Embarrassment Print
Written by Tracey   
I was so pleased to see a website for children of the mentally ill. After reading some of the letters, some of which resemble my own upbringing, I just had to write. My Mother had schizophrenia for 34 years until her death in 1996. I am 42 now. The oldest of 3 children.
My family won't talk of mums illness and I've only heard my father mention "schizophrenia" once. My mums sisters and brothers pretend it didn't exist. My whole life Ive hidden behind the embarrassment of mums condition. What if your friends find out! My Dads mother didn't like my mum and made it obvious as did Dads sisters. The reason being they viewed her as a "nut" . I find it difficult as an adult to trust and maintain friends. I suffer depression, low self esteem, suicidal thoughts. I failed at school, I won't take risks incase I fail. Or take risks incase I succeed. I feel like the blinds have half down my whole life. Our family wasn't offered any counselling. My Dad I know was hospitalized once for stress caused by Mums condition. Poor bastard. He never once ran down Mum to his children. I love him for it. My Nana after abusing my mother one day, verbally, got a taste of her own medicine. Mum told her where to go and smashed her reading glasses. Nana told everyone Mum was violent in the small country town we lived in. Mum never helped at the tuckshop, had our hair done nice, came to our sports carnival ect. So I overcompensate where my three girls are concerned. I'm always on the lookout for signs one of my kids will end up like Mum. I can't talk about all this to my husband, as he comes from the "Brady Bunch" family. I get angry when all there are funding for "nice" disorders, such as breast cancer ect. I write to magazines about Mum illness. But unless a celebrity comes down with schizophrenia it won't be out in the open. Mentally ill people aren't treated with the same respect as people with physical illnesses. This became evident when my Mum became seriously ill. The doctor told us Mum was imagining it. She died a week later!. Someone said to me today. Are you upset that your Mum died. I said. "That was the easy part". I love you Mum.