TRIGGER WARNING: ABLEISM, ABUSE, SUICIDE
why do people say that the “loved ones of a person with [mental illness]” are “forgotten”
you know how many books are out there for “how to deal when your partner/family member has [mental illness]”
all we hear all the time is how much of a fuckin burden we are. i’m sick of…
an actually helpful book would have a chapter called “how to deal with the people in your life when they treat you poorly because you’re mentally ill”
other things that would have helped me so i didn’t have to learn the hard way:
“I’m Fine, Really: A guide on how to ask for help”
“I Don’t Need My Meds: recognizing when you’re spiraling before you end up hospitalized”
“Exercise and Sunshine: medication can be an extremely effective route of treatment and taking it does not make you weak; how to deal with people constantly telling you otherwise”
“Disability Services Are For You, Too: how to be a student when you’re chronically ill”
“I Hate Myself So You Should, Too: it’s okay to not love yourself, other people can, should, and still will love you”
“How To Avoid Social Vampires; you deserve people in your life who will be there for you the way you’re there for them. Bonus: how to find those people” (still haven’t figured that part out)
“Sometimes I’m Delusional: but sometimes you’re right, too; how to trust your instincts and stop invalidating yourself”
“Aren’t You Supposed To Be Helping Me?: recognizing the signs of a bad therapist”
….maybe i should write a book on this shit huh
This post gives me a lot of feelings, and I’m going to try to articulate them in a way that is as unproblematic as possible. If I fuck up, someone please let me know. With that being said, tone police me and I will bite your face off and feed it to my cat.
As the child of someone of a mental illness, it is a burden. Yes, my dad is ill. Yes, he suffers unbelievably, and I know that more than anyone. But don’t you dare try to tell me I did not suffer, and do not still suffer because of it.
I spent hundreds of nights before the age of 12 on the floor holding my fathers hand because I was afraid this would be the night the depression got the best of him. I’ve been bruised thousands of times trying to force myself between my dad and my brother because both of them have personality disorders, and bipolar disorder, and a host of medicines that don’t control either, and guess what was a side effect? Intense, uncontrollable anger. You know what that led to? Fights. Physical fucking fights, with fists and bruises and broken fucking bones. Don’t tell me that’s not suffering.
My dad gets validation for his feelings from me, from my mother (when she was home, which was rarely), and from his therapist at least once a day. No one validated my feelings of unimportance, my feelings that my life was out of control, my feelings of worthlessness. My dad had a team of therapists trying to help him get better. I had that fucking book you just made fun of that I stole from the library because no one could see me be weak. That fucking book you’re disparaging was the first one to tell me it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t fix my dad; that it was okay to be mad at him without smothering myself in so much guilt that I cried myself to sleep every night because I thought I didn’t love my dad enough. That book kept me sane.
I’ve also suffered from depression myself. I know how worthless it feels, and I remember how hard it was to ask for help, and what a burden I felt like, and how bad I felt for the people who I burdened, and how shitty it was to try to get through that on my own, and all of the other shit that comes with it.
But I never invalidated how hard it was for those around me, because it is fucking hard. It’s impossible to deal with someone with irrational emotions. It sucks when someone who is supposed to help you feel better can’t. And goddammit, it is fucking unfair to say that this kind of book existing is not useful and important because it personally reminds you that you feel like a burden. Because that book kept me alive, and marginally okay, and I don’t know if I would even be alive if I hadn’t read it.
hi, mentally ill person here. as in, bipolar. personality disorder. ptsd. and guess what? i don’t hit people. ever. because being mentally ill IS NOT THE FUCKING SAME THING AS BEING ABUSIVE. truly, i’m sorry you were abused by someone who was mentally ill. i was, too. but guess what? i don’t blame mental illness for making my parents abuse me. and omg that is 100% totally FUCKING IRRELEVANT to my post.
are you fucking kidding me w that last paragraph? these books literally describe people like me as burdens. monsters. they dehumanize us. equate us being sick with us being abusive. THEY NEVER TALK ABOUT OUR SUFFERING. HOW TO HELP US. it’s COMPLETELY POSSIBLE to write books on how to take care of yourself when you’re taking care of someone else WITHOUT DEMONIZING THAT OTHER PERSON. and, um, THE POINT IS THAT THOSE BOOKS ARE THE ONLY RESOURCE AVAILABLE! THERE IS NOTHING FOR *US*.
like jesus christ i am well fucking aware that me being sick can make other people’s lives shitty, you asshole, you don’t need to drill it into my fucking brain. because THAT’S ALL I EVER SEE, AND HEAR, EVERYWHERE.
the fact that you could read everything written above and respond with this ableist garbage makes me sick. don’t say you understand cuz you’ve been depressed. you clearly don’t understand at all.
ETA: and not everybody has access to the resources your father did. most of us don’t, i’m willing to say. that’s the fucking issue here. nobody is ‘mocking’ the book that helped you. this isn’t about you. stop making it about you.