Here We Go Again

I apologize in advance if my ramblings this evening sway too and fro. If they seem to be scattered. My thoughts are scattered so it would be fitting. There is, however, a method to my madness. I can only hope that I get my point across. That someone will take something away from my words.

My heart is heavy this evening. As my mother lies in a hospital bed several hours away I am numb. She overdosed yet again. For 25 years we have watched as she battled personal demons. I am pretty sure that she has been battling these demons for a lot longer than 25 years.

I have only been able to forgive my mom recently. I have spent my adult life angry. Angry at her. She grew up under dismal circumstances to say the least. Her mother was absent for most of her childhood. She was raised by her father. He did what he could. She had no mother. She had no one to teach her how to be a mother. My mamaw was a nurse. She lost her nursing license when she was caught stealing medication. She also had a heroin addiction at some point. My mom walked in several times while her mother was shooting up with a friend. Yes, my mom grew up under dismal circumstances to say the least.

She did, however, have two daughters that needed her desperately. We were not important enough for her to get past the hell that was her childhood.

My sister and I have gone through life without a mother.

Every momentous occasion in my life is coupled with an attempted suicide or her being committed. My son’s birth. My graduation from college. My daughters wedding. Those are just a few.

This evening, a family member asked if my mom was committed around the time of my daughters wedding. It had been a question “weighing heavy on her heart.” Yes, she was committed around my daughters wedding. (She was also committed numerous times over a 25 year span.) She went on to say that she “knows why my mom was committed around that time. It was because her heart was broken due to the fact that she wasn’t allowed to come to my daughters wedding. I knew what was coming next. “Julie, I have to ask, why didn’t you let her come to the wedding?” She knew but I guess she wanted to hear it again. Without hesitation I told her exactly why. She ruined my wedding. She dictated who would be at my wedding, leaving my dad and all of those relatives out. She bought my wedding dress, I had no say. She told me I didn’t deserve a wedding. So, my mom was not welcome at my daughters wedding. “What did Casey think about that?” Well, my kids have seen my mother a handful of times over the past 25 years. There has been no relationship. So why would Casey have cared if she was there or not? This person was laying the October committing at my feet. She is dead wrong. She had no right insinuating that I caused it. I have not lost one ounce of sleep for not inviting my mother to my daughters wedding.

If you haven’t walked in my shoes, you have no right to tell me how I should feel. How I should act. What I should have done. And if you have been in my shoes, you do you and I’ll do me. I can guarantee you that our outcomes are going to be different and that is ok.

I have spent the past few days looking for articles or blogs from my vantage point. From my sisters vantage point. What I have found is that there is much “out there” talking about what it’s like to have a mental illness. There is not much information “out there” regarding what it is like to be the family member of someone with a mental illness.

Are people scared to talk about it? Are they afraid that they might offend someone? I am not scared. I will tell you what mental illness does to family and friends. I will be candid.

Maybe, just maybe someone who is suicidal will read my ramblings and understand what they are doing to those around them. Maybe my words will resonate with someone who harbors guilt or anger. Maybe they will realize that they aren’t alone and their feelings are normal.

Mental illness is real. It is ugly. It is destructive. It is soul sucking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 comments

  1. Julie,
    I have learned that we are all entitled to our own feelings and right or wrong we make our own choices in life. Your mom made choices while you were young which affected your relationship and your children’s potential relationship with her. It is not for you to shoulder the blame for the responsibility of her choices. In today’s society, everyone wants to give others a free pass despite their actions. What happened to accountability? Responsibility? I am sorry for your pain and loss. It is hard not having the love and support of a mother.

    • Thank you. Therein lies my anger. Where is the accountability for her? I could have been a real loser based on my childhood but I decided to fight. To break the cycle. It’s a choice. I vowed I would be everything she was not. Twisted motivation I guess you could say.

  2. Julie you are not alone. I am with you. Somehow I took the blame for my mother’s repeated suicidal attempts. Somewhere inside I felt responsible for my mother. I will not anymore. I found in counseling, and just recently, that I was put in a position over and over to put.my.mother first and me last. Sure maybe her attempts happened to fall around the big events but there were other ones too that happened just because, right? And while we can look back at our mother’s lives and say ok this why she does this and this why she didn’t do that. But at the end of the day, we should matter. And we don’t have to put ourselves or our children in the path of someone else’s destructive behavior because of duty or honor. At least this is what

    • Yes mam! We matter. Putting our family in the path of destruction is so unfair. I have been condemned by two people for my choices regarding my mother. I’m at peace with my decisions. I won’t lie. It wasn’t until recently that I was prayerful regarding my decision. But through prayer I have acquired peace. I am human and harbor anger even though I have forgiven but the anger isn’t as soul sucking as it once was. I feel guilt at times. I feel a lot of things. Sometimes I don’t feel anything at all. We should have mattered my friend. We should have mattered.

      • My mom has this habit of ruining my birthdays. Weirdest thing ever. Just when I thought I’m a grown up and she’ll leave me be, she did it again last week. And as much as I didn’t want it to hurt..it did. And you’re right. There’s anger. But it’s time for healing. Telling my story as I have been, I can see now how each of the big events, the loss, the regret, the addiction all ran together stemming from wanting to fill a hole she created. We are very fortunate not to be our mothers Julie, my counselor says it all the time that statistically I should be repeating her stuff. But praise God, he changed us. Be well my friend. And yeah I’ve had my sister and my dad on my case about stepping away from my mom. I’m not better than them they are not better than me. I just choose to have boundaries.

      • You speak my heart so often. Why do they have to leave their mark on special days? We made a choice. We fought to break that cycle of craziness. Boundaries are a good thing. I’ve been using them in more than one relationship lately.

      • If want an answer to that question, for me, she did her stuff on my bday as a way to get attention. She also does the suicide stuff, (this is my mom) for attention. But I also believe there’s a spirit of suicide that whispers in ears. Especially drunken ears. But hers is attention seeking because she never really does it. She takes a bunch of pills, call the cops, when the cops get there she refuses to go. They take her anyway and put a 72 hr hold on her. Last year she went over 10 times this same way. I called the social worker and said when does the state get involved and commit her. They said they can’t. She won’t get help outside of the 72 hrs, there’s nothing that can be done.

      • Yeah it has. Not easy though. Hope you’ll stick around after my next post on Monday. Many big mistakes and regrets to be revealed. But we can’t demonstrate God’s beautiful grace without showing the pit he pulled us out of. Prayers tonight for you! I’m coming to Texas someday to have a cup of coffee with you!

      • I ain’t going nowhere girl. We all screwed up and have screwed up in our own special ways. You know I’ve put stuff out there. You come to Texas, I’ll take you fishing!

  3. I learned just yesterday in my counseling session. I matter. You matter. Your children matter. I love when you say “you do you and I’ll do me” there’s so much freedom in that statement! I’ll be praying for you. I’ve been where you’re at tonight and I’ll be there again. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It never was and never will be your fault.

  4. Everyone has a past. I thank you and admire you for sharing yours. Having family members with mental illness is and can be very disruptive and toxic. Sometimes we just have to walk away… I have had too. It is not because I don’t care as I am sure yours is not. It is because it is not healthy. We love them but have to love them from a far. Not raising your chidren around such toxicity takes courage and you should be proud of the break in that cycle. And for anyone and I mean anyone to insinuate that you not wanting this toxicity around on what is meant to be your daughters special day is completely blind to the world around them. I would have to question them, would you allow an addict at your child’s wedding? Would you invite someone you didn’t really know for that day? Would you ask a woman who has been raped to invite her rapist to her wedding? No, you know why because they would want to protect their child. Oh how great it must be so willing to blame others for our mistakes. Finally, if childhood at least formative years are what makes a person who they are by somes beliefs then I should be strung out, doing God knows what. While your mothers childhood may have been dismal, she had a choice to seek help and she chose not too. You chose to break a cycle and again love I commend you! I am sure by the ramblings you know who this is typing. I love ya girl – Burt Reynolds lol dualing banjos

  5. ((((( HUGS )))))) WRITE ON! I have traveled a some what similar rode-keep stay strong in our Good Lord and don’t let the devil try to condemn you for a tough decision you had a right to make!

  6. Big hugs Julie! I agree with what some have already commented. We can’t control others actions, and at the end we must go on to make decisions based on what’s best for us and our own families. Regardless, forgiveness is for ourselves not for the other person. It allows us to move on more peacefully. I had to make tough decisions similar to yours because people from my husband family continued to comment on our children, the many children we had, insinuating I was crazy for having ‘many’ kids, etc. The list goes on but not worth my time. These people 1- don’t provide me with money and 2- don’t care for my children. Done! At the end the decision was made to distance ourselves. It’s been tough! But the judgement and the stress over that had to stop. I love with chronic pain, as you know, and I couldn’t handle the extra stress. The only thing we can do is pray so that God may continue to give us strength over things we can not control. 🙏🏽

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