Having been away from blogging for some time now, it was something that I was keen on doing as it not only provided me a way of easing back into blogging but which also gave me a chance to reconsider and review (if you like) my own mental health.
And actually it is something that I am very glad that I did. As it challenged me and inspired me and has given rise to numerous comments and conversations. One such conversations was with one of my daughters. We were discussing both the challenge and indeed what I would be writing about next. And that is when the “Questions to a parent with mental Illness” challenge was conceived.
Discussing some of the questions that she would have wanted to ask me (as a child of a parent with mental illness) I asked her to come up with a list of questions and promised that I would – over the next month – answer each one in turn as honestly as I could.
My kids are all adults now. So their ability to understand such things as my mental illnesses (and mental illness and mental health in general) is therefore much better.
So over the next month I am going to be doing the “Questions to a parent with mental illness” Challenge and here are a list of the questions which my daughter came up with…
- Am I part of the cause of your mental illness?
- Is mental illness hereditary?
- Do I make your mental health worse?
- When your mental health is bad, what can I do to help?
- When your mental health is bad do you try to protect me from it, and why?
- Why do you pull away and isolate from me, when your mental health is bad?
- What positives do you think your mental illness brings to our relationship?
- Tell me one thing that I do which makes your mental health better?
- Tell me one thing that I do which makes your mental health worse?
- If you had to choose just one of your mental health conditions which I would experience for a day. Which one would you choose, and why?
- Do you find it difficult to talk to me about your mental health, and if so why?
- How do you think your mental health effects our family now?
- Ho do you think your mental health effected our family in the past?
- How do you think your mental health will effect our family in the future?
- Choose one thing that you would change about your mental health if you could. And why?
- Which of your traits and personality would you like to pass on to me and why?
- Which of your traits and personality would you like me to avoid having and why?
- To me you are just my Dad, but how do you think others see you?
- What parts of your mental health do you think I would like to change, and why?
- I sometimes hear others putting labels on you. How does that make you feel?
- What are some of the things that you do which affect your mental health badly?
- What are some of the things that you do which affect your mental health positively?
- If I was the one who had your mental illness, and not you. What would you want to ask me?
- If I was the one who had your mental illness, and not you. What would you want me to know?
- How do you think your mental illness affects the way you love me?
- How do you think your mental illness affects the way I love you?
- How do you think your mental illness affects the way you allow me to love you?
- Do you think you will ever have really good mental health?
- Do you sometimes feel guilty for having a mental illness?
- If there was one thing that you would have me learn from your battle with mental illness, what would it be?
So there you have them. “Questions to a parent with Mental Illness” Having read through the list of questions that my daughter has come up with, I already know that some of them are going to be very tough to answer. But I think (and hope) it is going to be a very worthwhile (albeit sometimes difficult) exercise.
And I am so very grateful to her for coming up with these questions and for being honest about the types of things she wants to know. Things which I should, perhaps, have taken time to discuss (although we have discussed some of them) mush sooner.
Posts specific to the above challenge: