As I have previously mentioned I have been a researchaholic when it comes to my illnesses over the past few years. One thing I have learned is researchers can tell us what is broken in our brains but how it breaks is not completely understood. There is however a consensus that it could be inherited. I 100% agree with that because my Mom has had bipolar disorder all my life. Of course growing up we had no idea that there was something wrong. It was not until I started to know me that I realized that had been her problem all along.
I remember I posted something funny on facebook about inheriting craziness. Mom’s first reaction was to tell me that all the problems I have came from my Father. Grant it my Father had issues. But Mom has never admitted there was anything wrong with her. Total denial. And it was not as though it was a hidden illness. She had major symptoms so I am baffled as to how she can act a certain way and completely miss that maybe what she is doing does not fall under the category of “normal.”
About 18 years ago I had a hysterectomy. Hate to say it but if I had of know how badly it was going to hurt…I might have had second thoughts. They had to keep telling me to stop pumping the morphine machine cause I was just a hammering on that release button. Anyways the kids were young so Mom came up to help me. Talking about something backfiring! She had a common law husband then. They are now married. She was 73 and he was 85 when they married after being together for 25 years of being together. But it almost was never going to happen.
While she was up her hubby went to a dance by himself. Now her hubby is about as much like Mr. Rogers as you can get. No drinking or smoking. Saves all his money. Never raises his voice. Does anything he can for her. But loves to dance. She had been up for about 2 weeks and he just was bored. Well this triggered her. She took to her bed. Meanwhile I am barely able to get around because of the pain and I was not supposed to be doing anything. It was a nightmare. But it was all too familiar.
She was always crying and I had to sit on her bed and listen as she went on about how terrible he was and what he had done. The chances of him picking up another woman were about as good as Mr. Dressup going to a dance (I think I am giving a pretty good description of this man). Proper does not even begin. So everything she was complaining about was totally unfounded. But there was no convincing her. She started crawling across the hall to the washroom and I finally spoke up and said I did not want to have my kids see their Grandmother crawling around on the floor.
I had been down this path all my life. Dealing with the depression. In her mind it is always a physical problem. To watch her you would think she was a very sickly woman. She is healthier than me. But she needs to explain why she is in bed so something physical pops up. I believe that her mind and body have been at this game for so long that physical symptoms get manifested. For a period of time she was working Mon-Fri. Oh she was great during the week but EVERY weekend she was in bed. When I said anything about this happening she blamed it on the carpets making her sick. Well they have hardwood now and nothing has changed. Of course I have never confronted her on this issue.
When I was pregnant with my first child I was on my own so I was staying with her. One day she was having an episode and she pushed me down the stairs. By the end of that week I had moved out. None of this stuff has ever been discussed. I don’t know if it is a form of self-preservation or what. If you do not talk about it…it does not exist. That is her generation. This stuff is never spoken of. She knows little to nothing about my illness. No idea how it affects my life. Again we do not talk about that stuff.
What I have realized over the past few years is that I was two-faced. I wanted my husband to put up with me but I had no tolerance for her. One thing I never did was put blame on hubby. She sure put blame on me. It was always my fault. That can mess a kid up. I can be honest most of my life I hated her.
Things are very different now. We get along well. We have fun shopping together. She gets a little hypomatic and then me doing the same thing. Talking about a danger zone! That is all we do together. I will do another post on how our relationship is now. I know it was hard on my kids when they were growing up but I never dragged them into it. Mom would just be sleeping a lot for a period of time. Then she would be back. They never really saw anything negative till they got older.
So I believe there is justification in the fact that heredity can play a huge role. I also believe that we can cause great difficulty for our children when we try to keep our illness a secret or just refuse to even acknowledge anything. Denial does not do anyone any favors. I have forgiven her because I more than understand what it is like to not have control. I just wish she would at least recognize it now at 75.
My apprehension is the book. I do not think she understands that it is a memoir. She had a huge impact on my life so she is in the book a lot. She won’t have a serious discussion with me so all I can do is let her read it before it is published. I do not know how she is going to react cause although I never say it…it is obvious that she has an illness of some sort. The reality of it is going to hit her right between the eyes. I also talk about what she went through with my Father so she plays the victim as well.
All I can do is wait and see how she is going to react. I do not expect it to be a positive one. I think she is going to hate the fact that people are going to know what she did. It was always supposed to be a secret but more people knew than she thinks. Mostly because I was always screaming for someone to help me. I will keep you posted on how this goes. I am trying to prepare myself for the worst. I think this is one time where I am not just imagining the worst case scenario…I am just preparing to possibly go into battle to save my book.