Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
“I’ve been kidnapped and they won’t let me go home!”
“Where are you?”
“I’ve been to Freeburg and Kenton, and now I’m back in Marysville.. They took me on a long ride and I don’t know, I don’t know – they won’t let me go home!”
I wanted to call the police or for an ambulance. Who could solve this confusing mystery? Any magical doctors on call? The voice was my dad’s. He’d been taken from his room in the nursing home to the hospital because he contracted pneumonia. His actual ride had been five minutes, the only place he’d been was next door.
He’s so certain his delusions are real, I wish I could send superheroes to whisk him away from this torturous mental prison of dementia’s making. I know he is homesick; there is no home waiting for his return.
There’s another kind of mental beating. We may wonder how old pain can be returning or that memory popping up. What was once thought placed in the past is rising to ruin the present again. It’s an ugly déjà vu. It’s shame on a pin wheel.
It’s as if some powers carry us helplessly into a familiar abyss of self-blame and loathing. We don’t want to be there, we want to go home, to the day before all this happened. Our imaginations paint “good ‘ol days”‘ where there were none. It’s a mental trap of one’s own making.
Both my dad and I want to go to make-believe histories of happiness and mental health. My dad has nothing he can do to improve his situation; it seems this is the road on which he will stay. I however, can return home.
A recent betrayal of lies and rumor by a friend has unsettled what little was still holding me to Pennsylvania. With my divorce looming, moving back to my home state of Ohio to start over seems best.
Four and a half years ago, I wanted to “go home”, which meant heaven above. On earth however, I want love from humans, fulfilling work, great relationships with family, and enough money to get by. Ideally, people who care and do not abuse will surround me. My desire is to grow so close to Jesus that I never feel alone or hopeless again.
Focus is up to me. In the face of pain, remembering what is good and lovely and true, brings relief. I have to admit though, it’s easier when you’ve got a friend in your corner.
Here’s to a hopeful break from the past.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.
-pictures from Qualitystockphotos.com