Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Am I part of the cause of your mental illness?

This is a series of post answering questions posed by Kevin's daughter.  I asked permission to answer each of these questions as if I was answering my adult children.  I will also include a link to Kevin's answer.

1. Am I part of the cause of your mental illness?

I was once asked if having 6 children drove me crazy, I jokingly answered, "Oh no, I had to be crazy to do this in the first place."  I can say with total confidence that my children were not the cause or any contributing factor in my mental illness.  My kids figured out a lot more than I did about how I functioned.  They had an outside view that their mom didn't always behave consistently.  I believe the hard thing for my kids is they didn't know anything different for a mom.  I was just the way I was and they found ways to cope with me.  

I also think this is a plea from every child to every parent, am I the cause of your problems?  As a child, I was blamed for my parents problems.  If I didn't exist then they would be fine.  Blaming a child I believe may lead to their mental illness but not the cause of the parents problems.

I also want to reassure each of my children that their presence in my life was more of a stabilizing factor than almost anything else.   I struggled to become healthy so I could be a better Mom.  Being a good Mom continues to be a life goal.  I wasn't the mom I dreamed I would be.  My whole life wasn't what I wanted it to be.  No one wishes to be abused.  No one wakes up and says, "I want to make my life a living hell to see if I can survive."  I was given life challenges that led to PTSD and multiple personality disorder to survive.  I knew by the time I was 15 years old that I was different, I didn't know how but I knew.  My parents denied any possibility until I started to believe what was wrong was not unusual.  Watching my children grow up caused me to look at my own life and the way I reacted verses how they behaved.  I was looking for answers  to better understand them.  I believe that my children are some of the greatest blessings of my life.  They are some of my biggest cheerleaders and I feel blessed to know each one.  I also feel doubly blessed by the wonderful men and women that they married. 

Big blessings come in small packages.

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