Friday, April 23, 2010

Writers Workshop - Mother's Day is Coming...

Mama's Losin' It

23rd April 2010

I've missed the past few Workshops due to one thing or another and I have found it a bit hard to get back on track. I'm not even sure I can do it justice this week, but I'm determined to try! As usual I may get a little side-tracked, but I'll do my best.

5.) Mother’s Day is coming…what is the secret behind the close bond you have with your mom? OR What do you do to create that close bond with your kids?

Okay. So, any of the 5 people who read my blog know that my Mum died 6 years ago now from Cancer. And that I have a teenage daughter who I love fiercely, and who frustrates, and scares, the hell out of me.

I was lucky enough to have my Mum when I was growing up.

She was the 'cool' Mum that everyone wanted. She hung out with us, not in an over-protective way, or in a creepy Mutton-dressed-up-as-Lamb way. But in a listen to music, chill on the couch, I'd-rather-you-did-it-here-than-get-in-trouble-on-the-streets kinda way. My friends still dropped in to visit her long after I had gone my own way, and most of them attended her funeral. 

Don't get me wrong, she was no pushover. She just knew what teenage kids were thinking, and she was able to cause it to flourish in a non-destructive way, rather than try to stifle it like most of my friends parents did. She allowed us to be ourselves so that we didn't feel the need to rebel and be someone else. And in that way she was the best Mum ever.

She was also mean, and cruel. She shouted and threw things, and she stayed locked in her room crying. She was selfish. She said the most horrible things. 

It wasn't until I buried her and was diagnosed with Bi-Polar after having the same problems that I realised that she was sick.

She never told me or my brothers that she had BPD. I don't even think she knew herself. She just suffered in silence. That was typical of Mum. She was proud. Too proud to admit that she needed help until it was too late.

If there is one thing that I have learnt from my Mum it's to be open and honest with Tomika. I KNOW I need her help sometimes, and I'm not afraid to ask. I've been accused of putting too much on her young shoulders. Of not allowing her to live the life of blissful ignorance that a child should.

But I just think of my Mum, and I refuse to have her feel helpless. I refuse to have her sitting on the ground outside my closed door crying silently because she doesn't know what to do. I know that for us to to have a close relationship, I can't lie to her. She deserves to know why Mum's in bed sometimes. She deserves to know why Mum cries occasionally.

She deserves to know it's not her fault.


  1. This is such an emotional post. Your mom sounds like a really great person, though. I'm sure your daughter will be very grateful for the life and respect you're giving her.

  2. Bi-polar is hard to deal with if you don't know it is there. (It's still hard once you know, but it is a lot easier than it was before.)

    Good for you letting your daughter know and understand what is going on.

  3. You're a real good mum; you had a good example.

  4. This was a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. Your heart is in the words and the honesty ~ beautiful.

  5. I know I have told you my sister is bi-polar. It is not an easy thing to live with, whether you are the person with it, or the person living with it. I think you have a very good handle on things.

  6. Hi Guys.

    Thank you. She wasn't perfect, but she was MY Mum, and I loved her regardless.

    I just hope I can do her justice by being the kinda Mum Tomika would want if she had a choice.

    Lourie - I remember, and I understand. I don't envy those who have to deal with me when I'm at my worst, but the least I can do is be honest with them. Lying only made me more miserable. I do my best to let them know that they are not at fault.

    Greg - Nice to hear from you x

  7. despite her having BPD, you had a very cool mom! where in the world can you find a mom who encourages her kids (and her friends) to be themselves?

    it wasnt your fault - i think you already know that. and if you guys knew she was sick, people would have taken her away from you, thinking she's an unfit parent. i dont think there is a perfect parent, but i know that all of us strive to be the kind of parents our kids need us to be. i applaud your honesty to tomika. very few parents can do that.

    thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  8. What a wonderful post Brea! I love that you write so openly and honestly. From what I've learned about you through your blog, you're a good mom!
    Haven't stopped by in a while. Sorry! Come on over when you get a chance. I'm starting my very first blog carnival next week and it's called "OH NO HE DIDN'T!" TUESDAY. You're going to love it! See you soon.

    Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud

  9. My best friend's teenage son was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Your story made my heart skip a beat. I'm so glad that your mum loved you so much and left you such a good example to follow with Tomika. Many prayers for you, friend.

  10. Your daughter is beautiful (I'd be worried too)! I think that you are doing a great thing by being so honest. You are such a lovely person and I adore you. I believe that all your good that is within your own daughter will shine through once her icky teenager-ness rubs away.
    Keep your head up!


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