May 24, 2004

Energy levels

I did not post here for sometime because my energy levels have been really low. While typing out an entry a few days ago I went to sleep at the computer. This happens quite often as I tend to ponder over the events of the week which has generally a soporific effect. I woke up in darkness with the mosquitoes biting my legs. There was a power cut and I had not saved the entry. I just crawled into bed and went to sleep.

My daughter was feeling depressed last week. She seems better now. When depression rises from somewhere within I can see it and sense it. Sometimes I try and can make her smile. But sometimes when I cant and see her trying to turn her lips into the semblance of a smile and the sadness slowly seeping from within and trying to envelop her I know I must just wait but be alert. I go out and sit in the porch and watch the birds. There are plenty of them. I watch the golden-backed woodpecker making a hole in the neem tree and two resident owls stare out from its hollow. There is something so soothing hearing the rhythmic pecks and staring into the beautiful,tawny eyes of the owls. In the earlier years I used to simmer with resentment against the unfairness of it all but not any more. But however hard I try I cant stop the feeling of helplessness of not being able to share and lighten the sadness which threatens to engulf my daughter. This drains my energy. However watching the birds, the trees and contemplating in silence as nature goes about unhurriedly helps in restoring my energy levels.

Last fortnight, my father rang up to say that my mother was hospitalised after a fall. She had a fracture and was operated on. I tell them that I cannot leave my daughter alone. Last year my husband and I took turns and rushed to her side when she was hospitalised. They stay in a coastal town in the Southern tip of India...miles away. My only brother and his wife avoid visiting her when she falls ill. Since he is a test pilot my father wants to avoid putting him through any kind of stress. So my brother visits them only when my mother is able and can cook for him. He stays closer to my parents. My father has not seen my daughter for eight years after she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. When he went on and on about the suffering and pain of a fracture I told him that my daughter was suffering too and had been battling an illness for so many years.

Sometimes I wonder if it is worthwhile fighting to remove the state of denial and the dismissive attitude towards mental illness which my father has. This state reminds me of an old, gnarled, tree with branches so rigid that they cannot be bent. These exchanges drain my energy which I need to conserve and build reserves to battle this illness. I decide to avoid exchanges which have negativity.

This time the episode of sadness which my daughter went through seems to have dissipated and did not reach the alarming levels that the p-doc had to be contacted. These days she communicates regularly with the courageous boy who also has schizophrenia, whom I met on this site.

Thank you for your comments
Dear Moeder,
Yes, it was a blessing that Uncle Peter was in our lives. Yes he was kind, sincere and gave us so much of his time. I remember him so often and I still grieve because he had to suffer so much pain before he died. My prayers are always with you, Cassie and your family. Take care dear mother.

Posted by survivor at May 24, 2004 04:19 AM


dear survivor,
regarding the state of denial of your father -

"After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by force...The movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results. " I Ching

Posted by: puzli at May 24, 2004 04:26 PM

Dear Mother & Survivor:

I just came back from a trip to central California where my mother and other family members live. I live in Oregon. Spending time with my mother gave me a great deal of peace and warmth. We don�t need to talk a lot but just being together is so comforting for me. I came home a few days ago and the realization that my daughter Cassie is not happy and well just hits me in the face; as a result my energy level has been very low.

I�m not always happy about how my immediate family (husband and two other daughters) copes with Cassie�s illness. Cassie does create a lot of hurt and division in the family by her behavior and lack of care towards the family but it still hurts me deeply that she is no longer an active participant in our family. Sometimes I feel such anger towards everything that has happened to my family. Never did I imagine that our family would have to struggle so hard for stability and happiness. All of the things that have happened to Cassie haven�t been fair.

Your father�s reluctance to embrace your daughter is so very sad but I believe that friends and family members FEAR this illness more than anything else. I think they believe that if they don�t see it they won�t have to deal with the tragedy and sadness of this terrible illness. My family�s method of coping is often denial. I would also like to deny it but the horrible truth is there in front of me where denial is no longer possible.

I�m so glad your daughter has a kindred spirit she can communicate with. Isolation and loneliness is one of the worse parts of this illness. I will continue to pray for you and your family.
Peace to you and your family.


Posted by: Moeder at May 26, 2004 01:15 AM

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