Bulletin Board - Your Stories

The experiences of children with mentally ill parents.

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TRAPPED ! Print E-mail
Written by Robyn   

I was trapped! in some ways that child in me always will be. There was no escape from my schizophrenic mother and there is always that sense deep down in my psyche that part of me will always be there-in that house-where emotions were petrified where the horror surrounded you with the night and any unimagined nightmare could and would come to life at any rapidly approaching second. I am fifty now and that training in hyper-vigilance served me well in dealing with a child of my own that never slept- staying awake and alert for days, months and years-just try me. Thank goodness that my baby grew up to be seemingly stable, intelligent, successful and happy. Of course you are petrified again that you can’t protect your own baby/child from experiencing any fear-that is an unbearable thought that they might suffer the way you did. The world never quite remains real-because you always carry that "other" world with you-that world for me where my mother was trying to kill my father with a carving knife-and by association me-because he was my lifeline. In a way I was already dead because you are dead inside when one moment there is someone whose mind is so disturbed they are rocking, scratching the wall, there are police, ambulances, or worse still no-one to help-and then-then you are shuffled out to school where you pretend all is as it should be. I know how that feels, it feels like you have no voice, you cannot be heard and what would you say if you could anyway-there are no words to express the heartbreak, the cavern of madness, the emptiness and panic you feel. My heart goes out to any child living with a parent who is mentally ill, there are those of us who have walked in your shoes-who were alone in that world. Life has bought me many beautiful wonderful, magnificent experiences but you don't want to hear that when you are still trapped in the horror-you only want to hear that yes I know -I know it seems like the days, the years will never pass, that you are desperate, truly desperate to grow and escape but mostly for now that someone will "do something" to save you.

Robyn
Victoria Australia

 
Hamburger With The Lot Print E-mail
Written by Crayolakitty   

Hamburger With The Lot 2

‘They ran an MRI and found that she has MS’

I'm 19 years old now and have lived with my mother's mental illness for all of my life. (Just to recap) My mother is Manic Depressive, bi polar, and has multiple personality disorder. When I was 17 January 2009, I came home from school to find all of our stuff out on the curb. We had been evicted I moved in with a friend and finished school there. I'm still living with my friend and her father. I graduated High school 2010. Since then my mother has been living in a bad place. Doing god knows what kind of drugs probably multiple. About 3 weeks ago I was informed that my mother was in the hospital. She had fallen down a flight of stairs and taken to emergency room. They ran an MRI and found that she has MS. (Multiple Sclerosis- An Autoimmune disease that attacks the Spinal cord and Brain.) She is now in a rehab clinic they are working with her to regain basic functions such as walking, talking, and coordination. She is in a wheel chair unable to walk by herself. Her hands are week and extremely shaky and her words roll together when she speaks. So far she hasn't made a whole lot of progress in regaining and strengthening any of these functions. Since then i have gone to see her twice. She looks like a totally different person i didn't even recognize her when i first saw her. Growing up my mother was always a bigger woman(plump). She now weighs 130 pounds and I liked her better before. She also has very bad memory loss which could be caused by the MS or the drug abuse. I guess we will never know. She looks very sad and i cry a lot when i think of her. She looks like a withered shell of what my mother used to be... I guess i always knew that when we were evicted my mother would never be mom again but i hate that i was right. The last time my mother was mom was in October 2010, I called her one night just to say hi and because i was sick, and she told me to put crushed up garlic in my tea like she used to when i was little. She also told me how to make this onion syrup she used to make when i was sick(I know it sounds gross but it works!) That was the last time i can remember her really being mom. I know that there is still a chance that she can get passed all of this and regain basic motor functions. But her mind has been gone a long time and i don't think that she will ever regain the holes in her memory.

Crayolakitty

 

Crayolakitty previously wrote the following to Your Stories when 17 years old.

EVICTED

Hamburger With The Lot 1

‘My mother is Manic Depresive, bi polar, and has multiple personality disorder’ &
'a constant battle with substance abuse’

I'm 17 years old and have lived with my mother's mental illness for all of my life...My mother is Manic Depresive, bi polar, and has multiple personalitie disorder. Every two to three years she has a manic attack. Wich puts her into the hospital, besides her mental illness she has had a constant battle with substance abuse (marijuana). Up until i was 5 my mother dated different guys off and on but they never stuck around. Until she met Mr. Miracle and he witnessed one of my mother's manic attacks and decided to stick around. I think he felt bad for me.
Mother married Mr.Miracle and became Mrs.Miracle. They had a baby! The Miracle family and me. But it didn't last we lost our house. Mr.Miracle and Mother got devorced. We moved and Mother had another manic attack, she got into a car accident. While she was in the hospital I had to put my dog to sleep Oct 29, I was 13. When she got out of the hopital she had a broken leg and arm so i had to take care of her and my lil sis while finishing my 8th grade.
Mom had another Manic attack Freshman year, and another summer after sophmore year. Junior year...second week of january 2009 I came home from school to all of our stuff out on the curb. We had been evicted and my mother didn't tell me I had an hour left to get everything i wanted out of my bedroom. I moved in with a friend and finished the school year there. I'm still living with my friend and her father. I have my own room. I'm taking summer school now and am starting corisponding classes so i can graduate on time. I've been dating my Boyfriend since November/13/08 and i honestly believe he is the only thing that has gotten me through the last year. He is everything to me and he seems to be the only one i can depend on in my life. There is a Court date. The coutny is going to take custody of me and my sis and place us with relitives. I cant wait till my birthday in February so i wont have to deal with this anymore. I live in the Midwest US.
Sorry i wrote so much I really really wanted to get this off of my chest. I have not recieved any counsling over this and I really wish i could. But i'll be soo glad when this is all over...

Crayolakitty

 
I was incredibly over protected as a child and very severely disciplined Print E-mail
Written by Netgal   

I was incredibly over protected as a child and very severely disciplined for any act that my mother perceived to be making her look bad.

somehow my dad came across this website and suggested I have a look at it. I have been reading the posts in the forum and even just the subject headings sound like they came straight out of my own life.

Read more...
 
I Knew All My Life I Could Not Trust Her, or Rely On Her To Protect Me Print E-mail
Written by Jane   

That She Was Far More Likely To Get Me Into Trouble Than Anything Else...

Glad to find your website.I believe my mother was depressed all my life - the story is familiar to a few here. i knew all my life I could not trust her, or rely on her to protect me - that she was far more likely to get me into trouble than anything else, and didn't care what lies she told about me to achieve that. She was abusive, manipulative. She beat me, called me names, locked me out of the house, wouldn't feed me adequately and made me hate myself completely. I've suffered from lack of self esteem , anxiety, depression but most of all I'm tired. Tired of having to be the strong one - I was the workhorse ,the one who coped, who tried to fix things and who was abused for bringing the fact there was a problem out in the open. I'm the mad one, the bad one, the stupid useless one, the one who lies and steals and cheats and...oh, anything else you like to name.

Read more...
 
The rules i grew up with were fear, fear and more fear Print E-mail
Written by Cindy   

hello. i have read some of the stories of others. I guess mine is different in that I didn't know my mother was mentally ill. She was never sent to a mental hospital, but had OCD and is very controlling. The rules i grew up with were fear, fear and more fear. I was overprotected to the point that i started hating myself and thinking I did something wrong. That I was defective. I finally got help, but not before I almost had a nervous breakdown. I'm 49 years old. That was 2 years ago. I've never married. i'm trying to find a life without fear, to have fun and be happy. To have a chance at success. I've been through the rage and anger at not having married and had children. I never thought anyone would want me. I've been seeing a therapist and psychiarist for the past 2 years. I've come a long way. I live two states away from my parents in the U.S. about 500 miles. I can't live in the same city. They were still trying to control me at almost 47 and then some. my mom told me I would be grown up when I got married. I guess I'm trying to move forward with my life and find happiness. I've never really known what happines is. i've lived in fear so long that feeling good feels weird. I'm glad that you are trying to help children with mentally ill parents. I feel like if someone had stepped in years ago my life might have been different, but i know you can't stay stuck in the past. Thank you for allowing me to just state my story. I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, but i'm much better now. my brother I think has problems too. Well, I'd better end now.

Cindy

 
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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.
Read more...

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 :)

GerryCan

South East Asia