My shrink said to me that people who stay with dysfunctional families eventually accent that dysfunction as normal. I suppose some of it does feel normal. I only feel like me when I am depressed. But I don’t think I will ever get used to the violence and anger and tension. And even though I have been dealing with a mentally ill parent for most of my life, tonight I feel like the frightened 12-year old watching her father have a nervous breakdown.
See, there’s been a lot of shit going down round here. And Pop has sort of reached his maximum capicity. Considering his diagnosis, from what I have been told, he does fairly well most of the time. But for several days now he has been more like I remember him when I was in my teens. He’s childlike, with a frightened look in his eye. Earlier he was almost hypo-manic and now he can’t sleep, despite the massive amount of “crazy” meds he takes.
And I don’t know what to do because as a mentally ill person myself, I take to my bed after too much stress. And drink as much as I can during the conscious hours.
Feelings I thought were gone are coming back. Mom had to go back to work after Pop had his nervous breakdown, so in addition to keeping an eye on my brothers, I had to watch my father: “Daddy, did you take your medicine?” Recognizing the signs, encouraging him to lay down. . . these were things I did over 20 years ago and now it is repeating. But it’s scarier now because I am less good, less brave, and really afraid of him screwing up the bills. And I feel bad for the part I might play in his mental problems.
I realize this post was very self-indulgent. I just feel like I am barely holding my nuts and pieces together and maybe if I write enough, I can make the fear go away.