Monday, July 25, 2011

questions/answers 2

I am really interested in answering these questions from my new friend, anonymous. They are well thought out and have me really thinking. I have had a recent leg injury so I have been laid up. Please pardon the short breaks between posts.

For this post, I would like to focus on my own mental illness. The following excerpts came from 2 different comments:

Okay, so I started reading back a bit, and it looks like your daughter did inherit your mental illness, and your mom also seems to have a mental illness. I noticed that you feel that your daughter will be better off than you were because of the availibity and information etc (plus your own experiences). How do you feel knowing that she will battle this life long illness? Do you encourage her to have children of her own- knowing that in all likelyhood they will face the same challanges?

What I am stuggling with is that your mental illness would be (in my opinion) a bad environment to raise a very well adapted child in, let alone a child with any difficulties! So what was the motivation behind the adoption? Was it so you could feel loved, and have a family? Children are really sensitive and perceptive - they would be very aware of your mental state... And your mental illness makes it so much harder to parent in general... So why adopt?

I have had suicidal ideations for years. I have only shared that with a handful of people. My mother does not even know how very far they go. When I do think about it it is usually when I am really struggling with stress or with feelings of failure. My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder causes me to want things to be perfectly solved in a timely manner. If things go wrong, I stress and fret and worry. They worry causes me to feel badly about myself and focus on my failure to make things go the right way. This is when I get frustrated and angry with myself. If it goes far enough or I am in a deep enough hole of depression, this is when I wish that truck driving down the road would hit me. Or I would like fora freak accident to happen that would simply take the pain away. I have never considered doing something that would actively cause my death. I am not sure if that makes sense, but to me, it does. I am not trying to make it sound better than it is, I am just trying to explain.

As I think about it, my suicidal tendancies tend to be more of the self loathing variety and less of the "world sucks" variety. I tend to want to die to be done with feeling like a failure. I hate myself sometimes and I would prefer it would just be over. I don't look at it as though it is hindering my life, just something that I have to keep on top of so that it does not take over.

My OCD is certainly something I can live with. I have been treated for my OCD for 10 years now. Most people would have no idea that I struggle with OCD. Once again, it is something that I have to deal with an understand, but not something that is so terrible.

While I have tried to be quite outspoken about my feelings here to make other's aware that there should be no shame in mental illness, I live a pretty darned normal life. Most people in my life have no idea I struggle with suicidal thought. My husband was the first person that I really spoke the feelings to. We sought counseling and that is when we found out I was OCD. So many things fell into place at that time! Since that time I shared these feelings with 3 people whom I am close to in real life and a couple of people from the blogging world. That is all. The last person I shared them with was quite shocked and said she would've never guessed. I have known her for 10+ years and consider her a close friend. Most people know I am OCD because I share it openly. My OCD tendencies that linger tend to be beneficial. I am the one people go-to for organizational help etc. I am not the crazy cat hoarder who lives down the street! :)

I do feel pretty terrible being responsible for my daughter having OCD. Her OCD does take on a different form than mine does. She does tend to have more of the compulsions than I do. She has tics that lately are under control, but she has struggled with in the recent past. I think her OCD may be a bit more intense than mine is. While I have found that I feel quite responsible for bringing her into this world and giving her a portion of my mental illness, I don't regret having children. I knew that possibility could exist. I also know that I am better equipped to deal with my own OCD than I was even 5 years ago. Knowing that she has OCD, knowing our treatment options and addressing them head-on seems to have given us the upper hand. Even though she is still quite young, I have tried to teach her to be empowered by her illness (or more likely power over her illness) and not to be afraid of telling others her brain works differently than theirs does. We talk about not being made from the same cookie cutter. We equate it to the oldest's difficulties and talk about knowing a little more about what he feels like. While it may not be a blessing to have OCD, we can look at it in a more positive light if we try.

I have told my husband an several occasions that having the oldest definitely changed my position on having children on psychotropic meds. We have laughed that perhaps that was his purpose for him coming into our lives. Had he not been here, I would have had a hard time embracing meds for both of the bio kids. I totally believe that their medications have allowed them to live their lives to the fullest and I am not sure I would've felt that way before adopting the oldest.

(I am recovering from an accident and am laid up for 6 weeks! I hope this makes sense as I am on a bit of medication. . . I reserve the right to edit later if I don't feel I was clear on different ideas)


  1. I am so sorry you are laid up! I hope you heal quickly.

  2. Just a little note to say that I hope you are feeling better, and healting well. I also hope it is sunny and nice where you are. Have a good day :)

  3. This is a hard question... But it seems like the mental illness in your family becomes more pronounced in each generation. Do you think your daughter will have SI as well? Will it be more severe? There are entries in this blog where you sound very depressed - does your daughter also cycle like that? How do you deal with it? Hope you are feeling better.