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Over the years, after my daughter's diagnosis I slowly realised that there were some relations who had mental illness in both my husband's and my family. I was curious to find out whether there was any pattern in the way it appeared. I also wanted to know as to what happened to those that fell ill then. Who had taken care of them? What had happened to them? I thought while finding about them and talking about it would make the elders of the family aware of the illness so that those who were now alive and affected were not branded 'fat and lazy' or 'unkempt and restless' or 'so religious' or 'so suspicious' and so on. I wanted to make them aware that these were symptoms of an illness which could be brought under control with medications. I wanted to make them understand that it was an illness like any other. I also wanted that they be compassionate towards my daughter.
Perhaps when they understood they would know that the chances of the future generation getting it were high - something which was not under their control but they would advise the younger generation not to have very high expectations from their children or try and control the lives of the children. They would advise them to just love their children for what they were and not base their love on academic achievements, physical appearance or anything else. Perhaps then the children would not have to deal with these stressors.
So when I went to my home-town, last year, I visited an aunt whom I loved and with whom I could speak freely. She is ninety four years old. She would know about my great grandfather. She did not have children. She lived alone taken care of by an old domestic help. When I went there I found that she had lost her hearing completely but she could speak. She lived in a world of silence but there was so much of serenity writ over her face. The old help wrote the questions I asked on a sheet of paper. Aunt read it slowly and answered them. My great grandfather had suddenly become very religious and started neglecting his wife and three daughters. My grandmother was his second daughter. When confronted he would become violent, she said. After some years his wife could no longer cope. So he was sent back to his family - his parents home. Then his wife, great grandmother started living with another man. There were two more daughters. She did not know what had happened to great grandfather. Probably his family would have taken care of him she said. Great grandfather's parental home was in another town.
So I have to make another visit to continue my quest.
Thank you for your comments.
It must be so painful for you to see Cassie's sisters in denial about Cassie's illness. We both live in different countries but the pain and challenges we face after the illness has touched our lives are the same. You have so much of faith. I am sure Cassie's sisters will understand. It may take some more time. I remember you in my prayers dear mother.
You were so fortunate that your father understood. I hope your wife's parents too understand some day and be a source of support for you. My best wishes to you and your family.