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. Continue reading

Father’s Day Musings

Father’s Day

um…. yeah. I guess it was just a matter of time I wrote something about Father’s Day. Or fathers, for that matter. it only makes sense that I do it on Father’s Day, I suppose… I didnt’ think I could ever write about my father until today.

My father was murdered a long time ago. However, I lost him even long before that. I wasn’t even 7 years old when it happened.

I was awoken in the middle of the night by my mother’s screams. Opened my bedroom door only to find a trail of blood along the hallway. My mother’s.

After that night, my father was dead to me. The tragedy of it all is that my father actually loved me very much. I was his little girl and I know now he suffered much because I could never love him back. I never hated him but I could never love him either.

Years went by and I eventually went to Med School. There I learned that my father suffered from Delusional Jealousy, a disorder usually associated with Schizophrenia. The fact that he was an alcoholic and a gambler didn’t help either. Knowing that helped me cope with it in a way. You see, my father never had a chance to a normal life. Not even a ghost of a chance.  And because of that, neither did my mother or my sister or me.

My mother, because she was murdered by him.

Me and my sister, because we have to live with that.

And my father, well, he had to pay dearly for something that wasn’t even entirely his fault. Maybe, had he had access to a good health system that would have diagnosed him and offered him treatment and support, just maybe, my mother would be alive and me and my sister would have a family.

As a physician in Colombia, I saw many things, most of them bad and more than a few quite horrible. I have to say that in general, Colombian men don’t make good fathers (with some exceptions, of course. Some of my friends had/have good fathers, and most of MY friends turned out to be excellent fathers too).

Here in Canada, I’ve seen both. I’d like to believe that most fathers here are good. Stories like this one are certainly heart-warming. But then, there are some others that make my heart weep.

Children are precious. They all deserve a great father and a great mother. They all deserve to have a safe environment where they can grow and develop and in time become great parents too should they choose to have children of their own.

If you’re a father, try you best to be a good one. Not perfect. Just a good father. And if you need help, for crying out loud, don’t hesitate to ask. Your children will thank you (and love you more) for it.