mental illness

All posts in the mental illness category

The Past

Published August 5, 2018 by maryleesdream

lonely

 

Last night, I woke in the middle of the night, and I felt such fear and dread.  I sought the root of the feeling, and could not find it.  I remembered that I have always felt this, and that the feeling has no name.  I also remembered that it will pass.  It will return, and it will go away again.  I think we all have these feelings.  It’s the human condition.

When I think back on my childhood, I cannot find any happy memories.  None.  The whole thing is colored a dark grey, by my adoption.  Losing my mother, and never being allowed to even speak of it, colored my life.

No family. No one. Nothing. Every day, all day.

I could not wait to escape from my adoptive parents house.  I met my husband when I was 16.  Someone who could save me, and make me whole.

“But, your adoptive parents loved you.  They did not abuse you! They raised you!”.

I know. I was there.  They tried, but I was so hurt.  I could not feel their love.  Their love was spoiled for me, because it came at the expense of my real family.  I should not have been put in such an impossible position.  I could not accept the love of the ones who I felt were responsible for my loss.

Did they really love me?  I suppose so.  I was a good enough child.  But, I was not, and could never be their child.  They had to maintain the illusion that I was.  They did not tell anyone that I was adopted.  It was a hidden family secret, one that I dared not speak of.

How I hated the phrase, “when we got you”.  Got me? I wanted “when you were born”.  I wanted my mother to tell the story, of my birth, not the story of these  strangers who somehow, “got me”.

Even as a young child, I felt this way.

It was a lost cause, from the start.  I was broken, unable to be fixed.  On my own, from the start.  I had to turn my heart to stone.

I remember, being at my Auntie Irene’s house, during the long hot summers when I was 6 & 7.  There were 4 older kids there, my adoptive cousins.  They did not like me much.  The feeling was mutual, but I was at a disadvantage.  I was all alone, and they had each other, as well as their real parents, and I was an unwelcome guest in their home.  My adoptive parents sent me there so they could both work full time during the summer.

I used to lie awake in my borrowed bed, listening to my adoptive uncle’s snores and will my heart to be hard, like a stone so I would not feel the pain of being left alone, again.  I locked my self in the bathroom, and said every curse word I knew.

I went home on weekends, and never told my adoptive mother any of it.  I never told her the sex games my cousins would play either.  I finally told her when I was an adult, and she said, “why didn’t you tell me”.  Sigh.

Would I have sadness if I hadn’t been adopted?  I’m sure.  My real mother had issues.  I still loved and needed her.

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DNA

Published April 17, 2018 by maryleesdream

dna

 

 

My father’s sister did 23 and me, and guess who popped up on her DNA family page, little ole me!

She was listed as my half sister, which would either mean her father,  is my father too, or my father, her brother is her father too.  I don’t think either is the case, with DNA relatives, they come close, but the exact relationship isn’t always certain.  But I kinda liked the idea that my dad slept with his mother.  Then finally his family would see he wasn’t a great guy.  I thought it was kinda funny.

So, I contacted her, on the 23 and me website.  We shared our DNA profiles.  It was nice.  Then we started emailing.  I shared my huge Ancestry.com tree with her.  She asked if I wanted to meet for dinner sometime, me and hubby with her and her hubby.

I did not want to do that.  I told her about the shunning, and she said my cousin, the one who told me about the shunning had it wrong.  There was no decision to shun me.  I guess it was not official, but everyone did it anyway?

Strangely, I have no desire to see my Aunt.  She does not mean much to me.  She told me that she loves my father, “warts and all” and cannot speak about his decisions.  Fair enough.  I can, and his decisions hurt a lot of people.  He’s a scumbag.  As long as I feel this way, I don’t think I can ever get along well with my aunt.  We can’t have a casual going out to dinner kind of relationship.  Especially after all those years of silence.

And…still no word about my mother.  No acknowledgement of her death.  No I’m sorry, nothing.  why would I want to be near this woman?  Well, I don’t.

Auntie said she’d be there if I ever wanted to get to know her.  Does that sound like a loving invitation?  It does not to me.  I know enough to stay away from this one…

 

 

Maybe I’ve Got it All Wrong

Published January 14, 2018 by maryleesdream

 

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I think my birth parents are my parents, not my adoptive parents.

I do not think I’m related to my adoptive parents at all.  I can’t understand how I can be expected to believe unrelated strangers are my family.  I was raised by, and around my adoptive family, but I never,ever thought, or wished that I was related to any of them.

They’re OK people.  Not too bright, actually.  My mother was much smarter.  More damaged, for sure, but quick, in a way the adopters are not.  Mom & I both have large vocabularies.  A-mom, not so much.

It’s not a popular point of view, but it’s one I just cannot shake.

No one likes it.  My adoptive family think it’s wrong, because my A-parents raised me, and I should see them as my parents.  My birth family doesn’t like it.  I’m not sure how they feel about it, but it seems they don’t consider me a relative, and wish I would just vanish.  Which I have.  I have little contact with my natural family, 7 years after reunion.

We may have no contact, but they are still my relatives.  No matter what everyone else believes.

Are there any others out there like me, who do not understand how we’re supposed to believe strangers are our families?  Please let me know how it is for you.

She Should Have Been Proud

Published November 16, 2017 by maryleesdream

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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.

A Letter to My Father

Published September 14, 2017 by maryleesdream

 

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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.