Having someone close to you who has a severe mental disorder is no joke. It's no joke for her either, obviously. I have attempted many times to write about how the mental illness of my daughter has affected me, as her mother and by extension the rest of her siblings and family members. I got quite close to putting it all down into what I thought was a coherent tome but with each day that goes by, more can be added, it's never finished. Also, this is such a difficult topic to write about when you are so close to the centre of it, as I am, without coming across as lecturing or hysterical. There is only so much humour one can inject into recounting the daily ups and downs of life with a mentally ill person. This is a subject also that publishers don't want to touch with a barge pole and I can easily understand why. It takes a brave publisher to want to tackle this sort of thing head on but really more should be written, more should be published! Maybe I'll publish my book through Kindle myself, who knows? It's not going to happen just yet, I know that now.
I was watching a movie last night called "The Finest Hours' starring Chris Pine (Commander Kirk to all you trekkies out there) and I couldn't help feeling after the end credits rolled, that this movie parallels how my daughter's life has been since she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2002. She is at constant battle with the elements, sometimes she is engulfed and turned topsy turvy in a dark ocean (like the tiny coastguard boat in the movie), submerged and drowning in a cold, raging torrent of dark black emotion, other times there are moments of clarity and an illusion of calmness. But it's still pouring with rain.
The terrible mind illness that has consumed my daughter has a dramatic impact on all of us - it trickles down into our lives, it permeates the structure of our days and fills me, and those most closest to my daughter, with dread. There is tension, anguish, horror even at the contemplations we all have - yes, it's normal to feel that your daughter might commit suicide and how would that make you feel? Sometimes in the dead of night, I lie awake and wonder whether it would be better for all of us, my daughter included, if that were to happen. If it would put us all out of our suffering once and for all. The emotional turmoil that this illness has brought about, not only in my daughter's life but in mine and my family's lives, is so palpable and vicious. I'm horrified by this feeling, I'm sick at the thought that I could even consider this as a solution.
This horrible illness forces us to all come to terms with those very real and very savage emotions, to put them somewhere we can all understand. But we can't understand. We are only suffering the residual fall out of what this illness does to a person, how can we even try to feel things the way the sufferer does?