Posted 5/3/2007 9:50 PM (GMT -6)
My daughter and every mother's story you will read about where the daughter has bipolar and the mother is struggling to get help will be the same. I'm sorry to tell you that, but more than helping your daughter you've got to make sure you take care of yourself first. That sounds selfish, but right now I'm devastated financially, spiritually, emotionally, can't function, can't think of anything, just my daughter and no matter what I did the result was the same - she just can't live with me and I cannot control this thing. I've done and said and tried everything you've mentioned and what everyone else has mentioned and I want to warn you about people giving advice that are bipolar because their point of view will not work for you and leads to further guilt. Guilt is not something you should be owning or accepting from anyone. Medication is great, not a cure all. Lithium worked within 10 days on my daughter's hard to treat bipolar, everything else made her sick, shaky, fat, etc. It is not dangerous. Read up on it. They want to convince you to try new meds because they make more money off of them. Lithium is about 12.00 - total cost a month, not insurance cost. I'm telling you this now to maybe give you a chance to not go to the ends of the earth trying to fix something that you cannot. Just take one day at a time, do not change your morals, your household, your job, your home, your friends, your likes and dislikes for this disease, you will end up with nothing. There will be no one to pat you on the back and martyr's usually don't live long. Please listen to what I'm saying, I'm telling you the truth. Take care of your needs first and foremost and then do what you can for your daughter and let anybody and everybody who will help, listen or comfort YOU do so. Don't waste one minute of your life wondering what you could have done differently and do not ever convince yourself that you are to blame for this in any way whatsoever. Don't also try to convince yourself you are some kind of superhero that has got the patience of a monk and are willing to suffer the rest of your life trying to fix this. It's not fixable, it's not even livable, not for a mother. Let her go to her father's and let her stay there if you want to remain in her life. She will eventually be out of yours if you keep her at home, or you will lose your sanity, your job, your money, the relationship you have with your friends, neighbors and other kids. I'm not kidding. Your child is not a disease or evil or unloved, but your child will do you in if you don't get help for yourself first and her secondly. You are the one that needs all the help - no one ever bothered to tell me that, give me that or see to one need of mine and now, even after 5 years of struggling with every kind of problem you can imagine, I'm back to square one and she's at her dad's again, the one who was not kind and compassionate or guiding or sympathetic, the one who was in denial, not affected and did not stop his life. Your daughter will play off of your protectiveness and you will fall into many traps. The war is really not against bipolar, the war is with yourself. You've got to make the decision to either leave her at her father's or put her in a treatment center. Otherwise, trust me, there will be no daughter to see much less ever enjoy the company of. She'll dismiss you, you use, lie about you, embarass you, break you, shock you, repulse you, and nothing will ever be enough. Well, look at me. I'm not telling you to sever your ties with your daughter and stop caring, I'm telling you nothing will ever relieve your pain and your misery if you have to live in it everyday. You can fare much better with visits. There will always and mean ALWAYS be manipulation. Be careful of manipulation and just try to have some fun here and there with your daughter - it will be enough as time goes on. I hung onto my daughter so long, so tight, suffered so much, and did it all alone that it is at the point now, she's 16, that I can no longer even be in the same room with her. The hurts are too deep and the healing will be a long time coming on my end. However, she has shown no sign whatsoever of hurting over me not being around, and she is still focused on getting what she wants and nothing else. Go live your life lady, smile, be happy and don't let this kill you like I let it do to me. She's been gone a month this time and I'm just now smiling again. Most times when I laugh, it hurts my face because it had been so long. No one can live with so many hurdles. I could tell you stories that would drop your jaw. But, the bottom line is the same. I've been reading these things for years and all the books and studied every medication there is, alternative and otherwise. I had binders of information, help resources, you name it. The bottom line, my hope, was that there was an end of that road. I'll tell you what no one else will, there is no end of that road. As long as you are owning your daughter's every move, every word, you will suffer. The only solution is to hang tight to yourself and make a list of what you will and will not do and then stick by it. Don't let any conversation deter you from what your heart and mind tell you to do and do not by any means not do something that you thought you should do because of the fear she puts in you about cutting or hurting herself. That's a hold she will have on you. My daughter has hung off a bridge, jumped in the car on the freeway with boys she didn't know, cut herself, assaulted people, ....... she held me hostage from reacting the way I wanted to many times because I read some stupid book that said "keep the situation calm"..... "talk to them this way"...... blaa blaa.... one time she was hanging out the bedroom window and instincts yelled "well, you better jump otherwise I'll throw you out" - guess what the freakin leg came back in the house. You see what I'm saying. Don't use lessons in books, don't use everyone's advice, use your own, but this is something easy to follow, just simple little things. Take care of yourself and make a list of what you will and will not do and how far you are willing to go and make sure you are not trying to prove yourself noble and ditch the guilt. Everyone of those things have me now on a long recovery back to smiling and socializing. One more thing, it's OK to be mad. You are entitled to feel any way you want - you aren't the doctor, you get to be the patient's mom and you get to be the patient sometimes too. Take care, write back if you aren't completely appauled by my highly unsympathetic comments. That's the thing that always got to me too, everyone looking at me with that sympathetic wirey little smile. What would that sympathy be there for, my suffering. I'd rather them had been helping me and then we'd be doing nothing but talking and laughing together. I didn't want anymore sympathy = I wanted legitimate concrete help with the situation. I didn't want concern or bad advice, I wanted specific things I could do. I hope I gave some of them to you tonight. Take care. PS YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE AS A MOTHER IF ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN LIVE WITH THE OTHER PARENT. Anybody questionning that or ridiculing you for that - get away from them - they are ignorant and not your friends.