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In the Land of the Mentally Ill

My shrink said to me that people who stay with dysfunctional families eventually accent that dysfunction as normal.  I suppose some of it does feel normal.  I only feel like me when I am depressed.  But I don’t think I will ever get used to the violence and anger and tension.  And even though I have been dealing with a mentally ill parent for most of my life, tonight I feel like the frightened 12-year old watching her father have a nervous breakdown.

See, there’s been a lot of shit going down round here.  And Pop has sort of reached his maximum capicity.  Considering his diagnosis, from what I have been told, he does fairly well most of the time.  But for several days now he has been more like I remember him when I was in my teens.  He’s childlike, with a frightened look in his eye.  Earlier he was almost hypo-manic and now he can’t sleep, despite the massive amount of “crazy” meds he takes.

And I don’t know what to do because as a mentally ill person myself, I take to my bed after too much stress.  And drink as much as I can during the conscious hours.

Feelings I thought were gone are coming back.  Mom had to go back to work after Pop had his nervous breakdown, so in addition to keeping an eye on my brothers, I had to watch my father: “Daddy, did you take your medicine?”  Recognizing the signs, encouraging him to lay down. . . these were things I did over 20 years ago and now it is repeating.  But it’s scarier now because I am less good, less brave, and really afraid of him screwing up the bills.  And I feel bad for the part I might play in his mental problems.

I realize this post was very self-indulgent.   I just feel like I am barely holding my nuts and pieces together and maybe if I write enough, I can make the fear go away.


About clocklearf

I've wanted to be a writer since the third grade.


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