Posts Tagged ‘depression’

The sigma of mental illness and suicide

Crease Clinic/Riverside Vancouver BC Canada

 

I think this will be one of the most vulnerable posts I will ever write; and so it will leave me open to personal attacks online;I will have to prepare myself for such. I came upon another blog about a female performance artist.. she was testing out human nature. She put herself in a crowd of people, topless.. exposed and vulnerable, with various objects beside her on a table. She vowed to remain motionless, exposed to the crowd. She was treated with cruelty. Her experiment reflects on the online world, or mobs of people.. I have proved as much with my blog, with exposing my vulnerable-ness, by being open and honest with the human journey or struggles… many have seen my open heart and mind as an open target.. but it is for the greater good.. to show by actions how to be more human..to have compassion towards the self and others.. so here we go again.

Me at 1 year

My mother and her identical twin sister were stricken with schizophrenia at the tender age of 14, that same year my grandfather, their father died of black lung..my poor grandmother. My mother was a very beautiful woman from the inside out.. a tender heart much like myself. My father was an abusive man; he made her illness much worse, but than I suppose it is easy to reason that a cruel person would be drawn to an easy victim. I think my mother would of spent a lot less time in the hospital and off of drugs; and shock therapy treatment if she wasn’t terrorized in her own home. I had a very tough childhood. I have been shamed and judged by others for it; and to remain silent about it.. I married a man that shamed me into silence.. I was unconscious to the fact that I married an emotionally abusive man.. like a toned down version of my own father.

me and my sisters.. Sharon to the left..me in the middle..Christina on the right

My mother spent a lot of time in Crease Clinic in Vancouver or Riverside .. I remember it very well. As a child I attended one of the best Halloween parties at Riverside; as it was held for the female patients and their young children.. this was the place were my mother eventually took her life. My father had moved us hundreds of miles away from our mother; he was cruel and selfish. My mother had to travel with a social worker or nurse to come and visit us; my father never took us too her. I think social services was also at fault; I think they allowed the emotional abuse by allowing our father to move us away from her. With government funding cut backs, my mother hadn’t seen us in a year. That time away from her four children pushed her over the edge. She had written letters to us that our father hadn’t given to us. We read them years later. She expressed how much she missed nurturing us; her children.. my mother’s astrological sign was a Cancer..she loved to cook and clean; she loved being mother. She told us how she missed baking apple raisin pies..she missed seeing us wear the mittens she knitted for us. The letters were heart breaking. Without us her life was dark; meaningless..and the voices in her head took over. My mother hung herself by the sleeves of her shirt. I had just turned 13.. as she was committing suicide hundreds of miles away from me.. unknown to me.. I had an unexplained panic attack.. I know now it was because children have an unexplained connection to their mothers.. I know that now as mother; it’s just a knowing. When the local preacher came to our house to tell us the next day.. every time I closed my eyes I felt myself falling..

My Mother March of 1983..she took her life April 27 1983Rest in Peace Mommy

My father took us to go and view her body lying in state. She looked as if she was sleeping.. I hadn’t seen my mother in so long. I longed to be held by her and to hold her.. but it was just her body.. she was gone. On her finger she wore a ring that I had given her. The ring was out of a Cracker-jack box; it was a gold northern star. I had told her we were all just stars; that we were just human for a little while and then we all just went back to being stars ( the wisdom of a child ) I remembered how she let me put it on her little finger. I pulled out some of my hair and placed it in with her when no one was watching; because I wanted some of me to go with her. I will never forget how I longed for her to come back to life..how unreal it was to see my mother’s body. My father didn’t let us stay for her funeral; I think it was because he was truly ashamed of what he had done to her.

There were happy times between them; when my mother was on an upswing .. when my father wasn’t being a beast.. they both made a princess birthday cake for me.. I had wanted the moment to last forever

 

But moment’s like these were far and few between..love was very rare in hour home.

Now fast-forward to my marriage 1999. I had thought I was marrying a great guy obviously. I was unconscious to the damage of my childhood..but I also know that there isn’t a single one of us that isn’t damaged or that hasn’t been broken.. I had a lot of things go wrong all at the same time.. it was like a catastrophic natural disaster. My husband had started having an affair when I was pregnant with our last child, our son. He became frustrated and angry with me because we had four miscarriages after having our two daughters. One of the miscarriages was quite far along .. five months into the pregnancy. I had gone through horrible grieving and depression; my husband checked out emotionally then..and began to blame me for his inability to be present emotionally though the lows in our marriage. By the time I was seven months into the pregnancy with our son.. he was totally gone emotionally..he didn’t even show up for the ultrasound. I saw him talking with her outside in our yard through the dinning room widow when they didn’t know I was watching.. it was clear by their body language and loving, lustful looks that they were sharing that they were intimate. But I had to push it down into my subconscious to stay pregnant ..to give birth to a healthy full term baby..and so the affair continued unchecked by me..I couldn’t confront it.

My mother and her children.. I am the one in the tree with the flowers!

When my son was born I went into a deep dark postpartum depression ( I wonder why? ) I spent many hours talking to the Pacific Postpartum Hotline ladies.. they coached me about self care..the guided me towards getting myself and my husband into marriage counselling.. but then my sister was diagnosed with a stage four brain tumor .. My son was still a nursing baby and my sister was dying.. It took all my strength to keep her in the hospital way from her abusive husband..so that she could die with proper care and dignity. It was January.. and I would drive an 1 1/2 hours in horrible conditions to spend hrs with my sister..to care for her..to spend her last hrs with her.. my husband resented being left with the baby and our two very young girls.. he resented the attention that I was giving my dying sister and then the attention that I was giving the baby and children over him.. he was doing house renos.. and he wanted to get shit done.. me and my sister..the kids were keeping him back ( and stopping him from having sex with his mistress ) The day after my sister died my ex husband emotionally abused me.. he screamed at me because the bottom of our son’s playpen had scratched the new wood flooring he had just put in.. he called me a selfish bitch..

My marriage was over.. even with marriage counselling.. with me getting talk therapy for my grief.. I was sick and depleted .. I didn’t know I had celiac .. I was a burden to him.. he left me to got to Mexico..with his friends ( mistress ) I put myself in the hospital so that I wouldn’t take my own life..I willingly had myself committed to be here to write this story..

Life is like that.. for many people.. one day everything can just crash and burn.. it’s like a bad country/western song.. his dog dies, his girlfriend leaves him..he looses his job.. and he is thinking of just putting one bullet in his gun.. just for him..

The point is this.. it can happen to anyone of us.. the wheel of fortune can take a horrible turn.. your child could be born with mental illness.. anything good or bad can happen..

I am also pointing out the differences between a deep mental illness and depression.. depression can be treated.. circumstances can change for the better given time and work.. some mental illnesses cannot be treated the same way.. my mom’s identical twin is still in a care home..I just went to visit her a few days ago. She needs to be kept safe from herself and other cruel people in the world that would hurt her because she is vulnerable..

If you are reading this because you are depressed and feeling suicidal.. please know you are not alone.. many people have the same thoughts and feelings.. you are not crazy or a bad person.. you are a person that needs TLC.. some love and compassion.. please have compassion on yourself and tell somebody.. anybody..and keep telling people until someone listens..it’s not weak it is brave to get help.. you are just experiencing an intense low in your life.. it will get better..it doesn’t seem like it now but time does heal all things..time and work..

If someone comes to you asking for help.. call 911.. call the crisis line or the hospital..they will guide you towards helping them..

I ask people to stop shaming people who ask for help.. stop shaming the mentally ill that need to be in care homes.. they need compassion not judgement.. they are vulnerable..they need to be protected.

The craziest thing in the world is the lack of compassion and tenderness.. the lack of humanity.

Written in loving memory of my mother

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