April 06, 2004

A lot of time to think.

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


Dear Survivor/MOTHER
yOU truely are one remarkable woman
and truely someone inspiring and great
ur comments about this is great and true
Yuu remind me of my mother she was one truely great woman she died three years ago and i still miss her presence around me in more ays than one
UR daughter is one to have a mother like u
Anway as u said Iam truely the chosen one in more ways than one way who has beenn chosen by god to carry the cross
Anywaysurvivor please keep in touch and best of luck

Posted by: Forrest _Grump at April 7, 2004 09:46 AM

Your family seems alot like mine, or at least I can relate to it. Secrets. Tons of them everywhere. My grandmother has schizophrenia and has never been treated. It seems she has only had my mother and all other family is gone. I still try to talk to her about who she might of been realted to and she stares blankly away.

Posted by: Autumn at April 8, 2004 01:21 AM

Yeap,This is a topic which nobody ever discussed. as we know 1-2% population all over the world is suffering from it. It means may be some of all our known ones also........it is harsh truth.
It is slightlly easy to live life when U know the shortcomings or accept it.
I have also come across lot of cases like some in chains, some treated by Pujaris and some isolated.
The biggest hurdle as social stigma is when word "mental" comes across, nobody takes it serious...........
Biologically it is not proper functioning of one organ which is Brain.

again I would like to say ur daughter will be fine, she has to/////////

warm regards

Posted by: Nick at April 8, 2004 01:54 PM

Dear Mother in India,

I understand what you mean by finding out about other family members who suffer from mentall illness.

My father, his brother and their grandfather suffered from a mental illness. I didn't know about their grandfather until just recently. It is considered so shameful and hush, hush that I had to pry the information out of one of my family members.

I'm also convinced that my ex-husband's mother suffered from some type of mental illness (bi-polar?) but his family has denied that there was anything wrong with their mother. She committed suicide about 7 or 8 years ago.

I't surprising that in this modern age where we understand that mental illness is a brain disorder and not the result of poor parenting, that there would still be so much shame and stigma attached to it.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


Posted by: Moeder at April 12, 2004 10:16 PM

We have to remember that this is a PHYSICAL illness which, in turn, affects the brain.

Posted by: heather at April 30, 2004 02:18 AM

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