My childhood was filled with violence, an angry mother who hated all of us and never failed to let us know daily. The verbal abuse was unbearable and took away every chance of having any self confidence. Memories of getting on the school bus with tears running down my face torment me everyday. My father was a good, gentle man who treated us with kindness, but even he could not withstand the pressure of living with the abuse my mother bestowed on all of us. He had a breakdown when I was 10 and withdrew into his own little world only to give us rare glimpses of the person he used to be. I often asked myself, did this woman cause this mental disorder because of her abuse or was she mentally ill and passed it down to me? Would I be the same person she was if I did not religiously take my medication? I will never know the answer because I will never go off my medications for fear that I will become the monster my mother was who wrecked the lives of my father, sister, brother and myself. I must take responsibilty for my illness and that means staying on my meds. and staying educated about my illness. When I am out of control, I hope I have enough of my senses to ask for help. When I am at my lowest, I hope I have the power to reach out to someone and ask to bring me back. I will not be that person. I will not cause my illness to ruin the lives of my family.