Monday, November 22, 2010

SNaP oUt oF IT!

What are you doing!?!
                                            You want to be treated like an adult then act like one!
Get over it!
STOP!
What have you done for me lately!?!
What the hell is wrong with you...

I was so angry at Kenny last Friday. He's been doing really well, but there are times when he does things that make no sense at all. He spent his entire paycheck in one day, without paying me what he owes me. Yep, I was pissed, big mean mama pissed. So pissed I called him at work and chewed him out pissed. Then I found out that he had dropped my gas lid and broke it when I tried to put gas in my gas tank and couldn't. Again with that really really pissed feeling! I have no strength in my hands so I am at the gas station yelling on my cell phone at hubby and son #3 to come to my rescue (the lid/handle was broken off, but the screw part was still in the tank with hardly anything to grab on to turn it). The man in the next stall heard me yelling and came to my rescue.

I knew when I yelled at Kenny on the phone he was upset. I even called his boss to give him a heads up in case Kenny started acting out. After I left the gas station I texted Kenny asking if he had broken my gas lid. I wanted him to know I was mad. Mad that things were done AND that he hadn't told me. He apologized for the gas lid. My text back to him "I love you but you are a butthead!" He knew things were okay and he went on to talk about what happened with the money.

So, this brings me to why do parents act and say the things they do. This is in response to at least two blogs I have read where the person with mental illness is angry at their parents for how they were raised and are still being raised even as an adult. I was going to write this post before the deal with Kenny on Friday.

I learned around 30, when I was seeing a therapist for some issues that I was having, that I had to let the past go or it would consume me. For me I didn't have to forgive or forget, but I had to let it go and live today. I also had to realize that my parents made some stupid mistakes, but people do that. And if I know different I don't have to make the same mistakes. I will never disown my parents or a family member. They are mine. I gave a talk at church once comparing my family to my tea cup collection, which I love. I have a large variety of teacups, some are very expensive, some are very old, some have cracks, some have chips, some are mismatched (meaning the saucer and cup aren't matching patterns but I got them as a set, so a set they will stay). These are mine and along the way I will add to my collection. I have my own collection I don't want your collection or your dust, or you chips, or your cracks. I know how to take care of  my collection.

What does that have to do with why parents treat their adult children with mental illness differently. Well not much but I wanted to share another view point.

Back to parents. I gave my son mental illness. I am mortified that I did this. Mental illness runs in my family and although I have dealt with depression for many years the thought of my son going through it deeply saddens me. BUT, I still get upset with him! I know what is happening in my mind, but I don't know what is happening in Kenny's mind. It scares me. It worries me. Yes, it embarrasses me at times. People know normal and they know crazy. The majority of the world lives with normal everyday, but only a few of us get to deal with crazy. We don't know how to deal with crazy and if we are not willing to learn then we will be at a great disadvantage. Parents and family members don't always know where to go for help. Parents depending on the era in which they were born just don't do crazy or therapy!

Help Them! Nicely! Give them a book to read. If they do internet give them a site to look at. They are stressed. They are scared. They are worried. They feel bad and they just might not know how to deal with it appropriately for you. Have you (the one reading this with mental illness) ever had to worry that your child might kill themselves, have a drug overdose, harm themselves or others, drive while under the influence or in an unstable state? No, we don't get it. We don't want to get it! When we get it it makes it so real.

Kenny is my baby. My little boy. I gave birth to him. He was in my body. NO I DON'T WANT HIM TO HAVE MENTAL ILLNESS because I know he is hurting and I can't stop it.

So however your parents react to you try to remember that first they are your parents and I truly believe that the majority of them love you very much and wanted you from the minute they knew they created you. Second, they are acting how they were taught. It might not be how you think but it is the way they think; it's not right or wrong, it's different. More than likely if you asked them I bet they would say they are scared and saddened.

And we know for fact that a lot of times those emotions of scared and sad can come out as anger, confusion, and frustration.




2 comments:

  1. Wow, thanks Suzie, amazing post, and no you are not alone!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Suzie, I'm so glad you wrote this. I sense so much fear and anger but also guilt. Please don't blame yourself for Kenny's illness. He may have inherited a gene from you but you did not force this illness on him. You didn't choose it for him just like my parents would never have chosen this for me.

    It's so important as parents and adult children (especially when mental illness is involved) that we learn to treat each other respectfully but firmly. We must hold each other accountable for the relationship and each work to improve it. As you know, this can be very difficult and some of us don't do it well.

    What I hear you saying is that you're still trying. You're doing everything you can think of to keep this relationship going and to support your son (even when that support sometimes manifests in ways he doesn't like). Don't give up! You won't always get it right but, my goodness, just the fact that you are there loving him has got to be worth a lot.

    Since my first parent post, I've gotten some great feedback and had time to think. My relationship with my parents is slowly improving and they are even visiting me for a few days now. I had to get away from myself and see them from a different perspective. A loving perspective - one that you helped shape. When we have disagreements now, I work hard to speak calmly and not from anger. I try to remember that my father was an abused child too and that my mom most likely is sick herself. I state my needs clearly and communicate my feelings (hopefully) without blame. So far this has provided us with a positive framework for resolving our differences without all that emotional baggage and defensive posturing.

    My parents have made a lot of mistakes but I know they love me. It's going to take time to build trust again but we are working on it. I don't think I'd be doing that except that I've learned so much from you parents who share your experiences. I've learned that my parents are humans too and they deserve my best.

    You helped me realize that.

    ReplyDelete

I really enjoy comments and hearing from new people but if you are here to complain or challenge my personal thoughts and feelings go elsewhere. How is that for blunt!