Friday, December 19, 2014

I'm Going to Hell

'Tis the season....we go to the psychiatrist and open brown-enveloped mail....for most its the season of visiting Santa and opening Christmas cards...but when you're a Kramer its kinda the same thing.

We got letters in the mail this week confirming what we already know, Superman's Bipolar. It has been agreed upon that he is permanently disabled, as far as the mucky mucks at the insurance company and government are concerned....They never even hassled us.

There is odd relief and added heartache as you open such letters.

Our family will have what we need... but this is not the life either of us imagined...

I expected a battle when we filed the paper work, seriously I've heard nothing but horror stories, but that battle never came.... 

Disability Accepted.

Our biggest struggle, heartache, hurt and sadness has never come from the diagnosis itself, although its a sobering one....its dealing with the STIGMA attached to Mental Illness.

 And the place we have felt that stigma the most is in...I'm going to HELL..our church family....

I came across this today .....
 (at the beginning article is a list of things NOT to say to someone with a severe mental illness...we've heard every single one)

All too often, Christians associate mental illness with a character flaw at best and demonic influence at worst. Neil and Joanne Anderson describe this situation well, writing:
“Consider what happens, however, when a prayer request is given by someone who is depressed. A gloom hangs over the room and a polite prayer is offered: ‘Dear Lord, help Mary get over her depression. Amen.’ The Christian community has not been taught how to respond to emotional problems. There is no cast to sign, and everyone is silently thinking (or the depressed believe that others are thinking), Why doesn’t she just snap out of it? I wonder what skeletons she has in her closet? If she would just pray and read her Bible more she wouldn’t be in such a state. No sincere Christian should be depressed. There must be some sin in her life. These critical thoughts are not helpful to the depressed person and often aren’t true. Contributing to a person’s guilt and shame does not help mental functioning. We must learn to reflect the love and hope of God who binds up the brokenhearted.”

Rev. Ryan Ahlgrim of Richmond, Virginia, wrote:
“This is the real heart of the matter, to be loved and treated with dignity. Mental illness often puts up blocks in relationships and friendships. But this is because we want relationships that are easy, that benefit us, or that feel productive. But I believe that the presence of mental illness, as well as other disabilities, reminds us that life and relationships are not about productivity and cost-effectiveness and convenience. We’re here to love and be loved. I do not have it in my power to fix my mentally ill friends. Some of them will continue to do things that are, from my perspective, counter-productive. So do I give up on them, or do I give up my need to have a ‘productive’ relationship? Can I simply enjoy who they are and being their friend? I have decided to enjoy them, value them as full human beings, and offer ‘nonproductive’ kindness. We are all, in God’s eyes, the recipients of undeserved grace. So none of us has a value-advantage over another. Let us treat each other with grace.”
I never imagined that some of our hurts would come from a few who share our faith. The fact that the hurting comes from a place of complete ignorance.... frustrating and forgivable and exhausting.

See we have experienced the sweetest of tender mercies from this same church family and so as we wade through the path towards understanding each other I will not lose faith. 


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