Mental illness showed up in me at a young age, beginning with O.C.D. and morphing into full blown depression by my teen years. Although those things were difficult to deal with as a kid, dealing with having a mentally ill parent was just as difficult, if not more.
The thought that I could put my own children through something similar to my own experience, never really occurred to me. I dont know why it didn’t. I believe I sincerely thought that I could raise my children relatively unscathed by my illness. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Not only have my children been affected negatively, they could possibly have a more difficult time than I ever endured; or I might think it’s more difficult for them because they’re my babies, and I loathe the idea of causing them pain. Emotionally damaging my children is something I absolutely would never consciously do.
Being in denial that my children have been affected negatively by my illness wouldn’t help a damn thing. In fact, I would really like to put us in family therapy to help us cope with the past, present, and future.
Hopefully I can convince the rest of their family to be supportive of the therapy. After all, it is mainly for the children’s benefit.
Now that my kids are teenagers, they are beginning to feel resentment toward me and what I don’t think they realize, is I get it! My mama was bat-shit crazy at times, and although she did her best, it wasn’t always easy being her daughter.
I wish my kids could see what’s in my heart. They would see the unconditional love and devotion I feel for them. They aren’t just my babies, they are amazing human beings. They truly are the whole package. Smart, funny, compassionate, the kind of kids women dream about having.
My hope is that my kids and I can have open communication about mental illness and how it has affected them in the past, and how it’s affecting them now. I’m confident with love, patience, and an open mind, we will get through life together.
We will not get through our life together unscathed. It’s not possible. Getting through it and becoming stronger and better is possible for everyone involved. That’s a challenge I’m willing to accept.