My poor mom

organicorganic Posts: 59Registered Users
She has panic attacks when her anxiety level is too high. When she has a panic attack, her respirations are very rapid, her legs and hands shake, and sometimes she has problems breathing. She takes ativan for her anxiety daily, but sometimes she gets sooo worked up, that NOTHING will help. But luckily, it is pretty much under control.

She has had the same job for the past 30 years, working for the state, mainly doing basic office work - filing, typing, doing stuff with permits. Five years ago, they wanted her to work in the "call room" while someone was on maternity leave. She tried it, but her anxiety got the best of her because of her poor English communication skills + answering multi phone lines + irate people on the other end of the phone....her nerves couldn't handle it. She would accidentally transfer calls to the wrong ppl, hang up on them accidentally, etc, etc. She would come home and tell me about her stressful day on the phone and start having panic attacks just talking about it. She talked to her union rep and he told her to get a doctors excuse to not answer phones....which she did, and they took her off phone duty and she was fine after that.

She does not have a college education and she has no desire to go to college. She can write in English pretty well, but sometimes she has a hard time understanding people and vice versa (she's Greek).

She wishes she could answer phones, but she cannot do it. She wishes she could do a lot of things, but her anxiety level prevents her from a lot of things in life.

So anyhow, here recently at her job, there is talk that she and some other ppl are going to have to go on phone duty. There are 2 chicks in her office that are sort of bully-ish to mom. They are big trouble makers. Apparently, they found out that mom got that doctors excuse back in the day....and they are livid that she will probably get out of phone duty.... so what are they going to do? That's right....they are going to get a doctors excuse as well.

So now mom is freaking out. These ladies don't have any real reason to get out of phone duty...they are just being difficult. Since it is union, these ladies can go to their union rep and say that it is not fair that mom doesn't have to answer phones..because they, too, have a doctors excuse. And if that happens (which it will) there is going to be a big mess...and mom is going to have no choice but to go on phone duty.

I'm thinking about telling her to retire if that happens. This is to much for her and really, it is too much for me because I worry about her so much. If she retires, she can come stay with me (RENT FREE) and just rent her place that she can save some $$ for the next couple of years. She will have to buy her own groceries and all, but rent/utilities are on me. She is not the nagging type of mother and her and I get along very well. I want to help my mom out like that -because I am ALL she has, she doesn't have any other family or friends. But, I am only 25....however, I make 3 times her salary and I'm pretty comfortable financially. I guess the only thing that bothers me is...when I start dating will be weird explaining to them that mom lives with me. You know what I mean. What should I do ?


  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Posts: 5,766Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    (((( hugs ))))) to your mom. I'm so sorry she is having such anxiety. Maybe it won't even come to that... Maybe everything will be ok and she won't have to do phone duty. Your mom had her note first, those other two women will be the ones that will obviously look like they are just copying your mom and trying to get out of being on the phone. Try to tell your mom not to worry about it until the time comes. I know, that's easier said than done. Has she tried any sort of meditation/yoga/breathing exercises? It might help her anxiety levels a little bit.

    You sound like a wonderful daughter. If it does come to the point of your mom living with you, when you date, just be honest. Tell them you love your mom and she is living with you. There is nothing strange about it at all. Lots of parents live with their children.

    I hope everything works out and again... ((( hugs ))) to you and your mom. I said a little prayer for her and am sending good vibes to you both.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Easy to say, tougher to do, but I strongly believe in the old adage "don't borrow trouble". Sounds like you and your mom are worrying about something that might not even happen. Wait and see what happens before you get yourselves all upset. Just keep reassuring your mom that she's done the best she can do and you will help her deal with any problems if-or-when the time comes.
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    I'm so sorry your mom is going through this. You're a very caring daughter for being so concerned.

    I agree with RCW: I know it's hard, but try to look at this situation one step at a time. I have recurring problems with anxiety and the way you're thinking right now with all the "what if's" reminds me so much of myself. It might help to focus on the immediate situation at hand and try to help your mother come up with ways to deal with her work situation before you spend lots of mental effort trying to figure out how you'd explain your mother living with you to men you might date, because the second thing is about 10 steps removed from the first.

    As for your mom's immediate situation, is there someone - a manager, a union rep, even a sympathetic co-worker - she can talk to about her concerns? Her valid medical reason for not being able to answer phones, her seniority, and her difficulty with spoken English should all work in her favor to prevent her from having to take over phone duties.
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    You know, given that your mom's been on that job for 30 years, I'd say she's a skilled survivor. Let her work it out and try to point out her strengths and talents, not her weaknesses.
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