From time to time, I grapple with the sensitive subject of my personal experiences with mental illness. As someone who has had to manage his own affliction with mental illness for a number of years, I have cultivated a sensitivity to similar afflictions in others, most notably my aging mother.
I was recently moved to a sadness I had never known after a conversation with my mother in which her voice became possessed of a virulent hostility and sadistic sarcasm. When I told her I was not sensing any love in her words, she proceeded to make the unmistakable insinuation that the quality and nature of my love was inferior because it did not emanate from her god. This was an obscenity a healthy mind simply could not conjure. Like a master thief, the scourge of mental illness had stolen away her gentle spirit and loving nature.
So for now, I will continue to fend off repeated invocations of Reinhold Niebuhr's tiresome cliché, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change . . ." blah blah blah. What is sorely lacking here is courage - not the least of which, my own.