Written by VinceM
When I was little I had no clue that my mom may be a little different than most. It wasn’t until I reached my teenage years that I finally started to put together a picture of why there have been so many harsh arguments in our house throughout my life.
All moms get mad, especially when a child does something wrong, but it’s the method my mom expressed her episodes of anger that caused me, my sister, and my father to wonder about her mental state of mind.
One snow day in December I was celebrating a much appreciated day off from school. I shoveled the snow from the driveway of our new house, to buy myself insurance from triggering a fight about me being lazy. If you had a bipolar parent, then you know exactly why I would do chores, which I considered to be preventive measures to protect my day from being ruined by bipolar mania.
I finished the shoveling and finally had a chance to unwind and watch some daytime TV, of which I hardly got to see. That day Jerry Springer had a show about people who were bipolar, and that’s the day I realized that my mom is most likely a bipolar person.
People who are bipolar basically have two different sets of personalities from what I’ve gathered. One moment they’re happy go lucky, then if something triggers their mood, they snap into an angry and vengeful person. In a way the term Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde truly symbolizes what it can be like living with a person like this.
Watching my mom go through these mood swings throughout my life worried me and it also had a huge impact on the way I grew up and thought about myself. Just imagine a parent telling you horrible things like “I wish you were never born”, when you’re a young kid growing up.
Her crazy mood swings made me question myself in many ways, because she would comment about every trait I had and belittle me for it. It was like living with a ticking time bomb for all of us.
When you’re young most parents encourage you and tell you that you could achieve anything in life. My mom would tell us that we’re losers, good for nothing kids, and that we would never accomplish anything. She said things which I don’t care to even write in this story, but I’m sure you can use your imagination of what my family had to endure.
It’s safe to say that my self esteem was very low growing up and I badly craved attention from outside sources; since my family life was so crummy. This led me to hanging out with friends that most parents would consider as part of the wrong crowd. At least to my friends, I could be great in some ways; although, I admit the greatness I exhibited then was juvenile and mischievous.
My dad worked long hours and he hardly had any input about our upbringing. During my 30 years of life, my dad only said one thing to me that can be considered as fatherly advice. The words were “Son you have never tried for something giving it a full 100%”. He told me this during a time where I felt like giving up on a dream of mine and I was acting careless about my duties. Those words were the only words that ever meant something to me coming from him. I wished he told me them about 15 years earlier though…
Is my mom a bad person? I think she can’t help controlling herself, it could be a chemical imbalance in her brain, but even though I tried making her listen to reason when I was an adult about her problem; she would go into denial over it. She’s not a bad person, but it’s hard to take her seriously.
My sister and I always walked on egg shells growing up and our childhood was definitely impacted by the way our mom was raising us. We were both very shy, because we lacked self confidence after being emotionally ripped apart by our mom a million times.
In my mid twenties I was living by myself a few cities away from my parents, when I had an epiphany. I realized in one day that everything I felt, thought, and did only defines my past and it has no bearing on my future. The epiphany released me from the limitations that I was fed in life and it allowed me to become a whole new person. One day I’ll write my epiphany story here on Story Peeps.
After my epiphany I considered it a mission of mine to go to my parents house and bring up the ugly past. I wanted to let them know that I will no longer hold any grudges of any kind against them and that I understand why everything happened. I also wanted to tell them that I forgive them for everything, what’s done is done.
A few days after my epiphany, I jumped into my car and went to their house. Every time I came over, my mom would prepare an awesome home cooked meal and trust me after living on your own for five years, a home cooked meal is something that you really miss.
After dinner I began the most uncomfortable conversation of my life with my parents. I brought up the hurtful things that have been said to me and I told them that’s it’s okay that it happened, I understand, and I forgive them. My dad left the kitchen table at least 5 times, because he was so embarrassed about the things that I brought up. My mom denied saying most of the hurtful things she said, but deep down I knew that she was accepting what I was saying and doing there.
The epiphany caused me to fix my relationship with my entire family and since then, our entire family is much better for it. We are much closer these days than we ever were and after begin betrayed so many times by friends, I truly value my family.
My mom changed a lot from the whole process, but she still has days where she throws fits and starts fights over nonsense. I stopped trying to change her after I realized that you cannot change somebody, they have to change themselves.
Today we all get along, but I wouldn’t consider ourselves The Brady Bunch. I’m happy that everything happened the way it did in my life, it gave me the opportunity to wake up from limitation and discover new traits about me that I never knew I had. One of those traits is that I like writing. I especially like writing about my life and sharing those thoughts anonymously through Story Peeps; hoping that the people who read these stories benefit from them in whatever way they can.
Look for my upcoming story on my epiphany and what triggered it.
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