Thursday, April 14, 2011

Raising Awareness & Raising Funds 4 Mental Illness


A mask protects, provides a place to hide how we feel from others. Though behind the mask it's not a safe place because what we are hiding from is within us. Telling us how worthless we are, how we don't deserve to be loved but how we deserve the emotional pain we suffer.

Long before I looked and acted sad I looked and acted angry. When I look and act angry I am still feeling, still fighting for my self-worth. 

When I look sad it's because I've given up and have no more strength to fight for myself. 

When I look sad it's because I believe they are right. I am worthless. I don't deserve to be loved. 

I looked sad 2 years ago.

I believed my children and husband would be better off without me.

I was wasting away. Overwhelmed I slipped away. I couldn't be reached. It was all I could do to just breath.

In this place I knew I was hurting those who loved me. In this place I couldn't help them. In this place I couldn't stay.

I got in the car and drove. I slept in the car at rest areas and drove till I ended up in New Orleans. Nothing had changed. I thought it was a fitting place. To. Just. Stop. 

My husband's heart was shattering. He was desperate to help but could do nothing but let me go. His mother rather then offering him support, love or understanding told him, "I told you she'd destroy you". 

My mother-in-law was a

My own family never asked if I was ok. They never reached out with love or support. One of them told my mother, who suffers from dimentia that I'd left my family. Then one of them did accuse me of not being alone, to tell me I was the reason my mother was crying every day. They are cowards and won't tell me who told my mom such a lie. They protect each other. 

Why not protect me? Because I am not worth anything...that is what they've been telling me.

Someone needs to be blamed for everything wrong in their lives. 
Someone needs to be blamed for their being racist, obese, miserable, homophobic. 
Someone needs to carry their guilt and hate to the grave. Someone they could turn their backs on.

But I was lucky and a lifeline was extended. 

I was diagnosed with C-PTSD. I could get help. I could get better. 

I could laugh with joy watching my husband and children playing. It would take a long time and it would be hard but there was a light at the end of the tunnel. There were those who would not turn their backs on me. They would not let me carry anyone else's guilt.

I'm very lucky. Today I feel more like myself. My CPTSD self is still here but she is slowly dispersing like smoke after it's been exhaled. I breath. I learn to recognize when I'm having a flashback. I recognize when my inner-critic is telling me I've no value and I exhale it and it disperses.

There will be no Barouche-Landau for me anytime soon. The light at the end of the tunnel has come and I've walked out in to the warming sun. I'm fortunate and I'm mostly happy.

For those who have not made it my heart goes out to those who loved them.

Join me and show your support for those who suffer from mental illness. 

Please spread the word about the Bloggers Give Back eBay Auction to raise funds for the George Herman House. A place where women who suffered from mental illness can learn to live without a mask.

You can donate to the George Herman House through Bloggers Give Back, here.

I want to thank my husband Steve, my closest friend Kellie, my niece Roxanne and my Dr. Jayne for without them this blog would not exist.

Thank you to the wonderful sponsors of Bloggers Give Back as well for their support of the George Herman House:

Ikea: Supplying outdoor furniture for the house
Tonic Living: Supplying outdoor Fabrics and sewing services
Bona Vista Pools: Some outdoor accessories
MastermindToys: Financially donated to help the team buy materials


  1. Bravo Dane. This post is amazing, in its honesty, its illustrations, its message... it is a moving and powerful testament to both the devastation of mental illness and the hope and possibility of recovery. xo

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Dane. I agree with Lisa, the combination of your words and the images is very moving. Can't wait to give you a hug when we finally meet. xo

  3. Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It was harder than I thought it would be to write about.

  4. Sarah, you're such a doll, thank you. You'll get a hug right back!


Yay, I love to hear what's on your mind!