Written by Taylor Jones.
When I was adopted at the age of seven my parents didn’t quite know what to expect. When I first met them at the age of six they didn’t know who to expect. My parents expected me to have a good life; that was easily managed. They cared deeply about me, took me on amazing trips, and loved me as if I was their own (truthfully I was their own). But the one thing they didn’t expect in their future with their daughter? A mental illness.
I was smart, but I had an undiagnosed mental illness. I wasn’t able to live up to my potential.
My parents have been understanding about my mental illness. They have rolled with the punches and understood. But I know there have been times my mental illness let them down. I was a bit of a problem in high school. I didn’t start off very strong; I couldn’t manage to get my work done properly. I was smart, but I had an undiagnosed mental illness. I wasn’t able to live up to my potential. I’m sure they were disappointed that I wasn’t getting straight A’s (I’m sure my mom would have even settled for straight C’s some semesters). Eventually I figured out my path, with therapy, clubs, and a 504 plan. When my mental health was stable, my work was stable, and my parents were happy. High school was a struggle; even outside of class. I would have explosive outbursts of emotions, and I was unable to control myself. My parents saw the worst of it. I would get mean and hostile when in reality I was confused and scared. They rolled with the punches, though and I graduated with honors.
My parents planned on me being a college graduate; I planned on killing myself.
I know my parents were disappointed when I didn’t graduate college, but instead dropped out after one semester. Again, I let my mental illness get in the way. This time I did it knowingly. I knew my mental health was out of line, but I was too ashamed to get help for myself. Instead, I stayed in my dorm, hiding from the rest of the world (literally most days). My parents let me go to school, and paid my way. Instead of seizing the opportunity I took it for granted. My parents planned on me being a college graduate; I planned on killing myself.
My parents expected me to stick to my mental health treatment but I abandoned it completely.
Post college, I was even more of a disappointment, but this time it was more me. I couldn’t hold a job or an apartment. My parents expected me to stick to my mental health treatment but I abandoned it completely. My parents at this point expected me just to be okay, but I couldn’t be that for them. I was a lost cause, and although they had hope in me, I couldn’t be okay. I had let my parents down time and time again, and even at times thought they were the enemy.
I’m balanced; I’m not always happy, but I’m mostly stable.
Recently I’ve done a lot to change who I am; and a lot of it is due to getting treatment for my mental health. I’m balanced; I’m not always happy, but I’m mostly stable. My parents definitely planned on me graduating college and holding a job, but I think all they plan for me to be now is a happy person. And I’m proudly holding up to expectations most days.
I’ll never be the person my parents planned for me to be; but I will try my hardest to be even better.