I am going to write quite openly here about supporting an adult child who has severe mental health issues. Firstly, I want to say that no matter what the diagnosis I will always love, support and be there for my daughter. Much of the time I feel completely impotent, unable to offer anything more than love and support. I cry when I am alone,unable to hold back the tears wishing that I could take on her burden, remove the pain and anguish she suffers daily. I try to understand how she must feel but I know I never will. I often wonder if she hates me because I cannot take this away?
I live in fear that each day will be her last. Analysing her every word and action,looking for hidden clues,warning signs that a crisis situation is imminent. Will today or tomorrow be the day when she decides it is all too hard? My stomach never has respite from the large knot of anxiety, fear and dread.When I see a number from home appear on my phone my heart goes into tachycardia and I feel like I am going to faint until I hear that my daughter is safe.
I regret that I cannot be with her as I must work to provide for my family.To pay the medical bills,pharmacy bills and private health insurance that allows each of us to access hospital immediately if required.I hate to consider how much the health insurer has paid out for us as a family but I know both my daughter and I are grateful and fortunate. Many do not have this luxury.
My thoughts go out to all those who are in the same situation. Continue to love unconditionally, laugh as much as possible and cherish each and every day.
I have thought long and hard about writing this post as I am a by nature a private person when it comes to discussing personal feelings or my own business. I can put on a mask and appear for all intents and purposes that all is well when under that mask I am dying inside, consumed by guilt and overwhelming feeling of failure,self doubt and generally just not wanting to be around any longer.
Professionally, I do OK. I know that I will never be considered for anything more than I am currently doing. That is disappointing and quite frankly hurts like hell but I have a job and I am the sole supporter for my family so it is what it is….. failure number one. I will not even go into why I believe I will not move any further up the food chain but I do enjoy what I do and know that it is the best I can do, never contributing less that 100%.
All my life I have tried to please others to my own detriment most of the time.I ( and no one else) have allowed others to take credit for my efforts and I have put my own feelings and aspirations aside to allow others to shine. Why could I not be more self centred and full of my own importance? This and cow tailing to the decision makers seems to be the only way one can succeed these days and I do not subscribe to the latter, so in essence I have answered my own question!
I am constantly overwhelmed by guilt as the mother of an adult daughter with serious mental health issues. (Failure number two). Am I the cause of her pain? Is this all due to my poor parenting skills? Have I failed to make her feel loved and supported? These questions have been on rewind cycle running through my head each and every minute of the day for years. Would she,my husband and family be better off if I was gone? That too is a constant question that comes to mind every few minutes. Yes, they probably would. Insurance would ensure they are cared for and would allow my daughter to purchase her own home and my husband to pursue his own interests.
I have maybe two real friends (Failure Number three) who would miss me for a short time but they have good family, careers and interests to sustain them.
My extended family would not even know I was missing for months (Failure number four) so no great loss to anyone there.
I have allowed others to walk all over me, take control, surrendering all the decision making to others for the sake of a mediocre, peaceful existence( Failure number five).
Can you see where I am coming from? I am not going to go out and top myself today nor do I seek sympathy from anyone but I am stating the facts as they are and they don’t make for a happy life. How I long to be held and assured that yes, you are OK.