Why do we have to be so ashamed of our children for having Mental Illness(es)? That a parent can’t speak up about their child who may be suffering from Depression, Anxiety, an Eating Disorder, BPD or any other Mental Illness? Maybe its because they are afraid of being judged, or that their child will be bullied against it. My parents don’t like to believe that I have anything wrong. Maybe it’s just a phase that I’m going through they say.
My parents hate it when I talk openly about my Mental Health, especially on social media. They say that it would upset Nan and Grandad to know what I’m going through. That there are people worse of then me so I shouldn’t be complaining. That not everyone needs to know our struggles. That’s the one thing that annoys me, they use the words ‘our struggles’. I’m sorry, you know what I’m feeling? That I’m suicidal as hell and that a blade hits my skin most nights? No. You never try to understand what I’m going through.
When I tried to open up to you about all this, Dad got angry and upset as he couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t share this with both of you. Mum, you sat there in silence, but your face told me a thousand words. I could tell that you were feeling hurt by what I was saying, but everything I said was the truth. The truth hurts, but what hurts more is trying to hide it from those you love because they won’t understand.
Dad; one thing you said to me was ‘I worry some nights that I’m going to wake up in the morning and my little girl won’t be there anymore’. That was a dagger to my heart. I wouldn’t want you to ever think that. Then we got talking about things, and that’s when you started telling me that if only I went to you that you would have got me through the system quicker. That none of this would be happening right now if only I came to you. You insinuated that I can’t do things right and that you’re always right.
Mum; you never yell at me, if I’m more honest, you don’t say much when it comes to my Mental Health. Your face tells me everything I need to know. When I posted on Facebook one time opening up about my struggles, you said that you didn’t want Nan & Grampi to know as it’s our family problems. I get that Mum, I do. Thing is though; why should I be ashamed of myself? Why can’t I tell people? You tell me that its nothing to be ashamed over and that people just don’t want to know the struggles we face.
You ask my parents what I’m like and they will say a happy, outgoing and bubbly person who never lets things get in the way of her dreams. That I’ve won awards upon awards, that I’ve met Royalty, I volunteer for a living, I went back to college to get a better education. They would say that I’m perfectly fine and that my life is great. And yes, to an extent my life is great. I have done all those things, but why don’t you tell people that I have Mental Health and despite having it that I have still done all these amazing things? Is it because you fear they will judge you? Your parenting skills? Cause you brung me up with the best life I could imagine. Yeah, we went through shit like when Dad went to prison three times, or when my brother started smoking at age 12, or Grampi being told that he will be basically wheelchair confined for the rest of his life. Admittedly you don’t bring it up much, but people still know about it. Maybe they only know one of the three things, but they still know. No one knows what I go through.
Before anyone wants to start having a go at me, I know it must be hard to admit that something is wrong with your child, I’m not denying that. Why can’t your child speak about it though? Why do we have to make them feel ashamed for something that they have? We don’t tell them they can’t tell anyone if they feel sick or feeling faint. We don’t tell them to hide their cast from where they have broken a bone. So why must we do that with Mental Health? Why can’t we speak openly about it?
Mum & Dad; I’m sorry for what I put you through. I would stop all of this if I could, I swear. I can’t though, so can you accept me for who I am, and please let me be open about my Mental Health?