A Hidden Friend | Teen Ink

A Hidden Friend

March 28, 2019
By HaleyMcQueen BRONZE, Grandville, Michigan
HaleyMcQueen BRONZE, Grandville, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

My Uncle killed himself in 2001.  No one knew it was coming, and no one was prepared for everything after.  But most importantly it opened my dad's eyes, and now it opens mine. My dad and my uncle both suffer from anxiety, depression and bipolar type 2.  They both got it from my grandma and grandpa on that side. It didn’t stop my Uncle from living a good life though, he just never got help. My father did get help so now he is able to continue sharing experiences and making memories.

That's not to say there were no bumps in the road.  Seeing what this had done to my uncle sometimes scared me looking at my dad.  Especially in the rare cases where they could not renew or do not have his medicine ready for him.  When this happens he gets into what is called a manic state of mind. When this is happening he does not usually think very rational, he justifies things he would never normally do. I can remember this one specific moment, it was a Sunday that started out ordinary.  I woke up skies were blue and the birds were chirping, but the second I went downstairs it was like I teleported to a new time everything was grey and gloomy. I looked around to see why, and where everyone was but I saw no one. So I opened the door to see if my dad and stepmom were working outside.  Immediately after I opened our front door I knew where the grey feeling was coming from. I saw my stepmom hunched over sitting on the one cement step to our house and I saw the car gone. This had meant they had fought and my dad drove off to cool down, but that just scared my stepmom more.

It terrifies me to think I could do that someday.  Or that I could lose him any day. I worry about everything, stuff I can’t control and stuff I can.  I've tried to stop but I have no clue on how or even why I worry and that makes me more worried. I’m worried that I have what my father has, I'm worried I'm going to lose him because of what he has, and I can not control that.  I have to live every day trying to help him remember his pills, and hoping he's always there when I get back. My dad has told me a billion times over that he will always be here, but even he knows that with his Mental health that's a promise he can only ever try really hard to keep.  It can be no guarantee. Which when I am not always there or home scares me, cause I’ve seen the damage it does and I do want to ever have the ability to do that but it is out of my control.

When you grow up watching your mom and your dad divorced and each struggling in their own way you learn to just be there to help.  I was there for my dad, mom, sister, brother, anyone in and everyone that needed someone. Doing that though made me lose myself, I didn’t know what I liked to do for fun anymore, and I let feelings slip away into the shadows for a really, really long time.  That is also exactly what my dad did for ten plus years. He let his feelings hide away from him, refusing to acknowledge they were there because he had kids now to take care of. I know it wasn’t my fault that my dad chose to do that but I wish every day I could have helped him because I almost lost him.  That even the thought of it is worse than anything else I could ever be faced with and to me, I’ve been faced with plenty of different things.

I  can not predict what the future holds or how much longer I have with anyone, but I do know more now.  I know I can not always control the future but that does not mean I will stop trying to control whether my dads in it.  I know now that even if I am going to be dealing with this too that I am strong and I can get through it each day bringing a new challenge.  I know this because I can remember sitting outside with my stepmom, I didn’t say anything, and she did not need or maybe even want me there to see this, but I had to be there if not for her than for me.  I sat on the cold, grey cement step and cried with her. No one moved really, other than to put a hand on my back. We sat there, we cried and I had time to think.

The author's comments:

This piece is one I've wanted to write for a long time now.  It is one were writing it is a way of helping me get it out.  I want this to be a piece people can relate to and look at to help them see what some people are dealing with.  I hope everyone can connect and genuinely enjoys this piece. However, it will not be for everyone.

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