To be sane, or not to be- that is the question! We’ve been talking about sanity a lot, and we have mostly been cracking jokes and keeping it light-hearted. I would like to turn things around a bit and be serious. While the word, “sane” is mostly used to crack jokes or be funny- there truly is a side of it that is serious- and that’s the mental disorder side. Many of us struggle with mental disorder and at times can feel a bit, “not sane.”
My grandmother was clinically insane. She battled her entire life with a bunch of mental disorders. She was diagnosed literally as insane. My mother was the collateral of all of this, and endured abuse and torment at the hands of her mom for many years. At sixteen my Mom became emancipated from her parents and moved far away- and never returned.
I say this because as a girl, I’ve always wondered how my Mom was able to to still love her Mom, but not be in her Moms life. Grandma wasn’t kept from us, but she didn’t have direct access. My Mom always protected us. Always. One year Grandma came to town and at a really nice restaurant in town, she started going off on “those Germans” really loudly. People started staring at us and looking mad. It was pretty mortifying. After that my Mom explained to me that she would come home from school and find her Mom in the cabinet under the sink because she thought the FBI was coming for her. She was literally insane.
They tried everything they could to help her- every medicine and every treatment. Even shock therapy. She was tortured in order to try and be better. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. My poor Mom had to witness it all. It’s amazing my Mom turned out how she did.
My Mom is constantly happy. She’s always moving and always trying to improve upon herself. She might take a cat nap here and there but then she’s up and walking or cleaning. She loves music, bike riding, and happy colors. She loves to let the day in by opening the curtains and she loves sending her grand-kids valentines boxes in the mail. She forgives quickly, and speaks beautifully. She loves hard, and hates- nothing and nobody. She’s far from a tormented soul- she’s absolutely brilliant and happy despite her upbringing and despite a rough decade in her 20’s. She’s the exact opposite of her insane Mom- she’s available and able to love. She compassionate and loving.
How did Mom come from where she did and not become insane? How is she so…sane? I truly believe true insanity comes from the chemistry of the person- mentally. I don’t think we choose sanity or choose insanity. I truly don’t think my Mom could have been anything else BUT happy and wonderful, and my tortured grandmother didn’t have a choice in her insanity. It’s tragic- most of the people out there with mental disorders of whatever kind are so often judged when there’s nothing they can do- their brain chemistry just didn’t work.
I recently ran in to an old high school friend on Facebook. After a long time of no communication from him- he sent me a message telling me to hide because they would find us. He proceeded to talk a bunch of nonsense to the point I became concerned pretty quickly. This kind of behavior was not how I remembered him. I messaged another friend from school and she had gotten the same message. We did some snooping and found out he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia .He was hallucinating and having a bad week I guess. As we looked at his fb page it was clear he had many personalities and was talking to himself- telling himself to do horrible things. My heart broke, and I just cried. I wished I would have been a friend to him, or that whatever happened to make him like that, didn’t. Then I remembered these things rarely have a cause- he just happened to b unlucky in the brain chemistry lottery. I wondered where his parents were, and if people had tried to help. I wondered how long he would make it in his current state. I wished there would be medications he could take that would help him.
I ended up having to block him because of the violent nature of his posts on my wall, and I felt horrible doing it. I wished so badly that I had a magic wand and that I could heal him.
This was when I realized how serious mental insanity is. It’s completely devastating to the people around it, and IN IT. I cannot imagine being so lost in your head. It must be so scary. I also cannot imagine being a loved one of someone struggling in that way- to know there’s nothing you can do.
So for those that know someone like this- I’m hugging you. True insanity is tragic, and terrifying. Those of you that love the insane have my respect and my heart.
If you suspect that someone you know might be struggling with clinical insanity- please help them seek treatment. Some cases can be helped, and some not so much- but you’ll never know until you try.