My Mother and Me: Personal Opinion Essay
I knew from early on that something was a little different about my mother. As I grew up, she made all my school lunches, begged me to let her clean my room, and even let me braid her hair despite my poor styling skills. She was always helping me in any way she could, but something had always seemed off.
As years went by, she started to struggle with depression. Some days, I would rush up to her room, ready to pitch our potential plans for the day. Instead, I would find her laying in bed in the middle of the afternoon. I could feel that part of her was missing as I quietly left the room each time she quietly explained she was just not feeling good. I became a people-pleaser for this time in my life and felt it was my obligation to fix her.
The summer before my first year of high school, she started to accuse my father of things I could never imagine. First, it started with cheating. Eventually, she was throwing around allegations of my father having abusive interactions with me . This led me to struggle with trust issues and assuming others have ulterior motives. My father is the most kind-hearted person I know, yet I was forced into questioning his every move. In her twisted reality, my brothers and I being around our father was her worst nightmare. After battling in court for months, my mother won her case and I was not allowed to have any interactions with my dad, my best friend and rock. I found myself, a put-together middle school graduate at the time, losing control of everything.
As more time went by without my father in my life, things took a turn for the worst. I was allowed to see him but only on her strict terms. When I saw him, he always had a sad look in his eyes like he knew I had become her target and he could not do anything to save me. She would often blame me for her sadness and talk among her friends, implying that something was wrong with me. I would come home to my mother, who had been a support system my whole life, putting me down and becoming my biggest fear. I found myself struggling academically, losing a sense of self, and straying away from passions and activities.
A year ago, I cut contact with my mother. During that time, I learned she had been struggling with bipolar disorder. Not having my mother in my life has been the hardest decision I have had to make for myself. Although I viewed it as selfish in the beginning, I know that I need time to heal. Instead of letting myself feel guilty, I am choosing to do what is right for me. My mother will always leave a gap in my heart and for that, I hope I will be able to reconnect with her when I am ready. I am currently 18 years old, living with my father and step-mom who is expecting with my future baby sister. I have structure and constants in my life that are helping me to rebuild myself emotionally. Because of what I went through, I am a stronger person and able to connect with others on a deeper level than ever before. Living in such a high stress environment has taught me self coping mechanisms while instilling a belief in the importance of mental health and well being. This experience has given me an overwhelming passion to learn more about mental illnesses and what my mother goes through. I have become infatuated with Psychology and its endless career options. More importantly, I hope to comfort and guide others in the future who may struggle with their mental health.