“You don’t understand me! Nobody understands me!!“
“What’s all that noise inside“
I stood up, prepared for something strange..something abnormal..something I, as a little girl didn’t understand.
As I walked out of the room, I couldn’t help myself tripping over a few things. I looked around me and found the house in a big mess! The floor was filled with clothes and crates (which we used to pack our clothes in). I looked up and there he was, throwing anything that was within his reach.
Everytime I heard him shout, my heart trembled and my body shook. I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what to do.
My mother always tried searching for solutions. She used to tell my siblings and I to write letters to our father, hoping he would realise that he needs help. Everyone knew he was sick, except my father himself. He was always in denial. We didn’t understand this kind of sickness though. How is it possible for someone to change like that..to become the complete opposite of himself!
I decided to take my mother’s advise and wrote a letter. We all know how much he loves his children. I don’t remember everything I wrote, but what I do remember is that I felt extremely positive about it. I felt like this letter was going to make a change. This letter will bring my father back..my real father.
My mother was very proud of me for writing this letter. When she completed reading it, she smiled and hugged me.
On this day, my mother gave the letter to my father. I stood quietly watching him read. I only remember the last portion of my letter. “I know Abee think we don’t understand Abee, but we do understand.”
He closed the letter furiously and started shouting at me “You don’t understand me! Nobody understands me!!”
My heart bled, my bones collapsed, my eyes swelled and tears gushed down my flamed cheeks.
My expectations were high, but it felt as though I was thrown down into a deep pit.
That was just one of my father’s multiple episodes.
I shared this incident because after that day, whenever we were asked to speak to him or write a letter, those scenes flashed back and forth in my mind. I refused to do it again.
At that young age, I didn’t know what bipolar disorder was. I can’t say that I completely know what it is now because only those going through this can truly understand what it is all about. However, As I grew older, I learned more, experienced more and read more about it. I realised that there are many people going through it. Not only bipolar, but other mental illnesses as well. It is not something strange. It is not something abnormal. It is reality.
Years have gone by and I’m not that little girl anymore. I’ve decided that I’m ready..ready to write another letter. No expectations. Just my feelings, inside out.
Letter to my father
All these years we’ve complained. “Why? why? why?..why is this happening again?” Yet we don’t know the depth of Abee’s pain.
Everyday is a struggle, trying to control what’s inside. I want Abee to know, it’s not necessary to hide.
This is part of what makes Abee unique. Acceptance and courage is all we seek.
Abee’s strength does not lie in trying to live without the medication. It’s having the courage to admit to the situation.
Sometimes it might feel like there’s nothing wrong, but with the help of Allah, the medication is what keeps Abee strong.
Embrace this little disorder of the brain. courage and strength is what Abee would gain.
Abee doesn’t have to do this alone. Abee doesn’t have to go through this on Abee’s own.
We love Abee for who Abee is. Whether high in life, or down on Abee’s knees.