Alex wrote her Grade 10 provincial English exam this week. Here's hoping she does remarkably better than her mother did in 1991 B.I. (before internet). It's a pretty low bar to step over. As long as she put her name on her paper, I'm pretty sure she will sail past my 59%....
I actually remembered to ask her how the exam went, when she walked in the door that evening (good mom).
"Good, I think."
"What did you write the essay portion on??"
"Dad being bipolar."
"Yeah, I just talked about how much I respect him and how strong he is."
"Well that took some courage"
I am always surprised when my kids mention their Dad's mental illness, with understanding and insight . It's not like we've ever sat them down and had a "Dad's Bipolar" meeting, or that I've ever quizzed them on the DSM-5. Although either could make for a rather hilarious Family Home Evening. But Grant having bipolar disorder is just apart of our lives and something they have never been taught to be ashamed of.
It happened last year too...
Dallyn had a teacher that devoted several days teaching about mental illness in a very practical and positive light....Dallyn came home and told me he had shared with his class, his dad's struggles with bipolar disorder and the teacher and students were very kind.
My conversation with Alex continued...
"Well my teacher said to write about something personal, and if its relatable, you usually get better marks"....
"And I was also going for the SYMPATHY VOTE, you know, whatever you have to do..." She says with an unbelievable smirk.
"Mom it was all truth, I promise."
Sympathy Vote or not I'm proud of her. I hope they never feel the stigma of mental illness and that we really are moving from the shadows into the light.