Other kids who lead normal lives


#1

I’m sorry but I can’t stand to hear about how well my friends kids are doing, and everything they are achieving. Does this make me a bad person? I had to deactivate all of the social media accounts, as I could no longer see pictures of kids graduating from high school, graduating from college, getting a job, having a girlfriend, living a normal life. It made me so sick to my stomach and I always ask myself, “why my son”? Why is this happening to him and to us? Why couldn’t I have been the one with this awful destructive disease, instead of him?
Do we ever run out of tears?


#2

My 16 year old has autism and is mentally disabled on top of it. So I rage at the unfairness of her missing out on all the normal things. Her younger brother may have schizophrenia like me, I get angry at the world over that, too.

No I don’t want to see the great reports from people whose kids are “just” autistic or aspberger. Other 16 year olds learning to drive while mine kept talking about it and we had to tell her she couldn’t learn.

I understand. So much.


#3

Thank you for your understanding. I’m beginning to think the “outsiders” just don’t get it. And I don’t even want to have to explain. I’ve lost all of whom I considered to be my “friends”. Their crisis and mine just do not even compare and even come close. They say what doesn’t break you will make you stronger, and there are days where I feel like I’m ok, but most days it’s just too unbearable.


#4

I went off Facebook and pretty much all social media because of the persona that everyone else was leading a perfect life. I’ll tell you what, they are not. Every person is affected by mental illness in one way or another w/ 1 out of every 4 (last time I checked) having one. Try not to compare, I know its hard but when the comparing starts, then the quality of what you’ve already gained in your relationship since diagnosis can diminish.

The comparing can be so damaging to us which is why I come here. This is where I come for support and understanding and this is where I get it. Hang in there - you’re good people.


#5

You know, it will all be okay. Every time you get discouraged remember that you have made it through every single day and rough time. Every one.

Then take a deep breath and count every little “win”. Anything is worth celebrating. What others take for granted we get to crow about. Any step forward be it tiny or a leap.

Our victories are counted sexing by second and we never get to fall victim to a bored mindset with our children. We get to constantly work, watch, and revel in daily accomplishments. Don’t forget that. Those parents become complacent. We don’t. Try to make “everything is a victory” your mantra when down.


#6

I know what you mean! My older son is hospitalized and my younger sons have severe autism.
I am friends with a few people with really severe kids and they are my lifeline.
Actually my sons with autism can be really funny, which helps save our sanity. They enjoy the simplest things in life, like Disney songs or slinkies or rides in the car.
Hang in there…you are having a totally natural reaction! Sending a hug!


#7

I’m not interested in most other people’s average achieving and high achieving kids. But that really didn’t start until they became uninterested in my amazing kid who happens to have sz and whose accomplishments are so incredible and hard won, but cannot be measured by average standards.


#8

It is OK to protect oneself from things that are painful. I can be happy for my friends’ children who are now getting advanced degrees, wonderful jobs, and getting married, but I really don’t celebrate often. It hurts. However, I came to recognize that there is much illness and tragedy in the world. There is no reason that I should be exempt from that! What matters is that I always have hope and am working toward something better. It is not my place to judge my pain as worse than someone else’s. I realize I can’t solve all problems. At some point, I have to accept this. I have to take care of ME and the rest of my family.


#9

I think the hardest thing to accept is our kids will never have normal lives. I know that my situation is very different from all of yours, but we all suffer together.
People with busy lives and normal children have no idea what it is like to have a mentally ill child. Yes, I too was one of the parents with the perfect family and beautiful children.
Most of you know my son was in an auto accident, he suffered a TBI, and then he assualted the neighbor. Lou is currently in a state hospital, not really sure what’s going to happen to him.
I guess I would like to finish with saying how much I appreciate what you go through on a daily basis. I am very humbled and filled with compassion. I see things alot different than I did in the past. Take care AnnieNorCal


#10

It does hurt, a lot. I agree with you. I think I lose hope sometimes because I work with homeless people, many/most with schizophrenia and their suffering is a reminder everyday of what could happen to my son. For my sanity, I can’t see how the other side lives, its just too painful when I’m surrounded by suffering, but happiness for me comes from the interactions I have with my library patrons who are suffering with this illness (AND homeless) and have little joy in their lives.

I am happy for those who grew up with my kids and have gone on to be successful, including my daughter. But sometimes they are painful reminders of what could have been. Leaving social media was very helpful for my mental health.


#11

Hi I totally understand this feeling, I also think why my son , he didn’t complete school it’s not fare .but I have to think it could be worse at least I know he’s safe and looked after and has family that love and care abt him.


#12

Leaving social media was the best decision I ever made. My energy is 1000% focused on my son and his needs, and of course, I need to take care of myself too so I can be there for him. I don’t need to be reading about someone else’s “seemingly” perfect life. I’m trying to make my son’s life and my life as painless and as stress-free as possible, and I don’t need distractions.

I’m so happy I found this group, staying up late at night reading everyone’s posts, and it has helped me a great deal as far as coping and understanding and making connections with everyone. I so get what everyone is going thru and I think everyone gets what everyone else is going thru on this site.


#13

So very true, things can always be a lot worse. I just have to remind myself of that everyday


#14

I know what you mean. My daughter has schizoaffective disorder and my son does not have any kind of mental illness. I fear we somewhat neglected my son because we had to attend so much to my daughter.


#15

I 'm so sorry I know how you feel I would give my life if only my son would have a normal life . You just cant talknto anyone about this. When I went to my doctor to tell her that I am so stressed with his delusions. Her advise was get an unlisted number don’t answer the phone do tou believe that and there is many more like that . Try and be strong we are all her for you


#16

All I know is that I’ve been crying for 3 years and I don’t feel like I will ever stop. The grief is unbearable. I hide it well from my child and I fight for him every day but internally I am a constant wreck.


#17

Totally understand! My 28yr old schizophrenic son is living in subsidized housing- while my friends kids are going to college, getting married, etc. some days it’s hard to be happy for them…just know you are a good mom and are doing everything you can for your son- hospitalizations are scary but if it’s where he needs to be you’ve done the right thing!!! The tears never stop- take care of yourself- do something for you- and know this is a safe place where we all “get it”


#18

@Margi, thank you so much for your understanding words. It’s tragic to realize how so very few people understand or even care about what caregivers of mental illness go thru. I would give anything to go back in time and have my son be happy and carefree again. Absolutely anything.

I also find the less people I confide in, the better off I am. Unless they are in a similar situation. Which is why I come here, I relate to all of you and appreciate you all so much


#19

@rosie94, I hear you. I cry daily, sometimes several times a day. But I will never let my son see it. It’s beyond heartbreaking for them and for all of us. Hugs to you


#20

Right there with you. I finally had to go see my own pdoc who prescribed me something for depression which has helped immensely. The sadness is still there but the tears don’t flow nearly as often and I can now enjoy the time I spend with my son, without caring about other peoples perceptions. I had to do something because the depression and anxiety was interfering with my work and basic functioning, much of which came from the constant comparing.

I actually want to spend more time out in public doing things with my son because when he is seem him with me, he becomes more approachable and that engagement with the outside world is the only medicine he will take right now, so the more the better. And we are seeing improvement- it’s small, but consistent. I am afraid of the damage that could come happen if I were to take another route and struggle with that decision daily as I read on the forums the success which can often come from antipsychotics. But for right now, we are good and this is working.

It helped me to come to terms with the mental illness that runs in my family and my ex-husband’s side. I feel like my son never had a chance but that helps with the acceptance for me and the determination I have to see this thing through. Now I see it everywhere, mental illness, that is, and I hate to say it but it eases my guilt when I begin to realize that it is has affected my neighbors, my coworkers, my friends but remains hidden because of denial, shame, and embarrassment, etc all the things that stop loved ones from getting the help they need. I am past that stage and it can become exhausting and overwhelming, but the little glimmers of hope are what keep me going.

I guess what I’m trying to convey, as I see it, is that “normal” lives may not be as normal as they seem and we only damage our relationships with our loved ones when we compare our lives with what others want us to see. Our knowledge and acceptance may help others who can’t can’t get past those stages and there we can begin to heal ourselves. I feel your pain, Rosie. We’re all in this together…