lost and angry living with bipolar

Shannon - posted on 05/24/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am so angry and feel so alone right now. I was diagnosed as bipolar when I was 14. I should be ecstatic that my son (age 13-bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, social anxiety) is getting to come home from the hospital tomorrow, but I'm not. I had him to admit him because he was in major need of med changes. I had to send him to a hospital 150 miles away because no one around here deals (correctly) with children who have mental illnesses. I have not seen him since he left over a week ago.

Dont get me wrong, I do want and cant wait to see him. I love him with all my heart. But I do not want him to see me like this. How can I be a positive role model for him when I'm falling apart inside? I can barely function. How can I show him that it is possible to live with this illness and maintain a normal life?

I don't want to be around anyone right now. We had a family reunion today and I couldn't even be in the same room as everyone else. My skin would crawl, and my anxiety was through the roof. Even when everyone was outside, I couldn't join in because I felt like I was suffocating. I wouldn't let my youngest son come home with me tonight because I was scared that I would loose it. My nerves are raw. I can feel the rage boiling inside me and Im scared of what might happen if I was unable to suppress it any longer. I talked to my parents for the first time in at least 6 months for my mom and probably close to a year for my dad. It didn't make me feel any better.

My entire family refuse to try and understand what living with bipolar is like. They don't believe it is a real condition. It is all a state of mind that I could control if I really wanted to. They think I do the things I do strictly for attention. Which I find amusing since I don't keep contact with them anymore and rarely leave my house except to get necessities to live. They don't even try to contact their grandkids because my oldest is too hyper and uncontrollable. (their opinion of him as a young child, they dont know how he is now) They have basically labeled him as a bad kid. They tell me I just need to get over it, to stop geeking or one of their other famous words of wisdom. They refuse to believe that it is not always within my control to maintain myself. Its not just my parents, basically all of them have turned their back on us. They stopped trying when I refused to let them take the other boys and not acknowledge my oldest son. He is human too!

RIght now all I want to do is crawl in a hole and die. I feel like a failure as a mom because it is my job to be the rock and their protector and I can hardly make it through the day. I cant take them to the park right or anything right now because if anyone else is around I feel like they are judging me and my son and then the panic attacks start. I am trying to battle the school so that they provide what my oldest needs to get an education. But they seem to be against him because hes not like everyone else.

Im fighting the urge to cut myself. I yearn to have the release that comes from watching the blood ooze from my arms or legs. I have not cut for over 6 months now. The first slip up in a few years. I do not want to do it anymore. I know it is not safe or healthy. I do not want to lie to the kids as to how I got hurt if they happen to see the cuts.

I watch my oldest son fight this condition everyday. He fights to maintain control himself, his difficulty in making friends, he fights the taunts from his peers because he is different, his not being on the same education level as other kids his age. He fights everyday to be normal, to be like everyone else. How can I let him see me like this? I don't want him to give up on himself because I'm a failure.

I am currently not on any medication. As much as I want to be I simply cannot afford to buy them. I have no insurance, I only work 3 days a week (im finding it hard to even go in on those days) and my husband is laid off. So it is all I can do right now just to provide food and shelter. I do not qualify for state aid because I make too much money by their standards. Thank god that they do provide insurance for the kids.

I feel so alone in this war. I'm afraid to ask the state for help because Im afraid that they will hear the word bipolar and think that I'm not capable of taking care of my kids and take them away. I lost them once and I simply could not live through that again. They are my life. They are what makes this world worth living in. I want to be better for them. So many people in this small hick town don't know anything about bipolar but what they have seen on tv. The few people around here that know my son is bipolar (no one knows I suffer from it too) tell me that I should just put him in a home and basically forget about him. OVER MY COLD DEAD BODY!!!

I feel like such a failure as a parent right now. Im letting my kids down.

I just want to show my son that suffers from this evil condition that I cursed him with, that there is the possibility of leading a full and happy life. That he will survive the ups and downs. I just want to show him that it is possible to have some control of his life and can do whatever his heart desires. Im scared that im going to loose it and if he sees me loosing this battle that he will feel like its impossible to have that normal life and give up on himself.

Im sorry to ramble on like that, I just really needed to vent. What I am wondering is, is there anyone out there, in this cold world, that feels the same way I do? Is there any way to lead some sort of a normal life without medications? Its not that I am against them but frankly cannot afford them. I would love to hear any tips that someone might have. I just want to know that I can be bipolar and still be a good mother.

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3 Comments

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Carmen - posted on 06/11/2009

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I am bipolar - I was recently diagnosed after I had my last child - I have never been diagnosed properly before I am almost 34 - I have 3 other children they are 13, 9 and 7 my 9 yr old has all the symptoms I had before I was diagnosed - unlike me she has more highs than lows - I go through extreme lows and don't function properly for many days - I recently had a drug change and because it took awhile for the meds to kick in I put my son who is 9 months into respite care - it's like time out for mothers who have mental illness - somewhere that the kids can go while mum gets sorted - my meds have been working now for about 1 week - I feel way better - I sleep way better and I even eat better, I don't have the depression like down that I was getting and I can function better - having a child with it as well is hard but because she knows I have it she is more open in telling me when things are not going right or when she feels like she is out of control - I don't have her on meds I control her's through her diet - which for her means very little sugar and no stimulants like coca cola or any of those drinks even if they say sugar free - she isn't allowed them I am glad that she loves water!!!
I do hope your son is okay - just remember even tho he is going through this tough time and you feel like you are falling apart - take a deep breathe and think of all the times you have been through this before and come out the other side - each time you conquor this you will come out stronger - it was a war at the start with mine but as time went by I got through each episode with her and I came out stronger and more determined to make sure I could help her - she's a loving child and it's great.

Jennifer - posted on 05/27/2009

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Shannon,
I am really sorry to hear all that you are going through. I am bipolar also and have felt just the same as you many times. I really understand not being on meds due to cost. Know this, you are a good mom just by the way you are so worried. I know that someone telling you that doesn't relieve your worry, but you are doing everything that you can to help your son.
If your family feels that way, then screw them. Screw the towns people.
You have taken the time to educate yourself about our wicked disease and you are helping your son.
Just because you are bipolar doesnt mean that the state can take your kids away from you, I would look into state bene's for health plans and even call the makers of your drugs, sometimes they will help with costs.
Please know I am praying for you and your family.
Take one moment at a time and you will make the right decisions.
Just because you dont have the approval of others doesnt mean that you cannot believe in yourself.
Take a deep breath.
Believe.
Chat with me anytime.
I feel your pain.
Sincerely,
Jennifer

Linda - posted on 05/26/2009

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My son has BIpolar disorder also. HE is 17 and a junior in high school.He will not graduate due to failing so many classes. He has an IEP and coould stay in school till age 22 but still couldn't make up the classes he needs. He will begin taking GED classes this summer, which he is actually looking foreward to.


Logan was diagnosed in Mar of 2008. He had the diagnosis of ADHD, depression, anxiety disorder & expressive language disorder since 2nd grade. Too many medications to mention were tried. But concerta, prozac and geodon were finally his coctail perscribed and did pretty well on until last Feb. then things went terrabily wrong.


He began to be reclusive, he began cutting out furniture up, shot out the tv screen with a airsoft pellet gun,began stealing and lyeing! etc. We called his therapist who hooked us up with a NEW doctor! He interviewed my hisband and I along with Logan for nearly 3 hourd and made the Bipolar diagnosis. Meds were stopped and new ones started that day. We were told that things would get worse before they got better and they did somewhat. He is doing very well on his current meds. He takes Topamax, Lithium and Geodon. He still has behavioral issues and always will (I guess). We visit his Dr every 4 weeks and a therapist every 4 weeks. It is very difficult to deal with this. I can't imagine how you feel having to deal with it yourself. Bipolar is prevalant on my husbands side of the family( 4 others have it). Someone (othe family member) must have it as well.Keep your head up and be strong. We were told that if we lost medical coverage to go to a clinic or the hospital ER and tell them that we needed Meds for Bipolar and they would give them to us. Have you tried appling for Disability. Usually people with Bipolar with the help from Doctors are certain to get it. We are applying for it for Logan due to him turning 18 soon and not being in school he will loose medical coverage from his father. Otherwise we won;t be able to afford meds for him either!


We live is a small town as well and have alot of closed minded people as well. NO ONES famly is perfect, they are just better at hiding things.


I hope that things go well with your son when he gets home.

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