My husband, I, and my sister [in law] have been doing hospice care at home for my mom [in law] for the last week. With all the help we’ve been getting through the hospice agency, it’s been very doable – so far. We are trying to keep a calm and peaceful atmosphere for her, and we’ve been pretty successful in this endeavor. Mom is very close to death at this point. Her eyes are open but completely unfocused. She has a blank stare going on. We are keeping her on strong medication so that she isn’t in any pain from the cancer. She is also getting a lot of Xanax for anxiety. But she hasn’t eaten or drank anything in the last week. She’s getting very thin – but things have been going ok – so far.

However….Marina is coming…

I’m pretty much freaking out with fear, as is my sister-in-law.

Pray for us.

Marina is the youngest sibling to my sister-in-law and my husband, whose mother we are caring for. Marina has something definitely wrong with her mind. She is a power-house personality who I believe suffers from an undiagnosed mental illness that includes anger, control and a whole lot of paranoia. She has made up stories involving her and this elder sister to the point of portraying the elder sister, to others, as a monster. The elder sister is a kind, gentle soul. I’ve always known this sister was gentle and kind, but after having her stay with us this week, I’m more convinced of it than ever.

We [me and the elder sister] are both pretty terrified  of this youngest sister’s coming. Things are so scary that we have enlisted the help of our hospice staff to make a plan for her arrival. Hospice is to arrive at our house in about an hour or so, to discuss our plans. Part of these plans might even involve having the police intervene if Marina begins to get out of control. My sister-in-law [the object of Marina’s wrath] and I wanted to make ourselves scarce while Marina is here but my husband thought we should stay so Marina can see she is not in control of our comings and goings. Several hospice people will also be in the house to act as witnesses. I think that Marina will probably be very angry that we did not call her, but wrote her a note [per mom’s instructions].

I have a mental illness myself. I’m bipolar. I’m very, very, very bipolar. But I am responsible for my illness. I adhere to the medication regime my psychiatrist and I have set up for me. I live a pretty normal life for a bipolar person. I have only met Marina in passing twice but got the very real sense that this girl is mentally ill. I have been trying to get this across to the sister and to my husband. They had kept saying;  “If she acts normally this time, then …” over and over again… “This time, if she acts ok, then…”. Finally I told them; “STOP IT!!” Undiagnosed mental illness will NEVER act normally. If the mind is not functioning correctly due to chemical imbalance, it can never function normally – without medical help.

Mental illness can be compared to an amputee. If a person has only one leg, do we say; “When they have two legs, then…” ?? ….No….. The expectation is that a one-legged person will always be a one-legged person. The expectation for a one-legged person to grow another leg, is not there. So why do so many people have an expectation of a person whose mind doesn’t function normally – to suddenly be able to function mentally in a normal way? I think I got this message through to them. Thank God!!!

So pray for us, as this undiagnosed power-house comes into our home. Maybe, if the police have to intervene, she will get “caught” [thankfully, like I was] in the illness – and get diagnosed and treated