My Son

Aral and me May 1991Aral 6

This is in response to a post I read ( which was actually written in response to someone asking the author why she didn’t feel guilty for having children because the she has bipolar 1 d/o.

This hit close to home for me too. Although I have NEVER thought I shouldn’t have had kids, I love my son more than anything in the world, I understand where the person who asked this question is coming from. It isn’t easy in the best of circumstances to raise a child, let alone raising a child when you have a mental illness. Yes it is difficult at times. And yes I have lived in fear of having passed this down to my son, at this point in life, my enormous anxiety about that is under control. But, although we have gone through some very difficult times, we have also recovered from these difficult times. That is the stuff that strength and resilience (my favorite word, of late 🙂 ) are made of. And besides that, we have also had some very good and happy times. If someone says that to a person with mental illness, what about people who have the genes for early onset alzheimer’s, or cancer, or autoimmune diseases, or ALS? Which one among us is genetically perfect? There is no guilt on my part from having my son, he has brought me untold, unfathomable happiness and the love I felt for him, as soon as I saw him, as soon as I saw him, after the doctor handed him to me after the C-section, cannot ever be measured. Truly, it is a love that is bottomless, fathomless, and endless. I would never have not had my precious son, never.

Anyway, my answer is below:

I have son and he is the love of my life! I would never have not had him. Anyway, your child doesn’t have a 100% chance of getting bipolar d/o, the chances are 30% max, that your child may inherit this infernal disease. Yes there were hair raising times, (a few) when parenting him was hard, yes he may have been exposed to some things that a child of a parent who is not mentally ill would never be exposed to. But he is a marvelous human being, compassionate, passionate, and he is in second year Law school. I wish him only love and laughter in his life and I am his biggest fan, and of course being his mom, worry incessantly about him. But to not have him here now, how sad that would have been.

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