“If you will just get out of your son’s life, he will be fine.”
The words hit me right in the heart. Oh, I had plenty of people critique my parenting over the course of the five years our son had been on a downhill track. This time it struck hard because I was talking to a psychologist who was supposed to be treating my son’s mental illness. Once again, from a professional, I was being told my son is ill because of something I had done or failed to do.
Bryon has a serious and persistent mental illness: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) with paranoia. The symptoms of his illness mimic what is often considered to be deviant behavior. As mom, I took all the blame.” If only I had ___ .” Fill in the blank. Even after his diagnosis, I was handed blame and guilt on a silver platter.
Mental illness is a biological brain disorder. It is not a character defect or the result of bad parenting. Many factors, including genetics, play a role. With that in mind, parents, it’s not your fault. You need not feel guilty anymore.
Thousands of parents, and other family members, suffer the same fate. Some keep fighting. Some give up on themselves and their child. Some, like my husband and I, find support.
Support, encouragement, and education are what this blog is all about. Not just for parents, but for all family members who endure the stigma of mental illness. Join us as we share our experiences and learn together.