Tuesday, January 07, 2014

My Ungracious Opponent

"Mental illness is not patient, it is not kind. 
It envies, it boasts, it is proud. 
It does not honor others, it is self-seeking, 
it is easily angered, it keeps a record of wrongs. 

Mental illness does not delight in the truth,
but rejoices with evil. 
It never protects, never trusts, never hopes, 
but always perseveres.”

I used to look for
the broken,
the violated,
the lost,
and vowed to love them
through their
mental illnesses,
naively convinced
that I could
love their problems
(and their inevitable fates)
away.

Ask Darra
or Lan Anh
or Teresa
and each will tell you
how I left,
each time bowing
in defeat to
mental illness,
my ungracious opponent.

Anita came to me
with both wings intact,
and three beautiful seedlings
who I came to love
and keep as my own.

Nobody predicted
that the short, blonde
4 year-old chatterbox
possessed a latent
recessive gene,
that has now flowered
into obsessive-compulsive disorder,
general social anxiety,
and profound depression.

So,
here I am again,
trying to love someone
through mental illness,
but this time,
I cannot leave,
reminding me
that no matter how much
I try to avoid
what is inevitable,
I can’t fight fate.

[Happy New Year! Written for #openlinknight at www.dversepoets.com - where love and writing and love of writing come together!]

54 comments:

  1. it is not easy and i know the feeling of wanting to run away cause things seemed too difficult... there always is a light though when the night seems darkest...sounds flat but really i mean it seriously...hugs and strength...

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    1. Doesn't sound flat at all - I sincerely thank you for the supportive comment.

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  2. oy not easy man...i have walked that road with many a family...and i know you will love her through it...there is help so you dont have to go it alone as well...you can fight for her...

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    1. Yes, thankfully she's warming up a little bit to attending a support group. Thanks.

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  3. This sounds so dark.. I have limited experience.. but a co-worker needed my support going through those dark moments.... but it's not like family.. it turned better again and we can see each other like friends. I hope the same for you.

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    1. Thanks, and there's darkness, but, thankfully, light too.

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  4. I understand how hard it is to love someone with mental illness, but I also understand the commitment to continue to love despite the mental illness. I have faith you will find the right path.....

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    1. Thanks, and yes, we need to find a path that works.

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  5. I have to say this gave me goosebumps and I feel for you, and her, and them.

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    1. Thanks, goosebumps mean you're alive.

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  6. I am touched by your writing, so poignant and sincerely done ~ We all try our best to make the best of what is given us ~ May you find the strength and love in the staying ~

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    1. Thanks for your kind words. Praying always for strength, wisdom and patience.

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  7. We all harbor imbalances, emotional components, yet when the filters, the shackles of propriety are dysfunctional or absent, it is like licking a raw wound; not an easy fix, never a complete story; beginnings, red herring avenues, dangling moments; if this piece is personal, luck be with you, & if it is artistic license, it is bang on.

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    1. I agree with Glenn and wouldn't be able to say it any better, so here's me, putting in my supportive two cents.

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    2. Thanks, yes, it is a documentary poem. Your support is appreciated.

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  8. Powerful! It seems you and I have focus on the tragic and less fortunate things people face in life. Thank you for tackling poetically this sensitive subject. You gave it call for grace and understanding.

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    1. Thanks, all these poems I write are mainly for me - to help me find a way, a perspective.

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  9. I do not know you. But I know mental illness having been born into a family harboring so much of it. Actually, unlike you I have spent much of my life running from it. You are to be commended. I admire you.

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    1. Thanks, running from it isn't always a bad thing. I ran from it when it became unmanageable.

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  10. … this reads so believably - sets up a long road ahead, one I certainly hope you have help with if this is nonfiction.

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    1. Thanks, and you're right - it's a long road ahead, and a long road getting just to this point.

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  11. Oh so hard, I am in a similar situation with a family member, and it is very difficult. In the end, I think all we CAN offer is love, difficult though that may be. I wish you strength and patience and peace.

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    1. Thanks for the wishes, and yes, love will help overcome this beast. It's the only thing that ever overcomes anything.

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  12. You have captured this topic with empathy and compassion; as a point of fact, not as a rant of self-pity. Inner-strength surprises us sometimes, being there when we need it most. Blessings to you and your family.

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    1. Don't be fooled, I rant plenty of self-pity but who wants to read that? Thanks for your support.

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  13. I admire both your ability to write and your commitment to stay.

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  14. I'm currently on this road... the frustrations, the want to just say fuck it all and leave... I know all too well... It takes a strong person... to say the least...

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    1. Well, brother, I just think God wants me to help the mentally ill, so he gave me a daughter with it - so I have to make it right. Don't give it and say fuck it, tempting as that is, it's not the path I think. Good luck.

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  15. For thirteen years, I was married to someone with bipolar disorder, so I know exactly what this poem is talking about. It's true, no one can love them out of it. The love wears down and lays down exhausted, but the illness just keeps on truckin'. I am thankful every day that my son does not have it.

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    1. You get it - yes, when the mental illness wears us both out, we just lay on the coach watching episodes of "The Office" until we feel better. Thanks Shay.

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  16. It's extremely challenging and extremely hard living with the mentally ill. It takes a flexible and forgiving soul. Such as yourself. There is so much honesty here - really good work, Mosk.

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    1. Thanks, zoux - I try, and often fail miserably, but I don't quit.

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  17. God bless. Your strength of spirit will guide you always.

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    1. Thanks, and I rely on the holy spirit to carry me through.

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  18. A lot of feeling in this.

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  19. So much simple truth here Mosk--I am moved by your writing today

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  20. Wow. Very powerful. Well done.

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  21. Fantastic write. I hope the strength to love is our true fate. Cheers!

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  22. I was a psychology major in college so this reasonates with me. Mental illness can't always be seen, but it's there, it's always there... powerful write.

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  23. From personal experience with a family member, I cheer you on because, yes, love makes a difference (even if it cannot "fix" it). Take care of yourself too. Find a NAMI group...they can offer support for persons living with mental illness and their families.

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  24. this was lovely and reminds me of the old phrase "No parent is happier than their saddest child." Maybe the next level of love must to love those who cannot reciprocate except to break our hearts. I wish you strength and hope.

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  25. Totally can relate to this ...my mother was in those ranks...a hard and brutal lesson mental illness is...bkm

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  26. Mental illness comes in a great variety of forms and it is hard for anyone person to know how they (with their own personal characteristics) should respond to someone else's issues. A moving write.

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  27. There's not much you can do, except to be there, quietly, without judgement, without preaching or platitudes. Just be there, as a quiet companion. Hugs to you.

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  28. A brave and revealing write, Mosk...This must be hard...admire your stick-to-it stance...and wishing you well through difficult times. xoxo ~jackie~

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  29. Such a powerful and revealing story is revealed in your poem. People, regardless of their challenges, each need someone to love them unconditionally.

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  30. Fate holds and deals as she will, doesn't she? We're all playing with house money anyways - the odds of *us* being here are astronomically low. Peace and good luck ~

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  31. This is a very intense poem. I wish everyone concerned all the best.

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  32. Well..first of all..i enjoy the first part of your 'name'...

    And well mental illness..i guess..i'm kinda an expert on that 2..whether i like to be or not...

    My father is a way..is a natural occurring psychopath...but not there per sociopath or anything like that...just the law enforcement type if ya get my drift...

    My mother isn't fully schizophrenic..but she did think people were stealing wood out of her roof..

    And well i was non-verbal to 4..and diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at close to 50 as well as my sister 2...

    So different minds..are mostly what my entire life has been...

    And yes..depression..severe anxiety..and all of that..has been my life 2...

    But with HOPE this thing called mental illness and can be extinguished 2...

    It takes a lot of HOPE to get there..but if i could extinguish.my experience with It..i would think there IS HOPE FOR MOST ANYONE...

    So i hope your love continues as strong..with your current experience..with the MI of your loved one..and HOPe that what IS ILLNESs will eventually TRULy become ONLy LOVE!

    Happy New Year to ya friend..and with true empathy..i feel for ya....and your loved one....

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  33. Is it okay to post some of this on my page if I post a reference to this page?
    jeux de mario

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