Author: Lauri Nally
The work in this book of poetry is a form of healing on my behalf. It is introduced as a tool to help myself and readers of the book to understand their own emotional struggles with life. Anyone that has been diagnosed with a mental illness, abused in any form, raped, or a party to incest or perhaps dealing with being adopted will find this book to be enlightening.
I have found that there are many people in this world that feel that they are alone in their daily struggle with life. Trying to find someone who can relate to them and to sense an understanding of how they feel inside and how to express themselves is sometimes a difficult and futile task. It is my hope that this book will offer comfort and guidance in the healing process of others.
I have shared some of my experiences in this book that have brought me to the deep end of depression and back to the highs of mania. Through my poetry and other writings I hope to emerge as a whole person who is capable of love in giving and receiving. I'm also in hopes that one day I can be as normal as is possible and find my true identity.
This book of poetry was compiled during the winter months of 2004-2005.
During my adolescent years the winter months held a lot of bad times for me. I have yet to heal and to move completely forward and past those years of my life. Sometimes I feel that I am a 13 year old, and have not moved on internally in my mind. I feel as if I am this lost and confused little girl who doesn't know how to feel or how to love and accept love. I find the way for me to deal with the past and to heal is through my writing.
I was placed in mental institutions as a teenager in the 1970's and at that time little was known about mental illness and the proper diagnosing. I have been taking all kinds of medications for most of my life prescribed by psychiatric physicians. I was diagnosed as being Bipolar or Manic-depressive at the age of 24. I have had many years of psychotherapy and still see a doctor to continue medication. I'm hoping soon that I can come off of the meds, as I would like to know life without them.
When I was an adolescent I found myself to be very rebellious and frequently ran away from home. I found myself in numerous dangerous situations. Some of the serious episodes involved rape and incest. I was running from things that had happened to me at home that I could not talk about. My adopted brother had tried to molest and rape me on several occasions and an adult couple also did the same to me while my parents were away on a cruise. These people were supposed to take care of us and look out for us while my parents were away; well they did some things that were to say the least inappropriate to me a 13 year old girl. This includes sexual interlude with this married couple though I was afraid of it I also enjoyed some of it. This is where the guilt comes in to play. I never told anyone about it until I was an adult. I kept this and many other secrets from the world I felt that no one needed know these things I thought I was a bad person or since my biological parents gave me away that I was no good. I was adopted as an infant only a few weeks old but I do know that some people who are adopted have identity struggles as I still do. This must play a key factor into my struggle with life and who I am and my own self worth.
I could never bring myself to talk about these circumstances with anyone so I kept it all inside. Thus, causing a lot of guilt and shame on my part. Confusion was a big part of my thought process at the time, I don't know if the experiences I had caused the mental illness or the mental illness was always there and the experiences I had made the illness come to surface. I wanted to be free and to discover myself and felt that I was just not worthy of loving parents and why should they have me when my own parents didn't want me? I had many struggles with family life I didn't want any part of it as most teens donut. I decided to run and thought if I ran I would escape all the bad experiences. No one needed to carry my burden but me; I was embarrassed and full of shame. Love was something I couldn't understand and still have a hard time dealing with and understanding. My parents were wonderful people and I was lucky. I know this now and even though I regret some things I cant change the past all I can do is try to heal and go forward with my life.
As I have said the healing process is part writing and part looking into myself and trying to figure out what in life I want to accomplish, I feel as if I have a long way to go, but I know I will find my way. My moods change like the colors of a Chameleon. I have known this pattern my whole life. I call them cycles-as they range from periods of feeling normal to feeling high, as if I am on some kind of drug that makes me feel extremely happy and excited and energetic. Then after these cycles I become depressed. My entire life I have had to live with this it can be very difficult and hard on others that I care for and vise versa.
I have pushed many people away from me, as I do not wish to burden them with my illness nor trouble myself by not being sure of how I really feel about someone. The only way to explain this is to say well "It all depends on my mood" if I like someone or want to be with someone. For example I thought I had fallen in love a while back but I think I was in a mania cycle and didn't know the difference between my true feelings and how I felt at the time. This sounds a bit odd but looking back I have to blame it on the cycles. Maybe I was in love or just cared for this man but in any relationship it takes time and so much of it before I can be truly sure of my feelings, I suppose the only way to gauge this is to be with someone throughout all these cycles I go through. When the cycles are complete and I am still interested in the person I suppose its true feelings that I must have.
Many times I have thought about ending my life but I tell myself I will make it to the next cycle where I will feel better and be able to overcome the depression. Yes, its very difficult living this way, but I have come to terms with it for the most part.
Medication has always been a big factor, but I hope someday I can stop taking medication and try to live life without it and to see if my coping skills are still strong enough to survive. Everyone has their problems and their struggles in life; living with a mental illness for me is sometimes intolerable. Unless you have been in this cycle of Mental anguish -- there can be no full understanding of how it fells and what it can do to you, This is why I write I want to be able to relate to others in the world that cannot express how they feel and maybe I can help another person who suffers and help them feel that they are not alone.
***poems from this book will follow* **