Tag Archives: Mental Health

America’s Angels and other musings related to mental health…


Hi World,

I don’t know how to qualify my moods today. All is not so good and am near pissed. Why should what happens in America or wherever shake me so? I mean I had a nightmare last night (hardly recall any precedence zut). The KKK were torching 3 homes to be precise – I woke up ant it was 1.28 am I have a clock that reflects on my ceiling. I just have to type all this out and hopefully calm down enough to continue my day which is equally so taxing already with a phone crash last night.

So, yesterday I wrote of America’s ghostsAmerica’s ghosts – I had been planning before the terrible incident of yesterday to blog about America’s Ghosts and America’s Angels after reading the wonderful book by Steve Fugate titled Love Life Walk.

The ghosts of Jim Crow, of the Civil War or the Appropriation, Misapporiations and reservations, the treatment of natives and immigrants (who aren’t fortunate to belong to certain families descendants of immigrants themselves) oh my gosh gosh gosh – I really need to stop reading so vast and caring so much. I now can understand why events likle the collapse of the Berlin Wall or the murder of JFK and etc could drive some off the edge to maniaville completely.

But no I wouldn’t go off any cliff because I am tougher. I will brave this but I now know I should mind more of my business than what the media trusts my way. I will chose what I click period. Las Vegas shooting touched me  and I reached out to mine – but maybe this time because it was in a church and the victim toll – oh my …

And yet America has so many angels. I visited 5 different states in 2015 and took all means of transportation I could just to be in the move – name it I took it maybe except private jet (which I wasn’t even hoping to). I walked of course, took the bus (both in the city and cross city – two different companies even), train, cesna, plane, even hitched a ride in Vermont after visiting my Precious Pammy at the hospital and it was getting dark etc and I have no recollection of being treated shabily. I mean I remember Richie who played some instrument (ah yes the Clarinet) and bout me a soda and told stories all the way, I remember oh this lady who bought me food in the train from VT to DC, I remember Sherry who invited me to spend the night over at Virginia, I mean Pammy whom I had never met who invited me to the US in the first place and contributed towards my air ticket, made up such a nice room for me even though hers was in such a mess, so so many good memories I can’t even remember again. I thought it was because I was a foreigner (don’t ask me if I carried a sign), but when I read Steve Fugate’s book I knew there were Angels indeed in America.

Sadly now, When such a terrible thing occurs, a culprit is to be found asap. Mental health is a suspect par excellence and it’s even cool if records can prove that asap so the case can be closed. But I have known quiet a two hands full in America who live with various mental health challenges, illnesses and etc and they are oh so nice or simply keep to themselves.

Seriously, I am shaken and taking some big measures. No twitter for a while and hardly any facebook. Even if the fire is burning on Mount Cameroon heading towards Douala IDC!!! I am reviewing my interet list on G+ and of course I wouldn’t click any sensational headline again – serves me right.

I know a lot of killings and crap and hatred and hurt out there, but for a human being to calmly take a gun in a church or wherever and gun down others – then something is really wrong somewhere.

I pray for myself and the angels in America to not let the ghosts and nightmare of that country close in on us and mess up further our fragile mental healths.

God Bless America indeed: I feel better having ranted this out here

P.S: AM LEAVING ALL TYPOS TO REMIND ME OF HOW SHAKEN I WAS WHEN I WROTE THIS POST

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A very comprehensive review of my book for a weekend read


WCS by Genero

BOOK REVIEW: ‘WHAT IS THE WORST CASE SCENARIO? BY MARIE A. ABANGA

The memoir ‘What is the worst case scenario’ is a refined reality of life which I believe is a must read for every aspirant person seeking relief from the strong fears of life.

I am heavily inspired by the wordings of Winston Churchill in the foreword of this book found in page 18 wherein he says ‘Never give up, never give in. Never. Never. Never’.

The Preface introduces the memoir proper and brings out the worst case scenario to be the aspect of FEAR of what people will say, or do; defining fear meaning we should fold everything and run; face everything and rise; or false emotions appearing real.

The first chapter dubbed ‘The fear of staying’ opens up with the author describing how she had a mental hostage as she was growing up and the fear of staying was eminent and so the mind probably makes a mental note ‘you don’t want to stay, well you just try your best to cope hoping for the opportunity to escape’. The author describes various levels of her escape mechanisms which kick starts with her being enrolled in a boarding school, followed by the breakdown of her parents’ marriage, she further envisions marriage to be the best escape-she describes it as a wonderful refuge. She manifests her fear of staying broader when even before the Mayor, they argue on the matrimonial regime to opt for. Her fears to stay could solely be consoled in the arms of other men. She concludes by saying her problem was overcoming the fear of leaving, and not getting defeated by that fear which was threatening to make me hostage for the rest of her life.

The second chapter dubbed ‘The fear of leaving’ opens up with the author describing fear as such a terrible thing which can make you a prisoner right in your own bed. Hence, she had to leave her father’s house with her brother because her dad and his new wife were becoming unbearable. After an eight years hiatus, the author regained a prodigal daughter status and she and her dad were ‘seemingly happy’ in her own words though she now had two additional siblings and a third one on course. After the third step-sibling was born, lack of ‘personal resources ‘other than a ‘disturbed mind’, got her to ‘hang’ around some more years at her mum’s. The author got two sons after losing her first pregnancy and loosing another child at birth, then since her marriage was more of lip service, she asks herself if she could leave? This got to a stage where she took a knife and wanted to commit suicide and leave this world with its headaches. She closes up her fear of leaving by a choice to fold everything and run as she often did and then to eventually face everything and rise.

The third chapter dubbed ‘the fear of losing’ describes the greatest fear of losing to be that of losing your mind. She still figured out what to do to be suicidal as a fake wife, a loser, a miserable woman and a sham of a mother. The search for solace found her in marriage seeking refuge. Her fears to lose her esteem, marriage and reputation became primordial in her mind. Her years spent in Belgium were actually necessary for her personal journey towards emotional and mental wellbeing.

The fourth chapter –‘The fear of failing’ Opens up with her expressing her inability to see, face or talk to her lecturer and also her inability to study and work hard with severe skepticisms of her course outline. This made her to earn poor grades in school and had to resit her exams. she narrates her freshman experience as she goes in for her LL.M programme in Belgium to study International Law with International Relations. She encountered hearing problems in following up classes and had to get a Sesame Hearing Aid. She sees failure inevitable but decides to face her fears of failing when it comes knocking as a learning curve onwards. She describes all failures be it emotional, mental, professional, spiritual and otherwise as learning curves if we all exhale and inhale in all humility and modesty before resitting the lessons. The author further shares some 30 quotes which she googled about failure which in summery tries to tell us that no great success was ever achieved without failure as failure is seen as a stepping stone to achieve our dreams. Hence, like the great Barrack Obama says ‘You can’t let failure define you – you have to let your failure teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently the next time’. A quote which the author got from chapter five of Abraham Mutwol’s book titled ‘The 26 Inspiring Life Lessons from Barrack Obama….’This chapter in brief aims at saying you may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated…as nothing will work unless you do. The author concludes this chapter with a teaser question of us finding out what is the worst case scenario if we fail? There is a choice, either we fold everything and run away forever or we learn from the events, face everything and rise. The author chooses the second option conclusively.

The fifth chapter – ‘The fear of being loved’ opens up with a pondering question of whom in his ‘right’ senses and emotions fears being loved? She writes about her desire to be able to face everything and rise when any love like gentleman comes along. She commits herself to trust her instincts and reasons and not her emotions on their spur of a moment. She exposes the zeal to rise and thrive amidst difficulties. She exposes her unconventional loves wherein she felt loved in the most unconventional of those relationships. She expresses her earnest desire to be loved and narrates her story of love and later expresses her fears of rejection and abandonments. This chapter that talks more on her love life tales ends with her fears of one thing or the other always looming her mind.

The sixth chapter labeled ‘The fear of loving’ expresses her dilemma in her fear of loving, whether receiving or giving, what she calls philophobia which ranks high amongst unusual phobias. She defines philophobia as an unwarranted and an irrational fear of falling in love though often times the sufferer does fall in love but it causes an intense emotional turmoil in his or her mind. The nature and causes of philophobia all vary from case to case and sometimes, it is a real mystery as to why it might have occurred in the first place. She narrates the story of the queen of England who was philophobic and furthermore says the symptoms vary from individual to individual. Most revering is the fact that she concludes this most delicate and VIP chapters by resolving to face this fear of loving after researching much about it and desires her three musketeers read this and are not philophobic.

The seventh chapter – ‘The fear of stigma ‘ opens with the author expressing her dislike for friends who run after mentally deranged people and sing songs and sometimes throw stones when she was a kid. She exposes her beloved brother’s outpour of foamy saliva today known as epilepsy as a stigma. She exposes the society for stigmatizing people’s bad mental states which can lead to seeking suicide as an option; but advocates that we should not give in to the fear of stigma maybe because we may be branded or marginalized. With a refusal to give in to fear, the author consciously decided to stigmatize stigma. She hails efforts done in this regard like that of Greg Mercer in his story titled A Nurse with a mental Illness; My story.

She further tells us how stigma kills people daily and if we help keep stigma alive, we cause more pain and death. She shares the tale of her fair lady and heroine friend Dyane Leshin-Harwood who suffers from postpartum bipolar disorder in one of her posts with the caption ‘A Stigma of one’s Own’ and secondly ‘ Stigma from the source’. She ridicules self stigma which is accepting prejudiced perceptions held by others which can lead too the reluctance to seek treatment, excessive reliance on relatives, social withdrawal, poor self- worth and may lead to abuse of alcohol and drugs. She ends this chapter by resolutely deciding to advocate much for the marginalized in our societies and says what matters to her most is her legacy and what she leaves behind for her sons and the world at large.

Chapter eight dubbed ‘The fear of advocating’ talks of the author’s dreams of becoming a doctor or a lawyer and she has indeed ended up as a lawyer and a fierce mental health advocate too. She exposes how her beloved brother’s crisis is admittedly the catalyst for her daring advocacy to the point of accepting the huge task of being the country director for the Gbm foundation for epilepsy and mental wellbeing. The mental malady has four distinct stages namely 1-Mild symptoms and warning signs; 2-Symptoms increase in Frequency and severity and interfere with life activities and roles; 3-Symptoms worsen with relapsing and recurring episodes accompanied by serious disruption in life activities and roles and lastly number 4- symptoms are persistent and severe and have jeopardized one’s life. She concludes by resolutely adhering to advocate against all odds while alive.

Chapter nine which is the shortest and last chapter is dubbed ‘The fear of Dying’. It is all about nothing can delay or deny death when its time comes. She exposes her case of losing three siblings but conclusively resolves that the worst case scenario is that if you live, you will one day die. By Banda Banda, Douala, Cameroon

Just say it as it is


Just say it as it is

Just say it as you see

Just say it as you think

Just say it as you feel

——-

What is it you want

What is it you need

What is it you can

What is it you can’t

——-

There is so much shallow

When you don’t say it

When you fake it

Because you want to make it

It may work for a while

But can last only a while

And the price you’ll pay

May lead you a painful way

——-

It is worth every dime

To say it as it is

I ain’t saying no more

Yes yes to please

When my soul will miss

The serenity it so seeks

Sometimes silence says it too

——-

If they don’t like it

If they don’t want it

If they don’t respect it

Not my worry

I will just say it as it is

——-
P.s: Inspired by an event this morning; I said as it is and am ok with me. I hope this poem inspires so many, to start or keep living true to themselves. Above all, minding my mental health is supreme for me. In return with saying it as is, I pray for the Grace to be more emphatetic and patient with myself and others…

Must You Talk About IT?


Hey, must you talk about it

She asked staring appalled

What’s wrong with talking

I answered innocently

I mean about It she lashed

About what ain’t got a name

Well you know what you so talk about

I so talk about pretty much I counter

Well, you focus it seems

On the weary and scary 

The shaggae and reggae

And if I don’t I query

Would that make it any better

We all have our own moments

I talk so people know

There ain’t any shame in talking

And so am sorry

If you feel embarrassed at my talking

And now to give a definite answer

Yes, I must talk about It

They too deserve a to be heard

Am of both worlds…

——-
P.s: These poems will be part of my “Serene Soul” collection, inspired by the healing, closure and acceptance am finding while studying the book High Tide Low Tide… By  an awesome twosome Martin Baker and Fran Houston… Can’t thank them enough

The Blame Game


Hello: shall we play the game?

The dynamic blame game

Dunno who’ll win this game

Who gets most guilt and blame

Let’s get the ball rolling 

It’s played by you and me

First you push the meds

I blame the docs

Then you push the food

I blame the cook

And next comes sports

Am not in the mood

What of sleep

My mind a restless

Who’s fault you ponder

How am I to know I wonder

Am trying my best

They all are to blame

I accept no guilt

Ain’t responsible for nothing

Could be I was born so

Or maybe some mess caught up

I hear acceptance can help

But then I will have no more game

Helas I love the blame game

But it ain’t worth playing you go

Did you ever hear a winner?

All play and get burnt

Blame game serves none

Even blaming self 

Helps you not

Ask all former players

Oh then I’m out of the game

Decide to shove guilt and blame

And the whistle blows: years later

Am now am much better

How I dread the blame game

P.s: Poem written on the go 27/08/17  inspired by the book am reading  (High Tide Low Tide…)

Five Reasons why I’ll finish reading High Tide Low Tide…


High Tide Low Tide

Let me think seriously about how or what am going to write in this post – my truth from within my soul…

I have a very good memory, indeed even some events when I was 2 years old are still stacked clearly up there. Books I have all along read, I have since lost count, but still see so many covers flipping through my head and the first xcel sheet I kept with all those titles. And yet, I can’t recall any book I picked up to read and couldn’t proceed because I felt my soul stabbed!!! Here comes the above book, a sort of innocently captivating title right? I mean a very resourceful book if you’ll ask me. So what now?  Let me just write a short paragraph of some of the words which kept stabbing my soul when I tried read the first chapter:

Guilt, Incompetent, Unfortunate, Helpless, Sad, Uneasy, Fake, Farce, Hard, Difficult, Perfect, Imperfect, Irony, Sarcasm, Loser, Bother, Honesty, Failure, Victim, Apprehension, Doom, Darkness, Pain, Memories…

Indeed, the same me who had just a day earlier told the author I was honoured to review the book when approached, couldn’t even read another paragraph. Five days have since past since I got the ARC, I have written about my dilemma and recived invaluable advice and remarks and all; I honestly told Martin the author I was finding reading the book challenging and he was simply put Gracious in very few words. I have decided to continue reading the book – and will honestly review same when I get to the end. Here are five reasons why:

  1. I gave my word: My word is my bond, I have tried to not take my word as seriously in life, but I recently discovered that taking our words seriously is actually one of our personality traits. I am a Consul, in the Sentinel category and my stategy is People Mastery – ah what a personality trait and all. Anyway, I also love when people keep their word to me although I have come to make peace with myself that it ain’t my fault when they don’t;
  2. This book has made me take a personality test: I don’t know how many people have started a book and put it down to take a personality test before resuming reading! I have never done this and gosh it took a book innocently thrust my way to get me to this. I not only took the test, I went premium all the way to learn about my trait and other traits, my trait’s strength and weaknesses, many whys answered, many how tipped on and hmm so much. Thank you HT LT – who knows what else I’ll do before I finish reading you?
  3. I’ll even be getting a hard copy for my home library: Here again another first. I have reviewed so many books, a few times because the authors approached me. I have never gotten a hard copy probably for logistics reasons, but I have equally never asked for one until now. Don’t mind that with my first and I now admit very poignant memoir titled My Unconventional loves…I did mail out 5 or so copies to ‘reviewers’ I contacted online and who said I had to send them a copy… I was new to the business, was chasing reviews and was living in Belgium with a better mailing system than back in Cameroon…indeed that bool HT LT will be mailed from the UK to the US and sent through someone coming to Cameroon when the opportunity arises… that’s us, take it or leave it… Martin Baker took it and out of respect for him I’ll not just let him off to muse like I did, when none of those 5 reviewers who got my book didn’t even bother to even reply my querry;
  4. Martin Baker is a gracious Gentleman (I don’t care how old he is): The day I downloaded the ARC and read just the introduction, I put my kindle down and sent him an email with the first snippet of my apprehension. My guess/calculation going by time is, he read that before sending me a smiley on facebook messenger. None of us replied to the other. Am sure he prayed I didn’t give up just yet, while I sincerely wished I found the courage not to. I then braved on an finished part one, and the dread dregged me on. I let him know once again but told him I seriously wanted to try reading on. See his Gracious words: “Thank you for persevering with the book, i will be very interested in your thoughts”. Isn’t this so gentlemanly? and so I have come to realize the fifth and most important reason am reading this book is for me;
  5. It’s healing and making peace with and for me; and learning to be and do better for others: I watched a movie last night (one luxury I fortunately can manage with the boys being on vacation), titled “A Cross to Bear”. Don’t ask why that one and not another given I have a dozen or more in my library – some say am a ‘mini psychic’ lol. Anyway, the movie line (cause am going to do a review later I want and need to), is that a woman who opens her home to rescue abused or recovering from ‘something’ youn girls, gets to realize she was doing that out of guilt and had to start doing it out of love. Now, with regards to reading this book HT LT, a few other moments in my life ‘guilt over my brother’s demise‘ and not ‘out of love for myself or others in similar situations, has been my hidden motive.

In conclusion therefore, because this book from every indication is so resourceful, I mean I have all the 19 reviews it has on the amazon; because I need to do this for me and for healing and doing the best I can for others living with a mental illness or mental challenge, I will finish reading the book. I am even consoled and motivated by some lines from one of the reviews I found helpful on the amazon written by AngryGnome “…This book is not light hearted reading…But in spite of the serious nature of the illness, it is not depressing, as it is filled with hope, humour and more than a touch of beauty”.

Thank you Martin Baker for contacting me with the request to do a review of your book… you are a gentleman and indeed an invaluable friend to Fran Houston. It may be a slowread, but it’ll hopefully be a good and healing read – I look forward to reviewing same – indeed it’ll be an honour.

And the last award for this week is a MYSTERY…



Hello World O’, how many Fridays will meet me exclaiming what a week!!! Ah life is a mystery and I am honoured to receive this really descriptive award.

Thank you once more dear Joan for nominating me, I just realized this award was twinned with the Blogger Recognition Award I accepted last day.  I love these appreciations of my ramblings and hope they are much more for my indefatiguable mental health advocacy. So here we go, I just say thank you and return to my mysterious life hahahaha

Personifying my Anxiety: I call her Loha


Anxiety Loha
Loha, (Love Hate): My worst friend my best enemy

I have know Loha pretty all my life. She has kept my mind alert more than I could ever wish for. Whether I ask her to come along or not she does. Always offering suggestions, making me doubt my own self, getting me double check on stuffs I have done, and beating myself more than I should for any omission or slight delay. She sometimes makes me wish a day had 48 hours even when I’ll still feel like a failure at the end of each day.

Oh Loha you are the worst of my friends – you nag! Yes, although I like that you help me plan well in advance and think of all possible scenarios of what, who, why, when something could go wrong; the fact that you more often than not come up with those your fall short blabla when any merry comes or is sighted, qualifies you my best enemy.

I think we should revisit our relationship, I wish I could just cut you out, sometimes I feel I have done just that. Is it a must that once you know someone it should be for life? Can you answer me that? Or do you only want me to take a pill which could give me that courage to kick you the hell out of life?

I am gradually however discovering how to get back at you, for all the years when you sucked me down, with all your nagging. I can now tell you to your face, call you out to the world, embarrass you too some. If you don’t like my approach, get lost because more is coming. I have new friends teaching me more tricks. I know much more than I used to, Loha you better step up or be doomed forever you shapeless chameleon creature – no doubt your best colour you say is black!!!

P.S: That was a guest post I submitted last month following a call to submit. I followed up and got my submission acknowledged, but it never got ‘selected for publishing’ and no courtesy did I get in the form of a ‘rejection/notification’. So, considering it their loss and Loha being mine anyway, I share it with us all.

I am officially taking a 1 month summer break from writing on my blog, but I’ll be reading, commenting and why not reblog any I find cool.

Love loads and all the best from Loha and I 🙂

My Mental Health Awareness Month Wrap up…


IMG-20170518-WA0011

Truth be told, I have been looking forward to this day when I take a break from ‘trying in near vain’ every week day, to raise awareness on Mental Health on my blog. I am sure if someone types Mental Health in Africa on google my name will pop up. Well, to that extent, I will be very happy because that is also the visibility of this ‘shameful thing’ I am talking about. You know, yes we all have minds, yes we will like for them to function at their optimum, but no please don’t tell us that is the same as mental health. Only those who are mentally ill should be concerned by any mental health ‘stuffs’ and could it not be some of their fault that their minds flew away so ‘cuckoo’ ? If I am looking, doing and feeling great why should I be talking about the reverse right ?

The above are equally musings I have had throughout this month. I mean I can be qualified as one who is looking, doing and feeling great. Let’s face it, just look at (some of) my profile pictures, media gallery, write ups (except in the mental health category of course) and em what I sometimes say I feel – what should be my business talking and near nagging about such an ‘ackward subject’ as if the world does not have enough global warming threats and political turmoils to deal with ? Even if some members of the British royalty and American pop star Gaga – through some known celebrities and not so known wanabees are talking about bringing heads together to advocate for more compassion and love, self care and awareness of mental health issues, do you think you could ever join any of those ranks or gain any attention ?

This month, I have indeed made it my business to blog every week day about mental health. It is important for me that I write and keep writing because I love writing, it is like a lifeline (So much theraphy for me). The second thing is, you never know there may be one person you save on any day with your write up. I have ‘nagged’ some friends including my favourite Granny of 78 good years, sending her questions and making her write nearly 2000 words for my blog for free. I did this because I wanted to nag the blogosphere and the entire world my own little way this month of May. I was not the only one doing this, I discovered several others were doing similar projects and I contributed a write up to some of them. I had the honour to be featured in a local magazine published in the big USA, that was huge as far as my efforts to raise mental health awareness was concerned.

Behind the scenes, I kept learning and sharing, teaching my children more and more, being more vulnerable with my friends and families about my own challenges with Anxiety and mood disorders, my minor eating disorder and so on. I shared more and more copies of my brother’s journey with strangers as faraway as Dakar – Senegal where I attended the 3rd African Congress on Epilepsy, one of those neurological conditions which is so easily correlated to mental problems. This relationship was actually studied at the congress and one of the main causes of their ‘unhealthy relationship’ was STIGMA. Ah that big, dreaded and dreary word – you know… ‘No I don’t hate them but No I don’t want nothing to with them’.

My research and curiosity with mental health/illness has led me to read many books, developed friendships with those ‘society’ has shunned/stigmatized and considered either posessed or obsessed, and watch documentaries and movies like the incredible ‘Out of the Darkness’ staring the phenomenal actress/singer Diana Ross. I had to watch other movies by Diana Ross to see if she put in her all like that in other movies. I learnt so much from this movie, how a sister could turn her back on you when you got that ‘schizophrenia label’, how the man who was courting you would drop you like a rotten banana once you told him of your ‘label’, how even your own child would sleep barricaded from the inside because she’s been told you could strangle her before regretting it. Good for her her mum stood by her to the end, that’s what mums are for – at least the majority who themselves are not having mental health issues are living up to their God given vocation.

Therefore, while I formally take a break from writing daily about mental health, well am just spreading awareness platforms. I have recently taken a big leap of faith and co-founded a company called Inspiring Positive Actions Now Limited whose maiden event was last Sunday, and one of the main poles of this platform is Mental Health Advocacy.

Thank you all who read/liked/commented or even sighed at any of my posts this month, I am grateful for the opportunity to live and do my own mite to impact the society I live in. Take care of your mental health, the gateway to your holistic wellbeing trust this much…

If you are moved and generous with a like, please like our facebook page right @inspiringpositveactionsnow Thank you very much

Questions to an Author: Jill Sadowsky


David's Story
The cover says so much; the contents would move even the toughest of hearts

Hello World, very honoured to be wrapping up my interviews with authors who have written on mental health, with one I fondly call Granny. I was so delighted to talk with her on phone when I visited the US in 2015, and I was so happy when she liked the memoir I mailed her.

I have done a modest review of Jill’s heart breaking memoir on my blog, and it is my honour to interview her too. I don’t know how a mother handles her only son’s mental illness and survive his loss, I see my mum dwindling between striving and surviving but I am not in her mind. I hope Jill tells us a little how because she is one of those brave mothers!

1) The Profile

  1. Let’s Start with a brief introduction of yourself – your background – and a tiny bit from your life before mental illness struck:

I was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1939 and had an enchanted childhood. I studied teaching in Cape Town where I met and fell madly in love with Alec. We married, and immediately, our relationship was a loving and caring one consisting of give and take. After our baby, Doron was born, we left family and friends to fly off to Israel, the country of our dreams.

(Doron means ‘a gift’ in Hebrew.) The real name of her Son refered to in the memoir as David

  1. About your Memoir, why did you write it all those years later and with many names changed as you say?

Because I had never written before. But, I wrote notes every night on what had occurred each day from the time that Doron became ill which was during his arbitrary military service although in retrospect, there had been some signs previously. It took time but the book called ‘Weep for Them’ was born and published – the hardcover edition in 1998 and the paperback in the same year under my pen-name Sarah Ben-Dor. Neither were translated into English as I simply could not face rehashing that excruciating experience all over again.

Years later, after we’d lost our son, I had so much more to add, that I consulted with my husband and two daughters and asked for their permission to write an updated book in English, using my real name this time. They agreed. But I had to change the children’s names as well as my husband’s while writing because that made the whole process a little less painful for me as I was reliving the 16 years of Doron’s illness all over again.

2) The Soul Journey

  1. What is your take about mental health?

When our Doron was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, I had heard little about the subject and had never met a mentally ill person. Today, I am older, wiser, read whatever I can on new developments but, to date, am not convinced that there is something that could have helped our son who proved to be medication-resistant for so many years. I pray that somewhere, someone will be able to help all those who might be suffering the way Doron did. I never felt guilty about causing his illness as I had read that parents cannot cause schizophrenia.

  1. Did your feel guilty for your son’s deteriorating mental health? If yes what did you think or do, if no please explain some to us.

A few older psychiatrists pointed the finger of blame at me, but fortunately, I had read enough to know that I was innocent of that, at least. I had to do something so, I approached the Israel Mental Health Association ENOSH, and asked for permission to start a support group for parents of mentally ill children in our neighborhood, in English, as Hebrew is not our mother-tongue. They let us use their facilities and offered assistance but frankly, most of us, 22 in all, did not want to hear another professional at that stage. We met regularly twice a month and became like one large family. We could speak openly about anything to do with our ill child, confident that we could trust one another to be honest and not to speak to anyone else about what was said. I felt safe with them, so much so that they became like an extended family.

Parents cannot cause schizophrenia.

Mothers cannot cause schizophrenia. I want every single parent to know this:-

I bet you all part 2 tomorrow is equally soul searching, captivating and near gut wrenching – stay tuned