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.)
9. Tell me one thing that I do which makes your mental health worse?
Again like yesterday, my mental health is my responsibility. I've thought over this and reconsidered and rewritten this answer 50 times. I finally decided that the thing that would make my life worse is if I am not held accountable for my behavior. I watched the destructiveness of "I feel sorry for her so I won't say anything about her bad behavior, that is just the way she is." Several destructive things happen, I don't have an opportunity to change my behavior, you will feel more and more resentment, and I am on a truth campaign. I want to know the truth about my life. I want to improve my behavior. I know it is hard to comprehend that I don't always know what I am doing. Holding me accountable gives me an opportunity to do things differently. I want to know if I said something unkind or careless. I want to be aware of how I come across to someone else. I won't be able to mentally process some things that you take for granted. Feeling emotions is still fairly new to me. I admit that a big part of my truth campaign is to search out and find ways to improve my interactions with those that I love and anyone else that encounters me. I want a second chance to be a better person. I don't want to be shunted aside with "She's crazy, she can't do any better." Yes I have mental illness, yes it sucks, yes it interferes with my life, yes the symptoms can get worse, but I feel much worse if I hurt those I love and don't realize it because nobody told me. Please, give me a second chance, I won't waste it. I know that you are so patient with me. I spent years not knowing what I was fighting. All of you kids suffered consequences of me handling my problems badly. I am learning from counselors, articles, blogs, books, and other sources what challenges I have. Give me a chance to be the parent I want to be as often as possible. I know I'll mess up. I know I will need to apologize. However, I don't believe saying, "I have PTSD" is a get out of jail free card. Saying, "I have PTSD" means I need to work harder to overcome what is weighing me down. I am going back into counseling because PTSD is getting the upper hand. I need more tools and strategies to be the person I want to be. PTSD does not define me. PTSD is a challenge in my life but the me I want you to know is the warming loving person that thinks it a miracle that you are in my life.