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Touched By Madness

In a day when mental illness 
was hidden behind a closed door,
A young girl lived but wished to die;
 she couldn't take it anymore.

No one knew the pain she suffered;
always wondering how it would end.
Would God see her great distress 
and take her to Him; this hell transcend?

Her own father was the madman,
however normal he would seem.
Sometimes he lost the softness 
and, from within, came a demon's scream.

Wild and void of all emotion, 
his eyes unfocused and confused; 
he beat his daughter almost senseless, 
for what she never was accused.

Her mother made up some transgression 
to have her daughter pay the price
for being closest to her father 
whenever he was lucid and nice.

She loved her father dearly 
and could never understand
why he turned on her so suddenly 
as if, programmed to raise his hand.

One day her father, in a frenzy,
beat her head against the wall.
She just went limp in his arms;
gave up the fight to survive at all.

The words she remembers shouting
as she began to slip away:
"Go ahead and kill me!
I don't want to live this way."

His mouth dropped open as he 
came to, almost as if to awaken.
He charged out of the room,
the both of them clearly shaken.

He never touched anyone again.
Perhaps, he learned a lesson.
His strange behavior was explained years later.
He suffered from manic depression.

Today we recognize the symptoms
and treat it with a special drug.
No longer is mental illness
swept beneath a dirty rug.

As an adult, the girl is compelled
to reveal a family's skeleton.
She's learned to recognize mental illness
because it now afflicts her son.

January 10, 2018

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 1/12/2018 8:10:00 AM
OMG Janece---tight hugs, speaking of emotions, this brought tears---a story that needs to be told for others, and for you
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Terry Avatar
Janece Terry
Date: 1/14/2018 1:19:00 PM
Sometimes, you don't realize how traumatic a childhood experience was until you relive it on paper.
Date: 1/10/2018 4:37:00 PM
Sadly in some places it is still a taboo subject... What a sad poem and how difficult it would have been for that child.. IT is heartbreaking.. you have expressed this so well with you words.. an excellent poem...
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Terry Avatar
Janece Terry
Date: 1/14/2018 1:09:00 PM
The child grew into a strong and compassionate woman, so happy ending after all.