She Sees Herself in Me

I have Bipolar Disorder. That’s not unusual. I also have fibromyalgia. Having both of these diseases makes my life very hard to deal with sometimes, but somehow I always manage.  It takes a lot of endurance and I deal with a lot of pain, but I pull through daily.  I used to work high paying jobs in the medical information management field but now I am lucky if I can consistently make it through 12 hours without having to go to bed for a little while to deal with the pain and sickness my illnesses cause me.  Sometimes I actually have dreams that I am still working.  Yes I dream of work.  I loved my work.  It was rewarding and I actually thought it was fun.  When I had to stop working a part of me died.  Some days I feel as if my life has no meaning.  Most days I am just thankful for the blessings I can still count.  I’ve had a long full life with many twists and turns, ups and downs.  I am happy that I have what I have – a home, two beautiful girls and a great extended family that loves me.  If I never accomplish anything great again, I accomplished greatness when those two girls were born.

It never occurred to me not to have children because I could be spreading my unhealthy genes to them.  I always wanted babies.  When I saw my girls, when I looked into their eyes for the first time, I knew my life would never be the same.  Boy, I had no idea how right I was.  My oldest daughter (Monster) is now 13 yrs. old.  My youngest daughter (Munchie) is now 10.  Both are growing into wonderful young ladies.  However there are dark clouds that hang over their heads. 

You see I did pass on my genes, as we all do.  Unfortunately they got the short stick.  Monster was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when she was 7 yrs. old.  She has major anger issues and mood swings.  After her first suicide attempt at the age of 8 (and a short hospital stay) she was also diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  Her anxiety has turned into a major problem with social anxiety.  Because of this she is no longer able to go to school.  Instead she stays at home and attends virtual school.  However because of her ADHD she gets bored and frustrated a lot and it is hard to stay on task.  With her ODD we argue constantly about the things that need to be done, including school work.  This is very frustrating for both of us.  I realize she needs an education to better herself.  She realizes it too but lacks motivation to get it done. 

She gets angry with me if I try to force her to do anything and yet she gets upset and depressed when nothing gets done.  It’s a constant battle.  Last week she was upset because she wanted to do something with her life, she wants to make something of herself, yet she struggles to accomplish the smallest tasks and it is very hard on her.  I encourage her every opportunity I get but my words ring hollow in her ears.  I feel like she looks at me and sees herself, someone who has the potential to have everything she wants and yet falls short every time due to weakness.  I’m not saying I am weak, and neither is she.  We have both endured great struggles, tragedy and loss in our lifetime.  Unfortunately she is still very young and has suffered so much already.  It has broken her down and she has very poor self-esteem. 

Where do I see us in 10 years?  I would like to say I see us putting all our issues behind us and both of us getting the dreams we seek.  She has so much potential to do great things.  She wants to be a graphic designer.  She’s good at that sort of thing.  She just can’t see what I see in her.  Have I failed her as a parent?  If she is so convinced her dreams are unattainable, have I truly let her down as a mother?  I just want her to be happy – happy with who she is and happy with life.  

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