Friday, October 3, 2014

How do you think your mental health effected our family in the past?

  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. (I don't read his blog until after I write mine.)

13. How do you think your mental health effected our family in the past?

The short answer, it nearly destroyed me so it nearly destroyed our family.  Part of the problem was we didn't know what was wrong with me.  Years of being told my behavior was 'normal' left us with a lot of confusion and conflict.  It affected my ability to care for the family.  It affected my relationship with DH and everyone else around me.  It was destroying my health and all doctors told me was my medical test came back in 'normal' range.  You notice I keep putting normal in single quote marks.  My opinion of 'normal' is it is a setting on a drier.   Doctors told me I needed counseling and I challenged them, "If it is all in my head, why do I hurt so much?"  I know that answer now but I didn't learn it from a doctor.  Part of the reason I feel like my PTSD has a small impact on our family now because the depths of hell we pulled out of were so deep that how it interferes now is mild in comparison.  I realize that PTSD is still a big part of my life but it no longer rules my life.  I didn't like the horrible mess I was in and pulling my family down with me.  I started doing my own research.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  
I first researched physical problems and learned plenty.  I learned that the first doctor telling me that I was low on electrolytes but that isn't a big deal needed to go back to school.  Too low on electrolytes causes all sorts of health issues.  I learned about orphan illnesses that meant not enough people had the problem to make it worth studying or finding answers.  I learned about the mind-body connection.  When your body is hurting it intensifies mental illness, also mental illness causes physical ailments.  To become healthy, I needed to improve both.  I learned how prejudice and subtly ridiculing my parents were about someone that sought counseling. I was desperate when I finally sought help.  I sometimes wished I sought help early then I read the history of how they used to treat multiple personalities.  I am thankful I waited for an extraordinary counselor that led my out of the labyrinth of my mind.  I still live with PTSD.  I still mourn the loss of the years when I was raising our children.  I mourn the loss of my childhood.  I look forward to a much brighter future.   

Mental illness sometimes feels like an emotional prison.

Coming up out of the darkest depths the faintest light seems bright.

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