We recently received this guest post submission about a mother struggling with her daughter's childhood bipolar disorder and knew immediately how it would resonate deeply with so many of our readers.
Tonight I write to you from the place I escape the fire. In my bathroom curled up in an empty tub. I know what your thinking, I've been there. But for those of you who are so brave, I am the mother of the brave. The now 13 year old child who was born with bipolar. The far and few between, the minors who lack the much needed help because they do not know how to voice what they are feeling and therefore become the true guinea pigs who are seeking Psychiatric help.
Tonight was a relapse night after just over 6 months of finally feeling like we found the right medication to give Imagin the life she truly deserves. Imagin is my daughter who I have been desperately trying to keep alive for 13 years now. For a child with bipolar disorder, the highs and lows are severe mania and severe anger. There is no in-between. As a mother, trying to constantly save your child can feel like the deepest pit and just when you feel like your climbing back up, you realize you've gotten used to feeling of falling, and you are now deeper into the rabbit hole than before.
I have my hopes that this relapse comes with the need of a normal regulation of lithium, which we just sought out. But it's hard when you could feel things slipping again and the response from the doctor was merely passive until she's just enough over the edge.
Imagin won't let me hold her, she won't hear my words of love tonight. I'm hoping against hope that she sleeps and tonight will be a foggy memory. Because this girl wants to speak for childhood mental health, she's expressed that to me so much recently. And I feel her voice needs to be heard above all the others. The child that began the attempted suicides at 6 years old, the body mutilation at 10, all because the one voice the doctors should have heard was not being heard at all.
Me. The mother, the one who's been gawked at like a parent who just didn't give a shit enough to discipline their child properly. Or the one who's just looking for the easy road. That I am not! I would not still be hanging in here for her if I was. I still believe that Imagin will one day understand how truly a special person she is. But she needs more than one helping hand. She needs the village. She needs a bigger voice.
We will find a way together. Not just for her, but for the others children and parents who are silenced because I child doesn't "look" ill.
Mother of the Two Headed Dragon
About the Author: Amanda Browning is a 35-year-old mother of 2 drastically different children, Imagin and Everett, and a new wife to a man who has decided (my the force be with him) to stand by her through all of the ups and downs. She's a horticulturist, animal lover, and everyday mediator of the home.