Saturday, December 13, 2008
In the Christmas season, I find myself thinking about the mentally ill and those who love them. Mental illness can be hard to deal with. Supposedly-joyful seasons can exacerbate the illness or make the season more poignant for those who have loved ones who are mentally ill.
All of you are in my thoughts and prayers today.
And on a second subject--I had a reader write me to ask me to keep on writing. She told me that people often see the mentally ill as somehow mentally handicapped when, in fact, often mentally ill people are very intelligent as is my Roy Rogers.
The most intelligent person I ever knew was mentally ill.
There are all kinds of stereotypes about mental illness. My correspondent talked about how, when she was growing up, it was a greater stigma to be put in Farmington (one of the state's mental hospitals in the 50's) than in Jefferson City (the state prison).
Her hope for my writing is that it would remind people of how mentally ill people are just people like the rest of us except that they suffer from this particular illness. That's something my dad and the little man (they are two different people) would have understood. And they would have wanted us to understand it too.
So I will keep on writing, not just about the mentally ill, but about abused children and others.
It is always good to receive notes from those who have read The Body in the Record Room. If you've read the book and want to write me, see the note below.
If you would like to respond to this post, please leave a comment or go to my web site where there is an email address. Thanks.