Blessings In A Mother's TearsWritten by Monique Rider
As a mother, my intuition told me that something just wasn’t right. Most doctors blew off my concerns about my daughter, Deborah. They said behavior problems were just “terrible twos” or “extra family stress” from my divorce. I knew from time of my pregnancy that something was different. Even labor and delivery was unusual. By age of two Deborah was displaying explosive behavior, head banging, screaming during night and kicking walls. Her first psychiatric evaluation was at age of 2 ½ and came back “normal”.
As Deborah got older behavior continued but was somewhat manageable, with very creative parenting techniques and close monitoring. By third grade she was diagnosed with ADHD and medicated. This helped somewhat but I still sensed that something wasn’t right. A second opinion showed four additional diagnoses of OCD, ODD, depression and anxiety. Additional medication was helpful for behavior but there were always side effects. School was becoming a challenge. Grades were inconsistent and Deborah continued to show no interest. Things seemed to hold steady for a few years.
Then, August 2000, situation took a turn for worst. Deborah, then 14 years old, was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Also known as manic depression, this mental illness is characterized by drastic mood swings. The bipolar, along with other disorders completely changed my daughter into someone that, at times, I hardly knew. When we were first told of diagnosis, I was somewhat relieved that there was a reason for extreme and bizarre behavior we were witnessing. However, my life became an emotional rollercoster.
As a mother, I immediately felt that if I tried hard enough I could “save” my daughter from this awful illness. I figured that if I tried hard enough I could “fix” everything so that her life would be “normal” and she wouldn’t have to suffer. Most of what I was doing had been very good for myself and rest of my family. However, Deborah was in denial and wouldn’t accept any of help that I offered her. That was painful part because as a mother, I wanted to reach out and protect her.
I began a crusade of educating myself, joining parent advocacy groups, going to conferences, reading books, collecting information, networking with other parents, networking with school, and going to counseling. I immediately went on Family Medical Leave from work and began working a reduced schedule so that I could closely monitor Deborah until she was stabilized. I still feel that all of these things were very positive. However, I tried to push all of this on my daughter and expected her to react positively to my assistance. She didn’t, she felt controlled and smothered and lashed out even more. This was so painful for me because I wanted so desperately to protect her. I slowly realized that Deborah must want to be helped – nothing could be pushed on her.
"Men in Tights......and garters"Written by Wonderbra Girl
Sitting comfortably against cushioned interior of my seat, I listened as conversation about my friend's cousin passed over my ears. However, when he started talking about her idea's for fashion world. "She's decided that if she's going to break into fashion industry, she's gotta have a niche. She's got two already. The first is lingerie for men-" "What?" voice from back of car said, expressing all surprise in my head.
"Lingerie for men- she thinks men should have lingerie too."
"Um. I'd have to agree-" voice said, "I would want my man to wear lingerie..."
Lingerie for men. Humm, let me think. Yes, yes, O.K.. There is no way I would want my guy wearing lingerie. Joe Boxers, of course. Silk, even. But lingerie, word itself implies femininity. Especially because I have a soft spot for men who work out, I think "The Game" in a pink baby doll with white ruffles. For some, that might do it. But, somehow, that just doesn't work for me.
Though I'm sure she's got something different in mind, I think she'll lose a majority of this gender oriented society in sales pitch.
Of course, all for social change. I suppose I could see how having a man in linger could be, empowering. Letting man look his best, setting mood. Still, somehow, with gender roles so affixed in my head, I can't see desiring to see a man in much of anything, remotely..."nightly fashionable", beyond silk pajamas.