This is a series of post answering questions posed by Kevin's daughter. I asked permission to answer each of these questions as if I was answering my adult children. I will also include a link to Kevin's answer. (I don't read his blog until after I write mine.)
18. To me you are just my
(The original question is for Kevin so I am changing the Dad to Mom for me.)
Interesting thing about mental illness is you don't look sick. Symptoms are chalked up to eccentricities or moods or bad days. High functioning mental illness can go almost completely unnoticed by other people. I had people totally disbelieve me when I say I have PTSD. Emotional, mental and spiritual abuse doesn't leave physical marks that I could point to and say, "See this is where I am hurt." I call mental illness a private hell for most people. As mental illness becomes more and more disruptive in my life, it can be noticeable, but I learned to deflect questions, phrase what I say to mask the real struggle, and yes I used to out right lie to cover up. It was a habit. I worked hard to break the habit. In junior high, other students were far more blunt and wrote in my annual, "to the nut." That is when I learned to hide how I react to things. I emotionally went into hiding. It worked. Most people just want everything to be fine so really don't notice what I am doing unless in interferes with what they are doing. I am really quite relieved that mostly I'm not noticed at all. I do know that my first counselor calls me hard working and courageous. I don't see myself that way so in an interesting way this question becomes about how I see myself. I'm not really sure if I've answered the question. But these are my thoughts on this question.