13
Apr

Mental Illness and Guilt

   Posted by: aman   in Sepia Leaves

Over the last two months those of you who do come to this site must have been sorely disappointed in me. I have been so non-punctual about updating these pages. I was caught up with something else, my second book, which I will talk about later.

For now this is a notification on a talk I am giving at Roshni, a part of ACMI (Action for Mental Illness) initiative this Saturday, April 18, 11 AM at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi. Link to ACMI.

I am no expert on human behaviour or on mental illness. All that has happened to me has been 35 years of living in close proximity to mental illness. Okay not so close, I was mostly away from my fragmented home where my mother was ill. But my mother was also in my heart. That way she was never too far. I grew up watching for her, her moods, her tempers, and my behaviour.

I also saw my father all these years, crumbling under the onslaught of mother’s temper. He felt guilty. I felt guilty for being their son and keeping them married. Under the combined load of all our guilt my father lost his mind towards his end (2003). I had been writing Sepia Leaves for about two years before that but the night my father passed away the format of the book revealed itself to me. I wrote Sepia Leaves to tell Papa that he was not responsible.

Roshni is an association of care givers of mentally ill patients. I want to stand in front of these care givers and listen to them telling me their stories. And I want to present to them the fact that they are not responsible for what has happened in their lives. In fact, they have already done much more than is their due. Come!

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