Something I haven’t shared with many people is that my daughter, our youngest child, is very mentally ill. I could tell you stories about her that would curl your hair – crazy stuff you wouldn’t believe – but I don’t feel right sharing it all…its her story, not mine, and I feel an obligation to protect her privacy.
At the same time, though, her illness, or at least the crazy behaviours that manifest when she’s symptomatic, take a very heavy toll on me. If you’ve ever noticed that sometimes I kinda disappear for a few weeks, it’s probably because I am busy dealing with and/or recovering from my daughters shenanigans.
Let me show you what my daughter is like:
Watching this video (which I just stumbled upon) is like seeing my daughter. Actually, my daughter is even scarier than this girl, but what’s really eerie is that so many of the distorted cognitions she displays are identical to my daughter’s – You don’t love me, You would never do this to ______ (a sibling), You never hear me. I don’t know what’s wrong with the girl in this video, but I can tell you that she is highly emotionally disregulated.
We don’t quite know what is wrong g with our daughter. She has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety stemming from PTSD as well as Bipolar Disorder, but none of those diagnoses accounts for the high degree of emotional disregulation that she experiences; I suspect that something else is going on here as well, perhaps Borderline Personality Disorder (which her dad has) or perhaps Complex PTSD which manifests in similar ways.
This has been going on for years, since her mid-teens. I used to say that my daughter was an emotional terrorist – that she terrorized us with her frightening emotional outbursts in order to get her way. I know this sounds rather extreme, but the truth is that over the years, my daughter has traumatized me with her behaviour. It can take me a couple of weeks to recover from one of her outbursts.
My daughter has three lovely children, my beloved grandchildren, whose well-being I am concerned for. Recently my daughter has become very unstable and I had to remove the children from her care. This is not the first time I’ve had to do this, but this time I was compelled to get Family and Children’s Services involved. Our preference would be to deal with this as a family without having to get social services involved but the reality is, we need outside resources and support to help her. We simply aren’t equipped to deal with this all on our own.
Right now I am the devil – I took away her children and called the authorities for help – proof that I am evil and don’t love her. In her delusional state, she is unable to see that it was necessary; she can’t even see that her children are suffering and intervention was needed to protect them from further harm. It was hard for me to do, because I knew that once she found out she would punish me for it.
The psychiatric care my daughter is receiving has been spotty at best – this is a medically underserviced area and the the few p-docs we have are over burdened. There simply aren’t enough psychiatrists to go around. Family and Children’s Services has ordered a thorough psych exam for her so I am hopeful that she may finally get a solid diagnosis and the help she needs.
I don’t know why I decided to share this – I guess I just needed to get it out. If you are inclined, prayers for our family would be greatly appreciated.