A chance encounter made a flood of childhood memories almost suffocate me in a matter of minutes. My childhood is always a time in my life that I try my hardest to repress and forget with the exception of a few good memories like spending weekends at my best friend's house or having my grandfather present for every father/daughter activity that ever came up during my school years or even baking cinnamon rolls from scratch with my grandmother. Those are the memories I cherish.
The reason that I have made an effort to block all rest out is because of my mother. My mother has Bipolar Disorder. She came from a severely abusive family which only worsened the manic episodes she would have when she wasn't on her medication. She was a single mother and working with a fixed income so many times she would forgo her meds and self medicate with pain pills and liquor which obviously only makes things worse.
One manic episode she somehow regressed back to being a five year old who barley spoke any English. I had to distract her with toys and bubbles and make her feel comfortable enough so that she wouldn't run away into the woods. Simultaneously I had to make dinner for her, me and my then 1 year old sister. I was ten years old.
Another episode was when she was having some sort of a manic low and decided that she couldn't take care of me anymore. She left me in a store parking lot for 20 min. before deciding to come back for me. I was 4 years old.
These are only a few minimal things I dealt with growing up with a Bi-polar mother. If I wrote out all of them I would be here for days. With all the pain an hurt that I have endured with her...I know that I am a stronger person because of my experiences. I will admit that I was very angry with my mother for many years and it took me a long time to forgive her and move past it all. In the past 3 years we have grown closer and mended our relationship. Now I admire her for all that she has overcome and I consider her one of my best friends. Whenever I need someone to listen to me prattle or complain or worry....she's always the first person I call.