I have been blogging since November 2011 and today, I am posting blog number 745. I blogged about losing our first infant son, then about the fact that our son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia; how he fought to find peace of mind, a good job and someone to love; about how we tried to cope with this difficult situation; how our son eventually gave up, so we had to learn more coping techniques on how to cope with losing our much loved son. Then I blogged about burying him – a sane reaction to an insane situation maybe. I ached with memories. I remembered the happy times and I longed for a hug. I wished I could tell my son again about all the times he’d made me proud and brought me joy. If only I’d been with him on his last night, but there cannot be any ‘if only’s.’ In my son, David’s name, I will always fight to restore the dignity of psychiatric patients as I once promised him I would. I do not want this mission. I would have given anything to have had a healthy son and continue to live my life in a quiet corner, writing romance novels. But, this was not to be.
Then, my husband was diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I knew that he was ill long before his geriatric neurologist gave the dreaded diagnosis. In February it will be four years since he passed away. Many people wonder why I ‘spill my guts all over the internet,’ to quote one woman; and my reply: “From the amount of mails I receive, I know that I am helping others deal with similar situations. And, because I have written it all down, nobody can point a finger at me any longer. They cannot upset me as I’ve said it all. I do not want other parents to feel as alone as I felt during the long years I lived with schizophrenia, in particular. All these mothers know that they can turn to me in times of sadness and despair and I will always reply and be there for them. At present, people from over 160 countries have hit on my blog at some time or another and many are following it. These people are desperate – mothers, fathers, grandparents and their relatives; all suffering and searching for answers. I reply to every single one. No matter what their beliefs. They turn to me in desperation, plucking at straws. I have made it clear that I am not a qualified therapist. All I am is a mother who has been there. And that seems to make all the difference.