“Now I know what mental health is – that I’m not crazy. I understand what my problem is and what to do with it. I know I can get help.”
Kamsiah is supported by Neami Merrylands
I moved to Sydney in 2015, a victim of domestic violence with post-traumatic stress disorder. Around that time, I was in and out of a mental health hospital because of my suicidal thoughts. I knew I didn’t want to suicide, so I would check myself in to try and learn how to stop.
As time went by, I noticed that they didn’t want to help me. They would just put me aside. I’d talk to the doctors and tell them that I didn’t have suicidal thoughts anymore and they would let me go. That was it. My ex-husband abused me. I was controlled for a long time.
I thought I had nothing to offer because I was a housewife for 31 years, and when my children moved out I was all alone. That’s when the suicidal thoughts came. I thought I was worthless. I kept coming back to the mental health hospital until I found Neami.
From the day they called me they supported me. I started to get my self-confidence back. They made me see that my life had value. They encouraged me to go to school; they helped me to find myself. I was always told that I ‘can’t do this’ or I ‘can’t do that’ by my ex-husband or my family, then I found out that I could do it. They let me be myself. They listen to me and respect what I say.
Neami gave me an OHP workbook that shows me my strengths. It divides up my problems and shows me how I can conquer them. It is the best book ever for someone like me.
We had this trip with people from Neami to the Blue Mountains. After that I felt more confident. I took the train and went to Bondi by myself. I had never done anything like that before. I love how Neami have made me open up.
It’s still a struggle a lot of the time; I don’t always have the strength to be brave enough to do things. And sometimes I’m too scared to go to out the door. I want to be able to smile, but I can’t. I don’t understand how people can be happy. Are they really happy or are they just pretending? I don’t know.
I’m going to TAFE, which I never thought I could do. I want to go to university. Miss Michelle helps me with my teachers when I cannot explain things to them. Sometimes I want to quit, but Miss Michelle tells me not to give up. She said that I would increase my self-confidence, and I did; I just passed my last test!
My family told me that I was crazy. I thought that people with mental health problems were cuckoo or sick in the head, and that we have to put them aside.
Now I know what mental health is – that I’m not crazy. I understand what my problem is and what to do with it. I know I can get help.
Neami are my angels, if I had known them for a long time maybe I wouldn’t have had suicidal thoughts. I want to be like someone at Neami someday, to help someone.
I want to tell the world that people who have my problems can be cured, that not everyone is happy like ‘The Little House on the Prairie’, but that life is still valuable.
I have to take things step by step. Sometimes I slip up, but then they call me and I feel better. Now I’m excited for the future.