Mother’s day – parenting with schizotypy

Waking up – Mother’s Day

Having kids and schizotypy can sometimes be a challenge. Today it was mother’s day. A day filled with Hallmark cards and filled chocolates. But not for me. For me it was waking up to the smell of fresh coffee in my own bed after having slept a full night with no kids. Followed by Eggs Benedict (our style with salmon, roe and salad) with homemade Hollandaise outside in the sunshine. And some great gifts; my daughter had chosen a pretty dress for me and a large canvas. Seeing as it was unusually warm today, the kids jumped out of their clothes and donning nothing and a diaper set to work painting. The result was a beautiful canvas titled “The Robot Roberto”.

Kids, parenting and mental health issues

There is a lot of tabu about having kids and having a mental health issue. And I must say, that the media  often portrays borderliners, schizophrenics and the rest of us in rather odd ways. Some things are recognizable, some are caricatures  or simple just misconceptions. And when it comes to parents with mental health issues, we are often thought of as irresponsible and extremely unstable.  Another reason why I’m anonymous. Society is just not good at handling well functioning and ‘un stereotypical’ parents with mental health issues. Having schizotypy does not make me a worse parent, it makes me a very reflective parent who sometimes has ups and downs in terms of what my emotional life can and does and is.

 

Cold and indifference and love

The complexity of emotional coldness is heart wrenching. When I was pregnant with my daughter, before my diagnosis and medication, I was sure that having here would pop the bubble of indifference. This fog that engulfs me when I’m not feeling well. When I was 14, I called it ‘the dollhouse’. A pseudo reality.

But her birth didn’t pop the bubble, and the shame of not feeling the overwhelming first love with your newborn grew. Thought I had postpartum depression at one point. But after I got some help, had a brief stint in hospital and got my diagnosis or box, acceptance kind of gave me peace. At least it gave me something to work from and and that allowed love to grow. Perhaps I was young and thought love had to be a certain way. Perhaps I was naive. Perhaps a lot of things. But now the love for my children is immense, and grows day by day. My understanding of what parenting is has also changed, become more nuanced, more complex and deep. And that also helps grow our relationship and love.

Autopilot

My children don’t notice that I’m different, my autopilot is too good for that. So most people don’t know the difference if I’m in a bad period because I compensate and rationally analyze how every situation should be according to the norms. The norms are my guide, and I NEVER cross that line even though it is tempting. Because I am not so sure that I could get back in the other side again. So for the sake of my family and myself, autopilot me is what keeps me out of the sad statistics and in a normal and fulfilling life. And in between the more and more rare periods of bubbles, I am truly happy. Something that I wish for everyone, but especially mothers today.

So all mothers in my segment, chin up – it’s ok. We’re all different. And we all experience shame and confusion and sadness as well as the good – that makes us human and ok.  And trying and loving is all that matters. Cheesy but true. And Happy Mother’s day – we all deserve Eggs Benedict in the sunshine!


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