I remember just staring. Staring at her so helplessly. They don’t teach you in kindergarten how to deal with your mom’s panic attacks. So I just stood there, watching her pace the back porch over and over again. How could the person who is supposed to be my rock and my everything just take a “time out”? I’m not supposed to see her like this.
Effects Of My Mom’s Mental Illness On Me
This was the first but not last panic attack I remember. I try not to count how many times I had to act like the parent in our relationship. By the age of six, I had to learn that my mom won’t always be there for me, that I can’t say the truth of how I feel because it would just make it worse. Rather, I should say “I love you mommy” even if at that moment I’m just so mad and disappointed in her.
I get so mad at myself at times that I can’t remember all the good and love my mom gave me as a kid. Maybe it’s because there was a long period of time when my mom didn’t live at home. I remember how I went to school sad because my dad had to brush my hair and he didn’t do it right or how excited I got when my mom cooked Shabbos food because she was finally doing a “normal mom thing”.
I know my mom struggles with so much. She feels out of control at times because her thoughts get the best of her. She doesn’t want to make me sad or cry. That’s the last thing in the world she wants. But she just can’t control it. I get so mad at myself for getting mad at her.
“Just calm down mom. You’re fine. This just happened last night; I don’t feel like helping you again.”
But she can’t.
“I want to honey. I’m not fine. I know this happened last night and it might happen tomorrow as well. I need your help.”
Why You Need To Read This
I’m writing this to show you that mental health is a real thing that affects not only the person with it but everyone around them. I know that there are amazing people and treatments that can help and I urge you to encourage anyone you know suffering to get help. My mom never got help, but it’s not too late. I wish she could go seek help because I know that she and my entire family would benefit from it.
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