It's I'm blogging about mental health blog party day! it is the day I am most proud to write about my struggles and hopefully reduce the stigma associated with it.
Did you grow up with a parent with untreated mental health problems?
I did. While Mom was not diagnosed there was definitely something going on and it eventually lead to the dementia that took her. Dad often tells me that I had it easier than my siblings because I remember Mom as she was before she got sick and my younger siblings don't have that to fall back on.
While it is not a competition to see who had it worse, I disagree with my Dad. I felt like I was abandoned. To have a Mother who professed love and was very loving to go to one that said you weren't family and withdrew from everything was not easy for a 10 year old to digest. I turned to food to fill that void.
I try to forgive her behavior and think it is the disease but to this day, I have trouble thinking what was the disease and what was her coldness. To my 10 year old self, I withdrew myself. I did not want to be hurt by her so I tried to avoid her as much as I could by tending to lock myself in my room. While my remembrances of this time tend to be generalized, I do remember feeling not loved by my mother.
Looking back after she died, I had a hard time focusing on happy things. I ended up finding "happy" pictures but it was hard.
Did I inherit my depression problems from my Mom? Maybe. Did they form my life? Certainly.