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Written by Melanie Buren   


Born into turmoil, you have no choice;
And as life unfolds, you have no voice...
You're just a child

Be better, and fix it - sacrifice yourself if you must;
It's all up to you - there's no one else you can trust...
But you're just a child

Try to look better - mirrors don't lie;
If you can't be pretty, you may as well die...
But you're just a child

Stay out of trouble; get good grades;
Put a smile on your face - keep up the charades...
But you're just a child

Protect your mother - you must do what is right;
Without your help she'll lose the fight...
But you're just a child

Things happen around you - you're always to blame;
Not sure what feels worse... the guilt or the shame...
But you're just a child

Grow up - leave home - it's not running away;
Must take care of yourself, you really can't stay...
But you're just a child

You're duties continue, wherever you go;
The world on your shoulders - it tires you so...
But you're just a child

You learn and you grow, at least you think that you should;
You should be a success now; Oh, if only you could...
But you're just a child

The body's not ageless, external youth dies;
But somehow you're still the same girl inside...
You're still...just a child...

Melanie Buren.

( Melanie states – “My father and my mother had mental illness as well as other family members.

My father was also a violent alcoholic, and as a result of experiencing his behaviour

I developed self abusive behaviour depression and an eating disorder. “

“ self-abuse was used not only as punishment for existing,

but also as a way to override the internal pain that consumed me.” )

WHY BOTHER Print E-mail
Written by Melanie Buren   


I often think, I'm scared to live; yet I'm even scared to die.‚

I'm terrified of happiness, and I really don't know why.‚

I'm scared of failure, and success;‚ both my responsibility:,

But it means you take a chance in life - and that's not safe for me!

I'm afraid to feel my feelings, just why, I'll never know.‚

You see, I gave up feeling, so very long ago.

Childhood is for memories, of good times that you've had.‚

Then how come I don't feel that...was it really all that bad? ‚

Home was filled with messages, unspoken, yet so clear;

that "sometimes you get in our way, and we wish that you weren't here!".

WHY mom and dad, please tell me.‚ What ever did I do?‚

Oh, it's ALL my fault, I know it...I know you think it too!‚

I talk, and you don't listen.‚ You act like you can't hear. ‚

Your‚ thoughts are more important; you've made that quite, quite clear.‚

Do you even love me?‚ I don't know how to tell;

because it's hard to feel the love at all, in the midst of living hell!

I'm scared, confused, and lonely, and yet I can't tell you; ‚

because you think I'm strong and brave - Oh, if you only‚ knew!‚

But no one knows my secrets, and I'll never tell a soul,

because I've taken them, and buried them,

and concealed that deep dark hole.‚

Painful, buried, feelings; the key to finding me.‚ By facing them, then letting go,

I truly could be free.‚

I know just where to find them, and I know that they're still there

- But it's hard to dig up memories...when you really JUST DON'T CARE.

Melanie Buren

( Melanie states – “My father and my mother had mental illness as well as other family members.

My father was also a violent alcoholic, and as a result of experiencing his behaviour

I developed self abusive behaviour depression and an eating disorder. “

“ self-abuse was used not only as punishment for existing,

but also as a way to override the internal pain that consumed me.” )

Silent Witnesses Print E-mail
Written by Erica   


We've seen it all; Silent witnesses, holding our tongues and smiling at questioning faces

Hiding in corners to avoid a fathers violent rampage

Offering comforting words to a mother who hasn't stopped crying for days

Making excuses to friends because our homes aren't fit for outsiders

Accused of everything under the sun, always the guilty targets of mania's irrational tounge

Insecurity casts a dark and brooding storm over a future that once looked bright

They scream and they cry holding kitchen knives with bloodshot eyes

And we do the looking after

Telling ourselves we are happy because we have forgotten what it feels like

But to believe that what we feel is happiness is better than admitting that there's anything wrong

To need help is to be like them

A smile becomes automatic and so do the lies that suggest normality

But when the nights are quiet and we can snatch a few minutes to ourselves

The barricades come crashing down leaving us with glittering trails on cheeks and the taste of salt on the tongue

And we will never find security within ourselves because we don't know who we are

Children of the mentally ill




A Theory of Relativity Print E-mail
Written by Lynn Coye   

At birth the baby knows

Her mother as herself

A bond without identity.

Nursed on depression,

Cradled in insecurity,

Caressed by neglect,

She smells the perfume of resentment

Feels the kiss of accidental birth.

Through the maternal gaze,

She beholds their inner world:

A landscape of despair

Mountains of fury

Pools of bilious criticism.


You took me by the hand, mama

Lead me down the path

Of black-and-white should and shouldn’ts.

In times of uncertainty, taught me to pray

To a God who punished my every mis-step

Made me to stand on my own

As retribution for my childlike neediness

Nurtured my cancerous self-doubt,

Helped me excise friendships

And then upon your death collapsed

The black hole of a mother’s love

A Theory of Relativity


Lynn Coye


San Jose, CA, USA

Imprisoned Print E-mail
Written by Lynn Coye   

Fenced in by barbed maternal anxiety

Her searchlight scans for weakness, betrayal

You cannot avoid the minefield of triggers

Nor dodge the bullets of denigration


When growing up as Fear’s captive

You’ll learn to guard your words

Starve your desires

Feed on irrational assumptions

Then acquiesce or risk emotional annihilation


If you survive the years

Isolation will breed a perception of intimacy

A moment without rage will qualify as kindness

No external scars belie your time served


Upon her death

You can dare to breathe out

As Truth eventually unlocks understanding

A fine line between a daughter’s love

And Stockholm syndrome


Lynn  Coye

San Jose, CA, USA


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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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