So, I'm decently active on Twitter (as in constantly on), and a Twitter friend graced me with a wonderful compliment:
I haven't tweeted you in a while, but I've found NAMI and disability caretaker wisdom from you to be in invaluable...
She shared with me that her life is taking on a new path, as a caretaker for a loved one (a very loved loved one) with psychosis. I wish you well on your journey sis, and I'm really touched (seriously, I am) that you're on this path, and what I've said will in any way help.
I think (not to sound cliche) that if we all (each and every single one of us) realized our fragility, and the overwhelming community we could gain by saying: hey, I hear you, I am there. I am there too. A space would open up, just large enough for us to fit, not be judged, and be at home.
I look for that space every day. Most days I find it. Some days, its an awkward lonely run.
Recently, at a friends party, I mentioned (if its the kind of thing one mentions) as part of a preface to something that my mom has mental health issues. We both cringed, albeit for different reasons. I hate that its an issue, they were weirded (and likely saddened, and later alert) to a strange and startling acknowledgement: crazy.
I mean, it is what it is. I can't necessarily fake a former life, I was a kid, we ate hotdogs and went to the vineyard. We also scoured the bowels of the south end at night, dug in trash pails, gorged and purged, searching for things my mom never could communicate to me, things I somehow kinda always got. And that reality is (at least now) mine, acceptable, a part of my place of origin. Largely because it must be now. Largely because it no longer makes me cower, and in part, because I'm proud/humbled by it.
But ultimately, it makes for interesting conversation.
(or palpable silences).
Sometimes you need both.