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Can't Turn Back Time

My kids are growing up. I know it's inevitable, but I want time to stop. I know there are many parents that feel that way, but for me it's heartbreaking. 

You see, I missed out on a lot of precious time with my kids while they were growing up. For the past 10 years it seems like I've been inside a hamster wheel of being sick, getting hospitalized, becoming well, getting sick again, managing it at home, getting well, becoming really sick, going away for treatment, getting well, etc. For the past 10 years, most of my energy has gone towards managing my illness. My kids, unfortunately, just received the leftovers. 

Don't get me wrong, I gave my kids as much attention as possible. I loved them as much as possible. I just feel like it wasn't enough. I feel an immense amount of guilt as well as sadness that I wasn't there as much as I wanted to be. 

My kids assure me that I am a great mom and even though I get sick, they always know I will get better. It seems like they know this better than I do. 

I try to remind myself that I still have time. My son is 16 and my daughter is 13. In reality though I only have a few more years before they will both be out of the house and off to college. Thinking about that makes me want to cry. 

I am more stable now than I've been in a while. I still have episodes, but they are shorter and not as severe as in the past. I wish I could turn back time and really be there for my kids. Now, I look around and my kids are off with their friends, studying for school, going to activities, or spending time alone. I look around and they're not at my feet looking for attention. I miss them. 

I've talked with my therapist and she says that they still need me, but in different ways. It's still important that I am there for them. I agree. There are still parent teacher conferences to go to and band concerts and dance recitals. There are still times I need to take them to the doctor or bandage cuts. There is still advice I can give and curfews to enforce. 

So what now? I try to schedule as much time with them as I can. We saw a movie together last weekend and try to have dinner together every night. 

I also realized I need to change my lifestyle. All the time I've spent on trying to be well, I've missed out on having a life. My kids are still more important than anything, but I need to start learning who I am outside of them. I need to get back to work and develop or resume some hobbies. 

I can't turn back time, but I can continue to go forward being the best mother that I can despite having this illness. 

Comments

I was sick with kidney disease. and bipolar depression for 4 years. I had surgery on my kidney and the kidney pain is gone since April 2014. Since September I have been stable mentally. My 14 year old is still mad at me. I was stuck on the couch with depression or kidney pain from 9-10 until a couple months before his 14th birthday. I feel so guilty and at th he same time mad at my body for not allowing me to mother him the way he needed. My 17 year old is warming up to me. My 21 year old was daily telling me "You don't deserve to live in our family" ect. I had to get her out of our home because she just piled more guilt than I was already suffering from. She also has bipolar.She lives with her Grandmother now. I even cried writing this.

Let me say I have bipolar I have fingernails too but i am not a fingernail nor am i bipolar. I Have bipolar what a difference that makes when you think about it like that! It started in the summer of 1977. I was 20 then. I am ok now and i am 58...it was one Long road I was on. I wouled like to think that my family had good intentions but the rjoad to hell is lined with good intentions i have 1 sister out of 3 that I will talk to. the other two and my parents made life hellacious. I have one son and i missed so much time away from him because they feared i might be getting sick again...he hates them...and i feel jipped out of his life. Poor litle thing wondering at 3 where his mommy went. 25 years later i wonder where he went? He is living the life that I wanted for him. Anyway..after years off & on lithium
lithium i av e stage 4 kidney disease.?Next stage is dialysis. So...finally in 2000 they gave me a doctor who i thought looked like peewee herman. Lol. He put me on antidepressants and zyprexa this has worked well for me. i have been healthy since. I keep the family at a distance because that is best for me. They have each other and hope theybsoon forget about me.. I am happy healthy & back together with my husband....i had a happy ending

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