I learned yesterday that mental health is a struggle. Not only for me but my children as well. They still struggle with things I was not aware of. Not because I don’t ask but because they are afraid to be open and they let it build inside. But I know that is not just something that my children (they’re adults, all 3 are over 21) struggle with, we all struggle with mental health.
We are taught at a young age that we must not wallow in self misery and pity. That we must forget and move on. But thats the the thing, we just can’t forget and move on. We have memories that are a part of us. That forged us into the people we are today. The struggles, the sadness, the tears, the fights, they all made an impact. Maybe some of those were not ours directly. Maybe we watched our parents, our friends, people we consider special go through all of this and that impact was strong enough that it changed us.
I know it changed me. I watched my mother be a roller coaster. She was up, she was down and sometimes in between. But as I watched her, I knew that I didn’t want to be anything like her. Impression made at 10 years old, knowing that you didn’t want to be like your parent. That had an impact. Ten year old me wanted something different for future me. But the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. Fifteen and pregnant (so was mother) I failed 10 year old me. By the time I was 18, I had three children. But that is where it stopped. That was going to be the only comparison I was going to have to my mother. I fought against everything I had been shown, everything that I had learned to be better. I instilled in my children that they were loved, that they could do better, that the world was waiting for them to explore it and not sit and let time pass them by. I succeeded.
I did not fail 10 year old me this time. Ten your old me is proud of 40 year old me. But then, yesterday happened. One of my children made me aware that while I did not fail 10 year old me, I failed my child. At what age did I fail my child? Was it when my child was 5? Was it when my child was 18? Was it that I failed my child now? But my child will not talk to me. And all I can think about is, I pushed my child to hard. I pushed that school was important, that getting an education was monumental. I pushed it because my child was always a super star at school. My child excelled so easily. My mistake yet again. It was not easy, I pushed and so my child pushed. My child failed a class. I asked why the failed class and my child said “because there was a month and a half were nothing way okay”. I asked what exactly that meant, reply was “mental health”.
Now I need to find a way to make this okay for my child. To let my child know that it is okay to have a set back, to talk to me because I will not judge. I told my child this but there was still no talking. But that’s okay. Because there was a first step taken, my child made me aware. Now I know to be patient because I know my child, this was major. This was my child asking indirectly for help. There is a struggle and my child reached out.
This is the part that I will struggle most with; patience. While my child made me aware, we are on my child’s time table not mine. As a parent I want to take this on, make it my fight, but I know that I can’t. I can not fix this, this is my child’s journey not mine.
Thank you for listening.
Until next blog, Cheeky