Louise’s note: I am loaning my blog to a very special mom who is the matriarch of three teens. She openly will tell you that they all are very amazing people in their own right. However, the middle child has struggled with schizophrenia as a child and now as an adult. That has made the familys’ home life topsy-turvy. Not just during the holidays, but all year. Perhaps her sentiments will resonate with other families’ who also struggle with mental illness.
Please help me welcome Rhia Roberts to my column and the holiday card that she has penned for her family and friends and now all of you.
As you know, this has been a difficult year for us as our daughter transitions from Childhood Schizophrenia to Adulthood Schizophrenia. And so, Christmas cards may be late…or even non-existent! But to remind you you’re in our thoughts, I’ve written you a poem…
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
All the stockings are hung and the kids fast asleep
And dreaming of old Santa, and snow six feet deep.
And the turkey is stuffed, and the table is set,
And the work is all done, and all deadlines met.
While, perhaps, this scenario is true at your place,
in my home and my world, this just isn’t the case!
For I’m running around like a chick with no head
Getting everything done before going to bed.
Before going to bed? Ha! That outlook is bleak-
Because my kids aren’t sleeping, NO, they’re at their peak!
With unwritten Christmas cards still scattered around,
And unwrapped Christmas gifts still piled high on the ground-
In the spirit of telling the truth – no holds barred –
My stupid turkey’s not stuffed, but still frozen hard!
And although there are things that I do very well,
Shopping…baking…cleaning…are my versions of hell!
But don’t worry about us and please do not fear,
Our Christmas will be happy, as usual, this year.
Our dinner may be ruined, our chores not complete-
At least our tree’s standing – though our house isn’t neat.
And though some of our gifts may still be at the store,
You’ll get a warm welcome if you knock at our door.
For we have family, and friends, and people who care,
Who understand our plight – and STILL want to be there.
To us, that gift is worth more than silver or gold-
It’s invaluable to us, when all’s done and told.
For raising a child with schizophrenia is hard;
There’s no relaxation; you must be on your guard.
The worst is that feeling of deep isolation,
And loneliness, and fear, and pure desperation!
Because this is an illness that many can’t ‘see’
They question OUR parenting and veracity.
So, to every one of you who held your belief,
In the midst of our despair, you brought us relief.
So now, hear me exclaim, ‘ere I drop out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Happy Christmas, to you and yours, too Rhia. Thank you for sharing.
Resources about schizophrenia
What is Schizophrenia? National Institute of Mental Health description
Follow Rhia here: Dr-Rhia.com