We all have demons, things that keep us up all night. We all experience grief, anxiety, phobias and stress – even at a young age.
The shame a lot of kids feel due to their parents belittling, hurtful words, and the “harmless” teasing so many millenniums think is funny, sticks with the child and often become irreversible. Constant self-doubt, keeping secrets, and being isolated from family members can manifest in a child’s brain and the consequences can be deadly. Mental and verbal abuse may not leave physical marks but they definitely leave scars. Sadly, the mental health of children often go unnoticed; outsiders label the child problematic or hyperactive and advises the parent to get the child tested.
The problem, however, isn’t fixable by Prozac.
To often, especially working where I work, I see women yelling at their children, calling them monsters, brats, and dragging them by their little arms out of the store. I understand that sometimes being a parent can be overwhelming and frustrating but imagine what those children are feeling. Imagine the pain your inflicting on these tiny little humans.
Mommy and Daddy, your suppose to be their safe place. Your arms are suppose to be their shelter from the big bad scary world, you are not suppose to be part of that scary world. Mommy your words are slowly killing your baby, telling him to clean up or you’ll throw away all of his favorite toys. Daddy your tough love is doing nothing but making your little princess believe that abuse is okay, that its okay for a man to yell and scream and throw things when they are angry. Mama can’t you see that your mini me is watching you every minute of everyday and hears you constantly complaining that your fat, or ugly, or imperfect in someway; she’s growing up with self esteem issues, she’s growing up feeling all your insecurities because if you are fat and ugly she must be too. Papa, where did you go? Why is your son growing up being the man of the house? Where have you been? Do you know that your son now thinks women are all bad, because that’s what you’ve ranted about around him, how he disrespects his mother because you do? Now he’s 15 and gonna be a daddy cause he had no man to look up to. Do you understand how your dysfunction hurts the babies you brought into this world?
Maybe that’s the real problem. Maybe our – this generation is so dysfunctional and mentally (excuse my language) fucked up that they can’t process what they are doing and maybe it’s not completely our fault, although we aren’t doing anything to change it either.
Perhaps it started long ago, even before my mom was born.
But beyond the “blame game” we need to focus on something that has always been so taboo, so unspoken – Our mental health.
IF we are not well enough to get out of bed, If we cannot go a full day without wanting to retreat to a quiet space, if we cannot find a reason to live, if we have more bad days then good days – we are not our authentic selves; We are not able to be productive citizens let alone good parents. Why are we so afraid to be truthful. Why are were so afraid to ask for help, or seek counselling. Why is there a stigma around mental health even when we KNOW its a chemical imbalance in our brains? Why does it still indicate that we are weak, or crazy or imperfect in some sort of way? I am not weak for saying that I have mental health issues, that I have anxiety and depression and that I am taking medication to help better myself. I am not crazy for needing a medicine to re-regulate my serotonin and dopamine levels, just like a diabetic isn’t crazy for needing insulin.
Lets break the cycle our forefathers started, lets rip down the walls and hang the dirty laundry on the line for the world to see. Lets focus on helping the mentally ill, find treatment that works. Lets remove the stigma, the bullying, the word crazy when referring to a mentally ill person. Lets raise respectful, well mannered, healthy children.
Canada, Land of the free.
I have a bone to pick with you.
You seem to be rolling in money, money that’s used to treat Heroin addiction, to give assistance to drug addicts, to reverse overdoses from opioids. And yet you are unable to keep housing, groceries and gas prices down.
This is my issue:
If I pick up a needle and inject myself with poison I would be sent to the psych ward in the nearest hospital for observation and be prescribed a tranquilizer to stabilize my mood. Because I attempted suicide I’d be classified as high-risk and be forced to attend weekly counselling sessions but you would not hand me my medication over for free, and you would not provide funding because working would “help me”. If I couldn’t find affordable housing and ended up living in a motel your government wouldn’t help, or if my income, which may be only 2 dollars above the “low income” cut off, wasn’t enough to feed my family and pay for my gas I’d be told to get another job.
However. If I injected heroin and sold my body to pay for a drug that is no different then poison, and ended up overdosing on the street, the tax payers money would provide funding for the medication I need to reverse my overdose. And if I told you I needed shelter cause I got knocked up and I’m addicted to drugs I have 100’s of options of housing, none of which requires any damage deposits, references or endless searching. If my welfare cheque was used to buy a new phone, or get my nails done and I needed money for food, I’d be handed gift cards or a cheque plus be able to visit the food bank.
So, we reward those people who are on the streets killing themselves, but make those who are killing themselves at work nickled and dimed for every cent they have.
Why are we enabling an entire population of drug addicts?
Maybe I’m heartless, and maybe I’m just being judgmental but I think we should let those people, the people who are injecting drugs into their veins, who are smoking drugs that make their reality different and who are taking licit and illicit non prescribed pills for “fun”, die. They shouldn’t get 100 chances to change, they should not be handed free money. We should not implement programs to offer free heroin to addicts, or methadone replacement therapy. We should let the people who are killing themselves die and save the money for the men and women who are sick with diseases they have NO control over. Or the people who need the assistance for real reasons.
We need to invest in mental health programs not addiction programs, we need to heal our society, not make drugs easier to get.
Lets work on the mental health of young people. Invest in safe places people can go to, free services for everyone, promote cultural healing. We have so many options, why would we use our resources on enabling addicts. If we heal the person we could heal so much of whats wrong with society. Without drug addicts there’d be no gangs, no drive by shootings, no senseless murders; without drug addicts drug dealers would have no choice but to stop selling and making drugs. Our streets would still be safe, kids could still be kids, life would go back to the way it was before substances broke our entire world.
Lets embrace life again, lets live in a way that makes the creator proud. Lets heal our minds, our childrens minds, our mother earth.
I’m writing this early ’cause come monday I’ll be to emotional.
12 months ago.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
Waking up, feeling a sense of uneasiness. But that was nothing new once we knew the day was rapidly approaching.
I remember missing a phone call from my mom and panic stirred in my mind and body. I remember shaking trying to get a hold of her, only to be answered by a shaky, tear filled voice, telling me “Dad died”. My strong and resilient dad’s heart stopped beating. I remember, vaguely, hanging up the phone and dropping to the couch. Unable to really comprehend what I just heard. I picked up my phone, unsure of what to do. Unsure if I should call work or just go in, unsure if i should call or text that my dad died, unsure if I should let people know. Unsure because it didn’t feel real.
I’ve learned that I cannot deal with death..
It didn’t feel when mom came home puffy eye’d from crying and I hugged her and it didn’t feel real when the funeral director sat in our living room talking about the cremation process. It didn’t feel real when I went to work and had a beautiful plant and card from my boss & co-workers. It just didnt feel like real life. It felt like a bad dream I’ve had 10,000 times and I couldnt allow myself to accept that is was real. I stayed in denial for a long time. It didnt hit me, or I suppose i didn’t deal with it until one day I realized it was true. I cant recall the exact moment, or what it was. It may have been the christmas music, or my 25th birthday or a combination of time and the seasons changing. But it hit me hard. He was gone, gone forever. I went from the girl with the dad that was sick, to a woman whose father had passed. My whole world changed in that moment and I become angry.
I was angry because my dad who never really drank or did drugs, my dad who loved his wife and his girls, who did anything possible to be a good person was handed a death sentence. His body betrayed him, God betrayed him. I was angry because his crack head brother was still alive and he wasnt. I was angry because my mom lost her husband and bestfriend, I was angry because we lost our dad. I was angry because if i ever have children they will never know their grandpa, just like I didnt. I was angry because people kept telling me they were sorry. I always wondered what “I’m sorry” was suppose to do, we say sorry to apologize for something, did you inject this awful disease into my dads body? Is it your fault? I never needed the generic answer and thats all I seemed to get. I became angry because although it happened months ago, I was grieving the death of my dad and no one understood why I was still so emotional about it. I felt alone. I mentally and emotionally broke and did things I am not proud of, things I’m still dealing with the consequences of. It took a long time for me to stop being angry, I still get angry about things, but after a long talk with my mom I was able to accept that his body is finally without pain. I cherished the good memories, the very few things we had in common. Jayda was one of them, the only thing I ever wanted was a small dog and he found one for me. And he loved her, and she loved him. She was my little piece of my dad and I was blessed to have her..
A month ago I lost Jayda and the grief I feel about losing her is 100 times the pain of losing my dad and I have no idea why. Perhaps because I was holding on to that little bit of my dad I had left, and now they’re both gone and I feel lost again.
How’s heaven? I bet its beautiful above the clouds, away from the pain and sorrow this awful world is experiencing. I hope your free from all the pain you felt, and that you are happy. We miss you, we miss having you here.
I know I said it to you already, but I want to thank you for everything you did for all of us. I want to thank you for showing me what a real man should be. This year has been hell. Everything is different and my heart is so broken. Not only for me but for our entire family.
I miss how things use to be, but right now, Im missing the little baby dog you gifted me. I hope you two have found each other, and shes sitting on your lap eating cookies off your shirt and chewing on your feet. I hope you guys are both healthy and happy, running around and working on cars. Jayda loves coffee so I hope your sharing with her! I miss you both so much, I dont know how to live without both of you. Please give my guidance daddy. Please help me overcome this.
I Love you, I miss you and I’ll see you when its my time to resign in heaven with you all.