It’s really hard for me to accept my mother’s mental illness. For as long as I can remember I’ve thought that she would be alright if a certain thing could happen. If she got a better paying job, had more education, ate better, or made some new friends, then she could start to get better. There had to be something that would buoy her. Unfortunately, nothing helps.
She makes a lot of bad decisions. I have to parent her all the time, and it just zaps my energy. I’ve been parenting her since I was 11. I’ve decided that I’m going to stop trying to be rational with her. I keep thinking that my explanations of how the world works will help her make better choices. It helps my 18 year old brother. But when she makes a mistake, she martyrs herself to it a million times.
It’s so hard to let go of my hope that she’ll heal. I remember when she was sharp. I remember when she was smart, when she had the answer to every question, when I looked up to her and I was her world. Or did I imagine that time? Was her omnipotence the product of my six year old innocence? I question my memories of her – those memories of life before I turned 10.
I’ve often told myself she would get better if only she would get help. She’s been seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist for roughly two years now. I don’t see any progress. She’s proud of herself for going. I am, too. I fear it’s too little, too late.
I never know what to say when people ask me how my mom’s doing. People often ask about her either because they know she’s crazy or they know she has lung cancer. The prognosis for the lung cancer is better, so I often limit my discussion to oncologists and lobes and x-rays. It’s less complicated.