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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.

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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