I want to share a story of a lifelong battle with mental illness.
I was abducted and held for over 18 hours as a young woman, only seventeen.
I spent my life dealing with depression and suicidal idealization, feelings of guilt, shame and failure. I did not enjoy life and couldn’t understand why.
I had been in and out of therapeutic situations, and overdosed ten years after the event.
I was not diagnosed with PTSD until 1997, and I was relieved to know why my life had been such a roller coaster ride.
I have stayed in therapy and on meds since then.
I do not have any resolution, but the anniversary of the event will mark a 46 year journey in May 2013.
I have suffered many challenges and continue to do so.
I often say if I had a broken arm, I would get sympathy and immediate assistance.
After a lengthy struggle, I was able to get SSDI in 2011, and when I read the judges decision, I knew he got what I had been through; it was the only justice I ever received, the law authorities would not look for me when I was taken, and the perpetrator was never charged, though he had a previous criminal record.
This contributed to my feelings of worthlessness.
In December, 2012, I was again denied justice when I lost a Federal housing subsidy voucher, through the Shelter Plus Program, when untrained and unaccountable employees took over the program, and created a difficult situation for me.
It took the monthly subsidy that helped me, and housing assistance for my future.
I am now 63, and facing an increasingly bleak future, though I continue to struggle to live a normal life.
I believe that many other people with mental illnesses are victims of a broken system, and at the mercy of untrained, unqualified people who get to make decisions that affect our lives, make uninformed and unfair decisions, or take actions they do not have to be accountable for, then disappear with no consequences.
I am grateful for those truly compassionate, qualified professionals who have and continue to support me.
SB, New Mexico