Wonderfully honest writing from Susan on How Motherhood Changes Us on experiencing ambivalance as a mother and parenting a child who is bipolar. The link is via Tedra and this site is a seriously remarkable project – really, check it out.
When you have a special needs child, the anti is really front and center all the time. How can we get to it all this week — the 50,000 therapy appointments and still get to our jobs, and that sort of thing.
How has this experience affected my relationship with my husband? It’s certainly taken away most of the whimsy, and not the romance. There’s a level of intimacy that comes with being in it together. Although I don’t want to romanticize it.
How do I cope? I smoke pot. [laughs] I tell the truth. The most liberating thing for me is that I have good friends and family that I can tell the truth to, and not feel judged.
I do a lot of things that other people do. I try to walk in the woods, and I meditate. I try, really, self-consciously to enjoy the things about my kids that are enjoyable. My husband and I are pretty good at reminding each other that this is nice, this is good. We have a good life. Look, how well he’s doing. She’s so pretty. Whatever it is. Look at her report card.
But for me the lifesaving thing is that I have friends and I can call them up and say my kid is motherfucking crazy. He’s crazy. My kid is acquainted with the police department, because at the height of his illness before he was properly medicated, he would have delusions and he would run away. He wasn’t being petulant or difficult. He thought he was being pursued. I mean, he really did!
I’ve also been questioned by the police because he was having a tantrum of such epic proportions physically, and I was trying to restrain him therapeutically and it was scary to people.
It’s very helpful to have friends who say to you, “Yeah, I know that’s some serious, serious shit.” I also swear. It’s my favorite vice. I swear in public which runs a little counter to my otherwise dignified position and sweet visage, and it feels great.