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Going 'mental'


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I don't know where to turn for help with this, so all I can do is post here and hope someone has some words of wisdom, some advice for me.

I just received a letter from my Mom's sister, the aunt who I'd had a falling-out with after my Mother's and brother's deaths. We already know she suffers from paranoia ( at least 2 other relatives have noticed the same thing ), so certain things in her letter can be discounted, as her stories are getting wilder and wilder ( and more gruesome ) all the time. And much of the family news she wrote about can't be trusted, because of that.

However, she's obviously talked to my remaining brother, at least in Nov./05, and so I've found out that another uncle has indeed died, whose estate was to go to my father, but my brother has taken his money as his own, even though our father isn't dead yet, but in a home, with dementia. She also mentioned that my Mother's, an aunt's and this uncle's ashes are still at my brother's house, uninterred. That was enough, in itself, to upset the heck out of me. But then I discovered that my brother has also been lying to her, too, and claimed he was still paying a monthly bill to the home our father's in....and boo-hoo, was having such a time with his bills. I know this is untrue because the Province had to take over his care, and took away my brother's Power of Attorney for him, directly because he wouldn't pay the home. This happened last summer, so that makes this a recent lie from the fall. He's playing "Poor Me", and this aunt is not only buying it, but is, once again, making excuses for him ( and by extension, his terrible behaviour ). I could SHRIEK!!!! NOT ONE PERSON IN MY ENTIRE FAMILY HAS EVER EXTENDED AN OUNCE OF COMPASSION FOR ME, though I was the one ( along with my Mother ) who was treated so badly by the other two.

On top of this, she wondered if my father hadn't smothered my Mother with a pillow, causing her final stroke. SOB!!! And although this is a terrible thing to say to a daughter in grief, the worst part is that I wondered the same thing myself, 2 years ago, but as no autopsy was done, I realized I'd just never know for certain. So now I sit, with this idea brought up anew, to add to my sorrow, again.

There was more news, too, of her family, much of it involving her daughter, the one cousin who's let me down so badly this year, and suggesting I shouldn't trust her...but this is from someone I know is paranoid....same as my father is with his demetia. Another sister of my Mom's has dementia, too now.

So now, as I sit with all these horrid memories, and refreshed rage at my father, brother and this aunt and cousin, I feel like I'm in Hell. My entire family, plus a number of relatives, seem to all be suffering from one form of mental illness or another. Not only does this make me extremely frightened for my OWN sanity which, goodness knows, might suddenly take such a nose-dive, too, but makes me seriously wonder if I ought to run fast and far, away from ALL of them forever?!! I'd just been considering calling this one cousin, to find out if she was ever going to send me the pictures of my Mom she claimed to have, or not - to finalize at least that in my mind. Now I don't know if they're ALL loopy, or what!

I'm going 'mental' myself, with seeing that in MY family, there is no hope for anything good to come of anything. Years ago, I used to think, "Okay, good...I've distanced myself from all the craziness....now I'll be okay, now I can recover..." Now I'm wondering if these mental health problems are going to get ME, too, sooner or later. Now it seems like a never-ending pattern of abuses, among ALL my relatives, towards everyone who comes into contact with any of them. Gawd....I just keep losing more and more pieces of myself, more of my history, any good that used to be in it....every single year. I'm totally blown away, ripped up inside, and don't know what to do anymore. I can't live with this.

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Oh, Maylissa, it seems it never ends, huh? I would say that your instinct to run fast and far is right on. My mom has a "crazy" sister too, who makes up all kinds of stories. She caused my mom so much grief that my mother finally said "bye" many years ago, and that is not like my mom at all. It was very hard on her, but the best thing she ever did. Some people are just poison and you can't afford to deal with them. It will ruin your own life.

As far as your worries about your own mental health, I know how you feel. There are days I feel I'm losing it too. Maybe you could discuss your family history with your doctor. He/she may be able to alleviate your fears.

Just hang in there. Take care of yourself, even if it means isolating yourself from all your relatives. You are the important one right now.

Take a deep breath and take it one day at a time,


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  • 2 weeks later...


may i suggest you "consider the source"????

i don't have the dementia thing in my family, but i do have extremely inconsiderate relatives who expect sympathy, understanding and socializing to be coming from me ~ towards other relatives who haven't bothered with me in years, nor bothered with my mom when she was alive.

i collapsed into tears beyond belief over this, this was back in October / November of 2005. how dare they, after our mother just passed away in August? how dare they think i was in shape to drive ~ wanted to drive ~ 100 miles roundtrip so that i could do what they wanted to do all day long?????

this after i made a very nice overture to everyone once my mom had come home from the rehab in October of 2003, that christmas, i put bygones bygone and told all that my door was open to everyone if and when they decided to do the same and come visit their mom/grandma. what was i told? "hey listen, we're not social butterflies"

ah i could go on and on, but the point is, at some stage, you must consider the source. take the news from whence it comes. file it. it's not your behavior, and there's no guarantee you've got dementia in your genepool. you may turn out to be the sanest one of them all......... i suspect.

your brother's behavior? again, i suggest consider the source. you need to seperate yourself from someone elses shoddy behavior. he will have to answer for his deeds. they are not your deeds. if anything, they are a fine example of how not to be..........

keep your chin up. and talk whenever you feel the need to get it off your chest. i firmly believe in venting ......... :D

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Thanks, Shell and Maureen, for all your support and encouragement with this dilemma. It always helps to know someone is thinking of me, even if it's not family.

Maybe you could discuss your family history with your doctor. He/she may be able to alleviate your fears.


One thing I'm now looking into is requesting an autopsy be done when my father dies, since that's the only certain way for them to determine if he has Alzheimer's or just some other form of dementia. I have to call the Chief Medical Examiner's office in their Province to get some answers, then try to convince the Public Trustee ( who is refusing to return my calls so far ) to pay for this out of whatever's left by then of my father's funds. Wish me luck, as it's going to be an uphill battle, I'm sure.

I have decided to not continue contact with this aunt ( for the umpteenth time ), but might still call my cousin, just to ask her if she ever intends on sending me those pictures or not.

you may turn out to be the sanest one of them all......... i suspect.

your brother's behavior?...if anything, they are a fine example of how not to be..........


Funny....everyone who's known my family history has made this remark before, and frankly, I know they're right, but sometimes I wonder if it would have been easier to deal with all of them if I, too, had been rather 'crazy' myself!? The contrast in their thinking and mine, their behaviours and mine, was what, in itself, used to ( and still does ) drive ME the most crazy. It's always been like trying to communicate in a different language. The few times there would be something common we could relate to, no one seemed to be able to extrapolate it to me or my situation....always as if MY existence was merely an afterthought and not important at all in comparison to their's and their loved ones. In any case, it has been suggested to me that this aunt may even have something like schizophrenia ( this from a doctor friend ), so no wonder it's impossible.

Yes, my family has always provided me more examples than I can count on how not to be! :blink: It's the sad story of my life. And while helpful in some ways, they're all negative ways, and I guess I'd just like to have some positive things for once. But it's become too clear that that will never happen, not from them. And I resent the fact that I, all alone, must write a newer, better chapter into this/my story...cuz I'm just so t..i..r..e..d. I want things to just...go...swimmingly for once in MY life, like I see and hear about in others' lives. Whenever I see those newspaper notices of "Thanks", to a whole whack of people, for all the many things and ways of support they received after a death......I want to rip the paper into shreds! :angry: You don't know how many times I wanted to write my own, reverse 'thank-you's' and publish it for all to see! It would have gone something like this:

Heartfelt Thanks to all my remaining family and relatives for all the dishonour they displayed towards me, my family and my Mother upon her death. The lack of a Memorial Service for her allowed me to bury my memories and emotions along with her, and has helped me immensely in being able to carry forward in abundance, my history of unimportance, in new and bigger ways. Special thanks to my father for his help in allowing me to give up my family status as his and my Mother's only daughter, and for his clever and secret efforts aimed towards freeing me of the burden of sorting and choosing among Mom's personal effects, family treasures and other pieces of extreme value, lovingly preserved by Mom for the hands of strangers. Extra thanks to my last remaining brother for his consideration in not upsetting our Mother with any visits in her final days, and for relieving me of the necessity of any inheritance in the future. Our Mother would also be very grateful for the special closet provided for her, carrying on the tradition of no disturbing visits. His deftness with our parents' funds has proved to be a remarkable asset ( for him ) in this difficult time, and was much appreciated by our father and the Public Trustee's Office of the Province, providing them a means to develop a relationship based on their shared value of money. To all my old friends, neighbours and my community, you have given me the great opportunity to do for myself and not relinquish my loneliness in the face of adversity. The lack of meals brought by none allowed me my comfort/snack food, supporting the weight gain needed to eliminate my bothersome slimness. The lack of notes, cards and flowers was touching, with your concern over the neatness of our household so clearly felt. Your calls were all so very appreciated, reminding me to focus on others' concerns instead of my sorrow. For all those who thought better of calling, thank-you for giving me the quiet to feel the magnitude of all of the above. Thanks are also due to the staff and doctors at Deer Lodge for respecting the implied wishes of the rest of my family to provide my Mother complete solitude in her last hours and for not compromising the care of other patients by any research into my Mother's last communications on my behalf. Thank-you all for everything....I wouldn't be where I am today without you.

[/font=Arial Narrow] Edited by Maylissa
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Thanks for the interest in my dilemma. The autopsy isn't going to be as easy as I thought. Talked to the Chief Medical Examiner's office and all was well until they mentioned that the Executor of my father's Will ( assuming there IS a Will ) has to okay any autopsy...and who's that, you may ask? That's my evil brother, who, if there is a Will, would NEVER grant such a request, as an autopsy could determine about how long someone had dementia, no matter the type...which would make it more than obvious that any late-date Will would be invalid. I'm SO frustrated!! I only wanted one done for my own personal medical history..never even thought about other ramifications....but now my hands are tied...AGAIN!! So I'll have to speak to a lawyer now to see if anything can be done about all this BEFORE my father dies, as autopsies are best PRE-arranged before death, since (sorry to be blunt here ) safe storage is of utmost concern, as is some speed - not enough time for a battle to wage after the fact.

I COULD SCREAM!!! I can't even put words to all the emotions churning now, except to say the top one is pure RAGE! This is SUCH an unjustice!!

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I just went to www.webmd.com and they have some great info on dementia. There seems to be tests they can perform while someone is alive to determine if they have some form of dementia and what kind (there's a list to the right of the info, click on tests). You might want to check it out and maybe you can get something done now.

Good luck,


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oh Maylissa, you are entirely too precious for words!!!

webmd.com is a great source as was mentioned for dementia. i used that website for my mom's congestive heart failure and seizures so i could get more information that i could actually understand. i don't actually know if dementia is in the genes and can be inherited. from what i know of you, and the incredible common sense help you have been to me, you'll be the only one in your family never to fall victim to that disease!!! :D

your "letter" was very similar in essense to one that i sent out this year in lieu of Christmas cards. who is in the mood to send Christmas cards when they are grieving and it's the first holiday without their mom????

i sent out an extremely "polite" version of your letter with some very pointed, veiled comments in it. i even went so far as to have a relative put a memorial to my Mom on my father's family website. plus i have a lovely memorial to my mom on my company website.

made me feel good........ what can i say?

you will get through this. and trust me, you are saner than the lot of 'em and always will be. :D

thinking of you always here in new jersey!

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Thanks for the website. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, but plan to. With Alzheimer's, though, from every doctor I've mentioned it to, they've all agreed that the only way to tell for certain if someone had it is post-mortem. Those tests are still only guessing guidelines. My dad's doc and I had just discussed this and he wouldn't even bother with one anyway, as he doesn't believe they're good enough to make a sure determination. He has no problem with me requesting an autopsy...it'll be my brother who'll put the stops on that.


Well, thanks so much for the accolades! I'm glad I amused someone, even if not the ones this letter should be read by!

From what I've read, Alzheimer's risk IS increased if you've had anyone in your family who had it, so that's why I'm concerned about this particular type of dementia. One reason I'd like to know in advance, is so I can start taking the supplements that are more targetted towards preventing it NOW, but I don't want to waste money on ones I may not need, unnecessarily...I take enough as it is!

I only WISH my relatives were smart enough to GET veiled references! :lol: Otherwise, I would have done what you did already. Hey, this aunt who wrote me didn't even get the UNveiled importance of me talking about how much I still missed my Mom over the holidays, and only told me ( back ) that " You think YOU have problems!"( and so ironic, since all of HER problems really ARE just in her head)...so anything less than blatant would definitely be lost on them. Once my legal position and chances of success are more firmly determined, I might actually send this letter of 'thanks' to certain people...but not before then, as some of these relatives might have to be called to testify in court, if it goes that far. I don't know...for once in my life, I'd really like to be mean back at them, just to see if it makes me feel any more empowered. It seems to have worked so well for the rest of them, so it's alluring...

Edited by Maylissa
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Guest Guest_Jen_*

Ya, I know what you mean. I've had people say some insensitive things to me too. I was talking to one friend about school, and when it got quiet, he had his nerve to say that he was glad to see that I was over my ordeal. I wanted to scream. What do they mean by getting over it? When my father passed away 5 years ago, I found out who my true friends were. There were some people who were really helpful, and some people were down right insenstive jerks. Like my professor. I asked him to give me more time to study for my final. He told me no, since it had been 2 weeks and that's plenty of time to study and be ready. I had one friend who avoided me, even after I helped him through his father's death a year before. That hurt really bad. Even family members were horrible. So when my mother passed away less than a month ago. I basically avoided everyone I knew would turn an insensitive ear. I just couldn't bear going through the same pain as before of feeling more alone than I really was feeling. I find this much better because it gives me time to think and grieve without dealing with their crap. Also there's plenty of new friends I can make out there and I don't have to put up with the old crappy ones.

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I remember a line from "Tequila Sunrise". Mel Gibson says, "Friendships are like tires, you only get so much mileage out of them and then it's time to get new ones". Thank goodness sometimes some of our "tires" last forever, but I guess what he said was true. And going through a death certainly lets you know which tires are flat!

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