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Parent who doesnt know I know about their mental illness

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:19 pm

Parent who doesnt know I know about their mental illness

Postby nn » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:37 pm

Hi, I am completely new to this and this is my first post. I am desperate for some support/comfort and I thought I would try this site.

It is obvious to me that my mum is severely mentally ill. I can say for certain that she is bulimic (and she is in her 50s) and I know that there is something 'different' about her personality (although I don't know what). She can be fine one minute and then very angry the next, resulting in her hitting herself. She also talks to herself when she thinks she is alone.

My mum has been like this for as long as I can remember, however it is only now that I am older (I am 20) that I realize she is suffering from a mental illness. My mum did not have an easy childhood herself. I know that both of her parents were alcoholics and that her father died when she was a teenager. I cannot imagine how much trauma she must have experienced herself growing up.

I don't feel like I can talk to my mum because I am so worried about how she will react. Her personality is unpredictable sometimes and it can be very scary. I am not scared of what she might do to me, but rather what she might do to herself. I tried speaking to her once a couple of months ago because she could sense that something was upsetting me. I told her that I worry a lot - I worry about everything and everyone that I love and I conjure up awful scenarios in my head and then worry about them. At this point, I told my mum that I hear her being sick a lot and that I think she makes herself sick. She laughed (as if to say that's ridiculous) and denied it. It was in that moment that I realized that my mum is completely in denial.

I feel so alone because there is nobody at home I can talk to. I genuinely think my dad is oblivious to the fact that my mum is suffering from mental health. He definitely has no idea that she is bulimic and whenever she loses her temper and starts crying hysterically and hitting herself he says things to me like 'I just don't understand why your mother acts like this' and 'I hope you don't act like that when you are older.' I am too scared to talk to my dad about it because I don't want to worry him and cause him stress. In my own head I have built up that if I tell him he might have a heart attack or something (which sounds ridiculous but I can't control it.) I also worry that if I tell my dad and he speaks to my mum that she will hate me for telling him or will feel so trapped that she kills herself or something (again I am aware that these are only potential problems I am creating in my own head but I these are genuine worries of mine.) I have a younger brother aswell (16 years old) and I worry about the effects my mum mental health might have on him. My brother and I get on great but we don't talk about deeply personal things like feelings so I wouldn't know if he worries about my mum. I do know, however, that he is aware that my mum is mentally ill.

I don't even know exactly what I want to come from this post. I often google search 'living with a parent with a mental illness' but nothing comes up for living with a parent with mental illness WHO DOES NOT KNOW YOU KNOW ABOUT THEIR MENTAL ILLNESS/ DOES NOT WANT HELP.

I want to stress here that I love my mum and I know how much my mum loves me. She is a wonderful mother and I wouldn't change her for the world. I just cant bare sitting in my bed at night listening to her make herself sick or listen to her crying and hitting herself and feeling so helpless. I am also concerned about the affect this is having on my own mental health and I just don't know what to do.

I would love to know if there is anybody else in a similar situation - it would be great to have somebody to talk to for a change!

Posts: 730
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Parent who doesnt know I know about their mental illness

Postby amaya » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:06 am

I just read this after posting in the other thread you posted in.

Definitely go to the GP. You have a lot of anxiety and this has already affected you a lot. Get some support in place for yourself first, tell them everyway this is affecting your life. When you feel like someone is on your side and you have some support in place, then you can maybe also ask for some advice about how to approach things with your other family members. But right now your primary focus needs to be you and not them. You are not in denial, they are. So make sure you speak with someone who will give your emotions validation because you are in a hard situation. If the first GP doesn't show much empathy or offer the right support, get a second opinion.

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