Friday, August 15, 2014

Parents and Mental Illness

Sigh. Blogger has once again eaten a post. I'm sure I saved it.

First of all, Storm, my emotional support kitty has been sick. I thought she was better, but then my friend and I witnessed her peeing on my stuff again. So it seems like she's still sick, unfortunately.

So, as I mentioned in my last post, my parents are no longer quite so in the dark about my conditions. Are they still in the dark? Yes, very much so, but not as much.

I get a few of my medications through patient assistance programs. These programs are when the drug companies send free brand name medication to your doctor when you have under a certain income and don't have insurance. That's right, I'm on multiple medications with no insurance. How is that related to what I just said? Well, I've been home a long time. Which means I need my medications. Which are particularly difficult to get when your doctor is 100 miles away. So my doctor stuck my drugs in an envelope and mailed them. Twice.

The first time my mom saw the package and asked "What boy in Columbia is sending you pills?" I somehow got out of that one by not really answering. The second time, about a week later, he sent me another envelope filled with pills. And my mom asks me again, "What boy in Columbia is sending you pills?" I tried again to get out of it, but with no success. I asked, "Would it make a difference if it was my doctor?" She basically said no. I thought her knowing it wasn't birth control would make it better. It apparently made it worse.

They then lulled me into a false sense of security by not bringing it up for several weeks. I thought that maybe my parents didn't think it was a big deal. Until they took me out to lunch in Columbia. They started out by telling me that I am slow on the medication. My mom has even said she's worried about me driving at all on them (I don't drive anyways). However, they don't even know when I started taking the meds. They think I've been slow this summer when I've been on the medications since December 2012. I have been on several different kinds, sure. Maybe I just don't want to be slow, but I don't understand how it can be my meds.

Secondly, my mom really likes to ask really awkward questions that either I can't or don't want to answer including: "Why didn't the last one work?" "How is this one helping you?" and "What were you feeling before?" I made the mistake of telling her I had tried one before and it didn't work. Although, of course, as you know, there have been more than one.

We also had other conversations including:
Mom: What do you think is causing this?
Me: I don't know.
Dad: Do you think it's a chemical imbalance?
Me: Yeah....
Mom: Why is that what you think?
Me: I don't know.
Mom: No really, who told you that's what it was?
Me: No one. It just is.

This is one that they have not dropped. They keep asking me if x told me it was a chemical imbalance. Including the classes I'm taking at school. See, they think it's all college's fault that I'm this way. Well, that's what my mom thinks. My dad thinks I'm in a funk. He told me all I needed was to travel for three months, and I'd be better. I guess they're both waiting for me to snap out of it. But blame it all on college. At least this way I don't have to deal with them knowing how bad I was before college. I'd rather them not know I was crying six to eight hours a night, under their roof, and they never noticed. I'd rather them not know a lot of things.

Mom: One of my friends said medication just took the edge off, is that what you think?
Me: Yeah....
Mom: But what does that mean???
Me: What?
Mom: When she told me that I didn't know what it meant and I still don't know!!!

I'm not sure either of them really know what depression is. And I'm pretty sure I'd rather let them think I'm in a funk than know how bad my life really was for a very long time.

And then things like this happen, in the library my mom found a book called Beating the Blues and tried to give it to me. Said, "Look! It's about," whispers, "depression." I know she's just trying to help, but seriously.

Also, another thing she said, in front of my horrified friend, "We just want the real you back."

What is this real me that she's talking about? Last summer when the real me couldn't get out of bed and was in constant indescribable pain? The real me who cried for countless hours in the dark because she didn't realize the lights were off? The real me who was peed on by a cat and didn't care or move? The real me who didn't remember to eat unless prompted? I don't know what real me she's talking about. I am better now than I have ever been in my whole life.

As if that isn't subtle enough my dad on our vacation said "well we're open to therapy, but not psychiatrists." And then when my baby sister said "doesn't she have one?" and asked what the difference was between them and therapists he said "they prescribe medicine that people may or may not need." Also, I said something about having a type of disability, which allows me to have an emotional support animal. He got all serious an said we needed to talk. As in don't think that or else.... Talk about not being supportive.

Also, there was another time when my mom was telling me about someone she knew who was depressed. She said, "she's in the same place she was a few years ago. And it's just sooo sad." Like it was the worst thing ever. How do I explain that's just how I am? That my condition is chronic - I don't get breaks? She just thinks everything is so surprising and tragic. One time my sister mentioned she had insomnia and my mom said with absolute utter horror, "you have INSOMNIA!?!?" Like it was the worst thing ever. Insomnia. I had insomnia my whole life up until I started taking medication.

This is a big part of why I didn't want to disclose to my parents my mental illness. Because they just don't understand. I know parental support is important for a lot of people. But, honestly, I'd rather them not know anything.

How have the people in your life supported or not supported big choices you've made?
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