mental illness

All posts in the mental illness category

She Should Have Been Proud

Published November 16, 2017 by maryleesdream

Mothers_and_children_II

 

My dear departed mother should have been proud of me.

I’m getting ready to go to work this morning.  I’m a supervisor in a busy government office.  I’ve raised 4 wonderful people into adulthood.  I own my own home and have been married to my sweetie for 34 years.

But she hated me.  My family shuns me.  It breaks my heart.  No matter what I do, it is never good enough.  I am tainted.  I am tainted by their rejection.

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A Letter to My Father

Published September 14, 2017 by maryleesdream

 

writing-letter-586d7bbe5f9b584db320f6c5

September 13, 2017

 

Dear Dad,

 

I can’t believe it’s almost 7 years since I found my family.  It hurts so much to know that you are all out there, and I am so alone.

It’s been over 2 years since my mother died, and I haven’t heard a word from my family.  I don’t think anyone can imagine how bad that feels.  It’s a terrible curse to have a family, but not be part of it.

The last family member I heard from was my cousin W.  She told me that the entire family decided that it was best not to have any contact with me.  Best for who? I asked, but there was no answer.  It’s not best for me, so I guess it must be best for the rest of you.

It was best to give me away as a newborn, and best to shun me as an adult.  But, never, ever best for me.  Best for me would have been to live and grow up with my family, and best for me would have my family accept and love me as I am.  I will never get that.  What’s best for me is not very important to my family.

I still live with the pain of being cast out.  It does not get better.

I did not attend my mother’s memorial.  My brother kicked me out of hospice on her last day.  He asked when he got to be alone with his mother.  I guess his whole life was not enough for him.

My mother and her friends hated me, so I thought it best to stay away from the memorial.  I never saw my brother, John after he kicked me out of hospice.

You are the one with the mystery illness, but my mother was the one who died.  Life’s funny like that.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much being abandoned, and shunned hurts.  I’m pretty sure you don’t care, since you always do what’s best for you.  And never, ever what’s best for me.

 

Marylee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two years ago…

Published September 2, 2017 by maryleesdream

1271912_160367034164261_1997061723_oMy dear mother died 2 years ago today.

I was not there.  My auntie was, I made sure Mom was not alone.  I gave her her sister.  Aunt Ginny was in jail when I told her Mom was sick.  She was in a bad way.  I bought her a bus ticket, from Michigan to NYC, so she could be with my mother.  I couldn’t do it, because I was a stranger to my own mother.

Mom was not comfortable with me.  I guess it was because she gave me away, and because she was mentally ill.

I don’t understand mental illness.  I never had experience with it, before I found my mother.  I did not know how cruel mental illness was.  It allows a person to do terrible things.  They don’t want to do those things, but their mind bends in a way that makes them think what they are doing in OK.

I still have a lot to learn.  I’m still so angry, at my mother, at the world.  At whoever made me what I am.

I never got to know my mother.  Oh God, why did you do this to me?  Are you to blame?

Another Dead Mother

Published May 17, 2017 by maryleesdream

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy co worker’s mother died a few days ago.  Some of us from work went to the wake.  Jill’s mother looked beautiful, laid out in the casket, in a smart red suit.  Her beloved Jelly beans and a deck of cards were tucked in beside her.

Jill’s mother was 95 when she died, in Jill’s house, where they had been living together for years.  Jill was by her side when she passed.  Jill’s daughter was there too.  It was a “good death”, if such a thing can be good.

Of course, seeing Jill and her mother brought back a lot of feelings about my own mother’s death.

I was there near the end, with Mom, but not at the end.  Mom was in hospice.  I was not really a welcome visitor in my mother’s room.  I did not go to Mom’s memorial service.  I did not view her body.  She was cremated immediately.  I longed for one last look, but it was not to be.

I had no choices regarding Mom’s care, her service or her remains.  I am her firstborn, and natural next of kin, but adoption erased all that.  I was merely an unwelcome stranger.

Someday I may bury my adoptive mother.  I’ll be the next of kin.  As an only child, I’ll make all the decisions.  But, she is not my mother.  My mother is dead.

Trying to Understand

Published October 15, 2016 by maryleesdream

family-blessing

 

 

Ever since I found my family, I’ve been trying to get back into the family.

 

I have failed.  I’m not actively trying right now, but I think about it everyday.  I try and figure out how to do it.  How to make their minds and hearts open, and allow me inside.

It has happened with a few kinsmen.  Three have welcomed me with open arms, flaws and all.  They understand the pain and anger, sympathize and know they are not responsible for causing or fixing  it. They know it’s part of me, and are willing to take me on anyway.  It’s a wonderful blessing.

I don’t use blessing in the religious sense, as I do not believe in a god who rules the world.  A blessing, a mitzvah, a good thing in the universe.

 

They are on my mothers side, only.  The wild side. My fathers family says Mom’s family was terrible.  Things too horrible to even talk about. It’s all true.

 

But somehow, my good, good father, from his good, good family managed to get together with this bad, bad family, and create me.

 

I think if I could only get them to understand, that I’m just normal, not a sick person who is out to get them.  But the more you try, the more like a sick psycho you appear, so its better to back off.

They say that I show, by my actions, that I don’t want to be part of the family.  I guess I do, but it’s really a defense mechanism.  I want to be loved so bad, but I have to seem cold and hard, so they can’t see how their rejection hurts.  It comes off looking cold.

My family actually had some sort of sit down, or at least phone chain or something, where they all decided to cut all contact with me.  This is my father’s family, the good guys.  Pillars of the community, grand marshals in the town parade, all around good, nay, great citizans.  This is what they have decided is best, for dealing with me.  Best for them, mostly.  Best for me, definitely not.

I send baby gifts to my cousins, when they have children.  I want them to know that babies are wonderful things, and to think about me, and love me despite what happened to me.  But I never know if the gifts are received, and they probably think I’m crazy for sending them.

Imagine being shunned by your kin! And for what?

If there’s anyone out there who reads this, what do you think I should do?  I love sending baby gifts.  I’m so happy to know who my family is, even from afar.  I can’t forget about them and go on with my life.  I do go on with  my life, all the time.  How does one not? I get up everyday, just like everyone else.  I have a job, and live in a big house with 5 other people.  I cook dinner and pay the bills and run a busy house,and work full time.  I do a decent job at both.  I’ve seen a few therapists, but they haven’t been able to help me.  I think it’s because there is nothing wrong with me, I just feel a certain way about things, and that’s it.  There is no evidence of mental illness.

Should I  just disappear, completely and leave these good people in peace, or continue to send gifts, and leave flowers on my grandparents graves from time to time, to let them know I’m still out here, trying to connect?

I think I know the answer, disappear.  Stop beating a dead horse.  They will never, ever accept you, no matter who you are.  They cannot admit that they may have been wrong.  It’s against family law.  I am outside of family law.  It does not matter how I feel about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Day

Published August 27, 2016 by maryleesdream

move in

 

Big day today!

Oldest daughter turns 29 today.  She was born at 2:30 in the morning, after a quick and intense labor, only 20 months after her big brother.  He was the first relative I had ever met, and she was the second, and the first female.  When they laid her in my arms, we looked into each others eyes and I thought, “this one is like me”.  A girl.  She will feel what I feel, think like I think.  And it’s been true.  A link connecting me and my then unknown mother.  A link connecting me to all the women in my family, from the beginning of time.  Women, giving birth, just like me. Happy Birthday, baby girl!

My youngest is going back to college today.  My 4th and last child.  Last night we visited the Birthday girl at work.  She works at an outdoor bar in a fancy hotel.  It just so happens to be the last place Birthday girl saw her grandmother, my mother.

Going there brought up lots of memories of Mom.  Unfortunately, there are not many good ones.  That evening was tense.  Mom was always wired up when we were together.  Her discomfort was obvious.  She tried to hide it, but I could always tell. I’ll never know exactly what she was feeling.  I don’t know if she was framing me at this point.  We had a few drinks and I drove her to the train station.  I gave her money for the train ticket and she sent me $10 in the mail a few days later.  I was mad.  I didn’t want her $10.  She was my mother, and I had no problem paying for her train ticket.  Oh well. Birthday girl never saw her grandmother again.

I was thinking of Moms apartment in the city.  I’d never seen a place quite like it.  It was a studio, a small kitchen and a bed/sitting room.  It was cluttered, but pretty orderly.  Her strange artwork was all over the walls.  I guess you call them collages.  Pictures, or objects pasted onto different things.  She had bloody Kewpie dolls on a full length mirror, with wedding pictures and other things.  This was called, “The Happiest Day of My Life”.  It was about me, and her relationship with my father.  It was disturbing and terrifying.  There was also one with a bunch of rubber dildos, with penis rings in them. I don’t know what that was called.

Her bathroom door was covered with pictures.  I’m not sure what they were.  I did not like her art.  It was too scary, and IMHO, not very good.  I know it was her way of expressing herself, like writing is mine.

My brother has all of her artwork.  I don’t want any.  Anything she gave me, I either gave back, or if it scared me, I burned it.

 

This is something she gave me for my birthday.  Its photos of us, and my father.  It scared the pants off me, but I pretended that I liked it.  I hung it in my bedroom for awhile, but it creeped me out.  I turned it over and saw faint black marker on the back.  I peeled off a sheet of paper that was glued on, and she had written “dead babies in Potter’s field” and, “fucking fairy princess”.  I burned this one after that.  Later I read on her Facebook page that she called this piece, “watch your mouth”.  She never told me that.

When she gave it to me, I was in her apartment.  She pulled it out from under her bed, and spoke in a strange baby voice that she used sometimes.  Maybe it was one of her multiple personalities.  My heart was pounding, and I wanted to run out of there, but I stayed, and acted like this was a normal gift.

Ah, memories!