mental illness Tag

21 Mar Anonymous

With few facts and fewer memories, it is not easy to paint a comprehensive picture of the totality, the gestalt of a person. Be that as it may, the following is an attempt to present, as clearly as is possible, a straightforward, honest depiction of my mother, unclouded by sentimentality and bias. These are the facts, as I know them, as pertain to my mother’s life. Let the facts, few though they may be, speak for themselves. Note: as this is not my story, but my mother’s, I use the pseudonyms Dor for my mother, and Demo to denote my father out of respect for their anonymity. As far as I know, they are both still alive and would prefer this. That my father is being as forthcoming as he now is about mother and the details of our lives together is a truly wonderful thing, and I thank him for that. After a life of denial, it can't be easy, and is testament to his good character.
Read More

24 Jul Valerie Sing Turner’s story of Nancy

My mother, Nancy, was born in 1931, the second youngest of 12 children, the eighth daughter among nine sisters, raised on a sprawling farm in West Saanich on Vancouver Island. Her father, a peasant from southern China, arrived in Victoria in 1907. After settling on small farm he rented, he asked a friend if he had a sister he could take as a wife. But the promised sister was frightened at the prospect of marrying a complete stranger in an even stranger land, and her family, desperate to honour the arrangement, turned to an older sister, my grandmother – already considered an “old maid” at the age of 21 – and asked if she would go instead. At 44, her husband-to-be was more than twice my grandmother’s age; he was 61 when my mother was conceived.
Read More

13 Jul Wendy Noel’s story of Doris

My mother.  She was born in Edmonton in 1929, the youngest of three sisters. Her name is Doris Elaine (I can't think where these names come from) Gregory.  Her father, Len, was a plumber and her mother, Leone, had been a nurse.  They met prior to the First World War and decided to hold off marriage until Len came back - “just in case”.  He came back, they got married and started their family.  Len was from England, Belpur, and had come to Canada with many of his 8 siblings.
Read More

18 Jun Patti Allan’s Story of Betty

"I was an oddball right from the start - a really weird kid. I smashed all the neighbour's flower pots and smacked their newborn baby at age 3 - I don't know why... I guess I wasn't getting enough attention. I went across the street into the forest at 4, and picked bleeding hearts to sell door to door for money for my piggy bank.  I faked sick from school, because I hated being harassed by bullies, and getting in trouble for colouring outside the lines." My mum - speaking about herself.
Read More

21 Dec Susanna Uchatius story of Maria

Marilyn… I got your notice at a very synchronistic moment… and so I decided to splat on the page and send it off to you.  It did cross my mind that my mother might not like the idea of her world being splatted on the page and sent off for someone to read… but then again I thought… to bear witness is to validate in some way and I think my mother has in so many ways not been validated… and so… dot, dot, dot… I will validate away.
Read More

14 Nov Frances Flanagan’s story of Wilamina

Wilamina Becker, my mommy, was born on August 27, 1926 on a tobacco farm outside Momart, Saskatchewan. Her mother, Francesca (my namesake) had an incident with a married Scotsman in a barn when she was 16. Lots of mystery around the Scotsman. Anyway, to try to escape the shame surrounding this incident, Francesca’s parents moved the family to a farm in Surrey, BC.
Read More

03 Sep Lisa Bunting’s story of Bodil

My mother, Bodil Ingegerd Malmstrom, was born in Malmo, in southern Sweden, on January 25th 1930.  She was the second of four daughters for Ture, a middle class clothing merchant, and his wife, Elsa.
Read More

31 Jul Marilyn Norry’s story of Jean ⓜ

My mother is the Queen of non sequiturs, talks through my plays, takes photos of everything, sets a good table, rages against spilt milk, is stubbornly eccentric and a good person to have with you in an emergency. I feel like I’m her when I’m sitting up straight, pulling on a fingernail, watching the crowd with a half smile, unsure whether to join in or flee.
Read More

31 Jul Glynis Davies’ story of Phyllis

My grandmother’s firstborn died at birth. To be expected Grandma's broken heart was inconsolable. Baby furniture, clothes, nappies, etc were removed from the house only to be replaced by a determination never to have another child. Fortunately, a year later Grandma did have another child. Convinced her new baby would also be taken away Grandma treated the arrival as if it were only temporary. My mum Phyllis Mary Wright born 1929 in Kings Norton, England slept for the first few weeks of her life on a worn out towel inside a laundry basket.
Read More