You fucking psychotic bitch.

How dare you write my mother such a hateful email? How dare you accuse her of stealing from you, abusing your trust, and all that other BULLSHIT?

When you went on that vacation, my mother SPENT HER ENTIRE SUMMER cleaning your house. It was like a crackhouse. It was worse, actually–there are probably homeless people who live in better conditions. I’m not talking about any normal kind of messy. I’m talking about the kind of house that that guy with newspapers piled so high that they could fall over and suffocate had. That stuff she ‘stole’? She did borrow a couple of DVDs and books to show us, cause we might be interested. You’d bought them years ago and still hadn’t opened them. Of course, you wouldnt know cause you haven’t talked to her since you came home. She dared to turn on the heat in your house so the pipes wouldn’t freeze. You know why she bothered? Because if they did, it would be her paying for them. Because she’s an incredibly wonderful person and she wouldn’t let you be fucked over by that, because you’re retired and disabled and poor, but it would be HER working her ass off, overtime, so you could live in comfort. We worked for months on your house, fixing it up nicely, getting you a brand new computer chair, painting all the rooms, fixing the lights, gardening, scrubbing down the furniture–it was covered with cigarette somke and reeked like an ashtray. It has become increasingly clear to me that you do have mental problems–some sort of irrational paranoia–but that’s not what my mom is going to see. She’s going to see the friend she’s had for 25-some years spitting in her face.

She admires you immensely, she respects you–she’s often told me how smart you are and how glda she is to have you for a friend. Fuck that. My mom is a better person than you’ll ever be. My dad too–when you were going to lose your house, he drove FOUR HOURS to Seattle and FOUR HOURS back so that you could make the payment on time. My parents have paid for a lot of other shit too, that they don’t tell me about–but I know. And that’s besides just being a good friend to you, listening to your problems, caring–caring a lot more than you deserve.

And now I’m going to have to show her this piece of filth you sent–warning the police to watch your home? you nutcase–and when she breaks down in tears I’m going to have to comfort her. She doesn’t have that many close friends, especially in this country, and she feels alone and mis-fit away from her native country, stuck here in America, and so she especially values the friends she have here, and you do this to her? You fucking bitch. I don’t care what mental problems you may have, what senile dementia may have overtaken you, you don’t deserve to have a friend like my mother.

Now that I’m a little calmer, I can’t hate you that much. Like I said, talkign to you on the way home from the airport, it’s clear that you are suffering from mental illness of some sort–your paranoia about your neighbors, your insistence that people are stealing from you–you need help. But right now, it’s hard to care. All I know is that I have to watch my mother breaking her heart over you and she is the best woman I know.

Yikes!

Why do you have to show this to your mom, exactly?

Well, it’s an email to my mom. I live at home and this was sent to our family email account. I probably shouldn’t have read it, strictly speaking, but I was under the assumption that they had made up and this was just one of the normal friendly emails she used to send us… She’s a family friend, basically. So I read it. But now as much as I would like to delete it and pretend like it never happened, I don’t think it would be morally right.

Sorry for the incoherency… I was/am absolutely furious. I’m practically shaking.

It sounds like an extreme over-reaction, but did your mom borrow the DVDs and books without permission? That’s not exactly right either.

I think, before I agree with you, I’d want to know why your mom was cleaning this person’s house. Did he/she ask her to do it? Or was she housesitting and took it on herself?

And, yeah, taking stuff out of the house without permission, even if she didn’t think he/she wanted it, is a little off.

Yes, she was cleaning it with permission. The woman in question had asked her to, when she went on a summer trip to visit her kid. My mother had been very worried about her, and when it became obvious the house was actually a health hazard–I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if the city had condemned it, in the state it was in–she was pretty much forced to give my mother the privilege of cleaning her house. My mom did it for free, but the woman at least agreed to pay for any stuff my mom did that she had to pay for (paint, garbage dump fees, carpet cleaning, etc.)

As for the stuff my mom borrowed, I don’t think you entirely understand the situation. The house was a garbage dump–it was literally filled with stuff, up to the ceiling. The woman was shitting in the bathtub and out in the garage. The house was completely filled with books, dvds, and other junk the woman had ordered from Amazon. My mother took a few of the less disgusting items to our house for safekeeping and also so that we could check them out (we never bothered, actually, and I’m sure my mother will return them promptly.) Considering what we did for this woman, I don’t think it was out of order at all.

Okay, with the added details, I’m going to agree with you that this woman sounds seriously mentally ill. That sucks.

But as awful as it is- and I don’t blame you a bit for venting here- mental illness really is an illness. I hope your mom will remember her as the good friend she’s had for a long time, and direct her anger at the illness that has stolen her friend.

I’ve got just enough mental illness in my family to know how hard that is.

IANAD, but it sounds an awful lot like your mom’s friend has Alzheimers. It’s great that you want to stick up for your mom, but her friend is clearly sick, not responsible for her actions, and probably shouldn’t be living alone. Does she have family? Next of kin? If not, and your mom still wants to help her out, you’re probably going to need to talk to a lawyer (which I also am not) about what needs to be done for the state or a non-family member to have her committed.

Yep, the subject of the OP sounds like how my great-grandmother would have been like in another 6 months to a year had no one moved in to take care of her. My uncle was a major thief (yeah…like he’d have come over to steal bells, flash lights and light blubs. Uh huh), her formerly clean home gradually wasn’t etc. It’s not just memory problems that are symptoms of the disease’s onset.

If there is no one else to help your mom’s friend, I’m afraid the best thing she can do for her is get her in to a shrink for a serious diagnosis. She could have her committed (I can’t see a doctor NOT doing this), which will probably put her friend over the edge, but once she’s in treatment, she might be able to see that your mom did it because she loves her. Sorry for your pain. I hope this all works out for them.

I agree, the woman sounds very ill.

But you don’t really have to show your mom the e-mail, do you, if it would hurt her that much?

You can be a real comfort to your mother. She is in the process of losing a friend to dementia. Keep reminding your mother that there is little she can do.

But the woman’s child or children do need to act. Can your mother contact them and describe what is going on at the house? Since she has been to visit, they must know that something is wrong but they may not be aware of how awful it is.

If they do not act, please suggest that your mother call social services. The woman has become a danger to herself. They will know what to do.