Like many, I have always longed to be a mother. Mum, mommy, mom, mother, ma, mama. I know exactly when I knew it was part of my life’s destiny. It was woven into the fiber of my being and while it may not have been something I shouted from the mountain tops I did not hide the desire away either. I guess, I was just as most are. I wasn’t obsessed with becoming a mother, but I always believed it would be part of my life’s journey.
By the time I finished all my growing up and getting an education, I pretty much wore myself out. I put the dream away because I got sick. I was ill with the sort of thing that can make a person spiral into insanity while just trying to find simple answers to the question, “what’s wrong with me?”
I finally found a life partner and I couldn’t take care of myself! I had an education but it was useless as the knowledge simply lay stagnant in my brain. I could be as smart as I wanted, but it did not matter when my body was failing me.
Eventually I was diagnosed with Majior depressive disorder (MDD), general anxiety disorder (GAD), and chronic suggestive dizziness disorder (CSD). Basically I felt like I was walking on a sailing ship and it made me sadder than sad, and absolutley terrified all at the same time.
Who in their right mind would ever want to be a mother with a life like this? No one, that’s for sure!
I have a partner, a willing loving partner and now I am damaged goods. I lost my identity, my ability to focus, my ability to hold down a job and my ability to function!
Any plans of being a mother that I had were simply gone. If I can’t take care of myself how could I ever be a mother? Who would want me as a mother? Who in their right mind would pass on their genes if there was this genetic possibility that your children could experience the hell you live in right now?
That was a very dark part of my life and I denied the very fiber of my being because I believed I was not fit to be someone’s mother. I was damaged goods and I had nothing to offer. There was a lot of medication and medical testing. I cried so much I thought I had run out of tears.
Once medications stabilized and a diagnosis was made I still felt numb and isolated. Families and children, even my own relatives caused me anxiety and panic. The weight of the world was on my shoulders, but no one had put it there. I believed that I was less than everyone else. I believed that my disease was less than other ailments. I was damaged in an invisible way and while I knew logically and intellectually that disease is disease whether or not you can physically see the deficits it causes, my brain was sick and it clouded everything.
I have worked for years with professionals to find a “normal” for myself and to begin to accept myself as I am. I hate myself and that has taken a long time to say out loud or even to admit in writing.
One of the best things anyone ever asked me was, “why are you not good enough? Who said you couldn’t be a mother?” I was my own worst enemy.
If you are a mentally ill man or woman or any variation of , “who said you couldn’t be a parent? The answer is no one!”
No one can decide if you are able to be a parent except for you! Just because your brain doesn’t function like many other’s do does not mean you are anyless qualified for parenthood. People with missing limbs and genetic mutations and imperfect genes become parents all the time. You are no different from one of them. Your brain is an organ just like your liver or your heart. Those whose organs need assitance functioning are not disqualified from parenthood, so why should you or I be? We should not. We are not! We need to afford ourselves the chance to become guardians of life and teachers of young minds.
I know I am not the only person out there that has gone through this turmoil. I know many people are wading through this exact diffifulty and I want you to know you are not the only one.
Here I hope to share the joys of loving myself, believing in myself, and not allowing disease to control how far I can allow my dreams to expand.
Mental illness can be a very lonely road in life even when we are surrounded.
Hang in there! You’ve got this!