I was a six-year-old, no different from my classmates I thought. I cried when my ice cream fell to the ground; I couldn’t sleep a week before my birthday, and I always tried to stay awake until my eyes betrayed me.
The realization that I was different didn’t come until I became involved in the world of mental health care. Of course, I noticed that no one showed up to my birthday party, mothers muttering I was traumatizing their children and teachers pulling me out of class cause they were worried, but I didn’t realize it was abnormal, that none of this was happening to my classmates. I was an innocent six-year-old girl looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses with her big green puppy eyes.
My mum wasn’t a bad person, she loved watching Disney movies with me, doing my hair and cooking, but she also drank a lot, walked the streets naked and was brought to the hospital every other week.
My dad had left us months earlier cause he could no longer cope with her behavior, so I ended up alone with her in a small town with 6000 people where everyone knew what was happening behind closed doors.
My mum tried to give me a good childhood, but she didn’t have the tools to do so.
A lonely childhood
When I finally saw a psychologist six years later, I realized my life wasn’t healthy, but bystanders did the most significant damage. Instead of being compassionate, bystanders damaged me more.
If something happened at school, I was the first one they blamed; If I talked about things happening at home, mums came to school yelling at me, whenever my mum ended up in the hospital with an overdose, I heard other mums whisper about her.
My childhood was lonely and painful, but It didn’t stop me from looking at the world as a magical place where dreams come true, and you could be anything you want, as long as you kept believing.
My mum tried to give me a good childhood, but she didn’t have the tools to do so, she needed help, but there was none. She was in so much emotional pain that she had to lean on me. At home I was the caretaker, at school I was ‘that problem child,’ there was no one I could turn to for help, but my childish mind kept believing that things would turn out fine someday.
She was the town crazy, and I was her ‘just as crazy’ daughter.
A painful realization
The worst memory I have is from the day my mum passed away. I was in the supermarket, and two women were talking, saying how happy they were that my mum finally died. My mum manipulated me, lied to me, damaged me, but she was still my mum. She was a pain in the arse sometimes, but she was still a human being – one with a horrible past herself, If they only had tried to help her, instead of judging her, she might have stood a chance.
I spent the next two year in a mental health ward; Psychiatrist diagnosed me with Complex post-traumatic stress due to years of neglect, psychological abuse, and stress.
Many years later I came to the understanding that my mum suffered from a bipolar disorder, but instead of helping her, she became a pun for a bad joke. She was the town crazy, and I was her ‘just as crazy’ daughter. Nobody saw our good qualities. My mom and I were placed in the ‘crazy’ box with no chance of getting out.
Related: My PTSD story
I’m 27-years-old now, and I no longer live in my hometown, but I still have nightmares, and my view of the world is no longer rose-tinted if anything I see the world as an ugly place, where not even a child is safe from harm. I hope that the next time people see a ‘problem’ child, they will show some compassion. Children are innocent, don’t punish them for their parents’ problems.
what you can do for a child in need
– Invite them to your home to play with your kids
– Pat them on their heads, little gesture like that can make the child feel loved.
– Don’t join in the toxic behavior of gossiping about them or their parents, the child is innocent and not responsible in any way.
– Let your kids attend their birthday party, offer to co-host if you feel uncomfortable.
– Tell other gossiping parents to take their business elsewhere, not in front of the child.
– Don’t talk about the child in front of your children.