If you have ever dealt with a family member who has had mental problems, then you know that there is fine line between holding them accountable for their actions and having compassion for them. I’ll have to admit at times that having a brother who faces these challenges can be very frustrating for me. But just when I feel that I am fed up with his antics and want to throw in the towel, a gentle voice reminds me to be thankful that I have my mental faculties and I can reason and function in society. I know that he suffers from deep mental torment. His world changes daily, oftentimes by the hour. The question I always have in the back of my mind is, “When should I back off and allow him his experience and when should I try to intervene?” There are no easy answers. The best I can do is listen to my heart and hope that I can serve him for his greatest good.
In his more lucid moments we have deep convesations about life. He is so intelligent. I like to imagine him without the tortured soul. In my mind he is gregarious, charming, and at peace. Maybe peace is not in the cards for him this lifetime but I cannot help but feel that he is a courageous soul who once said, “Yes Creator, send me down to earth with a fragmented mind. I will lovingly teach my family about compassion, unconditional love and gratitude.” This poem is for you Dear Brother. I love you!
A Warrior To The End
by Dina Neatherlin, Summer 2004
He hears the voices on any given day
They tell him what to think, what to say
He is in a far away place
He is neither here nor there
His mind transcends all reality
Making his life surreal.
He becomes confused at times
Not knowing what he feels.
He is like the glass that is broken,
Fragmented beyond repair.
He cannot be in the moment
Because he lives in the yesteryear
What is real, what is imagined? He cannot say.
He looks to others
To help him find his way.
In his mind the answers do not come
He wants peace, he wants love.
His tortured soul lives another day.
Where his journey ends I cannot say.
My heart aches for him and I say a little prayer
That he will rise above his afflictions
And conquer all his fear.
His divine soul he doesn’t know
He cannot comprehend
But I see his light shining bright
A warrior to the end.