Monday, June 8, 2009
As promised to myself, I am going to post about growing up with mental illness. I didn't think it would be so hard to remember some of the experiences in detail. I think I try and block out a lot of those memories. One thing I remember having a lot of was RULES...our lives were ordered by rules, none of the rules made any sense but as a kid you just follow the RULES.
Some of the rules had to do with behavior or actions in public. One was we were never allowed to touch anything like door handles, car door handles, shopping carts, pay phones, without first it being sprayed with Lysol, or wiped with a alcohol wipe or Wet One. There were always containers of Wet One's and Lysol in the car. My Dad would spray the door handles of the car before we got in each time and open it for us. He would open doors while holding a Wet One as to not touch the door. If money was handled by he or my Mother hands were wiped. My Father actually has never to my eyes been in a grocery store before..I think my Mother said he went once and bought all over her favorite treats when she was out of town when my son was born visiting me, but that is the only time. But back to the rules, my Mom would follow the rules so when we were with her she wiped doors, carts, hands, cans, boxes, produce, shower door handles, bathtub faucets, toilet seats, the house phone, chairs, whatever the rules required.
The rules permeated our life and made me crazy. I am sure they were needed for my Father not to go crazy...ah but he already was CRAZY! Even at a young age I knew this was not normal. No one else in the grocery store had a cart full of Wet Ones, Lysol, Bleach, Boraxo, Lava Soap, but us I knew we were different. But I wanted to scream out no we aren't crazy HE is the crazy one we are just following the RULES.