Mental Illnesses are prevalent in our world. They greatly affect not only the individual involved, but the people around them. In the month of April, we focus our spotlight on Mental Health, in order to heal together and break down stigmas.
We want your stories. How has your own, or someone else’s mental illness affected your life? How are you rising above stigmas?
Please share your stories with us during the month of April.
I am supposed to be heartbroken.
…and I am, but not for the reasons other people think.
When you go – I will mourn the life that could have been – the life you could have had, the life WE could have had; not the car crash it was – leaving nothing but broken people and devastation in its wake.
I will be sad for the “what if” and the “what could have been,” not the actuality. I’m not sad for the reality.
The reality is that your passing will set me free – to a certain extent – from my ‘you’ prison. I’ll still have to continue contending with the prison I built for myself, I know that, but, the direct pain of you will be no more.
People try to share with me, which is sweet and kind but, it makes me squirm and knocks my very thin rope of sanity a little. They tell me about their own experiences of losing a parent or grandparent and how sad they were and how they are there for me. They share things with me which they think will make me feel better – and it would – in an alternate universe, where you weren’t so horrible, and I wasn’t so messed up.
I kind of lie, and say ’“Thank you,” and pretend that I’m cut up about it, like they are about their own relatives passing, and I lie, and I lie, and I lie. Once again, I’m the weird outsider watching the world be normal while I’m in my own little weirdness bubble. What else can I say to them?
“Thanks so much for your kind words and your thoughts and wishes but, please – don’t waste them. She never loved me, and in turn, I’ve built a wall 7 feet tall. I spent my whole life trying to make her love me and it never worked, no matter what I did. This is not a normal ‘daughter losing her mother’ thing, so please – don’t hurt yourself remembering something painful to you in order to help me. Please, please don’t. ”
Sometimes I think I should cry, to look normal.
I nearly did cry the other day. I couldn’t bear to touch your skin with mine so I held your hand through the blanket, and you squeezed it. You squeezed my hand.
It was like throwing a starving person one sugar-free mint. Something wonderful and warm and meaningful but, at the same time empty – and too little – and far too late.
You hang on. Wasting away. I can almost identify every bone in your body. You rarely speak. You rarely wake now. Your body is breaking down, and even the nurses are praying you pass before the really ugly stuff starts happening.
But, you hang on …and on …and on…
I’m sorry you never got the life you wanted mum. I’m sorry it was so hard. I’m sorry you struggled with your own mind from childhood, and I’m sorry you made such awful, terrible, harmful choices. I’m sorry you experienced horrific things, and I’m sorry no one was ever there to protect you.
But, I’m angry you left me. You abandoned me whilst still being in front of me. I’m angry, sad, lost and hurt that you ignored me and chose others so much more favorably over me. The things you did to me, and said to me, and put me through were unforgivable. Some of the things still make me gasp a bit when I remember them because they were so cold and hard and callous; designed to hurt me and humiliate me and separate me. How could a mother treat their child like that?
I guess I don’t want other people’s sympathy because it’s not right. I’m not grieving over the prospective loss of you because, I’ve already been grieving your loss.
Safe journey, Mum.
This is my first post for Band Back Together. It’s been really interesting reading all of your stories. I feel the sense of community in these posts.
I was separated from my mother at the very early age of around three or four.
Recently, I have noticed it is affecting my relationships with a lot of people in my life, including my fiance. I’ve noticed when I am away from her, I rage and become angry. I always seem to look for connections with other people, so I am not alone. I try to either keep myself busy, or I surround myself with other people so that I don’t have to be alone.
I am currently seeking therapy for my abandonment issues.
I would really appreciate some feedback from other people who deal with similar issues.
Spent the last two months hoping against all hope that my mother and father had not actually abandoned me and would recognize the generous friendly text I sent. We only exchange presents and Christmas cards each year through the post and have absolutely no contact other than that because my mother has been repeatedly out of control and dupes my dad into following her every manipulative idea – she is the expert after all.
I ended up feeling totally resentful that they had yet again ignored me, leaving me hanging, after that I had to place severe boundaries on them to stop them dropping in when they want, without asking regularly. I live 200 miles away from them and on my own and had clearly stated I did not want visitors at the minute thank you, and I would let them know when I did.
Even though I copied in others to the text – who responded within a day or two (so I know it was received) I got no reply from either parent. I felt manipulated after 6 weeks, and alone, and know it is my mothers method of control. It is possibly stemming this time from her resentment of me finally forcing an absolute boundary on her in the summer and threatening her with police if she didn’t stop what she was doing and actually meaning it since I had already spoken to them.
It is a tactic she has used before to manipulate/punish me into chasing them from what I now know is from triggering my fear they have yet again abandoned me. And yes I fell for it and sent another text.
And this time I got a reply from both of them! My mothers text was long, to control the conversation, where my dads text was very short with two lines.
My mother thinks she is a psychologist because she has a psychology degree, but she didn’t make the grade and couldn’t do the clinical psychologist degree or practice. I feel that she is really an amateur just like the rest of us but she makes others think and treat her like the expert with these ridiculously big theories of hers about people and why they are doing things that always make her look the overly kind martyr our relationship.
The thing is all her communication always makes me feel that we are lacking on a deep emotional level. It seems to be caring from the outside to strangers or people who don’t want to get involved and not read in context but if you experience it, it feels so hurtful, so nasty it takes my breath away sometimes. From someone considered to be so sensitive to others needs and feelings she can read them and speak for them to others?
Anyway I digress, this text started with congratulating ME for contacting them! After I contacted them originally and they ignored it completely 2 months ago!?
Next she gave an answer to my original question but made it so insignificant that it makes my original offer basically devoid, and it won’t put me in any special light at all.
The final point was classic, after having years of me being repeatedly abused by men sexually, physically, verbally, emotionally and becoming completely isolated from all friends and colleagues after my last seriously abusive relationship with a man who was diagnosed psychotic and completely betrayed me. I wanted to believe I could have a relationship with somebody/anybody and surely he must love me or be able to appreciate me? I was so physically ill from the stress of my last abusive partner that I actually developed an serious auto immune disease and nearly died. I didn’t see the symptoms and have had 9 operations in the last two years at the age of 44, it is blatantly clear to everyone I will not be having children of my own even though I would have loved to, really loved to, even if it was still physically possible and some man could see past the colostomy bag I now have as a result. My mother has taken it upon herself out of the blue this year to start announcing when every single woman is pregnant or has had a baby. The last point on her text was how someone who I don’t even know because she didn’t include the last name (I believe she wants me to fish for info) has had a baby. Something I can never do and on my own have come to a good place about it, until its flagged up by my mother who has also had her own children and knows it all….
It just makes me feel so floored by her every time and so crazy, even though I know we have a dreadful relationship where I literally don’t want to have anything to do with her and I know she is showing others including my dad, saying look how generous I am even though my daughter doesn’t want to have anything to do with me, and I am filling her in with all the family news and keeping her up to date, but with all the news from an entire family who basically abandoned me to her sick behavior my entire life.
I’ve tried having nothing to do with her, I find putting boundaries in place is absolutely impossible. I feel traumatized just trying to work out what boundary it is I need to put in place because I’m so unpracticed in it.
I’ve tried being what she wants me to be and its never enough. I’m upset, hurt and doing the bad things I learned from my mother/father in all my relationships. Trusting people I shouldn’t even though I’m looking hard and not trusting those I should. I learned to repress and not act on my instinct in order to stay safe from her anger and revengeful behavior once my dad and others weren’t around as a child. I take the wrong choices regularly due to the trust issues providing proof to my mother and the family, if they should ever need it, that I am completely the rotten apple and they are the long suffering martyrs all along.
And I keep hearing from my dad ‘Well you were perfectly capable.’
I’m a 16 year old girl and I had to grow up fast. I never really got to enjoy my childhood, at times I don’t mind because I like feeling as though I’m capable to do things on my own, but sometimes I feel as thought I should’ve been able to live a normal teenage life. My father was in the picture but he was never mentally or emotionally there for me.
My mom had to take the role of both mother and father, but that made me feel like I had to be more responsible, like I had the responsibility of being a parent which I didn’t like. I started working once I turned 15 and I’ve worked ever since.
As soon as I got my first job my mom stopped helping me with anything and always asked me for money. I felt like I was the parent and she was the daughter. It really gets hard sometimes cause I feel as though she’s never played the role of being a mom. She kept a roof over my head and food in my stomach, but emotionally she was never there. I never got an “I love you” unless she did something really horrible towards me and felt guilty. I’ve never heard how was your day, how are your grades, how was school, would you like to talk about anything…none of these normal questions parents ask their kids. And it really hurts, I have just always wished I had an actual mom I could look up to.
You were not supposed to be created.
Your father called you a “mistake.”
I called you a miracle. My miracle.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant with on Halloween night in 2004, I knew I wanted you.
Your father was not there much and I will explain to you why later in life. Adult life is complicated and sometimes it is not fair what other people do to each other.
You see my darling daughter, your father was married to another women and already had two little girls.
I did not know he was married at the time of your creation and he did not tell me.
He tried to be there at first, but I think somewhere along the lines his life got too complicated.
I spent a lot of time being angry at him for not being who I thought he was; maybe this is why he choose to not be part of your life. I am truly sorry if I am the reason he is not in your life now.
We have another man in our life now and he has been here for a little over a year. He is not a replacement for the father you do not have, but he is his own “male parental unit” to you and he loves you.
I wish that you do not spend your adult life hurting yourself emotionally because of what your father does now.
I don’t care if you are doctor or a lawyer I simply ask of the fates that you will still be the loving and creative person you are now.
All I wish is the best for you in your life.
I’m not a “real” addict, though. I’m just irresponsible, immature, and emotionally unstable and that’s why I spent my entire inheritance on makeup, perfume, clothing, nail polish, and food.
No, that’s not true.
I am a real addict.
Just like the alcoholic, the substance abuser, the gambler… I’m a shopper. I am a compulsive shopper. Shopping is my drug of choice.
And just like every other addict, my addiction causes me fear, guilt, and shame. It’s alienated me from friends, family, and even other addicts with whom I worked to get better. It didn’t fill up the hole inside of me like I thought it would.
As a diagnosed borderline personality disorder patient, who has parents who essentially abandoned me as a child (and yes, it really is possible to abandon someone and their needs and still live in the same house), I started accumulating things as soon as I had money of my own.
My father, who was – and still is – extremely successful and well-off, never taught me how to work with money and live companionably with it. Instead, it was something to be feared, revered, untouchable.
I can’t control my addiction, and although I know that this shopping addiction is there, I don’t know how to stop it.
My name is Sam, and I’m an addict.