There are so many different ways that having a parent with a mental illness impacts the children's lives that it would be impossible to list them all. Suffice to say that every part of life, physical, mental, emotional....all feel the impact of the parent's illness.
For me, I can count the things I missed out on....
I missed having a loving relationship with my mother. Let me explain...I THOUGHT it was a good relationship...until I started seeing others' relationships with their mothers, and realizing how one-sided ours was.
I missed fun...don't get me wrong. I had some fun...but it was strictly (VERY) regulated.
I missed friendships. I had a few...which were VERY limited due to my mother's reticence to have anyone visit our home.
I missed out on differentiation in my teen years....
I missed out on following ANY dreams...mainly because the dreams were squashed so early that they didn't ever have a chance.
I missed out on getting into trouble...legitimate trouble...not trouble with my parents, but truly doing anything that might be considered trouble-worthy in any other family in our church.
I missed out on freedom to roam, freedom to be me, freedom to be unencumbered.
I missed the chance to explore who I was because I ALWAYS had to be/act/do as she determined.