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Mental Illness affects the entire family.
I'm not perfect! I thought I was a good mother. I thought I did everything right while my children were growing in middle class suburbia. I went through a nasty divorce and my twin boys suffered. I never realized how much pain they went through. I remarried and now have a blended family with five children ages 26 to 30. 10 years ago I had serious mental health issue and it was hospitalized 10 years ago. It was then I guess that I dropped the ball. I did a lot of harm to my family and never realized it. During a mania, I packed up their bedroom and sold our family home while they were away at college. I moved to a smaller home that didn't have a bedroom for them. I never realized what this did to them emotionally and they was never comfortable coming to my house ever again, it wasn't theirs. Since then, my boys have stuck together like glue, they keep their lives private and don't share much with me. I have had trouble for years connecting with them. Last month I had them over for dinner. My one son sits down, looks at me and starts shouting how much he hates me and he doesn't have a mother. He shouted that he never wants to see me again and stormed out of the house. This came out of the blue. I stood shocked in tears and retreated to the garage. I sat on the concrete step in the cold dark garage shaking and crying uncontrollably. 5 minutes later, my son opened the door and sat down next to me. He put his arm around me, land head on his shoulder and told how sorry he was, that he didn't mean it, that he loved me. We sat in the dark garage holding each other crying as I listened to him tell me that I have to stop using my disease as an excuse, that  even though he's grown, he needs me to be a mother to him. He said with tears, "did you know that I tried killing myself!" He said I knew nothing about him and he felt abandoned and left to face the world on his own. He told me that he was afraid he might be suffering from the same mental illness and he was scared. We sat in that cold garage on that December evening holding each other for the first time since he was a child. I couldn't let him go. He told me that he loved me and he was so sorry he said those hurtful words to me, he didn't mean it. I told him that I was so sorry for not being there for him for years because of my mental illness. This time was extremely cathartic. I told him how much I loved him and I promised that I would be present for him. He said that's what he wants and we talked about this being the start of a long journey that will be difficult but we both were going to be there for each other. I promised to be a more present mother and he promised me he would get help for his anger anxiety and depression. This is the Cliff note version of probably the most painful, emotional, eye opening and hopeful moment I've ever felt all at once. My sons and I have a long road ahead of us but we're all committed to trying everyday.
I would like so much like to take my son's on vacation somewhere for three or four days to spend some family time together, just the three of us without their stepfather or the other kids. I want to have normal family time that we haven't had in over a decade while spending private time to have some deep painful discussions in order to heal and start to move forward. 
I realize this is not a story of homelessness, poverty or dire straits. Nobody talks about how mental illness affects the entire family. This is a story of  starting to face some very painful issues and beginning to put my family back together again. 
My sincere gratitude for reading my story. Thank you if you send a contribution.

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