Devastating Impact of Mental Illness

Mental Illness
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Mental Illness

Mental illness impacted me at an early age. Being my mother’s only child surely has had its good and bad moments. For the most part, I have learned a lot because of my beloved beautiful mother. I first heard of mental illness was due to my mother’s diagnosis, which is bipolar/schizophrenic.

Yea, it took me by surprise, and the road to acceptance has been rough. As her daughter, she will always be viewed differently in my eyes due to our relationship. Mental illness is not easily detected because a person can be viewed as stubborn, uncaring, etc.

The day the reality of my mother’s mental illness was diagnosed was one of the longest days for me. Her behavior toward me felt as if I was being stabbed repeatedly by the one that loved me the most. The tears that flowed non-stop for her love and support was like a river overflowing.

All this took place in my senior year of high school, the time I needed her the most. No one, not one person, was able to comfort the mental anguish I felt.

As time passed, I literally felt as if it was me against the world — this is still a battle. Isolation became a place of comfort for me. Many years were spent longing for my mother’s company and love. Graciously, I became aware that no one can give me what they did not possess.

As her only child, I was given all the material things a girl could ask for. I was raised with the finer things and found out things are replaceable — my mind is not.

Many years of my life have been on a roller coaster of real and fake. I had to learn to omit the unnecessary chaos.

Being the only child of a mentally ill parent caused me to stay in unhealthy places longer than I should have. But it also taught me that when someone shows me who they are, I must believe them.

Going forward, my past has empowered me to keep on keeping on no matter the trials and tribulations that comes my way. Being a parent of four sons, I am a force to be reckoned with. Life has given me a voice for the voiceless.

Teleza Ayo Rodgers is an advocate for domestic violence, homeless, gun violence! I have persevered more often than not. I am not a defeated foe — I am a force to be reckoned with.

Written by Teleza Rodgers
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Correnn Stormcrow’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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