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.