Abuse · Cleaning · depression · Family Matters · fear · Letting go · Life · Meandering Thoughts · mental health · mindfulness · panic attacks · Panic Disorder · positivity · Self Discovery · Self Worth · Uncategorized

Don’t Say the D Word!

My mom came for a visit this weekend.  We got to spend some much needed time together, and of course, I milked her visit for some assistance in cleaning my place.  Lol.  I can only clean on the weekends so why not wait till the morning she visits?  I’m horrible; I know…haha. My place is tiny so it’s not a difficult task.  I think the hardest part is cleaning off the appliances after cooking.   You could do a full clean of the place in less than an hour or two if you don’t stop for breaks like I do.

My mom has known that I’ve had a disorder since I was diagnosed.  I’ve struggled with anxiety, panic attacks and catasrophizing since I was in high school.  Yet, it was never addressed until I moved out on my own and I started having panic attacks on a more regular basis.  If you’ve read some previous posts (click here), then you know I act one of two ways to stress, either a full on panic attack with a huge adrenaline spike, or I go into a depressive episode where I don’t want to do anything.

shhWe were discussing the last time she came to visit several months ago and the way my mother addressed it made me a little uncomfortable.  She said at the time that I was in crisis.  Her terminology threw me off and I didn’t really know what to say.  I didn’t feel like I was in crisis.  I was just having an anxiety episode with a more depressive leaning.  I stopped cleaning; I wasn’t cooking, etc.  I wasn’t in crisis; I was unmotivated.  I didn’t consider taking my, and I’ve never been a cutter. I wasn’t sure what she meant, but I didn’t want to bring up an uncomfortable topic for her.I was driving past the pet store where I buy supplies for the Dictator, and it was then I realized that mom can’t say the D word.  She can’t even say disorder.

We’ve talked about my panic disorder several times; yet my mom has only ever referred to the disorder as “it.”  She’s never called it by name; she’s never said “your disorder.”  It’s always “it.”  I’m not sure the letter D exists in her alphabet when I’m having an attack or episode. I don’t think she’s living in denial as I’m so vocal about it, but it does seem taboo for her.

mental-illness-tabooI know she’s feels guilty and somewhat responsible for my disorder.  My experiences in our household growing up assisted in conditioning my responses and my need to be perfect, to be good.  If I wasn’t, I was screamed at, put down and occasionally hit.  The best I could hope for each day was to be ignored.  This started the need for things to be right or for me to be good at all times.  My mother truly felt that despite that it was best to be raised by two parents.  She needed the additional income to keep a roof over all of our heads.  I don’t really know how much she was aware of to this day, and I do give her the benefit of the doubt.  She did try to get me out of the situation as often as possible, having my brother in law and grandparents take after school well into my teenage years.  But I know she feels at fault since she has told me so.

01_listen-type-by-daniel_triendl_905I have to spend time telling her it isn’t her fault whenever we talk about my disorder, and I find myself comforting her.  Sometimes I wish she would just stop and listen; stop taking responsibility for something she didn’t really have a part in.  I do get exasperated with her and will occasional snap in my response.  I don’t mean to, but it becomes a bit…overwhelming…when I’m trying to communicate my thought process.  It’s hard to get my emotions straight and then have to listen to hers as well.  I know that sounds selfish and uncaring, but in the midst of a panic attack or anxiety episode, having to console her for me having a panic attack is something I struggle with.  I wonder now if the reason why it’s so difficult is because she can’t even say I struggle with a disorder.  She doesn’t say the “Ds.”

I’m very open about my disorder in all aspects of life.  My bosses know; my own team knows.  I like to discuss whatever it is I’m stressing over and how it’s affecting me to begin with.  It helps the process of coming to terms.  I’m hoping one day she’ll be able to acknowledge my disorder and actually call it what it is.  I’m not sure when that day would come, but I hope one day she can just say the words so I can stop having to tell her it’s alright and not her fault. This is just the way my mind was wired.


30 thoughts on “Don’t Say the D Word!

  1. I am sorry that you had to go through this – and that you are dealing with panic attacks even now – parents need to be more aware of how staying together with an abusive spouse – and what you experienced was abuse – has a severe and lasting effect. I am just very glad that you can write about it, and be so open, that is really cool and brave – blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire you for being able to be so open about your disorder and even tell your mom. That’s not easy to do and unfortunately, mental disorders are still seen as a tabu subject. I hope your mom will understand one day how important it is for you to know that she acknowledges your disorder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can imagine that the roots of this are in childhood and your mom’s guilt probably just makes it worse now. It is funny how talking about the things we need to talk about is so very hard. You do it very well.


    1. Thank you. Talking about it helps me quite a bit. I found that the more I would push down; the more I would blow up when something happened. Communication is key for me, and writing everything out is crucial.

      I understand why she feels guilty, but sometimes I wish she would just step back and listen.


    1. Talk about it is what helps me. I used to try to bottle it up and not speak about it since it can make others uncomfortable, but I found that it would cause more of a “blow up” when I would have a panic attack. I hope that makes sense.


  4. I commend you for putting your thoughts and feelings out there for others to read and hopefully connect with. I hope your mom is able to acknowledge your disorder in the future so you can both move on and grow together.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you’ll be able to continue talking about this with your mother. I definitely think that the understanding will come with time. The conversations are important even when they seem to go nowhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have severe anxiety and depression and growing up noone wanted to acknowledge that I had a problem and neither did I. I am much happier now, it is wonderful that you are so open and I can relate to many of the struggles you had in the household.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I gather it would be difficult for a person of another generation to address mental health issues. You are blessed though that she recognizes that there is an “it” to worry about. Give her time and help her increase her awareness as well. Wishing you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Parents will always feel that guilt no matter what. I’m not sure if she’ll eventually come to terms with saying the word disorder or if she’ll remain to refer to it as “it”, all I can say is that, keep being open about it. I

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have this same exact problem!! And my mom used to help me with it often, especially with certain chores. But I discovered where exactly my anxieties lied… not just in doing the tasks, but for example, I HATE WASHING DISHES. They would pile up and mold would grow. It was horrible. What I did to soothe this anxiety was to discover, I just hated feeling my soggy hands and touching gross food leftovers. That created anxiety to even touch them. It’s great your mom understands and you definitely acknowledge you have an issue. Depression/anxiety makes us terribly messy, and yet it is the first step to coming out of that cave!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really like how you are open about it. It’s such a taboo in Asian countries that people tend to think you are a drama queen when you try to explain them. I am glad things are changing no. I hope your mom will also will find a way to come out of her guilt and focus on your thoughts more.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You are very brave and I admire your honesty. In fact that’s the only way to get rid of that taboo thing. I try to talk about it to a friend of mine who has a mental disorder as it was a physical issue. It’s awful to keep it all inside and not talk about it outside the family circle.

    Liked by 1 person

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