I was present at a meeting for parents with mental illness in their families. Why? Because a few seniors mentioned that they had children aged 50 plus still living at home, children who were unable to accept the fact that they had a problem, probably a mental health problem. Living with Mom at that age is not a regular situation. What happens if mom wants to sell her apartment and move into a retirement home? What will her child do then? These people are unable to accept that they are ill, making it impossible for their mothers to get on with their lives.
The social worker who organized the evening with me invited two speakers; one to talk on Mental Illness in the family, and the other was the Director of an Assisted Living Facility. They were good choices, spoke well and were sufficiently smart to allow the participants to ask questions as they cropped up. There was a whole lot of pain in that room.
During the evening, a young woman, not yet twenty, approached me and hugged me saying; “Jill, this is the first time that I have been amongst so many people and not felt any stigma.” I can’t get those words out of my mind.