Mother, Dearest: Living with Mental Illness.

Mental Health is a Touchy Subject…

I’m probably going to catch a lot of flack from my friends and family if anyone reads this, but I don’t care. I’ve cared too long about others’ feelings and not enough about my own.

I’m not talking about petty, selfish feelings. The kind where I pout because I didn’t get something I wanted or where I whine because I have to do something I don’t feel like doing.

The real shit. The kind of shit that eats away at my soul.

 

Let me start off by saying that I love my mom no matter what.

I know she’s probably doing what she thinks is her best with what she’s been handed. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I grew up in a home where I was yelled at, even at a very young age. For everything.

Knocked my glass over at the dinner table? Yelling ensued and filled me with anxiety even then.

Accidentally broke something while playing? Yep, yelled at.

She was already in a bad mood and decided to take it out on her two children? Yep.

 

I got older and I started to stand up for myself.

That’s when I was called names. She loved to remind me how much I reminded her of the man she was briefly married to. The man that assisted in the creation of my sister and me.

Even as an adult when I had to go back and live with her.

The yelling got worse as the years went by. Nastier. If I had one word to use, I guess it would be evil.

It got to the point where when I moved away again, I wouldn’t even stop by for a visit very often. I always left in tears.

 

I knew other people’s parents weren’t like this.

They were kind and loving. Gentle and understanding. All the things a parent should be.

And that’s probably the biggest reason I always spent as much time as I could away from my home. I had two best friends growing up where I would spend most of my summers and every single weekend if I could. They were my families to me. And still are.

 

There were times when I would call my mom out on her mental state.

I knew she needed help. I may not have done it in the most tactful way, but I was never really taught how to be tactful. It would just make her angrier. Like explosive rage.

The worst part of her behavior is that it’s been ingrained into my being. It’s taken me years to work out all of the issues that I have, and I’m nowhere near finished. I knew from a very young age that I didn’t want to be like her. I didn’t want to make people feel the way she always made me feel.

 

In some ways, I feel sorry for her and my sister.

They’re full of so much hate, anger, and delusion that they’ll never be truly happy. They’ll always have that victim mentality and will never know the true power of their mind.

I’ve begged them both to seek out help. Talk to someone. Get on medicine. They refuse to see what’s really there.

The most baffling part of it is my grandma had severe depression. I remember living with my grandparents when I was very young. She would lock herself in her room and threaten to kill herself. When my grandpa left her in my early teen years, she actually attempted suicide. I remember talking to her on the phone while she was in a mental facility.

I remember her emotional outbursts when she would stop taking her meds. Which happened every few months because she felt better. We would have to beg her to start taking them again. It was a vicious cycle.

 

I took one last attempt at making things “right”.

I’ve gone through some shit the last couple of weeks with my mom. I dealt with everything I have for as long as I could because it was the only way I could talk to my niece and nephew. That plus all of the guilt she put on me every time I tried to break away. I tried to fix our relationship, but I’m tired of feeling like I’ll never be good enough. I’m tired of seeking the approval of a woman who will never be happy for me. I begged her to seek mental health help, and all she came back with was telling me that I needed the help. That I’m a narcissist.

So my mother doesn’t love herself or her children enough to seek out help. I begged her to. For everyone’s sake – but mostly for those two children she’s helping raise. I don’t want them to grow up fucked up like my sister and me.

 

And I’ve had to step away.

I have cut off all ties with most of my family. They’re bad for my mental health and nobody else will stand up for me. Nobody else has to. I didn’t do what I did out of hate or resentment. I did it for peace. My heart aches because I love them all so much. But I can’t save them. I can barely save myself. I’m not a bad person for doing what I did (even though my mom tried to guilt me into feeling that I am). I just hope that one day very soon she can take a step back and see the real problem.

 

Please seek out help.

I don’t have any mental health centers or websites to endorse, as my road to recovery has been possible through self-awareness and a very patient husband. I know that most people aren’t capable of doing what I’ve done and what I continue to do.

But PLEASE. If any of this post speaks to you – reach out. Whether it’s to a close friend or a center. Please get help. Please find someone to talk to. Please write in a journal. You don’t only hurt yourself with these illnesses. You hurt everyone around you.

2 thoughts on “Mother, Dearest: Living with Mental Illness.

  1. You know what I think about the “cut toxic people out of your life!” philosophy, but coming over here to say, I’m so proud of you. It’s so hard, and we’re going through similar things in terms of our mother-dearest-relationship… But I hope it’ll keep on getting better and better for you 🙂

  2. You are so right honey. Since I have cut ties with certain toxic people, my life has been the best it has been in years. Take heart , I know one family member that loves you no matter what.

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.

%d bloggers like this: