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After my daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia, it took some time to reach the stage of acceptance. During the periods when her concentration vanished and the symptoms returned with a vengeance, I knew that our home had to be peaceful and we had to go about our daily routine, speak softly and avoid making noise. One of the p-docs had told us about sticking to our regular routine and the rest -well, it came after watching her reaction to the various stimuli. The television set was not switched during these periods. Although I was fond of reading, initially I used to not read during this time as I felt guilty and frightened that my daughter would resent it. I used to take turns with my husband sitting next to her waiting for her to fall asleep or just sit near her when she wanted us to. So there was a lot of time to think.
I thought about the way I would live life if given another chance. Perhaps I would have been more firm? And made a home with more stability and reduced the accompanying strife? It went on and on. I had to constantly reassure myself that I had done my best and shake off the mantle of guilt that constantly threatened to put me in a state of gloom.
I also thought about various family members. A cousin brother who was not working, staying at home with his parents and who kept to himself. When we visited his mother, sometimes this cousin would come down the stairs, ignore us and go the dining table and eat his meal. His mother would always whisper that he was on a spartan diet either of milk products or pulses. I wondered-was he afflicted with this illness? I also thought of my aunt, my mother's sister and her youngest daughter, a cousin I always liked. My mother used to whisper that she had been taken to a psychiatrist after a bout of jaundice. Apparently the p-doc had said that she was not to live with her parents. So she went to live elsewhere my mother said with an air of satisfaction. This happened more than thirty years ago. This cousin had once told me about some moments during that period of her life. One of them was that on her way to college, she often stopped on the way because she could not remember whether she was going to college or returning home. She often felt confused and disoriented. I could not understand then. My aunt passed away eight years ago. I wished that she was alive so I could tell her that I understood her pain. She used to look so anxious and tired most of the time.
I also thought of my late Grandmother. I had loved her dearly. She was reluctant to talk about her father whenever I asked her about him. She used to say that she was young when he died and could not remember him. I recall whispers of an uncle telling someone about how Great Grandfather had completed his graduation from an eminent University in another town when he was just thirteen years old. He came home, got married, became very religious and sometimes was shackled in chains. I remember the chill sweeping over me when I heard it although I could not understand.
There was so much of time then to think and so many puzzling things fell into place.
I shall continue later as it is almost four in the morning.
Thank you for your comments.
Dear Nick, Thank you for responding. My prayers to you and your family-keep up the strength and the love you have for your family.
Dear Helen, Thank you for your comforting response. I shall try and get the book by Rick Warren. Yes one should always rely on God and pray for stronger shoulders not a lighter burden. Wishing you happiness.Posted by survivor at April 6, 2004 04:58 AM