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TITLE:    Growing up with a mother with Chronic Mental Health Issues

AUTHOR:    Liz Turner


BORROWING PERIOD:  15 minutes, Tuesday 6th July

SUBJECT: Psychiatry, Neurotic Disorders, Family 

Sharing the experience of growing up with a mother with chronic mental health issues (diagnosis of bipolar but not known to any of us at the time) repeated hospital admissions and later excessive alcohol use (over about 10 years) an anorexic sister, a bulimic sister, and various suicide attempts on their part. The positive thing is they all came through and my sisters have happy and successful adult lives.

Just normality for me as an 8 year old to 'Swear on the Bible - 'SOB' repeatedly that my mum hadn't run over a cyclist every time she drove past one! Joining in the ‘checking’ routine to speed up getting out of the house. Being the ‘adult’ in so many situations to avoid conflict and difficulty.

Despite the difficulties, it probably contributed many positives. I feel like I have triumphed and become a more compassionate, eccentric, understanding, adaptable person than I might have been if life had been plain sailing!  Not many people would call me totally ‘normal’ but I’m happy with that!