I took this photo of my mother and my sister during one of our many visits to a mental hospital in northern Virginia, many years ago now. It was a lucky capture of something increasingly fleeting – tenderness, trust, and a smile, between a mother and her daughter. I haven’t been secretive about my mom’s descent into severe mental illness. It is highly stigmatized, which is stupid, because that makes it far more difficult for all of us to bear. So I will always speak up.
Mom battles Delusional Disorder and Paranoid Personality Disorder, which have no cure and no trusted form of treatment, due to the patient’s inherent suspicion and lack of insight into her condition. We’ve seen her through psychotic breakdowns, hospital stays, suicide attempts, jail time, and homelessness. As hard as that is, the reason it’s most excruciating is because Mom was our best friend growing up. She was a loving and energetic person. But her delusions have transformed Bonni, my dad, and I into the enemy, causing her a great deal of fear, anger, sadness, and pain – which causes her to lash out. And now, it’s hard not to hate the manipulative and abusive person she has become. Continue reading
Annie Bean was the cat that everyone liked, even if they typically didn’t like cats. And when I say everyone, I mean that fairly literally. Many people close to me passed through Annie’s life at one point or another, making note of any number of various traits: her laid back demeanor, her pleasantly plump figure, or her sassy self-assuredness, juxtaposed with her surprisingly social and tolerant approach to strangers. The fact that Annie was so known, liked, and even loved has made her memory that much stronger and the comfort that much greater in her untimely passing.
“Those that love you are not fooled by the mistakes you’ve made or the dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you’re confused.”
As February comes to a close, I want to share this photo of my two favorite February birthday kids – my sister and my husband! Love them both like crazy!
The most beautiful #valentine I have ever received! Chuck has a little competition this year, don’t cha think? 😊💖 @wendy_j_li #pink #love #pretty #diy #papercrafts #snailmail
Belated collection of favorites from the holidays (that I haven’t already posted.) Love my friends and fambly!
Happy New Year from Atlanta!! May you all have a happy, healthy, and blessed 2014 😊
Happy Christmas Eve from Old Towne Alexandria! So happy to be home in Virginia for the holidays! (at A La Lucia)