Tears came to my eyes when I read Marsha’s story. Her love and support give me comfort and hope that her nephew will triumph even through struggle.
And then it was gone in that moment. I was not the only one who knew. I had told. I think he has it too. I think he is bipolar. The silence on the phone was so loud. My heart sank lower than it had when I was told but not as low as it would sink over the next days. I told his mother (my sister), the only other person I didn’t want to give this news to. This made it too real but was confirmed by the hour long conversation I had with my nephew the following day. In between his tears and anger and yearning for me to make sense of things that didn’t to anyone else but him, he said “ I did everything right Aunt Marsha.” And he had. And all I could do was say, “ I love you and I believe you and I’m sorry.”
We gave everything we had to him. His mother gave him the gene that gave him more than we wanted. Some people struggle in the beginning of their lives and then they have beautiful experiences for the rest. This is what I’ve been telling him since he was 10 and missing his mom and not understanding her strange illness. Now he will understand more than we want him to. I wish I didn’t know what to do. I wish I could linger in denial. But I know too much. Too many years spent learning that we could do nothing for my sister but pray after it was all over. Too many years in front of him to be disappointed. Not the life I promised him in dark cars when he was crying because he couldn’t live with his mom.
He’s the little boy at 5 hiding in my closet on a mound of clothes when his dad picked him up and he didn’t want to go. Too little to understand why he couldn’t live with mommy. Now his dad picks him up at the beginning of his first semester of his third year in college driving him away from his dreams. Away from his friends who don’t understand his fast talking and strange behavior. Away from the boy who hit him with a bat and broke his jaw because he was scaring his girlfriend and friend. To what only God knows. Lord Jesus help us. Help us to still have faith. Pull us up from depression. Soothe our souls.
About the Author: Masha Coleman
I wrote this literally on the day that I told my mother, sister and best friend that my nephew was experiencing mental issues. I wrote it to help with the pain. We have since found out that he had post traumatic stress syndrome but we are watching him carefully. His mother my sister has lived with bipolar for almost 20 years. She is now doing well after being incarcerated on a charge that stemmed from her illness. She currently lives in a group home funded by Volunteers for America and she attends a Clubhouse program on a daily basis. She is my hero! My nephew is now in his second semester of his Junior year in college.