Originally posted January 11, 2015 on STIGMAMA.COM
I do not whisper. I ROAR. Kitt O’Malley | Stigmama
Motherhood has been transformational for me. I am NOW building a new foundation. My identity changed. Now it changes again. I have constantly reinvented myself over and over during my lifetime. Going from majoring in biochemistry as a pre-med student at UCLA, where I was miserable and suicidal, to studying part-time at a community college as I bided my time and tried to find my direction, to finding my place as a legal studies major at UC Berkeley, I tried to reconcile my inner turmoil with very high professional aspirations. First I worked as a legal assistant, then went to graduate school, earned a master’s in psychology and became a psychotherapist, only to crash and burn. Recovering from that breakdown, I re-entered the workforce as a temporary file clerk in the commercial real estate industry where I had ten years of success. Trying to balance work with motherhood, I failed miserably, and ended up hospitalized in a psychiatric unit with rapid cycling and mixed symptoms of bipolar disorder. After months of partial hospitalization, I became a reluctant stay-at-home mother on disability. What does an overeducated and reluctant stay-at-home mother with a recurring sense of religious calling (or a manic and delusional symptom of bipolar disorder, depending on one’s perspective) do with her mind? Why attend seminary, of course, which I did on two separate occasions and on two separate occasions had to quit.
Here I am… Here I am putting pen to paper. Here I am writing down my story again. To what end? To reinvent myself once again – not as someone who is ill, but as someone who fights and loves and writes and has hope that new chapters of my life lie ahead of me. I will NOT be a caretaker forever. I have a voice that must be heard. I have a message to share and share it I do. I am not just my son’s mother. I am not my diagnosis. I am able. I am able to affect change. I wield power. I am a mover and a shaker. I do not whisper. I ROAR.