My Experiences with my Mother's Delusional Disorder
Once I became a teenager, I came to terms with my mother’s delusional disorder after realizing it was not her fault and her behavior was due to a chemical imbalance in her brain. However, for many years, it bothered me heavily. In social situations with friends, I did not want my mom to be involved because she would often spread conspiracy theories that were far-fetched to anyone who would listen. Since spreading these conspiracies consumed most of her time, to the neglect of her young children, and my father was working long days and could only care for us at night, I had an unusual degree of freedom and responsibility. As a result, I faced the challenges of learning how to cook my own food, do my laundry, study by myself, and navigate my path both socially and academically at a very young age. I am grateful for this, as I have become a much more independent person, and my future holds great things.
I quickly became overwhelmed by the amount of independence I was given. I developed a way to cope, which was turning to my siblings. After school, for the past five years, I gather my younger siblings at our rectangular, wooden dining room table to do homework and talk about any issues we have, from tricky algebra problems to which boys my younger sisters’ like. My brown dining table has little black splotches and grooves lining up and down, flowing like a river of time, displaying the moments of grief, happiness, and independence my siblings and I endured. Pen markings define the table, and tiny holes from pencils puncturing loose leaf paper are hammered into the table. Discussing our frustrations, cooking, laughing, and playing together allowed our situation to be much more manageable.
I could have fallen victim to minimal guidance and excessive freedom. Instead, my five siblings and I have grown together as a close-knit group because of our shared experiences with our mother’s illness. Spending time with my siblings and independently growing as a person has shown me what is suitable for me and has healed me. I have learned that my body and soul are better off communicating with my siblings. I take my younger sisters to their dance recitals in the city on the weekends. We ride the train, and I watch them sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” while doing acrobatic splits and cartwheels. After school, I pick them up in my large minivan, and as their friends watch me, I feel like a soccer mom. My younger sister has been exploring a plant-based diet, so I purchase vegan foods on my Trader Joe runs. I often cook her vegan mac and cheese, a recipe I have perfected. As for my brothers, I am practically the only person they listen to. By teaching CCD, I have learned that most children listen to me when I establish a calm and friendly rapport, which is true with my younger brothers.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has helped me through my issues. I have been a part of this community for a few years now, and when I was struggling, reading relatable stories other people have posted on ADAA has been comforting. Especially at a young age when I knew very little about mental health. As well, ADAA has helped me become more informative on different types of disorders, and how to best help people going through them. ADAA provides easy access to therapists and has a welcoming community that is open to everyone. By the way did I mention it is nonprofit! I am very appreciative for ADAA and encourage everyone to learn more.
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