Stolen World, Stolen Life Print E-mail
Written by Yuyu   

Hi Paul,

Thanks for getting in touch. The username Yuyu is fine. Thanks for asking about my situation too, I really don't know where to start, so much has happened, it's a bit of a blur and I'm actually starting to feel quite numb to it all now.

I am 26 years old & live in London with my parents. My father is mentally ill/severely depressed. There have been two serious episodes with his illness, the first when I was very young (approx 2 years old) which escalated with him strangling my mother, severely beating my brother (approx 6 years older than me) and throwing me around the room by my hair. Essentially he tried to kill us all but fortunately he stopped. He then ran out of the house and threw himself under a train. He didn't die but he did lose an arm. After this incident my mother tried to cope as best as she could with two young children, having no support from friends or family - in a foreign country (she is Japanese).She found it almost impossible to survive while my father was in hospital and even more so when he returned home. She has never forgiven him or forgotten what he put her through all those years ago & even now it's a very raw memory for her. What happened then damaged our family severely but whatever her reasons she decided to stay with him. 'For the sake of the children.' - isn't that funny?!

Throughout the years, their marriage has been turbulent to say the least. My father doesn't cope well with stress, finding it hard to communicate. Often he turned to violence to express his frustration mostly towards my mother, sometimes towards my brother. My brother actually moved out at 16 and we have no real contact with him even now. I was left alone to live with two very volatile, fragile and angry parents and I can tell you now that it was far from easy. I feel I had to stay with them rather than leave as from a young age I've always known that I was the 'peace-maker'. The serious incidents often occurred when I wasn't at home & I just returned to witness the aftermath. Both of my parents have told me individually that the other one is 'better' when I'm around, it's actually true even now.

I have seen & heard so many bad things from such a young age, I've always had to be the strong one in the family - never causing trouble, always supportive & balanced - trying hard to reduce the stress. It's a strange thing to say but because of this I feel like I don't even know who I really am.

The second episode was triggered by my father's redundancy in February of last year. Again, he started to withdraw but this time rather than expressing it through violence or using his temper he started to stay in bed longer - refusing to participate in family life. It gradually worsened & eventually he took and overdose in July of last year. My mother found him on the landing covered in urine in a terrible state (I had gone away for the night). Again he did not die and there were no long term effects from the tablets but to this day my father is convinced that the overdose rather than the mental illness/depression causes his behaviour. He believes that the tablets somehow stopped his brain from functioning, making him unable to cope. He holds onto this belief strongly regardless of what anyone says or even when a brain scan proved different!

Since his attempted suicide my father has been in and out of hospital, often staying for months on end. The majority of the time he leaves home saying he's going for a walk and then just doesn't come back, we then get a phonecall in the middle of the night to say he's returned to the psych ward & wants to stay. While in hospital, I have been to meetings for him, I have taken him changes of clothes & money, kept his house running and do you know how he repays this on his return?

He steals money, he smokes in the house when asked not to, he tells lies and makes excuses for his behaviour, he tells me if I hadn't gone away for the night he wouldn't have tried to kill himself, he told my boyfriend that if he'd been around more he wouldn't have taken the overdose, he leaves urine trails from his room to the bathroom, he leaves the house knowing that he has visitors or phonecalls from the hospital coming for him without telling us, he gets straight into bed when he returns from the day centre, he does not brush his teeth, shave, wash his face, take baths or wash his hair. He doesn't change, wash or put away his clothes. He doesn't even open the curtains or windows claiming that he can't cope or function, refusing to pay bills, yet he can write out cheques to the local shop for cigarettes and he can lie and make excuses with absolutely no hesitation - I don't get it!! My father has so much support around him - us, the day centre team, the hospital staff, the crisis team, his social worker & he even took on a solicitor! My mother and I have no-one that can help or support us, no-one that can give us advice or listens. The balance is hugely in his favour yet he does nothing to change himself.

As we have absolutely no income coming into the house & my savings have now disappeared the only solution is to sell the house, pay off the debts and for my parents to go their seperate ways. The reason my father's behavior is especially frustrating for me is while he's been in bed moaning that he can't cope or function I have been paying the bills, taking care of the finances, cooking, cleaning, supporting my mother. To prepare the home for sale I have paid for a new driveway, a new hob & oven & to have them fitted. I have painted the entrance, the stairway, the landing, the dining & living room, my bedroom, my father's room, my mother's room, the bathroom, the kitchen and fitted new flooring. During this time I became ill with Bell's Palsy, so to top it all off - the left side of my face has been paralysed for months!

My mother has crumbled under the stress and in some ways is as much of a burden on me as my father, she relies on me heavily and doesn't really take responsibility for anything anymore - it's all been left up to me, basically without me nothing would happen or progress.

There is an immense amount of pressure on me, taking care of my parents as well as their responsibilites gives me almost no time to look after myself. There is no-one to share the burden with, no-one who really 'understands', no-one that can just take over even for a short while to give me a break.

As much as I understand that my father is ill, I don't feel I can forgive him or even forgive my mother for the life they have given me. I have their responsibilities & more to deal with ON MY OWN. I feel like I am the one being punished for their weakness, I'm tired of being the strong one. Tired FULLSTOP. I don't know why I was born or when I'll have the chance to actually live my life - I really feel like everything has been stolen.

I just have to remember that there is ALWAYS someone much worse off... Thanks for taking the time to read this,



Jarvis Walker     Arlec

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Featured Articles

The 'Forgotten People'

by Anna Malbon from the Progress Press October 22, 1996

WHEN nine-year-old "Tom" was asked to draw a picture of himself with his mother be drew her trying to strangle him.

Tom entered the world of adults too early. If he was ever immune to the complications and pain of life that adults try to shelter from children, he says he can't remember.

Bulletin Board

I had to struggle extra hard

Her doctors did not bother to enquire about my father and I.

They only listened to her stories ”

“ I grew up thinking - Nobody wanted to help. Nobody wanted to know.”

Hi, I had a mentally ill mother. She passed away last year. I literally grew up hanging around mental hospitals because my Mom's condition was a cycle that always ends in a mental hospital. When I was younger, there was a long period when I cried my eyes out every time I was separated from my mentally ill mother because she had to stay in a mental hospital. After I grew older, my Mom's mental illness became impossible for me to bear.

Literally, my Mom's mental illness ruined my life. I think. I had to struggle extra hard for everything because of my big handicap at home. There was no support at all from anyone other than my father. Nobody else wanted to know about it. My mother's own cousin even said to my father not to bring my Mom to their place. I grew up thinking - Nobody wanted to help. Nobody wanted to know. My mother's own sister has been complaining since 2000 and her last complain was on 5 July 2014. This particular aunt keeps complaining about the same thing. That she had to take my Mom for her weekly injections and complained that my father and I was not around to do it. Then, she goes on to say that she saw my Mom beat me up with a cane. When she said that, I asked my Aunt, you saw my Mom beat me up with a cane? She said yes and than, she walked away.

I feel very sore with this aunt. Number one, the period she was complaining about was when I was still schooling and my father's and my mental health had deteriorated so badly that we had to leave the state for our own sanity. Before joining my father, I had to live alone with my Mom and my baby sister for almost a year. My aunt who lived a few minutes drive away did nothing when my Mom beat me up every day for months until my father managed to cut the red tape to remove me. My body was full of bruises and I was terrified to go home after school. Nobody helped. Not the neighbours who can hear all my mom's shouting at me, nor my aunt, nor my grandparents, nor my school's teachers. Someone should had intervened for a 12+ little girl. No adult helped. My father was trying his best to get me away to stay with him. Nobody helped him.

On XXXXXXXXXXXX, my Mom's sister let slip she saw my Mom beat me with a cane. And yet she did nothing! My aunt even had the cheek to say that my Mom beat me up because I said I wanted to go live with my father. The way my aunt said it was like the beatings were wholly my fault. What is wrong with the picture? You have a 12+ girl being beaten up daily, you are an aunt who knows something is going on and did nothing. Yet for years later you complain about having to take your own blood sister for her injections. And, I do not think she did it for longer than my own experiences. Probably only a few times because my father and I had to travel frequently to see to my mother. Due to the cyclic nature of her illness.

I have been going with my father when he took my mother for her weekly injections as a little girl, knee high, ever since I can remember. My own aunt is so calculative. There was a nurse that visits my Mom to give her her injections. But, the problem is my Mom will not let the nurse into her house that is why the intervention is needed. I have lost count on the number of times I had to go with my Mom for her injections as a little girl.

Her doctors did not bother to enquire about my father and I. They only listened to her stories and full stop. I think my Mom's doctors are the most heartless people I have ever met in my life. Until today, I do not like anyone who officially practices psychology because those doctors etc... contributed to my life being ruined. That is how I feel. I have been scolded by my Mom's medical team and they even dumped my Mom on me after I just turn 18 and there was no other adult around. And, they knew the situation. I was terrified because my Mom was a very violent. My Mom has pitched me, beaten me up, she has biten me with her teeth, she has smashed my head against the table and threatened to beat me with a piece of hard wood. I experienced all these as a little girl at the tender age of 12+ I had to learn karate to protect myself from her violent ways. And, when my Mom was home, I would lock my room's door and place a chair against it. I was that terrified of her.

All our belongings can go missing because my Mom is good at that sort of thing. You never know what is what with my Mom. It is like having a criminal live under the same roof as you.

My aunt kept repeating to me that on my mother's death anniversary I will have go visit her cemetery. I live in a different state from where my mother's cemetery is located. And, my aunt knows that very well. However she repeated her question to me until I said yes. I hate being forced to do something against my will because I have been forced to do things against my will my whole life.

My life is in ruins because of my mother's mental illness and people like my aunt is perpetuating the troubles for me after my mother's death. When I was 12+, my mother's mother said to me that it is my father's job to take care of my mother. In other words, my father's job and mine. And, they never lifted a finger to help. Just helping a little, my aunt has been complaining about the same thing for more than a decade. Unbelievable. Shameful.

Even though my father and I lived in a different state from my mother, we had to travel up and down every weekend because that is demanded of my mother. Sometimes, we had to travel after school and upon our arrival, she won't let us in and we had to travel all the way back. And, my father will not let me sleep at home as it is a school day, I had to go to school. My education was very important to my father. My mother could not be bothered if I succeeded or not.

I have seen more than any of my Mom's relatives have seen with regards her mental illness but people whom I just met behave like I have no idea about my Mom like they are the authority on her behaviour and her illness. Goodness gracious.

Despite this huge handicap in my life I persevered with my studies. My Mom did not give me any moral or emotional support at all. In fact her mental illness cycle will peak just or during my important exams. In other words, I had to deal with my exams and on top of them a mentally ill mother. By my final year in university, I could not take the pressure of exams and a mentally ill mother's break downs anymore.

When I was in my teenage years and early adult years, I was suicidal. I had to call Befrienders a lot. Thank God for Befrienders.

Before XXXXXXXXXXdate, I do not wish my experience to be experienced by anyone else because it is torture. However, after feeling how hard hearted my aunt is. A so called holy person, a church goer, rich person who has successful kids and grand kids. And, she can talk like it is my fault that my Mom beat me up and she (my aunt) had to take her (her own sister) for her injections when I was a kid. I really wish that my aunt must reincarnate as my father (a few lifes) so that she can eat her own words. If my aunt reincarnates and is put in my father's shoes, she would really deserve it. Hope she learns compassion through it all.

Why can't the world give children of the mentally ill a break? I am so fed up with all this troubles that stem from my mother's sister's attitude towards my father and I. After all shel lives a great lives. Rich live. What is wrong with these people? I really cannot stand them. This is my story.

After I wrote the above - I am more myself now, and I totally forgive my aunt and everybody who did nothing to help my father and I. And, everybody else who were heartless towards my father and I. However, I still think that by living a few life times as my father (my aunt) - would do her some good. But, knowing her character, she might become a psychopath and pose a threat to humanity. My father is a very, very kind soul. My aunt is a hard hearted, prejudiced, narrow minded, one tracked mind person.

How I cope? Trying my best to keep out of their way, and hang out with positive people. There are plenty of great people out there. Nnaami is included :)


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