Once in a while I come across a post, status, or tweet that makes me stop cold.
It’s like I’m reading it as my 9 year old self.
Sometimes the writing makes me feel helpless. Sometimes it makes me feel sad. Sometimes I am able to be present and just want to reach out and hug that person.
Someone is listening.
Someone is here for you.
Often, these people are moms.
I am too familiar with the above diseases. My own mom is on the more severe end of bipolar. Her life has been filled with marriages (3), divorces (3), in patient psychotic stays, many half way houses, and 2 rounds of electro shock therapy years apart, all types of therapies, and all the drugs in the world. She has been diagnosed with bipolar, multiple personalities, anxiety disorders, and just about every other mental condition.
I read that list and know that by having a parent with these serious mental shifts has affected me. Molded me. Taught me to behave a certain way.
I am fiercely independent, have a desire for control over just about everything, competitive, and am very doubtful and mistrusting of others.
Oh, and I have a hell of a sarcastic streak.
Would I still be these characteristics if I didn’t have such an upbringing?
I often wonder if my own mom was scared that her children would inherit her mental illness. Did these thoughts cause her to become unattached to me or was that just part of her illness as well.
As an adult, I have many questions. Questions that will probably never be answered. Questions that I will take with me to my death.
And then I see these mom’s online with their children. Do those children have questions?
Why is mom in bed this month?
Why did mom leave in the middle of the night again?
Why does mom cry so much?
Why does mom go to the hospital so much?
Why doesn’t my mom give me hugs or tell me she loves me?
Did I ever make my mom proud?
I want to tell those moms that no matter what, don’t hide. Be open. If you can’t explain what is going on, find someone who can. Find the thing that makes your kids laugh, do that often. If you have to leave, tell them. Hug your children. Tell your children you love them even if you don’t feel it because some questions shouldn’t have to be taken to the grave.
I want to mention that as I sat down to write this I stuck in my headphones. I always have to write with headphones. It helps my chaotic brain focus. I know. Makes no sense. Focus with more stimulus? Yes. Anyways, I must have left Pandora on from earlier and as I put them on the song “Fu*king Perfect” is on by Pink. A sign? I think so.
Follow up post: What having a bipolar parent taught me_________
Growing up with a broken parent: Based on the responses I have received I have decided to write more about this topic here