Janet Taylor
October 7, 2017

Image Credit: ©Bruno135 - Deposit Photos

One week back at home.

When a child with mental illness reaches out to their parent, it is very hard to know the reasons. You know what they are saying. You know what you are thinking and feeling. You know that it is the "right" thing to do. You put yourself at the back of the line and you do what you have to do.

That is not how I can live my life now. If I needed reminding of how far i've come this week has been my test. Maybe I failed. Maybe I passed with flying colours. Maybe i'm delusional or maybe I was just dreaming it all. Whichever, it did not have the fairy tale ending it could or should have had. In fact, the ending was down right predictable. Even I knew better.

So how does someone in my position get to the point where I knowingly allowed my daughter to come back into my home. Where I allowed her to move back in with me. Where I allowed her to enter back into our lives and disprupt what I had worked so hard on developing. Does this make me a good mother? Does this make me a bad mother?

How do I go all the way back to where I almost threw myself back into the pit of depression and anxiety...I find myself on the other side of this week so I am trying to look back and assess the whole situation. What came of this experience? What was gained or lost, and not just by me, but by all those who support me?

The lesson has to be a balance between trying to help my daughter when she needed it but then balancing it with my own mental health. I was able to put myself first at the end of this experience. While I may doubt that for some fleeting moments over the next while, I can honestly say it felt good. It felt good to help her for those few days. It felt good to know she was in a safe place. It really felt good to tuck her into bed and know that she would be there in the morning. It felt good to be able to tell her face to face that I loved her.

The point came though at the weekend's end, where I had to put my foot down. Whether it was the drug use, the unknown, my own anxiety or the fact that she was helping herself to all her sisters clothing, it had to end. There would be no fairytale ending or even a happy ending.

I am not one to shy away from making decisions. I have come far enough in life because I have made tough decisions. Having to "kick her out" from our home was definitely one of the tougher ones to make. It would be easy, as well as pleasing to some, for her to have stayed. It would have been a big point on the "good mom" scale of things. It would have been the end of me though. It would have been back to the anxious and depressed me. It would have been the end of the great relationship I know have with my other two children. It would be saying to them that all the rules I have are for naught. It would be completely hypocritical. So I made my decision and stuck to it.

It was not a pretty sight. It was painful and raw and my daughter said some pretty nasty things to me for making this decision. I hope that the day comes where she can know, truly know, that this decison was made from love.  The love I have for her is complicated for sure, but it will never end. It will never fade. The love I have for her is so deep that at the end of all of this, I have lost a piece of my heart. I have lost a piece of me that I may never get back because for all the love I give her, the pain of watching her suffer, of hearing her say things I know she doesn't mean, takes its toll on my soul.

I write this knowing that there must have been a greater lesson in this week's experience. I continue to say that everything happens for a reason. She has a roof over her head. She has a foster home to stay in now. She is safe. She is moving on with her life. She is likely still very mad at me. I hold my head up high, I kiss my other two children good night and I can pat myself on the back for a job well done even as the tears stream down my face. No one said parenting would be easy.