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bipolar Dysfunctional mental illness parenting Recovery schizoaffective Therapy trauma

Dysfunction Junction

My father had an undiagnosed mental illness, probably bipolar, but I did not know that at the time. He was just a moody, raging, jerk. People knew but no one wants to interfere. I remember we had an uncle who was physically abusive to his kids, maybe his wife, I don’t know. Everyone knew about it but nothing was done. We are all grown with families of our own now and the perps have died.

My mother is passive and anxious. She did not want to disturb anything. She would tell us our father was just joking and he is wonderful when he would say or do hurtful things.

My dad has passed and can’t hurt me anymore. My mom and I have a strained relationship. I don’t want to put any hope into it growing into more. But, we can be amicable and she does not upset me so much.

And, I had an older brother who had a psychotic disorder, maybe schizoaffective like me, but my dad did not believe in psychiatry so the only help he got was when he got picked up by the police for observation. He would stop any meds as soon as he got home. Nothing changed. He died young at 26. I don’t know if it was an accident or suicide. He fell at a waterfall. But, I felt I had lost my brother years before, when he first got sick.

Everyone else in my family is over it all. I don’t know if I should let it go or if I could heal.

I was watching a YouTube on dysfunctional “tricky” families and childhood ptsd. https://youtu.be/EBpF8sWycQQ

I could answer yes to almost everything and a few maybe’s. He suggests working with a therapist.

I have a new therapist. I don’t know what to work on. Day to day, things are okay. I kind of went through my family history with her last time.

Or should I be done with therapy? I am pretty stable and see a psychiatrist. Things in my day to day life are fine. My past is a mess, but maybe I should just leave it there. My father discouraged me from going to therapy. “You talk about the past and it just makes people sad.” I thought he was being ignorant. Of course, it is more than that. But, did he have a point?

I plan to ask my therapist next time I see her if she thinks I even need it.

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Breakthrough Dysfunctional Forgiveness parenting Uncategorized

Working Towards a Breakthrough

In my last post I talked about my childhood and how could my parents have thought that was an okay environment. They thought they were superior to others, even.

I know everyone has flaws and maybe combined they had very poor judgement and blind spots.  They weren’t intentionally so hurtful.

I do want to find a way past this. I thought I had. I posted about having compassion and forgiving. I still have some more work to do.

 

Categories
anxiety Dysfunctional parenting Therapy Uncategorized

Uncomfortably Numb

I saw my therapist today.

My daughter moved into the dorms for her first year in college yesterday. We talked about that for a while. It is bittersweet. I am very happy for her, but it does feel different with an empty room. I got shaky when I was moving her in. I don’t think it was the lifting, but anxiety. There were so many people.

Once we got all of her stuff in her room, I said goodbye. My husband and son took her shopping for a few last things, and had lunch in the cafeteria. I would not have been able to eat.

I told therapist about the shaking. I was still doing it today. In the room my son was telling me to breathe in my nose and out my mouth to try to help. He is sweet.image I told her when I came home from the last visit I was unsure how I felt. We had talked about the past, growing up, and it was uncomfortable. She asked me what I needed and I said some acknowledgement that parts sucked. The unpredictability.

I tried to be invisible and would do what I was told at home and keep a low profile, and stay away from home when i could. I told her i got into trouble with drugs and my boyfriend, but my parents were too preoccupied to notice or care. She thought that would upset me, that i went unnoticed, but it was my plan.

At one point I told my therapist I was “pulling back”. I guess I was dissociating. I was there but numb to any emotions.

i mentioned how once my mom was talking about my niece, saying really nice things. She brought up my daughter, for some reason, saying she is not the same or something. I said, i know and was agreeing with her, and said that my daughter is really good, but she is different. Then my mother said, ” well, I thought you were good, too.” It really bothered me because I thought she was insinuating my daughter might be up to something she isn’t. My therapist said, ” I don’t know what to say to that. There are so many levels.” And it came out of the blue when my mom said it.

This is so hard. My father is gone. My mom has changed some, for the better.

My therapist said, parents do what they can for their children, unless they are sociopaths, and that mine did not know how to do things differently, is that fair? I squirmed with that. Not the sociopath part. I know they did things the way they thought was the best. I don’t understand how they could think some things were okay to do, let alone good. if I can get past this it might be a breakthrough.

My dad once discouraged me from therapy, because he said you talk about the past and it makes you sad. As far as i know he had never had any therapy and I shrugged it off, but here I am. Talking about the past and feeling sad.

Categories
bipolar mental illness motherhood parenting psychosis schizoaffective schizophrenia

Mothering and Mental illness

Originally posted on Psych Central

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/triple-winner/2017/03/parenting-and-mental-illness/

It is natural to wonder if you are a “good enough” mother. This can be amplified with mental illness.

My children were ages 2 and 4 when I had a psychotic break. I was hospitalized twice that year After that, I needed help doing basic tasks for a while. Even when I got back on my feet, I was not 100%.

I was too tired to take my son to the park and too anxious to make play dates. My daughter didn’t have the “supermom” some of her friends seemed to have. She has me. And, I try. But, I feel like they got a raw deal.

And there was more. I would get paranoid they were going to get harmed and not want them to see certain people. I was almost constantly distracted by voices and delusions of messages and not nearly as attentive as I could have been.

They didn’t understand that I had a mental illness called schizoaffective disorder. I had planned to answer questions as they asked, but they didn’t ask much. My daughter once questioned why I was making a sign for a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) class. I told her it was because I had a mental illness. She just said “I didn’t know that “and went back to playing.

They know I take medication and I am tired often. I didn’t want them to worry it was something else, and it seemed time we talked about it, so one day I told them. My son did not know, my daughter knew already. Neither of them wanted to hear any more.

I worried my behavior would affect them. That they would have some problems because of me. But, they are the best kids. They have friends, do well in school, are active. I need to give credit to the other people in their lives: my husband, their grandma, teachers, other parents. They picked up where I couldn’t.

I was fortunate. I had my children before I was diagnosed, so I didn’t have to worry about medications and pregnancy. That can get complicated and needs involvement with your psychiatrist and obstetrician.

Schizoaffective disorder has a genetic component. Not everyone has a relative with a psychotic disorder, but it isn’t unusual. That is another of my worries. Will I pass this illness on to my children? So far, that hasn’t been an issue.

I have a lot of “what if’s” about my mental illness. If I had known I had it before I had a psychotic break would we have had children? Would my husband have married me? I don’t know. I like my life and I can’t imagine it any differently than the way it is now