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For the first time in quite a while, I went with my dad to visit my grandmother yesterday. She and I have both been depressed since 2011 when her husband, my grandad who was also my best friend died of heart disease. Since then, I've continued to stay with her on Fridays to help her out and keep her company. Earlier this year, she was prescribed anti-depressants and they seemed to have a great effect on her, but for some reason, she started refusing to take them and started to go downhill again. She is a very sad, tortured old lady. She was diagnosed with spondylosis a few years ago, and for over ten years now, she's had to tolerate headaches, sickness, dizziness, and a constant, never-ending ringing sound in her ears. My grandad looked after her throughout these years, and she really needed it. She couldn't walk out very far because of the chance that she'd faint, so his ability to drive her around was her only way of travelling anywhere. Since he died, she has fought through it and continued to take care of herself, clean the house, cook, etc. In summer, she started to refuse when I offered to visit her more and more until the Friday arrangement eventually stopped altogether. I've visited her a few times since then and she's seemed progressively more bitter and tired. Having seen her again yesterday, she's far worse than I imagined. She 's completely lost the will to take care of herself or her surroundings. She hasn't gotten dressed in a long time, she's stopped cooking, cleaning, or even remembering to eat. She was always very physically strong, but she looks very frail, unhealthily thin, and weak now. My dad and my aunt have been trying to help her, but it's becoming more and more difficult. And my aunt hasn't been anywhere near as committed as she should've been. So we turned to social services to provide two helpers to motivate her, check up on her, and keep her company. And for a while, they did. They were both very nice, understanding people who got on well with her. However, she is somewhat physically capable of accomplishing tasks at certain times, even though bending down causes her to feel dizzy and she now needs to have stools positioned around the house and a walking stick. So naturally, social services answer to this is FUCK YOU! All support was cancelled because she is somewhat PHYSICALLY capable of certain tasks, even though motivation was one of the main reasons this was put in place. "She's doing fine" they said. Yeah, she is. If my dad hadn't quickly cooked her something to microwave before we left, she probably wouldn't have eaten anything. She's gone from being physically-strong and reasonably independent to so frail she needs stools and a walking stick for basic mobility. She's gone from putting an effort into her appearance to not getting dressed in three months. Her dishes and cutlery have been so bad that she is physically sick because of it. She sighs and tries desperately to stop herself from crying at any breaks in conversation. So yeah, SHE'S FUCKING FINE. I am disgusted by the failure of this country's social services department to take care of vulnerable people in society. Services related to mental illness are an utter joke too. We've been trying to organise therapy for my depression and anxiety since September, and we've had to wait until February for so much as an introductory appointment, and by then, there's a strong possibility of it being cancelled due to practice exams, and I have no idea how long it'll be then. I've heard from many young adults that CAMHS were totally useless for them anyway, with an anorexic girl being patronised, discouraged from going to university and told to get a small job instead, and even being told to "buck up her ideas". The entire system is such a monumental failure.
I don't know where to start. I'm not even sure that I'm using the right forum. But since it is about my mother, I guess it should be OK. Last time I posted on the site, I was having issues, being overwhelmed with a gazillion things I had to do. I haven't had a break since then, and there's still a lot of things that are waiting for my attention. However, everything in my life came to a hold some weeks ago when my mother called me and said she needed me by her side right away, but refused to tell me why. I took a flight and I arrived at mum's in less than 24h. I had not seen my mother on over a decade. First thing I noticed was that all her hair is now white. It was odd. I mean, she is 82yo and I'm sure she must had white hair for quite some time. But she always went places to get it tinted. I never saw it, till I arrived here. After a greeting and a very long hug, I asked my mom if she had eaten. She said no, it was 3 PM. I headed for the kitchen and I was surprised when I could only find 3 bottles of water, half an orange and a kid's size box of corn flakes. I went out, got some groceries and came back to prepare some food. Then I started looking around and I could only find ONE pot, with a broken handle, and a table spoon. No kitchen utensils, no frying pans, no proper pots, nothing. I took a deep breath, went back out, bought some basic kitchen equipment and came back. After making dinner, one of my sisters showed up. Mom got nervous, very nervous. This was the sister that was currently in-charge of mom's finances. Mom told her "Grey is here, he will be here for some time and while he's here, he will take care of my bills. So please give him my bank account atm and my current bills". My sister started yelling. She left the atm card there and said "if I'm not going to take care of the money, then I won't come again", and left. She came back later, left the bills on the table, and left again. I started asking my mum what the heck is going on, she said "I want you to wait and see". Next day, same sister calls and say that mom has a doctors appointment, and tells me the address, and the time. I told mom but mom say "I can't go". Given that it was a medical thing, I was going to try to convince mom to go. So I went to her closet to pick up some clothes. But all I could find on the closet was 4 sets of pajamas, all of them old and full of holes. Mum then said "that's why, I cant go". She asked me to go to the bank and check her balance. $0.39 was all that was left. I took a pamphlet on how to setup the online banking, got to a wifi hotspot, and started looking through the transactions. A pattern immediately showed up. Every month, her pensions come in (like $3,500) and then comes a series of days in which money gets withdraw daily, up to the $500 max, using ATM teller machines. Same story every month, till account is dry. I went back home, check the bills. Total monthly amount in bills fluctuate, but never exceeds $500 (house is paid off). It was getting dark, and the trash can was a lil full, so I wen to take out the trash. Most of the trash was empty doggy bags from local restaurants. So a sat back and thought for a long long time. I tried putting all the pieces together. It looks like my sister was withdrawing all of mom's money every month. Paid the bills, yes... but pocketed the rest. She kept my mom with no clothes, prolly to make sure mom could not go anywhere. She kept the kitchen empty, prolly to force my mom to depend on her for food. She prolly used mom's money to eat on expensive restaurants daily, and brought mom the doggy bags from those restaurants. For the next few days I was digesting all this information. I could not believe it. I kept looking at all the transactions and stuff that was paid directly with the ATM... beer purchases late at night, on beer stores 4 counties away.. etc. It looked like it wasn't just one sister, but 3 of the 4 ones that live near mom. They seem to take turns on the abuse. One thing didn't add up. For a period of 2 months, around a year ago, only the bills were paid and the account balance went up quickly by a few thousands. By the addresses that appeared on the transactions, I deducted that during this period, the 4th sister took charge. But then it went back to the thieves. I contacted that sister and she is really bad at mom. She told me this has been going on for years, she stepped in, but mom gave control back to the thieves. It didn't made sense. Again, I sat down and I thought. I kept thinking most of the day, for a few days actually. And then I tried something. I called the car rental company and asked them to pick up the car at mom's. Then I lay down on my old room, quiet... no tv, no music, nothing. And I waited for hours. That afternoon, I hear the outside gate being opened, and I hear my sisters voices. They opened the house, went to my mom's room and started arguing with mom about the control of the money. Then they really went overboard, one of them started hitting mom. When I heard the beating, it took me a few seconds to react. I could not believe this. I didn't wanted to believe this. What the heck happened during the years I was away? How come I call each one of them every month, and I never suspected a thing? I stepped in, entered mom's room, threw my sisters out and just sat there, holding my mother like she was a little baby, while she just cried. I have no doubt that when the 4th sister stepped in and started doing some good, same thing happened, and the thieves prolly hit my mom, threaten her and got back the control of the money. At the current time, all the required legal actions are already running. I will be leaving in a few weeks, as soon as some legal stuff gets taken care off. Mom will come with me. We'll now live thousands of miles away from all this. During this days, I've been observing mom, and I have also realized that my aspergers came from her. I never noticed this things before. But she does have every single perk I have. I'm also amazed at how strong she is. Her mood has improved dramatically, and at her 82 years, she is been cooking daily, cleaning, gardening and doing everything she needs to do by herself. I'm not sure where the legal actions against the thieves are gonna end up. And to be honest, at this time I don't really care. I just want to keep my mom with me, everywhere I go. I'm never moving away from my mother again... ever. Probably after we finalize things here and move out, I'll give more thought to the ramifications of all this. But know I just want to stay with mother, and get her as far away from here as possible. I can't describe how I feel right now. I don't know if I have questions. I just felt the need to shootout to the forums and tell the story. Maybe ask for some moral support to stay strong till we are out of here. Wish me luck.