Probably THE most asked question of my life. Five years ago I was incapable of even looking after myself much less 3 whole other entities. Not only am I a mom suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, but also clinical depression, generalised anxiety and panic disorder with suicidal ideations. Well that was a mouthful and just thinking about it seems impossible.
My usual answer is I genuinely don't know. I know fully functioning moms with 1 or 2 kids, a partner and support network who still find it hard. I have no partner and very limited support and honestly, sometimes its hard to just get out of bed but I do every day because I have to. I, unfortunately, know the pain of having your child ripped from your arms, your sole purpose for living snatched and the powerlessness of not being able to do anything about it. That was one child and I barely survived, I know I wouldn't survive losing all 3. So, I get up everyday and try my best.
The voices are probably my biggest obstacle each day. "You're a sh!t mom anyway", "They'd be better off without you", "You're killing my kids". The latter being my ex's narcissistic, controlling scream repeated over and over in my head. Sometimes the voices are followed by visions. An entire scene played out in my head of how easy I could end it all and how much better each child would be under different carers. Consequently, its this last image that's usually my saving grace, seeing them separated.
I grew up as an only child in Jamaica, being the first born for both my mother and father. My father then had other kids in England but I never got to grow with them and i desperately want that for my kids. I want them to have that strong sibling bond, always there for each other, where if one falls the other two will rally round to help him/her back up. I want this more than anything and its the driving force that keeps me going.
My main fear though, is that I am failing them emotionally. No, there is no actual evidence of this but its just one of my many irrational fears. Another name for Borderline is Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, which basically means I cant control my emotions and tend to overreact in most situations. I can get too happy or too sad and i cannot for the life of me regulate this no matter how hard i try. I am therefore very conscious of my kids bearing witness to random outbursts or me crying uncontrollably. I do try my hardest to hide it as best I can, like locking myself in my bedroom, etc., but my eldest is very in tune and when i cry he cries; which is usually the nudge i need to harness everything within me, to pull myself up and stave off the overwhelming flood of emotions until at least bedtime.
Most nights find me laying awake, a million thoughts whizzing through my head as i try desperately to get some sleep. The next morning, I'm tired before the day even begins. It takes everything in me to drag myself out of bed but i can hear the girls' screams demanding the start of the day. The thought of leaving the house fills me with dread and so most days we just stay indoors wishing I'd taken them out. I count down every hour until bedtime when i can finally breathe again. I get a few minutes of "yes I did it!" before its swiftly followed by "did you though?" with a rundown of all the ways i failed as a mom that day.
Despite all this, I have to admit I've come a long way. For someone prone to neglecting myself and all else around me, my kids seem to be happy, healthy and functioning. I know I'm not the perfect mom and each day is a struggle but i still get up and do; thinking to myself it'll get better, it MUST get better.