Truth in every line It's everything they said. I just cried and cried Print
Written by Simone   

She had been talking about things which seemed odd crazy but surely this was normal?

I read through the letters and articles and just cried and cried- what the people were saying was so true- everything they said I could relate to.
I remember going to school, and more recently going to university, and people talking about how terrible the stigma of mental illness was, and how it'd all be fine if it was accepted in the community.

I remember being told by my mother's psychiatrist, by my father, by counsellors- that I was my mother's support, that I had to "be strong". I was lucky that I got to have most of a fairly healthy childhood- odd, not quite normal, but one which made me happy. Moving into my teenage years I saw my mother break down year after year after year- all the while I was expected to shoulder the burden and be the support for the family, I saw her getting worse and worse and the doctors not doing anything about it.

I remember the first time my mother was hospitalised since my birth- I was 12 and she had been talking about things which seemed odd, crazy- but surely this was normal? My mother wasn't *that* mentally ill, surely? Even when she started telling me that I would give virgin birth, I wasn't convinced that she was unwell, I even wondered if she was right.

Since then she has been hospitalised every year, sometimes multiple times a year, and in the beginning, in the breaks between hospitalisations I could see my old mother- concealed behind a veil, maybe, but she (or some part of her) was there. In the past 2 years or so, though, I have lost touch with her- I can't talk to her in a reasonable manner, I hear her talking about how "fish oil will save us", how she can take the poisons out of tobacco, how she will cure me of my lung problems by burning "heavenly incense" (tobacco) around me... and the list goes on. When I talk to her I feel as if I'm in some surrealist movie, or as if I'm talking to someone high on drugs- except that I know she won't come out of it in a couple of hours, and I won't be able to tell her how silly she sounded.

Every day I worry about her. I am (and I know this) the only person left who talks to her- her youngest child. I'm not yet 20, though I have (thankfully) moved out of the house, and I don't think I would be alive now if I hadn't. When I don't talk to her, I feel guilty for not supporting her, and when I do talk to her, it fills me with such sadness and grief- as many people have said- I feel as if my mother is dead, but there is some other creature in her body, and I desperately keep reaching out to her in the hopes that my mother will reach back, but my mother isn't there anymore. I wonder if she ever will be again.

Thank you so much for providing the website, it is very helpful to know that I am not alone, there are other people who have been through similar things. It hurts me to see that even though what I have gone through is incredibly painful, what many of these people have gone through is far worse.

Western Australia