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Sorry for all my posting. I think I'm going to have to try harder and dig deep for acceptance.
Hi to you lovely people on the forum,
I feel the need to apologise for my posting. After years of keeping a lid on it and just ploughing forward and not sharing I've reached out here for all the 'add ons'. One of the things I've struggled with is that it comes from a regret I have, not sharing with my own mother when she was here with us. I lost mum when the children were little, my son had just turned 5 and my little girl was almost 2. I was at a vulnerable time I guess 4 years after first receiving my diagnosis after the large storm. My mother was so ill with life threatening secondary cancer and I wanted her to enjoy the children. I suspect when she came over with food and helped with my washing etc that she might of known something was wrong although I was pretty good at hiding. She knew I couldnt leave the house apart from medical visits for my child. When she asked how things were I talked loudly and urgently and she did enquire if I was having racing thoughts but I said no. I regret not telling her my state of being later. I regret not being able to share the details with her but do think to this day her instincts might of known and she was keeping an eye on me. My sibling has the same diagnosis and she was aware of that. His condition is much worse than mine, my mother had felt immense guilt at his condition and I never wanted to burden her with the knowledge of mine once diagnosed. All I ever wanted her to see was me coping, so I hid my condition and suffered inside. When mum passed my husband thought I'd go backwards in terms of my coping with mental illness but it didnt.
In short, she passed not knowing. It would of been very easy to disclose now that I'm doing better but at the time with her in the middle of oncologist appointments and what she was facing absolutely no. I protected her from it but I live today knowing that I believe perhaps she might of known. The thing is we can cover up, its not always obvious. I would lie to her when she asked how much sleep I was getting etc, I believed if the house was impeccable and everything in order no one would know. People can suffer dramatically inside but from the outside it can appear normal. She did enquire though why I wore the same tracksuit for days on end but insisted that my little boy had a new suit after each feed. So, I live with regret in not sharing, another 'add on'. All I can do now is know that I did my best.
Thank you for listening to my inner thoughts.
Sharry, you're amazing!
You had so much to cope with and you did it! Just dealing with one part of your story would have been enough for most people. Our illnesses in a very peculiar way make us stronger, we fight harder, look deeper and probably give ourselves a more difficult time that we need to .
Of course your mum probably knew, that's what mum's do, but she respected your decision and it made what she was going through easier too. It's clear you both loved each other very much which is all you both needed to know. I'm so sorry you lost your mum.
How are you and your family managing now?
Hi Sharny. Knowing how sick your mum was, I believe you made the right decision to keep your illness from her. Had she not been so ill, you possibly could've shared more. The knowledge, of her illness and how she was suffering, if you had told her, it's possible she might not have been able to cope as well as what she did. It's extremely possible she knew, but you helped make her time easier, because worry about you might have knocked her further. Cancer is bad enough, without fearing other bad news that worries us. My ex SIL has cancer, she may not last the year. Her parents are elderly, the mother has dementia. Her personality means both her and her hubby are slowly being ostracised by the rest of the family. My ex SIL has apparently told her father, she can't see them much because she simply can't cope with her mother's personality change. My ex SIL has enough to cope with constantly having chemo, in and out of hospital. If her mother was in control mentally, she could visit more, but her illness is such, like your mum, it's best she doesn't become more agitated by unnecessary nastiness. Your mum didn't have the nastiness to cope with, but knowledge of your illness, might have been too much. I'm sorry you lost your mum, but knowing you kept your illness from her for the right reasons, would now be a comfort. Be assured as 'Nonny' said, your mum probably did know, but no questions also means so sorrow at not being able to help you more.
Hi Nonny, thank you for the lovely words and nice to meet you!
I agree with you saying we give ourselves a hard time, indeed yes! I do believe we become stronger for experiencing mental illness. My mum was sick for 10 years and I was there for her all along. I hold onto that, eventhough I had depressive illness I did what I could whilst working etc before I had children. I felt when I had my first manic episode the need to hide it from her. Yes I do believe with her prior knowledge of my brother and his debilitating struggle that she could of possibly been aware from some of my signs. Prior to the birth of my first she was sick but going through all the treatments etc, she set us up with loads of target clothing, cot sheets, blankies, and managed knitting the winter baby jumpers. I was well looked after in the antenatal and post natal period, particularly with food for my husband and I, ironing hubbies work suits etc. I like to think that she wouldnt want me adding all of this extra anguish on to my illness. I think she would want me to keep pursing my health, but I still regret not telling her. My instincts tell me that when she deteriorated in the last two years before passing in 2008, I did the right thing lightening her load of concerns.
Our family today is doing ok, my Dad is self sufficient but I still help him out cooking meals sometimes and mopping his floors. My brother unfortunately is in a dire way with Bipolar, he's on heavy pharmaceutical assistance and has a more severe state. I take the kids and hubby to him when he can cope. He is ashamed and has trouble facing the family. It's not his or anyone elses fault. We grew up in a stable, loving environment with plenty of opportunity. My dad was an engineer and mother a housewife who both showed us the values of hard work and precious family life.
Nice chatting x
Hi Pipsy, thank you for your words of reassurance.
I'd like to think that I did the right thing by Mum. It was chaos with her visits in and out of hospital for treatment, then the physical side to the treatment she suffered. My father was a great support but her deterioration over the last leg of the 3 years was quite confronting. She was able to spend time with my kids eventhough the youngest doesnt remember her. I pull out photos and Christmas decorations she made every year, some of which she made with both kids and the oldest remembers it. I try to remember that her 5 years knowing my son and almost 2 my daughter were at least free of the very palliative care side of things. She was able to come over and talk and play to a certain extent with the children. I guess my instincts in keeping her from extra were probably right as you mentioned, I just feel sometimes she would of been the best person to confide in.
I'm sorry to hear of your ex sil and her pain. I guess it makes sense that when a person is going through all the treatments etc confronting them with more concern is pretty hard going.
Nice chatting, thank you.
I am really glad to hear that your Mum got some quality time with your children before she got bad. I think you made the right choice for her and that was a really beautiful thing to do.
I nursed my Mum through 18 months of lung cancer and secondary brain tumours. While she tried very hard to be "there" for everyone I know what a hard struggle it was knowing that she only had limited time left (she was initially told only 3 months). I know Mum spent a lot of time worrying about how I was going to be without her.
I think you saved your Mum that worry. It was very kind and unselfish.
On the flip side I empathise in that there are so many things I wish now I had talked to my Mum about. I think Mum's will always be the best person to confide in but I bet she would also be very proud of your selflessness. Perhaps it was she who taught you that.
You carry her with you.
Ever so sorry about your mum xx
It's not easy, nursing your mother for 18 months must of been difficult to say the least and how beautiful you are for that. Seeing you mother worry about how you would be must also of been distressing. Your mum would of drawn comfort from you nursing her and how beautiful that is. That takes a very strong person to do what you did.
It was a long time ago now, 11 years this year.
How are you and your family now, if you don't mind me asking?. No pressure to answer at all.
Hi Sharny. Don't worry about calling me Pipsy. Some of my more cheeky friends call me pipsqueak, so I've learnt to answer to most things. In remembering your mum through Christmas deco's she made and even looking at your kids, your mum knew more than you think. Mum's are usually wise to everything their kids suffer, but they seem to know when to talk and when to quietly accept. You have actually inherited your mum's wisdom, compassion, thoughtfulness. Through this, you will now have learnt with your own kids. Some mum's are inclined to 'blunder', but most have wisdom enough to just 'be there'. Your mum had this wisdom. You will too.