I am a single-mother of a teenager with mental health issues. My son is diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder and mood disorder. His experience, my experience – our experiences together – have been long-lasting, complex, unbearable, traumatic, heart-breaking, emotional, loving, unconditional, deeply profound, just to name a few.
Over the years, I have discovered that unfortunately there are very few, if any, support groups for families, particularly single parent households, who are affected by mental health issues. The subject appears in the media from time to time but isn’t impactful enough to provide the sustained, day-to-day support that we so desperately need in order to remain available and strong for our children & families.
Our experiences are extremely hard and very real but rarely talked about. Often, incidents involving mental health are so overwhelming and mind-boggling that we question our parenting skills, our decisions, ourselves and we sometimes succumb to the weight of the issues to the point where we start to believe we’re bad parents. But You’re Not A Bad Parent. In fact, you are an exceptional parent – because you have been called on to be the only person capable and necessary to handle the colossal responsibility of raising a child with mental health issues.
For this, you deserve a community of support, an outlet where you can find comfort knowing that you are not alone in this and where (if helpful) you can express yourself sincerely, openly and safely without judgment. This blog is borne of the countless experiences & lessons that I have encountered along my 17-year journey and the passion to share my own stories & insights in order to help every one of us who lives this day in and day out.
This is really hard. But you are not alone. Together, we will get through this.
Always remember, You’re Not A Bad Parent. Thank you for everything you do each and every day.