Hooray! More have come forward to give our little rebellion some buoyancy.
We haven’t opened the vaults yet, but each new voice chalks one up for the good guys. Every time someone steps out of the shadows, we bow deeply.
I’d been bracing for harsh comments for plotting actively against the audacity of indifference. Fortunately, these feelings of foreboding have been banished by the first batch of responses, all very positive, to help spur our uprising on.
A flurry of ayes has arrived at firstname.lastname@example.org since we’ve hung the banner out, but most are still clearing participation with family. I understand that these things take time.
More than a few were reiterating reservations from sharing-wary brothers. One told how they’ve asked their little sister what’s in it for me. What’s in it for me is just the chance to see some dignity restored for those whose sanity may never be. So, truly, everything is in it for me. Everything is in it for all of us.
And if I betray a single trust, all brothers (and sisters) are officially welcome to come beat the stuffing out of me in Boston, because I’d deserve it. It won’t happen. Who knows though: you might be like the long lost brothers I’ve never had.
Remember: I’m one of you, but I realize it’s about all of us–all 3 million families. Not just this one. We hang together or we hang alone.
An arresting story came in over the transom from a family in Canada that might just rival our own. I’ve still yet to find one in the lower 48, but we do raise the bar pretty high here in the Hub.
The Ontario family had more practical concerns about living rooms being overrun with lights and cables. No worries. We won’t be swooping down on anyone. I have a plan to avoid all that.
There’s no need to act with undue haste. It takes time to examine the pros and cons. For now we’re able to get to know each other in the idle evenings. I want to hear from anyone who’s ever felt the sort of loss we feel, a loss that for us has no bottom.
One footnote to last week’s post: No Family Madder is not a place of exclusivity. The door is purposely left open to all those suffering with or from. No need to be as multiply-afflicted. It’s not a competition. No one wants to be a snob about it. What matters is that we’re all rowing in the same general direction.
It was nice to hear from one Irish-American lady. “We’ve been giving your book to friends and family yet—in all honesty—I’m not ready yet to read it,” she writes sweetly.
The Irish are a paradoxical people. They snubbed me when I was there rummaging through the ancestral attic, and now they “get” what I’m all about finally.
Despite their world-beating gifts of gab, until you’ve established an ironclad trust, they never miss the chance to miss the chance to talk about mental illness. Drop the phrase on any back country lane, or even in buzzy Dublin, and everyone suddenly has to be someplace else.
Somehow a reckoning of famine factors was made. (Cliff Notes: Thanks to the Brits leaving, insanity is no longer epidemic in Ireland.) Do Africans, Asians, Jews, Latinos, Native Americans, or other Europeans meet the same walls of resistance? It’s delicate territory for us all? Or is self-censorship the rule instead?
If the Irish are rooting for me now, it’s because they understand that in a fight such as this it can take two swings to land one punch. One book to confront the silence, as it were, a second effort to break it.
I have a dream of a mosaic of hundreds of hour-long interviews edited down to from ten seconds to three minutes per person.
Screening it for the White House would be the business, of course. If that seems audacious, it is.
Why aim so high?
So we can be shown able to hold our heads high in absolutely any house.
Why do we bow so deeply in Boston?
Because behind each family that steps out of the shadows there’s a hundred more still in the thick shadows.
And behind each one of them there’s a hundred more still on and on. . .
Last reviewed: 14 Sep 2013