May 16, 2009
Hello In There
In my nocturnal wanderings, I came across a post on the Craigslist Rants and Raves site from a woman who is clearly psychotic and at the same time, is struggling so hard to maintain her sense of dignity and self. I ended up reading her blog from start to finish. It took me hours.
It reminded me of the time I spent in the Mental Health unit at tho hospital in which I worked, observing the "guests" in preparation for my "PART" instructor certification. "PART" (Professional Assault Response Training) is a system of crisis intervention that stresses deescalation of the event and the maintenance of the rights and dignity of the patient. Very humane and in a way deeply spiritual...but I digress.
There the day was spent with a lovely (and I really mean that) group of people with internal wiring that was somewhat frayed. And yet, in spite of their ragged edges, they were as aware as you and I of their most basic needs...the need to be heard, to be believed and validated, to express their fears in the hopes that someone would notice and maybe help, and most important - their need to feel safe.
My heart breaks for this woman. My heart REALLY breaks for her children. I know what it's like to grow up with a mentally ill parent. It's a special kind of hell you can't ever adequately describe to someone who hasn't experienced it.
The signature on my regular email contains the quote " Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle." Reading her blog is a glaring reminder of that. She's not muttering and digging through the trash, she's not urine soaked and sitting on a bus bench shouting at the sky. She's a mom worried about her kids, trying to pay her bills and balance her life...all while wearing a fried egg on her forehead, unaware that we're the only ones who can see it.