And I haven’t made a post???? There are reasons. I’ve himmed and hawed about what to post all month. This month is important to anyone who is a Mental Health Advocate, but I didn’t only want to publish another cliche thing. I’m sure that everyone is tired of reading that. There isn’t anything wrong with that per se; I simply want my posts to have more meaning. So, I’ve decided to post this very person, a story that has been weighing my mind. The story of my Great Grandmother. The mother of my abuser. Her name, Lucy and I loved her so much.
I would spend hours in her room watching shows on her very ancient television, playing with my barbie dolls next to her bed, having pretend tea parties with her, telling her whatever rambling stories children make up, and listening to her stories, especially about Egypt. She took a trip there in her older age, and it sounded magical. I’ve been obsessed with Egyptian culture ever since.
Grandma Lu always had butter rum lifesavers, she gave me quarters, and interesting buttons she had from a tin. She smelled like old Avon perfumes and Skin so Soft. From what I’ve been told she wasn’t a very nice woman but to me she was beautiful. An angel. When she got sick, she finally had to go into a home. She had Alzheimer’s or dementia; I’m not sure which anymore. She didn’t remember anyone really, but she remembered me.
Her room in that house was my safe space and when she left I slept in that room. All her things were kept there for quite some time. After she passed stuff was slowly changed, but I still stayed in the room. I missed her of course. And then he took that away from me.
That was the holy place I could go to remember my grandmother, and he ruined that too. That was where almost all of the abuse occurred. I began to fear that room. I tried to avoid it. I tried not to sleep, to stay up late. I asked Grandma Lu to protect me. That is what abusers do. They take things, and they suck the joy out of them.
So when someone says #metoo and their abuse happened ten years ago, or 30 years ago, or four days ago. Don’t tell them they’re lying. Don’t discount them and say they’re trying to get attention or merely following a new “trend.” Yes, abuse is a trend, unfortunately. A disgusting trend. It took me over 15 years to share my stories. Some people never will.
The same goes for mental health. It isn’t a joke. It isn’t a fad. The reason the numbers are so high for people diagnosed with mental illness isn’t simply because of medical advancement, and it’s because people like me are finally telling others it’s okay. Get. Help. So my message for you is, it’s okay to share your story. It’s okay, not too. Do what you need to do to heal. Get treatment and take care of yourself.