Do You Really See Me?

As a therapist, I deal with mental illness, and I see the suffering it inflicts. Our mental healthcare system has failed those it was meant to serve and help, turning many onto the streets homeless with no care. This plight of those with mental illness has touched my heart deeply so I have written a poem from their perspective about what they face daily and how they are treated. 

The second commandment is not just to love others as you would want to be loved, but in John 15:12 we are told to love others as Jesus would love them. This is a much greater command and something we must all search our hearts and be accountable for, and how those with mental challenges are treated is also our responsibility since we are called to love our brothers and sisters.


Do You Really See Me

Do you really see me and my soul
Then you would know your disdain and rejection have taken their toll

I can look normal on the outside like you or anyone
But inside racing thoughts are always on the run

Sometimes my expressions may not seem quite right
As worry and anxiety cause my reactions to be freeze, fight, or flight

I do not mean to cause anyone harm
But I see in your face such fear and alarm

Sometimes reality I just cannot conceive
Which may cause me to suddenly respond or abruptly leave

I know I am difficult to understand and perceive
When it is only sensitivity and love that I desperately need

I may act strange and react with emotion
Though I never mean to cause and provoke such commotion

Time fleets by without meaning or reason
My erratic moods can change season to season

I wish I could be reliable and plan
But these things, it seems, I never can

Demons in my mind go freely to and fro
I have no control; I can never know

As hard as I try I can't be what you want
The ridicule, disappointment, and hurt persistently taunt

I have embarrassed my family so they shun me
If they only knew my heart then they would see

I have no place to call my own home
So in the streets I continually and aimlessly roam

On the roads I wander and have no rest
I forage and scavenge working my best

Soundless tears drip from my tired, worn face
As I plead for anyone, a stranger, to hear my needy case

My loneliness is a hidden shroud from within
My isolation and oddity are not a vagrant's sin

But I do adore my Jesus with all my heart
He loves me, even if from others I remain apart

I am still God's child just like you
My compassion is real and sincere if only you knew

So look at me with kindness and sympathy
I need your mercy, love, and empathy

I am not a criminal; I don't belong in jail
If only someone would just listen to my sad, lonely tale

My life just needs someone to care and constancy
My hope is for more humanity and honesty

I try so hard, but continually fail
I persist and pursue, but to no avail

I pray every morning always each day
Hoping God will guide me down the right way

Darkness hangs over me like a black cloud
I have nowhere to go; I am not allowed

I need your love, someone to help me now
But will you find aid for me, someway somehow

If you could really see me
As Jesus knows and sees

It would be my saving hope, my future's life key
I then could find the peace of God and finally just live to be......

So please, dear friend, don't ever lose sight
Don't forget those like me that daily fight
A difficult battle and challenging plight

-Dr. Rhonda Milner

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you," John 15:12a

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