My first marriage was very violent and traumatic for me. I was constantly shouted at by my ex-husband, with him screaming at me so closely that there was spittle on my glasses and face. This was often punctuated with a smack across the face or a punch in the jaw. In fact, he dislocated it once and to this day, I have problems with clicky jaw and TMJ...
Just after our 17th anniversary, I was trying to get something down from our wardrobe and I was standing on a bedside table..the table toppled over and my leg was badly bruised, but what hurt the most was that my husband came in roaring at me and punched me between the shoulder blades.. I don't know what happened, but I started howling and screaming like a wild woman and I couldn't stop it or the shaking that convulsed my body... even he was shocked..
I rang my mother and she took me to the doctor who gave me an injection to calm me... it did nothing. Mum rang him and he said that she should take me to hospital as he couldn't help any further.. So for the whole day I sat beside my hospital bed, blowing into a paper bag and talking to the psychiatrist for more than a couple of hours. He gave me a diagnosis of extreme stress and urged me to leave my husband, which I did 8 years later. I was discharged and sent home to my husband who informed me that I wasn't mad and didn't need to go to hospital even though he said I was mad every time I reacted to his abuse..
Being so low emotionally and mentally gave me insight into the way people view mental illness.. my family were appalled that I needed to talk to someone about it and I was urged to keep it private. This served to make me feel more alone and isolated than I already felt. To this day, fully recovered and now happily remarried, I feel anger at society's handling of the mentally ill..
Nervous breakdowns, stress induced illnesses, bi-polar, depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses do not make a person bad or someone to be hidden from society. We need to remember that they are suffering from invisible illnesses every bit as painful as a broken leg. We need to pray for them and treat them respectfully. They already will be suffering the added burden of shame and guilt for something that is out of their control..
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.' Isaiah 41:13