February 23, 2011

Care Just A Little (Link to Peanut)

Daughters of Madness: Growing Up and Older with a Mentally Ill Mother (Women's Psychology)
Book at Amazon
My Take on Peanut comes from my experience with a mentally handicapped mother. A child may be different, but caregivers are faced with a constant and tiring life task. The ones that are able to roam and want to be around others make it more difficult. How do you stop a grown person from walking? You can’t tie them or lock them up. The good folks of the world hug them and humor them kindness. They have the same desires as every other person. There needs seem unimportant to the sane public. Then there are just mean men and women everywhere.

I can relate to the Peanut story so much. My mother was mentally ill. She was not easy to control, to say the least. Walking around town was something that I could not stop her from doing. She went to the senior center each day she could. She had mad fits with people around town. She was well known around town. There were nosey neighbors that criticized me for not being able to control her more. Mama did not help matters by trying to make me out to be a bad daughter. She went along with what was said about my lacking in caregiver skills, adding to the gossip of the lady that roamed the town. I had to work. I was tired at times and just did not have the energy to fight with her over the roaming. Nothing bad happened, and I count my blessings for this. There are more desperate people taking a few bucks for drugs anyway they can. Taking from anyone they can. Younger people are the worst today seems like. Being taught to work for money is something many twenty somethings missed along the line. To take a few bucks from a mentally challenged person is easier, WTF?

There was another lady in town that w as worse than Mama. She had no one to watch over her. She lived in a brick house by the pool all alone. Mama did not get out at dark like this lady did. Mama didn’t cuss as many people out either. She had me this lady had no one to watch her at all. Peanut’s mom I am sure just does the best she can do with the means she has to do with.

My friends, Mama hated with a passion and were overly jealous of them. She wanted me to take care of only her. She hated them so much that she actually chased them around my house with hedge clippers one day. My reaction to this when they told me of this was, “she didn’t catch you, did she? So why tell me. What I didn’t know was not going to hurt me. She stood on the porch of her mobile home cussing them when they pulled in my drive way. I guess these are true friends that just kept coming over even if you might get chased by a crazy lady and a pair a garden clippers.

The mentally ill have as much right to happiness as anyone else. Why is it that people are mean to the people they can. Men were always trying to take advantage of her, thinking she was that stupid and would not tell. It happened to Mama when I was still a child. She walked to Edgar Newton’s Store everyday to buy cigarettes or if we sent her to buy us candy and cokes, when we were too lazy to walk ourselves. Mentally ill people have habits. One of her habits was holding loose change in her hand. She did this so much that her hands would breakout from the copper in pennies.

In that area in the ‘70’s there were a lot of dirty old drunk men that rode the country roads. She told me one story in particular that I still think is so sad. A known drunk with wife and kids stops to ask her if she wanted a ride, she never took rides all she wanted to do was walk mainly. He stopped his navy blue Dodge truck. I still remember the guy. I love his family and naming him is not going to make a difference in my story anyway. Back to what he did to because he thought he could to my mama because she was known to be not all there. He stopped asked her for a ride and pulled out his ____ and shook it at her. I know that he was not the only man that did something like that to her. There was one person that chased her denied it to the end, I know better. One thing I did was believe her over just mean people. She was never beaten by anyone other than my dad. She was slapped by my grandmother many times. To me they did it because she was an easy target due to her mental condition and misconceptions of the day.

What makes people want to bully? Does it make them feel bigger? There are actually people that feel bullying others to make them feel superior. Belittle to make them bigger, is the way I have heard it said. As a human race it would be nice if we put ourselves in other people’s shoes from time to time. Never think you have it made, because anything can happen to us, not too many people are totally sane anyway.


  1. What a powerful story Karla. You should submit this to the Times Daily in the Opinion/Editorial section. You are such a talented writer! Love and hugs!

  2. WOW, great reading, i just love this post, thanks for your work, i will be keep blogging in the future to get more interesting stuff, keep posting.