Takingoffthemask gives a real world account of the reality of mental illness. When he spoke of people with mental illness being treated as if they weren’t human beings I felt like jumping off the kitchen chair and yelling, “YES!” When I was hospitalized it was as if I weren’t a person, but a chart. It was as though I were a criminal not a person. People are so afraid of mental illness. They have no idea how afraid the mentally ill are of everyday life and people. TRIGGER WARNING-This is pretty descriptive about abuse at times. Make sure you are in a good space when you read it.
This poem beautifully ties together generational addiction. Sad but true.
I was six years old and told by my uncle
that we were going on a treasure hunt
through grandma’s house, and if I found
all of the empty bottles of vodka there
would be a prize! a seasoned excavation
artist from my previous seasons looking
for Easter eggs, I found everything from
pints to gallons; some of them had exotic
labels with strange Russian names, others
had familiar supermarket iconography,
and I scored extra points plus a pat on the
head when I discovered one lingering
underneath the wig that sat atop her
as I watched him empty the contents
of every flask and airplane shooter
I thought to myself that grandma sure
was thirsty and must be having a
wonderful time at camp because she
had been there for weeks.
I would come to understand the
purpose of all of this years later when
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In this post, I talk about a popular theme developing each week as I sit on my therapist’s couch. Bathing. In Intrusive Thoughts; Mom’s Voice I say “I see childhood.” In this post I’m briefly able to describe the flashback…
I look at the pink bath towel as I wipe my hairy adult legs. I study crooked six-month old teal nail polish and the green veins on top of my feet. As I stand up, the bubble-gum pink towel freezes me. Flash. It’s bath time.
Just outside the bathroom door, mom turns, rests her hand against the wall. “I’ll be watchin YOU. So, better dry right.”
I scream until I think I’ll go mad. I hate it. Hate having to tell her I’m done so she can watch me dry off. Sometimes I scream so hard, my face flushes fire-engine red and all I hear is the sharp buzz in my ears.
I stop and listen to the sound.
It is my heart beating in my ears. I feel the red gooey heart frantically pumping blood. I see it. I’m in a rage. I cry so often that my throat is sometimes sore and a sense of exhaustion tugs at my whole being. Even my legs feel heavy.
Mandy posted this because it was her first FB post regarding the shame and fear survivors often carry surrounding abuse. Lately, I’ve Let go of more shame. Yet, It is so easy to become trapped within the fear and shame.
Mark Freeman talks about the issue of mental health which many are afraid to discuss. I find it liberating to share if only through the writen word. Gradually, I’m telling my story to a few trusted individuals. Each time a weight is lifted from my shoulders. The more we talk the more attention we bring to mental health the healthier we will all be.
Ian Fullbrook paints an accurate and vivid description of what it’s like to live with and work through mental illness. I was especially struck by her comment about having to convince people you are in fact suffering from mental illness. Ronnie Schwartz’s art is beautiful and shows not only how uneven the path to recovery is, but it also shows the many steps we must take to reach the other side. Readers, I hope this gives you hope.