“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.