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I decided to do some research to find out what we could learn about Mara since she was so passionate about stating her beliefs that this pro-prop-8 family were bigots. Turns out that at the time of this posting, Mara (or someone) has taken her website offline and also according to some other news reports she isn't available for comment.
I did find a very interesting article however, that she wrote in 2003 titled I Am Bipolar by Mara McWilliams. Here are a few passages that I thought might help explain to you her behavior.
I have lived with this illness all of my life. I can look back at my childhood now and see the waves so high, then crashing down so low. I have lived with awareness of my illness for 14 years. Those 14 years were some of the most difficult times in my life. There definitely were times where I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. Death was literally right outside my door, waiting for me, urging me to take the FINAL plunge. The realization that my brain chemistry really is different than the majority of people did not sit well with me. I fought that fact for years.
I viewed my illness as a personal weakness. It has only been over the past few years that I have discovered the unique beauty of this illness. It was then that I decided to share my art and poetry with the world, hoping above all hopes that one person would be able to relate, and it would help them. The goal: share the beauty of our illness with society, so maybe we can come together and build a bridge of health. As a society, we need to focus on the beautiful unique differences between us, rather than continually be fearful of other’s differences and view them as a threat to one’s stability or safety.
She goes on to say,
It too often seems in the movies and on TV, or in the news that when a bipolar individual is mentioned it has to do with some negative activity done by the bipolar person. Well, where are the stories about the bipolar people who are MAKING IT? I know where I am at: I’m riding that daily bipolar roller coaster, sticking my arms up in the air, enjoying the ride because it only lasts so long and when I get off, I am willing and ready to love and teach.
And we do know that moving her vehicle in front of a Yes on 8 house and painting on her car Bigots Live here" she probably doesn't consider "negative" behavior.
And she continues...
If I feel anger, I can paint the anger onto the canvas, using whatever colors feel angry at that moment. I firmly believe that art therapy, journal-ing, any form of self-expression is key in the recovery process. All feelings must find a way to be vented, especially for an individual with a mental illness. It is much easier to find ways to vent happy emotions. But when the intense negativity rolls in and begins to engulf one’s life, the afflicted MUST find a constructive way to release those emotions or the individual could end up in a suicidal depression.
I'm guessing her canvas in this case was her car.
She was also diagnosed Major Recurrent Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as being Bi Polar. This is a very serious diagnosis and very difficult to recover from. It usually takes many years of therapy, being consistent and remaining faithful to taking ones medication. We have no idea at this time if Mara is taking her medication.
Some of her poetry also reveals that she was a self mutilator, formerly drug addicted, self described Pagan, anorexic, delusional, rape survivor, abuse survivor, lonely and so much more.
This woman is in some serious pain, and even though I do not agree with her egregious behavior or political tactics, understanding that she is mentally ill and is and/or has dealt with so many traumatic issues, gives me some compassion for her.
My hope and prayer is that she will eventually find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And next time, simply stick to painting her feelings on some canvas and not her vehicle.