I'm having trouble talking to my nieces about my mental illness, and they are starting to ask questions. This article came in my NAMI Advocate magazine today and I think it has good information, I am trying to upload it so that it displays in a format that is readable.
I attempted again to discuss this with my sister but I think she is just too busy with her crappy new job. She is taking a long time to adjust to spending 9 hours plus commute in an office every day, with being a mom and running a household. I wouldn't want that lifestyle, she is on the go all the time and never stops. I don't know how to get the dialogue started with her and have her talk to her kids, before the damage is done by society and stigma.
The problem has become clear to me after hearing what my brother in law had to say to my mom at the family reunion behind my back. He doesn't support my Disability claim and has stigma against me as a mentally ill person. I had suspected that he was far from understanding what I am going through, and indeed it is difficult to empathize with something like this if you've never experienced it.
He made statements that my parents were not doing me any favors by letting me live in their home, as if he believes that there is an alternative. He is so ignorant.
I don't expect to get very far with my sister or brother in law concerning this discussion with the kids, it will be up to me to be an example and that is all I can do.
I am going to forward this article to my sister again and attempt a dialogue one more time. Last night my niece was calling stuff "cray-cray", in making a joke, but the joke is about as funny as telling someone they are a "Retard". We are becoming sensitive to that word because it is insensitive to those with mental handicaps, it isn't socially acceptable to call things or people Retard. It shouldn't be with other words too, they are just as harmful. I do it, I catch myself saying "that is sooo crazy" all the time, it is part of my vocab from a very young age. If my niece is old enough to be saying "cray-cray" she is old enough to have a conversation about why that isn't appropriate, before society's stigma takes hold and forms her opinions for her. I didn't feel it was the time or place, while we were playing a game, to stop and do that, so I didn't make a deal out of it. I wish I had said something though.
The kids ask why uncle Doug lives with grandma and grandpa and doesn't have a job. I want to know what my sister tells them about it.