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.