Since the time I was able to think, I knew that the way I thought was different. I come from a long line of mentally ill people, and my family didn’t have the means or the education about the topic to be able to seek help. As I moved from family member to family member, then multiple foster homes, the adults in my life weren’t sure how to properly deal with a child living with emotions and thoughts that were disturbing and painful.
This episode of Real American Family was possibly the hardest to write so far for all of us. Mental illnesses aren’t funny at all, and when our children are hurting in any way, our instinct is to fix it. With mental illness we have to come to terms with not being able to fix it. But we also need to know that we can help our children live with a mental illness, and we can become a stronger family because of it.
We pushed some boundaries in this episode. We made ourselves a little bit nervous. We also made ourselves laugh, and did our best to include information that we thought would be helpful to parents; and if there is anything I have learned in my life it is that I have to laugh at the toughest stuff, because that’s one way to show it that I can be even tougher.
If you or a member of your family is living with a mental illness, please, don’t be ashamed or feel lost. Use the tools on www.thebeehive.org to find help. Talk to each other. Talk to professionals. Talk to other people in the same situation. This episode alone won’t change your life, but I hope that it can help you in some way, even if that way is just a smile or a laugh.