Posts Tagged: Parenting with Mental Illness

Life Support — After years of chaos, I’m moving forward with the right help

When my oldest daughter went into foster care five years ago, I was 20 and struggling. I’d signed myself out of foster care two years earlier and had been bouncing between youth shelters and my mom’s place.

I went into a shelter after my daughter was born, but a few months later my mother asked me to move in with her. It felt good. My mom had always been emotionally cut off from me. She placed … Read More

After Care — I wish my service plan had prepared me for reunification

After spending four years in foster care, my 7-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter were trial discharged to me in time for Christmas 2015.

The family shelter I was in with my 9-month-old baby wasn’t our idea of home, but my kids were happy just to be back with me and excited about their new brother.

It was the happiest day of our lives.

It was also the saddest, because a big part of our family was still missing—my oldest … Read More

Shared Grief: If my daughter could know me it would help her understand her own suffering

The day in court that they terminated my parental rights I asked my daughter if I could kiss her. She looked over to check if her foster mother would let her. Then she put her head down. I went and gave her a big kiss on that soft little cheek of hers. Her face lit up. Then her lawyer took her away. It was the last time I saw my daughter.

This was a date I thought … Read More

Split in Two – Can I protect my daughter from the dark side of myself?

art by Skylar Kane Kraemer

When I started attending an outpatient drug treatment program in 2001, I had a lot of dreams about using crack. My dreams were so real to me. One night, I saw myself buy crack in an old building and put the piece in a pipe. As I was inhaling, I woke up terrified, holding my breath.

My dreams seemed to continue when I was awake. I started hearing voices that told … Read More

Getting and Giving – I feel good helping someone else in need like me.

art by Rosa Perin

Ten years ago, I was a single mom of two children, 2 years and 11 months. I was in treatment for bipolar disorder but I was isolating myself, a warning sign of depression. My therapist recommended that I come to a clubhouse at a program called Employment Options.

Coming to the club helped me make friends and get to know other people with mental health problems. But soon after, I was investigated … Read More