Manic Depressive Bipolar Mother

Updated on December 21, 2007
L.G. asks from Carrollton, TX
9 answers

My mother is Manic Depressive Bipolar. I have done alot of reading on this condition and I think I have an okay understanding of it. She tends to act out towards me and only me. Acting out towards a family member is very common. My other siblings/family members have no understanding of how I feel. They claim she is never mean to them and therefore I should deal with it. But she bullies me. Because of this our relationship has been dead for years. She was horrible to me the last time we stopped talking. Little things will set her off. For example, if I am dating and she doesn't have control over who the guy is or which friends I am hanging out with. She demands I tell her everything going on in my life. I am much too old and on my own to have her trying to run my life like I am 13! I had to stop talking to her because of the mental tourment. Well, I finally decided to bite the bullet and try to have a relationship with her again. I was tired of my family being mad at me for pushing her out of my life. Plus I was promised she had changed.
The first few weeks after I called her were good. But now it is getting ugly really fast. She has started being a bully again. Demanding I give her my childs Christmas money. She thinks that she deserves the money because she also made her gift from the family member that gave him the Christmas money. That family member never asked her to do that. I told her I wasn't going to give her my child's money. Then she demanded Christmas dinner money from me. I explained I had everything to make dinner and we could use my food/spices. That wasn't what she wanted. She wanted $180.00 from me because she wanted to buy it herself. I told her no I wasn't doing that. She is also demanding I start giving her $50 out of my paychecks so she can go shopping and buy herself new clothes and such things. I am a single mom on a very fixed income. I don't even buy new clothes for myself!!
How do I deal with this? Everytime I had tried to talk to her in the past it ended VERY BADLY. She doesn't care how she hurts me. She will even hurt my child to get back at me. She loves to mentally tourture me. She is on medication and seeing two counselors. I have tried talking to my family but they don't understand because she only does this when no one is around. I know it's a sickness but I can't handle it at all. Should I talk to her counselors? Could this be a side effect of the new meds they just put her on?? Any advice would be great!

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So What Happened?

Well, I haven't decided exactly what I will do. It is great to know I am not alone. I have felt alone for many years now. I am also going to try and find a book for myself and one to send to my family about her condition. Giving her money seems to make everything worse. I had read that the condition makes you want to spend money but now I know forsure. She will not get any money from me. I am also trying to explain to my family to stop feeding her spending addiction as well. I may go talk to her counselor. I want to make sure that she isn't lying to them and that she is getting the help she needs. I have a feeling they don't know about the spending issues. I know she makes up stories to hide the things she does. I am going to tough out the holidays with her (for my family). I am very confused about all of this right now. But I think everyone is right in that I should not have a relationship or have my son around her. He comes first always. I have always told myself that I will not allow my child to watch me get bullied. I do not want him thinking that is how you treat people. Thank you to everyone and Happy Holidays!

More Answers



answers from Wichita Falls on

I am bipolar, my grandmother (raised me) was bipolar, my niece is bipolar - and your mom is MANIPULATING YOU.

Sorry - that's just the way it is.

Medicine helps but the big thing is people have to control their mouths and their choices - manic episodes make it easier to say and do the wrong thing - but they don't make it impossible to do the right thing either, KWIM?

I would bring my siblings into giving mom an allowance, if you think it's so important to continue this relationship. On the other hand - I spoke to Mama only once a week, for 30 minutes - and I didn't give her money, nor do I ask anyone else for money. I have repeatedly advised my sister to stop giving my niece money - but she "Can't cut off her BABY"... even though she is raising this girl's kids because she walked out and didn't come back. I had problems with this when I was younger, but now I am maniacal about my money - I refuse to carry credit cards because of the impulsive shopping, and save receipts for three weeks - so I can bring it back when I'm sane.

Spending (compulsive spending) is an addiction like alcohol or drugs - something that most bipolar people seem to have problems with. Enabling that is just like buying her crack.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sherman on

I think were SISTERS... do we have the same mother?????? My mouth was hanging open.... you have GOT to email me... I didnt fix her but it sure helped what im doing with her...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wow... I grew up with that mom too. SCARY
Listen, I am 44 and my situation is different from yours... but if you continue to ALLOW her to torture yourself, youa re making the choice to do it.
Living without a mom is hard. My father took custody of us when I was 13. However, I tried for decades to reach out to her and gain her acceptance... in the end, years of therapy and self-discipline helped me see that I don't need her in my life or my son's. I was witness to some things she was allowed to do to my nieces and nephews until my siblings came to the same decision. She only met my son once at 2 months old. She likely won't see him again. I just tell him she isn't well. He is in a happy, loving home and doesn't need the detail.
That is just my take and it may sound harsh and mean... but trust me if we compared notes... you'd say I made the right decision.
I agree that she is sick. But I can't solve it for her and she doesn't really WANT to get better. Oh, my mom's also a lifelong alcoholic too (still drinking)... add that and it's a barrell of fun!
Good luck. I'm here if you need me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

No, I wouldn't give her money, bipolar people tend to spend money like crazy.

I've been having lots of problems with my mom too and my dad won't believe my sister and I that there's something wrong.

I would definitely not let her alone with your child and call her DR.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What a hard situation to be in. I can understand that you would want to try to make things better with your mother, especially because no one else in your family understands and tries to make you feel bad for protecting yourself and your son from her "episodes". It also sounds like she needs some new medications or maybe isn't taking the ones she's prescribed as she should. The medications are supposed to help the manic episodes and it seems like they aren't working as they should. Regardless, you can try to record your mom in one of her many tirades (sp?) to give proof to your other family members and then when you are forced to break it off with her again, maybe they can begin to understand. Otherwise, it sounds like a toxic relationship to me and I wouldn't put myself or my son through something like that if I didn't have to. Good luck to you. I hope it all works out ok.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lubbock on

Hi LillyAnne,

Your mom has a disorder that can be controlled. I say that because she has very much control of the anger she has and the manipulative way in which she treats you. She only does it to you and when she can get away with it. I am not trying to talk down about your mom, just state the facts you mentioned. It is hard to see that when you are the target. Even if the above is not true - I agree with the other response - you need to put your son and then yourself first and distance yourself. If this is a relationship that is hurting either of you back off. Your family needs to support you too. I have a lot of assumptions based on much of what you said about your family dynamics, but don't want to jump to conclusions. It all seems to fall on you. She is your outlet - because she knows she can do it. As a single mom (I was raised by one) you need to prioritize and do what is best for the both of you. Your main job is to provide a healthy environment for your son and yourself. It sounds like you know what you are supposed to do (or should do), you just need some feedback and support to be sure you are not being mean. You ARE NOT being mean if you choose to not have your mom in your life. I think it might be more beneficial for the both of you. You sound like a very loving daughter, so do not doubt that. I hope this Christmas holiday is good for you and your son. Hang in there. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

WOW, it seems like you have a lot going on right now. My mom suffers from Bi-polar disorder as well. However she doesn't get mean she gets very depressed, kind of like a roller coaster with her. he has her highs and lows though. It sounds to me like you have to cut ties with your mom. It seems like a very unhealthy relationship that neither you or your son need right now. There is no reason for a mother to demand money from her child and make her feel bad about it. You mom needs help and if anything maybe another family member will listen to you about that. Medication can take up to a month to work if she has switched recently. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

First of all I want to say I am so sorry for you. My father isn't quite like what you're describing but at some point he has allienated himself from all three of the moment the only person talking to him is my little brother and he just got back from Iraq.
My entire life I've tried to have a relationship with my father. Tried to make him proud and do things to be "in" the family. For most of my teenage years and up until about a year ago my brother's wouldn't even hardly speak to me. My father told them horrible things about me...heinous actually. I kept thinking that someday my brother's would look back and see that these things weren't actually true and maybe question what and why he was finally did. It took the death of my grandfather but I got the chance to talk with my brothers and we are closer now than ever. I feel like a part of the family. But because they are close with me, my father is now not speaking to oldest brother and has actually written him emails trying to turn him against me. The only reason I can see that my father has all this animosity against me is because when my parents divorced I stayed with my mom (of course) and now I am very close to my step-father.
The reason I'm telling you this is because at some point you have to realize that there are people out there that are toxic. They are poison to the people around them and there's nothing you can do to help. It's time you take control of your own life and DO NOT be bullied any longer. I have set boundries for my father...if he chooses to abide by them, he can be a part of my family's life...if he chooses not to, he can't. He's chosen not to, and though I'm sad I have no control over that. I can't control anything he says or does but I can control what he says and does to me. You're going to have to decide what you are willing to put up with and set those boundries FIRM! You don't even have to be mean about it. When she starts demanding money tell her you're not able to do that and DON'T ARGUE with her. If she keeps on say "I'll talk to you when you can show me a little more respect"... and then be done. If she's yelling sit quitely and when she's finished either get up and leave or say "I can't talk to you when you act like this" and just be done with it. Then the choice is I want to interact with my daughter and her family or do I want to try to control her? That way when your family pressures you you can easily tell them that this is her choice and you have no control over her.



answers from Austin on

I experienced some of the behaviors from my ex-daughter-n-law(when she was married to my son) I would talk to her support(counselors)This could help you to understand.I went with her and put in my 2 cents worth because she was not telling her supporter that the problems were going on.And there seems to be like she is trying to put a guilt trip on you,to get her way! Don't give in she is sick but you will only enable her to get her way if you give her all she wants.Set limit's with her I found this worked for my situation still have calls from her even though my son could not take it any more and Divorced her 2 years ago.Bipolar
disorder is very complicated never understood it until now,also I know you are a single mother and don't have a lot of extra time,i suggest a support group.Just remind her how much you love her but you have a child to raise and you have a life of your own! Be firm,stand your ground seems this disorder needs support but also firmness. Good luck,hope i gave you some kinda insight..

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