Monday, March 30, 2015

Mental Illness on Middle Places

I was a little girl, no more than ten years old, maybe younger. I was upset, riding home from the pool with a friend and her grandmother. What had upset me? I can’t recall. I just remember being overwhelmed and confused. Something was going on inside my head, and I didn’t understand it. 

My friend’s grandmother went inside a gas station and left us in the car. I tried to explain my feelings to my friend, but she didn’t get it. I was crying, sitting on the floorboard of the car, looking up at my perfectly normal friend. Why couldn’t I make her understand? 

I thought hard about how I was feeling. I felt sick, but not sick to my stomach. I didn’t have a cold or anything like that. I wasn’t in physical pain, but I hurt. I felt sick inside my head, and I was a kid with a sizable vocabulary. I could use the word ill instead of the word sick and not think twice about it. I also knew that things dealing with the brain were labeled “mental.” 

I told my friend I was mentally ill. 

Her reaction was less than pleasant.

Continue reading on Middle Places


  1. Thanks for sharing a place for folks like us. When I was a kid and played alone with imaginary friends I called it 'playing with my mental blocks' and wondered why people seemed repulsed instead of getting the humor.

  2. Thank you Joe. I recently told my oldest son that you have to find the humor in even the worst situations. It's the only way to stay sane.


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