Insanity doesn’t listen to reason.


I must keep reminding myself that a mentally ill person cannot be held responsible for their illness.

Going through the current “tough love” trial with a former neighbor and friend, I often have to remind myself of the very sad homeless woman in Redwood City, who could often be seen wheeling around a grocery cart filled with stuff, and screaming into a phone demanding (whatever) in Chinese.

One day, she stopped me and demanded I give her a ride down town.  (Backstory:  I’d give her a couple of bucks from time to time when she was begging, as no one should be hungry or without shelter, but I was not foolish enough to think she was anyone I’d ever want to have to deal with in my life). Anyway, I told her, “No”, and she was ballsy enough to demand, “Why?!!”, like my generosity in some areas opened me up to be her patsy in all areas.

Response:  “Because you are unstable and unpredictable, and I cannot have that in my life.”

Unfortunately, yesterday’s conversation with C followed along those same lines.

C was blowing up my pay-by-the-minute cellphone, the phone I’d repeatedly asked her NOT to use unless it was a true emergency as she was sucking up my minutes budget, and I was exhausted by her demands and complaints and outright lies, and asked her not to complain to me as I couldn’t handle the shared stress.

Trying to be upbeat, I reminded her that her dogs were safe, and that she needed to focus on doing what she needed to do to get back on her feet.  She was warm, dry and fed.   (I’d already spent over $1,500 on medical and shelter and food costs for the two dogs who came here with nothing, not even collars, and I needed her to respect the fact that I didn’t need her spending more of my money without my permission).

Yes, I may have “enough” to try and help where I can, but that does not mean that I give up control over where and when I will help.  C has acquired an incredible sense of entitlement, and I’m just not playing that game anymore. It’s clear now that no amount of money will ever be enough, and once you add in tantrums and verbal abuse, enough is enough.  I am not a psychiatrist nor am I parent material.

So, I got her promise to call the other line, the free wireless line, and we ended the call with my promise that I’d check in between 5-6pm each day.

Believe me, I realize she’s having a rough time, but… from a compjetely selfish viewpoint, did she and her friends HAVE to blow up my phone during the Oscars?  I asked C to not stress me out by giving me more bad news over things I’m unable to change or help with, and yet complaining and badmouthing everyone who was trying to help her was all she seemed capable of doing all day long any time we talked.

This morning, I get to the pay-as-you-go phone to find more inanity and complaints:






So, now, because I’m trying to enforce boundaries, I’m the focus of her anger at life, and she’s no longer talking to me.

Upside:  blessed silence.  My phone budget for emergencies remains intact.

Downside:  now I have to check in with her friend, D, as developments and test results come back, and listen to that woman’s anti-vet and anti-healthcare instructions… all while knowing that she won’t take over the care of this senior dog, but thinks she knows best, too.

The soap opera keeps on turning.

I am hopeful that C will get the mental health and physical care that her mental illness appears to require, all while ensuring that I have (somewhat) healthy boundaries and don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole.

I cannot afford to adopt a full grown senior woman, and I don’t want her chaos in my house.  I’m managing her drama well enough on the fringes of my life, but no way do I owe her one precious second of my own sanity and peace.

It’s just sad to have her so angry with me when I have been asking her to stop blowing up my phone and spending my money for 5+ days at this point, and had to be firm on the boundaries to keep my own health.

I hope they can get her the help she needs sooner than 4-6 weeks (our current estimate for how long social services will take to get her geriatric health assessed properly).  A mind is a heartbreaking thing to lose.  Especially when one has been passing for normal and refusing all care attempts not up to her demands / expectations /  entitlements prior to now.


2 thoughts on “Insanity

  1. Okay, I’m cell phone challenged…let’s just start out with that fact in mind. But I’m curious. What does turning the effing phone OFF do? Do they still charge you for all the mindless blabbering C is doing anyway? Or does it provide you a respite from someone you don’t want to boot to the curb, electronically speaking anyway, but who is driving you closer to the edge of fraying temper and high blood pressure? I mostly leave my own cell in the car (because I need it when I’m driving somewhere but not else wise), turned off. This seems to annoy folks who insist on texting about everything. I tell them “I don’t text, so don’t bother” but some will still insist. Thankfully the deluge has turned into a trickle now because I think part of the ‘fun’ (read addiction) for some folks with texting is the immediacy of the response. Take that away and you take away the fun.

    And I’m very sorry that the state of elderly people with senility or dementia is as bad in CA as it is here. I have a certifiable auntie whose family (she has no friends, like C she’s burned so many bridges with her ‘honesty’ and acerbic remarks that nobody ‘likes’ her any more) her family is considering some pretty radical solutions to the problem of ‘mother’. (short of murder). They want to take her to a far off town and just dump her there (one idea)…provide her with housing in this town (rent a house…she can’t do apartment living as proved last winter when she was kicked out of my own little town because she assaulted another elderly woman in her apartment complex and the Court upheld her eviction). She is living with one of her kids, and he’s becoming rapidly suicidal because of it…his siblings are concerned for him.

    I asked them why they didn’t just have her committed because she is truly crazy. They said the red tape and bullshit in Utah for committing someone who isn’t overtly psychotic (she IS psychotic, ((her working diagnosis is narcissistic personality disorder)) she just knows when and where to put on the sane mask and how to do it very well indeed), is so discouraging that nobody in the family has the patience to try any longer.

    C is lucky to have a few good friends who haven’t scraped her off their virtual shoes. But I’m appalled at how increasingly difficult it is to get truly mentally ill people any kind of assistance. It IS urgent, despite what the bureaucrats might say.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First, turning off the phone changes nothing. Once the phone is turned back on, the bombardment hits the actual handset as the messages wait in the “ether” of internet purgatory until claimed. Turning on the power = claiming the contact.

    That’s why I threatened to block her if she didn’t stop. If I block a number, the ether won’t hold the message, and they don’t get to wait in purgatory until I’m ready to deal with things.

    I hear you about the aunt’s situation, as anyone who has ever watched an episode of “Hoarders” understands that the social workers have an “out” to refuse to do their jobs under the terms of Title IX for equal access, autonomy, and fair treatment. So, the family doesn’t want to get stuck with her without someone being appointed her conservator or guardian, and it takes thousands of $ to accomplish that privately. (Believe me, I’ve been down that route with Las Vegas Auntie, and know it’s not an easy task).

    However, we have a paper trail of complaints against the social worker(s) for neglect of their duty, and we are hopeful that filing such a grievance will force them to do their job and claim conservatorship vs. forcing the family to do it (at the cost of their own sanity and bank accounts). This fight has been going on since last July, and we are hopeful, if we hang on a little longer, that someone will be appointed the guardian and then we can make sure that she is not longer able to refuse to cooperate, and will be locked up in a dementia facility, if it becomes serious enough.

    Sad, and yet another reason why I believe in euthanasia. If you can’t help someone, and they can’t help themselves or care for themselves, isn’t it kinder simply to put them to sleep? I think so !

    And, as I don’t equate euthanasia with “suicide” I also don’t equate it with “murder”. Sometimes, somebody has to be the adult, and this is sadly one of those times.

    Meanwhile, I’m sorry for what your cousin is going through. It sounds like a case of elder abuse waiting to happen, which is why I was so thankful to have the social workers in my Mom’s home and checking on her while I was helping her in her final days.

    Society is quick to give “oh, aren’t you wonderful” accolades to anyone who is helping another, while turning a blind eye to the opportunities for abuse that can happen simply because of the emotional and financial strain being a caregiver brings on a person, and that’s before we add in verbal abuse and financial constraints from the person being cared for. It’s never an easy job, and while I would not have been anywhere else in the world but with my Mom in her final days, she helped me make it easy to care for her on her terms, as she was able to pass for normal despite increased dependency and some impairment as her oxygen failed and exhaustion increased.

    The family was insulted that there were social workers and visiting nurses asking to see her alone, without my involvement, or visiting her when I was at work, however, the reality is that our elders are VERY vulnerable to emotional and financial manipulation, if not downright abuse, and it truly takes a village to keep everyone on the up and up and not giving into a momentary fit of temper or lapse in judgement.

    If you have ever seen the film, “Gilbert Grape”, there’s a scene where Johnny Depp abuses his mentally impaired younger brother (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he’s trying to juggle the family finances, mental health issues with his Mom and brother, as well as his own exhausted state.

    Personally, I think caregivers should NEVER be just family. If you can’t get a day off, plus 16 hours to yourself each day (just like a job), then you need to put someone in a facility or hire extra care as the demands being a caregiver brings into someone’s life are astronomical. When you talk about PTSD for emotional traumas, being a caregiver is right at the top.

    Are you aware that most caregivers don’t survive the death of their loved one? Most are dead within 5 years of their loved one’s passing.

    When you add the real statistics into the story, it’s important to the caregiver’s perspective to know that being a full time caregiver for a family member is risking one’s own life. Ego is fine, to think you can be superwoman or superman, however, the reality is sad and it truly takes a village to help folks keep it together.


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