The jelly fish....turn off the sound. Its more peaceful that way.
The class is filled with parents whose children are mentally ill and most are also addicted. Out of 25 people, one was there for a friend, and one was there for a husband. The rest were parents of sick kids.
There is no anonymity in NAMI and right off the bat, the leader outed a volunteer by putting her under the spotlight. She told how awful things were for her when she first came to NAMI, but now she is doing so much better....."lets all give her a hand!"
I cringed in my chair. The dad looked a little pale...he was horrified and said, "This is not like Alanon." "No, its not dear. Just hang in there....lets see how it goes." I was frustrated that we hadn't been in the room for even 5 minutes and the leader had already made the atmosphere feel unsafe. It showed me how vital anonymity is in our program. It creates a safe place for us to share.
Later we had to tell about who/what brought us to this class....their name, age, dx, and a little of our story. The dad let me do the sharing but whispered, "Don't use her name. She at least deserves that."
So many parents just spilled it all out there....and I remember my years of doing that. You are so desperate to find an answer you will tell anyone anything if you think they can help. Some shared some really sad and scary stories, some had stories that I wondered why they were there.....and so many people we could relate to! That was the best part for the dad I think....to see that he's not alone. We are not alone. So many families have these unfathomable types of issues going on.
We just got back from a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. My girl came with us. We all left the house with the best of intentions I am sure....but the trip was a challenge. It made me so aware of the long road ahead of us. I just kept thinking...."Someday you will get to the other side of this. Don't give up!"