This is indeed going to be a very revealing post about me. Perhaps because it's late, and I am feeling a bit vulnerable - but my heart is on my sleeve. Maybe I'll chicken out and never click the "add new entry" button, or even get up and delete it in the morning. If not, read with caution - there may be some things in here you just don't want to know, and if you comment, please comment gently, because my in this area, my heart is very delicate.
I grew up with a mentally ill mother. There it is - in black and white - I typed it. I have said it many times, but to put it down in black and white seems to make it more permanent somehow. I spent many years trying to cover up this simple fact, but the truth is that it really was never simple at all. As I have gotten older, and realized how abnormally she behaved, and how out of the ordinary our lives were, and refused any longer to live in the viscious cycle, things have gotten much more complicated.
A few years ago, right around this time - a few days after Christmas, my mom had a gastric bypass - but I didn't know about it because she wasn't speaking to me. (This is all a part of the cycle.) Within 48 hours of her surgery all of her major organs were failing, and a cousin called to tell me that my mother was in a coma. A girlfriend drove me the several hour trip to the hospital where she had the surgery, to see an unrecognizable form laying in a bed with every machine known to man hooked up to keep her alive. Early the next morning, I woke both my friend and myself up sobbing out loud in my sleep, crying over my mom.
For the next three months, every Sunday afternoon, my children and I took our little homeschool on the road. On Friday nights, when I would confirm that within a few hours my step-father would arrive to be by my mother's bedside, I would head home - to grocery shop, make 15 sandwiches for my husband (he eats 3 a day for 5 days!), and cook all our meals for the coming week - so my husband could also have a homecooked meal every night. I stayed by my mom's bedside, loving her the only way I knew how - bathing her, feeding her, putting her on a bedpan, learning to lift her out of bed, helping with her physical therapy, and just being a companion. I wish I could say that this made a difference in our relationship and in her heart - but, the same woman that had not spoken to me for a year or so preceding the surgery returned. It was just devastating.
So it has been for most of my adult life. I just celebrated the second Christmas in a row without her speaking to me. There are never any reasons that make sense to anyone else, so I will spare you, kind readers, the details. Fortunately, I am no longer a captive in the torture that befalls one living with a mentally ill person. There were times when I thought I was going crazy because the person in my life I most trusted would be so out of alignment with everything that seemed right and true. When I became a believer ten years ago, I really gave my heart, even the broken, confused and sick parts to the Lord and He alone has done a tremendous work there. But deep down inside, is a little girl who still needs a mom, and I am sad because I know she needs me too. I have tried to call her several times recently to no avail. I am reminded that the Lord says He will be a "Father to the fatherless", and I cling to that when I am hurting. But if you talk to Him, could you put in a word for me and tell Him, I miss my mom?