Love Doesn’t Always Equal Acceptance

“She hates me. She’s never yelled at me like that before.” I say to my family as we’re driving. I recount all of the “mean” things she’s said to me lately. “I know she doesn’t mean to sound so mean but I seriously think she hates me.” I add.

My mother turns around to face me and says, “She doesn’t hate you. She loves you. She just doesn’t understand you. She doesn’t understand what you go through.”

“You guys don’t understand it either but you accept me!” I reply.

“We know you, we’re around you much more than she is. She doesn’t understand why you struggle and why you aren’t working or studying.” My mother says.

“But if I was mental in like the pancreas or something like that or if I was really sick physically, it would be acceptable. It’s not fair that my mind is unwell.”

My family understands and agrees with me although I know they don’t like it when I use the word, “mental.” My brother says that she can’t help how she is but she loves us all, just like we love her.

“I know. I love her. I know she loves us, well most of us. Maybe three out of the four of us in this car right now!” I joke.

We all laugh. It’s not an easy situation. Having mental illnesses doesn’t just rob me of my own life. It robs others of the chance to get to know me and accept me for who I am, not who I could or should be.


12 thoughts on “Love Doesn’t Always Equal Acceptance

  1. So true. It’s great that you can talk so openly with your family about this stigma. And laugh out loud about it! I think that’s wonderful. Perhaps laughter is the diametric opposite of stigma? No (she types, arguing with herself) because laughter can hide other things.
    Anyway, I do think it’s clear you have a supportive family. I am so glad for you.

    • Thank you. I am lucky to have such a supportive family. It has taken many years for me to be able to talk to them. I still don’t tell them much about what is going on but that’s more about protecting them than worrying about how they might react.

  2. Yes, totally. There’s a Ted Ed video of a well known comedian that talks about this – how when people are physically sick it deserves admiration and support, but when it comes to disease of the mind it’s just this attitude of “get over it.”
    I mean, you wouldn’t walk up to a cancer patient and say, “get over it” would you? The only difference is there is a test to prove cancer but no test to prove your mind might be unwell.

    • So true. If someone with a physical illness cannot work or study, people understand that. It also doesn’t help when mentally ill people try so hard to appear okay but inside are suffering. Not many people can see beneath the surface.

  3. I can really relate to this. I hope you’re ok and as a commenter above said, it’s great that you’re able to talk to your family. I’m sure she doesn’t hate you, I feel very similar about a family member of mine. Thinking of you ❤️

    • Thank you. I’m okay. In a way it’s easier to assume someone hates me than to realise they just don’t understand me. I am glad that most of my family accepts me as I am although I know they hope for more for me in life.

  4. Pingback: Love Doesn’t Always Equal Acceptance | sensuousamberville

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