“Mom, can I talk to you?”
I was eight years old, and very, very afraid. I wiped my nose on my sleeve.
“What is it, Jill?” My mom asked. She gave me a hug when she saw the forlorn look on my face.
“Alone?” I asked.
We walked into my mom’s room, and I sat on the bed while she shut the door.
“What’s going on? Are you okay?”
Mom sat on the bed next to me and took my small hand. I looked away from her and stared out the dark window, gathering my courage.
“Jill?” My mom squeezed my hand.
I took a deep breath.
“I…I see things that aren’t there. What does that mean, Mommy?”
My mother immediately started to cry. I looked at her.
She held my head close to her chest and stroked my hair. I didn’t know yet what this one small confession would mean for my future, and I didn’t know that mental illness ran in my family, with my older sister suffering from schizoaffective disorder.