My dad passed away when I was four years old. My mom remarried this person who was my second dad. I didn’t like him. He touched me, abused me and was mean. I cried and I was afraid of him. I got mad and was bad in school. My dad said he was hurt by my getting into trouble. My friends said that was mean of him, and my mom and family were very supportive about this. My mom was close to me and I loved her a lot.
We got out of his life. My mom and I went to bingo and had fun. When I stopped getting mad, I went shopping, out to eat and to the show.
My illness started in 1989. I went to Pine Rest because I was hearing voices. I thought the voices were real. I was mad. I wanted them to leave me alone. My meds were changed and it helped. The voices were hurt and they tried to talk about it. I was relieved when it was over. My family and friends helped me stay busy, and I go to Club and keep doing things that I used to, all kinds of fun things. I talk to my doctors, too. All these things help.
I have a job at Bob Evans in maintenance. I got my own place and my aunt got me some new things. I have a new TV. I have a teddy bear collection – the state bears. I have furniture. We have video night on Tuesdays with my neighbors. We have snacks to eat. Once a month my aunt Doris comes up and helps me out and the family gets together. We go out to eat. I feel happy now.
I learned that there are worse things in the world than hearing voices. I am happy. I was real happy when I moved to Cadillac and got on with my life. People come to me about things. I listen to people when they tell me things. I am myself again.
My hopes and dreams are to keep working, and that people will know a lot about me: I am a nice person, I’m happy, the past is done. In the future I would like to see more research done on mental illness.