How do I talk to my mother about her depression, especially when I'm trying to create better boundaries but simultaneously plan for my family's future?
My parents and I live in the same town and have overlapping social circles due to things like choirs, food culture, etc. I have made several posts and comments about
my relationship with my mom; suffice it to say that it is complicated.
She and I have never been great communicators (understatement of the century), but she keeps insisting that family is the most important thing to her, and I keep trying to interact with her in ways that don't get my heart stomped on. But even when she sees me on a regular basis, she won't tell me things like, oh, "Dad broke his foot" (I only found out from people who asked me what happened), much less anything about her physical or mental health or their money situation. I've found out about their problems with the IRS because I poked around her desk. Given our family history with illness and financial problems, I don't feel like worrying about a secretive couple in terrible health in their 60s is unwarranted.
I'm in therapy, but I just left my last therapist because she patronized me and trivialized this situation. I agree that I need to get less enmeshed in it, but come on -- if someone had cancer, or a broken leg, would you just let them sit there in pain?
It's just so hard trying to interact with this lifeless husk of a person, or watching her spiral further down than I ever thought she could get. She won't do any of the things that used to be really important to her; she's nearly incapable of having a conversation because she doesn't connect with anything she says or hears. My dad isn't himself, either; her awful behavior has contributed to him getting completely bitter and losing touch with reality. And to top it off, she's somehow supporting her two depressed sisters as well.
I've seen this
thread -- I don't feel financially responsible for them... yet. And this
thread -- I am not responsible for their happiness, and they will likely not change. And this
thread -- yeah, there are a lot of similarities between our situation and alcoholism. My fiance comes from that background, and he recognizes a lot of the same dynamics.
But I'll be starting my own family within the next couple of years. My parents will be the only grandparents this kid will have. All I want is a chance to have some semblance of family a couple times a year.
What do I do?