Growing into Me with Bipolar

Archive for the ‘Mother’ Category

I’m Back, Pt. 1


Well to those of you who have followed me faithfully you’ll know I’ve been MIA for about a year or so.  I was just too down to write. It started slowly, just not wanting to write.  But the longer it went on, the harder it was to do anything, especially write about it.  I couldn’t even tell it was depression for the longest time because I wasn’t feeling sad or crying. I just wasn’t feeling.

In October last year, my son, (who has converted to Mormon) left on a mission to Chile, and in the following 4 days my daughter and I had a huge argument.  I don’t remember any of it.  She says I said some awful things and won’t forgive me.  She refused to stay at home and went to her boyfriend’s place. I checked myself into the hospital.

While I was in the hospital, for 3 weeks, she and her boyfriend lived in my apartment,being generally supervised by my friend and neighbor. On the day of my discharge, I came home to a tornado of destruction in my apartment, with clothes and laundry and personal items and things off of shelves all in a mix throughout the apartment on the floor, knee high. I became aware my daughter had moved out. The question was where.

I called the police as she was a missing person as far as I could tell.  3 days later I got an email from her saying she was at her dad’s in Oregon (we’re in AZ).I was home from the hospital for 3 weeks cleaning the apartment (yes, it took that long) and combined with the loss of my daughter I just felt the ground go out from under my feet again and ended back up in the hospital.

 

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Don’t You Forget About Me


Don’t You Forget About Me

Writing Prompt:  Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.

 

What do I want to be remembered for?  Who do I want to remember me?

Well, I really don’t care if anyone remembers me, but if I had to choose someone, I would want my children to remember me.  I only had one goal when my first, my son, was born.  As soon as I saw him, the only thing that was important in my life, was caring for him, doing the best I could by him.  Teaching him everything there is to teach.  Acceptable behavior, to truly be kind and compassionate, all the things growing up, all the school topics.  I wanted only to give him the best that I could so that he could be a strong person on his own, so he could succeed.  Nothing else mattered in my life, not my job, my own needs, etc.  Taking care of all that was to allow me to teach him more and better.

Then my daughter came along, my sunshine. There was definitely nothing that I wouldn’t do for her.  I would make her strong, confident, teach her to spread her wings and soar even when others wouldn’t.  I wanted her to have all things I didn’t, and to be the person I should have been.  If love alone could instill confidence in my children, then they would be soaring so high in the sky today, they might not ever come down.

And I have been the best mother I could be, given the person I am. But I wasn’t good enough (in my eyes), and I am afraid in theirs as well.  But, if I could be remembered for anything, it would be that my children believed and knew that I loved them more than anything else in the world, and that I always had their back, and I always gave my all for them.  (she is a little older now-2 yrs, and he is about 1 yr older now–I don’t take enough photos).

090 Haley 2012-3

Just Sitting Here, Staring at the Christmas box, Waiting for…What?


xmas box

 

So, I keep watching that box full of my sparse Christmas decorations, waiting for it to spring out and find its way to my walls, curtain rods, door jambs and yes, finally to a fully decorated tree in front of the window (but only a 4′ one).  But nothing is happening.  The box just keeps sitting there, although I think I am seeing out of the corners of my eyes, when not looking at it directly, small movements, shadows flitting, and other sounds artificial trees make when moving about.

small xmas tree

 

I know eventually, I am going to have to actually go to the box, and start to put things together and nail them up.  But I am in this nice little cloud, where I feel like I am floating, but if I try to get up and do things in the real world, I am heavy and slow and plodding and it feels like I expend all my energy on each movement I undertake, even just to fill up my water bottle.  I prefer to stay on my little cloud, feeling light and free, without worry, without hurry.  xmas wreath

The boxes will still be there when I am ready.

AN UPDATE:  My ex has never contacted me since the nite we discussed, with my daughter, my daughter’s moving to her father’s. He said he would contact me the following day, but…..well, there ya go.  But he HAS been talking to her.  She still wants to move in with him and they are still talking about it.  But he has not contacted me in any way at all, and I have decided that since I have custody, I will be keeping my daughter here, with me, the parent she has spent all but 18 months with, because she IS my daughter.  Because this is a time I need to PUT MY FOOT DOWN.  Because she and I both need to WORK on our relationship–not RUN from it.  Because this is one of the last times I can show her how much I LOVE her, how to grow a relationship and persevere and NOT run.  Because I am her MOTHER, and I won’t just let her run away.  I WILL show her that I WILL NOT give up on her, no matter what.

And, I have really made a major jump in therapy, and I have been able to not have any arguments with her (she says we might have still had 3 small ones), to not yell at her, etc.  We have been able to be calm with each other since the night we and her father discussed her moving to his home.  And, I think I am only getting better at staying calm and not reacting and that it will just keep improving.  So, the very thing she didn’t like, that she said scared her, that made her want to live with her dad, I am finally gaining control of….So, our relationship can only improve, right?  Right! So, no giving up.

Of course, if he REALLY wants to have her move in with him, he can always go to the courthouse and get the forms needed to ask for change of custody, visitation, and parenting time  and child support/back child support of our daughter.  And then he’d have to hire an attorney to represent him here in AZ, since he is now in OR.  And that would cost money.  And we all know how much he enjoys spending money on anything but himself….so, um, ya.  Not thinking that that is very likely to happen.  I may be wrong, but I don’t think so.modificationofcustparentingnplan

 

No More Mothering


Y’know, I was prepared to mother my kids right up til the end of their senior year, and to help them get started on their own life adventure.  But I guess that is not how it was meant to be.  My kids have already made it clear they don’t want mothering, or at least they don’t want me for their mother, anymore.

My daughter has depression, mood disorder NOS, anxiety, and ADD.  It was only at the beginning of this year that I realized she actually had ADD, and I got her on meds.  Then, it became clear she is depressed and I have always known she has anxiety.  So, I, being the dutiful and caring mom I like to think I am, took her to a psychiatrist and now she is on meds.  So, you would think she would maybe appreciate all that I do for her, all that I help her with and all of the things I allow her to do to give her as much freedom as possible.

But if you thought that, then you would be wrong.  Because apparently, she IS thankful for the meds, but she is NOT  thankful for me reminding her to take them 3x/day.  I tried to see if she could remember to take them on her own, but she can’t.  So, I started getting up in the morning when she is getting ready for school, so that I can remind her to take her AM meds before she leaves.  Well, on the 3rd day of that, when I came out to the living room, she was eating cereal and told me she was not going to take her meds for a while yet.  And I said nothing, but did go get her pill and a cup of water and sat it next to her so she wouldn’t forget.  As soon as I put it down, she slammed down her cereal, picked up her pill and took some water.  But she did it so abruptly, so violently, that she made herself gag before she swallowed the pill.  She managed to keep in, and finally got it down.  Then she says, “There!  Are you happy now?!” and instead of eating, getting ready, etc, she immediately throws herself out of the house to go to her SO a block over.  They go to school together.

If you think that is all she does, then you’d be wrong there too.  She came home from school, and I said, “Hi! How are you?  How was your day today?”  Now, if you’re like me, that is often how you greet someone when you haven’t seen them for most of the day.  And generally, you expect a response indicating how things went for them and how they are feeling now.  Silly me, who has only been asking that question to her for 13+ years, I asked her that and she glared at me, and absolutely refused to respond.  I said, “Hey, now!  This is not a highly personal, challenging or difficult question, and I deserve to be treated with respect when I speak to you, and I deserve it because I’m your mom and I love you, and you should know enough to treat me with respect.  And hey, what is the big deal anyway–I just want to know how you are today.  Why is this a problem?”  Well first she stalked into our shared room, and laid on her bed in the dark.  Then after a bit, I went in and asked her why it was such a big thing to answer me about how she is today.  I just wanted to know what the big deal was about telling me if it was a bad day, or a good day, cause I sure can’t see any reason that answering that is gonna hurt her, so why not just say something instead of making it such a big deal?”  She spat her words out at me when she replied, “Because you never understand, you never get it, you just get angry so I might as well not talk to you.”  translation3

Ok, so, let me get this straight.  I am the parent she has had her whole life that saw problems and fixed them.  I knew as a child she had issues with sitting still, staying focused, reading and comprehension, handwriting.  I am the parent who sat with her for hours and worked on all these issues day in and day out.  I’m the one who saw she might have ADD and who got her tested, and got her meds.  I’m the parent who saw she had depression and anxiety, and took her to the psychiatrist (keep in mind that she WANTED me to do these things.  When I realized she might need this kind of help, I spoke with her about it, and she was so thankful and so desperate to get these helps).  So, she has been so happy that I have been able to see her needs and get her the help for them that she needs, and she has been improving overall.  So, ok, I’m the parent who has always worked with her and fixed her problems.  But now, I’M the person who ‘ doesn’t understand, doesn’t get it, and only gets angry at her for sharing?’  What?!  Where does this come from–it’s not even based in anything remotely resembling reality.  For fuck’s sake, why can’t I get my kid to tell me how her day was?  Am I really that out of line to ask that?

And that’s not even the end of it.  I am very lenient about letting her go places as long as I know where, and that she has her bus pass and her keys, just in case.  So, if she comes to me at 5pm and says she wants to go sleep over at so and so’s, I’m pretty cool with it.  Usually I even drive her there.  If she says she just wants so and so to come over and spend the night, I usually just say sure.  So, yesterday, her friend called and asked if my daughter could spend the nite there.  I said sure, even tho it was a 30min drive to her friend’s.  So, that was Saturday afternoon.  I expected to hear from her, whether she was staying an extra nite or not, one way or the other.  But Sunday passed until it was 9pm, and I finally called over there.  Her friend said, oh, ya, she and my daughter had just decided to make it one more night and her parents would bring my daughter home tomorrow.  Well, although I didn’t say it, or show it, I sure felt how my daughter just doesn’t care about me at all.  She didn’t even think she needed to call and ask if it was ok if she stayed there one more night.  She didn’t even effing bother to ASK ME!

I don’t know why she hates me so much when I’ve always been the one on her side, who has her back, who gets her whatever she needs.  I don’t know why she thinks I deserve this.  I don’t know what I could have done to deserve this.  But this makes me FURIOUS, to be treated this way by her.  I have tried to talk to her, but she just pretends I’m not there, that she can’t hear me.  I only see two choices.  Force my mothering on her, no matter how much she hates it and me.  Or, give her what she says she wants–me to go away.  Where I don’t care about her meds, I don’t care about her psychiatrist appointments, where I don’t fill her prescriptions, where I don’t care about anything about her anymore, and she can just do it all on her own.  And I’ll just treat her like some random person living in my house, like a border, that I don’t care what happens to them or what they do, because they mean nothing to me.  She can have it how she wants it, all on her own.

I keep alternating between forcing mothering and abdicating the role entirely.  And it’s not just my daughter, its my 17 y/o son too.  He has chosen a radically different, radically cult-like religion.  I don’t care if he chooses to be religious (I’m not) but the one he has chosen is so cultish, he is like an entirely different person than he was a year ago.  Now, he has given up belief in science for belief in this church’s dogma.  Now he eschews evolution, big bang, and the age of the earth and of humans.  There is no debating with him, no discussion of perspectives.  Now, with him, anything his church has taught on is the one and only truth.  He will not debate or argue positions with you.  Oh no, instead he beats at you and clubs you over and over with his perspective, never giving a basis or evidence.  He ignores your own evidence from having lived for 40+ years, or from science (because we all know that science is all made up anyway, and only the bible is true, word for word!)  Eventually you tell him you agree, because it is the only way to finally end the discussion, even if you don’t mean it, you say it, just to make him stop.  He refused to buy me some ice cream today (he’s using my car cause his is in the shop), because 1) its Sunday (and we all know you can’t do work on Sunday, and buying ice cream is just too effing much work).  So, he uses my car and lives in my house and eats my food and gets his room and laundry cleaned by me.  He even gets to use my car (when the one I bought him is broke down) but yet he can’t buy me some ice cream (I was paying even!)

So, between the two of them I just don’t know what to do.  Do I keep on mothering as though they are not hurtful, shameful, snotty jerks who don’t want me in their lives anymore, or, do I throw up my hands and just say, ‘fine, you win.  you don’t want to be mothered?  No, problem.  I’m done mothering the both of you. Start doing it all on your own if that’s what you want.

All of this is very hurtful to me.  I know teens are difficult.  But I’m not talking about the regular issues, like, arguing about curfew, or arguing about where they can go, or  when they get to use the car, or arguing about doing homework, or grades.  No, we are not arguing about the typical teenage angst and teenage stuff.  We are arguing about basic respect for another human (much less mother!), we are arguing that my son’s belief is the only valid one, that I am nothing.  We are arguing about basic decency to others, especially those who  have helped you.  My son has only 1.5 yrs left under my roof.  My daughter has 2.5.  I can’t keep going like this.  Something needs to change.

i give you my heart imagesacrifice for something better

My Birthday Present


Today is my birthday, and my daughter gave me a most beautiful gift.  Please enjoy the poem as I did!

Did you know?

M. B.

Did you know that there is a person

Who has a voice as sweet as chocolate?

Did you know that there is a women

Who learned it all through hardship and sores?

 

Did you know that there was a mother

Who tried her best and never gave in?

Even when the worst had hit her?

Did you know that I have a person

Who went through all this

And still gave it her best?

 

Did you know that this person

Has a birthday today

So everyone can remember

How special she is?

Did you know that this mother

Has a special message from me?

 

Thank you for being alive

For never surrendering

Thank you for being here

Thank you for being with me

Thank you for being my mother

Thank you for being you

 

 

 

 

 

I love you,

Your persistence

Your charm

Your caring

And especially

Your continuation

Until today

So I could be here to celebrate

With you

 

Happy birthday, mom,

And many more

Ah’m So Tarred


As many of you know, I have had a lot of stressors in the last 10 days or so.  One of them is my daughter’s friend/SO has been staying with us for a week now.  I really don’t mind him staying.  He’s a good kid and doesn’t do anything wrong.  He’s staying here though, because his Mom is in the hospital again.  Psych unit.  This is the third time in 6 months, which is fine, except I’ve been having my own difficulties, like almost being involuntarily admitted to the psych unit myself.

But mostly, I am just so tired.  If any of you out thereblue confused emoticon are familiar with Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, you’ll remember when Madeline, as a burlesque dancer, in Blazing Saddles performed the song ‘Ah’m soo tarred of playing the game, soo tarred ….. Ah’m so tarred’.  Well, she has it nailed just how I’ve been feeling for 3 days now.  I wake up and find it takes much effort just to sit up, the same to stand, or horrors, to walk.  I am feeling so tired I just haven’t even been able to take care of my house.  No dishes getting done, no cleaning.  I did have to force myself to the store today, and even though I had my daughter and her SO help me, it took me twice as long as usual.  Tonight I finally had to run the dishwasher twice (meaning 2x of loading and emptying) now it’s on its 3rd run.  Finally wiped counters and swept floors and emptied trash.  this took me about 2 hours, which is about 1.5 hours longer than normal.  And I’m still tired.  Still so hard to reach for my water or soda, or to head to the kitchen or bathroom.  I wish I knew what was making me feel like I’ve been hit by a mac truck.  Even getting up and about out to shop didn’t help get me feeling back to normal energy.

Part of me is wondering, thinking that maybe this malaise is related to having felt suicidal recently.  There are other possible causes though, but that is what my mind has latched onto as most likely explanation.

Sacrifice


Well, I can’t seem to keep focused on the issues in front of me to deal with—my daughter’s mental health issues, my son’s God-complex issues, andthe blue pill or the red pill my own mental-health v. physical health issues.  Everytime I try to think on what the best plan of action is for any of these issues, my brain just stops, just hits a brickwall and I can’t get anywhere with deciding.  So, I have come to a stop-gap sort of response instead.  These are not the ‘best’ possible choices, these are just the only things I can manage to come up with at the moment, and it will at least help me delay needing a solid answer to these things for a while.

sacrifice for something betterSo, I will do all that is required for my daughter, and put her first.  I will no longer fight or even become disgruntled with my son.  Instead, I am going to treat him like a casual acquaintance whom I don’t mind having around, but I don’t really want to get to know any better.  And well, as for me—that was the hardest one to grapple with.  I think I have grudgingly come to the place where I am not going to deal with any potential change of meds to improve my physical health issues.  I simply cannot conceive of not have my mental health relatively stable by giving up lithium.  There may indeed come a time when my physical health becomes so poor, that I may again have to revisit this issue.  Maybe when I am looking at dying, I might feel different about the potential decrease in my mental health and stability.  Maybe then, I may decide losing a bit of sanity is worth increasing my life by a bit.  Or maybe not.  I won’t know til I get there, and I guess I’ve only taken the second leg of the race so far.  I guess we’ll see how the rest of the race pans out.  But at this point, I’m sticking with mental health all the way.

 

 

My Son Has a God Complex


Oh, god, what do I do now?!  My son thinks he knows everything about everybody else, thinks he is smarter than doctors, and thinks mental illness is a weakness in one’s constitution that they could stop having by only believing they don’t have it.  He thinks he is omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipotent.

Tonight he condescended to tell my daughter and myself that 1)not only does he know more about mental illness than she or I do, 2) but that he also knows how to help her (and me, as an afterthought) become un-depressed by just using magical thinking (I think I’m happy, I think I’m happy) and of course, 3) that he knows mental illness is just a creation of man (for what purpose, I’m stymied–but then humans are stupid little beings who need a god’s guidance).god doesnt exist

He deigned to hold court with us, telling my suicidal, cutting, daughter that she was making up her depression.  That all she needs to do is think positive, live well, and be outgoing and social instead of introverted and a loner.  PS–if you don’t already know this from other posts, my daughter, H, has and always will be, the most outgoing, friendly person you will ever meet.  She has always spent more time out than in–has always ran headlong into anything interesting or different or new.  She has always had dozens of friends, and has always spent lots of time with them.  She has never been a homebody or one to sit still.  So, for my ‘god’/son to tell her its in her head and all she has to do is be outgoing, well, duh.  She already is and it doesn’t change the fact she is depressed!  god_is_disappointed_in_you_cover_lg

He went on to say that psychiatrists and psychologists, and therapists are all quacks, and he will personally never see one, but then, he won’t have to, since he said he’ll never be depressed because he won’t let it happen.  He also said that psych meds are ridiculous, because all they do is addict people so they can’t function without them.  So, when I tried to counter by saying a few years ago, I was very ill with my bipolar illness, but then I got on my current meds, and I am so much better, a different person even.  He said, ya, that’s how they hook you.  But then you have to keep taking them because you’re addicted now.  So, you don’t really need them now, but you are hooked.  So I said, but if I stop, I’ll get sick again.  And he said, that because you’re addicted.  There is no countering with him.  There is no logical debate of facts, theories and outcomes.  There is only ‘A knows all, A is always right’.  He has an answer for everything, even if it makes no sense and cannot be supported.  He won’t budge, won’t see the error of his thinking.  He even denied that mental illness are a chemical disorder, sometimes combined with trauma, life events, and heredity.  He said that he is not predisposed to mental illnesses, even though I have bipolar and depression and PTSD.  I even compared mental illnesses to diabetes and heart diseases and other things like thyroid or COPD.  He told me they are the same!!  That once a person is out of the hospital following a heart attack, that they no longer need to take meds!!  He even went on to say that people with diabetes don’t need insulin!!!  He supported this by saying they didn’t have those issues when they were born, when they were five, or even teens.  So that means they don’t really have those illnesses…they, like mentally ill persons, are simply weak and only need meds during a crisis, but not afterward for longterm maintenance.  He is insane!!!                god like, yes

I don’t know what to do with him, or even if there is anything I can possibly do at all.  He is 17, and can’t wait to get out.  Until recently, he has never been like this.  I raised him to think logically, to gather information, to form a supported opinion.  I raised him to be respectful of others’ perspectives.  I raised him to be kind and caring and compassionate.  I raised him to think for himself.  But, ever since he has joined a certain church, he has become a person I do not recognize, and no longer want to know.  Where is the clever, brilliant, kind young man I raised all these years?  I feel as though I have lost him forever, as though he is gone from my life completely, even though he will be with me for one more year.

This saddens me so greatly, I cannot express in words.  I feel like I am mourning, but he is still here.  I don’t know this person he has become, and I don’t like him.  I want my son back.  I miss him.  And I feel like I must be a terrible mother, have done something awful somewhere along the line, to have lost him like this.religious differences 2

Whose Illness is More Important?


Not suicidal, just dead 2Recently, I have been struggling with physical issues (moderately severe) caused by the only drug that adequately manages my bipolar disorder.  I always was aware that this day might come, that I might have to make a choice between mental health and physical health.  That in and of itself is hard enough to deal with, causing me much mental distress, that is not even yet solved.  I don’t even know if I can solve it so the situation would be acceptable.

Then there’s my daughter’s bf (female to male transgender) and his mom.  Twice now I have taken in the bf (K) for a week each time, when his Mom had to be hospitalized (psych).  This last time, while his mom was in, and he was staying with me, he became suicidal and I had to have him admitted as well.  Then, my daughter’s therapist recommended she be looked at by a psychiatrist for possible mood disorder.  I then learn my daughter has been cutting, and is suicidal also.

I am so torn.  I feel like I need to go into the hospital just for my quandary alone. happy pills I feel so hopeless about my own future, no matter what I do about my meds.  The kids are almost grown, they could make it without me.  But I feel selfish to even think about putting myself into the hospital when she is struggling so.  When she might very well go into the hospital any day at this point.  So, I think I should make my own troubles go to the back of the line of things to take care of in my head.  At least until my daughter is out of danger and is stable again.

They say on airplanes that if there is an emergency and the oxygen masks drop down, that if you have children or other dependents, you should put your own mask on first, because if you do your children first, you may die and there would be no one to care for your kids, and so everyone would die because you took care of your kids first.

So, do I defer my own current troubles, and take care of my daughter’s?  Or do I save myself first (by going to the hospital) and then take care of my daughter’s troubles?  Could she wait that long?  Is it right to make her wait like that?  What about me?

the blue pill or the red pill

I Know When I’m Beat


OK.  So, I will stop the losing battles.  I will stop trying to make the kids clean their rooms and their bathrooms.  I will stop trying to make the kids do their laundry, and hang it up.  I will stop trying to make them rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher.  I will stop trying to tell my son not to go to the church he wants.  I will stop trying to make my daughter tell me what is really going on with her, and stop trying to make her accept my help.  I will stop riding them about their homework.

Yes, I will no longer have any expectations at all for either of my teens.  That should decrease the number of arguments and disagreements at least by 3/4!  And, I am no longer going to try to tell them they have been at so and so’s house too much and need to take a break.  No sir!  I officially no longer care what they do.  The only rule from here on out is to be home by city curfew.  If they aren’t, I will call the cops.  That is now the only official rule.

I wish they were gone already, then I could be too.  I’m so tired of this unforgiving, unyielding life.  Even the thing I love most in the world, the thing that has kept me alive for so many years, is now turned upon me.  Now, I have nothing.  No reason to go on, except that they won’t leave yet.Image

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