2012 I’m Blogging About Mental Health Day

It’s I’m blogging about mental health blog party day! it is the day I am most proud to write about my struggles and hopefully reduce the stigma associated with it.

Did you grow up with a parent with untreated mental health problems?
I did. While Mom was not diagnosed there was definitely something going on and it eventually lead to the dementia that took her. Dad often tells me that I had it easier than my siblings because I remember Mom as she was before she got sick and my younger siblings don’t have that to fall back on.
While it is not a competition to see who had it worse, I disagree with my Dad. I felt like I was abandoned. To have a Mother who professed love and was very loving to go to one that said you weren’t family and withdrew from everything was not easy for a 10 year old to digest. I turned to food to fill that void. 
I try to forgive her behavior and think it is the disease but to this day, I have trouble thinking what was the disease and what was her coldness. To my 10 year old self, I withdrew myself. I did not want to be hurt by her so I tried to avoid her as much as I could by tending to lock myself in my room. While my remembrances of this time tend to be generalized, I do remember feeling not loved by my mother. 
Looking back after she died, I had a hard time focusing on happy things. I ended up finding “happy” pictures but it was hard. 
Did I inherit my depression problems from my Mom? Maybe. Did they form my life? Certainly.

Am I moving on from what happened? I am trying to. The actions of our parents have a huge affect in out lives, one that to this day, I am trying to overcome. 

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16 Responses to 2012 I’m Blogging About Mental Health Day

  1. Angela says:

    I can relate to this post so much Jen! Although our childhoods were not the same, the things we are struggling with as adults are very similar. I wish you much luck on your journey!

  2. Jen, I can see that we have had similar experiences as children. I am so sorry that you had those experiences with your mother. It is so difficult to NOT let our past dictate our present. That is what I'm working on so hard now. I don't want the depression to have anymore say in how I live my life.Good post, and thank you for what you do to reduce the stigma and educate others.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I just came accross your blog. Like you, I have a mental illness that is riddle with depression. I have been concertrating on diet and exercise to elivate some of the symptoms. I've enjoyed reading your blog! http://thespringcommitment.blogspot.ca

  4. Spanner says:

    Well written, you have my support and best wishes as always.Onwards and upwards.Spanner x

  5. WomanInLove says:

    I agree to that, actions of your parents. You might feel you are an adult and strong. But somewhere in the nook of your heart is sitting that devil, which has roots to what you experienced in childhood. Though I have fabulous mother, yet there are some moments and memories of past which refuse to go

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Great post! My Dad has untreated mental illness so I get where you're coming from.

  7. Jen, thank you for once again participating in our blogging day. Shared stories and experiences–and people joining together to read and connect–make a difference. Thank you!

  8. Jen says:

    Someday we will get together for a coffee 🙂

  9. Jen says:

    I have spent a lot of time ruminating about the past and I really try to avoid it because it will drive me crazy but I felt the need to write about it given the conversation with Dad.Yes, I try to steer him away but that is what our conversations are about.

  10. Jen says:

    I have started to follow your blog. I look forward to reading it 🙂

  11. Jen says:

    Thanks Spanner 🙂

  12. Jen says:

    Thanks! We have a lot in common.

  13. Jen says:

    This is my 3rd year participating and I look forward to it.

  14. Jen says:

    I have spent a lot of time dwelling on the past and while I try not to, it is hard to avoid the past entirely. I try to remember the good times a well.

  15. Mental health is riddled with depression, guilt and anxiety. Dealing with feelings of guilt and anxiety can be challenging, even overwhelming. Please check out the latest blog at frompanictopeace.com to find help and encouragement in dealing with this very human emotion.

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