The silent victim of mental illness

May is Mental Health Awareness month and, after recent events, I have decided to be transparent with you guys and let you in on what my life has been like in the past few years.

My mom is diagnosed with a mental illness and, in my culture, in order to preserve reputation it is detrimental to talk about anything of this sort. But dealing with a family member who suffers with a mental illness is frustrating, overwhelming and not talked about enough.

It. Is. Hard.

There’s no better way to put it. Seeing your parent slowly deteriorate into the characteristics of a child is more burdensome than what any “regular” twenty-something -year-old experiences. Not only that, but seeing the spouse of that parent not being proactive in dealing with the issue at hand is even more frustrating.

I have learned how to be strong, how to hold back my true feelings for fear of being labeled as weak and the daughter of a crazy woman. I have learned that regardless of my circumstances, the unity in family should be there, but it feels as if it’s not. On the contrary, it seems as more division is being caused than anything else.

Through this whole struggle of seeing my mom with her mental illness and how my dad has reacted to it has taught me what I would want in a husband, and it’s not someone who isn’t willing to do the tough part just so that he can save face. Granted, I do understand that he didn’t sign up for this.

I have learned that I have gotten stronger after having left the house almost a year and a half ago. I am more sure of who I am in Christ and my identity is not determined by whether my parents say I’m worthless or an unloving daughter. Ultimately, I am a new creation and I have been born again into God’s family and the Body has been the best support system.

I have learned that not everyone is going through what I am going through but that’s okay because God is still good and He is using even this tough part for His glory and my good. I am learning that in order to show someone that you love them and care about them, you are willing to do even the hardest part- like getting law enforcement involved. Facing opposition has become more and more prominent during this struggle and I feel like I am the only sane person, most times. This is my dysfunctional family, and I am thankful that the Lord has placed me in a family which He is using to grow me.

Anyone who has dealt with a family member that has a mental illness knows that it is so hard to find someone that understands your situation. I haven’t been so lucky, yet, to have a friend that I can talk to about the issues going on at the house and how they handled the situation because they have already gone through it and vice versa. Either way, ultimately, I need to rely on Jesus. I know that He knows my situation and my heart behind this and he won’t leave me or fail me.

I was meditating on Psalm 23 and even though people say this Psalm at funerals these verses stuck out to me as to how God is guiding me through this tough part of my life.

“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Psalm 23:3-4, NLT

I know that this thorn I have been given is only temporary and in retrospect it has shown me a lot on how to rely, wholeheartedly, on God’s promises. I wake up and cling onto Him because that’s the only way that I know I will be able to survive on this side of eternity.

 

14 thoughts on “The silent victim of mental illness

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  1. Love the Psalm that you attached at the foot of your writing. Mental illness, yes it is hard, but you are using one of the panacea to cure it, writing. Loving the way that you write, very intriguing, and the feelings that you poured inside your writing is so immense. Hope to see more from you. Have hope, write on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand your bravery in talking about mental illness. It is hard. I’m not sure where you live, but I know it is even harder to talk about in some places around the world. I live in the U.S. and you’d think it should be easy, but not entirely. I try to speak out to help end stigma, but it will be a continuing fight.

    I do wish that both you and your parents had more support. It seems that your dad could use some family counseling, and perhaps you would benefit, too. But if your dad never goes for such counseling, it isn’t uncommon. My husband is very supportive of me, but my dad is not. It hurts a little, but I have to live with that. I think my dad’s lack of support is born from fear and desire for avoidance. You have to understand that there is also grieving involved with seeing a beloved family member so ill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with the statement of being in the US and it’s still kind of a stigma to talk about mental health. I have been thinking about this toxic situation and definitely see that there needs to be a change. I think both my parents will benefit from counseling; I have been to counseling before in my life due to depression issues myself. Maybe family counseling would be better for all of us? It seems as if avoidance is the best “remedy,” unfortunately it has a lasting effect that, if not dealt with, will keep on generation to generation. I’m glad that you have your husband’s support and I know it’s a process to see someone you love be in that position and you feel hopeless. I trust things will get better ! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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