Mental Illness Poem


This poem is about my relationship with my father, having discovered that he had schizophrenia and the abandonment after this realization.

The Third Man Is New

© Jo
I promise I will be there.
Words with empty meaning, words screaming through the halls of my mind as they make their course.
I know he lies.
I know I won't see him until the echo is heard, until the message smacks the back of the wall. Not the wall of innocence though.
Can one echo pass through two circles at once?
I wait. No answer.
The doorbell rings but no-one can hear above all this noise.

Not but smiles and scraped knees when we first met
“you’ve been in the wars” my mum would say.
The war was the best part.
Late. But time does not matter, time is on your wrist is all.
Hope. Chance. Fresh faces.
Another child sprung from your passion, another knee scraped smile.
The race begins but I was always taller, always faster.
Every half a moon we would meet that child and I.
The white box is flying with the butterflies and pink wings now.

That’s when the screaming started. It was only a whisper then.
Two worlds colliding in one body, the mind won’t cope. It can’t cope.
Can one echo pass through two circles at once?
Hope becomes fear, chance is unwanted and fresh faces turn sour
Now that the third man is new.

My scraped knees and smile are aging.
The war is ending. The war was the worst part.
My legs are stronger and hiding beneath the flowing material
my mouth is slower to turn, it is wiser, more hesitant.
There are flashing lights and a man who wants to be flying.
I won't let him soar with me, nor with the other knee scraped smile who’s mouth is also changing. The sky is still ours.

The white box was emptied that night
Split in three, or four.
I promise I will be there. Is it the third man who speaks?
I wait.
No answer.


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Published: Jun 2010

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  • I'm 14 years old and I think I'm schizophrenic. It started when I was in 6th grade. At first I thought I was being haunted or something. It was the scariest thing in my life. I heard things and saw things. I heard people talking to me that I knew weren't there. I saw things I couldn't explain. By 7th grade I was in ISS most of the year and getting in trouble all of the time. My mom didn't know what was wrong with me and thought it was just a stage so she took me to the Juvenile Detention Center. Worst experience ever. Now I'm in 8th grade and I've been researching different illnesses and Schizophrenia is the only thing that matches the closest. I am scared to tell my mom. Only a few of my friends know. But my illness has helped me in ways in school. My writing has improved as well as my poetry. I still struggle with depression and say hateful things to people. For some reason I say what I hear and when it happens it isn't in my control. I need help...

    Victoria, TX Submitted Dec 2010
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  • I also have a mental illness. I suffer from social anxiety disorder.

    Aaron Submitted Jan 2011
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  • Victoria, I am a mom of a son who is suffering too and believe me, if your mom loves you she will want to get you the help you are crying for. TELL HER..I wish you well and hope so much that you are safe.

    Robin, AZ Submitted Feb 2011
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  • Victoria,

    I encourage you to seek your families help as soon as possible. My mother is a paranoid schizophrenic, with delusions of persecution. She has been ill and untreated for around 30 years. She does not believe she is ill. She doesn't have a home, because she believes that people are chasing her. She doesn't have hope, because the fear and anxiety have consumed her. She doesn't trust, because she believes that everyone has an agenda and is out to get her. She will never be happy, because happiness without love and trust is almost impossible. You don't have to live like this. You can chose to have an independent and fulfilling life. It's important to seek treatment while you still understand that you need it.

    Heidi, Wi Submitted Dec 2011
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  • I have a severe case of schizophrenia that started when I was about 15. I understand what your going through. I haven't told my mom either. So don't worry. I don't take medication, though I wish I did. I am 16 now, I have been combating this "illness" for about a year now. Schizophrenia is an incurable disease, trust me, I've researched it. So unfortunately, you are stuck with it. Though I would encourage you to talk to your mom about it. I am a poet myself, and being a schizophrenic actually helps my writings. So it's not all bad. All I want to say is, Good Luck with your Voices:) I am doing the same myself.

    Valerie Submitted Jan 2013
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