My first time I heard of my Mom’s background I never connected it with mental illness. I thought it was just a horrible tragedy. When she was only a few years old, her father shot her mother and then himself, killing both of them. She was a middle child of three girls. When I was in my teens, my mom started suffering from depression, but no one gave it a name or discussed with me. She had a great fear of losing me and as a teenager, even when I was even a little late coming home, I often found her in bed crying and unable to talk due to a swollen tongue. I began to feel guilty and take the blame. I did not experience my first depression until I was married and had marital problems. After being hospitalized I found both of my mom’s sisters had children who had problems. There has been a suicide, a schizophrenic, other depressed cousins and more. I never was able to stop feeling guilt when I felt I let my mom down. She had a total breakdown at age 62 and I became her caregiver until she died at 94. I have lived a messed up life in a lot of ways ….. a long story.
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