Some relationships are robust vessels and weather many a storm without concern. Others are fragile and easily break apart or lose their balance in the onslaught of experience. Among the fragile ones are those of youth, when the bond is a shared experiment when neither partner has the experience to steer and batten down the hatches. These tend to have a rapid, painful passing, moving on to the next pairing with relative ease.
Far more destructive than these is the class of relationships with and between the mentally ill. One or both partners actually have a broken relationship in many ways with themselves and it is extraordinary when pairing with another can truly succeed. It is almost like trying to create a construction bond between parts using some form of cement while one or both of the parts is constantly in chaotic motion. It is generally the healthier partner that eventually separates for their own survival, but the wounds often last well beyond that point.
I am careful on this blog to not point to individuals in my close experience as examples, especially in such a way that they might read my writings and be hurt. Nonetheless, I have had several examples around me that are still being dealt with in a myriad of ways.
Some are aware of the difficulty they present in the care they require, but none are fully aware of the cost to others. Of course, which of us is aware of that? Two should probably be under institutional care. Our society is taking less and less institutional responsibility for mental health care and trying to shift the burden to families. The result is often financial failure coming from fixing all that the ill destroy or the cost of the medicine they require. It can also lead to physical abuse and in one case in our family ultimately led to murder. The end destination of many of these people is now prison, which is not really equipped to deal with mental illness.
The problem is achingly real and the questions it raises for those involved are some of the most difficult and ambiguous they will ever face. I venture to say that not a one of my readers has fully escaped this challenge. Have you?
This topic was brought to the Loose Blogger Consortium by Ramana. His link and others of the LBC are available on the right hand side of the page. Find writers and thinkers all, I encourage you to see what their views on this topic are.