One person’s story:
I have never known my father, Phil, without mental illness.
When my parents met at McGill University my father was already diagnosed with schizophrenia. You couldn’t see the illness on him then. They were just two beautiful young people in love. By the time my mother was 20, I was born.
Young and still naive, they did their best to sustain the relationship, and moved to the Laurentians together. My mother dreamt of living in the country and building a family with him, but soon after I was born Phil became increasingly ill. It would take years, and countless trips to psychiatric wards and jails to really understand it all, but my mother eventually realized that the hopes she had for a stable family would not be possible with my father.
There is a spectrum of experiences individuals can have when they suffer from schizophrenia and my father happened to be on the more extreme side.