I am a wife and mother. That’s my job. I’ve been married four years, and our son is going to be three this winter. I’d say I’m the typical housewife and stay at home mom, but I don’t think that’s entirely honest. I’m not above average like most of the women you see on these stay-at-home-mom blogs. I’d love to be that woman. I strive for it. But the ideal of it does not always coincide with reality. Not my reality. Because in my reality I have a hurtle between me and my goals as the perfect wife and mother. Every day is a struggle to be the best self I can be, and not give into nature of my hurdle. My challenges come in the form of a psychological illness called Borderline Personality Disorder.
There are very *VERY* few people in my life who know about my ‘illness.’ I hate the word ‘illness.’ I’m not sick, at least I don’t feel sick, I just feel different. I don’t think the average person feels the things I feel, think the things I think, or react to situations the way I react. I’d like to be able to call it something else. I’ll have to put some serious thought into it, and come up with a new term for my condition. I don’t want it to be an ‘illness’ or a ‘condition.’ I need to find a nicer word. I’ll keep you updated on that.
Being a parent is hard enough on average, but there are a whole new set of challenges that come into the equation with a psychological disorder. I often complain to my husband how I feel so misunderstood. I feel like nobody KNOWS me besides him, and people just don’t understand how hard things are for me. “When are you having another baby?” is the question I get at least once a week. How do you tell people you don’t think you’re going to have more kids, because of the challenges I face every day with just the one? I can’t get into that discussion with people who don’t know how hard it is for me. They don’t understand why I can’t be like normal women who have a brood of children and a clean house all while looking polished and refreshed and ready to take on more.
I’d like to shed some light on the subject of parenting with BPD. I’m sure some of my challenges overlap with other psychological disorders, and I’m sure there are people out there who can relate to many of the things I write about. In a perfect world, people would understand me. They wouldn’t ask relentlessly when I’m having another baby. My differences are difficult for people to see, if not impossible. Alcoholics are easy to spot, drug addiction, eating disorders, things with symptoms people can see. Friends and family talk about them in hushed tones, they know they’re different. I’m one big secret. Nobody can see the things that make me different, I pride myself on looking normal on the outside. I don’t want to be talked about in hushed tones, I don’t want to be treated differently. But I do long for understanding, so I don’t have to hide so much.
Understanding. That would be nice.