Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who Cares?

When my children were infants I changed their diapers, cradled them, and fed them at my breast. When Patrick broke his wrist, Beth placed her hand fully on a burning wood stove, and Neil broke a front tooth straight off, I jumped to the emergency and saw them through to recovery.

Now that my daughter is an adult and I am sick with depression, anxiety and despondency; how do I help my beautiful girl who is crying out for help, who lives with emotional pain, fear, and turmoil every day. Tonight my depression is taking its toil on me. I'm tired. I'm sick with worry. I hurt that the recent efforts I have tried to make have led nowhere.

I don't have the strength or courage to be an active public advocate in the community all by myself. Beth doesn't have the ability because of her condition. At the moment she is reclusive; shying away from all social and public interaction because her symptoms are dominating every waking moment. Her sporadic sleep patterns add to the problem.

Yesterday we tried to go shopping. "They" were everywhere... strangers in the store making sharp comments aimed at her, the music on the store system specific to her past unhappy experiences, bumper stickers and license plates all "planted" by "them" to hurt her and let her know they were watching, judging, and enjoying their power over her. The paranoid delusion of a network of people conspiring against her, enjoying the living hell they making of her life. Will medication ever make that one go away? Is my beautiful child, now a lovely woman that no one any longer sees, doomed to live this nightmare the rest of her life, alone?

This morning she came over crying, asking me to take her to her scheduled mental health appointment, as she wasn't strong enough to make the drive herself, or go into the drug store to get the next new medication that the Nurse Practitioner hopes might help. It takes time to see if the new med will work, so her next appointment is scheduled for a month away.

As I started to write this post I was crying... working out the words makes that issue come and go... I was crying because no one has read this blog. No one has watched the "Minds on the Edge" video or gone to their website, though I post and post to my Facebook page links and info and ask and ask.

Who cares about the mentally ill? Apparently no one. There are no pink ribbons, no concern over the fact that my daughter is in extreme need of compassion, caring, and support; no uproar over the fact that services to assist her and others like her as so limited; no charitable giving of heart, mind or dollars anywhere.

How do you engage them?

Helpless... I'm helpless and ineffectual as a Mother now, the one that she should be able to depend on. I'm all she has and I'm not up to the task, or getting it done. From my sense of worthlessness I wait and hope for the day that my life is over. From my sense of responsibility and love for my child I pray for some help, some strength and courage for us both, for the determination to go on, and hope that maybe somehow, some way, some day it might get better.

And the cycle of mental illness goes on and on.....


Marty's Husband said...

Actually there are some who are reading your blog. I found it and will follow your journey. I hope you find writing can be helpful -- and know you are not just shouting in the wind -- people do read -- best to you.

Jamey said...

Hi Pam,
I just found your blog and I look forward to reading more here and getting to know you.

Ocean Sea said...

Like you, I'm on SSI & my illness keeps me reclusive at times. I rarely comment on blogs because of privacy concerns: I have PTSD from having been in a very violent relationship. Your words mean a lot to me and I want you to know that, yes, we are reading... just not always commenting! Thank you for your courage!

Julie said...

Pam - thanks for expressing so well, the pain and desperation experienced in the daily struggle to get the attention your daughter needs. I wish I understood why much more attention isn't paid to those so deserving of help, and the families that care for them. I can't think of any other illness that so isolates those involved, despite the fact that they are the ones most in need of intervention and support. I wish you continued strength and peace.

christine said...

Pam your words resonated with me so much. My heart goes out to you. What a wonderful, courageous, loving mother you are. Yes you are right there are no pink ribbons for those dear loved ones who are struck down with schizophrenia. I do believe things are changing, and being a person of faith believe that God must weep when he sees the suffering of those afflicted by mental illness and the way society has treated them and their families. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your brave, beautiful daughter.

Pam said...

Thank you all who posted... I appreciate your thoughts. Ocean, thanks for posting when it makes you uncomfortable... I hear ya on that one..
For now this is one place I'm fighting the fear... Hope it stays that way

Every Color Of Life said...

Pam, thank you for sharing your journey on this blog. I think you express yourself so beautifully and I can only say that you are not alone. I too have had those same thoughts when it comes to "pink ribbons." Where is that kind of recognition and tribute for the lives that life is difficult and at sometimes downright unbearable. Just remember Pam never to give up. Continue to push forward for yourself and your daughter. Please keep writing.