Forget the cookies

We convinced Darla to tell the apartment office building about the bedbugs. This was after she texted a plea to Karlie to bring her 2 more cans of Raid for bedbugs. Guess what? They will come spray and exterminate no-charge. So I guess that’s good news? I’ll take what I can get.

I heard an interesting podcast yesterday. NPR’s Invisibilia is always worth a listen, but the newest episode felt timely. It was called The Problem with the Solution, and talked about how Americans always feel like we should fix problems. Specifically mental illness. There has to be a solution for everything. What the writers of the podcast found was that sometimes there isn’t a solution, and those with mental illness do better long term when not surrounded by family. They were actually better able to cope when they weren’t being helped by loved ones. Strangers do a better job at accepting people for who they are, but families have all the extra baggage, frustration, and shame. Families don’t accept that people are “just that way” because maybe they remember when “they weren’t that way” and they push for a different reality. This is kind of a crappy summary of an awesome show, so just go listen to it.

I don’t have wonderful memories of a comforting, loving, stable mother. She has shown periods of normalcy where we could include her more in family gatherings. I don’t long for a mother that bakes cookies and is interested in what color paint I’ll use in my kitchen because I know I don’t have that mother. We’re just bound together by blood and history, and I want our interactions to be on an equal level. I’m tired of worrying about her and what her actions (or inactions) will do to my family. I can accept her mental illness, but I can’t let her affect the stable family life I have created in spite of her.


One thought on “Forget the cookies

  1. I too have heard that Invisibilia episode. I highly recommend it to anyone who had ever had interaction with mental illness.

    I hope Darla can somehow find community in the building where she lives. Perhaps the best thing for everyone would be for her to be half way across the country (or further) away. Everyone deserves a fresh start.


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