A friend used the word torture to describe how I am letting my girls mental illness affect my life. It is true, so very true.
The torture starts when my alarm goes off. Did she hurt herself overnight? Is she dead or alive in her room? Do I go check or do I check to see the last time she was active on Facebook Messenger? I check her social media accounts that I can see and scan her posts. Is she depressed? Is she happy? Is she fighting with drippy? Does she hate me?
The torture continues at work. When the radio is keyed up and the dispatcher sends officers to a house because someone is suicidal, or someone just found a loved one dead, or someone is having a mental crisis. It all reminds me of my girl and what her illness has created in my life. I continue to check her social media throughout the day for hints of what my evening will bring. I wait for the cameras we installed to notify me that the dogs have been left out. That means she is alive and actually out of bed. Or the driveway camera captures her leaving. Where is she going? Who is she going to see? Will she come back? Why doesn’t she tell me where she is going? Would she even tell me the truth?
On the drive home the torture continues. What will I find when I get home? Will she be in her room? Will she be dead or alive in her room? Will there be dog pee on the floor because she couldn’t get out of her room to let them out? Will there be dirty dishes piled in the sink that she finally got out of her room? Will she be in a decent mood? Will I have to walk on egg shells? Why don’t I want to be in my own home with her there? Why don’t I have a save place? Will she show her face to eat dinner? Did she eat at all today? Did she drink anything today? Did she take her meds? I can’t ask her because it might set her off.
Late evening/overnight is much of the same torture. She says she is leaving to go to a friends house. Is she? Does she go to drippy? Will she crash because she is upset or high? Will she come home? I wait for the cameras to notify me that she pulled into the driveway. I wait and listen for her to come up the stairs and go into her room. I fall into a restless sleep.
The torture continues when my alarm goes off.
The stress makes me itchy. My hands itch, my face and head itch. I talked to my family doc. There is no physical reason for the itching. I feed my stress, which creates additional stress. I am not enjoying my life. I have wonderful friends who I love dearly. I am lucky to be sharing my life with my soulmate and I love him. I have two other kids who I think feel sorry for me and I see their relationships with my girl changing. I can’t blame them for that. They get caught in the wake of her illness. I have the most beautiful granddaughter. She brings me happiness. Her innocence, her laughter, her unconditional love. But I know I could give her more of me if things were different. I will soon have a grandson. I can’t wait to meet him and snuggle him. It will be another milestone in my life. But will it be overshadowed by my girl? Why do I have to worry that something will create friction during a time that should be full of love and happiness.
How do I stop the torture?