My son has been doing really well, and has not been in any trouble since he got home. (Woo hoo!!) He is a seventeen year old just medicated bipolar, so life is not perfect. We have not had extreme mood swings that we saw before, just minor ones. I am so grateful to see the beautiful young man emerge that I knew was in there all along. Our family life is different, and we are adjusting to the new status quo. We have been in crisis mode for many long years, and now we have shifted from just getting through the day to looking and dreaming about the future.
Bipolar disorder permeates the whole family structure. I knew that but it really slapped me in the face, when I spent some alone time with my daughter yesterday. My son was invited to go camping with his friend's family. His friend has a bipolar diagnosis, and I am close to the mother. I know my son will be understood, and he will receive his meds. This allowed some much needed time alone with my daughter. I had some gift cards saved for the Gap and Macy's, so we headed off to the mall. As we drove up she said the mall was a girl's favorite place, but she never gets to go. I never have any money to take her, but I think I can earn some gift cards to take her again soon. She also said on the trip that she never wants to invite friends over due to brother's behavior. He once mooned her friends and she was horribly embarrassed. Although I strive to keep her involved in school, by going to the dances and functions, involved in soccer, and off to see friends, she has not felt comfortable sharing her home with friends. To tell you the truth, I have felt the same way. Life has been such a roller coaster, I have never felt comfortable inviting other people into it. I think that is something we will work on, as we begin this journey of healing.
I have a vision of the future of a home that is running over with bounty. It is a home where people want to visit and are welcome. It is a home where I have food, love, attention and joy to share with those that not only live here, but visit. It is a place that me and my children are proud of and want to share. I know it can happen, because I have envisioned it.