29 Oct

Sometimes I worry about what I might become, what kind of mother I might make myself into for my daughters.

Mostly this fear is unwarranted, baseless. It’s a fairy tale I tell myself when I want to be scared at night, when I want to hold the blankets over my face and wish the terrors away. It’s also an escape-if all else fails, I can just go nuts and to hell with everything and everyone. I can let it all go and fall gently, or not so gently into madness. It’s a pleasent distraction-the knowledge of my other possible life.

But Jennifer, and Eden both remind me why I don’t want to be that mother. Jennifer reminds me that I’m not the woman or mother that I might see in her mother. Eden reminds me that sometimes, for all the shit, mental illness can inspire amusement. But they also remind me of the trail of hearts left behind-of how much damage a mother can do. They remind me of my responsibility to me, my children and my family.

If I stopped taking my medications-if I stopped receiving treatment-if I stopped relying on the support system I’ve built, I would slowly collapse into myself. My world would transform-my silences would become greater, my spending would spiral out of control, I would become something, someone we wouldn’t recognize.

Make no mistake. There are two “Thordora’s”. There is the Thordora who you read, the one you might consider a friend. The kind generous woman who I want to be. The Thordora who loves her children and her life.

Then there is bipolar Thordora. She’s mean, and duplicitous. She’s a master manipulator. She’ll try and make you think it’s all your fault. She’ll blame you for the things she’s too scared to do. She’ll blame her children for being born. She’ll blame her husband for whatever she can. She’ll want to be desired above all others, and yet will keep herself slovenly. She dreams of death, and sometimes, many times, wants to make it real.

Bipolar Thordora is the one I fear. She’s the one who would harm her children almost by accident. She’s the one who wouldn’t realize she was causing hurt, or if she did, wouldn’t realize it until it was too late. She lurks in the background waiting-waiting for me to not take that pill, to not get enough sleep. To be weak.

I don’t want my daughters to deal with the fallout like Jen and Eden have. I want healthy daughters who are hopefully free of the double edged curse that I am blessed with.

I can only hope that I am doing this right.

4 Responses to “Duplicity.”

  1. Jennifer October 29, 2007 at 4:46 pm #

    It’s good to fear her. It’s good to know that she exists, waiting silently for you to drop your guard. Otherwise you have no way to arm yourself.

    The difference between you and my mother, is that you embrace your illness, you recognize it – the good bad and very ugly. I would be more scared for you if you skipped along merrily claiming everything is fine.

  2. sweetsalty kate October 29, 2007 at 11:45 pm #

    This is one of those posts that has catapulted me further into vividly understanding you. Thank you.

    I agree with Jennifer. Your strength is in knowing that Thordora #1 is still there, and representative of your true self. And in calling out Thordora #2 in no uncertain terms as the mental illness, chained to the wall.

    There’s so much power in this. And productive, pill-popping fear. Good on you.

  3. marcelarhodus October 30, 2007 at 6:29 am #

    like it was said before, knowing it’s there, keeps your guard up and makes sure you stay on top of yourself, this fear is good as it will prevent the #2 to come out.
    You’re doing a good job, a very good job, and you just need to keep on trying hard every single day… I’d say mothers need to hold on to the AA motto “just for today”, and work on being calm just for today, being a good mother just for today, not loosing it just for today…
    and when we gather the weeks and months we’ll see we’re doing ok and we can always improve.

    today may be difficult, but tomorrow is a fresh day with no mistakes in it.

    you are a good mother, and most importantly you’re a real mother.

  4. Eden October 30, 2007 at 10:41 pm #

    As I’ve said before, that you recognize Bipolar Thordora and deal with her (as Jen said). A good 70% of my issues are due to my mother and others who were unwilling to deal with her mental illness and its effects on everyone around her. Communication and openness about the illness WILL make all the difference in your family.

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