Hi, My mom has sufferered from anxiety
and depression all of her adult life. She takes medication mostly every day and has been in therapy for over 45 years. My brother suffers from some form of mental disorder, though is not diagnosed, mostly he seems paranoid, though is very capable and is full time caregiver to my dad who has multiple system atrophy and is completely unable to do anything for himself. My mom, brother and dad live together in the same house we grew up in. We have another brother who lives in Virginia with 6 children and his wife, though he loves us, there has been much tension between my two brothers over time and so my brother in Virginia does not often communicate or visit with my parents and brother. He and I communicate as we always have a once or twice per month. My brother who takes care of my dad, and essentially, my mom, has such a difficult job. He does all he can and does it well, though doesn't wish for anyone to visit. The only person who is permitted to visit is myself. I take my mom where she needs to go and try to take her out sometimes to lunch, shopping, etc. She has not ever been very independent, my dad did
everything for her and now my brother and I do. I have a husband and two children, 21 and 16. They wish to visit always and I tell them my family is in one way or another all of them, ill and they think differently than we do. Though it is a great sacrifice, all I can think of to do is to respect their wishes, or my brother's wishes, as he is the main caregiver. It is such a difficult situation, though it wasn't too different when my dad was well. My mom says outwardly that she wishes visitors, though then expresses to my brother that she'd rather not have people there, it makes her very anxious. My question is, today, I wrote my brother to say that my kids ask always to visit, that I tell them no always and that I just wanted to mention this to him. Also told him that I know there are many reasons why this is not possible. I am not sure what he will answer with, or if he will even answer. If he does, and it is a negative answer or if he doesn't answer, how do I express to my children what he says or doesn't say without hurting them in thinking that they are not loved by him. Mental illness as you know, is so very difficult to understand and deal with. Everyone seems to learn on their own how to deal with it, or they don't learn and just feel frustrated or angry with the mentally ill person in their lives. I cannot save my kids from any pain due to this, I am just hoping for the words to express to them in the best way that this might be something that they must look at as a loss and grieve this loss in whatever way is best for them. I apologize for the long message. Thank you.