Most of us with a mental illness have probably said this at least once in our lives; but it is incredibly heartbreaking to hear these words from someone you love.
I feel powerless as I listen to her crying. I want to put my arms around her, but she wants to feel these feelings alone. I feel fear that she’ll do something to erase the pain.
When we hear those words “I can’t handle your illness,” or however the statement manifests itself, we are bombarded by so many feelings at once. It’s a reinforcement of our struggle with the stigma of mental illness. No matter how much we’ve battled it in the past, the feeling that we are defined by our illness is brought to the forefront of our minds.
Over time, with the help of our support system, we will hopefully learn that none of these statements are true. It will just add one more dimension to the ever building strengths that most of us don’t even realize that we have. We will love again and finally be loved unconditionally in return.
I know it is possible because I am living proof.