While I was raising my children I did not know, none of us knew, I had a mental illness.
We just knew that things were chaotic a lot of times. No one has to say it, but I was off balance a lot of times and never knew why.
I would get enraged and rant and rave and be ready to hurt someone. It would take a while for me to calm down. My reaction to situations were extreme. I thought my behavior was normal, like the time I went after someone else’s child with a baseball bat and was ready to swing at him until someone called my name and shocked me back into the present and then I realized what I was about to do. Another time, I was driving my car and saw someone whom I had just argued with. In a split second, without thought, I found myself swinging my station wagon around the corner trying to hit them. Fortunately, I missed. One minute I saw them in the street, the next, I was determined to hit them with my car.
Other times I was depressed and did not know it because I had no knowledge of anything about depression. It was not part of what I needed to know to function as a wife and mother.
One day my teenage son came to me and asked me why I was depressed. I said I was not. He said, “You do things depressed people do.” By that he meant, I hardly left the house. I did nothing for myself. I cut of the few friends I had. I stayed alone except for the interaction I had with my husband and children. My mood was down all the time. When no one was in my presence, I did a lot of crying. Most of the time I could not figure out why I was crying or why I was feeling so low.
When I finally sought help, I was treated for depression.
It was not until years later when I started doing drugs and heavy drinking that I was diagnosed with bipolar. I am excited that those things are not a part of who I am anymore.
Despite all that my children and I went through because I have a mental illness that was not being treated while raising them, we are all still standing. We are all living productive lives. We have our ups and downs, but we are still standing.
love to all,
pb aka peanut butter