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IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY! : Life with a Parent wit...

IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY! : Life with a Parent with Schizophrenia

life with a schizophrenic parent

Dear Mom,

Today is August 9th, and tomorrow will be your 45th birthday! For other families I’m sure these are happy moments, for me it’s pretty sad. You don’t know tomorrow is your birthday. You probably don’t even know what year it is.

I miss you, I miss late night taco runs with you. I miss eating hot cheese popcorn and Butter Pecan ice cream, although I hate Butter Pecan and I’ve told you that 1000 times but you still buy it cause you love it. I miss complaining about you being overbearing and overprotective. – I miss that actually being an issue.

At times I get frustrated. Not with you, with our situation. I miss the person you were and I miss having a parent. You were my only one.

Sometimes I cry…

parenting with schizophrenia

At one point I thought I could pray it away. That somehow for some reason, you would magically be cured. I get angry with God, with everyone. There are so many terrible people in this world. So many people who constantly do wrong and hurt others. – But not you. Not even at your sickest. I never understood why of all people you were chosen to suffer this badly. You don’t know how many times I’ve asked God to let us trade places.

Sometimes, when I’m doing something I have no business doing, I try to imagine what you would say. Truth is, I can’t.

I force back tears when I see you. I don’t want to upset you so I pretend everything is okay. I pretend it doesn’t kill me inside each and every time I hear your voice. I pretend that your shaking is normal and calm you down as you become increasingly frustrated that you can’t hold the fork on your own. I scoop the food up and place the food in your mouth. I know how bad you want to be independent.

I’m writing this to you because I hope someday we can read this together in amazement. Amazed at how far you’ve come. Amazed because you’ve been cured and you don’t even remember the years you spent suffering. I want you to know I have always, and will always love you. More than anything in this world. You are the light of my life and I will never forget about you. I am so proud of you and the person you are. I know you don’t understand everything that is going on right now, but I always have your back.

You are the most amazingly beautiful person. You are so loved.


  1. Ebony Dunham

    10 August

    Awesome Video! It definitely captures her big heart ans beautiful spirit!!!

    • shawnbethea

      11 August

      She is so beautiful and happy. I miss the old her though 🙁
      Thanks for reading Ebony!

  2. Nicole

    10 August

    Powerful post. Thanks for sharing such an honest heart here!

  3. What a sweet and touching post. I am sorry for what you and your mom have gone through.

  4. Chiquita

    10 August

    Happy Birthday by Jesus Stripes you are healed!

  5. joleisa

    10 August

    Tears… I can imagine your tears flowing too, while you were writing. My favourite quote to you mom is ‘I’ve got your back!’

    I hope you’ll always remain strong no matter what.

    • shawnbethea

      11 August

      Thank you, yes it was an extremely emotional experience to write this. I would have continued but I just couldn’t.

  6. Such a sweet letter to your mother. I know it can be hard, but, I bet writing about it gave you some peace. Sending strength your way! Beautifully written

    • shawnbethea

      11 August

      Yes! Writing does make it a lot better. Thanks so much for your support!

  7. Jen E.

    10 August

    What a beautiful gift this post is to your mother. Happy birthday to her! I’m sure she knows your wonderful heart and love for her. I pray for healing and your continued strength and dedication. This a such a beautiful reminder to love & appreciate the people around us, just as they are.

    • shawnbethea

      11 August

      Thank you. And yes, that is deff one of the biggest lessons dealing with her condition has taught me. You have to learn to appreciate the people in your life. You never truly know what you have until it’s gone.

  8. Ashish

    10 August

    Mothers are truly inspiring people! I wish the best for yours.

  9. Joanne

    11 August

    This is so beautifully written. I’m sure if your mom could read these words she would be so proud of your strength, sensitivity, and truth telling. Hang in there. You and your mom will be in my prayers.

    • shawnbethea

      11 August

      Thank you! I’m trying to hang in there. It’s really hard on birthdays and holidays.

  10. Feel so bad for you. Your story left me with tears. You are such a brave and strong daughter of your mumma that you taking care of her. Hope she will get wel soon.

    • shawnbethea

      11 August

      Thank you so much! I appreciate you reading this and thanks so much for your support!

  11. Cherralle

    12 August

    Thank you for sharing this personal story. Very courageous of you. I hope that it gets better for your mother

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