Many parents struggle with mental illness. She wonders if she should’ve had kids at all.
This is her story:
I was five years old when I had my first panic attack. Only five! I also worry about absurd things; I know they are absurd but I can’t stop worrying.
But now, it’s worse. I don’t remember it ever being this bad. In the last month alone, I have suffered six nervous breakdowns and I wonder what is wrong with me?
WHY am I SO FREAKING CRAZY!?
But what makes it worse is my children. I don’t want them to suffer with me. I don’t want them to know I am this way. I don’t want to mark them or make them afraid for me or themselves. I try to keep it all bottled up and away from them so they don’t really know I am suffering. The only people who know are my husband and my mother, and they aren’t always a huge help. My husband thinks that I should just suck it up and deal. That’s not easy to do. My mother tries very hard to understand what I am going through and help me because I know she watched my grandma suffer at times quietly just like me.
My grandma’s suffering hurt my mom, and that’s what scares me. What if I think I am suffering quietly but my children know? But how could they not? Sometimes a shower is more than I can bear and getting out of the same pajamas I have worn the last three days just doesn’t seem possible.
So they have to know right? Hell, they are 8,7, and 5; not exactly babies. My eldest has Asperger Syndrome and this ridiculously genius IQ; if any of them could figure it out would probably be her. I am so scared of them knowing. I don’t want to be crazy mommy who has meltdowns. I want my children to know me as happy and loving. I know I am loving, but I’m not always happy. And I don’t EVER want them to think it’s because of them. So do I talk to them? Do I explain to them, this is what is going on with mommy?
It’s not you it’s me? God I hate that.
Are they old enough to know?
Or should I leave them in their little children bubbles? Am I hurting them being this way?
Do you think they know?
My next biggest worry and fear is this: in my children I see some of my crazy. My eccentricities, if you will. My eldest, who has Asperger Syndrome, has her own eccentricities. But my son (whom I did not birth) also has these eccentricities, a touch of my OCD, and the anxiety (who could blame him with a mother like his; heck, thinking about me probably makes him sick and nervous). But my youngest daughter scares me the most. She is a very nervous child who worries just like I did. She is scared of so much. She has OCD already at five. No panic attacks yet, but I fear it may only be a matter of time. This bothers me more than I can say. I feel like I did this to her. I feel responsible and God help me I don’t want her to grow up like this. I don’t want her to suffer like I have. I want her to be well and happy and not have fears of irrational things. Therapy is an option.
It didn’t always do me much good, but at times it really does help.
But what kind of mother, who knows she has these illnesses, brings children into the world when they may end up just like her?!
This is my struggle.
Am I bad parent for bringing them into my crazy existence?
How do I handle my crazy so I don’t mark my children? How do I handle my mental health without scaring them?