My father suffered from schizophrenia. When I was an impressionable thirteen-year-old he had a nervous breakdown and heard a calling from God to take off his clothes and walk down the street.
Douglas, this is such a rich piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it with the Speak Up community.
This is such a great reminder — "it can be all too easy to become caught up in regrets about the past or fears about the future."
Thank you so much for sharing. It really is a struggle, and I struggle with mental illness as well. I was very bad off in my 20's and 30's. In midlife I am a much better person than I was before, but I do have regrets about my actions while in the midst of struggle. I don't excuse myself at all, and it is important to feel regret and make amends. But we are not defined by what we were. We are defined by our willingness to learn from our mistakes and make amends where they can be made. The further we have to climb out of a hole, the stronger we are compare to those who don't have to fight like this. It really looks like you are a good guy trying to live a good life, and that's what life is really about. Keep writing!
This is a vulnerable post, thank you Douglas for sharing. The stigma of mental health must be addressed, and the only one who can address it is US. Those who are neurodivergent. It's amazing how addiction, compulsion, manic, BPD, ADD, ADHD all intertwine. Yet, doctors fail to inform us of this and OH how addiction causes this vicious cycle to be repetitive. I hope you are well, thank you for sharing.
Growing up in the double bind is possibly one of the most difficult things to do as a child of a schizophrenic parent.
My mother, a high functioning, schizophrenic. Was it own special kind of nightmare. No one back in the 70s and 80s really dealt with the high functioning schizophrenics. Like my mother, a pulmonologist. Her colleagues would shelter me from her when I was a middle schooler and high schooler as best as they could.
It was at best a bandaid for an untenable situation.
The only benefit, that children of these particular kind of schizophrenics have is a near uncanny ability to read people. After all, if your main caregiver doesn't say what she means you are forced to "guess" (and in my case that meant physical violence if I was "wrong" in my guess)
Your shame of your father is palpable.
The stain of my mother is indelible.
Thank you very much for this insightful message. Blessings.