Allie - posted on 07/17/2016 ( no moms have responded yet )
I am not a mom. I am looking for a support group for my mom behind her back (aka she has no idea I am doing this).
My parents divorced when I was 2, around the same time that it became obvious that my older brother had severe behavioural issues. His problems stemmed from a rare genetic disorder that prevents him from filtering copper out of his system, so that it builds up and poisons his body and brain. Unfortunately, since his symptoms were behavioural and not physical, he was only ever checked for behavioural disorders. As such, he was only properly diagnosed at age 17, when his brain started to shut down from too much copper build up (we were told multiple times that he only had a few months left to live). Fortunately, he survived, but he has permanent brain damage, and has been aggressive and violent and abusive his whole life. To make matters worse, before finally receiving the proper diagnosis, he was misdiagnosed several times, and each time his diagnosis changed, so did the doctor's instructions on how to handle my brother, so that she had conflicting advice and never knew what to do. She was constantly being told that she was a bad mother who had failed her children, and was even accused of abusing my brother and causing his behavioural problems.
I attempted suicide at age 13, and then became suicidal again at age 20, and have continued to be so on and off ever since (I am now 24). I also developed a severe anxiety disorder around the same time, and have chronic depression.
My brother has also struggled with suicidal thoughts, and recently developed a less severe anxiety disorder.
Since my parents divorced at the beginning of my life, my mom has been alone in dealing with all of this. She had bad friends who she had to cut off, and her family just offered criticism. But she stuck through it and took care of my brother and me like a true hero-- saving both of us time and time again, sitting up with us while we cried, talking us down from our thought spirals, getting us through our anxiety attacks, driving us to support group meetings... she has given us everything, but in turn, she is drained and needs help.
Both my mom and I are attending weekly individual therapy, but I think that she could benefit from having at least one friend who she could talk to about her problems. She says that she has friends, but there is no one she calls or gets together with, and no one she feels she can confide in. Every one she tries to open up to tells her she should kick me out and stop giving in to my brothers and my demands. But she knows how fragile my brother and I both are, and she understands how difficult is is for us to get through this. She does not want to give up on us, but that is what everyone tells her to do whenever she talks about her problems.
I have asked her time and time again to make new friends, but she says that she can't handle the judgment of people who think she is handling the situation badly. She wants to keep supporting us, and she won't hear anyone who tells her not to. So she has given up entirely on finding new friends.
So I have decided to find friends for her. I am looking for parents who have struggled with supporting suicidal children and/or children with severe, violent behavioural disorders. She needs someone who will listen without telling her to give up on her children, or that she has done a bad job of raising us.
Does anyone know of any support groups in or around Montreal? If not, are there any individual parents who have been through something similar, who would be willing to form a friendship with her? I do not think she would join an online community, so it would be better if she could find someone to talk to in person. She is also Christian, and wants to solve her problems with God. Her faith means a lot to her, and she needs someone who understands and respects that.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of this. I look forward to reading your responses.