Thursday, March 20, 2008


There is one thing that I don't talk about. It is my daughter Brianna. She is beautiful, but erratic. She is good hearted but can resort to deceit if she feels pushed into a corner. She loves others deeply, but is very selfish. She is bipolar. She is also an adult. This means that if she decides she doesn't want to take medication, she won't.
She doesn't want to.
It is painful to be the mother of a child that cannot be helped. I can't help her. I can't really talk about the situation to others, because others tend to try to figure out where you've gone wrong. I have 'helpful' family members who will tell me what I have done wrong with Brianna. After a while, you just learn to shut up,
hold on,
pray hard.
I was at an career symposium. My table was set up across from two very nice ladies from the library. We got a few minutes to talk. We talked about the kids we'd met that day, and then the talk naturally turned to our own children. One woman began to tell about the rough times she'd had with her daughter, now in her 30s. She mused, "She does so well for awhile, but you can never let your guard down..." and I knew. It just burst out of me, despite the fact that past experience had taught me that I should avoid speaking about it altogether. "Is your daughter bi-polar?" And we stared at each other. Without saying a word, we knew the pain of the other. It was huge. And there was no need for talking. Without asking for comfort, I was hugged. "The worst part is the guilt," I said. And the guilt was understood. "There is no perfect parent, but you did not 'make' her bi-polar." We discussed the fact that alcoholism is a disease, but the alcoholic either drinks himself to death, or he quits drinking. Bi-polar people also have to make a decision. They either work to control the chaos, or they can let the chaos rule their lives. You've got to encourage them to make the proper choice, but the choice is ultimately theirs, as much as you love them.
I avoid speaking about Brianna. Not because I'm ashamed of her, but because people cannot understand. Sometimes they are cruel. To her. To me. They cannot understand unless they've dealt with it too. In the middle of a crowded gymnasium, two people understood completely. And both were comforted.
And, for once, I was glad I did not avoid speaking about Brianna.


PaintedPromise said...

why is it that people with no clue as to your situation will think they can tell you what you should be doing about it? you won't find that here. just... HUGS!!!!

jeanie said...

Oh - I know that tune (only it was my ex and schizophrenia).

What is amazing is there are SO many people out there who, when you mention MI, suddenly open up as to how it has affected their own family in some way.

Yes, hugs to you.

Mikey said...

Ahhh, hugs here too. We do know... I've been called bi-polar a few times, and taken the meds. Now I channel my chaos, instead of letting it run me. Channel all energy, and when I get low and realize I'm not getting out of bed, I take a half anti depressant and it's enough to kick me in the butt and get me going again. I think each person just has to find what works for them, and I pray she does. It takes time. In the meanwhile, HUGS to you mom, cause you give a damn. And that means a lot

Alison said...

You are a fabulous mother.
Bi polar is an illness, not a choice, and NO ONE is to blame.
Hugs from me, as well.

Pencil Writer said...

I'm still working on understanding a lot of MI. My Mom has dealt with depression for years. I have a sister, don't really know what her diagnosis is--hope she gets one--and works on healing. Son-in-law is bi-polar. Love him. Pray for him and my daughter and their children. It's a major challenge, but he's a very hard worker, husband, and dad, but still has to really work on things. (Who among us doesn't?) Prayers for you and your daughter, Brianna. One day, we will be more than recompensed for all our trials and tribulations. Thank Heaven, God knows all the ins and outs.