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.