Just saying … One of the most memorable events that happened during my son’s illness was the time when my youngest grandson and I were visiting and the issue of stigma and discrimination came up. He asked, exactly what is stigma and discrimination? I went on to explain that many people do not understand mental illness and some of the features that accompany the illness i.e., talking to themselves, being distracted, being overly friendly, or staying to oneself, or perhaps not dressing appropriately. Many times people make fun of persons with mental illnesses and it is very hurtful not only to the person but to the family members. I explained that the person with the illness is often aware that people are making fun of them.
Later that week we were having a Holiday dinner at my daughter’s house and she was having her in-laws for dinner. Her in-laws were not familiar with my son and at times his manners are not the best. At any rate, the table was set, and it was quite full, every seat was taken. I asked my daughter if it would be okay for my son and me to sit at the kitchen counter. I could feel her relief and knew my own because I did not want to have my son or her embarrassed. I moved our plates to the kitchen counter, and after my son in law said The Blessing, I noticed my youngest grandson took his plate from the table and joined us at the kitchen counter. I looked over at him and he just smiled – Lesson Learned. I was so proud. It’s all about that hope!