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Genetics 2, Luna 0


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My father was alcoholic and I’m 95% sure an undiagnosed bipolar. I was dx’ed depressive for 27 years and then re-dx’ed bipolar 2 years ago. When my children were very small I got into therapy and vowed that the mental illness would stop with me. I would work hard enough on myself in therapy that the cycle of mental illness would stop.

But at age 11, my older daughter became depressed. I got her into psychotherapy and she recovered. When my younger daughter was 11, she too got depressed. With her, it took both psychotherapy and medication but she recovered.

Then around a year ago my younger relapsed and was put back on an AD. Three months ago, my older was dx’ed with GAD and is now also on an AD. I came home from taking her for that appointment, went into my bedroom and sobbed.

I know there are genetics at play here, but I thought I could influence the “nurture” part and love my kids enough that they wouldn’t become ill. It seems not. I’ve had bipolar episodes, both up and down while they were growing up. My Scientologist ex says I ‘taught’ this to them and I ‘chose’ my depression – he even says this to our girls. He’s so helpful…

I console myself by thinking that at least I made sure that my girls got early treatment, first psychotherapy and then when their therapists recommended it, psychiatric Rx. My girls won’t go 27 years with a mis-dx. They will have a mother who ‘gets’ it. I’ll find them whatever they need. But I didn’t manage to stop the mental illness from going down our family line and sometimes my feeling of failure resurfaces, like 2 days ago when we had consecutive pdoc appointments.

It is what it is and I’m doing what I can, it just makes me sad sometimes, that's all. :rolleyes:

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(((((((( Luna ))))))))

I so understand what you mean. I am watching my youngest daugher reproduce mood patterns that I have displayed a good part of my life. In our case I think it's hormonal, and the fact that we both have a tendency to give too much and then feel hurt when we get little back in our relationships. I too worked so hard not to reproduce patterns from my own family of origin, but it turns out I handed down some other things....

At least your girls have you, and that's a great thing!

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Does your Scientologist ex ever boast about how well he taught the girls tolerance? Oh wait, that was you, too ... ;-)

Don't let that voice tell you that you did something wrong to have children.

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I have similar struggles with my oldest daughter, who is so socially anxious she still can't perform simple tasks such as paying the cashier without crying. I know that while she was younger she must have sensed my own anxiety and (likely) over-protectiveness. I also know this likely played a role in her coming to believe that the world is a scary place...I'm also 100% certain the shyness trait comes from my side of the family...I could beat myself up about being an imperfect parent, but who would it serve? Certainly not her or me.

I often recall something my former therapist once told me. When we love, we can only love the best way we know how...

Sounds to me as if you are doing everything in your power to be the best mom you can be. You're taking care of your needs and loving your children and doing your best by them. What more can you do? I'm sure you're doing just fine, Luna.

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:P Luna, and other mothers

I too believe you are doing the best.

And you can't worry about tomorrow/future because it's unknown. Don't work up all the anxiety that goes along with it. What will be, will be. (that song). You are planting seeds now and they will grow and be there to multiply. When they get older, they will recount and tell you that it was good. My daughter does that for me in chats that I have with her. You are just raising them to sustain themselves in their world and that is all you can do. Even trees grow straight and strong in the forest, unless something happens. We can't control the future, so don't agonize over how it will be. They see us agonizing too.

much love and compassion:)

Edited by musemuse
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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Symora, Luna and everyone,

Oh yes, we all start out saying we will not repeat the mistakes that our parents made. Then, we make Other mistakes. You know what? There are no perfect parents, and there are no perfect children. Believe me, as a parent of two adult daughters, it is difficult...Sigh!!!

Allan ;)

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