On cold, rainy days like this I would love nothing more than to curl up on my couch, cover up with a cozy blanket and ready my book with a glass of wine. That would be the life, right? I did that for many years. I was a stay at home mom for almost 5 years, and I can tell you, even though I was blessed to be able to do that, it gets very monotonous.
When I made the decision to go back into the workforce because of complete boredom, (and needing funding for all the books I had on my Amazon and BAM wish list) I gave up that everyday lifestyle for the crazy idea of owning my own business. It was a decision that has both ups and downs.
But enough of that for now. That is not why I am blogging today.
Today I would like to share with you something that is near and dear to my heart. Mental Health. Many family members have been diagnosed with bi-polar. From grandparents to children, it runs in my family. Why I have to ask? And why have I not been diagnosed with it? I have been diagnosed with several other mental health stigmas, but bi-polar has never been on my paperwork, except for the family history part of it.
Since I was a child I always felt like I was different. Maybe it was because growing up as a minority in NM made me feel different, or maybe because I just never felt like I really “fit in” to one particular clique. I kinda made my own, felt more comfortable that way. Sure I had a handful of friends, a few really good ones I still stay in contact with even today, but I always had, in the back of my mind, that I never really belonged to anything permanent. Why is that? I’ve been asked if someone told me that (no) or if I was made to feel that way (not really). I just have never understood that part of it which (partly) caused my childhood depression.
As I was growing up, my grandmother was my main caregiver. She lived with us while my mom and dad worked. I would always do things with my dad like fishing, hunting, camping, anything outdoorsy. But looking back, I never really did much with my mother. She, at some point in my life, was diagnosed with bi-polar. If she wasn’t working, she was sleeping. If she wasn’t sleeping, she was always out doing other things. Never really bothered me until I was a mother myself, and was involved in my children’s activities, that I noticed this.
I never understood bi-polar until my son was 8 and he started to have huge violent outbursts. W would take him to doctors, who would just push pills our way to calm him down. Finally we were able to get a doctor to run a series of tests on him. That’s when we discovered his bi-polar. I did not understand how this could be. My mother would never have outbursts like he has. That’s when the Dr referred me to a book to educate myself. “Having a child with bi=polar” I read that book like a bible for the first month, reading it more than once, and to this day I think I still do not completely understand.
Good memory moment: My grandma always made sure I was taken care of, had what I needed, and a lot of what I really didn’t need. To say I was spoiled by her in an understatement. I was her everything. Everyone in the family knew that, she didn’t make it a secret. I loved her more than life itself. She loved me even when I came home late, drunk, mad, you know, all those things that most teenagers do. She never yelled at me, but would lock herself in her room until she calmed down, would find me, and tell me how stupid I was, or how I needed to calm down.
My best memory with my Gram was every New Years Eve that I was home, we would always make root beer floats just before midnight to bring in the New Year. She said “this is as close as you get to beer from me”. Those were good times. When I got older I thought they were kinda corny, but did it anyway cause I liked to see her smile.
So, to make a long story short, my son was and is bi-polar. Now that he is an adult he refuses to believe that, off medications, thinks we drugged him during his youth so he could not be normal, or because we didn’t want to deal with him. We speak about twice a year, I will not allow him to come to my house, when he does he threatens to kill my husband, and me if I get in the way. It is a very sad life for him, but do not know anything else to do…… This adds to my depression because I feel like I’ve failed as a mother. Reassurances by friends, etc are the opposite, but, in my mind, it is true. You cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. More on that subject at another time.