My Mother & Me- My Story Of Growing Up With A Mentally Ill Mother...

My mother is both bi-polar and schizophrenic. Starting with the positive she is also my best friend, and only person I can truly talk to and be myself with. When she is on her medications and balanced she is literally the nicest person in the world.

When I was 5 my mother and father got a divorce, and rightfully so. Leaving my father was the best thing she could have done in her life. Although deep down I think she still loves him, for he is a topic that always comes up when she in unbalanced. I used to watch my father lose his patience with my mom and then throw things at her, and or hit her. He was abusive to my sister and me as well, but that's a whole other story. This is about my mother, and why she is the strongest person I know, despite all the obstacles life has given her. There are days I remember when mom would just want to stay in bed all day, or days when she was just completely zoned out of her mind because she was heavy on meds. I used to act out when I was little and I know I was little monster, because I knew I could get away with it with her. She never hit me or really punished me and I never feared her. I think I also felt a kind of freedom with my mother that was completely different when my father was home. When he was home, I was too nervous of frightened to do or say anything. After my parents got divorced my mother fought for custody of me, and she did use my father’s abuse of my sister and me against him.


So I lived with her while the custody battle and investigation was going on. In the end though, my father got custody of me. I saw my mother once a month and during the summer. I would take a greyhound bus to see her. I remember the freedom I felt when I did get to see her, it was like a weight lifted off of my shoulders and mind. I could be myself with her, I could (as bad as this might sound) talk back to her and not fear being grabbed by the throat or hit. Every time I got on that greyhound bus to go back to my father I would sob most the way home. My stepmother at the time, always wondered why I was so depressed when I came home from a visit with my mom, well it was because I didn't want to leave her! Yes financially my father was better equipped to take care of me, but he was not a better parent, and although this sounds like the cliché tirade, he never hugged or kissed me. It was a rarity! It happened twice... I remember each time vividly because it would also make me cry when it happened. My mother was the opposite she was very loving and also listened to me, and played games with me etc.

I know now, during my childhood and while living with my father my mother had break downs. During these times had to stay periods of time in the hospital, (she lived in eastern Oregon, and the mental hospital she stayed at was the same one they filmed “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”) the treatment of patients was better then. I never experienced one of her break downs until much later when I was out of high school and on my own. It was then I learned about the other unbalanced side of my kind mother. Since then I have experienced a few unsettling moments when my mother called me names you shouldn't hear from a mother, or even once called the police on me for something she imagined I did to her. Both times this happened it was because she had a traumatic event happened to her that triggered her to not want to take her pills anymore and get completely unbalanced. These few times this happened I was there for her, knowing that she would have to spend some time in the hospital until she got balanced again.

Despite the things my mother has said to me, or claimed I did. I never hold a grudge against her. I know it’s not really her when she is unbalanced. A few years ago, I had to get my mother away from another bad relationship. I was not financially capable of taking her in, so I helped her move across the US to live with my sister until she could be on her own again. Unfortunately my mom was a mess and made life hell for my sister and her family and had to be moved to an assisted care place to make sure she stayed on her meds etc. I called my mom on this recent mother’s day and she says my sister hasn't talked to her for over a year! It breaks my heart to hear this because there's not much I can do across the US. I do not want my mother to feel isolated and unloved, it’s the last thing I wanted for her! At the same time I understand my sister’s point of view. Like I said earlier you can’t hold a grudge...you just can’t!

My mother despite everything, helped sculpt the better parts of me as a person. I have issues of my own, times of depression, anxiety, social anxiety but nothing to the extreme my mother has had. When I was younger, I admittedly lived in fear of developing what she had, when I got depressed or had anxiety so bad I couldn't step out my front door I thought for sure I was crazy! A lot of people that have heard my story will say “you were dealt a bad hand, when it comes to parents” Well when it comes to my mom I don’t think so! Yes it’s been hard, but I think without my mother influence and love, I would have turned out a lot worse.
MissyBlueEyes MissyBlueEyes
26-30, F
3 Responses May 18, 2012

What if you lost her? The last time I spoke or saw my mother was 3-4 years ago during a breakdown in Peoria, IL. I desperately need to find her, to know she's okay..But I don't know where to go to find her, or how.

:(

that was so deeply touching. thank you for sharing.