On the way to celebrate Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house on Thursday, my mom told me that she and my dad had had a conversation recently about me. She told me that she told him that I would be happier and easier to get along with if I was on mood stabilizers. I was horrified.

My first response was, “what?” That was followed by my pointing out that I had tried every mood stabilizer and that I had adverse reactions to a large chunk of them (lithium, antipsychotics, and several anticonvulsants) and a zombie on most of them. My mom told me that I hadn’t. (I have taken all but two FDA-approved and off-label mood stabilizers.)

I’m actually much happier and feel relatively stable off of them. Being happier is why I’m not at home as much. In fact, the goal of my mental health care over the last decade or so has been to increase my ability to leave the house with the hope that one day I could actually live separately from my parents. And my treatment plans have had to accommodate my inability to use mood stabilizers.

When I told him what she’d said, Chris said it sounded like she wanted me to be compliant and stay home all the time. Unfortunately that was what I thought too. I haven’t told him all of the times she has said she wants to be my representative payee or have me placed in a program through Social Security that would eliminate my access to a bank account & remove my ability to run my shop. It would keep me without true resources.

It makes all of her talk through the years about my lack of control & my inability to live without continued assistance of my parents seem all the more sinister. Not to mention how it colors my view on her wanting access to my accident settlement (she wants it in her bank account) and how she wants to raid my cash box for the festivals I’ve sold art & jewelry at. I’m fairly certain she’s been repaid most of the change she thinks I owe her on that. Then again, this is a woman who has threatened to sell or throw out my belongings before, so who knows what she thinks about that money?

It makes me want to make sure I definitely get a studio out of this house so that I can definitely gain independence. It also makes me want to stay out of my house all the time. I don’t feel like she views me as a person.

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