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To My Sweet Child, From Your Mom With Mental Illness

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Dear sweet child,

Sometimes Mommy is sick.

Sometimes you can’t see that Mommy is sick.

But you somehow know something isn’t right.

You’re far too young to be told Mommy has a brain illness. You may not understand at such a young and innocent age. I wish with all my being that I could keep my disorder from you, so you never think my love for you is altered in anyway.

Though my love for you will never change, my moods and my demeanor will certainly do so. And on those days when I seem so frantic, when I seem so mean, those are the days I am struggling the most. I know I take things out on you a lot, and you’re so undeserving of such treatment, but there are times when Mommy can’t help it. I truly can’t.

And the hardest part about not being able to help it is trying to teach you how to treat people when you’re upset while simultaneously, and inadvertently, teaching you it’s OK to be frustrated and overwhelmed.

So as you’re mother I just want to say: “I truly appreciate those good days when Mommy is happy, for those are the best days of my life. And on days when I’m not feeling well, I don’t love you any less. I’m just too ill to express myself in the ways you deserve. Always try very hard not to mistreat people, and know I will always be here for you if you’re feeling unwell, just as you are always here for me.

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Originally published: April 4, 2017
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