My view of the world is not static. It changes constantly with the ever changing environment and my life experiences. When I was young, I was invincible. There wasn’t much that frightened me, and I seemed to survive the worst of it without too many physical and mental scars.
Moving into adulthood, I learned the rules and fought for life on my terms most of the time. My world was changing, and while some of my parents ‘ views were still my own, my quest for independence and my own identity would create new ideals to aspire to. My need to fit into categories that weren’t an extension of my family was strong, and probably borne of rebellion. I shaped my own world for a time, and was only influenced by what was happening in the moment, to me, not world issues or how an economic crisis might affect me.
When my son was born, my views of the world changed again. I wanted to be a part of society and do the best that I could for this little person that was dependent upon me for his welfare. I was an information sponge, and learned more about how to become a part of the structure of the machine that was the society that I lived in. I toed the line, and became one with my neighbours and the local mothers’ group.
When my health deteriorated at thirty, and I was told that I had a brain tumour, the subsequent operation to remove it changed my health – and once again my life. I was a completely different person, learning about life and coping with the ongoing effects of the surgery. I became dependent upon my family, society, and it’s supports for a period of time while I recovered. My experience of the world became disorientated, as I lost touch for a while, more interested in my own misery than life itself.
After a while I learned patience and fortitude as I dragged myself up to begin again. I went back to college and university and got a taste for this new academic world that I moved in, as I researched material, presented arguments, and became critical of only one opinion. My world became interesting and contradictory, as I realised that there was more to it than what I could see. I learned to question everything, and felt full of my educated importance for a while.
When my son developed full-blown schizophrenia, my view of the world changed again. The impact of his illness on our family was tremendous, and we fought long and hard to help him and get him the services that he needed. I was a skilled and confident negotiator when dealing with government agencies and health departments. I was a fierce mother protecting my only child from harm when I could. I was humble enough to know that I didn’t know it all, and I could use as much information, books and education about schizophrenia as I could get – to help our family deal with it as best as we could.
All my life experiences of the world have brought me to this point. And at this point I have been the most use to my son as I can possibly be. I’m not perfect, but I’m grateful that my view of the world does change.