Many families, over the years, have kept secrets, particularly from children. My mom passed away when I was a teenager. I just learned, this year, that she’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia. That revelation put some of the pieces of the puzzle together for me. As I remember, I now somewhat get why she sometimes exhibited bizarre and weird behavior. I now know reasons why my mom’s personality shifted from calm to scattered mindsets and actions.

As a youth, in the seasons when my mom wasn’t in a sane mental place, I was ashamed of her. A few of my childhood peers would tease and taunt about my mother. They considered her crazy. In assorted ways, the situation was traumatic for my family.

In the midst of all of the confusion and disarray, I was certain that my mother loved us. When she was in her states of clarity, Mom was loving, kind, generous, sweet and joyful. Also, she was a loving and faithful Christian who sincerely loved God.

I’m grateful to have learned, this year, why my mother was in her manner of behavior. It has helped me to have that puzzle solved. When I was a youth, I’d never even heard of bi-polar or schizophrenic conditions. Back then, such people were often called crazy. I’m relieved to have a better awareness that crazy isn’t an accurate description . . .

I’m convinced that my mother did the best she could despite her hindrances. My heart goes out to the families who endure the challenging ordeals of mental illnesses. It can be especially traumatic for children. My hope is that folks will be more loving, considerate and disinclined to ridicule folks in such mental states. Instead, more people can learn how to best help such folks, and how best to ease their lives and challenges.

I’m immensely grateful that God is love, and awesomely able to provide coping methods as we trust in the guidance so generously given.

Psalm 27:8 – KJV
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

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Sandra Hicks

Sandra is a native of Washington D.C. who joyously walks with God, and firmly believes in the steadfast flow of love and truth. She is president of a home-based business that specializes in writing, editing, consulting and retail sales of photo products. Her published pieces include essays, inspirational topics and stories, reflections, commentaries, and poetry. In January 2011, one of her inspirational pieces was selected as a Jewel Chest feature on a Christian website. Sandra enjoys photography and snaps shots often in her hometown of Washington, D.C.

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