I Don’t Hate My Parents

Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately. Not sure why that is – maybe since I’ve been putting a lot of energy into the fiction and critiques over at Scribophile? I would like to think that, but I fear it’s been the depression. I feel like I look at WordPress and as of late all I have is nothing but the same rants. If it’s getting old for me to write it, it must be getting old for you to read it.

On that vein, I took Scholar Owl to his med clinic appointment yesterday and he had his own little rant. It was enlightening. He revealed he doesn’t want anything to do with my husband, his stepfather. He also revealed that he’s convinced that my dad and I hate each other – which isn’t the case.

So in thinking about this and what I post here I’ve realized that if my son thought this, chances are people following my blog might be thinking the same thing. So I need to make it clear here, just like I did with my son, that almost everyone in my family suffers from mental illness.

I grew up in a mentally ill home. I grew up in an environment where the stigma was high enough it wasn’t allowed to talk about it. It wasn’t allowed to mention the existence of mental illness. I wasn’t aware that my mother had depression until AFTER I graduated from high school. This barrier of non-communication didn’t break for me until AFTER Tuxedo Cat was diagnosed. Even then it was still sort of taboo until AFTER I was diagnosed and my sister and I started forcing the topic. It wasn’t until then I became aware that there was a real possibility my father has a mood disorder. He resists it.

So I grew up ANGRY and FRUSTRATED and IRRITABLE. I remain so. But I don’t hate my parents. Not really. Do I hate situations? Yes. Do I hate some of the things that get said? Yes. Do I hate the fact that this shit keeps repeating? Hell yes. But I don’t hate them and I never will. This is the beast that is mental illness. This is the dynamic of when you have multiple people with mental illness at various stages, with various levels of functionality, living together in an uncontrolled environment. This is not a clinical, inpatient setting. This is us “in the wild” if you will.

And the leading issue in all of this is me having gone most of my life with undeveloped or nonexistent boundaries. Now that I’m receiving treatment and I’m developing these boundaries, backlash happens. I will inevitably fuck shit up in trying to figure out where to draw my lines and hold them – preferably politely. And people in my life who are used to me being a certain way are going to cry foul. As fucked up as that sounds, it’s normal for this process. You do not go from having no boundaries to suddenly having them perfectly and suddenly everyone being okay with the rules being changed.

And it’s more complicated than that. Not only am I trying to do this, but I’ve moved into their house while I’m doing this… I’ve have basically run into a field full of land mines under fire. That’s what I’ve done to myself. And this is what my son is watching and he is perceiving it as hate when that isn’t what it is. It’s a push/pull power dynamic that may or may not resolve where it is a parent/child dynamic as well.

You never really stop seeing your baby as your baby. It took me having children to understand that. Yes, my oldest is still my baby just as much as my youngest is. But then again I had doctors tell me I would never have children. Medical science said they shouldn’t exist. But they do. I fought for the children I have. And nothing raises my hackles faster than someone telling me I don’t care about them just because I don’t parent the same way they do. To all the people who says this shit to anyone else: “Fuck. You.” You never have the right to utter those words. And if for some freak reason I ever say it, please slap me.

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Hate My Parents

    • Thank you. It really bothered me when he said we hated each other and I had to explain it to him right there in the med clinic office. It was a huge relief though to have the nurse support my answer. Mental illness complicates everything when life is already complicated. And it doesn’t help when my son wants to see everything as black and white. Nothing in life is ever black and white.

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