Given that my youngest daughter is mentally ill, even though she is mostly stable, she is still hardly okay.  She is desperately lonely and has difficulty making friends or even knowing who is a friend.  Sadly, and as a consequence, anyone who pays her the least bit of attention she will glom on to. This means she frequently gets taken advantage of and has her heart broken over and over again.  She often finds herself with people that are not nice people at all.

And she never learns from it.  The New Testament story of the prodigal son comes to mind often as I see the choices she makes with her life.  I wish I could do more to help her, to protect her, but she is nearly nineteen, at least chronologically, and so there is nothing at all I can really do.  She will not listen to what anyone tells her, except the people who take advantage of her.  And she never grows wiser.

All I can do is always be there for her, always love her, and always do what I can to give her whatever aid I can give her when she lets me.

I wish I could keep my own heart from breaking all the time.

If you are taking care of a loved one who suffers from mental illness, let me encourage you to check out NAMI--the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  They have many support programs in most communities across the United States.; joining such a support group will be very, very helpful.  It has certainly benefited my wife and I a great deal.


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