Guest Blog for CABF: Letting Stuff Go

My parents were with us over the holidays.  It was a nice time – they live in Arizona and us in Chicago, so we haven’t had the ability to spend the holidays together in five years.  My parents understand Tim’s condition well and do a great job of understanding how to handle his moods and idiosyncracies, for the  most part.  My mom is a very organized, ordered person and, as understanding and involved as she is, some of Tim’s behaviors and quirks drive her batty.

Read the rest at the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation website.  

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  • Diary of Big Al, Excentric Man January 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    One of the hardest thing so far has been the inability of my mother-in-law to understand and accept our kids and myself as living with mental illness. My father in law does understand. She makes snippy comments and doesn't support them as well as gossips to the extended family. What she doesn't know is all the others in our family see the signs of her own mental problems. It's a classic case of denial. It is hurtful when the kids are younger and things get back to them or she comments on the computer but as they grow, they see the truth. Now they go out of their way to make her believe the most strange things. It makes me sad at times because of the wonderful relationship I had with my grandparents from my dads side. In contrast, I didn't know my Grandparents from my moms side and could always feel that loss. I am happy to be in my grandkids life.

  • luvsnv January 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Picking battles is one of the biggies when dealing with mood disorders, along with expectations not being equal among family members. My son "got away with" things my daughter could not. It often was because of picking battles.
    I can fully identify with the daily struggle of getting the child to school, especially the part where the school wants the child to conform, yet is quick to confer consequences on the parent – timeliness of morning arrival being a big one!
    Everything in relationships is give and take. While my husband does not have a mood d/o, he is VERY messy and I am very tidy (control issues anyone?). Husband is truly wonderful otherwise, so for my own sanity (his too) I have finally resigned myself to cleaning-up the coffee area each morning and putting his tools etc. away "properly" when he is done.
    Great blog, as always!

  • Chrisa January 20, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Al, I'm sorry you're having to go through that. I did a post last year about my brother who has completely cut us out of his life because he feels I'm airing "dirty laundry" like Tim's condition is something to be ashamed of. Not everyone will get it. Not everyone will be supportive. I have a lot of friends with kids with mental health concerns, and nearly all have had to cut ties with some family member. Sucks, don't it?

  • Chrisa January 20, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Thanks, luv, for stopping by and reading – and commenting!