intil im spoken toand then i dont shut upbut i alwayds feel invisable…… ive also noticed im very careful with mannerisims and way to concernd about others and there feelings or opinions etc you know the im always the one to move outta the way when walking towards one another on the street, not looking people in the eyes as i walk down the street cause ive been good at making people mad so im so paronoid all the timemakes it kinda uncomfortable to try and mingle you say your shy may ask your interests maybe i can suggest things cause being a social butter fly i seem to have floated everywhere from tree huggin protester type person animal rights to bussinessie world to rocker to lil rapper to the grundge thing and the only reason i put it that ways is cause we all migraite towords people common with or selves which makes catagories of types of people vague but you will beable to see which direction or social setting to explore just saying though i know what it feels like to be shy to speak out and be the first to say hello to a stranger or someone youve seen everyday for a yr on the same bus but you still dont know there name

  203. Johnnyboy, It sounds like we have a lot in common in terms of shared experiences with a bipolar mother. My twin and I got near-daily verbal lashings about how whatever we were supposed to do wasn’t good enough (usually chores around the house)…Our mother also rarely approved of any friends we had, and to this day she still doesn’t. Really, she doesn’t approve of anyone in her life most of the time, even the men she has married or dated. It is impossible for her to have a normal, healthy, happy adult relationship with anyone. Some of my friends or distant family members don’t realize this or the extent of her bipolar (I think she is mixed bipolar, and thus her normal state is angry, depressed, irrational, paranoid, and hypomanic all rolled up into one)…like I said in an earlier post, I didn’t invite her to my wedding this past summer, and it was tough trying to explain why to people who asked (in-laws/my boss).

    It’s been tough growing up with very little guidance that we children of bipolar parents have. I haven’t as much dealt with depression, but have had anxiety from a very young age. I’ve finally gotten the help I need with a therapist and meditation. But I am convinced that it all stems from growing up in an emtionally labile, unpredictable, unsafe environment.

    I really feel for you, Johnnyboy, and I have been in your spot in terms of relearning basic social skills that most people with healthy parents take for granted. In fact, my first several romantic relationships didn’t work out, because I honestly had never learned how to show affection for people. I had no clue. I had to learn that at age 20, among other things. Kudos to you for at least recognizing and bring introspective enough to realize your limits and what you might need help with. But I guess that is often what defines us (children of bipolar parents), we often can easily take blame for things…even if they aren’t our fault. Anyway, good luck with the job search. It is definitely a tough market. If you ever want to talk about it more, my email is thetanpecan@yahoo.com. Best wishes!

  204. YanRan, It’s Gina I hope you do take my advise. I am 30 and just recently started to open up to people about my mother. Everyone has been very kind to me and I wish that I would have done it sooner. I have a couple questions for you…When you compliment you mother what do you say? Also when you ask weather or not you should tell her the truth what do you mean by that? What is it that you want to tell her? Please know that you are not alone! I just found this website a couple of weeks ago and it is so amazing to read to everyones stories. I feel like as I sit hear I’m reading my life story. One thing I’d like for you to know is that its clear to me from reading everyone’s experiences that bipolar people are very self centered, my mother included. It’s best for you not to fight for attention from your mother. Odds are she is always going to be wrapped up with her self instead of you. Maybe you can start to look for that attention from you father or one of you grandmothers. Always remember that your mother loves you and that she is just sick! I can relate to you on many levels. My parents fight often and my Dad struggles to support my mother. My Dad is getting old and in a lot of debt from my moms terrible spending habbits. Up until very recently I have been overwhelmed with fear for what might happen to them in the future. I have been seeing a counsler and she has taught me that I need to start putting myself first, instead of constanly worring about everyone else. I have been trying to do that and I feel much better about my situation since doing so. Try to stop holding the wieght of the world on you shoulders and do something nice for yourself! Let me know if you have any other questions. You are too young to let you mothers illness consume your life. Keep in touch! Love..Gina

  205. Hello YanRan, It’s Gina. I hope that you do follow my advice because I am 30 and just started opening up to people about my mother and everyone has been so kind and understanding. I wish I would have done it a lot sooner! Not everyone will know what to say or how to give you advice on how to deal with you situaton but at least the people closest to you should know what you are going through. Its not good to hold stuff in. I have a couple of questions for you…What do you say to your mother when you compliment her? Also, you asked if you should tell her the truth…what is it that you want to tell her? If you could answer those questions for me I think I will be able to respond to your questions better. One thing I want for you to know is that you are not alone. I have also felt very alone at times but since finding this website a couple of weeks ago I don’t feel like I am the only on going through this terrible situation. As I sit hear and read everyone’s experiences I feel like I am reading my life story. You said that you feel like your mother doesnt pay attention to you, I have felt like that many times. One thing that you need to understand is that bipolar people are very self centered. This does not mean that your mother does not love you she is just a very sick person. My father also works himself to death to support my mother and is in a lot of debt because of her terrible spending habbits. I worry about them all the time, it can be very exausting. The best advice that I can give to you is to please start to take care of yourself! You remind me a lot of myself always worrying and trying to make things better for everyone else. The truth is things are probaly always going to be difficult for your family, all you can do for them is love them you can’t fix them. You should start doing things that make you happy, start worrying about yourself. I hope you take my advice! Please let me know if you have any questions or if i can help you in anyway! Take Care, Gina

    • Hey, Gina 🙂 So, answering your questions first~ What i meant was that, when my mom is in the maniac-phase her self-esteem is really high, so she keeps talking about our uncle that is rich, and how her family is all rich (we are not), and well..it doesn’t really matter because i found out that the best way is just say yes to everything..this way she just stays more calm 🙂 next week i’m going to the hospital with her, to an appointment with her doctor, and i’m going to talk with him, i’m sure he can help with her medication and give me some more advice. my mom keeps doing wrong things, this month she just rented a shop and she wants to sell clothes and stuff…i’m lucky i still have my dad and grandmother! I know what you mean by self-centered, you are right.. it’s just sad sometimes..because i somehow feel she doesn’t love me, but i know she does! Well, thank you for your support 🙂 Keep in touch~

  206. I have started and stopped this reply four different times. Every sentence seems to come out all wrong. If I were to write raw, I may border on offensive. If there are those reading this that find me off putting, my apologies in advance. It is not my intent. The disease that has compromised my mother also consumes my younger sister. I know that all of those threaded through this website may understand and yet still be offended by my next few statements….I guess I need to get these words in an open forum, just an audience that has personal experience on the subject at hand.

    I haven’t lived in the same timezone as my family in over 12 years. Despite the distance, I find myself taking slurring phone calls, texts designed to make me feel guilty, and angry voice mails in which I am reminded that the victims of bi-polar cannot help their behaviors. I sigh. Perhaps they are right. Of course, it is important to note that both my sister and mother, have spent years coping with addiction, both perscription pills and alcohol in addition to crippliing depression bouts and manic highs, leaving my mother in several notable relationships, and my sister making local papers for everything from indecent exposure to multiple DUIs. My mother seems to think it is a matter of magic chemistry. Get the right prescriptions and psychiatrist, and ta da. You’re manageably curable. This would be true except my mother has a 17 year trend of getting the right scripts and great doctors only to feel good, flush the pills, cancel the doctor’s appointments, and drink whiskey. Rinse. Repeat. At the darkest hours, I get calls from third parties explaining that she is in some hospital wanting to meet Jesus.

    My younger sister (only by one year), has had an affinity for drugs since she was 15. Addicts, in themselves, are disappointing and reckless. Coupled with my sister’s bi-polar diagnosis, there are several moments that are ridiculously hard for others to relate, and I have been accused (perhaps righfully so) for being insenstive and rigid to the subject.

    Most of my stories are told in bite size pieces because I don’t want to overwhelm my friends. In fact, I can only manage the disease in fragments. The gammet of emotions ranges from dark sarcastic humor to down right jealousy of those that have a place to visit for Christmas.

    There are those of you that have overcome and managed relationships with those suffering. I applaud. There are those of you attempting to understand and manage to the disease. Again, my repsects are to you. There are, however, a few of us that really struggle compartmentalizing the disease. I do not have the shut off valve to recognize “Oh, it’s the addiction or the bi-polar talking.” I wish like hell I did.

    Where has it left me? No contact. There is a shred of me that feels inadequate as there a real disease gripping the two, and I can’t cope. Either I am falsifying sympathy to talk them from something detrimental or I am behaving as myself, attempting to solve. That, in particular, is ill received. I am left feeling guilty for insensitvity and not understanding the disease.

    If there is anyone out there that has words, an experience, or just a thought of validation that I am not completely heartless, it would be much appreciated. I am grateful for the opportunity to share, and I am sorry that we as strangers are brought together under such painful and personal experience.

  207. Agree—you are not heartless. If people are judging you in any way for the way you react/treat your family, it is probably because they don’t understand your situation. It’s one of the burdens of having a bipolar parent, the risk of appearing heartless and cold, when really you are doing the healthiest thing you can possibly do for yourself. It is self-preservation.
    I can not compartmentalize my mother’s illness, either. I can not separate her disease from her person, because the two are SO intertwined. I am 32 and have finally reached the point of no contact as a means of self-preservation and repair. My mother will never get the help she needs because she doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with her. It is always someone else’s fault. While I may always struggle with feelings of guilt for not wanting to be in contact with her, I think that is healthier than being around her or talking to her. Luckily, she lives several states away now (after her spur of the moment decision to move in with an old high school boyfriend 2 years ago). Any time I think I can have a normal relationship with my mom, she completely shatters that visage with a baseless accusation or paranoia or hatefulness. Time and time again. I am at the end of the road with her.

    My sister and I are through bailing her out of her messes. I can not imaging also having a bipolar sibling. I think by all means, you need to protect yourself from them.

    I wish you the best and hope that gave you some of the validation you need.

  208. Hi im jessica. Im 16 years old. I have an older brther he just recently moved out because the fights my mom would start with us. Last night he did nothing to help.

    So my mom was at work and it slipped out the washer broke. With little money my mom has she got upset. Thats understandable but when she came home she was in a good mood. Her toothache came and she took a few shots in tequilla for the pain. Eveything was going fine til my brother called about cleaning the basement for the man to come. I dont know his tone in this but i know what he said “where do i put the stuff” and my mom started screaming i dont know. She flipped out calling both of us ungrateful. I got up and went into my room cause i didnt wanna do this tonight. My mom keeps yelling at me and threw her remote at her ceeling fan causing glass to shatter all over her room. I was hiding behind my door. With my back against it. She charged at my door and it opened but then closed on her fingers because of the weight of my body. I didnt even know she was at my door. She might have broken her fingers. She grabbed a bottle of asprin and threatenes suicide ( she has threatened it many times before) she took a few. Idk how many then trhough the bottle at me and got up and left the house. She drove off while i was on the floor crying. I admit i was being sarcastic and back talking but not as bad as i usually do if its my fault but with this i didnt deserve it. I didnt do anything wrong. I call my ex in tears. I tried cleaning up most of the glass in her room cause i couldnt see it all. An hour passes and i was ready to call the police. She came home and started screaming. She went into her room and yelled bout glass in her foot.. she started to say she wishes she was dead how much she hates us and f*** you to me. i kept hiding in my room. She threatened suicide again and i told her one more time im calling the police. She stopped after that. I laid in bed and she kept making comments about.me and my brother. I ignored her with music. I cried the rest of the night. This morning i woke up with a fever so i said i cant go to school. She screamed lazy bitch at me and made me clean the rest of the glass again saying f*** you ect ect… these fights are usually this bad. But this.is the first she drove off. This is why my brother moved out but when i called crying and scared he did nothing to help.. what do i do in this fight when t happena again? She always threatens suicide and throws stuff. This time i didnt get slapped. But she ways has crazy eposodes and mood swings. Is she bi polar.?

  209. I am a young mother. My daughter is 5 and I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 yrs ago. in the begining, it took a while to get the right med combination and i have been hospitalized twice.. all though my daughter only knows of once.. and i have not attempted suicide. I take my meds and truly i dont have anger issues on top of my illness. i am very consistant with my daughter. in my personal life.. education/ job i struggle more with consistancy. I am divorced and am trying to decide where my daughter should live… her dad is not the best place for her either… So i want to know, is it possible for me to raise my daughter in such a way that my bipolar will not affect her in an abusive way. obviously there will always be some trials… but if i can make sure that those trials are limmited… i wounder if i can raise my daughter with out my illness affecting her anymore than if i were only physically ill. this might be an idealized view, and i will make my desicion carefully, but i want some feed back… not feedback that is completely full of anger toward bipolar parents, but truly do any of you think that if your parents were diagnozed early in childhood and sought and attended treatment that their illness would not have been an abusive experience?

  210. hey there anonymous,Id like to throw my opinion about this in here, about the living situation. as a mom my self who struggles with consistancy and moods,depression I personally think that everything has its level of sevarity. if you are high functioning NOT erratic or abussive I feel children should always be with the mom, unless you your self feel inadequate ( pardon my spelling) and feel genuinely shed be better off with her dad then that is for you to deside just make sure your Not making the discions on what if’s that never happen, you seem to actually care about her and her well being so until you start being selfish abusive verbally, physically,emotionaly and exposing your child to things you could really avoid then keep her with you but always make sure someone a friend your fam?> someone who knows you well enough that you wont rip a new one if there telling you your out of control and if you do slump in severe depression or go to the hospital make sure theres always a safe person she can go that wont interrupt her life and have a huge impact or devistation to her just know when your not putting her first but dont forget about you if your bi polar you will be for ever and she will have to learn about it and experience it its just the way it goes.. it is a part of you and your family be aware of your habbit’s triggers etc unfortunatley you do have to try that much harder the the usual person with that much more on your plate but one thing moms have is this unusual inner strength once youve desided or been put in a situation where you have no choice but to pull threw you will as long as you have ur babygirl in your site shes first and you make a concious effort to take care of your self . my moms been bipolar my whole life undiagnoised until she attempted suicide when i was 15 due to a break up with sum bf ………shes leveled she has her traits that piss me off but theres alot of damage done and unrepairable but no matter what I love her and I will be the one their for her but I have told her if i notice her moods are off cause sometimes she doesnt take them properly etc or desides to stop then in all she willl NOT be allowed in my sons life but until something happens im not going to take that away from him . if your daughter goes else where and its not reallly evident why it was cause more harm resentment and rebelious behavoirs all that you DO have a choice in do your best thats all you can do and when you know you cant make sure you pick the right person who will continue your level of care and keep her going straight in the right direction my biggest thing is that my mom is selfish everything comes before my self and my sister and our children it has been and always will be that way but shes come to just accept it and not work on it as i said everyone has a choice in life your incontrol of it 🙂 I ve started therepy recently im hopeing i can get my self to a point of calm emotionally healthy and a good romadel for my son in what he should have as a partner in late future but I have that fire under my ass to fix it my son has special needs and if i dont break the cycle imagine the buckets of s*** i would add to his already harder life but he makes me wantto be better im sure your babygirl does the same for you sorry kinda rambeld hope my opinion helps or doesnt afend either or lol until then take care nay:)

  211. Hello. Growing up I had no idea what I was dealing with when it came to my family. I know my Mom yelled a lot and would go through these mood swings. Eventually she was hospitalized by Dad. Eventually, still not knowing what was really wrong with her, I ran away. I could not deal with the craziness. Of course I was brought back. I was a teenager. Eventually, though, I was given to the State and I worked hard to get out of foster care and became emancipated at 16 years of age. While I don’t recommend untreated bipolars (and later found my Dad to be untreated schizophrenia) to raise children, I really don’t recommend our foster care system. I have so many horrible memories. I didn’t talk to my Mom until late 2004, when my Dad committed suicide. After that, we went through a lot of things together, but I never did any real research on Bipolar. I have the jist of it, but it seems I need to learn so much more. Lately she has gone on several spending sprees and what appears to be attention seeking behavior. She’s on several medications and was told not to drive, yet she does. She has been hospitalized 3 times, this past month, for back pain and falling. She’s had her knees replaced and I am not sure if her behavior is a result of Bipolar or genuine and she needs to have therapy to get her legs working correctly. She had surgery several years ago but has not walked right since. I do not understand things. I am not looking for advice, per se, but if you have some good books I can get at the library or online reading, I am all ears. I need to learn more because my Grandma has already buried two of her children and I don’t want to lose my Mom. I want to deal with this, even though I feel like a prisoner. I never left my home state because of my Mom. I accept that things will never be normal but I want to help her live as long as possible. I think things went really far downhill after she lost Dad. Anyway, reading your blogs has put a little bit into perspective. I just want to learn more. Thank you for making this site.

  212. I am a bipolar mom. If I had known as a teenager that I had this disease which makes stress very difficult (depression, mania) to handle I would not have had a child. The reasons would be not to pass on the disease and not to give my child less than a good childhood. In many ways I did well, I got a college education and a good professional job – but I paid dearly for the stress. My daughter won’t talk to me about exactly why but she has been very distant since she’s been on her own and now has cut me off. I wasn’t correctly diagnosed until my 50’s, not for lack of seeking help but it was after her childhood and the damage it did to her. I’m very conflicted because I ache for the pain I caused her but I didn’t get a choice to have some “acceptable” physical disease. And it is HELL to be depressed to the point of wanting to die, or burning yourself out with energy that just isn’t right. It’s a damn lonely disease and I’m afraid to be sad and I’m afraid to be happy in case it doesn’t stop there. It is not proven but studies show 1/2 of those with bipolar were abused as children. I can easily see that under stress a kid can’t resolve that the brain is damaged, particularly if sleep is disturbed.

    • I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 53. When I was young I had lots of friends, was married and raised two children. I got really sick last year and that was when I was finally diagnosed. My husband and adult son and daughter pushed to get me treatment and it has been very successful-the medication works well. My husband of 33 years continues loyally at my side but I feel my adult son and daughter pulling away more and more. My heart is so broken and you are right it is so lonely. I now find it hard to stay employed. I am beginning to see why so many people with bipolar disorder commit suicide.They find themselves more and more isolated and they cannot stop it.Reading the blogs on this site people really seem to think their mothers had the power to stop what they were going through. No mention of a single good thing their mothers ever did for them. I can’t even get my head around what I read here.Oh well-I am getting on with my life too -I have a lot of life to live and a lot of goals to pursue. My son and daughter are free to do as they choose.

  213. 3yrs going on strong my mom is suffering w/ bipolar& manic depr. I was raised by father she was to wild always partied n other men were to important than me. Im now 32 happily married got back in moms life @ the age 26? Her husband died unsudden never grieved, lost her home, job, car, family, whole life in general. 1 day she flipped out total 180* had her hospitalized 4x’s only $ was her inheritance i spent it all on hosp n her ciggarrettes & hotels, we live in WA ST. NO 1 & I MEAN NO 1 will help ='( state, family or friends, I AM OFFICIALLY DONE I WILL NOT TRY TO HELP HER she wont help herself i will finish payin her rent until the rest of her funds run out & then she will be homeless i have bo choice for 3 yrs ive tried its time to concentrate on my kids & my husband am I wrong? Is this abbondonment? Is it sad to say I dont care anymore? I just am out of energy ='(

    • Livnnmomzbipolorshadow, You’ve done what you can. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that if you don’t keep your distance at times and take “breaks”, if you decide to have any contact at all, it can end up actually driving you crazy too. I too have recently decided I’m done with my mother. She has social workers, therapists, doctors, and frequents the ER and calls the police to get her negative attention. i’m not going to enable or encourage her behavior anymore. Starting to feel the rocks fall off my shoulders and each week gets a lil better. I know I can’t ignore her for the rest of my life as there will be somethings that have to be dealt with down the road but until then-i’m out. My kids’ safety comes first and so does the health & well-being of my family. It took a long time for me to be able to get to this place and say this “outloud”. I too understand about all the energy just being drained right out of you. You are not abandoning your mother-if you focus on only her and let it consume you, you’ll be abandoning yourself and that’s not healthy for you. It’s also not sad to say you don’t care anymore. Really, I mean it. I have cut my mom out of my life less than 2 weeks ago and each day is another chance for healing. In order to heal you need to be healthy. It helps me to think of it like this-i do love my mother but I do it from a distance. I won’t get close to that fire again because every time, no matter what-i get burned. It’s sad at times, yes, very sad, but you have to do what’s healthy for yourself too. It may sound harsh to someone who’s never dealt with bipolar and episodes and mania and cycling, and all the ups and downs and emotional roller coaster rides, hospital visits, delusions, police drama, but they just don’t understand what we go through-that’s all. Much love and I pray for blessings and miracles to come your way.

  214. I am a 49 year-old daughter of a bi-polar single mother. I just celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary and have raised two children, a son who just turned 21 and a daughter who just turned 19.. I have done my best to be a loving mother and have tried to raise strong, independent children who will pursue the talents they are gifted in in life. And I have been fortunate to be married to a husband who was raised by stoic (non-bi-polar, as far as we know) parents, so his lack of emotionalism and sense of humor have been a life-saver for me and my children.

    Like many of you, I have had to completely shield my family from the manipulation and irrationality that I grew up with with my single mother. And I still struggle with the guilt of that, eventhough, life was a literal hell for me as an only child and I frankly feel it was due to the grace of God that I survived the crazy childhood I had and am a high-functioning, productive member of society!

    However, as an adult child, I still struggle with a lack of self-worth, feelings of abandonment, and these struggles have haunted me and stifled my career growth. I am an intelligent, hard-working person, but also very untrusting and find it difficult to create friendships at work and in general. I’ve sought counseling regarding this, but the stigma and guilt still haunts me, and I fear it always will.

    I did not read through every single post on this site, but every one I did read resonated loud and clear with me. We’re not alone, but what do we do???

  215. Hi just have a family crisis here need some advice my partner and I live with my partners mum and sister and her boyfriend. At the moment me my partner and daughter
    are away on a working holiday at the moment my partners mother and sister are at home stil living together they are fighting my partners sister is saying her mum is gettin unwell again with bipolar disorder. And she thinks her mum has tricked the whole family into thinking she is sick and not my partners mum. Very confusing I think my partners mum
    is on the verge of being unwell how can I get her help? She has had a few stages of being unwell we have helped her through it before and last time they nearly didn’t admit her because
    she went in there and said she was
    fine and they believed her so do u think my mother inlaw is sick or my sister inlaw ;-(

  216. Hi everyone, I am 34, and just like most of you, my mother is bipolar. Spending all these years with her was like being stuck in a spider web. I often compare her to a spider sucking the life out of me and living with her was like living in a prison. Not a happy time, I’m afraid!
    In my eyes, she is extremely self-centred, very possessive and highly manipulative. Just like yours, she enjoys drama. The only thing she can talk about is herself and her “problems” (She makes up stories sometimes when she wants me to pity her). I just want a quiet, peaceful and happy life. But with her, this is not possible. That is why I decided to move on without her.
    All I can say is that there had been too many events and when you pull the rope too hard, it breaks.
    Here is a short list of what we had to put up with. In the end, it tore the family apart:
    • Verbal and physical abuse. My dad was her main target, but we got some too.
    • Threat of killing us often with a knife or a machete in her hand. She would stab the wall or the settee. When my dad left us, we had no one to protect us and we called the police. She got locked up in a psychiatric hospital on Christmas Eve. The scariest part of it was the look in her eyes. She was enjoying it and we were scared to death. My sister ended up in foster care and I suffered from post-traumatic stress for several months after that. I was 25 at the time, Jess was 16. I was studying in the UK and I was visiting to celebrate Christmas. I lost the Christmas spirit after this incident.
    • Suicide blackmail which she carried out (a few times during my exams, I was the target, but I never failed, and of course on numerous occasions later on in life).
    • Suicide attempts with all the drama. One day my dad picked her up from hospital, she refused to go with him and started running in the hospital with her knickers on and nothing else. She also bit a nurse and was very proud of it.
    • She smashed my car with a brick and ended up in court for it.
    • She stole money from my bank account. At the bank, they thought I was ok with it. After a few months, I realised I was not getting my statements any more, and I went to the bank. She was hiding them from me and of course, she was helping herself every month. I could have made a fuss about it, but my dad advised me no to because she would make my life even worse than it was. I was 19 at the time and still living with my parents. After this, it was not possible to withdraw money without showing an ID. My mum changed bank, and swore she would make my life a living hell because of the humiliation I put her through. I left the house.
    • Begging for money. She made me believe she was in need and that she had no food. I helped her out on several occasions. I was still a penniless student then, but I did the shopping for her and gave her some money. It dragged on for a few years until that day when I found out that she had at least €260,000 sleeping in her main account. A few months later, she bought herself a boat she never used and gave her partner a new car. I told myself that I would never give her any cash after this.
    • Begging and harassing for money (which she probably does not need). As I said, I was no longer keen to give her any cash, but to get some she decided that she would harass me on the phone. I was 3-4 months pregnant when she gave it a go and, of course, she was fully aware of my pregnancy. The phone did not stop ringing from very early in the morning until late at night, all day long, for money. After 10 days, I gave in and arranged a transfer from my account to hers. But the calling did not stop. It was driving me crazy. I ended up changing my phone number and I never spoke to her again after that. Will she ever get a chance to meet my daughter? I do not think so…

    I am so angry with her for not being a mother to me. I do not see why I would be a daughter to her.

  217. Good day!

    I stumbled across this blog in my quest for a greater understanding (comfort?) around living with a bi-polar mother. I am so amazed by the comments posted on here, all of these scenarios are so familiar it’s shocking.

    I have lived under a veil of sadness and shame throughout my teens and into my 20’s (I’m 25 now) and I have been stuck on this hellish roller coaster ride up until a few months ago. After enduring earth shattering experiences, consistently, for ten years, I had finally had enough of my mother’s behaviour. She is an alcoholic bi-polar who refuses to believe that she has any problems at all. She has nearly drunk herself to death many times over the last few years as my sister and I begged, cajoled, whined, shouted, negotiated and essentially threw ourselves against a brick wall – but to no avail. She never changed, never got help and remains permanently on death’s door.

    The breaking point came after a few ‘good’ months (lack of depression, seemingly ‘normal’ behaviour and ability to hold down a job) she went completely off-your-rocker crazy. Literally overnight she changed from a functioning kindly person to a deluded violent maniac. The shock was astounding. My sister and I were kicked out of the house for not doing the dishes, she threatened to assault us with a hockey stick and said ‘I should have put arsenic in your food years ago’ Incredibly shocking, incredibly sudden and unexpected as we thought she’d found the right combo of meds, but oh how wrong we were.

    A few days later in a manic drunken stupor she was affronted by neighborhood security guards as she was blasting music from her car from 6pm to well past midnight, she violently attacked them. My neighbor got involved, she attacked him too and tried to run him over in her car. Assault charges were lain and she was arrested. We refused to pay the bail as everyone was terrified of her, myself included.

    I tried to piece my life together as best I could but now she is out, free and a dangerous self destructive loose cannon. She recently traveled to the coast and bought a car cash. Mania is on an all time high and she thinks that she has unlimited paid leave from her employers. She is psychotic, manic, dangerous and drunk most of the time.

    I’m trying to deal with feelings of guilt about ‘abandoning’ her, but her self destructive ways are getting too much. Do these horrid feelings of guilt, shame and anxiousness fade over time? What will happen if she’s dies.

    I’m so scared and so sad.

    Thanks for a great place to vent.

  218. Lucy,
    First, I am sorry to hear about your experiences. I know how difficult it is to experience getting your hopes up (by seemingly “normal” behavior for a bit) only to have those hopes shattered by immediate bizarre/manic/mean/etc. behavior. I posted a few times in September about my experiences with my bipolar mother, and talked a little about my recent decision to cut her out of my life. It’s only been about two months for me, and I struggle with guilt every day. She was a single mom who raised us and all, but living with her was horrendous and one-sided for our entire lives. With the holidays approaching, it is even more sad (despite the fact that she ruined every holiday for us for many years by self-medicating with pills and/or threatening suicide and fighting with her husband)…

    Further, I have only told a select few people about my decision to leave my mom out of my life, but only my partner and sister understand and believe in that decision. It’s hard to feel judged by people (even if they don’t understand the situation) for making such a difficult decision, and you can risk appearing ungrateful, spoiled, or stubborn. But in the end, when I go to bed at night, I at least feel like I am back in control of my life. You can’t control what your mom does, but you CAN control how you react to it. Or if you will even react to it. If your mom is anything like mine, you have been left feeling powerless over her often psychotic, paranoid, hurtful actions. And the best thing you can do is to stop subjecting yourself to her unpredictable whims.

    I wish I could say the guilt and sadness gets easier. Maybe in time, it does.
    I also worry about what will happen if/when my mom dies. Our extended family has buried their heads in the sand about her mental illness, they choose to stay out of it. So I am sure my sister and I look like the big a-holes for not talking to her anymore. I guess we need to not worry about what everyone else thinks so much.

    Best of luck to you.

  219. Best site ever. I’ve read through most of the posts here and can relate to all of them in at least some aspect. This is amazing to me. Things I’ve never been able to put into words before are all in your posts. Thank you so much for this. I’m gearing up to write my own experiences with this disease and as I’m fighting back tears, I believe this place to come together and vent and share our experiences will serve us well. I’ve been at my wits end lately in dealing with my mother and it’s been very, very stressful and unhealthy not to mention unfair to my 4 & 1 year old and my marriage. I am in awe of everyone’s words and will maybe even sleep easier tonight knowing I now have a place to come and connect with others like me. This is the first time I’ve felt validity EVER when it comes to this situation in my life. Having a bi-polar mother hasn’t been a picnic to put it lightly. I’ll share more when I work up the nerve & courage to do so. I’m so glad you are all here, too bad it’s under these circumstances though.

  220. I would love to see a forum open here for people to come together and share. I find so much comfort from this website.

  221. I am a 31 year old woman with a 3 year old little girl, a baby on the way and i have a bi-polar mother. I should also mention that I am adopted and that 7 months ago my family (mom, my younger brother, and myself) lost the glue that held us together. My dad. For years it has been some very strong lines of favortism in the house I grew up in. My mom outright favored my younger brother and has even gone as far as to admit that she loves him more. I always knew that my mom had manic depression but did not realize that meant that she was bi-polar.
    When she was originally diagnosed I was 13 and was told that mom has depression but did not grow up in a home where things like disease were discussed. I have recently booked my first session with a counsellor to talk about the issues that I have with my mother both past and present.
    I would be interested to know if other people felt like they were also the “outlet for their mother’s crazy”, as a kid I have memories of her ripping the head off of my favorite doll or smashing a plate on the floor and screaming “look at what you made me do” after my brother colored all over the wall. As an adult I have found that she has had to manipulate or hurt me in different ways. After my father passed away from a lengthy battle with Cancer, I planned the entire funeral and the evening of his funeral my mother got drunk and slapped me accross the face for no apparant reason, then phoned me the next morning as if nothing had happened. Or – she offered to sell myself and my husband her truck and then three weeks later informed me that she had placed it into the paper. There never seems to be any remorse for her actions, she expects me to just “get over it” – to coin her phrase. Now that I am a mom and starting to come to terms with the years of what I deem to be physical and emotional abuse I just don’t know what to do about her. I told her 7 months ago that I was done with the phoning me and yelling at me and then hanging up on me among other things. I told her that if she did that again that I was done. This past Friday she phoned me at work, yelled at me and hung up. I haven’t spoken to her since and her birthday is this coming weekend. I feel torn. On one hand I know I am not responsible for her actions but on the other I question if she is responsible for her actions. I also feel unbelievably angry because growing up and now into adulthood she continues to focus all of this negativity on me… her daughter who has a full time career, a part time student, in her third trimester of pregnancy and has a toddler at home.. yet my brother who is a couple years younger than I am has no goals in life and I believe he has a problem with alcohol.. him.. well he gets celebrated and put up onto a pedastal..

    Do other mother’s with bi-polar disease focus all of their negativity on just one child or just one source? Do I call my mom on her birthday?

    • My mother was always extremely jealous of any achievements or accomplishments I made. I think it made her feel insecure because the attention was off her for a few seconds. Reading your story reminded me of that. Sounds like it may be related to that in someway maybe?

      • Thank you for your comment- after almost a year in counselling I am proud to say that I set up extreme boundaries with my mother. Those boundaries have allowed me to have the strength to change the face of our relationship. I am no longer her personal emotional punching bag. I now have two daughters, they maybe see their grandmother five times a year, but that is more than enough. This site helped me to find the strength to get professional help, and to build the self confidence that I needed to change my reactions to my mother. I can look back now on my original blog post, and know that the person I was, the person confused by my mothers actions was not at fault, and find peace in knowing that her problems are hers and not mine. Throughout this journey I’ve been judged and questioned by many people that felt like I was disowning my mother. What I did was for my families health and happiness and if I had it to do over again I wouldn’t try to change anything.

    • It’s good to hear that you have found some peace with your situation. You words give us all hope that we will eventually find our own peace. After the death of our mothers, hopefully we can look back with compassion and know that they were sick, but also know that removing ourselves from the situation is what our mothers would have wanted for us if they were healthy. People who think you should continue an abusive relationship just because the relationship is with your mother are just as wrong (idiotic?) as people who think battered wives should stay in abusive relationships for the sake of their children.

  222. @ Nicole: your mother is no mother to you. So why would you bother with her birthday? I do not call mine on her birthday. I do not call her on Mother’s day, and she does not hear from me on Christmas day either. You have your own family now. A piece of advice, move on without your mum and think of how great the future can be without her madness. The only person who can help her is herself and she is not making any effort, so why would you?

  223. I feel so much relief knowing I’m not alone in dealing with bipolar disorder. My mother has it. I can’t even begin to go back to childhood yet so let’s just start with today. I have soo much anxiousness and I know it stems from her. I know I’m stronger and a fighter because of what I’ve endured but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I am 34 now, married 2 years ago and have a 4 yr old & 1 yr old. They deserve the best childhood. Infact, that is my goal everyday-to give them unconditional love and make sure they know how much I love them-no matter what. That’s not to say they can just get away with anything-but my daughter will never be called a whore by me or stupid or a bitch or anything of the sort. I pray everyday-multiple times a day-to do the exact opposite of what my mother did to me and for me to be able to be a good mother and show my children by example what it’s like to have a stable & healthy family life. It’s the #1 important thing in my life. My life has changed so much since kids & marriage and a house. It’s taken decades but I am finally starting to realize how blessed I am to have these kids, my marriage and a house. My babies mean the world to me and I’ll be damned if I let my mother hurt them like she did me and my siblings. Today, there was a knock on my door. It was the police. They asked if I knew who so&so was-I said yes-she’s my mother. She lives an hour away. She called the police and told them I was on the computer and was ignoring my children. She sent me text after text saying every mean and hateful, spiteful thing she could think of. She’s called the police on me so many times I am used to it now. The only thing about that that has changed is when I was a teenager the police always believed HER. Now the tables are turning and it is being brought to light the person she really is with this disease. She used to be really good at putting on a front for police, doctors, etc….but not anymore. Back to the police, I invited the officer in and he said with a chuckle-“sooo you’re not on the computer ignoring the kids?” He said the message was barely coherent, asked where she lived and apologized for bothering us. I apologized for her bothering him. He said we need to go to family court & have her declared incompetent-however, we just don’t have the money right now. Just in the last few months I’ve been able to talk to her dr, social worker, psychiatrist, etc…and they all said the same thing-so what r u sup 2 do if u don’t have the $? Anyways, she’s threatened to call CPS in her text – she does this often-now, I’m pretty sure they’ll be here next week sometime because she’s on a manic rage episode. Everybody else has left her-I was trying to at least make sure she was safe out of honor to my passed away grandparents and God. I moved out when I was 17 and finished my last yr of h.s. on my own in my own apartment. I wanted nothing to do with her anymore and escaped any way I could. That was my out. Well, if it hadn’t been for my 2 younger brother & sister I would’ve completely written her off then-but I knew I couldn’t leave them in that environment. So I would get them on the weekends and “pretend” to be on good terms with my mother so I could take them away from that situation-if even for a day or two on the weekends-but I was young and didn’t know how else to help them and did the best I could. Now, I am just done and to the point where I don’t want anymore interaction with her period. I don’t want her around my kids, my marriage, our house-nothing. She constantly asks to move in with us & at first it was hard to say no but now I just tell her I can’t have biploar disorder around my kids. I won’t do that to them. I’m trying to break the cycle. To do so, I think I will have to stop all contact with her because if you give her an inch she’ll take 100 miles. She too has no savings and is on disability for bipolar and other minor medical things-but she’s ALWAYS dying or something wrong and calling 911 in & out of the hospital. Sooo much drama that it’s literally been driving me crazy and hurting my health. I’ve gained 30lbs-feel terrible about myself now, dug into my arm so bad with my nails just as a nervous habit/outlet thing-didn’t even realize i was doing it and the next day woke up with what looked like 1000 cuts from small pieces of glass or something all over my arm. It’s been two months and it’s still there and still looks awful-better-but still awful. My son had a dr appt and they seen my arm and gave me an appt on the spot cuz they thought it was infected….i tried to explain to them about my mother but it’s hard to tell everything in one short visit or even one blog post. I should mention Adult Protective Services is now going for guardianship of her. They were all trying to push me to do it and it just became too much. So much more to say but I know I’ve gone on & on-it’s just that I’ve never heard anyone else talk about this and it’s the first time I’ve not felt alone. I’ve had several panic attacks and had to go on anxiety medication while dealing with my mother-oh, she also was diagnosed with a brain tumor several months ago. They said it’s putting pressure on the part of the brain responsible for decision-making & emotions. Ha! As if that was needed. Please, somebody, anybody, respond and tell me I’m not crazy!

    • You are not crazy at all. You’ve had enough. You did what you could at your level, just like I did. Sadly, that was not enough and it will never be. I had a bit of councelling / psychotherapy about my mother. Talking is good. You need to empty your bag, there’s quite a bit of weight on your shoulder at the moment and it is not healthy for you.

      You are not like your mother. You have too much awarness to do the same to your own children. Do not doubt of yourself. You will never treat your children the way she treated you because you are too different from her. Quite frankly, if you were bipolar like your mum, you would have developped it by now with depressive and manic moods.

      But, I do believe that the illness can be kept under control with: medication, psychotherapy, strict lifestyle (no alcool, no drug, no coffee, no tea, no chocolate, healthy diet, low stress environment, waking up and going to bed at the same time, a bit of sport) and mood monitoring. You can be a very good and loving mother even with bipolar disorder, but you have to get on top of it first. You can be trained to control it and there will always be someone to help you with it. Either way, you can still be an excellent mother.

      I think you need to focus on yourself more and forget about your crazy mum. Do some sports, join a club, have some hobbies, do some fun stuff and meet people. You need some happy time for yourself.

      PS: change your phone number and cut ties, you need a break.


    • Honestly, I feel like you and I need to talk. I’m 33 with a bipolar mom. I am married and have an infant at home. I have so much anger inside me that I struggle to get through conversations with any of my immediate relatives. The turmoil is constant and I’m just tired of the neverending ups and downs. Email me anytime at janetdover at gmail dot com.

      • Thanks! Sadly, I just now read this message. I will email you tomorrow or early next week while one of my kiddos is at school and husband’s at work so I can actually concentrate. 😉

  224. Hi everyone thank you for your comments… it’s so refreshing to ‘speak’ openly about this. A lot of your comments resounding with me and expressed feelings within me which I admittedly haven’t expressed in a healthy way to date. My mother is bipolar and, as eldest daughter as soon as I could talk I became her confident, therapist, carer and slave. My father is a workaholic otherwise I really believe they would be separated. After hospitalization she was told not to have any more children but she did so and has blamed my dad ever since. Us, the products of this poor decision have grown up with a yoyo environment of resentment and sickening displays of affection, of her being in hospital then smothering us. There was no consistency. I tried my best to protect the younger children and I take comfort in the fact that they appear to have a healthier relationship with her.
    I’ve read about abandonment issues online and was wondering if anyone could perhaps shed more light on this. I do recall believing if I acted this way or that way then my mum wouldn’t go to hospital or my dad wouldn’t go to work and leave me with her. I would like to more fully understand the impact her behavior has had on me so I can now as an adult equip myself for a better future.

  225. I would like info on how to help a 3-year old whose mother is bipolar and alcoholic. I’m the great-grandmother and have taken care of the boy most of his life. His mother was diagnosed three weeks ago.

    • You are helping him by looking after him. He is too young to understand what is going on with his mum. Keep looking after him for as long as you can. But, you will need someone to take over you at some point… I hope another relative will volunteer. I do not think his mother is an option.

  226. I am a 22 year old university student and along with my family I have been living with a mother with severe untreated bipolar disorder for 8 years. In the beginning, it was difficult for us to understand what was happening to her, the mood swings and changes in behavior. In the early stages she was conscious of her behavior and she attributed it to menopause. My family accepted this explanation for a while, however, it quickly became clear that something more serious was going on with her. Over time began cutting off contact with her family members, first her mother and sister, then her father and other sister and lastly her brother. To this day she has contact with no one in her intimidate family– parents, siblings or their spouses– and has cut off contact with her married step children. The names of these estranged family members are not allowed to be spoken in my family’s household and the rest my family’s contact with them needs to be conducted in secret. After a number of many dealings with the police, Children’s Aid Society and Family and Children’s Services (I live in Canada) all of which were fairly useless in providing any kind of resources or support, she was finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder three years ago. As she has always rejected the fact that anything is wrong with her and instead blamed others for her behavior, the circumstances surrounding her getting the diagnosis were not exactly positive. She was arrested in February of 2008 for domestic assault on my father in front of my 12 year old brother and I. I was the one forced to call the police after the a (one sided) argument escalated out of control and resulted in my mother throwing a plate at my 68 year old father, threatening to stab him and finally pushing and pinning him to the ground while she attempted to choke him. When the police arrived she was aggressive and verbally abusive towards the policemen and slammed her bedroom door on one officer as he was attempting to walk through it. After her arrest, she was released on bail and there was a restraining order issued against her for the protection of my father. The conditions of the charges against her being dropped were that she undergo a psychiatric assessment subsequently receive treatment for Bipolar Disorder and abstain from alcohol consumption for a period of 18 months. She upheld none of these conditions. As soon as she was permitted to return home by my father, who was under intense pressure from her as a result of the charges and also was under the impression that “the problem had been solved”, she began drinking again (the very day she returned home) and no one is sure if she ever took the medication she was prescribed as there was no follow up counselling or monitoring of any kind included in the court order. My father having been the one who suffered the brunt of her anger at the charges and the “inconvenience” of it all never bothered to alert anyone to the fact that she was drinking again and was unmediated. It was very difficult for me to reconcile with his choices in that matter. He does not like conflict or “stirring up the pot”. However, he was also, ironically, the one who was left paying her legal bills. From that time until now my mother has refused help or treatment of any kind, and is still using alcohol to self medicate. She still refuses to admit that she has a problem and still blames others. She has no contact with any family and few friends left. I have tried to help her in every way that I know how, from gentle conversations in some of her more lucid moments, to tough love, to screaming, crying begging her to get help. Nothing has worked and my extended family has told me that I should be prepared for the fact that she may never be willing to accept help and that she may never get better. I am at a loss. Deep down I love my mother and wish nothing more than for her to one day get better. To be able to have a conversation with her again. Going through my teenage years essentially without a mother was devastating and even now I still long for the simple things that my friends do with their mothers, going for coffee, going to a movie, going shopping together, and I do hope that maybe, someday, I will be able to do those things with her agian. I want my mommy back. I am interested in hearing other people’s experiences with bipolar family members and any resources that they would be willing to share with me that could be of help. As hard as things are, I don’t want to give up on her. Not yet.

    • Hi Casey, your story, I know it too well. I have been there. Unlike you, I lost hope. Afetr 17 years of drama, I eventually gave up. What surprises me, though, is the fact that her symptoms showed up very late.

  227. Thanks, I’ll stay in contact.

  228. I too can relate to almost everything in your story. My mom is a loss & I have very recently given up contact with her. She’s still texting and calling me but I am choosing not to respond anymore. I feel a lot more peace and a lot less anxiety and I think I was even a little happy today. I’ve felt guilty too long and have a husband and two kids now and I am taking a stand & saying I won’t be bullied or guilt-tripped any longer. I only found this site recently and until now never knew there were others out there like me. I’ve read your stories with tears streaming down my face just out of pure relief of knowing I’m not the only one and I’m not alone. Neither are you Casey. We’re all here for you and although it’s true not everyone will want help or desire to change-it’s never their fault you know-I still pray for a miracle for my mom everyday because that’s exactly what’s needed and what it would be. I’ll add your mom to my prayers from now on too. At 22 it’s heart-breaking to hear you speak of such serious situations and challenges. If anything, I have come to believe that us children of bipolar parents, or any family member or friend affected, are some of the strongest people in this world and therefore will persevere in the end if not the present. I hope this helps someone. It was heavy on my heart tonight.

  229. Thank you for all being so open. Im 21 and getting married in a week. With A bipolar mom you can imagine the pain and heaviness that is plguing me about my special day.
    My whole life I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I deserved the yelling and abuse. I dont think that anymore. I still love my mom but now know to keep a healthy distance to protect the little happy life ive carved out for myself.
    Here is my problem. Being raised by a bipolar mom means I have some odd quirks and inconsistncies. I forget to do things on a regular basis because nothing in my life has ever been routine or consistent. I often dont listen to instructions because there are learned fail safes in my brain that when I hear a certain tone or inflection I stop listening.
    These quirks affect my new life and Im wondering if anyone else is dealing with these or similar problems. Should I try therapy for a couple months? Or is it more of a try and try again thing? What do you think?


    • I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful but I’m not sure what you should do. I thought I’d let you know you’re not the only one though; I definitely know what you mean. I have some quirks as a result of my bipolar mother. I plan everything in advance because I know that any change of plans will make her crazy. I also clean as a way to deal with problems. When I have a problem I race around cleaning and tidying because when I was a kid this was the only practical way I knew to help my mother. It drives my partner insane but I just can’t help it. I also blow things out of proportion and stress and fixate on the smallest of problems. They just seem so much bigger than they are. I also excuse my mother for a lot of her behaviour but like the guy who writes this blog I have realised that my mum is not entitled to a free ticket to act however she likes just because she has bipolar. I need to stop excusing her, constantly biting my tongue and letting things go. Also, all my life I have put my own problems and issues on the back-burner because I didn’t want to add to her stress. What’s worse is that whenever I try to share my problems with her when she is manic she tells me that I’m self-absorbed and looking for attention even though I sit on the phone to her multiple times a week for hours and I barely say a thing, I just say “mmhmm” and “yep” so she knows I’m still there. And she calls me selfish? I think she just feels the need to inflict herself on anyone who will listen when she is manic, unfortunately that person is me.

      It can be really hard to start seeing your own problems as legitimate and deserving of attention when for so many years you have focused all of your attention on someone else’s. I am only now, in my twenties, beginning to accept my own problems as important and stop being so lenient with my mother just because she “isn’t well.” I have my own issues and just because my mother has problems too it doesn’t make mine any more real or deserving of attention. I hope all children of bipolar parents realise this. Good luck.

  230. Rachel thank you for just describing exactly how I feel- I hope your wedding day goes smoothly for you..
    I too grew up with a bipolar mother and the inconsistencies- when I hear certain tone (crying, verbal abuse, instructions) I tend to go numb or else do the complete opposite- this has affected my relationship and job. I wanted to make a difference in my job but when someone tells me a sad story and I believe they’re being untruthful I turn cold and unresponsive. When my partner criticises me or sometimes just when he teases me I act irrationally- I feel like my head is going to explode want to run away and need to cry to get release… I feel worthless and angry. Recently I’ve been thinking these are perhaps defense mechanisms no longer needed now I no longer live with her. I am clumsy and forgetful and frequently bump my knee, arms, burn my fingers by accident…
    I just wanted you to know I relate. In relation to how to deal with these quirks I’ll let you know if anything helps

  231. Hello,

    It was revealed only recently that my stepmom was bipolar. Most likely bipolar. It all fits. She was a scientist, as was my father and my mother. My mother was schizophrenic and my father was an alcoholic. The confusion of growing up thinking ‘how can this possibly be a NORMAL family?’ And the kids doing all the chores, me the oldest, and swallowing our feelings till we were ghosts of our souls and dealing with the rage and days of step-mom’s depression, and after my father died, it was revealed by relatives and colleagues of his that these colleagues could never STAND my stepmom. She reared her motor too high and she manipulated to get what she wanted. She kicked me out after my father died when I was 20. We children, my two sisters, were all shells of ourselves. My stepmom simply refused to accept me, as I was of the age that I was very close to my father when they met, and she never forgave a natural father-daughter closeness. She was an extreme snob, and she lied constantly. Think Joan Crawford in terms of her behavior. It has taken decades (my kids are just out of college) and years of self-reflection and reading to understand how ridiculous this entire white-bread in the best neighborhood was. My father and stepmom always criticized my mother when she went off on a psychotic trip (literally), believing in their own minds that they were ‘normal.’ Every tiptoe we made around the house not to disturb the fragile balance between calm and violence was a little death of our souls. Because she was an MD, the university was reluctant to hospitalize her for her anxious depression, as they did not want to ruin her reputation. She was on valium for years, instead. The rapid cycling was several times a week and we got little sleep at night. She would accuse us of things we did not do. She broke off contact with me in my 20s and then again in my adulthood, because of her selfishness. She was gorgeous and had a great figure and my father fell into her web. My family life truly was a movie. I am writing a novel based on this.

  232. Just got another call that my mother’s in the hospital in the behavioral/psych ward AGAIN. I don’t know what # trip this is because I’ve lost count. I stopped speaking/interacting with her several weeks ago because she kept sending the police to my house telling them I wasn’t taking care of my kids. She was angry with me for taking her car. My aunt and I and a neighbor and the police were there when we took it. She wouldn’t stop driving and her license is/was suspended from crashing into the pastors (of all people!) car at the gas station. It tore her passenger side mirror off but now she INSISTS the mirror just flew off. Yes, it just flew right off of the car! The things this woman can rationalize to herself are maddening sometimes. A lot of the times. Anyway, I kept the conversation short as it was nice to have a few weeks of peace in my life. She said she couldn’t remember why she was put in there. I told her that the episodes are happening more frequently and more than they should be and believe me, it’s rapid cycling in the extreme. It can range from minute to minute at this point. When I said she should be able to remember why she got put in the hospital she stammered a response. She said they said she was laying on the couch smoking a cigarette and sleeping (she’s a chain smoker-3 packs a day) but of course she denies that. She said her social worker wants to talk to me tomorrow. I started to mention how it’d be easier for her and less stressful for her somewhere where they could help her with daily life activities but she snapped at me saying she wants to go home and keep her house so i better not even say assisted living cuz she can’t afford it. However, I do believe if she sells her house and she does have medicaid and disability too-that there are places that would accept her and/or work with her. Oh, they also said she wasn’t keeping up with her hygiene and I have seen it first hand. It’s amazing how much a person can change in such a short amount of time. While I’m sad for the situation and even pity her-I know that she’ll make the wrong decision over and over again and retaliate with cps, police, nasty texts and voicemails which I really don’t need or want in my life. I’m married for 2 yrs now and we have a 4yr old & a 1 yr old that come first now. I’m sure it sounds selfish to others but I think/hope you all will understand that. I’d rather let the social worker and paid professionals deal with her honestly. Is that cold? A little maybe, however, when I think of how many times I’ve put myself out trying to help her only to be put through the ringer by her I just don’t want to do it anymore. Hopefully that makes some sense. On a different note-I read a couple posts above about wedding day and bipolar moms. Right before my wedding a couple years ago my mother decided that because she got married twice at the courthouse and SHE never had a big wedding that I was of course being selfish and she got really jealous. She tried to take away my happiness on a day that was truly mine-not hers and she should’ve only been there to support me. She’s lucky I even invited her! Having the heart I do I couldn’t not invite her but I was anxious about what her behavior would be like for sure. At one point when some of the family & I were together assembling invitations and getting them ready to mail out she called to tell me that she was calling cps on me cuz well, she never really did say why. I just “assume” it was out of jealousy, narcissism (sp), mean-spiritedness, coldness, sickness, mental illness and any other you can add to that. She just wanted to inflict misery on me and make me worry anxiously about my kids and wedding because I was “too happy” for her miserable self. The day did go ok although she “threatened” not to come repeatedly-attention getting behavior…I only said one thing to her about it and that was that it was her choice whether or not to come to her daughter’s wedding. Either way it’d be going on. Her sickness has forced me to worry a lot about everything and am even on anti-anxiety medication now because I’m so anxious all the time. I just can’t ever relax. I think it’s because I never could as a child with her because I never knew what to expect. Or, if I did relax she would make sure to give me something to worry about or start a fight or pull the rug out from under me. Thanks for letting me get this out. These are things I’ve never told anybody before. Does anyone else feel the same about the nervousness or anxiety? Not being able to relax? I also am ALWAYS anticipating others actions and words, reading their emotions and remaining quiet and thinking through and observing the situations like I used to do as a child. I’m constantly avoiding conflict and know that’s not healthy. Anyhoo, hope you’re all having a good night and I’ll update when I find out more from the social worker.

    • I would not have invited her at my wedding. You sound like you are still expecting your mum to be a mum. To be honest, I do not believe for one second that mine would change and become the loving mother I craved for as a child. I gave up a while ago and I feel happier and more relaxed. I know quite a bit about anxiety. I was an anxious child myself. But, that was because of the family I had. I am a lot more relaxed and peaceful now. When I lived with my mum, we were not allowed to be happy if she was not. I learned to hide my emotions. I no longer speak to her and it is better this way. In fact, we do not live in the same country anymore.

      Good luck with your mum, I know how hard it is.

  233. Thank you everyone for your posts on here. It makes me feel less alone.

    I’ve just realised by reading all this my mother is bipolar. I also have considered for sometime that she may have borderline personality disorder.

    She is very highly manipulative, and clever at mixing in periods of feigned ‘normal’ and supportive behaviour to suck me back in. When she is nice, she is lovely, and I want her to be like that all the time.

    But it’s just an act to draw me back. Then when she has me, she let’s all her crazy come out. She screams, cries, accuses, plays the victim and the martyr to the hilt.

    When she is not attacking me personally with nasty insults, calculated attacks or punishments, she loves to be passive aggressive. She loves to sulk and her favourite is when she can hurt you without you being able to pin it on her exactly. She just ‘forgot’ or ‘didn’t mean it that way’.

    She also loves being the victim. Given the opportunity, she loves nothing more than to wax on about a time in 1973 when my father or [fill in the blank -anybody] did this or that to her and oh it was so awful. Etc.

    Her goal is control and she feeds on drama, and she wants her way.

    I am one of four children but have always been the main target of her abuse, I don’t really understand why me. I’ve always felt very sorry for her and wanted to help her. When I was younger I didn’t understand she was mentally ill, so I tried to counsel her. I feel she robbed me of my childhood because she made me the adult and her the child.

    It used to be my Dad was the target with the screaming and drama. I feel sorry for my Dad because I used to blame him for the behaviour. He was no angel but now I see it wasn’t all his fault.

    She turned it on me when he left her. My older brother went away to university and never lived at home past 17 so he escaped. My younger brother checked out on marijuana so he was also absent. My younger sister was always shielded by me I guess.

    It’s hard because I feel my brothers and sisters blame me now, just like we used to blame my Dad. Since she doesn’t target them, they don’t understand, and they know she is hard work, but they think I create or contribute to the drama. It adds to my pain to be blamed for her behaviour and not supported as much as I would like to be.

    I have spent years healing from the deep pain she inflicted on me. It’s hard to feel angry at her though because I know mental illness is not her fault. I can also understand where it comes from because she had a great deal of trauma in her childhood.

    What is difficult for me is not being able to stop it upsetting me still when I’m around her, even though I have wider perspective and much lower expectations of her these days.

    I’ve always lived in other countries since I was 23 because I needed to get away from her but she still has the power to upset me deeply. She is often very kind to me for periods, and then guilts me into coming back and staying with her to visit. Then she attacks, hurts me deeply, and I run away again for my own sanity. The cycle then starts again.

    I have recently started following the Indian guru Amma, she is a saint that embodies motherly love and travels the world hugging people. I went to see her and it was wonderful. I felt her blessing was very healing.

    I don’t really know what to ask of anyone here, if anything. But thank you for reading my story if you got this far.

  234. I just wanted to add, I think the hardest thing about having a bipolar mother is the swings between normal and mad. It draws you into the crazy, because you don’t understand the pattern, or what is setting her off.

    • Just remember, Emeka, that your reactions are normal, the pain you feel is real, and you need to do what you need to to keep yourself healthy. We all understand what you’re saying, and talking about it is the only way I’ve found to minimize the impact of my mom’s disease on myself. It’s sad that we sometimes have to distance ourselves from those with whom we would normally have a loving relationship, but I know in my life I need to keep myself healthy for my kids and for my marriage. So do what you need to and don’t feel guilty!

    • I agree with HH, your number 1 priority is yourself. You are not responsible for your mother’s well being. I know exactly what you are talking about, I have been through the same. Me too, I live in another country to get away from her. But, I allowed her to call me and I put up with blackmail and harassment for a while until the day she crossed the line. She used my daughter against me and had a go at her to get some money from me. I sent the money to her account but that was the end of it! I changed my number and I never spoke to her again after that. She has never met my child and I hope that she never will.

      The problem with bipolar people is that they often enjoy their illness. Your mum can be treated with: medication, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes and mood monitoring. But, is it what she really wants? Between her own children and these changes, what would she choose?

      As I said before, she is no mother to you, so why would you bother being a daughter to her? It works both ways!!!

  235. Where do I start? I’m 25 & I just recently started therapy where I’ve become convinced I grew up with a bi-polar mother. I’ve always had a feeling she was, at least that something wasn’t normal about my childhood. About a year ago, I started having major panic attacks & my agoraphobia, which I’ve had sporadically since I can remember, reemerged. I guess everything I’ve gone through growing up finally reached an apex & I just flipped my lid. The main jist of the “wrath of my mom” finally ended somewhat when she abandoned me at 17. She moved me back to the state where I grew up to finish school, leaving my father behind, not understanding that leaving meant divorce. Of course, I was made to feel the cause of all the reprocussions; all 17 year olds have the final say in things! A little while later, after months of seeing her sit on her behind in the dark instead of working to support like anyone else would, I come home to find she’s gone, left me with an email bidding me good riddance & $40 to my name. 8 years later & she still emails me now & again trying to get me to come see her, she completely doesn’t see what she did or why I still feel like I do (& the best part! She was abandoned as a child do, but fails to see the similarities). Through therapy, I’ve let go a lot of the anger I have had towards her, for feeling like I was just a bad child or that it was me all along, & accepting that she’s really sick. I just wish she would accept that fact & get help. She’s tried in the past but as soon as someone tells her something she doesn’t want to hear, they’re dead to her. She left me to go live with a man who I just found out recently beat her & forced her into a battered women’s shelter. This breaks my heart because no one deserves that. But in my heart I feel like until my mom accepts help, which I doubt will ever happen, I can’t let her into my life, she’s toxic to me. Plus, she’s made her own decisions in life & I have to look out for myself, which as a result of her illness, I’ve pretty much always had to do. Any advice on just dealing?

  236. Keep talking about it. That seems to be helping me tremendously. Keep reading others stories on here too-we all can relate to each other and it’s amazing to me how similar the base of our stories are. We have been through the ringer but ya know what? We don’t have to be around ANYBODY, including friends, family and yes, even our bipolar mothers & fathers, that we don’t want to. I’ve been working on healthy relationships and my mother is toxic for me-therefore-i handle her in very small doses and have been distancing myself and our kids for quite sometime now. Sometimes I feel guilty but I think that’s normal and just comes along with the territory. We are free to no longer feel guilty and worry about what will set them off next. We can’t change it so may as well focus on other things that need attention and appreciate it. I’ve been learning to work through things this way lately. Still get upset at times-don’t get me wrong-but definitely doing better with the situation. My advice is to keep writing, keep reading and keep on with the counseling. Do lots of de-stressing things too like bubble baths, listening to music, playing a favorite game, reading a book or magazine, etc…..whatever helps you to relax!

  237. I feel blessed this evening to have stubbled onto this website. I did not know there were so many people out there with bi polar mothers. When I was little, I just thought she was a normal adult with adult problems. I am 29 now, and my brothers and I have just realized she is bi polar. She will not go to be diagnosed or seek treatment. We were abused and tormented throughout our entire childhood. My father finally left her, but after we were grown. He is a saint for staying around as long as he did. My oldest brother and I have daughters now and have seen how the manipulation unfolds so rampantly. She now has disowned my brother and has took his horrible ex-wife in as her own daughter. So no the manipulation is really bad. I am sure the ex-wife is bi polar ad well. My little brother still clings to mom and gives her chances to make up, but she is never at fault. The story of my brothers and myself should be a book as much as we have been through. It is ironic that my mother went to college to become a psychologist, only to be encouraged to diagnose her family with whatever illness she thinks we have. How bad is it to have a mother with a Bach degree in psychology tell each of her sons they are all bi polar or have a mental disorder. This website is a god send and I want to thank you for it. Thank you for anyone who posts here, thank you for your courage and may god bless each and everyone of you.

    • Reading on through some more of these stories do bring some of the surpressed memories of my haunted past. The tantrums, the messy home, the yelling, the fighting, breaking things. Telling us boys that she was going to leave us and never coming back. One evening after deer hunting, all of us boys came in at the same time only to find my mom and dad in an argument which escalated into my mom grabbing a loaded deer rifle and sticking it into my dads gut while pulling the trigger over and over. If she knew how to get the safety off, my dad would have been killed. The constant guilt trips have scarred me permanently. I had a very low self esteem and found myself worrying about things that a child shouldn’t have to. She refused to come to my wedding, and the birth of my first child because she didn’t want to see my father there. She tried to strangle my little brother with a phone cord. She broke things over our backs. She used whatever she could find to whip us with, metal coat hangers etc…. I can’t even to begin to scratch the surface with the life we have endured with that woman. And the sick thing, we were led to believe that she deserved respect and love all because she raised us, and managed somehow not to kill us. And she can’t figure out why we won’t leave our kids with her alone? She will not ever damage my girls the way she did us. She always drops the bomb “I raised you just fine, and look how you turned out”. Yeah just look at me. Thank you mom, for teaching me how to not be a parent. I have a beautiful wife and two beautiful girls, but to my mother I am a horrible disappointment. She hates my wife and thinks she is responsible for my actions. She has told me how she can’t wait to see me fall from grace or for someone to knock me on my a**. I use to worry about my mother, but now I find myself feeling better by not worrying about her. I have turned her down three times to move in with us because I knew it would ruin my marriage and damage our children. Of course she resented me for that. There is so much that could be written about me and my brothers’ lives. But we somehow managed to become successful men with strong sane wives. My mother resents all three and believes they are the ones to blame. It is incredible how much better I feel about things having let done of this out. Again, thank you for this website and may god bless you and your situation.

  238. I am so glad I found this website. These stories hit home and make me understand my feelings about my mother. My mother has been clinically diagnosed bipolar. It’s a terrible disease to grow up with, especially when no one tells you. I finally figured out a few years ago what was actually wrong. It has been hard to realize and wake up to. She has had many attempts at suicide my entire life. My parents divorced and my Dad was military, so I was left to deal with my mom. Finding an outlet (exercise, reading, sewing, friends) to be happy with yourself and figuring out how much you can take of this person and their terrible disease is a good step towards healing. I hope to grow, learn, and eventually heal. Love to everyone who has had to deal with this in their lives!

  239. My mother is on such a downward spiral. Today she texted me that her social caseworker made the doctor and/or her sign a paper and she wasn’t sure what she was signing but did cuz they were asking/telling her to sign it. I don’t know what it was. However, several months ago when I was still attempting to help her which ended up with a blatant slap in the face, I finally had to learn to let it go & I told the caseworker I could no longer try to help her because it was causing me harm mentally & emotionally, financially & even physically. I didn’t like the fact it was taking my emotional and mental strength and financial resources away from my 4 & 1 year old. They are the most important people in the world to me and we stopped letting her be alone with them about 1.5-2 years ago when she noticeably got worse. Well, when I told the caseworker I could no longer help she said ok, I asked what would happen to her & she stated that some agency that I can’t recall now would be going for taking over her financial decisions and possibly placing her where she needs to be. It’s a hard pill to swallow to have to be the one to say ok, go ahead. But I keep reminding myself it’s for her safety, safety first, it’s for her own good and that I’m doing this with her best interest at heart. It makes me sad cuz I offered to be her payee and power of attorney but she resented that quite flippantly. My husband & I even offered to buy her car from her because she was scaring us and the neighbors and everyone else on the road I’m sure because she was driving so bad. We had the police there & were able to take the car from her for about 1.5-2 weeks. After that she called the police on me everyday to report it stolen. Typical behavior. It made me so angry. So, she was mad and was using the police to try & hurt me & my family so she could get her way & get her car back. I finally decided to just take it back and drop it off at her house because the police were getting tired of her calling them and said next time they’d have to make a police report-like I’d actually stolen her car. That’s when I decided to be done with trying to help her at the expense of my kids, my husband & my own self & all of our sanity. Unbelievably, however, completely expected, a couple months later she decided to sell the car to her next door neighbor for $200. It was my grandma’s car, who has been passed away for 6 years now. Naturally, our car broke down & was going to be too much to fix and so now it seems that car really would’ve come in handy because now we are down to one car, which is fine, I’ll make do with what we’ve got, always have & always will. It also would’ve been nice to have something of my grandma’s because I didn’t get anything. I made the mistake of asking my mom if I could take a plant from the funeral so I could have something living in my home to remind me of my grandma and she said no. There were over 30 plants & flowers and many more came after that. She didn’t let anybody have anything. It was awful. My mom got $60,000 plus a $16000 divorce settlement pretty much around the same time. and has NOTHING to show for it. It’s so frustrating to watch her do that to my grandma & grandpa’s house and see it in the state it’s in today. My entire life she’s always been nicer to strangers than to me, my siblings or our immediate/extended family so it was no surprise to get a text from her saying she had sold the car. Not to mention we were going to buy it from her for $1000 at the minimum to help her out since she’s flat broke and can’t manage her money whatsoever. My husband said she could’ve at least gotten $2000-2500 for it. Oh, I should mention all the money my mother received was gone about 3 years ago. So, she blew through it all in about 3 years and now expects everyone else to do everything for her. One thing that makes me sad and sick is that she sent me the message about selling the car 3 separate times. I’ve come to the conclusion that she was trying to get a reaction from me. I ignored her texts for awhile, maybe even a day, just to have some time to think about how I felt about everything before I said anything to her. It was around the holidays so I think that’s why I called her, to let the kids & her talk. I could barely say hello & she was blurting out about how she had sold the car to the next door neighbor for $200. That confirmed to me that she was indeed trying to get a reaction from me. So I didn’t give it to her. I told her that was good & I was glad she got some money. I didn’t go for it at all. Then I just changed the subject & let her talk 2 the kids. Anyways, now she of course regrets her actions and says she made a mistake, blah blah blah. Heard it all before, her cycles are happening so frequently now it’s too much to handle. I know she can’t think rationally & logically about finances and just about everything else and I know her brain doesn’t work that way but sometimes it’s just too much. She’ll never get a rise out of me about that car or the house or anything materialistic-it’s just “stuff” anyway. I know she’s going to end up in assisted living or a nursing home and it makes me really sad. I just continue to pray for her and for her doctors and caseworkers to do what’s best for her. I’ve come to realize we’ll probably lose my grandma & grandpa’s house because of her selfishness and stinginess but it is what it is I guess. What can I do about it? I feel as if I’ve tried to do everything I’m capable of doing yet the guilt still creeps up. She’s practically begging me to move in with us, now she says she’ll sell the house, etc…but I know that is not the long-term solution. She only thinks in the here and now. I’m just deeply saddened and upset about it tonight. 😦

  240. I have a adult daughter 32 with bipolar. panic disorder. and personality disorder. My daughter has been sick her whole life. She has been on SSI since she was 17. My daughter missuses her medication and uses street drugs. She has a 15 year son whom the fathers mother raised. I now am raising my granddaughter 2 1/2. Every day I receive text messages that accuse me of causing her mental disorders. Some of her text ask for advise and some are just off the wall. When visits are scheduled for her to visit her daughter she never shows up. she seems to have some kind of crisis. I ended getting blamed for why she didn’t make it to see her daughter. The ones who get hurt the most in this situation is the children. children don’t understand why. My daughter blames me for having her daughter says I stole her child. But what she refuses to acknowledge is she beg me to come and get her on many occasions. I ended up with temporary guardianship when she dropped her off at my house to fly to the west cost (one way ticket) to meet a new boyfriend she only new through the internet. She did not call her daughter and stayed out west for 2 1/2 months. Missed her flight home because she could not get out of bed. It has been a year half since our granddaughter came to live with us. We are doing the best we can since all four of our children are grown and we are planning for retirement in the near future. The best thing for the child is to not have any contact with my daughter. We shelter our granddaughter from the drama. She is doing great! The problem I have is mom can go back to court and possibly get her back. The laws aren’t meant to protect the children, more on the side of the parents. The father is a UK citizen and has never seen the child and refuses to support. He also has mental health issues. Another one of my daughters internet encounters.

  241. My mother just found out she is bipolar. For years she has been like jekel and hyde with myself getting the brunt of her anger. I thought for the longest time she just didn’t like me. I’m 25 now and since I know what made her that way I can forgive the past. But now she doesn’t take her meds like she should and is treating me like she use to. I’m not sure I can forgive her for the current behavior because she’s skipping meds. I just can’t do it emotionally and she’s saying I’m a bad daughter because I’m trying to distance myself. I just feel like my spirit is breaking because she is my mom. I just can’t cry anymore. What do I do? I know its alot and I’m sorry. It just came out.

  242. go find someone to talk to. burst the bubble. be open about what’s happening..for your sanity. tell her to take her meds. do not give her a personal therapy session..you’re not qualified to. look after and be kind to yourself. laugh, live, love..distance yourself…everyone on this page seems to have had to. don’t feel guilty.

  243. How lucky I am to have found this site at this time in my life. I only wish it would have been sooner! But I believe things happen for a reason, and evidently this was the right time to find you all. I have been reading all of your experiences for the last two days and for the first time in my life my thoughts, feelings, and emotions have been validated. I’m not alone! I am 49 years old and my bi-polar mother will be 79 in a week. She was diagnosed bi-polar when I was 12 years old. I had no idea at that age what that meant. And honestly, am just coming to terms with what that means. I have lived my whole life being very co-dependent (at the age of 30 I realized this when my life was falling apart and I went to counseling for the first time) I am married to a wonderful guy for 30 years now, and have four grown children. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of my husband all these years. Well, at the age of 30 I was spiriling downward and ready to leave my husband and 4 children and just run away from it all. I was living my life for my mom and not for myself and my family. I learned from an early age, that you just did what you had to do to make the “momster” happy or you would have hell to pay. Well as I look back, there was nothing that was going to make her happy, and I was loosing myself in the process. Counseling helped, and I got back on track for the time being. That’s when I distanced myself to three phone calls a week and visiting only twice a week instead of every day! Hey it was a big step for me. Time went on, things continued to happen. and I realize now, that I have been living a lie my whole life. Just to back up a little, there are some things I remember from my childhood, but it’s kinda scarry to think of the things I can’t recall. Maybe at that time I was shutting myself off so as not to remember everything. I have three older brothers, and I am the youngest, and the only girl. The sibling closest to my age was 7 years older then me so I was basically like an olny child growing up. My mom has been a perscription drug junkie my whole life and was into the alcohol pretty heavy during my grade school years. I remember being afraid to go home after school cause I didn’t know if my mom would be alive or dead. (several times I would come home to her being passed out on the couch and I would shake her to see if she was breathing or not) My parents kicked my oldest brohter out of the house when he was 17 to fend for himself. He joined the army and went to Viet Nam. Thank God he returned. He would send letters home and my mom would crumble them up in front of me and throw them away. I was only 6 years old at that time, and I knew that wasn’t right. He only lives 3 hours away and he never comes home and doesn’t call my mom unless she hounds him long enough. She told another one of my brothers that she should have shit him down the toilet when she had the chance. The other brother is the Golden Child who can do no wrong. Then there was me…the only girl…so wanted……There are so many stories….but you all know….bi-polar…narssist…master manipulator….hypocondria…(my mom has had something wrong with her physically for as long as I can remember.) My dad…was a wonderful man, but I realize now he was an enabler to her. I loved my dad very much and I know he lived a life of hell. He used to come to my house and sit and cry because of how things were at home. My dad passed away almost five years ago now. His death was sudden. I was going to go see my parents the day before he died, but mom was going thru one of her “episodes” at that time and I couldn’t handle seeing her that day, so I didn’t go. She called me early the next morning and told me my dad was dead. I have lived with that guilt, but realize it’s not my fault. It’s still hard though. I know my dad is in a better place and that he has peace now. After dad’s death I told myself I needed to step it up. I had to be there for my mom. So, I fell back into the “old ways”. She has had to be in a psych ward twice since my dad passed away. She had found a Dr that would give her all the drugs she wanted and we had to call the ambulance for her three times cause she overdosed. I finally got her away from that Dr, but she wasn’t happy. She got to the point where she couldn’t live alone anymore cause of her “self medicating”. That was leading her to falling alot. She shouldn’t have been driving and she wouldn’t cook for herself there fore was not eating right. She decided to put herself in a retirement home a few months ago and refers to it as an insttution. Even though she made the decision, it is all my fault. All my fault she is so unhappy and blablabla. Final straw came just after Christmas…(holidays….AAAHHH) I was her power of attorney for her affairs and health care. She accused me of stealing money from her. That was the final straw. I have done nothing but right by her and stealing her money, I could never live with myself. I got angry, told her I could not do this anymore, told her how I have been feeling, and told her I would no longer be her POA. This is a road I’m not willing to travel with her. What did she do? Curled up in a fetal position on the floor, started crying, and saying oh dear God, what have I done to my daughter? I walked out. New Years Eve day, she came to my house, ranting, told me if I didn’t make things the way they used to be she would walk out my door and I would never see her again. I told her things would not go back to how they were, and if she wanted to leave that was “her choice” She eventually left. She told me she couldn’t be held accountable for anything she says cause she has a mental illness. She tried to get inbetween my husband and me that day. S0 many stories I could tell. Out of guilt, I had to go see her the next day and told her that whatever was going on between us, I would never NOT love her. I was crying, and she said, “Oh, it’s gonna take you awhile to get over this one isn’t it?” Whoa self….WAKE UP!! I have not seen my mother since New Years Day. Part of me feel good, I’m so tired of the drama, GUILT TRIPS ARE THE WORST…..but another part of me aches so bad. I love her, I know she has a mental illness, I’ve tried my best to be what she needed me to be for her, and I again was losing myself to her illness. I would love nothing more then to have a normal mother/daughter relationship. It was getting to the point however that I didn’t even want to live anymore and enjoy MY life. I’ve gone two days now without crying! I was in need of a spot of sunshine so had my little 3 year old grand daughter spend the night on Fri. Momster called me Sat, complaining as usual. When she asked what I was doing, and I told her, she got mad at me and hung up. Wow…my mom’s birthday is Jan 27th. I’m torn on what to do. I’ve always done something, and I so don’t have the desire right now. I know I don’t want to see her, and that makes me feel guilty, I don’t want to send a card, no mushy garb! If I send her anything, she will probably just throw it away anyway, but at least I tried…right? Feels better to get this out finally! There’s so much more. Thank you all for sharing your stories. You have all helped me so much!

  244. That is the thing that hurts the worst…that she is choosing to say the hurtful things to me that she says. I have the feeling that she knows what she is doing, and how it is making me feel, and in her sick mind making me feel bad makes her feel better. Then she tells me all the time how wanted I was and how much she loves me, how I am her rock and she couldn’t live without me. That’s sick love. If I ever treated my children the way I have been treated, they would never want to see me again, and I wouldn’t blame them. And I feel guilty for not wanting to live this way anymore? There were a few good times too and I will always cherish them. No, I don’t remember any “normal” birthdays or holidays. Any special event was always drama filled to bring the attention on her. I am setting my boundries and will try my best to stick to them. Making the decision to cut myself from her life is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. I know it is the best for me, but struggling with the emotions stinks. She is telling lies to other family members about me, trying to triangulate and make me question my sense of reality. It will take me awhile but I know I’m making the right decision for me and it’s ok to think about me! This site has empowered me so much!

  245. One thing I have learned is how manipulative the bipolar are. They don’t even realize they are manipulative, but might feel we are manipulating them, when we are actually running in circles trying to please them, only to be struck down, time and again, while they, the poor souls, are at the behest of their puppetmaster — their brain, which controls them and the world around them, making us dance on the edge of a pin…

  246. we shouldn’t say that people are bipolar-they have bipolar disorder-just as a person has cancer- we don’t say they are cancer

    since this is often a hereditary disorder I feel pity for those on this site who inherit it themselves or have children or grandchildren who inherit it-who will be turning who’s back on who then-I have never seen so much “resentment and bitterness” in one place before as on this site

    • The ‘Are’ vs ‘Have’ question. The difference is quite simply permanence. People don’t ‘have’ blindness or even alcoholism. Only curable things are ‘have’. Bipolar is treatable, not curable.

      Anyone on this site who is genetically predisposed to bipolar and develops it has a really good idea of what the ramifications of it are. They *should* aggressively seek the best, most effective treatment that they can, and stick with it. They know the consequences of failing that. None of the posts or comments on this site (that I recall, anyway) involve discarding a relationship with a bipolar relative that is actively seeking treatment. Your ‘pity’ for those who develop it rings hollow, especially with your passive-aggressive ‘what goes around, comes around’ comment.

      If the ‘resentment and bitterness’ is too much for you here, I cordially invite you to surf the rest of the internet.

    • I’m noticing that people keep using cancer in comparison with bipolar….why is that?

  247. your comments also ring resentful and bitter. And yes people do also turn their backs on those who are actively seeking treatment. All the best to you.

  248. why would you call me a sociopath-you don’t even know me-I have been a loving mother and yes at times I was not easy to live with-but who is-I find it interesting on this site that people never mention anything good their mothers ever did-

  249. I am responding to the bipolar mothers. It is probably difficult to understand that the children are hurt when the person who has bipolar is also hurting. one facet of having bipolar, so i am told, (i do not have it but my stepmother did) is that it is difficult for a person who has bipolar to see how he or she affects people. my stepmother never felt that her actions or words harmed people; she was blind in this regard. my mother had schizophrenia and she was blind to the fact that she did not work for the government and had to be restrained from time to time from going on trips to dangerous parts of the world. my parents were all scientists. I was raised by wolves. wolves who did not understand how their paws could scratch and wolves who regarded our affluent family as a blessing and who did not see the cracks in the wall.

  250. I am sorry that all of you are hurting so much. You know the wolves are not the only ones who are blind. Suffering is part of life for everyone and we all have a choice. We can either let it blind us and harden our hearts OR we can actually become more loving and forgiving people because of it.
    When we refuse to forgive others-we hurt ourselves most of all. Our bitterness is like a heavy anchor around our hearts. Forgiveness brings us peace.

    • Forgiveness is one thing, restoring a damaged relationship is another. Forgiveness can be done unilaterally and doesn’t require anything from the person being forgiven. Asking for forgiveness is fine. Without sincerely apologizing and attempting to correct the offending behavior, don’t expect a restored relationship. The lack of a relationship does NOT mean that you aren’t forgiven. It usually means that your desire or ability to change the offending behavior are perceived as inadequate or nonexistent.

  251. I’m glad that namegoeshere allows the odd post from people who are suffering from the disease. The lack of empathy in their comments and the complete focus on the self are the behaviours we all witness in our own mothers. It’s helpful for the rest of us to be reminded that those behaviours are characteristic of the disease and have nothing to do with us.

  252. whine whine whine- have you ever grown up with an alcoholic father? everyone has suffering in their lives-its a fact of life-no one is ignoring your suffering-just stating that your not the only people suffering-much as you would like people to believe your mothers are monsters-they are just people- how about all the kids that grow up with drug addicted parents? wait until you have raised your children into their thirties-I guarantee you will see things differently. the older you get the less you think you know-its called maturity.

    • Most here have grown up with worse than an alcoholic parent. Alcoholism, while not ‘acceptable’ is at least understood by friends/neighbors/family/police. Bipolar isn’t, and is typically excused or ignored by those who are not actively enabling it.

      Merely pointing out that everyone has suffering is an attempt to minimize the value of the pain of the person you are using it against. It’s not a tactic exclusive to bipolar people. Lots of types of self-centered people wishing to elevate themselves at the cost of others use it.

      Maturity has many aspects. One of them is being able to predict when something you say may be offensive. Another is being able to empathize with people who have a different perspective than you. You are miserably failing at both.

  253. I am not sure what it is that you want from your mothers with bi-polar? An apology? A promise that they will be perfect from now on? What? Do you just wish they would die so you wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore?

    • As I said in comments on the ‘I Already Have A Bipolar Mother‘ thread. What I want is:

      • Recognition of the problem, and that it has nothing to do with anyone else.
      • An apology. A sincere one without weaseling out from under responsibility.
      • A commitment to get and stay with treatment.

      Barring that, I chose to NOT allow the insanity to damage MY family.

      • I’m not quite sure how Yvonne could have thought that I was “whining” from my previous post. I think she actually meant to say how could I not perceive her as the centre of the universe and the persecuted victim that she is .

        I second namesgoeshere’s comments about what he wants from his mother. I want the same things. I’m even willing to drop the apology part, because if my mother ever gains some perspective and clarity on her behaviour, then she would have to feel very badly about her impact on others, and that would be enough for me. Clarity would mean that she would at least try not to behave that way in the future.

        I agree with Shari, however, in that I doubt that either clarity or an apology will ever come. I’ve stopped hoping for one, and I’m comfortable living my life without my mother. Instead, I’m focusing my energy on those who have the capacity to love, and who do really love me.

    • Yvonne,
      My mother, while not as extreme as some of the others mentioned here, was, I’m pretty sure, bipolar. In answer to your question asking if you would like them to die so that you wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore….yes.

  254. The apology will never come, I have come to learn that. I have to let alot of things go as to NOT become bitter and resentful. Its a choice. You just have to decide that I’m not going to put my energy there. I’m going to decide to let this go. It’s your choice. You can embrace it, you can become a prisoner of bitterness and resentment anger and victim city, or you can just say ‘I’m going to live my life and be happy. A promise to be perfect? No one is perfect, and speaking for myself I can say that is an unrealistic expectation. I have heard the “i’m not perfect” words come out of my own mothers mouth and I have always said to her, and neither am I. In response to do you wish they would just die? That is cruel and heartless. I don’t wish that upon anyone. Although my mother has wished my husbands death upon me many times. I guess I am just coming to the realization that me putting expectations upon my mom….wishing what was….is only hurting me. Therefore, if I have to back off and take care of me that’s ok. I am responsible for me and no one else. I will always love my mom, she’s the vessel that brought me into this world, but I don’t have to go down with the ship. I can swim. Hoping you can rid yourself of the anger and bitterness Yvonne. Trust me, it will not serve you well.

  255. It is my understanding that this forum was created for people who have loved ones with bi-polar disorder and the like as there are different types. My mother has bipolar disorder with sever psychosis, is delusional, paranoid; as well as diagnosed with severe depression & they found a brain tumor last summer.She also has memory loss & the social workers took over her finances 2 weeks ago & the council on aging is taking guardianship of her. I am actually relieved because then I know there are people to check in on her & confirm she’s safe. I don’t hate my mother. I did as a teenager for a very long time after that too. I was young and didn’t understand what was wrong. She went undiagnosed her entire life until last summer when she had a mental breakdown. She got scared, called 911 & told them the FBI was trying to bust her for drugs and people were looking in her windows, etc….

    It really upsets me that someone would get on here and try to rile everyone up & take away the from the people who take the time to write their feelings & stories here. Not many understand this disease and all that it entails. This is a place for people who have & are dealing with these sorts of things. There’s very little support and this forum has been a Godsend and saved my sanity over the last few months. For awhile I was afraid I’d end up in the psych ward with my mom. I really was frightened of it for awhile because of all the unhealthy choices & bad decisions she was making. I found out she was going without water, trash or heat for a long time and about to lose her house.

    I think if you don’t understand how “we” feel having grown up and/or dealt with bipolar disorder and psychosis on a personal level that you shouldn’t read our stories. You really can’t make an argument about something you don’t understand. It’s not fair to you, us or our sick loved ones. We are allowed to vent our frustrations with this disease and this is a place to do so. If you don’t like it-there are plenty of other forums for you to go to in order to deal with your own issues. You are even free to start your own group if you so choose. Or, maybe you could get some real help in some of the forums online as they have really helped me a lot lately. I’m not trying to be flippant necessarily, however, this is seriously uncalled for here. Thanks for listening. I always like that saying-one bad apple ruins the barrel.

    • This blog was created as an outlet for me when things went pear-shaped. I wrote to give myself some perspective and to document things that tend to get fuzzy over time. I also wanted to make sure that my story got out, as there were (and still are) very few stories of children raised by a bipolar.

      This page was created in the hope that someone somewhere was dealing with the same thing. The response has exceeded my expectations. This page has evolved into a community of sorts. People find out that they aren’t the only ones dealing with a bipolar parent, share their personal experience, trade advice or just provide mutual support.

      I’ve only denied two comments, and one was later turned into the ‘I already have a bipolar mother‘ post.

      I will continue to allow non-abusive posts from the other side. I think it gives a glimpse into the mind of a bipolar for the merely curious that browse here. For those with bipolar that browse and comment, perhaps these stories will be additional motivation to get and stick with treatment.

      BUT… people that comment must realize that even though we don’t know each other in ‘meatspace’, we are a community of sorts. Antagonizing comments will get appropriate responses. You don’t walk into a biker bar and complain about the music, unsavory characters, and smoke. Actions have consequences.

  256. Hello.

    My mother has been “bipolar” as long as I have known her. I am 25, and my brother is 31. We have described her as both the most selfless and selfish person we know. She has hit rock bottom over ten times in the last 10 years. Evictions, being fired from jobs, a gambling addiction that alienated her entire family, and most recently being hospitalized after attacking her sister.

    My brother and I have reached a breaking point. Our love is unconditional, but our funds, time, and patience are not. I cry as I write this, because I never want to admit defeat with her illness, but how much can we take on to ourselves before her disease becomes the sole focus of our lives?

    What do any of you do to assuage the guilt of not being able to just make things better? If she is unwilling to help herself and change these patterns of destruction, that what can we do? My mother may be homeless in a week, and I am not sure how to deal with the guilt of not providing her with solutions that she will agree to.

    • Your emotional reserves are also finite. You aren’t fighting just her illness. If she isn’t fighting it with you, then she’s on the other side. I assume that she is not being treated, and refuses to recognize that there is a need for treatment.

      You are in a serious role-reversal here. The PARENT is supposed to support and care for a CHILD, not the other way around. If your mother is anything like mine, guilt is the biggest hammer in her toolbox. It took me a LONG time to realize just how manipulated I had been, and still see lingering effects.

      What you will need to do is called ‘Tough Love’. Let her feel the effects of what she has brought on. If she’s hit rock bottom that often, then someone has been picking her back up without allowing her to learn. I’d like to be able to confidently tell you that eventually she will wake up and start pulling her life back together. Unfortunately with bipolar it doesn’t always (often) work that way. It’s not called ‘Tough’ because of the effect on the recipient.

      You shouldn’t feel guilty for something you didn’t cause and can’t fix. The only thing you *might* have done to feel guilty about is shielding her from the logical consequences of her actions over the last ten years.

  257. I agree, thank you for your response. I am so glad you did decide to make this blog/forum and to know we’re not alone! I do get very tired of the manipulation but as you said it is a good way to see the other side. Thanks again!

  258. I have been married for 3 years to a wonderful man, who is an only child to a divorced, bi-polar/schinophrenic mother. We have a 15 month old son together and this morning I racked my brain on how we would seperate smoothly. I debated marrying him because of his mother. I love this man, but the stress of her becoming homeless again is too much for me to handle. I feel like a fool. I knew she was like this and the torment she has caused him throughout the years. I assumed he would choose me, but how do you turn your back on your mom and let her live on the streets?

  259. I just wanted to say something after reading all this. Did you know that Bipolar disorder is not something you can cure? For all of those bashing on the mothers. You do understand that they cannot help what they do most of the time and do not have the ability to control thier impulses or thoughts as well as a normal person. I understand your pain but ask yourself one question: Are you shutting them out of your lives because they are your mother are because they are sick? Sick being the strong word here. I dont know how well that speaks for the Mothers children who blame them for being who they are. SICK. Do you not think it is hard on them as well? How many times do you think they have wisked fpr just one normal peaceful day like yours. Just to be normal. I think you need to be more understanding in seeing that this is not something that just goes away because your trying to ignore the woman who gave birth to you. When your child asks about your mother when thier older, how is it going to sound when you tell them , oh by the way, your grandmother was sick, with something she couldnte control, so I said F^% her and well never see her. Would you want your child to do the same thing to you? Juat a thought. Its difficult for you as a child I know. But Its just as difficult for the person with the disorder because most of the times, they dont want to do those things, it just happens because of thier inability to control themselves.

    • Bipolar isn’t curable, but it is treatable.
      Speaking only for me, Mom appears to enjoy the drama/trauma that she causes. She is the center of attention when she’s depressed (and everybody tries to make her feel better), or she’s the center of (and in complete control of) the universe when she’s manic.
      I don’t blame her for the bipolar. I blame her for refusing to do anything about it, or even acknowledge that she has a problem. If she’s looking for a ‘normal peaceful day’ that is available through meds & counseling. She’s not interested.

      I’m not ignoring Mom, I have decided that MY FAMILY is more important than her bipolar. I set conditions, and she chooses not to meet them.

      I’ve been dealing with this and my Children since they were old enough to understand. They’re teens now, and they thankfully have only hazy memories of what they witnessed. Mom’s hatred was primarily directed at my Wife, or me, and occasionally my youngest. None of them have any desire to see Mom.

      If I become an untreated malevolent bipolar, I would expect that they would distance themselves from me. And rightly so.

      I used to think Mom didn’t want those things, but even denying her access to her only grandchildren wasn’t a big enough shock for her to admit her need for treatment. She CHOSE bipolar over them. I do pity her, but only from a safe distance.

    • I agree with you, that its a disorder, that can be hard for our mothers to control. There are many tools out there for people with disorder to keep themselves on track. People with bipolar disorder need continuous medical care, counseling, and support from groups & family, ect. I’m sure a lot of people can agree with me when I say that their mothers don’t do this for themselves, or their families. I accept my mother’s disorder. I am willing to stand by and support her if that’s what she wanted for herself. If she really wanted to get help and stay on track. And yes they are fall backs no one is perfect. But with the right treatment she would have more better days than bad. I think when things start getting abusive emotionally or physically you can’t just accept it just because your mother is bipolar. Not with the advances in medicine nowadays. There is something out there to help her control what’s going on with her. I’m 24 and my mother to this day calls me a slut and that I think I’m better than her. And she hates me. But then I’m supposed to just forget she said those things and carry on having a relationship with her like it never happened. Before I had children I could just accept her by ignoring it. Which really wasn’t accepting it but now she is doing this infront of my daughter and while I’m pregnant with my second one. She even lashes out at my daughter and makes her cry because she yells at her. I’ve chosen recently that if she doesn’t get it under control and quit using her family as her dramatic circle, and an emotional punching bag I won’t have ne thing to do with her. Bipolar, my mother, a friend, black, blue, green I don’t want my children growing up with the confusion I had to. Not when it doesn’t have to be there. She has never gotten the proper help and stuck with it. I have went to support groups for people with bipolar disorder/depression, I went because I was depressed about my mother and how she was treating me & how she raised me. I am adopted by the way and I am not bipolar. I do suffer from a personality disorder bcus of my mother. I have figured how to deal with it, and living very happily now. But I was able to see how different people were with bipolar disorder. Those who didn’t treat it properly, people who did, people who educated themselves on the disorder, those who didn’t, those with support and those who didn’t. I believe with the will power to love yourself to get betterand stop blaming the disorder for everything, I’ve seen it people can control it, the drive that you won’t treat others unfairly and that you can love without expecting something in return, and the right education on the disorder anyone can feel better. I love my mother but I love myself more to walk away when nothing is changing. I don’t have to accept the nasty things she says to me and the mean crap she does to my daughter. I’ve tried to get her help and she refuses. Well I refuse to be treated this way. Just because she bipolar doesn’t make it okay. She was fine at one point and now she’s not. I think people with bipolar disorder go thru severe depression dealing with it. Getting your life back in perspective does a lot. Remembering life could be worse, that people are just people, that family is everything, that thought alone should help curve the nasty acts and things with the disorder do. I’ve been dealing with this since I was 10 years old, and its taken a lot for me to get out of all this. The depression was hard, the personality disorder was even harder. I would never wish that upon my children or expose them to it. That’s my choice as a mother and a grown woman, to tell someone they won’t say those things to me and act like that. If they can’t respect my family or me enough to get the help she needs. That’s when I step back wayyy back now. I’ve done this before and was guilted back with no action plan on her end. Nothing explaining what she was going to do different. I am not the bad person, and I’m not going to feel guilty anymore. She did it again and this time right in front of my little girl. Its not something I will accept anymore by ignoring it. She’s here, biopolar, and treats me and my family horrible. I’ve tried to get her help and told her to go to counseling and get. On differnt meds. But she hasn’t. You can’t be there and help someone who can’t help themselves. Can’t feel sorry for or understand someone who doesn’t care about u or themself. Its that simple.

      • Jess,

        You should not have been placed under her care. She was not a suitable mother for adoption.
        I think you made the right decision, that way you can protect yourself and your daughter. You and your daughter are your number 1 priority.


  260. Jessica, I don’t think you’ve been on the recipient end of a bipolar person’s behaviour. It’s horrible, and many of us have come to the conclusion after a long battle with guilt and trying to decide if we are making the right decision that we need to protect ourselves from that behaviour. If my mother suffered from alcoholism or drug addiction, no one would expect me to put up with that behaviour – people understand that addiction is a disease, and the person needs to make the decision to deal with it (see Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program). Bipolar is no different. The person who suffers from it needs to conclude that their behaviour is driving people away, close friends and family alike (note not just offspring), and that they need to treat their behaviour through medication and counselling. My experience with my mother is that she likes the drama around her, and she would rather live in that world than take the steps to get herself out of it. I will be there for her if she ever makes that decision, but until then I will not accept that behaviour and I will distance myself from it.

  261. I am the husband of the wife from a few comments ago. We have numerous fights and arguments over my mother. I get hurt feeling when I hear her talk about getting divorced over my mothers actions. I believe you can use a scale for bipolar and my mother is an 11. Becomes homeless when manic and call 911 once a week when depressed. I’m unfortunately an only child. I don’t need to read an literature on being the child of a bipolar parent. I’ve lived it for most of my life. I’m 41 and have recognized it for 20 years. Her friends tell me they have noticed something my whole life but couldn’t quite put they’re finger on it. Anger has only come into the equation in the last 7 or 8 years and only when I do not comply with her in the manic state. My wife had never met her in the manic period and had only heard stories from my few family members. Until a few months ago, we figured she would stay in the depression for every but that has not been the case. I have learned not to get stressed by her actions and behavior. I know that it is a mental illness that she has no control over. She is in outpatient psychiatric programs and I speak with social workers and the psychiatrist often. I keep her at arms length and control what I can. My number one priority is my family and OUR well being. It is hard to completely shut my mother out. She only has myself and her sister (and a brother with same condition but I don’t count him). She has burned every other bridge imaginable. I feel my only responsibility is to try and keep a roof over her head a little food in the refrigerator. If she screws that up, well my conscience is good. I love my wife, family and mother. I will alway choose my wife and family over my mother and I hope she can just simply believe and accept that as fact. I did not choose her as my mother. I sympathize with anyone that has to deal with this in life and it is helpful to read other peoples stories. I believe that everyone has a part of their life that is out of their control and it always could be worse. We have a good life and unfortunately she throws a wrench into it here and there. We’ll keep reading and hopefully get a new tip once and a while.

    • One of the things that took me a while to understand was that I had my whole life to adjust to Mom’s bipolar. I had learned selective hearing, and could completely ignore the hurtful things that Mom said. My wife had no idea how to deal with it, and couldn’t understand why I would let offensive things go unchallenged. My thought was that she was an adult, and had to understand that it was Mom’s bipolar talking. And after all, she was my mother.

      My wife saw that I said my mother was less important than her, but my actions didn’t always back it up. If she’s talking about divorcing you, then you have to make a choice now and stick to it. Find out what level of contact your wife is comfortable with, set that limit and don’t move it. The rule that I used was that I wouldn’t let Mom treat my family any worse than I would let anyone else treat them. My situation was made more difficult because Dad enables Mom’s bipolar by making excuses for her behavior.

      You also have a son that isn’t an issue right now, but will soon be old enough to be affected. Decide now what level of contact your mother will be allowed, and make sure your wife agrees.

      Good luck with this. It’s a difficult road we travel.

  262. I am 20 years old with a baby on the way, my mom is bipolar andi can barely stand talking to her. She has always chosen men and drugs over me even when I was a baby. When I was only a year old she left me in a hotel all by myself and took off with a guy. I just find myself filled with so much anger towards her and how she’s treated me my whole life. I would finally get over her not being there when I was younger and then shed decide she wanted to play mommy again. And now that she’s older her issues have gotten so bad because she wouldn’t take her meds and I guess all the dope has messed with her brain she’s absolutly embarrasing to bring around people. She. Will wear sunglasses and will refuse to look at people or talk to them. She draws all this attention to herself and I just can’t bring my boyfriend around her it mortifys me to think I came from this woman. I have a 16 year old sister who lives with her and my mom is always calling me stressing me out telling me she can’t take care of her trying to guilt trip me into taking her. I am 7 and half months pregnant and the way I look at it she can’t and never took care of me and my sister why should I trust her around my baby? I barely want her to come to the baby shower I’m afraid she’s going to make a scene and ruin my day. I love her because she’s my mom but I have no respect for her.

  263. I wanted to bring up the topic of the “enablers.” My father has been enabling my mom’s illness for the past several years by failing to acknowledge her warped perception of the world and supporting any hateful/spiteful/simply mean interactions she has with me or others. I find this almost more painful than dealing with my mom directly. As much as my mother’s actions hurt me, I recognize that she is sick. But my dad is not – he’s the one that should be able to see the lies and the manipulation and the memories of things that either did not happen or are severely altered. He should be able to at least say to us that he realizes her thoughts are not grounded in reality, but he can’t do anything about it.

    Why do enablers 1) Put up with the behaviour that I’m sure must be very stressful to live with and 2) Put her needs first to the point that they damage relationships with other significant people in their lives – the ones who could actually offer some respite if they chose?

    My mother is not diagnosed, but she has always shown symptoms of bipolar, mostly depression with the odd bout of mania. Her illness went into overdrive, however, when when my first daughter was born 8 years ago. I’ve talked to my family doctor about all of the strange behaviour, and while he said he can’t diagnose her without talking to her, because her sister does have a bipolar diagnosis, it would be his first guess.

    When I read other people’s experiences on here about how their mothers can barely survive on their own and the guilt they feel for not helping them, I realize I’m lucky that my dad will always have a roof over her head and food in the fridge (as long as she doesn’t succeed in divorcing him like she says she’s going to even though my dad says I’m lying about that). And I know that it doesn’t matter anyways because I really can’t let either of them into our lives right now because my mother’s illness makes it impossible for them to have any care or concern for us. It still hurts all the same and I know I need to get some counselling to simply be at peace with the situation. But my dad’s reaction to her illness will always remain a hurtful puzzle to me.

    • Although there are many posts I related to here, yours hit home the hardest. My dad takes a lot of the dailey rage and I grew up thinking he was a saint. Now that I’m order and I suspect BP, she refuses to talk to a doctor. And the order my parents get, the more my dad believes her rants and accuses me, too. The worse part, he’s a doctor and he doesn’t see the patterns & cycles! This last mini episode…”she’s not acting bipolar – you’re the one with a problem.” I can’t express the pain it hurts so much. Just like you, I understand what she does but I can’t wrap my brain about my dad. Is he so afraid of losing her, that he joins in the madness? Is he is so end in the madness, he can’t see reality? Why is he slowing choosing sides instead of us together trying to get her to a doctor? I’ve started to really resent him but oday, it’s just double the hurt.

      • Hi Sonia,

        I know exactly what you mean. I’ve also wondered if my Dad is so afraid of being alone that he will do anything to ignore reality? I also know how hard it is to wonder why our parents can’t see what’s going on when they have the education and work experience to know better. My mother was a social worker and my dad was a vice principal. It puts another level in the mix that makes it all the more hurtful.

        My doctor told me that it is not uncommon for aging spouses to ignore/fail to see the other spouse deteriorating, whether it’s mental or physical. But it’s more than that. My dad has clearly made a choice that I have to agree to all of my mom’s lunacy, and if I don’t, then I should consider them dead (he actually wrote that to me a few days before Christmas last year). It was extremely hurtful, but at the same time, it made me realize how broken both he and my mom are.

        Now that I have my own children (they are 8 and 5), I realize that my mom (and by extension my dad) don’t have the capacity to love me the way that healthy parents do. I look at my kids and realize there is pretty much nothing they could do – no mistake or poor judgement – that could make me stop loving them. It’s not normal to stop loving your children. Even the parents of children who have done some horrible things still love them. The wackiness of the situation is the result of mental illness, and is not the result of anything I have done, or could rectify in the future.

        Every so often I think of an exchange I had with one of them and I find myself getting angry because their reasoning was so messed up. But because I haven’t had contact with them in almost a year I also can reflect on the situation and see it for what it is – a mess created by a disease. I then think of how I could let the anger go and have a relationship if they owned up to the impact of the disease on the people around them. I know that is hardly likely, though, so the best thing is to focus on what I have, which I’m forever grateful for. I’m so lucky for my husband and kids, my work, my community. I have a lot to be thankful for.

        I think the best thing for ourselves is to break it off and stay away if the lunacy is too bad. And don’t worry what others think. They would be extremely apologetic if they actually knew what we go through.

  264. I had never considered finding people online who had been through similar experiences. I guess I always thought it would be giving into weakness.

    I have read much of what you all have to say and I must say it gives me hope. Thank you. Stay strong!

  265. Reading all these comments really helped me. I’m 29 years old and I believe my Mom is bipolar . This weekend was really bad and I am at my wits end. I live with her, I pay for everything. She refuses to get help and I am not capable of helping her, it’s impossible. She’s been like this my whole life. Right now I have no life. If I wanna go out to hang out with friends she freaks out. So then I get upset and don’t go.She’s controlling my life. I wanna move but if I do, will she commit suicide or how is she gonna pay the bills? I need help? I need suggestions

  266. My mother is bipolar and can be VERY narcissistic. I am 30 and all she has the rest of my family turned their backs on her a long time ago. Some days I really wish that I could do the same,but it’s just not in me. She is under a doctors care and takes meds but I feel like she uses her wonderful (haha) manipulation skills to play the doctor a little.
    All she cares about is herself and does everything she can to make others feel sorry for her. Every convo. with her turns into poor me poor me I’m so mistreated! that is the thing I have the MOST trouble dealing with!! ALL THE SELF PITY. Dealing with her is very draining and will make you want to jump off a cliff!!! I have tried talking to (nicely)her about her self pity and the way she makes other people feel but it always ends in a fight. She will ask me “why do people not like me? why do people treat me like this?” and I stupidly will think “okay heres a chance to get her to understand” so I tell her why the easiest way I can! What happens??? I get a full on fight and get told I dont love her ect. GRR….. It’s like she wants to be miserable and blame other people for EVERYTHING nothing is ever her fault. It is killing me. I will never turn my back on her because I know alot of this isn’t her fault but I wish I knew how to step back a little without it turning into a bad falling out!! Any advice? Or does anyone else deal with these same problems? I have many other issues with my mom and I am grateful I found this page!!!! I don’t feel so alone any more! I’m sure I’ll be back A LOT vent about how I just can’t take anymore. LOL I don’t vent about my mom to other people because I feel like I’m feeling sorry for myself just like she does plus people that don’t deal with bipolar DON’T get it at all!

    My funny definition of bipolar: the ability to make other people gouge their eyes out and jump off a cliff. I guess being funny about t is my way of dealing with it.

  267. oh sorry I left out a word in my definition of bipolar LOL its really late and been a very long few days please forgive my misspellings and grammar
    Bipolar: the ability to make other people WANT TO gouge their eyes out and jump off a cliff.

    • Ha ha – namegoeshere needs a “like” button on this site! I agree, the incessant blaming of others (me being one of them, of course) is what makes me want to gouge my eyes out. She just can’t understand that she is viewing the world through the lens of mental illness, which skews her perception of reality. I know this intellectually, but dealing with it on an emotional level is not easy. The victimization she feels and the need to attribute this to others has fractured significant relationships in her life. It really bugs me when she repeats the fantasies in her head about what a terrible person I am to other people. Sigh… you just have to let it go. That’s the only advice I have. Be there for her if there is some clarity on her part. If not, live your own life. Your own reaction to the situation and ability to move on are all that you have control over. Be with people who bring positive things into your life, and recognize and be thankful for the good things in your life. Don’t let her illness drag you down. (Written with the caveat that this is much easier said than done!)

  268. I am 17 yrs old and i have a bipolar mother, she’s had bipolar since i was 10 years old. I hate having a bipolar mother, she takes everything out on me, and she has said so many hateful things too me, even though she has bipolar i don’t have the nerve to forgive her for the hurt she has caused me. When i was 16 yrs old, i was diagnosed with depression, so it has been a difficult life style suffering from depression myself and living with a bipolar mother.

    • I am so sorry you have depression, but it is understandable, since your mother with bipolar cannot give you the love and affection you need. Her anger, which is directed at you, but which is not actually about you, deprives you of the love and care and security that you need to grow and feel loved. If she were a different mother who bathed you in love, you wouldn’t feel depressed. You’d feel cared for. Instead, she expects you to take care of her. That causes depression, when a person’s inner needs are not met. Bathe yourself in the solace and care you need to grow and take care of yourself. Believe me, my sisters and i went through this. Please take care.

    • I am 17 as well. My mom has had bipolar disorder since I was nine or ten too. We just didn’t figure out what it was until I was twelve. Most of my family members have been suicidal or diagnosed with depression at one point or another due to the effect she has. Most of us still love her very much. My point is if you need someone your age to talk to you can email me at saywhatchaneedtosay@yahoo.com