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The experiences of children with mentally ill parents.

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Crazy as a Fox Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

"I always feel unaccepted, never good enough or deserving of love, I have major trust issues"

"I always thought it was just me"

What a relief to read your stories! It's only since I've read them that I see what an impact living with my sick mother has had on every aspect of my life. She has never been diagnosed. "Crazy as a Fox" is a term made for her. She is brilliant and outsmarts every professional that may diagnose and help her. I think she has borderline personality disorder, narcissism, ocd and she is without a doubt a hoarder. I live in the US. Today I received a letter saying that Indian child welfare has received a report about my family. My mother has contacted them 12 times in the last 8 years. I have been investigated 5 times for my parenting choices and each time have been found a loving, competent mother. I filed a restraining order against her 2 years ago because she called the police demanding to see my children while they were in day care. She showed up at my daughter's school every day last week. I allow her limited visitation with my children because she talks badly about me to them and is inappropriate and basically crazy. She told my younger son that she would love him more but I won't let her. Other members of my family have told me for years to cut her her completely out of our lives. This past June I let her stay in my home the entire month because she had no where else to go and yet she's telling my daughter's teachers that I don't allow her to see her grandchildren. I just turned 40 and it should be obvious to me that she will never be a mother to me. In her eyes I'm not her daughter but her enemy. In my heart I want a mom! Someone who has my back no matter what, who will help me and support me and help me raise my kids. I too have issues that I think stem from a lifetime of living with a sick woman. It is almost impossible for me to say no. Although I have a fulfilling life with awesome support n beautiful children I always feel unaccepted, never good enough or deserving of love. I have major trust issues. I think it's time for me to cut her out of our lives before she breaks us. Good luck to you all and thank you for sharing your stories! I always thought it was just me

Rosie
USA

 
Crying Myself to Sleep Print E-mail
Written by Christieh   

"Embarrassment Shame Abandonment"

"Broken Face to face with the little girl inside"

I'm now 29 years old and finally realizing what that means. I use to just tell people that my mom is crazy and laugh. Turns out she's not just selfish, over protective, negligent and mean. Nope, they aren't character flaws. They are not just caused from her years of alcoholism. Or from living with my bi polar, alcoholic dad for 20 yrs. She has bipolar, manic depression, ocd, bpd and ptsd. I never really knew. How come growing up no one talked about it? How come everyone is so quite when it comes to mental illness? I'm glad there are websites like this out there. Where people like me can talk about our experiences. I wish I had help and support as a child and as a teen. I needed it so bad. I still have that scared, shameful and lonely little girl inside and it hurts to think about my childhood. I wish I had someone to help me understand why my mom ran away when I was 14 to live on the streets with a guy that she met in a mental hospital. I wish I had a lot of things growing up. Mainly...I wish I had a mom. It was so much easier when I kept her out of my life. A couple years ago I let her talk me into staying with me and my family. It was suppose to be temporary till she found a place. Like I would do for any of my friends or family. While she was here I realized a lot. That she can't function on her own. That she needs far more help then anyone has ever given her and it scared me because that meant I was trapped again. All of these childhood memories that I kept hidden inside came flooding back. Of crying myself to sleep at night, all of the embarrassment and shame, and feelings of abandonment. I was the only one who could help her but I was the one that was and still is hurt the most by her. I got her the help she needed. I pushed through like I always do as a survival tactic...and now she's better and on her road to mental health recovery......but I feel broken. I'm face to face with the hurt little girl inside me and its hard. My heart goes out to any child having to suffer through those painful years of living with mentally ill parents. I thought I overcame it all. I thought I was just like the more "normal" people now. Turns out in some ways I'm just as hurt as I was then. I'm just good at covering it up. The way I had to at school. The way my mom tried to cover up her illness. Now I know she's not just crazy.

 

Christieh

 
Narcistic Parents x 2 and Bi Polar Mother Print E-mail
Written by Lisa   

“ I learned to give up on trying to reason or help my mom see what was real ”
“ I often felt lost, without feedback to help me define how I felt or who I was ”

My mother had an un-diagnosed (until I was 18) bipolar disorder. She also has a narcissistic personality disorder. My father’s “dry drunk” behavior included frequent unpredictable rages and criticism. My parents separated when I was 6 weeks old, but my dad stayed close with calls, letters, and visits, even though he usually lived in another state. Visits with my dad were always a mixed bag, and although I do believe he did the best he knew how, I spent a lot of time honing my survival skills while trying to fend off his anger about something I’d done or some other family member had done. His intelligent criticism was brutal and often cruel. I grew to count on at least one extended tirade each visit during my school years (an almost violent rant about my mother’s impossible behavior, during which nothing I could say or do would appease the rage), which ended in my having a disabling migraine for most of a 24-hour period. I often felt anxious and extremely insecure. My mom's narcissism rendered her largely incapable of authentic interactions. She had difficulty reflecting genuine, appropriate emotions in daily life. It made me feel unseen, unheard, frustrated, and sometimes lost. I learned to give up on trying to reason or help my mom see what was real, as it was an exercise in futility - and I often felt lost, without feedback to help me define how I felt or who I was. Even 25 years after having moved out of my mom’s house, I still find it difficult to know what I am feeling, and still find it nearly impossible to ask people for things with any confidence, or to even just tell someone no. My sense of fear and insecurity persists. When family life feels out of control, my husband says I micromanage or over-control situations. I look for healing and peace through meditation, talking to good friends and occasionally a therapist, and in group classes of various types. I'm still figuring it out but feel as if I'm making progress toward a more secure sense of self. I reach for my own healing by paying attention, journaling, asking for help, and being grateful for the joy and peace that are all around me in daily life.

Lisa

 
I feel angry and lost Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

Feeling emotionally messed up
Abuse, Trust, Sisters Relationships

Well there isn‚t really a situation any more. I guess my little sister and I made it through a childhood of trauma and abuse but we are doing ok. We have a few underlying issues with relationships but we do our best to fit the profile the best we can. We no longer have our mentally ill violent manipulating mother in either of our lives anymore. We are better off for it let me tell you.

I actually released her grip from my life on my 30th birthday after she attacked me and I decided that was the turning point for me to never let another violent person into my life. My sister at the time wasn‚t talking to me but she was still talking to our mother. They seemed to have a relationship that i could never understand and i guess it sometimes made me think that i was the one with the issues and maybe i should try to get rid of the chip on my shoulder.

I just never trusted my mother. I believed that one night at my house she slept with my sisters boyfriend but i never had any proof so that theory stayed with me along with the guilt of wondering why i felt so strongly about something i never actually new was true or not. The fact that i thought my own mother could or would do something like that to my sister or her 4 grandchildren really made me wonder about myself and where these trust issues were coming from.

Just recently when my sister decided that 3 years was long enough to shut me out because of her own issues and we started to slowly try to build something we never really had before "a bond" then we found out through my sisters ex boyfriend that in fact my mum had not only slept with her boyfriend and the father of her children but had an affair that lasted 2.5 years.

Closure is kind of one word that describes it all BUT why does it all hurt so much still. I am happy that i have my sister back and my nieces and nephews I just don‚t have a lot of faith in relationships anymore. Why now after going through so much and now having everything that i want and nothing to worry about am i now ANGRY. After all these years i have been emotionally messed up but not angry but now i feel angry and lost. I guess being pregnant and that happening straight after finding out about my mother doesn‚t help.

I am interested to know more about you guys. It may be good for my sister and I to get to melbourne at some stage to join in and meet others from similar backgrounds. That may never happen but its just nice to know there are others like us. We are thinking of you all.

Yours sincerely

IamMe

 
TRAPPED ! Print E-mail
Written by Robyn   

I was trapped! in some ways that child in me always will be. There was no escape from my schizophrenic mother and there is always that sense deep down in my psyche that part of me will always be there-in that house-where emotions were petrified where the horror surrounded you with the night and any unimagined nightmare could and would come to life at any rapidly approaching second. I am fifty now and that training in hyper-vigilance served me well in dealing with a child of my own that never slept- staying awake and alert for days, months and years-just try me. Thank goodness that my baby grew up to be seemingly stable, intelligent, successful and happy. Of course you are petrified again that you can’t protect your own baby/child from experiencing any fear-that is an unbearable thought that they might suffer the way you did. The world never quite remains real-because you always carry that "other" world with you-that world for me where my mother was trying to kill my father with a carving knife-and by association me-because he was my lifeline. In a way I was already dead because you are dead inside when one moment there is someone whose mind is so disturbed they are rocking, scratching the wall, there are police, ambulances, or worse still no-one to help-and then-then you are shuffled out to school where you pretend all is as it should be. I know how that feels, it feels like you have no voice, you cannot be heard and what would you say if you could anyway-there are no words to express the heartbreak, the cavern of madness, the emptiness and panic you feel. My heart goes out to any child living with a parent who is mentally ill, there are those of us who have walked in your shoes-who were alone in that world. Life has bought me many beautiful wonderful, magnificent experiences but you don't want to hear that when you are still trapped in the horror-you only want to hear that yes I know -I know it seems like the days, the years will never pass, that you are desperate, truly desperate to grow and escape but mostly for now that someone will "do something" to save you.

Robyn
Victoria Australia

 
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Bulletin Board

Crazy as a Fox

"I always feel unaccepted, never good enough or deserving of love, I have major trust issues"

"I always thought it was just me"

What a relief to read your stories! It's only since I've read them that I see what an impact living with my sick mother has had on every aspect of my life. She has never been diagnosed. "Crazy as a Fox" is a term made for her. She is brilliant and outsmarts every professional that may diagnose and help her. I think she has borderline personality disorder, narcissism, ocd and she is without a doubt a hoarder. I live in the US. Today I received a letter saying that Indian child welfare has received a report about my family. My mother has contacted them 12 times in the last 8 years. I have been investigated 5 times for my parenting choices and each time have been found a loving, competent mother. I filed a restraining order against her 2 years ago because she called the police demanding to see my children while they were in day care. She showed up at my daughter's school every day last week. I allow her limited visitation with my children because she talks badly about me to them and is inappropriate and basically crazy. She told my younger son that she would love him more but I won't let her. Other members of my family have told me for years to cut her her completely out of our lives. This past June I let her stay in my home the entire month because she had no where else to go and yet she's telling my daughter's teachers that I don't allow her to see her grandchildren. I just turned 40 and it should be obvious to me that she will never be a mother to me. In her eyes I'm not her daughter but her enemy. In my heart I want a mom! Someone who has my back no matter what, who will help me and support me and help me raise my kids. I too have issues that I think stem from a lifetime of living with a sick woman. It is almost impossible for me to say no. Although I have a fulfilling life with awesome support n beautiful children I always feel unaccepted, never good enough or deserving of love. I have major trust issues. I think it's time for me to cut her out of our lives before she breaks us. Good luck to you all and thank you for sharing your stories! I always thought it was just me

Rosie
USA