Everyone has something that they don’t talk about. Or write about in my case. For me, who clung to my secrets like a life raft during the teenage years, opening up and telling people the personal things that make me me has been extremely cathartic as an adult. But there is still one thing I don’t write about. My mother.
In the past, my decision to not write about my mother was twofold. The biggest part was that I didn’t want her to ever get ahold of anything I wrote about her and have it hurt her in any way, because she’s my mom and I love her. No matter what, I don’t want to hurt the people I love. The second part was that my emotions on this subject run so deep that I don’t like to talk about them. I don’t like to think about them. I like to fold them up nice and neat and tuck them away somewhere where I don’t ever have to look at them again. Too bad you can’t sell your old memories and emotions in a yard sale, right? Cause mine would be long gone by now.
My mother said something to me this week that made me stop caring whether or not she is ever hurt by anything I write about her. So I’m going to write about the one thing I never thought I’d write about. And I’ll apologize now to the rest of my family because this may embarrass you, but I’m going to be writing about my feelings here, not yours.
I have to take a deep breath here before I type this.
My mother is crazy.
Wow. Okay, that was probably anticlimactic for some of you but I feel like I have to go breathe into a paper bag for a while because I have just revealed a secret I’ve held onto for the last 30 years of my life. And I know that I am a self-confessed drama queen, but I am not joking or being dramatic in any way here.
My mother is Bipolar. Which means when she is unmedicated, she is in one of two moods: manic or depressed. And when she is in one of her manic phases, she suffers from psychosis. This means that she has delusions. Most people who suffer from Bipolar disorder develop the disorder in their late teens, but it can be very difficult to diagnose, because when people are in manic phases, they seem happy, productive, energetic and creative. So it’s quite possible that my mother has been Bipolar my entire life. I have known there was something not quite right with my mother since I was 7.
I am 37. And right now I am very tired of having to be emotionally strong. I feel wrung out, like a twisted up dishrag and if I didn’t have kids and responsibilities right now, I think I would just shut down.