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The same but very different

Posted Oct 09 2012 1:17pm

They were always different. If someone said they resembled each other, offense was taken. There have always been basic similarities - they're both smart, creative, compassionate to animals and children, and (of course) beautiful. Their temperaments, however were (and still are) miles apart.



Being their mother, I thought I knew them quite well. However, people can change quite a bit over their lifetime, it's an interesting phenomenon to witness. Sometimes change is good, sometimes not so good. Sometimes it is baffling. There now remains some hints of who they once were, yet one is almost unrecognizable.

 It seems as though the changes have come about because of independent thinking. One has drastically and positively changed her religious beliefs, the other...well, who knows how much is her borderline personality disorder, how much is influenced by her therapist or her new friends, and how much is actually thinking for herself. It's difficult to ascertain how much of the change is a result of my child-rearing abilities or lack thereof.  

Living with a mental illness is difficult, being a single mother with a mental illness sometimes seems impossible to cope with, trying to raise a child with their own mental illness can be both rewarding and heartbreaking. Every small accomplishment is akin to climbing Mt. Everest, but every struggle seems insurmountable. When that child becomes an adult, and there's no way to help any longer, standing back and watching the self-destruction is heart-wrenching.

The child was difficult, but predictable. The young woman has become unrecognizable. No, that's wrong. I recognize who she has become, it's just not the person I was hoping she'd turn out to be. There's still time, this could be temporary. I've been disliked before by both, but this is different...different but the same. This is manifested by disrespect, manipulation, and denial of responsibility. The same behavior I lived with for about 15 years, the same behavior I thought I had escaped from in time to save them. But then, how does one save a person from genetics, how does one save a person from mental illness, when does one realize the only person to save is oneself?

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