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Relevant to your life experience coping with a mentally ill parent.

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Editor NNAAMI Poems
P.O. Box 213
Glen Iris
Victoria Australia 3146.

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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


Sorry Print E-mail
Written by Josh   

im sorry
im sorry that i hurt you
its something that i didnt mean to do
im sorry for the pain ive caused
i feel like time just paused
im sorry that its come to this
as i start sliding into the abyss
so im trying to make peace
before my life begins to cease


A Child's Plea Print E-mail
Written by Paul   

Pain, guilt and confusion reigned
While dreams of stability kept me sane

Dreams to conquer all that I fear
And dreams of security to those I hold dear

A child's plea, a child's cry
Never wanting her to die

Now that I have faced a hope that is gone
I somehow hope to find the strength to carry on

To never let it effect what I can be
And to prevent pushing away those close to me

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next > End >>

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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

Crazy as a Fox

"I always feel unaccepted, never good enough or deserving of love, I have major trust issues"

"I always thought it was just me"

What a relief to read your stories! It's only since I've read them that I see what an impact living with my sick mother has had on every aspect of my life. She has never been diagnosed. "Crazy as a Fox" is a term made for her. She is brilliant and outsmarts every professional that may diagnose and help her. I think she has borderline personality disorder, narcissism, ocd and she is without a doubt a hoarder. I live in the US. Today I received a letter saying that Indian child welfare has received a report about my family. My mother has contacted them 12 times in the last 8 years. I have been investigated 5 times for my parenting choices and each time have been found a loving, competent mother. I filed a restraining order against her 2 years ago because she called the police demanding to see my children while they were in day care. She showed up at my daughter's school every day last week. I allow her limited visitation with my children because she talks badly about me to them and is inappropriate and basically crazy. She told my younger son that she would love him more but I won't let her. Other members of my family have told me for years to cut her her completely out of our lives. This past June I let her stay in my home the entire month because she had no where else to go and yet she's telling my daughter's teachers that I don't allow her to see her grandchildren. I just turned 40 and it should be obvious to me that she will never be a mother to me. In her eyes I'm not her daughter but her enemy. In my heart I want a mom! Someone who has my back no matter what, who will help me and support me and help me raise my kids. I too have issues that I think stem from a lifetime of living with a sick woman. It is almost impossible for me to say no. Although I have a fulfilling life with awesome support n beautiful children I always feel unaccepted, never good enough or deserving of love. I have major trust issues. I think it's time for me to cut her out of our lives before she breaks us. Good luck to you all and thank you for sharing your stories! I always thought it was just me