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She is a pillar of strength for her mother

by Erin Paul
(Kottayam, Kerala, India)

Sushila sat near the windowsill, staring at the people in the busy street going about with their daily lives. Busy with her household chores in the Bengaluru apartment, she was a homemaker and a mother of twins.

Sushila had gone through a complicated pregnancy. God blessed her with two fraternal twins - Roshan and Renuka.

Whenever the doorbell rang, Sushila would run to open it thinking it was her son coming home from far away land who left her in search of job. He went to Mumbai with his uncle ( Sushila's brother) to find a job.

His uncle took the responsibility to cover all the household expenses of Sushila and school fees of her children when her husband died in an accident. When Sushila's son completed MBA, he decided to go to Mumbai and stay with his uncle.

Sushila and her daughter Renuka managed the household while her son would transfer money in her bank account every month for their household expenses. Renuka completed her course in Journalism and was working as a freelance writer.

But Sushila never realized that her son's happy homecoming would soon come to an end...

Sushila's daughter Renuka asked for a mobile number where she could reach him but his uncle refused to give and gave silly excuses. One day Sushila tried writing a letter hoping he would respond, that too ended up in vain.

Life was so cruel to Sushila, what meant most to her, started slipping. The physical pain that she had while giving birth was far easier to bear than this mental agony she was going through.

She kept looking at her son's childhood photos and kept imagining her son's appearance, the good days and the bad days kept flashing, she dreamt over and over like one of her favourite movie. She would pick the toys, crayons, story books, clothes, craft items, his school books and trophies he won as reminiscence to keep herself happy and would get lost in her own thoughts.

Renuka, Sushila's daughter could read her mother’s mind and knew exactly what to say to calm her down. Her reassuring
words of hope and inspiration kept Sushila alive, her amazing words had more power than medicines to heal her.

Sushila's son Roshan was no more in contact with uncle. His uncle got angry at him when he started taking drugs. Uncle kept transferring money to Sushila's account and did not say a word about her son's whereabouts.

Most of the days Sushila did not sleep well, cannot concentrate and almost lost interest in day to day activities. Thoughts raced around in her head like a colony of bumble bees. She even tried suicidal attempts. Renuka got upset seeing her mother’s behaviour and decided to investigate about her brother's whereabouts. Renuka approached police station and got the news that her brother is now one of the most wanted drug addicts and is now with a drug- mafia. The news left Renuka dumbfounded, how can she tell her mother about her brother now, very soon her mother became a mental patient.

Days and months passed, Renuka's mother suffered panic disorder, agoraphobia and anxiety disorders. The thought of her missing son gave her panic attacks.

After several days and months of effort and dedication, Renuka gained post graduate degree in psychology and started working as Behavioural therapist teaching in college and conducting sessions with corporate clients. Today she manages her mother and she is happily married, settled in Bengaluru.

Thanks to her supportive uncle and her spouse who helped her when her mother had mental illness. She made up her mind, did not lose her courage and determination. Her faith and perseverance created her destiny and today she could save her mother’s life. Her mother recovered and started to see the world a better place.

Emotions, thoughts, behavioural changes keep changing from time to time. There is no simple test that can figure out whether you are experiencing mental illness. But if you come across such situations do seek professional help and counselling.

This is a story of love, compassion and understanding among those touched by mental illness. ( Note: The characters in the story are fictitious and do not resemble anybody ).


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