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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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(You retain copyright of your poem, NNAAMI reserves the right to display or edit.)

Father Loss Print E-mail
Written by Alvina   

I longed to have you take me in your arms,
to keep me safe,
To cherish my spirit,
Bring peace to my world..
I wish I could remember!

I longed to see reflected in your eyes
The beauty that was mine,
So that I could build a foundation that I owned,
Rather than one borrowed from the misperceptions of others?
I wish I could remember!

I longed to have you invite me in
To show me who you were,
So that I would know who I was,
Honor and celebrate my accomplishments..
I wish I could remember!

I longed to have you share with me,
A bigger picture of my world,
Affirm my potential, encourage my risk taking,
Bring understanding and value to my failures..
I wish I could remember!

I longed to have you protect the boundaries
Of my vulnerabilities,
So that I could trust to be open
To loving and being loved.
But you could not?



Mothering the Wounded Child Print E-mail
Written by Alvina   

I know you're so scared little one,
Of all your hear and see,
Of screaming fights when day is done,
Of pain and injury!

No place to run, no one to care,
Thru each terrifying night,
What lies beyond the constant stare,
That leaves you with such fright!

You wish to be another's child,
Of a happy family,
The fantasies of your mind run wild,
You dream of what should be.

I've tried to find you for so long,
To bring you home with me,
To heal the wounds from what went wrong,
In childhood history.

I'll make a place inside my heart,
And love you constantly,
And just before the first tears start,
I'll hold you close to me.

Enfolded in my arms so strong , I'll keep you safe from harm.
No matter what life brings along,
I'll be your lucky charm.

I'll speak of all the beauty,
I see inside your heart,
Your dancing eyes, your curiosity,
The smile that you impart.

And when life's problems get real tough,
And you're not sure what to do,
I'll let you know you have the stuff
Inside to see it through!

I'll tell you just how proud,
I am of all you try to do,
I'll be the first to cheer out loud,
When recognition's due.

I'll tell you each and every day,
Your loved just as you are,
In all you say and all you do,
No matter near or far,

You are a beauty, strong and smart,
Know through eternity,
You carry in your loving heart,
The very best of me!



Frantic Footsteps Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer   

It's that time again, for frantic footsteps, and tight eyes with intensity.

Her sanity flees with stress, the season, and at the sight of a lemon tree.

Where does the spirit go when the mind can no longer take care of it?

I like to imagine it escapes to comfort, care, and love me, just as any good imaginary friend should.

While her body was left behind to scare, confuse and haunt me, just as any good lunatic could.

A secret hidden behind our family doors, sealed within our lips and deep within our hardened hearts.

To cry about it as a child only left me drowning in a puddle of my own tears.

All alone, to blame, and taught to keep in the pain and to hide the knee weakening fear. Because if she caught wind of what we truly believed about her, if we wept, it would surely be that time again. For frantic footsteps.

California, USA

You Say Print E-mail
Written by Koali   

You say go to school
So I go

You say be home by 10
So I am

You Say do this
So I do
You say do that
So I do

You say don't sneak out
So I do

Why Should I do everything you say?
Where's my freedom?

Koali 13 /9/ 97 NNAAMI member Australia

Life is a mess Print E-mail
Written by Koali   

My Life is a mess
It's a giant tug-of-war
With me the rope.
One end Victoria (Australia) with my mum
On the other end Tassie with my aunty
Saying do this, do that.
With me in the middle
I'm only trying to be myself
The rope is getting thinner and thinner.

Koali 2000. NNAAMI member Australia

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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

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 :)


South East Asia