Friday, August 10, 2007

Allll Aboard! HaHaHa! Crazy Train!

They say... "Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids." I know its supposed to be some cute lil saying but, there's some truth to it. It IS hereditary.

My paternal grandmother, "Granny", was certifiably bat shit crazy. God Rest Her Soul. She was Bi-polar with a splash of paranoia according to the doctors. She took medication for the Bi-polarity but often times the paranoia would flare up and she would be convinced that her lithium was actually poison and everyone was trying to kill her. She'd stop taking it and the manic/depressive swings would begin. She was a tortured woman with a mean streak a mile wide when she wasn't stable on her medication. Conversely, when she WAS on her meds and stable, she was a sweet lil ole lady with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. Unfortunately, the older she got, the more the Bi-polar condition took her over. The longer she lived the more pressing the paranoia. I wasn't around her much at the end. I was living my life of a young, newly married 9 hours away, but I could see her worsening when I came home to visit.

I now find myself in an interesting situation. My father seems to exhibit much of the same behavior. The misplaced aggression. The mood swings where everything is either PERFECT or absolutely NOTHING is right. No middle ground. He often speaks to others in a tone that is... well... implies that they are worth less than a piece of crap on his shoe. Its hard to explain WHY I believe that he's showing symptoms of Bi-polarity. You'd have to know him and experience it first hand to really understand. I'm not the only one in the family that sees it. However, NONE of us know what to do about it.

Mom has talked to him about it. Has tried to get him to see someone and get diagnosed but he refuses. He states, EMPIRICALLY, that NOTHING is wrong with him. That's its everyone else that has the problem. The rest of us are hesitant to approach him on the subject because we don't want to be on the receiving end of his righteous wrath. (He's a very scary man when he looses his temper. Its like its an entirely different person who has no control over his anger or what he says or HOW he says what he says. He's intentionally hurtful. Like goes for the jugular verbally.)

The longer I live with my parents the more I see how bad the situation between them is. Mom can't say or do anything right. Dad completely looses his shit over the smallest things and just wails on her verbally. (Yesterday it was because she distracted him while playing a game on the computer and it caused him to loose a life.) Mom reacts to him much like a battered woman. Shrinking back, saying little or nothing for fear of making him angrier. He usually feels like crap after and is nice to her for a while... but it always happens again. He's not PHYSICALLY abusive to her but verbally... that's a whole other kettle of fish. Emotionally as well. (I actually witnessed him bellowing at her "Its like I don't exist to you. You don't exist either. Without me you don't exist." )

So, my question to you is this. How am I supposed to sit back and just watch this happen? Do I press for him to get help and tempt his rage? IS it a mental health issue? Is it just flat out abuse due to the abuse given to him by his mother when she was having fits of crazy as a bed bugishness? Is it truly none of my business even though I'm here in the house bearing witness to it all?

Help. Me.


Oh, The Joys said...


This sounds hard, friend.

Thinking of you.


Anonymous said...

I know how you feel - to some degree at least. My dad is hugely controlling and cranky with my mom and it's really hard to watch. It's especially awkward because if I make too much of it it makes my mom feel like a loser for putting up with it. As a psychologist, I can see that my dad is depressed and that he is sort of an engineer-type who doesn't understand other people's feelings (Asperger's Syndrome), but that only helps so much when he is not up for any treatment. Life is hard sometimes in families. If I have any glib advice for you at all, it's to take care of yourself so that your mom can at least have a healthy, happy daughter to enjoy. Beyond that, it doesn't sound like there's a lot you can do. Hang in there.

You write really well, by the way. I enjoy your sense of humor.

NotAMeanGirl said...

Thanks to the both of you. It really is a difficult situation as I'm not one to sit back and just... watch. Bleh. I'm learning to deal with it. They've been married 48 years and its always been this way. I guess as an adult child I just recognize it for what it is now. Bleh.

Anon-- Thanks for the kind comments about my blog. :) As someone else said... Blogtherapy rocks! :)