Mental Illness, thou art a heartless bitch!

Photo by Sarah Naegels.

Yesterday, I posted the above picture on facebook.  A friend of mine posted the following comment:

You look like sunshine incarnate.

That reminded me of something my father used to say all the time:

You always bring the sunshine with you wherever go

And that, friends, is a memory that -as the proverbial pill,  is very hard to swallow.

I have talked about my father before, here, here, here and here.  I particularly recommend clicking on the last one, if nothing, because of the cute picture of two-year old me in that post.

Till the day I die, I will be haunted by two things:

  1. Not being able to save my mother
  2. Not being able to love my father

Let’s not talk about the former for now.  Some other time.  Maybe.

But about the latter…

It took me a few years but I eventually started talking to my father again.   I was pretty obvious to me he felt awful and wanted to make amends.

The funny thing is that we never “talked”.  I mean, about it.  Ever.   I don’t know if he needed to talk.  Probably he did.  But he never said anything and I was happy that way.  I knew he was sorry and that was enough for me.

In retrospect, it might’ve not been enough for him.  He might’ve had to say it out loud, for his own sake.  For closure.  I know that most of the time, it is immensely more difficult to forgive ourselves than to forgive others so maybe hearing me say “I forgive you” might’ve helped him.  I’ll never know.

The good thing is that the love he never got from me, he got from my kids.  He adored them and they adored him.  He lived for them and my sister.

All things considered, the last years of his life were not too bad.  I saw him smile quite a lot when he was hanging out with my kids.  He loved to have them over and watch them play.

But then there were those other times when I could see the pain on his face.  He was a tortured man.  And dealing with my sister’s depression and repeated suicide attempts didn’t make it any easier.  I am sure he blamed himself for that.  But of course, we never talked about that either

I never knew if he was aware of my own depression issues.  I sure never mentioned it to him.  But I don’t know if my husband said anything to my father.  But it is probable that if he knew, he would’ve blamed himself for that too.

Mental Illness is a cruel illness.  The cruellest of all, if you ask me.

This is a topic I have discussed many times before.

As Dr Sheldon Cooper would say:

Ah Mental Illness, thou art a heartless bitch

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23 thoughts on “Mental Illness, thou art a heartless bitch!

  1. Fred says:

    Oh, my love…I can imagine how hard it was for you to write this. Thank you for sharing :)

    You’re right…mental illness is a bitch. How many times have we stared at the wall above our beds and screamed “Why can’t I just be fucking normal?!?!”. Sigh. It’s a day by day challenge. Or, curse, if you will.

    You are awesome. There are so many unfinished conversations with your parents, your ex, yourself even…but you are sunlight incarnate and your light shines on all those you touch. You are the sun in my blue sky.

    HUGS <#

  2. purpleowltree1234 says:

    You are so beautiful and you make that happy sunshine yellow shine. :) I *love* this photo. Not just because it is of you (and you are a pretty cool friend!) but because it is one of light and happiness, flaunting sunshine and spreading light. I love it. The guy to the left of you behind you is smartening up- a sure sign he’s seen a beautiful woman. :)

    I know so little about your experiences with your parents. Each time I learn more though, I am in awe of your survival and your realness and openness about it all. When I see people around who have been terribly traumatised, and even though they suffer from anxiety and depression and PTSD, they are still spreading light and living understanding and compassion and hope and strength, courage beyond the masses’, I have more hope in humanity. You truly are sunshine.
    I tell Kiki all the time she is my sunshine. And when we Skype I send her the sunshine icon in messages. :)
    There can never be rainbows without sunshine. There can never be energy to grow. Sunshine and people who shine it around, is invaluable, there would only be darkness without it. Thank you for sharing your light. In the midst of so much darkness. Despite so much darkness.
    Love you, my beautiful sunshine friend.
    Love from Rach.

  3. SummerSolsticeGirl says:

    aaaaaaaaw, yes, our kids are definitely our sunshine! I -too, love those little sunshine thingies from Skype. Way better than the ones from g-talk.

    And yes, there can never be rainbows without sunshine, but also it would be impossible without rain. Rain and rain clouds are also important because they bring the best when combined with sunshine: Flowers and rainbows and puddles.

    And don’t forget you are beautiful too!!

  4. Madame Weebles says:

    You look radiant in that photo. Sunshine indeed. But yeah, mental illness is a royal bitch. And you’ve endured more than your fair share of pain and suffering. Big hugs to you, SSG!

  5. waywardweed says:

    And I thought my childhood was bad! I, too, never loved my father. He was abusive to all of us, but didn’t take it to the level of yours. That you survived and flourished is amazing. BTW, you look lovely in yellow.

  6. No Blog Intended says:

    That’s a great picture, you really look like sunshine! I didn’t know, until now, that you had to deal with dark times (though I could have known because of what happened to your mother and you), as you say. Hopefully all this comments are somewhat consoling.
    And that picture is really really nice.
    Just wanted to say that one more time :).

  7. Sophy says:

    As always, you amaze me with your open-hearted posts. You make me laugh, you make me cry and you always make me think about what’s important. You are one amazing person. Don’t stop, ever.

    I think the photograph of you sums up your personality perfectly. You are really a ray of sunshine in a grey world.

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