To whom it may concern:
My name is Camelle and I am 30 years old with a husband and
2 children. I have a wonderful job and try to live a normal happy
healthy life. So I had always thought. I really think my story
needs to be told. Maybe just telling it to you will also help
When I was about 2 years old, my mother and father got divorced.
My sister and I went to live with our mom. Not long after that
my mom started having some mental problems (so we thought). She
would tend to depend on my older sister (7 years old at that
time) for daily tasks. She would cry a lot and go to the doctor
all the time. No one could find out what was wrong with her.
At times she would sleep a lot, other times she would be very
nervous. This went on until I was about 6 or 7.
Then a doctor decided she needed shock treatment, so she did
that about 3 times. That didn't work. Then she turned to different
medications (always on some form of something, Valium, Xanax,
etc.). That didn't help either. Finally she got to the point
she didn't like to leave the house (agoraphobia). The only thing
that seemed to help with that was drinking. So that was her next
When I started to get a little older, I moved in with my dad
(my sister already did that earlier). When that happened, my
mom then became even more depressed. During my teen age years,
I would hate her at times. Always wanting her to be normal. Nothing
she ever tried or did seemed to work for very long.
During later years of my life, I would avoid her as much as
possible. I got married and had kids, and starting my own life.
She would call for help or try to stop over, and I was always
telling her that this problem was all in her head and she wrecked
my life with it. She would cry and tell me how much it hurt her
knowing I hated her and how much she loved my sister and I, and
all the grandkids,and someday when I was older I would understand
that this problem was nothing she ever wanted in life and tried
everything to overcome it. Sorry wasn't good enough for me at
the time. I would still have this anger and bitterness inside
of me (at the same time wanting to tell her I loved her but never
did). Don't get me wrong, she loved her girls and really tried
at times to be the NORMAL mom. Bought us everything we ever asked
for, did whatever she could for us, but always having this problem
never being able to get the correct help.
Finally at the age of 54, she got sick with emphysema (smoking
- we told her for years to quit) and she lay dying in bed. Her
last words for me was she was so sorry I had to suffer from her
problem and she loved me no matter what, and she forgives me
for hating her. She died in my arms on her birthday (Feb. 25,
Well guess what... I had my first panic attack July 1997, two
years before she died. I never told her, and I have been fighting
them ever since. She used to say to me she would pray all the
time her girls would never get what she has had, and was so happy
they never did. Little did she know.
Anyway , the moral of the story is never say never, and if you're
sick, or someone you know is sick with this, don't be embarrassed
about it or try to hide it from loved ones. Seek help, but make
sure it's the right kind of help. You see years ago, when my
mother started having this, they never knew what it was and the
shock treatments and meds where never the right treatment. But,
now we know what it is and how to deal with it. By the way, in
1996, they did figure out finally that my mother had been, and
was suffering from, panic attacks.
I love my mother even more now just knowing the pain she had
to go through for years with out anyone to turn to.
May God bless you all.
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