Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The best that I could

I worry so often about the mother I am to Ava.

Do I favor the my other children?

Do I passively punish her in ways I don't realize for the terror she puts us through?

Do I cut her short of the true emotion and love I could give her? I worry keeping myself open for raw emotion between the two of us is far to dangerous for me.

Do I yell to much?

Do I blame her personally to much?

Do I measure the fine line between mental illness and normal 7 yo behavior as incorrectly as I feel I probably do?

Do I love her, fully, completely, unconditionally the way that I love her siblings despite of her disorder?

I worry so often that I have prepared a speech in my head for the day she comes to me as an adult and wishes to discuss my parenting. That day will come, I know it will. And when I tell her I did the very best that I could, will that be enough?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thank you

It's been months since I posted. And actually many weeks since I've even checked into the site.

But I am in tears. I have read feedback to my post "Fucking Horrible" and am swept away by your comments. Thank you so very much for your words. I began this blog in hopes of other parents of bipolar children finding me - finding us, a family deeply affected by this disorder - in our constant torrential storm of early onset bipolar, who could find solace in the knowledge that we are not alone. It goes without saying that I wish this disorder on no one, but to know that there are others out there, who 'get' what it's like to have a child with bipolar - can sometimes bring you back from the line that crosses you into deep, deep darkness.

Ironically enough, shortly after writing this post, I recounted Ava's rage to an amazing therapist my husband and I see for couples therapy. I told her that very soon after Ava's rage, I retreated to my blog and poured out my emotions. I told her point blank what I had written. She looked at me in complete shock. I knew, no matter how much I respected this woman, no matter her experience as a therapist, no matter her experiences as a mother with a troubled son with ADHD, she would never, ever understand. I hold strong in my beliefs, my opinions, my morals, my insight and in myself as a human being. I KNOW despite what others show or say or do in the presence of others - there is just no way that you don't hate your child during those off the chart rages. Granted, there are days when I can brush it off, I can go to her calmly and hold her, talk softly to her, assure her it will pass, allow her to feel my chest rise and fall slowly and persuade her to breathe deeply with me. But there are those times when I break - and I scream with her, I cry with her, I slam doors with her, and I hate with her. I am only human.

One of you said that you had googled ill feelings toward your bipolar child. Would you believe me if I said I'd done the same so many times?! Pardon my sick sense of humor but OMG! I wish we could all find one another and have a hay day! What a support system we would have. Makes you wonder how many of us are out there, struggling, holding on by the tips of our fingernails.

Ava has not raged quite like that since they day I wrote that post. Perhaps she has been close but I've somehow been in a place where I was able to handle it better? I take her rages anymore with a grain of salt, though it worries me as I wonder how much I need to disconnect from her in order to save myself? That thought, in itself, brings on more horrendous feelings of guilt and concern. I just never know where the line is - I never know who to be or what to do - it's an endless battle and at the end of the day, I realize - I'm fighting to keep all of us in this family 'ok' knowing that it's never a battle I'll win. Me vs. BP = loss, always.

I have heard recently talk of a differential diagnosis for children like my baby. It's one that says that these rages will manifest into depression as she matures and the rages will slowly disappear. I hope for this and often think perhaps we're seeing this the last couple of months but feel even now as though I may jinx us all by typing those words. It sounds horrible, doesn't it? To wish depression upon your own child? But when you think of only one side of this disorder as opposed to both sides - I'd gladly take one and I'm sure Ava feels the same way.

And for anyone curious - I did end up with that fabulous job, a dream job for which I worked ONE day. The commute was an hour drive and on the way home from that first day, I realized I could not leave my babies. It just wasn't time yet. So, I'm back to a SAHM, pinching pennies and keeping the scene calm for the five of us. So far, so good.

I'm thinking of all of you who follow this - know you are in my thoughts so very often. And in those dark moments please know, you are not alone.