Monday, June 30, 2008

p35. Let's Change the tune.

When I was reading through some of the more current post, I was so surprised how focused I was on Da's music... snooze for many people! But one more song and this one is not by her, but just think of the "Blues".

I asked Da’s therapist a question one day, and she didn’t know how to answer it – and I am not sure if she could find someone who could.

You often hear about the divorce rate among parents when they lose a child, but what about parents who have raised a severely mentally ill child? Do the everyday stresses and the really big ones wear out the “for better and worse, for sicker and poorer” statements in your vows?

Da’s dad and I are in the process of getting a Collaborative divorce, she knows she is not the reason, but she also knows what a stress on our marriage she has been.

In googling this subject, it seemed all that came up was the effects of children being raised by a mentally ill parent, or once again it was all about the mother and her illness.

Let’s face it mothers do take things differently verses fathers, it’s just a historical fact, but who’s right and whose wrong – I think this is where the trouble begins and the marriage can die.

Raising a bipolar kid has been an experience to say the least. One thing in their corner is that you understand they have an illness and their behavior is going to be different and so are the heart aches and heart throbs they will give you through out the years they are with you.

But because of legal reasons and out of respect for the victim, I cannot openly discuss another issue we have experienced. I think this is the one that did us in – not a sick child but the actions of another that were just so senseless it is hard to come to grips with.

I know this has changed me drastically; women do tend to think with their hearts and are a bit more protective. But when someone does something to a family member that is just awful and you can’t deal with what has happened, let’s face it – you can’t help but change.

I think as much as a victim can sufferer from PTSD, the circle around them can do so too. Now my husband believed when I would get in my depressed moods, in fact he just came out and said it one day… “It didn’t happen to you”, I thought that spoke volumes. For me anyway when someone I care and love so much that I would die for them suffers something, I suffer with them.

This creates stress beyond tension and you can end up just not liking each other very much.

I guess it's when you come to the decision that nothing is going to change how you feel about each other, so why bother living a lie, especially at our ages.

It’s a sad thing, it tears your heart out because of your children and it’s amazing how your pets affect you too – but I must say that Da in her infinite wisdom said it best…

“Mom, we are all grown and have our personalities, I really don’t think this will change them”.

I pray it doesn’t!

As for my husband and me, I pray it does.


Blogger Tom said...

There are a number of parents in our support group for the family and friends of anyone with mental health problems who have bipolar children. Their experience is similar to yours, and they say the strategies we suggest in the Karla Smith Foundation have been helpful. You can read about these strategies by going to our website: and clicking on the heading “How to Cope”. I hope things are going well for you and your family.

If you wish, email me and we can discuss it further.

Tom Smith
Author of "A Balanced Life" and Co-Founder of the Karla Smith Foundation

12:48 PM  
Blogger Tom Smith said...

I am submitting this comment because my previous one was from a different email account. Please respond to me, if you wish, through this account.

Tom Smith
Author of "A Balanced Life" and Co-Founder of the Karla Smith Foundation

12:56 PM  

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