Dear Mom of a Child with Bipolar Disorder,
I know you feel so alone in this world. No one could possibly understand what your life is like.
No one knows you wake up every day with a question mark hanging in the air. When my child wakes up, what kind of mood will she be in? Will she be happy? Angry? Depressed?
Most days are good, but you can't predict them. Even if things start well, it could change in a second, right?
The Moods Swings Leave You Confused, Hurt and AngryNo one could imagine what it's like to live with a child who can be happily laughing one second, then raging only a moment later, leaving you in a state of confusion.
You have no idea what just went wrong. Maybe you're even feeling angry because there's no logical reason for him to be angry.
You're baffled that your child does well outside the home, only to return home and begin raging. More often than not, these rages are directed at you, the mother. And that's confusing too, isn't it?
You May Experience Shame and DepressionWhat would people think if they knew your child raged at you the way he does? Perhaps you've even suffered physical attacks from a child raging out of control. Maybe there are no physical attacks, but you're the target of the most hateful words ever spit at you.
Either way, it hurts deeply.
Are you struggling with shame because you can't manage your own kid? Maybe, like me, you're not ashamed, but you know what people would think. You worry about terms like "bad mother" and "manipulative kid."
So you keep these rage episodes to yourself, figuring it's easier than dealing with the condescending, judgmental remarks. But it's not easier.
Depression can take hold of you because you're holding everything inside.
You want the world to understand. You want them to be able to peek into your experience and truly know what you're going through. Instead you feel powerless and confused, fearful and anxious, sad and angry.
And you feel all of it quietly. You have to because your reality is unfathomable to the outside world.
The World Doesn't Understand, but I Do
The world may not be able to understand, but I do. I understand that most days are normal and these are just moments. But these moments can be shocking. It's like being sucker-punched. You didn't see it coming, you don't know why it happened, and it hurts.
You struggle with feelings of anger at the child for acting like this, while also wanting to help him feel better. Deep down inside, beneath your anger, you know it's out of his control.
I understand. And I want you to know I understand. I feel very alone in this world, too. Most days, nothing is out of the ordinary. My household is like everyone else's. Then those moments sucker-punch me.
I just want you to know, dear mom, that I am here. There are others. I hear from them all the time.
We are going through this journey with you. We experience all the joys, the creativeness, and the beauty of our children. We also experience the heartache, the fear, and the anxiety that this illness brings.
You're not alone, dear mama. You're not alone.
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