Besides thinking about God the past couple of days, my depression and extreme anxiety have me thinking about my kids. Besides Baby Z living with me here in the Philippines, I have three boys living in the States.
Because of Facebook, I get a chance to talk to them fairly often; even more than I did when I actually lived close to them. But, I still don’t feel like I am part of their lives. They don’t bother to go out of their way to say hi to me; I always have to initiate a conversation. I stay online on Facebook all day in the hopes that one of them will just say something to me, but they never do.
I guess if I think about it hard enough, and I am completely honest, I would have to say that my relationship with my kids has always been strained at best. When they were small, I was either always working, or in bed sleeping away my depression. In addition, I was pretty much always stoned, and didn’t pay much attention to them.
It wasn’t until they were teenagers that I tried to get close to them, and by then it was too late. They had built up a wall of resentment, and even when they lived with me when their mom couldn’t handle them, they never talked to me or acknowledged me in any way. The only time I got a word out of them was when they wanted something from me, like a ride or some money.
I am going to address the elephant in the room and say what I know most of you are thinking: I am a bad father. It really hurts me to say and makes my anxiety and depression worse, but I think it’s the truth.
Now I have another child, and I see that I am repeating some of the same behaviors I had with my first three children. I am letting my mental health issues control my life and ignoring the ones I love.
There are some differences: I don’t work as much anymore and I am not fighting any addictions. I do spend a lot of time with Baby Z and I know she loves me, but I have been isolating myself too, and ignoring her when she needs me.
I know I have to figure out a way to not let my illness run my life. I can’t isolate myself anymore and ignore the ones I love.
I have no idea where to go from here.
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